Is Rock Dead?

Jim Farber of the New York Daily News thinks that a lack of fresh hard-hitters is taking the wind out of sales.

Ultimate Guitar

New York Daily News' reporter Jim Farber has recently issued the following article:

"Is rock dead?

Not quite. But judging from its performance on the charts ? and compared to its biggest bands and trends from a few years ago ? it's wheezing.

Cast your eye down 2004's Top 10-selling album list and you won't see a single new rock band. The sole hard guitar group is Evanescence ? a holdover from 2003. The nearest thing to a new guitar band is Maroon 5, which didn't make it on a rock song but on a soul single, "This Love", and a billowing pop ballad, "She Will Be Loved".

Broaden your view to the year's Top 20 sellers and you'll find just one other rocker ? and an aging one at that ? Prince, who gave away enough copies of his "Musicology" to place it 18th in 2004.

Rap, meanwhile, racked up five albums in the Top 20.

R&B landed the No. 1 slot with Usher's "Confessions", which outsold the No. 2 entry, from Norah Jones, by more than 2 to 1.

Rap and country were both able to launch huge new stars. Kanye West and Gretchen Wilson each sold between 2.5 and 3 million copies of their debuts.

Only one breaking rock act, Hoobastank, cracked the 2 million mark, and by the skin of its teeth. And the Hoobsters managed that feat only by crossing over with an adult pop single, "The Reason". Considering that "The Reason" was the second-most-played number on radio last year (after Usher's "Yeah!"), Hoobastank's album should have sold many more copies.

When rock was more muscular ? during the eras of grunge (mid-'90s), punk-pop (late '90s) and rap-metal (turn-of-the-century) ? no such tepid pop crossover was even necessary.

What rock lacks these days is a newer band as humongous as Korn, Limp Bizkit, Metallica, Nickelback, Staind, Blink 182, Linkin Park, Coldplay or Creed ? not to mention the super-power-hitters of grunge, like Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden.

Each of those groups sold between 3 million and 10 million copies of their prime CDs.

Compare that to the typical sales of today's biggest new rock bands. Los Lonely Boys, Velvet Revolver, Switchfoot, Modest Mouse, Jet and Yellowcard have all sold fewer than 2 million albums. Another of the top rock albums of the last year, Guns N' Roses' "Greatest Hits", harkens back to past guitar glories.

The new rock groups who've gotten the most press lately have likewise yet to sell in star numbers."

Find the entire article here.

