“Let's rock, everybody, let's rock. Everybody in the whole cell block was dancin' to the Jailhouse Rock.”-the 1950s (birth of Rock) It was the 1950s when a new genre of music which would later enthrall millions took its first appearance.
It was the fusion of jazz and country with an extra “swing” which Presley would call as “Rockabilly”. The term “Rock n Roll”-coined earlier in 1930’s started to actually mean something.Artists like Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Big Joe Turner and Little Richard inspired a form of music which bands formed in Britain started to take over, and one such band was from Liverpool. “I look at you all see the love there that's sleeping While my guitar gently weeps”-the 1960s (Beatlemania) George Harrison’s guitar wept and how- The Beatles became the greatest phenomenon in rock and music industry. For the first time, a rock band took the centre stage of all the attention of a generation.”Beatlemania” was a thing.
Throughout the 1960s there had been reports of crowds, particularly teenage girls screaming, crying, fainting and chasing the band down the street; storming into concerts and airports. Beatlemania reached its peak when the Beatles performed on several editions of The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964; an unprecedented 73 million people tuned into their February 9 appearance. “I can’t get no satisfaction I can’t get no satisfaction ‘cause I try,I try and I try”- late 1960s While the Beatles gave the impression of cheerfulness and godliness – Rolling Stones brought music into what you could call-“ Sex Drugs Rock n Roll “.
The same month that The Ed Sullivan Show ignited Beatlemania, Melody Maker’s headlined “Would you let your daughter go with a Rolling Stone?” When the Beatle mania started declining, it was time for their grey counterparts to grab all the attentions. While a guitarist from Seattle, USA called Jimmy Hendrix sang about “Purple Haze” and “Voodoo Child”, another band called “THE WHO” was grabbing eyeballs and eardrums to their powerful sound and on-stage stunts which included exploding their own drumsets with crackers and forcefully breaking their guitars before throwing themselves at their mad fans.”Rock n Roll” was starting to get aggressive.
“Hey, hey, mama, said the way you move, gonna make you sweat, gonna make you groove,”- the 1970’s As the music got more and more aggressive, it was now time for the “Hard Rock”.Pioneered by Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Uriah Heep (all British bands), Guitar Riffs were now heavier,Bass was getting much more importance and guitar solos of Blackmore and Jimmy Page ruled music .At the same time, far from Britain in Australia, another Hard Rock band who called themselves as AC/DC were “shooking people all night long”. “Living in the limelight the universal dream For those who wish to seem”- Parallel 1970’s (Underground scene)- Behind the limelight of Hard rock n Roll, a band from Canada called “Rush” reached their peak of commercial success owing to their progressive sound and offbeat drumming of Neil Peart.Rock was getting progressive with the use of electronic keyboards and synthesizers.Elsewhere another Progressive band but with a psychedelic sound – Pink Floyd sold record 40 million copies worldwide through their album “The Dark Side of the Moon”.It was the 70’s when many progressive rock bands like Yes, Genesis and Jethro Tull released their debut albums. “Come crawling faster, Obey your Master”-The 1980’s Music limelight shifted from England to the United States- and this time it was louder and heavier.An even harder version of rock- aptly named as Metal- dominated the era.
American heavy Metal bands like The Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax formed the “BIG FOUR” of thrash Metal.Older metal bands such as Scorpions (Germany) and Iron Maiden (England) also reached their peak of commercial success.Double pedal, double bass drum was popularized in music by Dave Lombardo making the sound even heavier. “With the lights out, it's less dangerous Here we are now, entertain us I feel stupid and contagious Here we are now, entertain us”- the 1990’s While Metal had gripped entire world, Washington was somewhat isolated from other music scenes.
Obsessed with distorted and sludgy guitar sounds and feedback effects, a completely different genre of rock- “Grunge” was born. Bands from Washington like Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam mesmerized the world with a completely different sound of rock. Grunge albums most notably Nirvana’s “Nevermind” met with unprecedented success. “I walk this empty street On the Boulevard of Broken Dreams Where the city sleeps And I'm the only one and I walk alone”- late 1990’s and 2000’s After grunge and short-lived commercial success of post-grunge, the popularity of Rock declined. There was an upsurge of Pop music and Rap music and the craze and rage Rock enjoyed was no more. Still, American bands like Green Day and Blink 182 enjoyed some mainstream success owing their sound to 70’s British punk rock bands Ramones and Sex Pistols.
Some bands like Slipknot, Linkin Park and Rage against the Machine used the fusion of modern electronic music and Rap with rock and enjoyed mainstream success. Present day As electronic pop and teen pop culture rose to dominance (and continue to dominate the present era), the status of rock in music declined further. Still, rock bands of diverse genres like Avenged Sevenfold (heavy metal and emo metal) ,System of a Down(Alternative Metal), Evanescence (Gothic rock) and pop-rock crossover bands like Coldplay and Imagine Dragons gained some popularity. Rock music, though described here in a timeline, transcends time and enjoys a huge cult and loyal following. From Presley to Nirvana; from Rolling Stones to Slipknot- the legacy passes on with variations and still, remains evergreen.