Portal:Rock music


Introduction

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the late 1940s and early 1950s, developing into a range of different styles in the mid-1960s and later, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom.[page needed] It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style that drew directly from the blues and rhythm and blues genres of African-American music and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly from a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical, and other musical styles. For instrumentation, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music with a 4
4
time signature
using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.

Rock musicians in the mid-1960s began to advance the album ahead of the single as the dominant form of recorded music expression and consumption, with the Beatles at the forefront of this development. Their contributions lent the genre a cultural legitimacy in the mainstream and initiated a rock-informed album era in the music industry for the next several decades. By the late 1960s "classic rock" period, a number of distinct rock music subgenres had emerged, including hybrids like blues rock, folk rock, country rock, southern rock, raga rock, and jazz rock, many of which contributed to the development of psychedelic rock, which was influenced by the countercultural psychedelic and hippie scene. New genres that emerged included progressive rock, which extended the artistic elements, glam rock, which highlighted showmanship and visual style, and the diverse and enduring subgenre of heavy metal, which emphasized volume, power, and speed. In the second half of the 1970s, punk rock reacted by producing stripped-down, energetic social and political critiques. Punk was an influence in the 1980s on new wave, post-punk and eventually alternative rock.

From the 1990s, alternative rock began to dominate rock music and break into the mainstream in the form of grunge, Britpop, and indie rock. Further fusion subgenres have since emerged, including pop punk, electronic rock, rap rock, and rap metal, as well as conscious attempts to revisit rock's history, including the garage rock/post-punk and techno-pop revivals in the early 2000s. The late 2000s and 2010s saw a slow decline in rock music's mainstream popularity and cultural relevancy, with hip hop surpassing it as the most popular genre in the United States.

Rock music has also embodied and served as the vehicle for cultural and social movements, leading to major subcultures including mods and rockers in the United Kingdom and the hippie counterculture that spread out from San Francisco in the US in the 1960s. Similarly, 1970s punk culture spawned the goth, punk, and emo subcultures. Inheriting the folk tradition of the protest song, rock music has been associated with political activism as well as changes in social attitudes to race, sex, and drug use, and is often seen as an expression of youth revolt against adult consumerism and conformity. At the same time, it has been commercially highly successful, leading to charges of selling out. (Full article...)

Selected article

Rockism (a term used similarly as "racism") is the belief that rock music is dependent on values such as authenticity and artfulness, and that such values elevate the genre over other forms of popular music. So-called "rockists" may promote the artifices stereotyped in rock music or may regard the genre as the normative state of popular music. Poptimism (or popism) is the belief that pop music is as worthy of professional critique and interest as rock music. Detractors of poptimism describe it as a counterpart of rockism that unfairly privileges the most famous or best-selling pop, hip hop, and R&B acts.

The term "rockism" was coined in 1981 by English rock musician Pete Wylie. It soon became a pejorative used humorously by self-described "anti-rockist" music journalists. The term was not generally used beyond the music press until the mid 2000s, partly due to the increasing number of bloggers who used it more seriously in analytical debate. In the 2000s, a critical reassessment of pop music was underway, and by the next decade, poptimism supplanted rockism as the prevailing ideology in popular music criticism.

While poptimism was envisioned and encouraged as a corrective to rockist attitudes, opponents of its discourse argue that it has resulted in certain pop stars being shielded from negative reviews as part of an effort to maintain a consensus of uncritical excitement. Others argue that the two viewpoints have similar flaws. (Full article...)

Selected biography

Paul Vaughn Butterfield (December 17, 1942  May 4, 1987) was an American blues harmonica player, singer and band leader. After early training as a classical flautist, he developed an interest in blues harmonica. He explored the blues scene in his native Chicago, where he met Muddy Waters and other blues greats, who provided encouragement and opportunities for him to join in jam sessions. He soon began performing with fellow blues enthusiasts Nick Gravenites and Elvin Bishop.

In 1963, he formed the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, which recorded several successful albums and was popular on the late-1960s concert and festival circuit, with performances at the Fillmore West, in San Francisco; the Fillmore East, in New York City; the Monterey Pop Festival; and Woodstock. The band was known for combining electric Chicago blues with a rock urgency and for their pioneering jazz fusion performances and recordings. After the breakup of the group in 1971, Butterfield continued to tour and record with the band Paul Butterfield's Better Days, with his mentor Muddy Waters, and with members of the roots-rock group the Band. While still recording and performing, Butterfield died in 1987 at age 44 of an accidental drug overdose.

