Evolution Of Rock Music

date: 02/10/2012 category: features
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It is widely assumed that Rock music was born the day Elvis Presley walked into the Sun Studio in August 1953. Back then it could easily be described as blues with an electric guitar. The 50's also saw Rockabilly, which is a mix of Rock n' Roll, Country, Blues and Jazz. The leaders of the 50's were Elvis Presley, Bill Haley and his Comets, Buddy Holly and Little Richard. As the 50's gave way to the 60's, the world was introduced to the "British Invasion", which was led by The Beatles. The world was also changed forever with the creation of Psychedalia with drug-induced music that would hypnotize, led by Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Cream, and The Yardbirds to name but a few. Progressive rock (using instruments other than guitar, bass and drums) was also experimented with, as well as heavy metal and folk rock. As the 70's arrived the music seemed to tone down a bit. Some bands grew in fame from what they had in the 60's to what they became in the 70's (Led Zeppelin). Other famous bands in the 70's include Yes, David Bowie, the Eagles, and Queen. In the late 70's, the world was rushed with a new form of rock, namely Punk, ruled by The Ramones and made famous by the Sex Pistols and The Clash. As soon as the 80's started, Hair bands and Glam Rock bands came with it. We were also introduced to epic guitar solos and weird costumes (Alice Cooper). New wave also crept in with bands such as Divo, The B-52's, Talking Heads, and Blondie. Indie and Alternative Rock also arrived in the 80's with such bands as U2, R.E.M., The Cure, The Smiths, and Sonic Youth. Punk also became more popular with bands such as Black Flag and the Dead Kennedys. The 90's was the decade of Grunge and Alternative. By far the most famous Grunge band of the 90's was Nirvana. Grunge music originated in Seattle, Washington and can be described as dirty guitar, strong guitar riffs with distortion and feedback. They had dark lyrics and expressed teenage angst. Popular Grunge and Alternative bands are Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Alice in Chains, and Jane's Addiction. So many of the genres that I spoke of in the past decades still exist today. You still see many teenagers with Led Zeppelin and Beatles shirts walking around. Alternative rock is one of the most popular and broadest genre of rock that exists today. Emo, a rock sub genre that has intensely emotional lyrics with hardcore punk roots, was popularized by bands such as Taking Back Sunday, Senses Fail, Brand New, From First to Last the Used and softer bands such as Dashboard Confessional and Bright Eyes which can also be described as indie. Though the word "indie" stands for independent and refers to bands that are part of an independent record label, indie has a whole new meaning this day and age. Indie is hard to described, I guess you could say it's a miscellaneous category of sorts, mainly underground and softer version of alternative rock. Popular indie bands include Death Cab for Cutie, The Arcade Fire, The Strokes, The Decemberists, Elliott Smith, and the Postal Service just to name a few. Heavy metal has also reached a new extreme. Sub-genres such as black metal, death metal, thrash metal which is very loud, aggressive, and fast. Popular hardcore metal bands of today include As I Lay Dying, Norma Jean, Slipknot, Korn and Cannibal Corpse just to name a few. Alternative rock has reached an all time high with bands such as Incubus, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chevelle, Coldplay, and Foo Fighters. Pop rock is possibly the most popular genre of our times. Pop rock is rock mixed with popular lyrics and a more mainstream approach. Pop rock bands include Fall Out Boy, All-American Rejects, Ashlee Simpson, Avril Lavigne, and others. Overall, I could go on and on for days explaining the intricacy of rock music and all their many genres and bands but I think I will stop here. Though rock may be one of our newer major genres it is still one of the most influential genres to ever exist. I mean come on. Everybody enjoys a good Beatles song from time to time! Just remember when you are listening to your favorite band, remember the roots of rock because almost every single band that exists today has been influenced by bands of the past. Without the founding fathers of rock, your favorite band wouldn't even be in existence. I encourage you to listen to the classics because they arent just "old people" music but some of the best music ever made. {Paraphrased from MeGsTeRl3's article}
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