20 Percent of UK Top 10 Songs Are Alcohol-Related, Study Finds

Experts concerned for young people over unsafe image promotion.

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The recent Liverpool John Moore's University study revealed that the number of alcohol-related UK chart hits has doubled over the past decade, now almost reaching the 20 percent figure.

As Telegraph reports, one in five UK Top 10 tunes are now about alcohol. Experts are expressing strong concern over unsafe image promotion among young people and possible future consequences.

"A greater understanding of the impacts of alcohol-related popular music content on young listeners is urgently needed," the Psychology of Music journal report reads. "Health and other professionals should be vigilant for increases in alcohol-related lyrics and work to ensure that popular music does not become a medium for reinforcing and extending cultures of intoxication and alcohol-related harm."

The research also gave comparisons of the current time and past three decades. According to the same source, 1981 saw only a few hits referring to alcohol; 1991 on the other hand, was the time of rave culture, hence Ecstasy was a predominant topic. 2001 marked the return of alcohol, as it was featured in eight percent of the chart hits. The figure has since been on the constant rise and has recently reached 18.5 percent.

The research also noted that older children and teenagers spend an average of over two hours a day listening to music.

Do you think we have a cause for concern here? Let us know in the comments.

32 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Lyrics used to have effort put into them in pop songs. There are only a small handful that still sound like they weren't written by gibbons. I don't know who it is but a song that gets played on the sound system at work is literally comprised of "Can you feel the love", "This is love, this is love" and "Say hell yeah" and each one of those is just repeated over a generic beat.
    Usually there's also a chorus where people sing Ooooooh Ooh WOoooh! We've reached a point where we aren't even pretending to have anything to say anymore.
    The alcohol companies are obviously paying up to get their name into popular music. Pop music is all about money, hence why it is generally rubbish. There's tonnes of product placement in pop video clips and guys like Pharell are doing alcohol commercials too. As a metal/punk/harcore fan, it really annoys me how many people (parents in particular) are strongly against heavy music because they think it's "evil and satanic", while they are allowing their children to be brainwashed by the music charts, which makes their children think that drinking is just normal, acceptable culture. While it's not as bad as alcohol, there is a lot of product placement for other things too, which just perpetuates our consumer culture. Having said all of that, I don't really care what happens to the people that decide to listen to the monotonous, overly simplistic "music" which is force fed to them. If people don't want to get off of their backsides and actually look for good music, instead of listening to typical radio rubbish, then they deserve all of these negative consequences
    As someone who has made a conscious choice not to drink, I wholeheartedly agree. Being a non drinking student (especially in Scotland ) is hard, drink culture is everywhere, people blasting whatever 'let's get drunk' song Rihanna or Black Eyed Peas or whatever has brought out. It's shocking, and needs to stop. It's taboo to advertise cigarettes now, what's so different about alcohol?
    'Pop lyrics suck/don't require effort because they're about alcohol' guys wat alcohol has been a subject of song lyrics since the 50's, in every genre. Whiskey in the Jar, Nightrain, Whiskey Rock A Roller, Have A Drink On Me, Cold Gin. Lyrics don't have to be 'art' all the time. Stop mindlessly dissing pop music because it's not your thing.
    Thank you. Everyone praises these songs when they come up but when a pop song uses the same themes it's the sign of the musical apocalypse. Hell, generic cookie-cutter love songs were pretty much the 50s popular music scene in general. God forbid people sing about what's common.
    This so much. I find it hilarious how some people think that every rock/metal song out there contains a ****ing history book in the lyrics. It seems like they please themselves with a false sense of intellectuality. Gross generalizations, gross generalizations everywhere...
    Also people are generalizing too much. All pop music sucks... Well, is all metal music good? Is all rock music good? I don't think so - I would say that majority of rock and metal songs suck, at least IMO. And the music I listen to most is rock. Same with pop music. Not all pop songs suck. If you think so, you haven't really listened to pop. Also, music is business. It is about the money. Musicians make music for the living so of course they need to make money with it. It is their job. Though that doesn't mean you can't enjoy your job and make honest music and also make money with it. Rock and metal music is commercial music as much as pop music is. Deal with it.
