Key Changes in the Rock Genre

Joe Oliver
1980s Music Videos
Summary of 1980s
• Performance Based
• Set in a recording session, sound checks or at a gig
• Use of midshots/close-ups
• Fast paced editing
• Star Focus
• Main instruments are Rhythm and Bass guitars and drums
• Costumes commonly made of leather and denim
• Either a mixture of colour (black and white and colour) or
just colour; see Sweet Child o’ Mine, Radio Gaga, Take on
• Lighting colourful

1990s Music Videos

Summary of 1990s
• Mostly performance based; introduction of some narrative; See Good
Riddance, Everybody Hurts
• Costume varies depending on subgenre of rock-Green Day more punk so
use of black in costume greater than that of Blur who are BritPop who
wear more mainstream clothing
• Locations vary unlike ’80s- narrative changes location; See Good Riddance,
Motorcycle Emptiness
• Instruments are Lead Guitar, Bass Guitar and Drums
• Use of close-ups and long shots frequent
• Lighting varies depending on tone of song; more bright than in the ‘80s.
• Editing generally slower; cross dissolves, fades
• Greater use of direct address; appeals to an audience, makes them feel
• Props tend to be everyday items; Cars, Umbrellas, Books etc. See
Motorcycle Emptiness, Everybody Hurts, Don’t Look Back in Anger

2000s Music Videos

Summary of 2000s
• Combination of performance and narrative; See Numb, Everyday I
Love You Less and Less
• Introduction of visual effects; See Californication, Feel Good Inc.
• Costumes generally informal normal clothes for band; other
costumes depend on narrative; See Numb, Chop Suey
• Lighting dim
• Editing fast paced, mostly used cuts; See Hardest Button to Button
• Locations unusual, decorated studio; See Mr Brightside, Numb
• Instruments are Rhythm and Bass Guitar and Drums
• Increased use of direct address
• Use of Long shots and close-ups; more expansive camera

2010s Music Videos
Summary of 2010s
• Narrative/Performance videos common
• Use of visual effects e.g. Slow motion, stop motion
• Costumes informal; fit with trends of today e.g. Leather jacket,
skinny jeans, ankles showing etc.
• Use of direct address
• No set locations; performance inside of narrative for most part
• Editing more disjointed
• Use of close-ups, establishing shots
• Traditional rock instruments in addition to synthesisers and
computer generated sounds
• Lighting varies; natural light, use of spotlights/background lighting
1980s Digipacks
Summary of 1980s
• Use of Simplistic colour schemes; often black and a
colour to contrast with it
• Use of symbols; See Dark Side of the Moon, For Those
About to Rock
• Lack of Star Focus- No pictures of the band
• Band name at the top of the digipack and the album
name below it; both in central positions
• Track listing generally central position on back-
matching colour schemes to front and listed vertically
• Typography of Band name is large and album name is
smaller-band name sells albums

1990s Digipacks
Summary of 1990s
• More emphasis on the band, however not all digipacks had the
band on them
• Use of brighter colour schemes rather than all black covers
• Use of symbols continued, however, more complex-not a shape,
now a person; increased use of technology-programmes such as
Photoshop used
• Layout of tracklisting more random; some listed horizontally and at
the top whereas others vertically, whether in left, right or centre
• Placement of the names of band and album much more varied
• Typography size more varied-some are large to emphasise band
name and album name whereas the art is the main focus on others

2000s Digipacks
Summary of 2000s
• Similarly to the 1990s, pictures of the artists vary as to
whether they’re included on the digipack
• Colour Schemes and Designs more varied; more use of
visual effects
• Advancement in technology and familiarity with
programs means more expansive designs
• Placement of band name and album name also varied,
however, band name usually above album name
• Typography varies in size-for the most part band name
is bigger than album name
• No set layout to tracklistings; some vertical, some
horizontal and some diagonal

2010 Digipacks
Summary of 2010s
• Use of colour overwhelming
• Lots of use of symbols and pop art
• Band name bigger than Album name
• Advancement in technology and familiarity with
programs means more expansive designs
• Placement of band name at the top in a central
position; album name below band name and varied
• Pictures of the band or band members more common
• Track listings more traditional; vertically listed although
position varies

1980s Magazine Adverts
Summary of 1980s
• Band name in large letters, often at top of the
• Pictures of the artists common; Star Focus
• Colour Schemes vary; Black and White, Pale or
very colourful
• Locations vary

1990s Magazine Adverts
Summary of 1990s
• Greater use of colour, still the use of black and
white occasionally
• Artist on the advert; Star Focus
• Artist name generally larger than that of the
• Names in a central position, however not all at
the top- some in middle of the page
• No set location
2000s Magazine Advert
Summary of 2000s
• Use of reviews common in order to persuade
consumer to purchase
• Band name large font and at the top of the ad
• Album or single name below the name of the band
• Occasional use of band members on the ad
• Date available at the bottom and logo of where the
album can be purchased.
• Use of popular songs off of album in order to resonate
with audience
• Varied use of colours and colour schemes

2010s Magazine Adverts
Summary of 2010s
• Colour schemes varied
• Band name smaller than album name
• Album name below band name, band name at
the top
• Display when the album is available and from
where e.g. Amazon, Play
• Contain well known singles from the album
• Varies whether band is on the ad or not