When we set out to write a post about privacy-themed songs, we knew this would generate a lot of debate. After all, it’s a topic that others have tackled, with “best of” song lists all over the Internet.
We wanted to create a list that went beyond the ordinary, pointing you towards some other, less expected choices. (Admittedly, the list also reflects our collective musical tastes… but that’s our blogger’s prerogative!)
We’ve also taken a broader view of privacy, so our choices reflect a range of privacy-related issues: Joan Jett’s classic, Bad Reputation, could be interpreted now as an anthem for the social networking age, touching on identity and reputation. Government surveillance emerges as a distinct theme in songs by Mos Def and The Kinks. M.I.A. raps about online tracking, and Elvis Costello sings about counter-surveillance.
We found it difficult to whittle the list down to only 10, as we’d done with our post on privacy-themed films. So, we’re posting our top 15 in the hopes that you will weigh in, either in the comments below or on Twitter, and help us determine the best ten, sometimes overlooked, privacy-themed songs.
Without further ado, here is what made our list:
Bad Reputation - Joan Jett
Bagman’s Gambit - The Decemberists
Big Brother – Bernard Lavilliers
Everybody's Stalking - Badly Drawn Boy
Fear Not of Man - Mos Def
Laissez-moi tranquille – Serge Gainsbourg
La Machine - Daran
Nothing To Hide – Yo La Tengo
Party Line - The Kinks
Pictures of You - The Cure
Spying Glass - Massive Attack
The Message - M.I.A.
The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get - Morrissey
Videotape – Radiohead
Watching the Detectives - Elvis Costello
We’ve compiled all the songs onto a playlist on our YouTube channel. And if you think we’re missing something, let us know!