Tuesday, August 16, 2011

90's Hit Parade #38

Jane's Addiction - Been Caught Stealing

Jane's Addiction were (along with Red Hot Chili Peppers and Fishbone) constants among my social circle during my college years in the late 80's/early 90's. But there was always some discomfort with this song, as often happens when people spend several years thinking of a band as the emblem of their outcast subculture and suddenly see them embraced by the mainstream (and this was just a hint of what would happen with Nirvana less than a year later). The first time I heard "Been Caught Stealing" blasting out of a frat house, I was a bit shocked, but I think the negative reaction is completely wrong. In fact, what's awesome about this song is precisely that it was a hit. Think about it: this is a song about shoplifting that got played on the radio and MTV, that became a big hit, that everyone was listening to. That's so much more subversive than whatever purist underground music you're championing. I mean, people still get pissed off about people "stealing" music on the internet. This is a song about actually stealing actual THINGS! I don't know about you, but I think that's pretty damn cool. (Embedding disabled on the official video, but here it is if you want it.)


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