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There’s something inherently dangerous about the idea of a “fun” band
The idea of a “fun” band, in this light, is dangerous. It means that there may be a song that, when listened to twice, will inevitably become one of those “greatest hits,” which will then begin to take on meaning in the context of an individual’s personal life story. But what happens when these songs have a whole new meaning suddenly?
I remember being a freshman at a small liberal arts college, and a particular group of songs that were always played on the radio had a particular meaning. I was the last of my generation to have ever heard these songs. They had a certain rhythm that was completely foreign to my ear, but was something I latched on to immediately, and it became a staple of my teenage life in so many ways. These songs would become our shared history, a way to make sense of what had happened in our lives, and we would play them over and over again. If you had never heard them, they would still have meaning in your life.
As music became more prevalent in the last quarter of the 20th century, many bands decided to take a page from the Rolling Stones’ book by recording their own songs. They decided that the song “Fun” wasn’t a song, it was a sound (not unlike how the Rolling Stones “Brown Sugar” sounded after hearing it in their teens) and recorded a version that reflected that sound. This is an example of the “band” in music expanding over time into such a wide range of genres that they simply became a “unit.”
So, as a “fun” band, there’s something inherently perilous about the song “Fun” by a band whose music is so far afield that it even has its own genre: funk.
In its infancy, funk began as a purely musical term. A group of Chicago artists in the late 70s coined the term “funk” to describe their take on rock ‘n’ roll, and it was one of the first things to emerge from the Chicago music scene.
This wasn’t the first time that funky music was being done; there was a time in the mid-60s where a