Thursday, June 6, 2013

History of Rock and Roll

Chuck Berry 1971.JPG

As Naijarocknews hits 1000 views, we say many-many thanks to the readers, everyone that have stumbled on the page in one way or the other, all the followers, to those that placed a comment (though not one comment has been placed yet), and all those that have been the engine house to this project. The team as well has been doing awesome and wonderful job and it’s a thumbs up/hats off to every one.
As we celebrate this though peanut-sized milestone and pray every rock loving fan out there to join us, we brought brains and minds together followed by a thorough research to write about something that has been a debate for a while and left many in a bit of a quandary. It’s the HISTORY OF ROCK MUSIC. This is a creature we all love so much but we are yet to understand its real root. Some say it has no history, others say it’s a brain child of Elvis Preasley but anyway lets look at this dude and see how he has evolved.
While people may split hairs over what it is and what it is not, rock music can generally be described as hard-edged music performed with electric guitars, bass, and drums and usually accompanied by lyrics sung by a vocalist. That been said of what rock music basically could be defined, lets jump into the gig of the day.
Rock music has been a volatile, unpredictable creature that has constantly redefined and reinvented itself since its emergence in the late 1940s. Not surprisingly, then, it can be extremely difficult to apply a straightforward definition to such a restless musical format as of in recent times, but a closer look at the evolution of rock music suggests how different styles and influences have shaped its development over the years. But first, let’s take a look back at its formations.

Rock Music's Origins (1940s-‘60s)
The history of rock music isn't cut and dry.  Rock music’s origins can be traced back to the late 1940s, when the popular styles of the day, country, blues and rhythm, morphed into a new sound aided by electric guitars and a steady drum beat. Pioneering rock artists of the ‘50s, such as Chuck Berry, leaned heavily on classic blues structures while demonstrating flair as natural-born entertainers. It is now known that the history of rock music comes from the old R&B mixed with some country and western and fused with a little rockabilly. As opposed to the safe pop music of the era, rock’s aggressive attack suggested a sexual freedom that proved shocking during that conservative age.
Chuck Berry who has been an unsung hero refined and developed rhythm and blues into the major elements that made rock and roll distinctive, with lyrics focusing on teen life and consumerism and utilizing guitar solos and showmanship that would be a major influence on subsequent rock music, but it got more commercialized in the hands of Elvis and those that later followed.
By the early ‘60s, Berry’s followers, most notably the Rolling Stones, expanded rock’s scope by transitioning from singles artists into musicians capable of producing cohesive albums of songs. Embracing sex and youthful rebellion in their music, the Stones courted controversy but also elevated rock to new cultural heights.
The exact time period that the history or rock music started in is not known. There were rock and roll elements showing up in blues songs and old country western songs as far back as the 20's and 30's. By the 1950's the history or rock music had begun.
As stated before, just who started the history of rock music is under debate. This is because rock and roll music evolved from different genres and some songs that belonged to the blues, jazz, country, and gospel genres offered elements that could be considered rock and roll. However, it was Bill Haley's song, “Rock around the clock” that became popular enough to top the Billboard music charts.
The phrase rock and roll used to have a sexual connotation attached to it. The phrase sometimes contained to two meanings. It appeared to mean dancing but was also associated with sex. It was first used in the title of Trixi Smith's 1920's song, “My baby rocks me with one steady roll.” However, it was Alan Freed a disc jockey from Ohio that first came up with the phrase rock and roll in 1955. With that, the history of rock music was well under way.
In the history or rock music there have been many icons. Among the earliest rock stars are names like Chuck Berry, Elvis Preasely and Bill Haley. These early stars of the history or rock music led to the popularization or rock and a culture change that shocked the world. The dance crazes, fashion styles, and pop culture that followed the early history of rock music were made possible by these early stars.

The Evolution (1970s)
As rock music became the dominant form of popular music, new bands built on their predecessors’ strengths while branching out into new sonic territory.
Led Zeppelin gave rock a darker, heavier tone, becoming one of the ‘70s’ most popular bands and helping to kick-start a new genre known as hard rock or heavy metal.
Around the same time, Pink Floyd added psychedelic elements and complex arrangements, creating concept albums tied together by a single theme and meant to be absorbed in a single sitting. Records like Dark Side of the Moon were credited with spawning the progressive rock movement.
In the late ‘70s, as a response to what they perceived as pretentious “hippie” bands such as Pink Floyd, groups like the Sex Pistols and the Clash simplified rock down to its core ingredients: loud guitars, rude attitude and enraged singing. Punk was born.
And while all three movements enjoyed different degrees of mainstream acceptance, a fourth, less-recognized style was beginning to take shape as well. Spotlighting atonal noise and unconventional rock instruments such as drum machines, groups like Pere Ubu became the pioneers of industrial rock, an abrasive subgenre that didn’t enjoy widespread popularity but would inspire future rock bands.

