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:: Rock: part 2 ::

 

 

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Some info about music genres: Rock Music

Classic rock emerging

Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin

     Meanwhile, groups such as Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Aerosmith, REO Speedwagon, ZZ Top, Van Halen, and The Rolling Stones, as well as such solo artists as Peter Frampton and Paul McCartney, were being heard mainly on AM radio and sharing the charts with their soft rock counterparts.

     For example, Frampton's 1976 live album Frampton Comes Alive, rapidly becoming the best-selling live album of all time, had spawned a number of singles that hit the Top Ten charts, such as "Show Me The Way" and "Baby, I Love Your Way". Aerosmith's rock anthem "Walk This Way", among others, were becoming popular with junior high and high school students. It was an era where both soft and hard rock mixed together. Extremely popular recordings, such as Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" and Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," actually put the two together.

Peter Frampton

Peter Frampton

Punk Rock

Casualties (NYC)

Casualties (NYC)
 

     Punk rock started off as a reaction to the lush, producer-driven sounds of disco, and against the perceived commercialism of progressive rock that had become arena rock. Early punk borrowed heavily from the garage band ethic: played by bands for which expert musicianship was not a requirement, punk was stripped-down, three-chord music that could be played easily. Many of these bands also intended to shock mainstream society, rejecting the "peace and love" image of the prior musical rebellion of the 1960s which had degenerated, punks thought, into mellow disco culture.

     Punk rose to public awareness nearly simultaneously in Britain with the Sex Pistols and in America with The Ramones.

Sex Pistols

Sex Pistols

     The Sex Pistols chose aggressive stage names (including "Johnny Rotten" and "Sid Vicious") and did their best to live up to them, deliberately rejecting anything that symbolized "hippies": long hair, soft music, loose clothing, and liberal politics, and displaying an anarchic, often confrontational, stage presence; well represented on their first two singles "Anarchy in the U.K." and "God Save the Queen". Despite an airplay ban on the BBC, the record rose to the top chart position in the UK. The Sex Pistols paved the way for The Clash, whose approach was less nihilistic but more overtly political and idealistic.

     The Ramones exemplified the American side of punk: equally aggressive but mostly apolitical, more alienated, and not above fun for its own sake. The Ramones reigned as the kings of the New York punk scene, which also included Richard Hell and Television, and centered around rough-and-tumble clubs, notably CBGB's.

     Punk was mostly an East-coast phenomenon in the US until the late 1970s when Los Angeles-based bands such as X and Black Flag broke through.

New Wave

     Punk rock attracted devotees from the art and collegiate world and soon bands sporting a more literate, arty approach, such as the Talking Heads and Devo began to infiltrate the punk scene; in some quarters the description New Wave began to be used to differentiate these less overtly punk bands.

     If punk rock was a social and musical phenomenon, it garnered little in the way of record sales (small specialty labels such as Stiff Records had released much of the punk music to date) or American radio airplay, as the radio scene continued to be dominated by mainstream formats such as disco and album-oriented rock (AOR).

Devo

Devo

     Record executives, who had been mostly mystified by the punk movement, recognized the potential of the more accessible New Wave acts and began aggressively signing and marketing any band that could claim a remote connection to punk or New Wave. Many of these bands, such as The Cars and The Go-Gos were essentially pop bands dressed up in New Wave regalia; others, including The Police and The Pretenders managed to parlay the boost of the New Wave movement into long-lived and artistically lauded careers.

Talking Heads

Talking Heads

     Punk and post-punk bands would continue to appear sporadically, but as a musical scene, punk had largely self-destructed and been subsumed into mainstream New Wave pop by the mid-1980s, but the influence of punk has been substantial. The grunge movement of the late 1980s owes much to punk, and many current mainstream bands claim punk rock as their stylistic heritage. Punk also bred other genres, including hardcore, industrial music, and goth (Goth was originally the name of two Germanic tribes; During the Renaissance period in Europe, medieval architecture had been retrospectively labeled "gothic", considered barbaric in contrast to trends in architecture during the Renaissance.

