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Roll No.

-
043030
Evolution Of Modern ROCK
MUSIC

Ketan Gosain
IMG-04
Roll No. - 043030
History and evolution of modern ROCK MUSIC
When we watch MTV, Fuse, VH1, VTV or any other popular music channel, we rarely
realize how different rock was 50 years ago. Rock music has gone through an amazing
evolution to end up where it is now in only 50 years!

Rock music was prevalent before that also but not much information is available regarding
this period as this was the period of world wars and other turmoil taking place in the world.
Moreover, during this period s wing music was the most popular genre of music. Birth of
rock bands came with the emerging of rock and roll and jazz and blues genres. The most
popular instruments being electric guitar, bass guitar and drums. Although if we consider
present day scenario, many new instruments like nu-metal have also come up which are
popularised by bands like linkin Park. We will now have a look at the evolution of mode rn
rock music. The whole evolution process has been divided into a no. of eras starting from
1950’s.

1950's Era

Though s wing music was still popular, this was the decade that rock and roll emerged.
Rock and roll in its earliest stage could be described as blues with electric guitar. Rockabilly
emerged in the 1950's which is a mixture of rock and roll, country, blues, and jazz and was
a fundamental music genre of the 50's. The major pioneers, those who made rock and roll
popular were obviously Elvis Presley, Bill Haley, Buddy Holly, and Little Richard.

1960's Era

This was the decade that America and other parts of the world were introduced to the British
invasion. The most well know and world renowned band of the British invasion was, of
course, the all- mighty Beatles. The reason the Beatles are considered one of the best and most
influential rock bands of all time is the fact that they took what Elvis and others created in the
1950's and made it a whole different thing. A new age of rock was born.

Soon after Beatlemania had began, other popular hippy and psychedelic bands such as Pink
Floyd, The Who, The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, the Grateful dead, Jimi Hendrix,
Cream, and others began to rule the world. These bands were the fuel of the counterculture
movement, trendsetters, with their drug induced lyrics and hypnotic melodies. Other genres
of rock began to emerge such as progressive rock (experimentation with other instruments
other than guitar, bass and drums, popularized by Pink Floyd), folk rock (traditional acoustic
rock songs with a blues undertone popularized by Bob Dylan and Janis Joplin) and heavy
metal (a thick, heavy, and highly amplified genre of rock popularized by Black Sabbath).
The world was just now beginning to witness the power rock really had on society.

1970's Era

After the Vietnam War ended and people settled down, so did the music. Bands such as Led
Zeppelin who were known in the 1960's became even more popular in the 1970's. Led
Zeppelin had created the perfect blend of hard rock and blues to form a sound of their own.
Other bands and artists such as Yes, David Bowie, the Eagles, and Queen started in the
1970's and were very influential. During the late 1970's, the world witnessed a huge
movement in rock and roll . . . punk. The founding fathers of punk were The Ramones who
combined anarchism and teenage rage with rock and roll. Other bands such as The Sex
Pistols and The Clash helped popularize and redefine punk rock. This powerful and intense
new genre of music influenced many bands in the future.

1980's Era

The 1980's are probably most famous for hair bands. Heavy metal bands with tight leather
pants, soaring guitar solos, and insane hair, such as Guns and Roses, Van Halen, Metallica,
AC/DC, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, and Motley Crue can best be remembered for their power
ballads and great guitar solos. New wave (a genre that originated from punk, funk, and disco)
was made popular by artists such as Divo, The B-52's, Talking Heads, and Blondie.
Indie/Alte rnative rock began to emerge in the late 1980's with artists such as U2, R.E.M.,
The Cure, The Smiths, and Sonic Youth were very popular with college students. Punk also
became more popular with bands such as Black Flag and the Dead Kennedys.

1990's Era

The Early 90's were the era of grunge and alternative rock. The most popular grunge band
of the 90's was Nirvana. Grunge music originated in Seattle, Washington and can be
described as dirty guitar, strong guitar riffs with distortion and feedback. They had dark lyrics
and expressed teenage angst. Popular grunge and alte rnative bands are Pearl Jam, Nirvana,
Alice in Chains, and Jane's Addiction.

2000-Present (Modern Era)

So many of the genres that I spoke of in the past decades still exist today. You still see many
teenagers with Led Zeppelin and Beatles shirts walking around. Alternative rock is one of the
most popular and broadest genre of rock that exists today. Emo, a rock sub genre that has
intensely emotional lyrics with hardcore punk roots, was popularized by bands such as
Taking Back Sunday, Senses Fail, Brand New, From First to Last the Used and softer bands
such as Dashboard Confessional and Bright Eyes which can also be described as indie.

Though the word "indie" stands for independent and refers to bands that are part of an
independent record label, indie has a whole new meaning this day and age. Indie is hard to
described, I guess you could say it's a miscellaneous category of sorts, mainly underground
and softer version of alternative rock. Popular indie bands include Death Cab for Cutie, The
Arcade Fire, The Strokes, The Decemberists, Elliott Smith, and the Postal Service just to
name a few.

Heavy metal has also reached a new extreme. Sub- genres such as black metal, death metal,
thrash metal which is very loud, aggressive, and fast. Popular hardcore metal bands of today
include As I Lay Dying, Norma Jean, Slipknot, Korn and Cannibal Corpse just to name a
few.

Alternative rock has reached an all time high with bands such as Incubus, Red Hot Chili
Peppers, Chevelle, Coldplay, and Foo Fighters. Pop rock is possibly the most popular genre
of our times. Pop rock is rock mixed with popular lyrics and a more mainstream approach.
Pop rock bands include Fall Out Boy, All- American Rejects, Ashlee Simpson, Avril Lavigne,
and others.
Overall, I could go on and on for days explaining the intricacy of rock music and all their
many genres and bands but I think I will stop here. Though rock may be one of our newer
major genres it is still one of the most influential genres to ever exist. I mean come on.
Everybody enjoys a good Beatles song from time to time!

Just remember when you are listening to your favourite band, remember the roots of rock
because almost every single band that exists today has been influenced by bands of the past.
Without the founding fathers of rock, your favourite band wouldn't even be in existence. I
encourage you to listen to the classics because they aren’t just "old people" music but some
of the best music ever made.