The history of Rock Music

The history of rock music

Read now the history of the rock music, one of the most important musical styles of all time. Names like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Queen, automatically come to mind when thinking about this genre and its influence.

We can find several sub-genres like Classic Rock, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Indie Rock, Glam Rock, Punk Rock, Grunge, Progressive Rock, Country Rock, and more.

Despite originating in the 1950s, the peak of this musical style occurred in the 1970s and 1980s. The most notable bands that permanently defined the rhythm were born during this period.

Have you ever wondered how rock music reached the success it has today? Check now the story of rock music and understand how it became one of the most popular rhythms of today!

The beginning of the Rock Music

If you were to fill out a technical sheet for rock music, its full name would be rock’n’roll. Thus named, this crazy and subversive rhythm emerged in the United States in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Rock’n’roll originated with a mixture of pop and rockabilly elements, with hints of country and also rhythm & blues.

Names like Jerry Lee Lewis, Bill Haley, Chuck Berry, and Johnny Cash are considered the precursors and leading influencers of this new musical style. Usually, rock bands comprise a vocalist, a bassist, a drummer, and no more than two guitar players.

The electric guitar has been a trademark since the beginning. However, some groups today include keyboards or percussion in their arrangements. The first guitar appeared during the 1950s, and along with it, the riffs (chord progressions) during concerts.

Elvis Presley’s career was just as popular as the guitar. And, despite the big names mentioned above, it was Elvis who disseminated rock music. The “King of Rock” (as he was widely known) valued not only his image but also the dance moves he performed in his shows. And this was considered by many as being too innovative for the time.

Furthermore, during the 1950s, the cinema also helped spread the success of the newborn genre. Films like The Wild One and Wild Youth showed rebellious characters wearing leather jackets, jeans, boots, and other accessories that became signature elements of this musical style. Some titles included the images of rock stars, like Elvis himself.

The turbulent ’60s

The 1960s were one of the most significant decades of rock music, and they saw the rise of some of the most classic artists and bands of all time. Names like The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, and the Velvet Underground became known worldwide for their rock’n’roll.

The 1960s also saw the significant influence of English bands on rock’n’roll music. Without The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, rock music certainly wouldn’t be what it is today. While the four Beatles were famous for adopting a more conservative attitude, always wearing a suit and straight hair, the members of The Rolling Stones were known for their audacity.

By the late 1960s, other rock subgenres had emerged. They include folk-rock, psychedelic rock, and progressive rock. Groups Yes and Pink Floyd, the two big names of the latter, are still influential in the genre and have their own group of passionate fans.

Undoubtedly you have heard of the famous 1973 album The Dark Side of the Moon. As well as the iconic prism represented on the album cover, their performances were invariably full of visual and sound effects, totally unprecedented for the time.

To close the most eventful decade in rock history, from August 15 to 17, 1969, the legendary Woodstock Festival took place in the USA. Several world-famous artists performed during these three days. These included The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and Carlos Santana.

The remarkable ’70s

Undoubtedly, the ’70s were just as influential as the ’60s for rock music. Countless names were launched and became true classics during this decade, and surely you know some, if not all, of them. To begin with, we can mention two of the top English bands, Led Zeppelin, considered as the forerunner of hard rock, and Black Sabbath, known as an example of heavy metal. Throughout the decade, many other names became part of the latter subgenre. They included Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and Motorhead.

Arena rock (also known as anthem rock or stadium rock) became popular soon after, with bands so influential that they could fill stadiums. Queen, Kiss, Aerosmith, Scorpions, and AC/DC are the most notorious names of this era.

The 1970s were so buzzing that it didn’t stop there. In its final years, another significant sub-genre of rock music originated. Punk rock included important names like Ramones, The Clash, and the Sex Pistols.

Artists who became famous in these years and cannot be left out are:

  • Deep Purple
  • Van Halen
  • Eric Clapton
  • David Bowie
  • Alice Cooper

The eccentric ’80s

The 1980s, by and large, were famous for their bold and colorful clothes, outrageous hairstyles, and make-up. Some hard rock bands with great visual appeal took advantage of these fashionable times to make their name in History. Guns N’Roses, Poison, Motley Crue, and Bon Jovi are good examples.

Heavy metal stood firm in the ’80s and established itself with leading names. Among these, we can mention Metallica, Megadeth, and Slayer.

The nostalgic 1990’s

The surge of Heavy Metal and Hard Rock gave way to Grunge, which prevailed throughout the decade. Its most significant representatives are Nirvana, Alice in Chains, and Pearl Jam.

As expected, bands born in this decade are still active today. Here are groups that belong to the Britpop subgenre: Oasis, Radiohead, and Blur. These years saw the rise of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, The Offspring, Green Day, Marylin Manson, and many others.

Rock today

The first decade of the 2000s saw the peak of indie rock. The Strokes, Arctic Monkeys, and Franz Ferdinand are famous bands belonging to this style. Also, the Emo Rock style became popular during this decade, with bands like 30 Seconds to Mars and My Chemical Romance as representatives.

Like so many other musical genres, the spread of rock music has significantly changed over the last few years. The public’s relationship with music has changed, which affects any style.

Currently, fans no longer need to wait anxiously for the release of an album, and the frequency of music festivals has increased considerably. Rock music has undergone many changes and is a style that will endure for many decades to come.

Independent bands now have more say, and consequently, their influence has reached farther. Radio has always been one of the greatest means of dissemination for rock bands. And the popularization of the online radio is an advantage that bands should take advantage of.

Are you also a passionate fan of rock music? Do you own an independent band? Then why not create your online radio to promote your music or independent bands’ music from your city?

BRLOGIC can help you! You can create your web radio with us and have a 7-day free trial period, with no obligation.

During the free trial period, and with your program on air, 24×7, you can schedule broadcasts or perform live.

About the author

Luiz Silveira

Luiz Silveira is a specialist in digital marketing and a radio, music and technology enthusiast. With a decade of experience, he aims to help radio stations better position thenselves on the internet.

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