     Gothic medieval architecture often had dark and intimidating aspects, with depictions of gargoyles and other demon-like forms. Goth is a modern subculture that gained visibility during the early 1980s within the gothic rock scene, a sub-genre of post punk, and continues to this day. It is associated with gothic tastes in music and clothing. Styles of dress range from gothic horror, punk, Victorian, fetish, cybergoth, androgyny, and/or lots of black).

Rock diversifies in the 1980s

     In the 1980s, popular rock diversified. The early part of the decade saw Eddie Van Halen achieve musical innovations in rock guitar, while vocalists David Lee Roth (of Van Halen) and Freddie Mercury (of Queen) raised the role of frontman to near performance art standards. Concurrently, pop-New Wave bands remained popular, while pop-punk performers, like Billy Idol and The Go-Go's, gained fame. Led by the American folk singer-songwriter Paul Simon and the British former prog rock star Peter Gabriel, rock and roll fused with a variety of folk music styles from around the world; this fusion came to be known as "world music", and included fusions like Aboriginal rock. Amidst this, Michael Jackson would reach the peak of his remarkable career with the album Thriller.

Eddie Van Halen

Eddie Van Halen

Hard Rock and Heavy Metal

Queen

Queen

     Heavy metal languished in obscurity throughout most of the 1970s. A few bands maintained large followings, like Queen, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, and Aerosmith, and there were occasional mainstream hits, like Blue Oyster Cult's "Don't Fear the Reaper".

     Music critics overwhelmingly hated the genre, and mainstream listeners generally avoided it because of its strangeness.

     However this changed in 1978 with the release of the hard rock band Van Halen's eponymous debut, which ushered in an era of widely popular, high-energy rock and roll, based out of Los Angeles, California.

     While bands like Van Halen and Metallica innovated in the genre, and the New Wave of British Heavy Metal found fans, a group of musicians formulated what later became known as heavy metal. Taking cues from Van Halen, but without their humor, Mötley Crüe, Bon Jovi, and Ratt are often regarded as the first heavy metal bands to gain popularity. They became known for their debauched lifestyles, teased hair, feminized use of make-up, clothing (usually spandex,) and over-the-top posturing.

Metallica 

Metallica

     Their songs were bombastic, aggressive, and often defiantly macho, with lyrics focused on sex, drinking, drugs, and the occult. After Def Leppard's wildly popular Pyromania, and Van Halen's seminal 1984, heavy metal became ubiquitous. Many heavy metal bands became one-hit wonders, or as David Lee Roth once said of them, "here today, gone later today," (for example, Winger and Slaughter.)

Guns n' Roses

Guns n' Roses

     By the middle of the 1980s, a formula developed in which a heavy metal band had two hits -- one a soft ballad, and the other a hard-rocking anthem. The original line-up of Van Halen broke up in 1985, creating something of a quality vacuum in the genre; however, in 1987, Guns n' Roses released Appetite for Destruction, which became phenomenally successful. Until heavy metal's demise in the early-1990s, Guns n' Roses were hard rock's standard-bearers, and influenced its sound by incorporating influences from punk rock, and thrash metal.

 

     (Thrash metal is a subgenre of heavy metal music. The origins of Thrash metal are generally traced to the late 1970s and early 1980s, when a number of Heavy Metal bands began incorporating Speed Metal's extreme speed into traditional metal melody and riffs. The first riff of Black Sabbath's 'Symptom Of The Universe' (1975) is possibly the first thrash riff. Speed metal pioneers Judas Priest had some thrash ideas on their Stained Class LP (1978), Often considered the five most important bands in this genre (especially in the US) are: Anthrax, Kreator, Megadeth, Metallica, Slayer).

Judas Priest 

Judas Priest

Birth of Chinese rock

Cui Jian

Cui Jian

     Beginning about 1986, the Northwest Wind style of rock began to enter the burgeoning youth culture in China. The first Chinese rock song may be "I Have Nothing" by Cui Jian, now the widely-admired godfather of the Chinese rock scene. Spurred by pro-democracy activism, such as at Tianammen Square, and by governmental repression, rock flourished in the Chinese counterculture. Of especial popularity later in the decade were melancholy tunes called prison songs. By 1990, Chinese rock had begun to enter the mainstream, but almost immediately incorporated sounds and styles from the Cantopop style. Though alternative bands remained, Chinese rock became subverted, often by bands working in cohesion with the Chinese government and in favor of the status quo; many of rock's fans in China became disillusioned as a result, leading to a general decline in popularity later in the decade.