Music critics have acknowledged his development of an original approach that places him among the best-known blues harp players. In 2006, he was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame. Butterfield and the early members of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015. Both panels noted his harmonica skills and his contributions to bringing blues music to a younger and broader audience. (Full article...)

Selected album

The Dark Side of the Moon is the eighth studio album by the English rock band Pink Floyd, released on 1 March 1973 by Harvest Records. Primarily developed during live performances, the band premiered an early version of the record several months before recording began. The record was conceived as an album that focused on the pressures faced by the band during their arduous lifestyle, and dealing with the apparent mental health problems suffered by former band member Syd Barrett, who departed the group in 1968. New material was recorded in two sessions in 1972 and 1973 at Abbey Road Studios in London.

The record builds on ideas explored in Pink Floyd's earlier recordings and performances, while omitting the extended instrumentals that characterised their earlier work. The group employed multitrack recording, tape loops, and analogue synthesisers, including experimentation with the EMS VCS 3 and a Synthi A. Engineer Alan Parsons was responsible for many sonic aspects and the recruitment of singer Clare Torry, who appears on "The Great Gig in the Sky".

A concept album, The Dark Side of the Moon explores themes such as conflict, greed, time, death and mental illness. Snippets from interviews with the band's road crew are featured alongside philosophical quotations. The sleeve, which depicts a prism spectrum, was designed by Storm Thorgerson in response to keyboardist Richard Wright's request for a "simple and bold" design, representing the band's lighting and the album's themes. The album was promoted with two singles: "Money" and "Us and Them".

The Dark Side of the Moon is among the most critically acclaimed records in history, often featuring on professional listings of the greatest albums of all time. The record helped propel Pink Floyd to international fame, bringing wealth and recognition to all four of its members. A blockbuster release of the album era, it also propelled record sales throughout the music industry during the 1970s. It has been certified 14× platinum in the United Kingdom, and topped the US Billboard Top LPs & Tapes chart, where it has charted for 957 weeks in total. With estimated sales of over 45 million copies, it is Pink Floyd's most commercially successful album, and one of the best-selling albums worldwide. In 2013, it was selected for preservation in the United States National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress for being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". (Full article...)

Selected song

"You Really Got Me" is a song written by Ray Davies for English rock band the Kinks. The song, originally performed in a more blues-oriented style, was inspired by artists such as Lead Belly and Big Bill Broonzy. Two versions of the song were recorded, with the second performance being used for the final single. Although it was rumoured that future Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page had performed the song's guitar solo, the myth has since been proven false.

"You Really Got Me" was built around power chords (perfect fifths and octaves) and heavily influenced later rock musicians, particularly in the genres of heavy metal and punk rock. Built around a guitar riff played by Dave Davies, the song's lyrics were described by Dave as "a love song for street kids."

"You Really Got Me" was released in the UK on 4 August 1964 by Pye Records as the group's third single, and reached number one on the UK singles chart the next month, remaining for two weeks. It was released in the US a month later on 2 September by Reprise Records. The song became the group's breakthrough hit; it established them as one of the top British Invasion acts in the United States, reaching number seven there later in the year. "You Really Got Me" was later included on the Kinks' debut album, Kinks. American rock band Van Halen adapted the song for their 1978 self-titled debut album; it was released as their first single and peaked at 36 on the Billboard Hot 100. (Full article...)

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Credit: Ines Zgonc

Watercolour portrait of David Bowie by Ines Zgonc.

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Selected genre

Industrial metal is the fusion of heavy metal and industrial music, typically employing repeating metal guitar riffs, sampling, synthesizer or sequencer lines, and distorted vocals. Prominent industrial metal acts include Ministry, Godflesh, Marilyn Manson, Rammstein, Fear Factory and Nine Inch Nails.

Industrial metal developed in the late 1980s, as industrial and metal began to fuse into a common genre. Industrial metal did well in the early 1990s, particularly in North America, with the success of groups such as Nine Inch Nails. The industrial metal movement began to fade in the latter half of the 1990s. (Full article...)

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