Pop and politics: Campaign hits and misses

Matt Coughlan
(Australian Associated Press)

 

THE TOP FIVE CHARTBUSTERS POLITICS HIJACKED

1 – BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN – BORN IN THE USA (1984)

Former US president Ronald Reagan used Springsteen’s working class anthem for his 1984 re-election campaign. Critics panned the Reagan campaign team’s choice, saying they had misunderstood the lyrics which are commonly interpreted as an angry diatribe against the treatment of Vietnam veterans, rather than a patriotic ode to America.

2 – EMINEM – LOSE YOURSELF (2014)

Number two with a bullet. New Zealand’s National Party will be forced to hand over $NZ600,000 to the US hip-hop star’s publisher after a High Court ruling on Wednesday. In 2014, the party used a version of the 2002 song, called Eminem-esque, which the court ruled was similar enough to have infringed copyright.

3 – HUNTERS & COLLECTORS – HOLY GRAIL (2002)

The Tasmanian Liberal Party infuriated the Aussie rockers by using their iconic 1992 hit as a campaign anthem 10 years after its release. Hunters And Collectors frontman Mark Seymour told Hobart’s Mercury newspaper at the time the band opposed everything the party stood for: “We are disgusted by the appropriation of our much-loved anthem by a political party that we utterly despise.”

4 – ROLLING STONES – ANGIE (2005)

It was only rock’n’roll during German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s 2005 election campaign, but the Stones didn’t like it. While the band’s legal muscle weren’t deployed, they directed their shock and disappointment at the campaign DJ. “We are surprised that permission was not requested. If it had been, we would have said no,” a spokesman said after Merkel’s Dresden rally where the band’s 1973 hit aired.

5 – FLEETWOOD MAC – DON’T STOP (1992)

Bill Clinton’s became inextricably linked with the British-American rock group’s 1977 song after using it during his 1992 bid for the White House. The song’s proclamation that “yesterday’s gone” helped Clinton to position himself as a forward-thinking candidate. After his election victory, Clinton convinced the band to reform and play at his 1993 inauguration ball. He continued to use the song throughout his career.

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