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Rock and Roll
Transcript of Rock and Roll
Rock and roll is a genre of popular music that originated in the
United States in the 1950's.
It has roots in 40's and 50's R&B and Country music, but also incorporated various elements from
jazz and "classical" music.
Describing the Music
Instrumentally, the music is centered on electric guitar and bass, percussion, and then there is usually a strong vocalist that sings over the instrumental line.
The music is usually in 4/4 time with a Verse-Chorus form
Similar to pop and country, Rock songs typically have lyrics that tell stories about the artist's personal life and of romantic love.
Later, though, social issues came into play as well.
These songs are usually performed by middle aged white males.
The artists in this genre place a great deal of emphasis on musicianship and authenticity.
1951: In Cleveland, OH, Disk Jockey Alan Freed began playing R&B for a wider audience and coined the term "Rock and Roll".
1955: Bill Haley-- "Rock around the Clock"
1956: Elvis Presley-- "That's alright mama"
The British Invasion
The beginning of the British Invasion started with artists such as The Beatles, Gerry & the Pacemakers, The Searchers, Freddie and the Dreamers, Herman's Hermits, and the Hollies.
They originally covered pre-existing American songs.
In 1963, The Beatles came out with their first big hit single, "I Want To Hold Your Hand". This song immediately sparked an interest from the public and was an instant hit.
Amateurish Rock with themes that high school aged people could relate to.
The lyrics and delivery were much more aggressive.
This is the first time that shouting, screaming, and/or growling were used.
1963: "Louie Louie" by the Kingsmen
"Pop Music" used to just mean any popular music.
But starting in the mid 1950's, the term "pop" began to be used for a distinct genre, often aimed at a youth market.
"Pop Rock" is a crossover with elements of sound from both pop and rock. It has less stress on the extended works and authenticity in musicianship.
Elton John: "Your Song"
Rod Stewart: "Have I Told You Lately"
The term "Power Pop" was coined by Pete Townsend of "The Who" in 1966
This was a mixture between the two genres that were already fairly closely related in form and instrumentation.
Rolling Stones: "Paint It Black"
Fleetwood Mac: "The Chain"
Jannis Joplin: "Piece of My Heart"
Jimi Hendrix: "Foxy Lady"
Typically these were protest songs during WWII that were about labor issues or about war politics.
Bob Dylan: "Mr. Tambourine Man"
The Animals: "House of the Rising Sun"
Was LSD inspired.
The Beatles: "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds"
Pink Floyd and "The Wizard of Oz//Dark Side of the Moon"
Most of the music performed during Woodstock (1969) was influenced by this "Psychedelic" phase in music.
This was a movement away from the psychedelic scene of the 1960's and 1970's.
People were returning to a more purist, self-inspired music that was not influenced by excessive drug use.
Creedence Clearwater Revival: "Have You Ever Seen The Rain?"
Neil Young: "Rockin in the Free World"
The Beatles: "Let It Be"
This "Art Rock" was created by experimenting with musical form, types of rock/genres, and instruments.
They pushed away from the concept of the "Verse-Chorus" form but still kept the typical timbre and instrumentation as a base for their albums.
Procol Harum's "A Whiter Shade of Pale" (1967) was a song that was inspired by Johann Sebastian Bach without actually quoting any of his works.
Frank Zappa: Muffin Man
Boston: "More than a Feeling"
Glam Rock is a style of rock and pop music that developed in the United Kingdom in the early 1970s, which was performed by singers and musicians who wore outrageous clothes, makeup and hairstyles, particularly platform-soled boots and glitter. The flamboyant costumes and visual styles of glam performers were often camp or androgynous, and have been connected with new views of gender roles.
Glam rock peaked during the mid-1970s with artists including T. Rex, David Bowie, Sweet, Roxy Music and Gary Glitter in the UK and New York Dolls, Lou Reed and Jobriath in the US. It declined after 1976, but had a major influence on genres including punk, glam metal, New Romantics and gothic rock and has sporadically revived since the 1990s.
David Bowie: "Changes"
Rod Stewart: "Forever Young"
Queen: Bohemian Rhapsody
Soft Rock, Hard Rock, and Early Heavy Metal
Soft rock was often derived from folk rock.
It was frequently acoustic and put more emphasis on palatable melodies and harmonies.
Hard Rock often was derived from blues rock and was louder and more intense than previous forms of rock.
It emphasized the electronic guitar with distortion and riffs.
