The Evolution of Rock ‘n’ Roll

After the release of Def Leppard’s new album, I started to think about how classic rock has taken the back burner in modern music. There were many bands between the 60s-80s that were famous for their rock and roll flare. If you asked any adult, who was a teen in the 80s, they would say that this era were ruled by rock legends such as Mötley Crüe, Guns n Roses, and Poison. Today, pop music has taken over the top charts. However, a lot of modern music takes inspiration from classic rock. Let’s take a look the start of rock ‘n’ roll and its evolution to the modern day!

Birth Of Rock

Almost every person who is passionate about rock music has heard the name Chuck Berry. He is known for creating rock music in the fifties. Berry brought a new sound to the world of music that many listeners had not heard at the time.

During the fifties, there were not many people pushing the envelope in many areas of life, but especially in music. When Berry created a connection between his music and the audience, people realized that he brought the type of upbeat and exciting new sound that was needed in music. This inspired more artists and bands to venture out and see if they could create the same high energy, arousing music as Berry.

Chuck Berry in the 50s

Rollin’ Through the 60’s & 70’s

Bands like the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin were created within the 1960’s. The rise of new emerging artists familiarized the public to the sound of rock ‘n’ roll. From their iconic stage presence, there were higher levels of energy produced during performances in both the bands and the crowd. Personally, I believe that Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones really put classic rock on the map in the 60s.

Led Zeppelin at Knebworth in 1979

Led Zeppelin is credited for giving rock ‘n’ roll its heavy sound. They captivated their fans with songs like “Good Times Bad Times,” “Rock and Roll,” and “Stairway to Heaven.” I watched a video of their performance of “Kashmir” at Knebworth in the late 70s. I was captivated by their connection with one another. The four band members were able to bridge their instruments and performance abilities together in order to create something extraordinary.

The Decade of Hard Rock

When the 80s hit it was time for stronger, crazier, and overall intensive music to be created. Poison made their mark loud and proud when they formed their band in 1983. They had a sound that was unlike another other. This was not only because of their instrumentals, but because of their messages behind the music. Their reason of being focused on having a good time, which included a lot of partying with a lot women. Of course, there were adults who were against the impressionable youth listening to more vulgar music. However, that did not stop Poison from spreading their music with the world!

Poison in 1986

Another rock group, Mötley Crüe, was created in 1981. They set the stage for heavy metal rock. This group consisted of Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee, Mick Mars, and Vince Neil. Mötley Crüe is, along with many others, my favorite rock band. From “Kickstart My Heart” to “Girls, Girls, Girls,” they exemplified how rock stars lived throughout the 80s. Their documentary on Netflix, “The Dirt” shows the inside trouble, triumphs, and crazy times of Mötley Crüe as a group.

Pop Music Takeover

There were individual artists such as Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, and Madonna who all had influences in the early pop world. Not everyone is a fan of rock ‘n’ roll or heavy metal, so they turned to a more upbeat sound of music. Listeners took favor to this genre of music because of how different it was from the rock, jazz, or blues that was most prevalent in the 60s, 70s, and 80s.

Madonna in the 80s

Because of the early pop divas, artists such as Lady Gaga, Mary J. Blige, and P!nk got their chance to take the stage! I believe that the masses enjoy pop music because of it familiarity to other genres. You might hear the argument that “all pop music sounds the same.” While I don’t 100% agree with that, there are many songs that have similar beats or rhythms to them.

Music Today

Rock ‘n’ roll today has taken a back seat in the world of music. The new generation is all about genres including pop, alternative, and rap. I do not see many people my age enjoying the intense sounds of classic rock music from the past. There are many groups that are trying to make a name for themselves in the modern rock scene, but not many people know about them! You should give this article a look if you are interested in new rocks bands!

I think that we need to be more open to all genres of modern music. There is so much we can learn from earlier bands and their experiences. It is interesting to learn where current bands got inspiration for their music. I wonder how much music will evolve within the next few years!

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