Rock Rock is a popular type of music and is short for „Rock and Roll‟. It originated in American during the 1950s and developed into a range of different styles during the 1960s, one of these being Alternative Rock. Musically Rock centered around the Electric guitar, a Rock group would normally also have a Bass guitar and a Drum kit. Rock places a higher degree of emphasis on musicianship, live performance, and an ideology of authenticity than Pop music.
Rock The late 1960s was referred to as the „golden age‟ or „classic rock‟. This is when I period of distinct rock sub-genres had emerged, including hybrids like blues rock, folk rock, country rock and jazz rock fusion. One of the most recent sub- genres that has emerged has been Alternative rock.
Alternative Rock Alternative rock, also known as Alt rock or Alternative is a Sub-genre of rock that emerged from the independent music underground of the 1980s. It went on to become widely popular in the 1990s and 2000s. At times „alternative‟ has been used as catch-all description for music from underground rock artists that receive mainstream recognition, or for any music that has descended from Punk Rock. Most sub-genres achieved minor mainstream status however a few bands such as R.E.M and Husker Du signed to major record labels.
What is Alternative Rock? Alternative rock is a broad umbrella term consisting of music that differs greatly in terms of its sound, its social context, and its regional roots. By the end of the 1980s magazines, college radio airplay and word of mouth had increased the prominence and highlighted the diversity of alternative rock, helping to define a number of distinct scenes
Popularity The next alternative rock band to become commercially successful was Nirvana. Most alternative rock bands were limited in terms of commercial success in comparison to other genres such as pop and other genres of rock. Many acts remained signed to independent record labels (record label operating without the funding of or outside the organization or the major record labels) and received little attention from mainstream media. Alternative rock entered the musical mainstream in the 1990s. Many alternative rock bands went on to become commercially successful.
Decline of Popularity Popularity began to decline towards the end of the decade due to a number of factors… Kurt Cobains death in 1994 Pearl Jams lawsuit against Ticketmaster which lead to the group being barred from playing many major venues. Despite the decline some artists managed to retain mainstream relevance. Bands such as Radiohead achieved success with its third album onwards . Radiohead along with post-Britpop groups like Travis and Coldplay, were major forces in British rock in the Subsequent years.
Generic features Tend to avoid mainstream limelight in the past. Sign to independent record labels. Have a standard rock set-up, including Guitar, Bass guitar, Drums and lead singer. Talented musicians. Members in the band tend to be talented and are skilled in there musical field. Sounds often relied on dynamic contrasts, often between quit verses and loud, heavy choruses.
1980s Throughout the 1980s alternative rock was very much an underground phenomenon. Occasionally songs would become a commercial hit or albums would see success. Bands built followings by touring constantly and releasing low budget albums. By 1898 the genre had become popular enough so that bands such as New Order and The Sugarcubes toured the arena circuit in the United States
1990s Music industry was enticed by alternative rock. Major labels courted bands such as Jane‟s addiction, Firehose and Nirvana. Success shown by R.E.M had become a staple for many alternative bands as they had outlasted many bands and become famous world wide. Nirvana also had a breakthrough with the release of “smells like teen spirit”. Constant air play on MTV lead to Nevermind selling 400,000 copies a week by 1991.
Continued In 1993 the New York times said "Alternative rock doesnt seem so alternative anymore. Every major label has a handful of guitar- driven bands in shapeless shirts and threadbare jeans, bands with bad posture and good riffs who cultivate the oblique and the evasive, who conceal catchy tunes with noise and hide craftsmanship behind nonchalance."
21st Century Many new alternative rock bands emerged. Bands such as The White Stripes emerged during the late 90s, proceeded by The Strokes, Franz Ferdinand, Interpol and The Rapture, in the early 2000s. These drew inspiration from other genres such as post-punk and New Wave Many other Alternative rock bands found success during the early 2000s such as The Killers Modest Mouse and Yeah Yeah Yeahs. In 2004 Entertainment Weekly declared “After almost a decade of domination by rap-rock and nu-metal bands, mainstream alt-rock in finally good again”. Few albums charted in the top 10 from 2005-10 and those that did were from headline acts such as Muse, Radiohead and The Killers. This was down to media focusing on R&B and Pop, changes in industry and declining sales.
Britpop Britpop is a subgenre of alternative rock that originated in the UK. Emerged during 1990s Characterised by bands influenced by British guitar pop music of the 60s and 70s. New British groups such as Suede and Blur launched the movement by positioning themselves as opposing musical forces. Britpop groups brought British alternative rock into the mainstream and formed the backbone of a larger British cultural movement.
Grunge Sometimes referred to as Seattle sound. Sub genre of alternative rock. Lasted from 1980s to mid 90s. Generally characterized by heavily distorted electric guitars and contrasting song dynamics. Lyrics are often angst-filled, often addressing themes such as social alienation, apathy, frustration, sadness, fear and depression. Although most grunge bands had faded by the 1990s they still continue to influence modern music.
R.E.M R.E.M was an American alternative rock band from Athens, Georgia. They formed in 1980 by Michael stripe (noted and occasionally parodied for the „mumbling‟ style of his early career), guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills (credited as being chief composer behind many of R.E.M‟s songs such as „Nightswimming‟ and „Find the river‟) and finally drummer Bill Berry. R.E.M where one of the first popular Alternative rock bands, they gained early attention due to Buck‟s ringing, arpeggiated guitar style (a musical technique were notes in a chord are played or sung in sequence, one after the other, rather than ringing out simultaneously) and Stripes unclear vocals.