322 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Rock is not dead, the fans are. In case this writer hasent noticed, REAL rock bands are stil out there and keep making good albums. fans just dont buy them. Who the *** is this guy to say that rock is dead????
    hahahhahah he says rock is dead and he is in hoobastank he has no authorities in rock.
    i completely agree with the title of this article, rock is definetly dead and is headed on the way out for good. dont get me wrong i love heavy metal such as limp bizkit and hoobastank but seriously guys give it up. rock isnt cool anymore. u should seriously think about learning r & B guitar...well thats all i have to say much love
    rock will never die. rap/dance all that shit will never be top. theres still rock n roll bands out there! Jet came out a year and a bit ago and they are great. doing really well. rock n roll is making a comeback now. it'll never die!
    rock is not dead if there is one band that can save it all it's black label society even though they are a little extreme. have you ever hear zakk wylde play the guitar its ***in magic
    I think the writer of this article was pointing out that rock isn't a big enough part of the charts anymore. Ofcourse there are still some awesome underground bands today, but they're underground, and alot harder to get a hold of. Rock is definitely not dead, the general public are just appreciating it less. You could say it's commercially dead, but who gives a stuff?
    OK...YEA HERS THE PROBLEM GUYS!! U GOT DUMBASSES LIKE PARACHUTES108 SAYING SHIT LIKE THIS i completely agree with the title of this article, rock is definetly dead and is headed on the way out for good. dont get me wrong i love heavy metal such as limp bizkit and hoobastank but seriously guys give it up. rock isnt cool anymore. u should seriously think about learning r & B guitar...well thats all i have to say much love ROCK ISNT KEWL NE MORE HUH? FUCK U MAN U . U KNOW WHAT,, U SAY U LIKE HEAVY METAL LIMP BIZKIT ETC. OBVIOUSLY U DONT CAUSE U AINT BACKING EM UP LIKE U SHOULD. U AINT ROCK. IF U WANNA GO PLAY R&B....BE MY GUEST. UR BETTER OFF AWAY FROM THE ROCKERS NE WAY. ROCK ISNT DEAD. GUYS LIKE THAT IS WHATS BRING ROCK DOWN. GUYS LIKE THAT SAY THAT ROCK IS KEWL, BUT THEN TURN AROUND AND SAY THAT ITS DEAD OR DIEING? WTF. MAN THEY AINT BACKIN ROCK UP. THEY ARE JUST PULLIN IT DOWN ....U KNOW WHAT I SAY. FUCK EVERYONE WHO DOESNT LIKE ROCK AND SAY THAT ITS DEAD, NE BODY THAT AGREES ....ROCK ON !!!!
    not enuff cool metal today too many posers ie, yellowcard (a fiddle player WTF?), Maroon 5, and Stupid plan
    none of those bands are metal!
    not enuff cool metal today too many posers ie, yellowcard (a fiddle player WTF?), Maroon 5, and Stupid plan
    Stupid article. Most mainstream does suck, though. And by the way, landon, Cobain's soloing is hilarious.
    Yeah rock isn't very good these days. But there are a few good bands like Silvertide They remind me of the good old stuff.
    ^ I'm with Bender up there, trying to get my ass in gear and help rock music, although I don't see myself going anywhere big anytime soon
    yeah...i hear ya Penguinslayer..but i AM trying ta make good music...BUSTING my butt studying theory and all taht good stuff, I'm not one to bitch and not do anything about it...I want ta at leats try to make a dent in society...despite the odds ya know
    backup and lead
    well shit its not our fault that mtv is ***ing everthing up and that only pretty girls that can only but barely sing are getting popular its sad to admit it but real rock is dying slowly but im behind all the way i know ill be ok as long as i keep shreding out killer riffs eventulay some one will notice and real rock music will be back and stronger than ever i know my post dosnt make much sense so just use your imagination
    I've been reading a whole lot of complaining and i think all of you sound like fags. rock hasn't been here forever and i doubt if it will. it will die out just like all the other genres that bred the rock that we knew.and it looks like we will die with it. all of the bands you are complaining about are doing to you just what the beatles did to a generation that hated them. they are making a new chapter in music. if the world goes with it why do we care? and if you are as die hard rock as you proclaim get out there and make a better rock than what the people on the top 20 are making. the top twenty is sales anyway. the pretty boys are going to always win in sales. i love rock it is the best type of music to me personaly. but if some rock groups had half the poetic lines of some underground RAP!!! i said it!!! it wouldnt sound so gay and monotonis all the time. I CANT STAND USHER AT ALL but just because he is represinting rap music doesnt make it all gay. if i judged rock by evenesence i would never have picked up a guitar in my life. if you want to live in a world that says rock of yesterday is the only way then it looks like you have a couple hundred real die hard enthusiasts willing to go down with the perfectly capable ship named Rock and Roll. if not get up make music that turns heads and revive rock back to its glory days. dont judge me on my spelling...
    Yeah, MTV....they do one thing good, PUTTING hot bod's and babes on the screen that basically know how to pick up a mic or guitar. And thats all they do. For christ sake...what do the kids these days do taht wanna see a ***ing music video and only have basic cable...they have to stay up until fricken 4am and watch VH1 or MTV...whats on?....mostly rap/r&b....some slow love songs....RARELY ANYTHING HARD!.....Before ya know it, kids will be ALL dressed like lil jon or a depressed EMO...tahts it! At least VR brought back a slice of HARD ROCK and decent..whats the word i want...ummm, MUSIC....REAL FLIPPEN MUSIC...not three power chord progressions and a good look'n kid fueling a band..SCREW MTV and POP CULTURE
