1. The Sex Pistols were the first popular punk group from England. “Anarchy in the UK” offers an example of their attitude to mainstream English culture and authority. How does the music reinforce the lyrical stance? Does the performance present the group as a force or as merely a trend? Elaborate.
2. “My Best Friend’s Girl” by The Cars shows an early example of New Wave crossing over to commercial radio. How does the music develop throughout the song? Are there poignant highlights that distinguish sections? Does the vocal delivery evoke an emotional response or is it void of emotion? What makes it “radio-friendly”?
3. Compare and contrast the New York and English punk scenes. Use artists from both to illustrate your points.
4. The English punk scene develops out of social upheaval. Groups such as The Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Jam, and Siouxsie and the Banshees all come from these circumstances. What distinguishes them from each other? What is their common thread? Is there an underground movement today that represents the current turmoil?
5. The three major technological advancements in music transmission have been radio, MTV, and the Internet. Compare and contrast all three with examples of the strengths and weaknesses of each.
6. “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson is significant in many ways. What breakthrough was it culturally? Musically, how does the groove fit against the vocal delivery? How does the production play into the presentation?
7. “”Like a Virgin” by Madonna displays her affinity for dance and controversy. How does her image project into the musical performance? Is there any similarity between her and Jackson’s production value?
8. “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” by The Police offers a glimpse of the group at the height of their popularity and creative flow. How do their roots in ska and reggae show through in this piece? Does the band’s technical prowess overshadow the song? How does the vocal delivery support the lyrical content?
9. The wide range of music created during the 1980’s shows both a revival of earlier styles and a move forward with new music. Considering bands/artists as diverse as R.E.M., The Smiths, U2, Squeeze, Cyndi Lauper, Bruce Springsteen, The Stray Cats, Hall and Oats, The Cure, and Genesis, is this era as significant to the development of rock music as the early 1970’s were? Why?