The History of Rock
As one of the most popular music genres, rock music has grown and expanded to incorporate many styles throughout the years. A rock band usually consists of a vocalist, an acoustic drum kit played with a strong beat, usually a back beat, and features electric and acoustic guitars. From its beginnings in the late 1950s and early 1960s until the present day, rock has changed styles seemingly every decade as new bands become popular because of their unique style of music. Throughout the years rock has influenced our culture and helped shape the world we live in today.
Rock and roll was born in the late 1950s. Primary influenced from southern artists like Elvis Presley and Bill Haley, this new genre of music though admonished by many became popular among the younger listeners. During this time period, rock was primarily played in jukeboxes and clubs, but when introduced to the radio, became popular amongst the listeners and became an enormous success.
The success continued throughout the 1960s when the main genres of rock were established. Bands like The Rolling Stones,The Beatles, and Led Zeppelin changed the music scene in Britain. Their influences worked their way to the United States. Bob Dylan led the way playing the same style but was met with disappointment from his fans. Then the hits from Byrds and Simon and Garfunkel gave folk-rock a foothold in the US.
On the West Coast the cities of San Francisco and Las Angeles felt the affects of the boom in rock music. San Francisco became a center for hippies and “acid-rock”. Las Angeles produced misfits like Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart who had a lasting influence on rock.
The beginning of the 1970s saw a decline in interest for rock music. The deaths of Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and others were a main culprit for the decline. During this period of time disco-music became the first genre of rock to use electronic instruments. This led to the involvement of orchestral instruments in rock.
Punk rock became popular due to the record industry’s split from the major recording companies. Smaller independent recording labels indorsed underground artists. This divided mainstream rock, like Elvis Presley, and alternative rock, like The Grateful Dead. Other hard rock groups that got there start in the 1970s were Kiss, Aerosmith, AC/DC, Rush, Journey, and Van Halen.
The mid to late 1970s brought about a slow but steady change in punk rock. With the advent of heavy metal and punk rock bands an explosion of new rock genres emerged. The change was started by three bands from New York. The New York Dolls, the Dictators and the Ramones started a new trend that quickly spread throughout Europe and the rest of the world. It slowly caught on in the US and when it finally did the hardcore form of punk rock became a national expression for millions of teens and young adults for the next two decades.
The merging of heavy metal and punk rock was bound to happen....