    What rock lacks these days is a newer band as humongous as Korn, Limp Bizkit, Metallica, Nickelback, Staind, Blink 182, Linkin Park, Coldplay or Creed ? not to mention the super-power-hitters of grunge, like Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden.
    Um, I don't know about the rest of the world but the last thing we need is another Blink-182 or Limp Bizkit. They are lame excuses for rockers. You article sucked, btw. And btw, again, this is all MTV's fault.
    dude, first of all, i wanna kno wut in the fukcing hell ppl like parachute108 r doing on this site... if its about GUITAR and the main page has ALL ROCK STUFF ON IT, Y THE FUCK WULD U COME HERE IF U LISTEN TO R&B?!?!?!?!!? and cmon, rock is not dead, like its been sed a million times, its been takin a nap, and MAYBE uve all been forgetting that a certain band thats been around for quite awhile has just popped up again..(DUZ THE NAME GREEN DAY RING A BELL) and no, im not talking about BOBD, cuz that song is ruined thanx to the gay ppl who call in evry ***in minute to the radio station & request it INSTEAD OF GOING OUT AND BUYING THE CD, SO MYBE UD HEAR SUM OTHER GOOD SONGS, but nope...ppl r just straight up retarded. sum of the other good bands seem to be getting lazy if ya ask me. i mean, cmon, linkin park put their cd on hold. if they made a new cd that wuz a little more like hybrid theory, not meteora (dont get me wrong here), maybe ppl wuld notice it. and the other bands that come out with one song, wear it out, THEN MAKE AN ACCOUSTIC VERSION OH MY GOD THATS ANNOYING. but rock will never die. it created all other forms of music, yes, including rap music(sadly). even if new bands and new songs dont come out for a while & MTV betrayes the very sound that inspired it constantly, we will still have plenty of rock from the good ol days to listen to and make us forget about all the other garbage that infects the air that some dare to call 'music'
    Just because rap sells more albums doesn't mean their music is any better. If I lost a cd and bought another copy of it that doesn't mean it's raised in popularity.
    It's a goddam cycle. When Culture Club and Wham topped the charts in the 80's, was rock dead? HELL NO! Mofuccers like Van Halen, Motley Crue, and the Pixies showed up to bitch slap those homos! When Tiffany and Kids on The Block topped the pop in the early 90's, was rock dead? Ain't hapnin! The Messiah Cobain and all them badass cronies (STP, Alice in Chains, Metallica) reclaimed the throne of REAL ROCK! Now that Maroon 5 and Ashlee Simpson get played on MTV all the time, we're losing footing. But we can still Boo the bitch at the orange bowl! Mainstream is for the masses anymore. Feed them shit and tell 'em it's good.
    Anyone who gives Kelly Osbourne a recording contract has their heads up their asses. We know good music when we hear it. And we are waiting, and listening...
    There is rock. And there is good rock. And we havent had much good rock since the 90's
    No offense to any1 out there but hoobastank and switchfoot suck. Switchfoot had one good song "meant to live" and hoobastank just plain sucks
    mainstream sucks! new music sucks! ... listen to the old stuff, thats the only stuff that doesnt suck-the doors, boston, led zeppelin, pink floyd. .....the hoobsters???what are you thinking
    Rock will never die. Rap sucks. Most of the popular rock bands today are very sucky. We need to bring back good rock like Nirvana, Third Eye Blind, Pearl Jam and Candlebox. I go to high school and people dont sit around and listen to rap after school. They come and watch people rock out on guitars! The spirit of rock will never die!
    maroon 5 is one of the better bands of today. i wouldn't consider them rock but they're pretty good for jazz/soul.
    listen to live from the muddy banks of whatever its at the beginning of some song. he tries to improv. its hilarious
    Dude, Times change man, from the beginning of music till now music is still developing to the publics liking. Rock was only the ignition of all these types of bands and genres of music. The essence of rock still lies in every band as their inspiration and although pure rock bands lack in this world and poor supporters of it doesnt mean it doesnt exist, maybe there mught be a new big band that will become big and play rock. Who knoews?? Rock still exists. Rock still Lives. Keep on Rocking dudes! P.S.METALLICA ROCKS
    #1band groupy
    "yeau better be sorry! metallica ROKS!!!.. Green Days American Idiot is alright, but their old songs are SOOO much better, rock isnt dead. meaning real rock, what died is good bands. For example Metallicas st. anger wasnt too great, but their old ones like master of the puppets are still being played world wide. Real Rock never dies!!! o and yea the writer is a dumbass those bands arent all rock. what happaned to the old days?" METALLICA SUCKS ASS!!!.. st.anger is crap! they have like 5 good songs after and justice for all.... if u listen to kill,ride,master or justice almost every no wait EVERY SINGLE FUCKIN SONG IS AWESOME!! some just better then others then they sold out and start making crap! and they still rock when u go see them live becuz og their old shit! u don't go to see metallica to hear some kind of monster or unforgiven 2... rock canot die but bands can like metallica! wich is dying, though i allways hope they make a new album like their old shit.. but the problem today is that bands like Iron Maiden,(old)Metallica,pantera,Led Zeppelin,uriah heep and purple are'nt around now so we just have to be at home listening to old records...
    this article is utterly stupid. How can u judge the success of "rock" music by gay bands like hoobastank and evanescence. REAL rock music lovers dont, even for one second, listen to the pre-manufactured cat shit on the radio.
    Phat Idiot
    i speak for everyone when i say Rock 'n' roll ain't noise pollution! Rock 'n' roll ain't gonna die!