Link to Shanghai, China & Canadian Rock DJ WoRPt

Alternative rock and the indie movement

     The term alternative music (also often known as alternative rock) was coined in the early 1980s to describe bands which didn't fit into the mainstream genres of the time. Bands dubbed "alternative" could be most any style not typically heard on the radio, however, most alternative bands were unified by their collective debt to punk. Although these groups never generated spectacular album sales, they exerted a considerable influence on the generation of musicians who came of age in the 80s. Two of the most famous bands to arise from this genre were R.E.M. and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

Grunge and the anti-corporate rock movement

     By the late 1980s rock radio was dominated by aging rock artists, slick commercial pop-rock, and heavy metal; MTV had arrived and brought with it a perception that style was more important than substance. Any remaining traces of rock and roll rebelliousness or the punk ethic seemed to have been subsumed into corporate-sponsored and mass-marketed musical product. Disaffected by this trend, some young musicians began to reject the polished, glamor-oriented posturing of heavy metal, and created crude, sometimes angry music. The American Pacific Northwest region, especially Seattle, became a hotbed of this style, dubbed grunge.

Soundgarden 

Soundgarden

Nirvana

Nirvana

     Early grunge bands, particularly Mudhoney and Soundgarden, took much of their sound from early heavy metal and much of their approach from punk, though they eschewed punk's ambitions towards political and social commentary to proceed in a more nihilistic direction. Grunge remained a mostly local phenomenon until the breakthrough of Nirvana in 1991 with their album Nevermind. A slightly more melodic, more completely produced variation on their predecessors, Nirvana was an instant sensation worldwide and made much of the competing music seem stale and dated by comparison, heavy metal faded almost completely from the mainstream.

     Nirvana whetted the public's appetite for more direct, less polished rock music, leading to the success of bands like Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots. Pearl Jam took a somewhat more traditional rock approach than other grunge bands but shared their passion and rawness. Pearl Jam were a major commercial success from their debut but, beginning with their second album, refused to buy in to the corporate promotion and marketing mechanisms of MTV and Ticketmaster, with whom they famously engaged in legal skirmishes over ticket service fees.

     While grunge itself can be seen as somewhat limited in range, its influence was felt across many geographic and musical boundaries; many artists who were similarly disaffected with commercial rock music suddenly found record companies and audiences willing to listen, and dozens of disparate acts positioned themselves as alternatives to mainstream music; thus alternative rock emerged from the underground.

Britpop

     While America was full of grunge, post-grunge, and hip hop, Britain launched a 1960s revival in the mid-90s, often called Britpop, with bands like Oasis, Radiohead, Pulp and Blur. These bands drew on a myriad of styles from the 80s British rock underground, including twee pop, shoegazing and space rock and from the alternative rock. For a time, the Oasis-Blur rivalry was similar to the Beatles-Rolling Stones rivalry. While bands like Blur tended to follow on from the Small Faces and The Kinks, Oasis mixed the attitude of the Rolling Stones with the melody of the Beatles. Radiohead took inspiration from performers like Elvis Costello, Pink Floyd and R.E.M. with their progressive rock music, manifested in their most famous album, OK Computer.

Oasis 

Oasis

     These bands became very successful, and for a time Oasis was given the title "the biggest band in the world" but slowed down after band breakups. On the other hand Radiohead threw themselves into electronic experimentation in their latest records.

Indie rock

     Alternative music and the rebellious, DIY ethic (The DIY punk ethic refers to the idea of 'doing it yourself', i.e., making and promoting music without major record label backing, and without any great level of "selling out". A popular slogan of the DIY movement is "DIY not EMI", an explicit rejection of the major label of that name) it espoused became the inspiration for grunge, the popularity of which, paradoxically, took alternative rock into the mainstream. By the mid-90s, the term "alternative music" had lost much of its original meaning as rock radio and record buyers embraced increasingly slick, commercialized, and highly marketed forms of the genre. At the end of the decade, hip hop music had pushed much of alternative rock out of the mainstream, and most of what was left played pop-punk and highly polished versions of a grunge/rock mishmash.

