Music: Political Rock Evolution

Early rock 'n' roll was about kissing in Dad's sedan. Today stars opine about trade policy. Here's a rock history suitable for C-SPAN as well as MTV.

--By Benjamin Nugent

BOB DYLAN When the master lyricist traded his acoustic guitar for an electric backup band in 1965, he sang to rock fans about the evils of war and the emptiness of consumerism

MARVIN GAYE Sliding harsh indictments of poverty, violence and pollution into silky R.-and-B. grooves, his album What's Going On was Motown's most important comment on social issues and proof that political pop could be soft and sexy

...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!