The 50s saw the emergence and rise of what would come to be known as Rock ‘n Roll.
The decade of the Fifties gave birth to Rock and Roll. When Bill Haley's Rock Around The Clock became popular in 1955, the nation learned to swing to a whole new sound.
The feel-good innocence of a lot of the Fifties music reflects on the post World War II optimism in America. The young people of the time, an emerging force called teenagers, hadn't struggled through the war years. They were looking for something more exciting. They discovered that vitality in Rock and Roll.
Johnny Cash – known for his deep, distinctive bass-baritone voice and for his dark performance clothing, which earned him the nickname "The Man in Black".
Bill Haley & the Comets – one of the earliest groups of white musicians to bring rock and roll to the attention of white America and the rest of the world.
Elvis Presley - He became the leading figure of the newly popular sound of rock and roll with a series of network television appearances and chart-topping records. His energized interpretations of songs, many from African American sources, and his uninhibited performance style made him enormously popular—and controversial.
During this period, the Beatles became the most popular band of the 1960's. In the 1950's, the Beatles were also known as Johnny and the Moondogs and then the Moonshiners.
Some of the groups influenced by the Beatles were The Who, Cream with Eric Clapton, and Chicago Blues. They brought out sounds such as loud music, guitar screeches, and on stage smashing of instruments. During this time, rock operas and rock musicals became popular, such as Tommy, The Who and Hair.
Formed in 1962 the Rolling Stones started becoming popular. In 1964, The Rolling Stones were first known as Muddy Waters. They had wild stage antics and brutal lyrics. The group consisted of 5 members from London. By the late 60's they called themselves the world's greatest rock band.
This decade saw the division of rock into subdivisions beyond the general categories of hard rock (extremely loud and electrically amplified) and mellow rock (softer, and with acoustic instruments). Rock blended with reggae, which emerged from Jamaica around 1972, and is a mix of rock, soul, calypso, and other Latin rhythms.
Other styles emerging in the 70's were punk rock, bubble gum music, and heavy metal rock which continued the hallucinogenic approach of acid rock, but using loud volume, electronic distortion, and vulgar stage antics. Some bands expressing these feelings were Kiss, Alice Cooper, Led Zeppelin.
The Bee Gees - "Night Fever" remained the number one Billboard Hot 100 single for over two months in 1978. It also replaced Andy Gibb's "Love Is Thicker Than Water" at number one, and was in turn replaced by Yvonne Elliman's "If I Can't Have You" - all of which were written and produced by the Gibb brothers.
Queen – “We are the champions” one of their most popular and famous songs.
Musically speaking the 80s were pure gold – this was the decade when some of the biggest acts of all time arrived on the scene, Madonna’s Like A Virgin; Jacko’s Thriller; Even some of today’s biggest stadium rock bands like U2 and REM were born in the eighties.
But pop music is what we really have to thank the 80s for, with icons Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet at the helm – these two bands had a feud matched only by Blur and Oasis in the 90s and the hysteria surrounding them hadn’t been seen since the time of The Beatles.
Led Zeppelin – their most famous song was “stairway to heaven” which runs for almost eight minutes. It was the most requested song on FM radio stations in the United States in the 1970s, despite never having been officially released as a single there.
the Eagles were one of the most successful recording artists of the 1970s. At the end of the 20th century, two of their albums, Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975) and Hotel California , ranked among the 20 best-selling albums in the U.S. according to the Recording Industry Association of America. Hotel California is ranked 37th in Rolling Stone' s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, and the band was ranked #75 on the magazine's 2004 list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
Bon Jovi – “Living on a prayer” their first #1 on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks Chart. It was rated "Livin' on a Prayer" #1 on VH1's "list of The 100 Greatest Songs of the '80s".
In the 1990s, music had gone through the rap and house revolution, totally changing the landscape of music.
While up to the 1980s, music seemed to get louder and louder, the 1990s music seemed to take a step back in rhythm, going from the aforementioned Rap revolution, to the slower, romantic lyrics of late '90s bands, while also witnessing a rise in alternative rock and a couple of attempts at bringing back 80's style of pop.
Britney Spears – “Baby one more time” is one of the best-selling singles of all time, with over 9 million copies sold.
Ricky Martin – Martin’s signature song. The song is generally seen as the song that began the Latin pop explosion of 1999 and made the transition of other Latin artists (first Jennifer Lopez, and Enrique Iglesias, then later Shakira) into the English-speaking market easier. remaining at number one in the U.S. for five weeks and ranking at #10 on the year-end charts for 1999. The single was certified Gold on May 15 and Platinum on June 4, for sales over one million copies in the U.S. alone.
Michael Jackson – “Black or white”. The song peaked at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100, the UK Singles Chart and in 20 other countries. It reached #1 on many singles charts in 1991, as well as becoming the best selling single of 1991.
The beginning of the decade had a peak and decline of Boy bands and Girl groups, notably those produced from the reality TV shows.
With this phenomenon, the number of groupies or supporters rose to a significant number.
There was a notable return to raw garage rock'n'roll with groups such as The Strokes, The White Stripes and The Kings of Leon. While, hip-hop music has dominated the Billboard Hot 100 list most of the first half of the decade in the 2000s.
Gwen Stefani - "Hollaback Girl" is 41st most popular song of the decade according to Billboard .
Lifehouse – “Hanging by a moment” The song entered at number seventy-six on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week of February 10, 2001. It peaked at number two on the chart for the week of June 16, 2001 and stayed there for four non-consecutive weeks. The song managed to stay on the chart for fifty-five weeks and stayed in the top ten for twenty weeks.