Rock by keralaguest



Rock 'n' roll has never been just a music. Heavy Metal, Rhythm & Blues, Art Rock, New Wave, and
the rest may be primarily styles or genres, but as subcategories of rock, or of rock 'n' roll, they do
not cumulatively add up to the whole. Rock 'n' roll is a movement, a lifestyle, a culture, and
possibly an ideology. It is a tradition, in some ways a folklore, in many ways a belief system. And
all that rock 'n' roll is today it owes to a brief window of history: two years, no more than three,
when the fabric of American popular culture was torn apart and rewoven, and a new era
explosively began.

Looking back from these Classic Rock vantage points, it's easy to visualize the early rock 'n' roll
days. By now, they've been relived and recreated in hundreds of movies, television programs,
magazine articles, biographies, and anthologies. Those were the Happy Days, the Fabulous
Fifties, when that Old Time Rock 'n' Roll was blasting from every jukebox, and Peggy Sue rode in
her boyfriend's '57 Chevy to the Sock Hop, ready to Rock Around the Clock. It was when Elvis was
King, when life was simpler, when they played all those wonderful love songs that touched our
hearts when the living room lights were dimmed... The fifties are forever frozen in American
memory by these kinds of images, and they may even be fairly accurate, for all we know.

 Still, despite the nostalgia crazes, '50s rock 'n' roll hasn't survived as a "popular" music in the way
that '60s rock has. By that I mean that '50s rock 'n' roll is treated almost universally as "oldie"
music, more of a nostalgic curiosity, whereas rock from the Beatles to the present still has a
"contemporary" feel to it. Sixties rock hasn't faded from popular AOR radio stations—Dylan,
Stones, Beatles, Doors, Hendrix, and others remained connected to modern rock by an invisible
cultural thread throughout the 1980s—and many of the major stars and comebacks of the
decade—Steve Winwood, John Fogerty, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Motown—were sixties
veterans. The original rock 'n' rollers, however, enjoyed no such longevity in the post-Beatles
world. Elvis's popularity from 1963 on was largely confined to his aging original fans—he was
something of an embarrassment to the younger generation; Chuck Berry, while personally very
resilient, achieved his last real hit with the novelty "Ding-a-Ling" in 1972, and otherwise has played
generally to the oldies audience; Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, the Everly Brothers, Carl Perkins
were all basically irrelevant to rock's development after the early '60s; and other major stars of that
initial era have diminished to utter obscurity.

 The consequence of this historic dividing line is that, whereas today's teenagers born in the 1970s
can recite Beatles and Dylan lyrics from memory, the great original rock 'n' roll tunes are only
vaguely familiar even to 35-year-olds who grew up immediately in the wake of the rock 'n' roll
explosion. I have a lot of "party tapes" containing a broad mix of songs from different eras including
the fifties that I will presumptuously install in the cassette deck at a gathering or on a long car ride.
Invariably, I absorb awkward and disappointed stares and groans when, on such a tape, an Elvis
Presley or Chuck Berry tune follows a more "modern" song; someone usually insists on fast-
forwarding past it.

 This is too bad, because the music from that time, especially from the epochal years of 1956 and
1957, is truly great music. Sure, it lacks any overriding social or political themes, there are no
screaming guitar solos or overdubbed synthesizers, and the recordings are generally poor (and
pre-stereo). But the energy, vitality, and originality of breakthrough rock 'n' roll is unmatched by
almost anything that has come along since, and in its context, the ferocity with which this music
burst upon the scene was nothing short of amazing. At daybreak, 1955, "rock 'n' roll" was still just a
vague notion, an alternative term for Rhythm & Blues, and popular as a genre only among that
clandestine cadre of youth who had discovered the R&B radio stations. "Doo-Wop" vocal groups
such as the Penguins had penetrated the mainstream with songs like "Earth Angel" (1954), and
there were many successful white covers, but this was all very restrained compared to true R&B,
about which the majority of the country knew next to nothing. By daybreak, 1956, however, the first
beachheads had been established, and as of the middle of that year, a full scale invasion was
underway on all fronts. And like the allies at Normandy, the onslaught just kept on coming, with
barely time for its teen audience to catch their breath from dancing to one hit before the next—
bigger, faster, more enthralling—exploded at their feet.

 It somehow seems that post-'50s rock fans have the impression that the rock 'n' roll hits of that era
occurred over a long span of time. To understand the importance of this watershed moment in
modern history, however, it is necessary to realize that it was only a moment. The great classic
rock 'n' roll songs didn't crawl out of the woodwork one at a time, one or two per month; they fell
from the sky almost simultaneously. It was, I believe, the relentlessness of this deluge that, in the
end, made rock 'n' roll and all that came after it so enduring, so permanent.

 Following is an annotated list of thirty songs, including the month when each song was either
recorded or released. This is just a sampling from the period, albeit many of the biggest hits; there
were countless dozens of others in the same style being released at the same time. Try to imagine
(if you didn't experience it) what it was like for teenagers once rock 'n' roll first shot forward, to
encounter in rapid succession each of these overwhelmingly potent hits. Try to imagine waking up
every morning with the increasing realization that a revolution was occurring all around you, that
the next wave was likely to hit at any moment, that you were a part of this accelerating
phenomenon day in and day out, and all your friends were caught up in it too. About once a week,
someone would arrive at school or at the soda shop to announce, "You've got to hear this great
new record!" And indeed it was great, and the excitement just grew and grew, until it was bigger
than anything before: it was a way of life, a burning passion wanting more and more and
proclaiming with religious fervor that it would never die or diminish, but would grow to engulf the
world with its message of euphoria and the wonders of life and love and youth. And so it has, the
reasons for which to be found in the suddenness and the intensity of the songs themselves that
ignited the era.

Rock and roll like all genres has almost as many definitions as it has fans. Rock and Roll
generally refers to rock music recorded around the 1950s including mostly southern artists like Bill
Haley and Elvis Presley. Rock generally is used to refer to any popular rock music recorded since
the early 60's.

Progressive rock is a very general and intertwined genre of music which got its start in the late
60s, and continues to this day. Progressive rock is often lumped together with other similar genres
like art rock, symphonic rock, and progressive heavy metal. The artists try to take the roots of rock
and apply them to a more classically influenced structure. The music is often very elaborate and
generally requires very exceptional musicians with a great deal of talent. It is not unusual for prog
rock pieces to be very lengthy in some cases they are over an hour in length.

Hard Rock - Hard rock is a form of rock & roll that finds its roots in the early 1960s garage rock
and draws from jazz, blues, rock and roll, and other influences like folk in the case of famed hard
rock artist Led Zeppelin who's main writer and composer Jimmy Page was a famous studio
musician and expert guitar player who was interested in Celtic and folk influences. These diverse
influences can be clearly heard in one of the most influential albums of this style Led Zeppelin 4.
Budgie, AC/DC, The Stooges, MC5, Prong, Jimi Hendrix and Deep Purple are also classic
examples of early hard rock.

Alternative rock music was a phrase invented in early 80s describing bands which broke from the
barrage of pop and hair metal and formed a new direction of more focused and honest rock. It
includes many subcategories including but not limited to Grunge, Hard Rock, Indie Rock,
Experimental Rock, Progressive Rock, College Rock, Gothic Rock, Heavy Metal, Punk Rock,
Power Pop, Hardcore Punk, New Wave,

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