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Rock music is a form of popular music with a prominent vocal melody, accompanied by guitar, drums, and bass. Many styles of rock music also use keyboard instruments such as organ, piano, mellotron, and synthesizers. Other instruments sometimes utilized in rock include saxophone, harmonica, violin, flute, French horn, banjo, melodica, and timpani. Also, less common stringed instruments such as mandolin and sitar are used. Rock music usually has a strong back beat, and often revolves around the guitar, either solid electric, hollow electric, or acoustic.

Rock music has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll and rockabilly, which evolved from blues, country music and other influences. According to the All Music Guide, "In its purest form, Rock & Roll has three chords, a strong, insistent back beat, and a catchy melody. Early rock & roll drew from a variety of sources, primarily blues, R&B, and country, but also gospel, traditional pop, jazz, and folk. All of these influences combined in a simple, blues-based song structure that was fast, danceable, and catchy."[1]

In the late 1960s, rock music was blended with folk music to create folk rock, blues to create blues-rock and with jazz, to create jazz-rock fusion, and without a time signature to create psychedelic rock. In the 1970s, rock incorporated influences from soul, funk, and latin music. Also in the 1970s, rock developed a number of subgenres, such as soft rock, heavy metal, hard rock, progressive rock, and punk rock. Rock subgenres that emerged in the 1980s included synthpop, hardcore punk and alternative rock. In the 1990s, rock subgenres included grunge, Britpop, indie rock, and nu metal.

A group of musicians specializing in rock music is called a rock band or rock group. Many rock groups consist of a guitarist, lead singer, bass guitarist, and drummer, forming a quartet. Some groups omit one or more of these roles and/or utilize a lead singer who plays an instrument while singing, forming a trio or duo; others include additional musicians such as one or two rhythm guitarists and/or a keyboardist. More rarely, groups also utilize stringed instruments such as violins or cellos, and/or horns like saxophones, trumpets or trombones.

The mid-1950s-early 1960s Edit

Early British rock Edit

       Main article: British rock

In the United Kingdom the trad jazz movement brought visiting blues music artists to Britain, While BAC was developing the Concorde, Lonnie Donegan's 1955 hit "Rock Island Line" was a major influence, and helped to develop the trend of skiffle music groups throughout the country, including John Lennon's the Quarry Men. Britain developed a major rock and roll scene, without the race barriers which kept "race records" or rhythm and blues separate in the U.S.

Cliff Richard had the first British rock 'n' roll hit with "Move It", effectively ushering in the sound of British rock. At the start of the 1960s, his backing group The Shadows was one of a number of groups having success with surf music instrumentals. And while rock 'n' roll was fading into lightweight pop and schmaltzy ballads, at clubs and local dances British rock groups, heavily influenced by blues-rock pioneers like Alexis Korner, were starting to play with an intensity and drive seldom found in white American acts.

By the end of 1962, the British rock scene had started, with groups drawing on a wide range of American influences including soul music, rhythm and blues and surf music. Initially, they reinterpreted standard American tunes, playing for dancers doing the twist, for example. These groups eventually infused their original rock compositions with increasingly complex musical ideas.

In mid-1962 The Rolling Stones started as one of a number of groups increasingly showing blues influence, along with The Animals and The Yardbirds. In late 1964, The Kinks, The Who and The Pretty Things represented the new Mod style. Towards the end of the decade, British rock groups began to explore psychedelic musical styles that made reference to the drug subculture and hallucinogenic experiences.

1960s Garage rock Edit

       Main article: Garage rock

The British Invasion spawned a wave of imitators that played mainly to local audiences and made inexpensive recordings, a movement later called garage rock. Some music from this trend is included in the compilation album Nuggets. Some of the better known bands of this genre include The Sonics, Question Mark & the Mysterians, and The Standells.

