When Rock and Roll first appeared in the 1950s, it was literally branded as the 'Devil's music', as nothing like it had been heard before, and it captured the imagination of a whole new generation and seemed to take them over. Anxiety about the supernatural side of music dates back before the Rock and Roll era. In the 1930s a song called 'Gloomy Sunday' was banned by the BBC as it allegely caused a spate of suicides because it sounded so mournful. Another song that even musicians consider to be very unlucky is one called 'I Dreamt I Dwelt in Marble Halls' from a musical called "The Bohemian Girl". Even to hum the tune is said to invite bad luck and news of a death.
  In the 1930s, a rumour travelled the world that claimed that blues legend Robert Johnston had obtained his musical skills after making a pact with the Devil at a deserted country crossroad. The very same rumour was later repeated in the 1970s, alleging that Jimi Hendrix had made a pact with  Satan for his phenomenal guitar talent.
  In the late 1960s Christian fundamentalist preachers accused record companies of being fronts for Satanic organisations that were hiding secret subliminal messages in the records. Of course, many groups thought that these accusations were a good publicity gimmick, and bands like Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin revelled in all the paranoia.
 There was even a rumour that Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page was a black magician, although it is true that Page once bought and lived in a huge mansion on the banks of Loch Ness that was owned by the prominent Devil worshipper Aleister Crowley. Around this time, the Beatles released their landmark 'Sergeant Pepper' album, which contained many mysterious tracks which have never been satisfactorily explained. Some fans say there is the sound of a car crash being played in reverse in 'Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite', and the allegedly rude message that is played backwards at the end of the album was once thought to be a message from the Devil himself. George Martin has always maintained that the end-track is nothing sinister at all;
merely a random collection of spliced tapes of sounds and conversations. The fans of the Beatles thought otherwise, and made much of the fact of Satan-worshipper Aleister Crowley being included in the famous crowd scene on the the cover of Sergeant Pepper.  When the Beatles released their exceptional 'White Album' a year later, Charles Manson claimed one of their songs - 'Helter Skelter' had driven him and his band of followers to go on a killing spree which culminated in the grotesque murder of actress Sharon Tate. Manson also claimed that another Beatle song called 'Blackbird' contained disguised messages about a race war. Manson said one lyric line in the song: "Take these broken wings and learn to fly" was actually referring to a future time when the blacks of America would revolt.
  By the late 1980s and early 1990s, the heavy metal music scene became another source of bizarre rumours. There were stories in the world-wide media of youths committing 'heavy-metal suicide' after listening to certain tracks on heavy metal albums. The tracks were said to contain suicidal instructions to the listener that had been [quote] 'back-masked', or played backwards, just below the audible level. In 1990, the families of two dead youths sought damages of over £3 million from heavy metal band Judas Priest and CBS records, claiming that their two teenaged sons had shot themselves after being inspired by the band's evil-sounding music.
  And the dark legends about popular music continue even today. In June 1997, the Internet was buzzing with news of a fascinating discovery. It was alleged that if you play Pink Floyd's album, 'Dark Side of the Moon' to a muted video of the Wizard of Oz, you will see that the band's music is a sound track to the film. Pink Floyd were quizzed about this bizarre musical discovery, but refused to comment,  and sales of their old album trebled. 

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