Rock music. Something a multitude of people are passionate about, including myself. Though in the recent swing in music genre popularity, the public has rap, hip-hop, and R&B as the popular genres, taking out what was once the king “rock”. Looking through music history, it’s hard not to notice how dominate rock has been over the last six decades.
Rock began it’s long escapade back in the late 40’s and early 50’s, as an adaption from jazz music. Rock really got set into the spotlight during the mid 50’s when acts like Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly (as well as many more) started crafting new material never before heard.
In 1959 Buddy Holly passed away in a tragic plane crash noted as “The Day the Music Died”, as well as Elvis going into service during the Vietnam war. Bob Dylan came out of the shadows and helped craft the blueprint of songs for the British Invasion.
In 1963 a small bar hopping band from Liverpool, England, started a musical revolution never before seen. Creating the early sounds of pop mixed with elements of rock and roll. This band is still considered as a one of the greatest bands ever, influencing the many generations after them.
From the Beatles, Europe came out with several great acts that supported the rock and roll title during that time period. The Rolling Stones, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Queen, Genesis, Eric Clapton, to name a few, all helped boost the genre to higher reaches. As well as in the US rock was picking up as the mainstream genre to listen to, with acts such as Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Neil Young, AC/DC, etc.
As the music revolution was occurring, different sects of the genre were coming out, techno played its role in music with The Doors boosting its popularity, Flock of Seagulls also took part into boosting the popularity of the genre.
With advancements in technology and an extremely smart idea boosted the popularity of music videos, with the birth of MTV in 1981. Music was now being promoted on a site that people were easily hooked to, with songs like “Money For Nothing” and “Never Gonna Give You Up” gave strong appeal to the viewers wanting to listen to rock and roll. All while this is happening, classic rock was still at the top with Michael Jackson gaining extreme popularity for his music videos, pop vocals and moon sweeping dance moves.
Fast forwarding to the 90’s, Alternative rock gained extreme popularity with a little band from Aberdeen, Washington releasing one of the most creative and important albums of all time in Nirvana’s “Nevermind” putting an unheard genre of grunge into the mainstream. People credit this album and Pearl Jam’s “Ten” album as the album that killed “hair metal” due to the muffled voices and sporadic guitars.
Alt. Rock hit an all time high with acts such as Red Hot Chili Peppers, Oasis, and Radiohead dominating the airwaves. Bands were coming out of the wood works promoting this progressive and new age sound of rock. The bands were getting more innovative, stepping out of the cultural norm of rock and adding different sounds that weren’t traditional to rock music.
But over time, the music didn’t progress and bands started splitting up, afraid of the repetition that was occurring. Current day rock acts aren’t the same as they once were. The only band that seems to be still up in the atmosphere, up where “The Sky is a Neighborhood” seems to be the Foo Fighters who started in 1994. Bands started decreasing as solo acts seem to be the new thing to strive for.
Rappers and R&B singers are the most popular musicians at the moment and it’s interesting to see why. People say that they relate to the words and scenarios that rappers bring forth within their music. People are getting over the melody of boy bands and the intense fashion of Rock. People these days prefer the quicker lyrics of Drake.
Though when conducting a survey over the direction of mainstream music, 72.7 percent of people who took part in the survey answered that music isn’t headed in the right direction that affects society in a positive manner. A participant even responded with this claiming “A vast majority of new pieces of music talk down on other members of society. They casually disrespect women, police, and other races.”
Whatever the case maybe, music plays apart within our society whether its for the benefit or not. From Woodstock 69 promoting peace to rappers attempting to bring down political leaders. No matter what genre is at the forefront, they play a part in our society, some more dominant than others, but all deemed relevant.