Music's Splintering (1980s)
As the ‘80s began, mainstream rock music was losing commercial steam, its sound growing stale. In such a creatively stagnant environment, subgenres started to assert their dominance.
Inspired by punk’s outsider status and industrial’s eclectic instrumentation, keyboard-driven English bands like Depeche Mode demonstrated a more introverted songwriting style, creating postpunk, which is also described as new wave.
Meanwhile, American groups like R.E.M. toyed with postpunk elements, balancing introspective lyrics with traditional rock-band arrangements. These bands were dubbed college rock because of their popularity on college radio stations.
By the end of the ‘80s, college rock had become such a lucrative alternative to mainstream rock that it received a new moniker: alternative rock. It was also referred to as indie rock because the bands were often signed to small, independently-owned labels.
Significantly, alternative rock cemented its cultural standing when the music magazine Billboard created a new chart in 1988 specifically for alternative rock, which the publication classified as modern rock. For most music fans, terms such as modern rock, alternative and indie are synonymous ways of describing this popular subgenre.

Reemergence (1990s-Present)
With the ascension of Nirvana's Nevermind in 1991, alternative rock became the dominant popular music. But while other bands soon sprung up as part of the so-called grunge movement (a merging of hard rock and punk), other groups, like Soundgarden, straddled the worlds of alternative and mainstream rock music.
Exacerbated by the suicide of Nirvana's frontman, Kurt Cobain, alternative music started to lose its luster by the middle of the decade, setting the stage for mainstream rock's reemergence.
One of the first bands to capitalize on mainstream rock’s comeback was Limp Bizkit, which melded hard rock and rap into a new hybrid call rap-rock. Groups like Staind and Puddle of Mudd followed in Limp Bizkit’s wake, though these bands focused on melodic hard rock rather than integrating rap into the mix.
At the same time, bands that had thrived during grunge’s heyday but didn’t easily fit into the alternative subgenre, such as Red Hot Chili Peppers, continued to find audiences throughout the ‘90s. Additionally, groups that rose from the ashes of grunge, like Foo Fighters, incorporated alternative music’s outsider energy to reenergize mainstream rock music.
As rock music enters the 21st century, the most successful acts possess the same spirit as their ‘60s predecessors, even if they sound quite different. Linkin Park fuses hip-hop and metal, while 3 Doors Down emulates hard-rock traditions of the past while providing a contemporary spin. Undoubtedly, rock music has been evolving and will keep evolving in the future, drawing from its rich history while continuing to keep its ear open for the next sonic reinvention.

Alternative Rock Music
Alternative rock music is really a name given to rock music that didn't fit any other genre. However, the technical meaning is usually any rock music that descended from punk rock. A lot of rock music has been classified as alternative rock music even though some of these did not exactly fit the meaning.
Alternative rock music became popular in the 1990's but the history or alternative rock music goes back farther than that. Before Nirvana brought alternative rock music to the mainstream audience, the music genre had been gaining popularity with the college crowds and music underground.
In the 1980's REM was making their start in alternative rock music. Most of their airtime was given by college radio stations. This is where their loyal fan base started. However, their commercial success started at about the time that alternative started to really become popular in the 1990's.
The popularity of alternative rock music came about after the grunge period. Grunge was a type of alternative rock music that denounced commercialism. This movement started in Seattle, Washington and soon took the world by storm. This was ironic since it was this type of music that helped to create the commercial success for alternative rock music. Bands such as Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Soundgarden, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Alternative rock music also made a big splash in Britain where punk rock was more popular. In fact, Alternative rock music entered the mainstream earlier in Britain than it did in the United States. This gave alternative bands a broader venue even before the popularity of alternative music in the United States.
During the height of success for alternative rock music, many record companies handed out the name to bands that fit the requirements loosely at best. This was done in hopes that the label of alternative would help sales. However, looking back one can see that some of this music was more pop than alternative.

Christian Rock Music
Many musicians use their talents to glorify God. This is also true with Christian rock music. Groups like Jars of Clay, DC Talk, and others have created a genre of music that has a positive message. There are many benefits to playing Christian rock music at your church.
One of the most important benefits of Christian rock music is the way it communicates with the younger generations. It has been difficult for new generations to accept religion in light of our obsession with science. Christian rock music reaches out to this younger generation using a medium that is a vital part of their culture, music.
Christian rock music has other benefits as well. Many people remember the boring hymnals that used to make little kids fall asleep in church. Instead of having a lullaby effect, Christian rock music increases the energy level of your worship. This can help keep everyone involved and keep the spirit moving.
Another benefit of Christian rock music is that Christian rock music is bringing the Christian message to an untapped crowd. Many rock songs are written about drugs, sex, and violence. Unlike country singers and pop singers who can get away with writing about religion, rock music has largely been a religion-free venue. Christian rock music is changing this by creating rock music with a positive message.
Christian rock music can help bring in new crowds. It shows people that you don't have to change your whole life just to be a Christian. Christian rock music does more than just attract new church goers. It helps to keep the ones it already has. Christian rock music gives church goers a new outlet. This helps to make church a refreshing experience that doesn't get old.
The benefits of Christian rock music will only lead the way for Christians to reach out to the world in new ways. In the future Christians will follow new trends and continue to incorporate the current culture into the Christian church.

OTHERS?
Yes! They certainly are other unheard or rather uncommon kind of rocks; J-rock(Japanese Rock), German rock, Greek rock, etc and they all have their respective history, some tied around the general rock history while others just popped out of no where and are all evolving as well but till date, the Electric Shakespeare, CHUCK BERRY invented the typical rock and roll we know that has and will keep evolving.

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