1960s Surf music Edit

       Main article: Surf music

The rockabilly sound influenced a wild, mostly instrumental sound called surf music, though surf culture saw itself as a competing youth culture to rock and roll. This style, exemplified by Dick Dale and The Surfaris, featured faster tempos, innovative percussion, and reverb- and echo-drenched electric guitar sounds. In the UK, British groups included The Shadows. Other West Coast bands, such as The Beach Boys and Jan and Dean slowed the tempos down and added lush harmony vocals to create what became known as the "California Sound"...

Rock as a counterculture movement (1963-1974) Edit

       Main article: Counterculture

In the late 1950s the US beatnik counterculture was associated with the wider anti-war movement building against the threat of the atomic bomb, notably CND in Britain. Both were associated with the jazz scene and with the growing folk song movement.

Folk rock Edit

       Main articles: Bob Dylan and Folk rock

The folk scene was made up of folk music lovers who liked acoustic instruments, traditional songs, and blues music with a socially progressive message. The folk genre was pioneered by Woody Guthrie. Bob Dylan came to the fore in this movement, and his hits with Blowin' in the Wind and Masters of War brought "protest songs" to a wider public.

The Byrds, playing Bob Dylan's Mr. Tambourine Man, helped start the trend of folk rock, and helped stimulate the development of psychedelic rock. Dylan continued, with his "Like a Rolling Stone" becoming a US hit single. Neil Young's lyrical inventiveness and wailing electric guitar attack created a variation of folk rock. Other folk rock artists include Simon & Garfunkel, Joan Baez, The Mamas & the Papas, Joni Mitchell, Bobby Darin and The Band.

In Britain, Fairport Convention began applying rock techniques to traditional British folk songs, followed by groups such as Steeleye Span, Lindisfarne, Pentangle, and Trees. Alan Stivell in Brittany had the same approach.

Psychedelic rock Edit

       Main article: Psychedelic rock

Psychedelia began in the folk scene, with the Holy Modal Rounders introducing the term in 1964. With a background including folk and jug band music, with bands like the Grateful Dead and Big Brother & the Holding Company being two famous bands of the genre.

The Fillmore was a regular venue for groups like another former jug band, Country Joe and the Fish, and Jefferson Airplane. Elsewhere, The Byrds had a hit with Eight Miles High. The 13th Floor Elevators titled their album The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators. The music increasingly became associated with opposition to the Vietnam War.

In England, Pink Floyd had been developing psychedelic rock since 1965 in the underground culture scene. In 1966 the band Soft Machine was formed. Donovan had a folk music-influenced hit with Sunshine Superman, one of the early psychedelic pop records. In August 1966 The Beatles released their Revolver album, which featured psychedelia in "Tomorrow Never Knows" and in "Yellow Submarine", along with the memorable album cover. The Beach Boys responded in the U.S. with Pet Sounds. From a blues rock background, the British supergroup Cream debuted in December, and Jimi Hendrix became popular in Britain before returning to the US.

1967 was the year when the psychedelic scene truly took off. Many pioneering records came out including the first album from The Doors and Jefferson Airplane's highly successful Surrealistic Pillow. The Beatles' groundbreaking album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was released in June, and by the end of the year Pink Floyd's The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, Cream's Disraeli Gears and even The Rolling Stones's Their Satanic Majesties Request. As the Summer of Love reached its peak, the Monterey Pop Festival went underway headlining the top bands of the genre including Jefferson Airplane and also introducing Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix to the mainstream.

The culmination of rock and roll as a socially-unifying force was seen in the rock festivals of the late '60s, the most famous of which was Woodstock in 1969 which began as a three-day arts and music festival and turned into a "happening", as hundreds of thousands of youthful fans converged on the site.

Psychedelic rock enjoyed a modest revival in the mid-1980s as prominent bands like Echo and the Bunnymen and R.E.M. incorporated sounds lifted from earlier groups like The Doors and The Byrds into the burgeoning post-punk scene. Additionally, the collectively-titled Paisley Underground bands of Los Angeles epitomized the role played by Sixties psychedelia and folk-rock in American new wave.

