6. “I’m the Slime”
Frank Zappa (1973)
There is no ambiguity in Zappa’s song about the slime oozing from TV sets. In the lyrics, TV is a “tool of the government,” a mind-controlling box in your living room working to commodify the human race. When the song delivers the slogan, “Don’t touch that dial,” it’s a dehumanizing command. This is a snarky, potent take on the tube, strafed with Zappa’s piercing guitar licks. Be sure to YouTube the live version on “Saturday Night Live” in 1976, with announcer Don Pardo performing with Zappa.
Pictured: Frank Zappa on Nov. 29, 1974.