Continued R.E.M released its first single, „Radio Free Europe‟, in 1981 on the independent record label Hib tone. In 1983 the group released a critically acclaimed debut album „Mumur‟ and built its reputation over the next few years through subsequent releases, constant touring, and the support of college radio. Following these successful years R.E.M eventually achieved a mainstream hit in 1987 with the hit „The one I love‟ The group eventually signed to Warner Bros in 1988 and went down the route of promoting political and environmental concerns while playing large arenas world wide.
Radiohead Formed in 1985 and are from Oxfordshire. Band consists of Thorn Yorke (lead vocals, guitar and piano), Jonny Greenwood (lead guitar, keyboards and other instruments), Colin Greenwood (bass), Phil Selway (drums and percussion and Ed O‟Brien (guitar and backing vocals). Released their debut single „Creep‟ in 1992 – was initially unsuccessful but became a worldwide hit after several months after the release of the debut album – Pablo Honey. Popularity rose in 1995 after release of their second album. Third album propelled them into great international fame in 1997 with Ok computer.
Nirvana Nirvana is an alternative rock band formed by Singer/guitarist Kurt Cobain in 1985. Nirvana are known for going through a succession of drummers, the longest lasting being Dave Grohl, who joined in 1990. Nirvana were originally part of the Seattle grunge scene, they release there first album „Bleach‟ for the independent record label Sub Pop in 1989. However the band eventually had alternative rock mainstream success unexpectedly with the release of there album „smells like teen spirit‟ in 1991. This was part of the album „Nevermind‟.
After the release of Nevermind in 1991 Nirvana had sudden success. The media began to refer to Cobain and the „spokesman of the generation‟ with Nirvana being the „Flagship band‟ Nirvanas third album „in utero‟ also saw success but not as greatly as Nevermind as In utero challenged the groups audience Nirvanas success was short lived as the lead man Cobain died in 1994.
Kurt Cobain Cobain was an American singer-song writer, most known for his success with the band Nirvana. During the last years of his life Cobain struggles with a heroin addiction, illness and depression. He also struggled to deal with his fame and public image. At the age of 27 Cobain supposedly shot himself in the head with a shotgun after selling over 25 million albums in the US and over 50 million worldwide.
The White Stripes American alternative rock band formed in 1997. Group consisted of Songwriter Jack White (vocals, guitar and keyboards) and drummer Meg White (drums and occasional vocals). Albums White Blood Cells and Elephant drew attention from a large variety of media outlets in the US and UK. The duo was noted for their fashioned and designed aesthetic which featured a simple colour scheme of Red, White and Blue.
Oasis Oasis were an English alternative rock band from Manchester that formed in 1991. The group was formed by Liam Gallagher (vocals and tambourine), Paul Arthurs and Paul McGuigan. They were later joined by older brother Noel Gallagher (lead guitarist and vocals). They had 8 number one singles and 8 UK number one albums. Won fifteen NME awards, nine Q awards, four MTV Europe Music awards and six Brit awards. As of 2009 the band had sold an estimated 70 million records worldwide. The Gallagher brothers featured regularly in the media for there wild lifestyles and sibling disputes.
Continued In 2009 Noel Gallagher announced his departure from the band after a back stage dispute with brother Liam at a festival. The bands remaining members continued working together however they changed the bands name to Beady Eye. Noel went on a solo project and released Noel Gallagher‟s High Flying Birds.
Foo Fighters Foo Fighters are an American alternative rock band formed in Seattle in 1994. Founded by Nirvana drummer David Grohl as a one man project following Kurt Cobain‟s death. Grohl recruited two members from Sunny Day Real Estate, bassist Nate Mendal and drummer William Goldsmith. He also recruited band mate Pat Smear from Nirvana. Over the course of the bands career, four of its albums have won 11 Grammy awards winning Best Rock Album four times. To this day they have released 7 albums.
You Me At Six You Me At Six is a British rock band from Weybridge, Surrey. It formed in 2004. The group rose to success in 2008 with “save it for the bedroom”, “finders keepers” and “kiss and tell” They were nominated for Best British Band in the 2008, 2009 and 2010 Kerrang! Awards, they eventually won it in 2011.
Coldplay Coldplay are a British alternative rock band that vocalist Chris Martin formed in 1996. He was joined by Jonny Buckland and Guy Berryman. Originally named Starfish but changed it to Coldplay in 1999. In 2000 they released the single Yellow which saw them sore to worldwide success. This was followed by there first album Parachutes which was nominated for the Mercury prize The bands second album A Rush Of Blood To The Head won multiple awards including NME‟s Album of the year. Although there third album X&Y was the most sold album in 2005 some critics thought it was inferior to its predecessors. Viva la Vida or Death and all his friends was released in 2008 it was yet again largely favorable and received many nominations. MyloXyloto also received positive views and received UKs Best selling rock album of 2011.
Facts After Coldplay‟s release of “A Rush Of Blood To The Head” they planted a tree for every album they sold. Muse track „cave‟ was featured on Adam Sandler‟s comedy „little nicky‟ Coldplay give 15% of bands profit to charity Matt Bellamy‟s (frontman of muse) father was part of the 60s group The Tornados.