    In my first post I referred to pop music as "rubbish" and you are right that I shouldn't generalise because there is a lot of rubbish in my preferred genres too. However, the majority of pop music seems to be mostly synthesised, electronic noises made on computers these days and many of these "artists" don't know the first thing about music theory or even playing an instrument in many cases. I think you will find that there are more actual musicians in the less popular types of music, like metal, because people tend to gravitate more towards these styles when their understanding of music increases. There are plenty of exceptions to this rule I'm sure, but pop music is all about business these days and they will always focus on what sells and not what is actually good quality music
    *rabble rabble rabble good music rabble rabble rabble* Seriously mate, drop the holier than thou attitude already. There is no such thing as "good" and "bad music". Music is an intensely subjective thing. Everyone has different tastes. Guess what? No, you're not any better than a hip-hop/electronic fan or musician.
    You are a troll... I'm, sure of it. You still need musical knowledge to make electronic music. Composition is composition, regardless of whether or not you show off your sweet shreds to everyody.
    Does making music on a computer make it not music? It's creating sounds from a mechanical device, like any other instrument. Also some famous rock musicians don't know music theory. Theory shouldn't be a criteria of quality anyways, that's just a modern thing. And metal music is pretty popular. Some metal acts are unknown and some pop acts are unknown, but both have artists that top charts. Anyways, "quality music" is a subjective definition so just saying "good" or "bad" isn't enough.
    I enjoy some computer generated music. I see nothing wrong with not using "real" instruments. I mean, sometimes "real" instruments just don't give the right sound and you need to use computer sounds. And also, many mainstream pop singers are really good at singing. I don't usually like mainstream pop songs but I can hear that the singers are really good (unless they use autotune - though many times autotune is used more as an effect than as something that corrects your out of pitch singing, at least today). Also, the songwriters in mainstream pop really know what they are doing. They know exactly what sells and can write that kind of songs. The songs may be really simple but if you wrote a similar song, it wouldn't become the number one hit. They know exactly how to make a song that all radio stations play all the time.
    Valar Morghulis
    Thats why top 10 sucks... Pop music these days is only talking with a beat on the background >.<
    I think you're referring to Hip-hop, which has been an established musical genre for three decades. I'm geting tired of these "pop music is just..." posts. Stop being elitist, and maybe contribute something useful to a discussion.
    Almost 20%? So not even two out of 10...? The alternative being songs about kittens?
    It goes with the student/clubbing culture in the UK, the people want something simple and repetitive to sing along to when drunk.. Though you die a little bit inside after realizing you just sang along to a One Direction song.
    Considering that I've been listening to nothing but Tom Waits for 3 days now, I can say that 90% of my playlist is alcohol-related.
    Oh my... Typical internet comment section - pop "music" (notice the quotation marks) sucks, metal and rock is the real music. Opinions, people, opinions. Though I have to say I hate all these alcohol songs. The same is happening in Finland. Almost every rap song is about drinking, at least that was the situation a year or two ago. But I don't think that lyrics really make you do something. They are just lyrics! I don't even listen to lyrics that much. But I know they are just lyrics and if the lyrics of my favorite songs tell me to kill myself, I won't kill myself. All this "music is evil" crap is just crap. It's just music, and they are just lyrics. Same with movies. If there's a movie about drugs, does it make people who watch it use drugs? I don't believe that the use of drugs and alcohol is due to music. That's just ridiculous. That's what parents thought in the 70s when they burned "evil" heavy metal and rock records. Music is just music.
    Mate, kids are very impressionable and they subconsciously believe what is being said in songs and movies because they aren't yet mature enough to process this kind of information. Adults are fine. If they want to take it to heart the so be it, but kids can absorb these messages, especially if they think it will make them more popular, which is often the case with this party-type music
    You actually believe that? I was listening to music with messed up lyrics about all kinds of stuff since I was 9. I've never harmed anyone, never thought about worshipping satan, never assumed I need alcohol to be cool etc. So many people have been brainwashed into thinking that music brainwashes people. Ironic, really...
    I like pop music, but the things that are popular at the moment is quite awful imo. It's either offensively generic or just plain annoying for the most part. I'm quite certain it's gotten worse. But atleast there's still the occasional hit made by people with talent, like the new Janelle Monae and stuff like that, but still, check Spotifys top 20, it's kinda deppressing really.
    like Randy answered I'm shocked that a mother able to earn $5932 in 1 month on the internet. visit the website http://www.jobs64.com
    I hope you are paid to post garbage like this to forums.. You should be forced to add your address and real name to your posts.....