     Following the lead of Pearl Jam, many acts who, by choice or fate, remained outside the commercial mainstream, became part of the indie rock movement. Indie rock acts placed a premium on maintaining complete control of their music and careers, often releasing albums on their own independent record labels and relying on touring, word-of-mouth, and airplay on independent or college radio stations for promotion. Linked by an ethos more than a musical approach, the indie rock movement encompasses a wide range of styles, from hard-edged, grunge influenced bands like Superchunk to punk-folk singers such as Ani DiFranco.

     Currently, many countries have an extensive local Indie scene, flourishing with bands with much less popularity than commercial bands, just enough of it to survive inside the respective country, but virtually unknown outside them.

Current (1995-present)

Foo Fighters

Foo Fighters

     With the death of Kurt Cobain, rock and roll music searched for a new face, sound, and trend. A second wave of alternative rock bands began to become popular, with grunge declining in the mid-90s. The Foo Fighters, Green Day and Radiohead spearheaded rock radio. In 1995, a Canadian pop star Alanis Morissette arose, and released Jagged Little Pill, a major hit that featured blunt, personally-revealing lyrics. It succeeded in moving the introspection that had become so common in grunge to the mainstream. The success of Jagged Little Pill spawned a wave of popularity in the late 90s of confessional rock releases by female artists including Jewel, Tori Amos, Fiona Apple, and Liz Phair. Many of these artists drew on their own alternative rock heroes from the 1980s and early 90s, including the folksy Tracy Chapman and various Riot Grrl bands.

     ("Riot Grrl" (also frequently spelled riot grrrl) is a form of hardcorepunk rock music, known for its militant stance. The genre first appeared in the early 1990s as an offshoot of alternative rock and punk music and as a response to prevalent attitudes of punk machismo, building also on a history of all-women bands. With the rallying cry, "Revolution Girl Style Now!" bands like Bikini Kill and Bratmobile created a mini-movement to combat the male-dominance of the punk scene and, by extension, the rest of the world. Riot grrrl lyrics often address gender-related issues such as rape, domestic abuse, sexuality and female empowerment.) The use of introspective lyrics bled into other styles of rock, including those dubbed alternative.

Bikini Kill 

Bikini Kill

Blink 182

Blink 182

     The late 1990s brought about a wave of mergers and consolidations among US media companies and radio stations such as the Clear Channel Communications conglomerate. This has resulted in a homogenization of music available and the creation of artificially-hyped acts. Bands like Blink 182 and Sum 41 defined pop punk at the end of the 90s. At this time, "nu-metal" began to take popular form, it contained a mix of grunge, metal, and hip-hop. Using downtuned 7 string guitars KoRn first created their heavy crushing riffs in 1994 with their first self-titled album. This then spawned a wave of "nu-Metal" bands such as Linkin Park, Slipknot, Static-X, Disturbed, and Limp Bizkit.

     In the early 2000s the entire music industry was shaken by claims of massive theft of music rights using file-sharing tools such as Napster, resulting in lawsuits against private file-sharers by the recording industry group the RIAA.

     After existing in the musical underground, garage rock finally saw a resurgence of popularity in the early 2000s, with bands like The White Stripes, The Strokes, Jet, The Vines, The Libertines and The Hives all releasing successful singles and albums. This wave is often referred to as back-to-basics rock because of its sound. Currently popular rock trends include, "Emo", or Emotional music, which draws its style from softer punk and alternative rock styles from the 1980s. Many new bands have become well-known since 2001, including Jimmy Eat World, My Chemical Romance, Dashboard Confessional and Taking Back Sunday.

Jet 

Jet

     Meanwhile, rock and roll today (in the mainstream) is dependent on either synthesizer orchestration or sampling, prominent in such pop/R&B artists as Jessica Simpson, Janet Jackson, Destiny's Child, Nelly, Kelly Clarkson, and Alicia Keys. Rap/Hip-Hop music is also becoming prominent on U.S. charts.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock_and_roll


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