Rock and Roll (known as Rock) is a genre of music that originated and evolved in the United States of America during the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. Though elements of rock can be heard in country records from the 1930’s and in blues records from as early as the beginning of the 1920’s, rock and roll didn’t actually gain its name until the 1950’s. The term rock and roll is regarded as the music that originated in the mid-1950s and later developed "into the more encompassing international style known as rock music” as defined by the Encyclopædia Britannica.
Often based around beat, usually with a guitar or keyboard driven melody with a range of influences including country, jazz, blues and even gospel music. Song lengths average around the four minute mark but can go on for longer depending on what sub-genre the song is from, for example in Prog Rock the songs are much longer some even lasting up to 78 minutes! Instrumental virtuosity. Rock musicians contains some of the best drummers, guitarists and singers in the music industry, as voted for by readers of magazines such as Rolling Stone and Kerrang! Magazines. Concept albums depending on the sub-genre. Music often has a fast beat created by heavy use of the bass drum.
The Beatles were an English rock band from Liverpool in the 1960’s and one of the most commercially and critically acclaimed bands of all time. The Beatles most well known line up consisted of John Lennon, Ringo Star, Paul McCartney and George Harrison.
The Beatles were credited for developing a new style of rock music that changed the genre forever. This new style of music was a combination of rock and roll and pop music with a tiny amount of historic rhythm ‘n’ bass. The Beatles sound was unique and their lyrics and melodies were catchy making it hard not to sing along to. The Beatles new sound excited people not only in Britain but in America also, bringing many people to a genre they hadn’t really heard of before, even though it was not just rock and roll music on its own, I feel that The Beatles played a dramatic role in turning Rock music into what it is today. Here is a link to a Beatles song called A Hard Day’s Night taken from the album A Hard Day’s Night released in July 1964: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSm0M-BbVdY
The Rolling Stones are a British rock band originating from London that formed in the early 1960’s. This band really set the standard for other bands to live up to when choosing the perform in the rock music genre. They have enjoyed a lot of commercial success over their career releasing 22 albums (24 in the USA), 11 live albums and numerous complications. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989, the rock hall states; "critical acclaim and popular consensus has accorded them the title of the “World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band.”. This along with the fact that they were ranked number 4 in Rolling Stone magazines 100 greatest artists of all time, and the fact that their worldwide sales are estimated at more than 200 million albums proves that they shaped Rock music right from the beginning of their career.
Nirvana were an American rock band formed by singer and guitarist Kurt Cobain in 1987. Nirvana were credited for creating the rock and roll sub genre known as Grunge. In 1992, Nirvana headlined the final night of the very popular Reading Festival, showing us just how far they had come in 5 years. After Kurt Cobain’s suicide on April 8th 1994, the band decided to go their separate ways. The drummer, Dave Grohl, going on to form one of the biggest/well known rock acts of my genereation, Foo Fighters. Here is the music video for Smells Like Teen Spirit off the album Nevermind released in 1991: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTWKbfoikeg
Within rock and roll there are many sub-genres, these are rock and roll with a twist incorporated. These genres include: Alternative rock Punk rock Prog rock Metal Indie rock The list is endless… Also within these sub-genres you have different types of genre, for example under the sub-genre of Metal you have types such as: Rap Metal Nu Metal Heavy Metal Death Metal In the next few slides I will talk about a couple of the different sub- genres and how they are different to the others.