Early Heavy Metal featured a lot of the early "Hair Bands" that were common for this genre. Placed a STRONG emphasis on heavy beats and aggressive vocals.
This genre emerged around 1974 and is rooted in garage rock. It strayed away from the "excess" of mainstream rock.
It was fast, hard edged music with minimal instrumentation and antiestablishment themes.
This genre was more artistic in nature and the music was more challenging to the performer/"writer".
New Waves and Genres in Heavy Metal
Heavy Metal was largely on haitus until the late 1970's. When it returned to the music scene, it featured hedonistic themes and wild behavior.
In the late 1980's, metal fragmented into several subgenres, including thrash metal under the influence of hardcore punk. This genre is identifiable by low-register riffs typically overlaid by shredding leads.
Lyrics often expressed nihilistic (life without meaning) views or dealt with social issues using visceral and gory language.
This was popularized by the "Big Four of Thrash"= Metallica, Anthrax, Megadeath, and Slayer.
This genre was working class oriented, straightforward music that focused on the lives of the blue collar working class. It also is known as "Midwest Arena Rock"
It largely faded away by the early 1990's, but the artists in this genre influenced younger artists such as Billy Joel, Kid Rock, and the Killers.
Billy Joel: Only The Good Die Young
Kid Rock: "All Summer Long"
The Killers: "Somebody Told Me"
Emergence of Alternative Rock
In the 1980's, the "alt. rock" genre emerged as a way to categorize the artists that did not fit the mainstream genres of the time, but that still had elements of rock.
There is no "unified" definition or charactaristic for this genre.
R.E.M.: "Everybody Hurts"
The Cure: "Just Like Heaven"
In the late 1980's and early 1990's, Bands in Washington state created grunge as a way to contrast the music that was popular at the time.
Nirvana was an American rock band formed by singer/guitarist Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic in Aberdeen, Washington in 1987. Nirvana went through a succession of drummers, the longest-lasting being Dave Grohl, who joined the band in 1990. Despite releasing only three full-length studio albums in their seven-year career, Nirvana has come to be regarded as one of the most influential and important rock bands of the modern era.
In the mid 1990's, groups following the haitus of the Washington grunge bands worked through major lables to incorporate pop, punk, alternative metal, and hard rock into the genre.
Pop punk is a fusion music genre that combines elements of punk rock with pop music to varying degrees. Pop-influenced punk rock first emerged in the mid-1970s in multiple countries, and was stylistically similar to power pop. The Ramones are generally considered among the earliest bands to merge pop melodies with punk rock, and were followed by bands such as the Buzzcocks and Bad Religion. The music typically combines fast punk tempos, chord changes and loud guitars with pop-influenced melodies and lyrical themes.
The Clash: "Rock the Casbah"
Weezer: "Say It Ain't So"
Green Day: "21 Guns"
Blink 182: "What's My Age Again?"
All American Rejects: "Swing Swing"
These were less-commercialized songs/artist that were connected by an ethos rather than by a musical movement/identity.
Typically this music was published by independent labels.
Alternative metal emerged from the hardcore scene of alternative rock in the 1980's.
Artists such as Jane's Addiction and Soundgarden used a more garage-punk sound, and artists like Nine Inch Nails focused on innovating Industrial Music.
In the early 1980's, hip hop merged with rock as well. Examples of artists who combined these genres are The Clash, the Beastie Boys, Ice-T (used sampling), and LLCoolJ (used sampling).
Thrash+Metal+Rap: Anthrax "I'm The Man"
Rap+Hip Hop+Rock: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rage Against the Machine
Nu Metal (had a more metalic sound, more gritty and harsh): Limp Bizkit, Korn, Slipknot
and then later in the 1990's: Linkin Park, P.O.D., and Staind.
Though not a second "British Invasion", there was a second movement of British bands gaining popularity in the 1990's.
The Verve: Bittersweet Symphony
Coldplay: "Fix You"
Muse: "Supermassive Black Hole"
In comparison to the earlier hardcore music, this music had more appeal to a wider audience while still maintaining the aggressive sound and expressive vocals that were aimed at american youth.
Dashboard Confessional: "Screaming Infidelities
My Chemical Romance: "Black Parade"
This is NOT a comprehensive list, but rather is a VERY brief overview of the history of this genre. As with all of the other genres that we have studied, there are MANY crossover genres that we have not discussed in class. I encourage you to look into those you are interested in on your own to understand them better.
Panic At the Disco: "I Write Sins, Not Tragedies"