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Opinion: Pop Songs Existed in the ’80s So Nu-Metal Bands Could Perfect Them in the Late ’90s

Many regard the 1980s as the golden age of pop music. Many popular songs of the decade laid the foundation for the mindless, cash-grabbing, soulless radio hits that record companies force on the masses, to be played ad nauseam in grocery stores and dentist office waiting rooms forever. But there is one silver lining at the end of the shit-tunnel of pop song garbage, and it’s wearing tripp pants and Invader Zim arm stockings.

I’m talking about Nu-Metal, of course.

When I hear “Smooth Criminal” by that Michael Jackson dude, it conjures up images of a decade of neon lights, Miami Vice, and big, big hair. But I say to hell with that. I want to conjure up the image of manufactured angst, frosted tips, and failing miserably at skateboarding that only Alien Ant Farm’s cover can bring me.

Maybe I’m being a tad bit harsh towards 80s pop music. There definitely are many artists and bands that had mega-popular songs from the decade that are genuinely good. Like George Michael. I mean that song “Faith” is pretty damn good. But let’s be honest, it doesn’t even come close to how Mr. Durst and Co. absolutely crushed that song. They just did it better. And they added a bunch of cool swear words too.

Fear Factory’s version of “Cars.” Orgy and their cover of “Blue Monday.” And how could anyone forget Disturbed’s masterful version of Tears for Fears’ “Shout?” I honestly cannot think of another genre that spun covering songs into an art form quite like Nu-Metal did in the later part of the 1990s into the 2000s. Miss me completely with all that phony pop stuff, I’ll take the phony Nu-Metal versions instead.