Progressive rock Edit

       Main article: Progressive rock

Progressive rock bands went beyond the established rock music formulas by experimenting with different instruments, song types, and musical forms. The Who popularized the rock opera. Some bands such as The Animals, Pink Floyd, The Moody Blues, Procol Harum, and Deep Purple experimented with new instruments including wind sections, string sections, and full orchestras. Many of these bands moved well beyond the formulaic three-minute rock songs into longer, increasingly sophisticated songs and chord structures. With inspiration from these earlier artists, referred to as "proto-prog", it flowered into its own genre, initially based in the UK, after King Crimson's 1969 genre-defining debut album, In the Court of the Crimson King. Progressive rock bands borrowed musical ideas from classical, jazz, electronic, and experimental music. Progressive rock songs ranged from lush, beautiful songs to atonal, dissonant, and complex songs. Few achieved major mainstream success, but large cults followed many of the groups. Pink Floyd, Yes, Rush, Jethro Tull, Genesis, and a few less notable others were able to work in hit singles to their otherwise complex and untraditional albums to garner a larger audience.

       Main article: Krautrock

By the late-1960s, German audiences began listening to progressive rock bands from Britain and the United States. During this period, avant-garde musicians in Germany were playing electronic classical music. These German avant-garde musicians adapted their electronic instruments for a style of music that blended progressive rock and psychedelic rock sounds. By the early 1970s, German progressive rock (later called krautrock) bands were blending jazz (Can) and Asian music (Popol Vuh). The music by bands such as Kraftwerk influenced the development of techno and other related genres.

       Main article: Italian rock

In Italy progressive rock was also popular in the 1970s. Some Italian progressive rock bands were Premiata Forneria Marconi, Le Orme, Banco del Mutuo Soccorso and Area International Popular Group.

       Main article: Pakistani rock

Although Pakistan has a long history of rock music producing legendary bands such as Junoon and Strings it was only in the 90s that progressive rock made its mark on Pakistani rock scene. One of the bands is Mizraab from the city of Karachi who started of in 1996 with their first album An Abstract Point of View. Then Panchi in 1999. Failing to leave an impact with their first albums Mizraab launched their third album Mazi Haal Mustaqbil in 2004 which proved a great success. Pakistani progressive rock is slowly gaining popularity and more bands are making this kind of music.

       Main article: Indian rock

There are a few rock bands in India, like Silk Route or Euphoria. The music is mainly targeted at young adults and is gaining more acceptance in recent years.

In Turkey progressive rock began to grow with Barış Manço in the mid-1970s. His symphonic-progressive rock album 2023, released in 1975, is one of the most important albums in Turkey. He made a contribution to the other genres of rock music with his other albums and became a famous rock star in Turkey.

Soft rock Edit

       Main article: soft rock

Rock music had a short-lived "bubble gum pop" era, of soft rock, including groups such as The Partridge Family, The Cowsills, The Osmonds, and The Archies. Other bands or artists added more orchestration and created a popular genre known as soft rock. Performers included Barry Manilow, Neil Diamond, Olivia Newton-John, Elton John, Billy Joel, Gerry Rafferty and Eric Carmen, and groups such as Bread, The Carpenters, Electric Light Orchestra, Fleetwood Mac, England Dan & John Ford Coley, Chicago and Tina Turner.

The mid to late 70s Edit

Hard rock and heavy metal Edit

       Main article: Hard rock

A second wave of British and American rock bands became popular during the early 1970s the largest being Led Zeppelin. Bands such as Grand Funk Railroad, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Queen, Alice Cooper, Judas Priest, Status Quo, Aerosmith, Black Sabbath, The Who, and Uriah Heep played highly amplified, guitar-driven hard rock. Hard Rock fell into caricature and imitation in the late 1970s. Many practitioners released albums closer to progressive rock or disco. A few bands including Kiss, Black Sabbath, Queen, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith and Rush maintained large followings and there were occasional mainstream hits such as Blue Öyster Cult's "(Don't Fear) the Reaper". Music critics overwhelmingly disliked the genre. This began to change in 1978 following the release of Van Halen's self-titled debut album. The album helped to usher in an era of more commercialized rock and roll, based out of Los Angeles, California.

