Lamm, L. M. (2014, February 17). Media & Culture/Entertainment. Retrieved April 29, 2018, from International Business Times:


Nickolay Lamm

Background:  This research experiment was based on work that artist Nickolay Lamm from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania completed in 2014.  The original research was titled “Money, Love and Sex” which Lamm tracked popular words over the past 50 years in music.  The results of the study showed that as time has progressed, the more expanded the words became from the 60’s to the 21st century.

My research takes the words that Lamm originally used and applies them to Punk and New Wave songs from bands of the UK and United States from the 1970’s and 1980’s.  14 Punk bands from the 70’s and 14 New Wave bands were chosen for the research.  Each band then was examined for their top three songs from that genre.  This accounted for a total of 84 songs that were examined in both categories.  A recording sheet was developed with coding that applied the 19 words against the 84 songs.

Questions/Expectations:  The main question was based on the idea that there would be a significant difference in what the Punk genre’s song titles were versus the New Wave era.  The expectation/hypothesis is the belief that the Punk era would prove to have more angst/violence in the titles than the New Wave song samples.  This hypothesis was based on the political atmosphere by the Punk movement in the 1970’s, especially in the United Kingdom, but was also seen as being influential in the United States additionally.

Definitions and measures:  Punk Rock/Music– Characterized by loud music with abusive or violent protest lyrics, reaching the peak in the late 1970’s.  Performers and fans embrace socially defiant behavior and extreme dress.  New Wave Rock/Music– 1980’s popular music based from Punk music but less raw.  Usually seen with exaggerated dress, hair, music beats and unconventional melodies and lyrics.

Research Design:  In my experiment, a list was first generated of 14 Punk Bands which were popular in the 1970’s both from the United Kingdom and United States.  The second set of bands who were chosen were New Wave bands from the 1980’s from the United Kingdom and United States.  Once the bands were listed, searches were performed for their top three songs listed either in Billboard or the equivalent of such lists in the UK (Official Charts).  Those songs were then listed with the song title and the year that the song was released.  A coding system was then developed on the recording sheet with 19 different words that would be compared against the 84 songs collected from the Punk and New Wave genre bands.

Data or Subjects: In this Experiment, there were 28 bands from the UK and USA.  There were 7 Punk bands from 7 the UK and 7 from the USA.  Another group of New Wave bands were chosen with 7 from the UK and 7 from the USA.  In total, there were 14 bands from the UK and 14 from the USA.  Each band was then researched as to which were their top three (3) songs according to chart standings.  The recording release date was also noted during the song title searches.  Those findings were then listed by genre.  A coding system was developed based on the 19 words from Lamm’s study previously mentioned.  The coding ranged from numbers 1-19. The songs were then reviewed for the keywords and the findings were recorded on the recording sheet.

Findings:  Findings showed that 15% of the 84 songs compared contained a word from the 19 word and songs that were researched.  Of that 15%, the United Kingdom showed a significant admiration for the word “Love” which occurred in 5% of the 1980’s New Wave songs and 2% in the 1970’s Punk genre.  In comparison, the 1970’s Punk songs from the USA showed a preference for the word “Boys” with 2%.  “Love” ranked in at 1% for the 1980’s New Wave USA songs, which is much lower than the 5% shown by the UK bands during the same era.

The findings did not meet the hypothesis; it is apparent that the UK “Loves” more in their song titles than the USA both in Punk and New Wave genres and showed minimal angst/violence influence in music than was predicted at the onset of this study.

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