One of the MOST influential albums of the 80’s
As a teen growing up in the Seattle suburb of Edmonds in the 1980’s I grew up watching MTV. Back then all they played were music videos. It was a great time for music.
It was the summer of 1986 and the white suburban American youth were about to experience and witness a musical revolution. The likes of which would transcend society as we know it and it’s reverberations are still felt to this day.
Profile Records releases the 3rd album from Run DMC. The breakthrough album trumped standing perceptions of commercial viability for hip-hop groups, achieving triple-platinum status and receiving critical attention from quarters that had previously ignored hip hop, dismissing it as a fad.
Their take on the Aerosmith classic “Walk This Way” was what brought rap music into the mainstream homes of suburban white youth all over America.
The video is a testament to what was happening in music, culture, and society at the time. The vanguard of classic rock acts dominated by whites was now co-opted by the latest cultural phenomenon of the time that was growing in the urban centers – Rap music.
The one scene that epitomizes this in the video for “Walk This Way” is when we see the 2 bands performing the song respectively in separate rooms sharing a wall. Then the wall is broken down and then we see the two groups effectively collaborating together to finish the video out in concert together.
The case can be made that the video reignited the career of Aerosmith and after that the Boston rockers seemed to ride the wave of success through the 80’s and into the 90’s
In addition this song, video, and collaboration planted the seed for what would become an entirely new sound fusing rap and rock together that would end up influencing future bands still to this day.
So that’s my CASE for Raising Hell and why I think it’s one of the most influential albums of the 1980s