Nu Metal is a type of Metal, it is a fusion genre which combines elements of Metal with other genre such as Hip Hop and Grunge. Rock bands from the 1980’s and 1990’s including Faith No More, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rage Against The Machine have been identified as laying down the groundwork for the development of Nu Metal by popularising elements of the genre, such as combining aggressive riffs with pop structures. Nu Metal music is mostly syncopated (syncopation includes a variety of rhythms which are in some way unexpected which make an off-beat tune or piece of music) and based on riffs. Mid song breakdowns and lack of solos contrasts with it with other Metal sub-genres. Nu metal vocal styles range between melodic singing, rapping, screaming and death growling, sometimes using multiple of these styles within one song. The lyrics of many nu metal bands focus on pain and personal alienation rather than the themes of other metal subgenres. Here is an example of Nu Metal taken from the album Thefakesoundofprogress by Lostprophets released in 2000: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6FyvK4DO6U
Alternative rock is a genre of rock that emerged from the independent music underground of the 1980’s and became widely popular during the 1990’s and 2000’s. Alternative bands during the 1980s generally played in small clubs, recorded for indie labels, and spread their popularity through word of mouth. As such, there is no set musical style for alternative rock as a whole, although The New York Times in 1989 asserted that the genre is "guitar music first of all, with guitars that blast out power chords, pick out chiming riffs, buzz with fuzztone and squeal in feedback”. More often than in other rock-styles since the mainstreaming of rock music during the 1970s, alternative rock lyrics tend to address topics of social concern, such as drug use, depression, and environmentalism. Here is an example of an alternative rock song, taken from the album One by One by Foo Fighters released in 2002: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQ04WbgI9rg
Punk rock is rock sub genre that developed between 1974 and 1976 in the United Kingdom. Punk rock coming from garage rock and other elements of what is know known as Protopunk music, punk rock bands avoided excesses of mainstream 1970’s music. Punk bands created fast, hard-edged music, typically with short songs, stripped-down instrumentation, and often political, anti- establishment lyric. By late 1976, bands such as The Ramones, The Clash and Sex Pistols were recognised as Punk. The following year saw Punk rock spread around the world and become a massive part of the United Kingdom’s rock scene By the turn of the century Punk rock had become more mainstream with bands such as Green Day and The Offspring identifying with the genre. Here is an example of an Punk rock song, taken from the album London Calling by The Clash released in 1979: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfK- WX2pa8c
Rock has many Supergroups, these are groups that consist of members of other bands who are already famous and successful. Notable Rock Supergroups are: Them Crooked Vultures – Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters), John Paul (Led Zeppelin) and Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age) Velvet Revolver – Scott Weiland (Stone Temple Pilots), Slash (Guns N’ Roses), Duff McKagen (Guns N’ Roses), Matt Sorum (Guns N’ Roses) and Dave Kusher (Wasted Youth)
Guns N’ Roses are an American hard rock band, formed in Los Angeles, California in 1985. The most well known line up consisted of Axl Rose (vocalist), Slash (lead guitar), Izzy Stradlin (rthym guitar), Duff McKagen (bass guitar) and Steven Adler (drums).
A year after release, Guns N’ Roses debut album (Appetite for Destruction) reached number 1 on the Billboard 100, the album has now sold in excess of 28 million copies worldwide and 18 million copies just in the United States, making it the best selling debut album of all time in the United States. After that album Guns N’ Roses released multiple other albums each reaching fairly high in the Billboard 100. There were many changes to the line up of Guns N’ Roses after Slash and Duff McKagen left the band shortly after the release of The Spaghetti Incident in 1993. In 2008 Guns N’ Roses released Chinese Democracy which cost an estimated 14 million dollars in production costs, making it one of the most expensive albums to create of all time. Guns N Roses have been credited with reviving the mainstream popularity of rock n roll, at a time when popular music was dominated by dance music and pop metal. Their late 1980’s and early 1990’s years have been described as the period in which they brought forth a "hedonistic rebelliousness" reminiscent of the early Rolling Stones. Here is a link to a Guns N’ Roses song called Sweet Child o’ Mine taken from their debut album Appetite for Destruction released in 1987: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1w7OgIMMRc4
Queen are arguably one of the most well known and commercially successful bands in the history of rock music. Formed in 1971, Queen are a British rock band, originally consisting of Freddie Mercury (vocals/piano), Brain May (guitar/vocals), Jason Deacon (bass/guitar/vocals) and Roger Taylor (drums/vocals).
Queen saw commercial success right from their debut album, but it was the album A Night at the Opera which featured single Bohemian Rhapsody that gained the band international success. Bohemian Rhapsody remaining in the UK single chart for a solid 9 weeks, as well as charting in various other countries, and gave the band their first top ten hit on the US Billboard Hot 100. Their 1977 album New of the World, contained two of rocks most recognisable anthems ‘We Will Rock You’ and ‘We Are The Champions’. By the early 1980’s Queen had become one of the biggest stadium rock bands in the world and their performance at Live Aid in 1985 is regarded as one of the greatest live performances in history.
In 1991, sadly Freddie Mercury died but since then Brian May and Roger Taylor have performed together. Since the beginning of their career Queen have released 18 number one albums, 18 number one singles and 10 number one DVDs. Estimates of their albums sales range from 150 million to 300 million albums, making them one of the world’s best-selling music artists. They received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the British Phonographic Industry in 1990 and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001. In 2009 ‘We Will Rock You’ and ‘We Are The Champions’ were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and the latter of the two was voted the world’s favourite song in a global music pole. Here is the performance I talked about in the previous slide, Queen’s performance at Live Aid in 1985: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQsM6u0a038&feature=related