Arena rock Edit

       Main article: Arena rock

The Beatles,The Rolling Stones, Grand Funk Railroad and The Who began the practice of live performances for large audiences in stadiums and arenas. The growing popularity of metal and progressive rock led to more bands selling out large venues. Entertainment companies marketed a series of arena rock bands, such as Journey, Boston, Styx, REO Speedwagon, Heart, and Foreigner in the late 70s.

Bands carried on driving the development of technology for large scale concerts, notably The Who, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, Peter Frampton, Pink Floyd and Queen.

Punk rock Edit

       Main article: Punk rock

Punk rock started off as a reaction to the lush, producer-driven sounds of disco, and against the increasing commercialism of hard rock and arena rock. Early punk borrowed heavily from the garage band ethic: played by bands for which expert musicianship was not a requirement, punk was stripped-down, three-chord music that could be played easily. Many of these bands also intended to shock mainstream society. Ramones drummer Tommy Ramone stated, "In its initial form, a lot of [1960s] stuff was innovative and exciting. Unfortunately, what happens is that people who could not hold a candle to the likes of Hendrix started noodling away. Soon you had endless solos that went nowhere. By 1973, I knew that what was needed was some pure, stripped down, no bad rock 'n' roll".[2] While the Ramones were often regarded as the first punk band,[3][4] they had many contemporaries from the same era in the New York scene. Artists like Patti Smith, The Heartbreakers, and Television played the same fast paced, stripped-down, style of rock, and often played shows along with the Ramones at burgeoning club CBGB's. While sounding different from than many other punk bands to come the Velvet Underground was also hugely influential to the early punk movement.

In 1976 the Ramones, along with British punk band the Sex Pistols, went on a tour of the United Kingdom. The tour was widely credited for inspiring the first wave of English punk bands such as The Clash, The Damned, and The Buzzcocks. In England, the music became a more violent and political form of expression, represented with the Sex Pistols first two singles "Anarchy in the U.K." and "God Save the Queen". Despite an airplay ban on the BBC, the records rose to the top chart position in the UK. Many in the original punk rock scene claimed that the Sex Pistols and other such poppy punk bands of the time were plastic punk rock. This phenomenon was the origin of the phrase "Punks Not Dead." The Exploited wrote a song entitled 'Punks Not Dead' which immortalized the saying. They claimed that even with the advent of more popular and main stream punk that hardcore punk rock was still thriving. Other bands, like the Clash, were less nihilistic, more overtly political and idealistic.

As the Sex Pistols toured America, they spread their music to the West Coast. Before, punk was mostly an East Coast phenomenon in the US, with scenes in New York and Washington D.C.. In the late 70s California punk bands such as the Dead Kennedys, X, the Beastie Boys(originally forming part of the New York hardcore scene), the Germs and Black Flag, gained greater exposure.

New Wave Edit

       Main article: New Wave (music)

Punk rock attracted devotees from the art and collegiate world and soon bands sporting a more literate, arty approach, such as Talking Heads, and Devo began to infiltrate the punk scene; in some quarters the description New Wave began to be used to differentiate these less overtly punk bands.

If punk rock was a social and musical phenomenon, it garnered little in the way of record sales (small specialty labels such as Stiff Records had released much of the punk music to date) or American radio airplay, as the radio scene continued to be dominated by mainstream formats such as disco and album-oriented rock. Record executives, who had been mostly mystified by the punk movement, recognized the potential of the more accessible New Wave acts and began aggressively signing and marketing any band that could claim a remote connection to punk or New Wave. Many of these bands, such as The Cars and the Go-Go's were essentially pop bands dressed up in New Wave regalia; others, including the Police and the Pretenders managed to parlay the boost of the New Wave movement into long-lived and artistically lauded careers.

Between 1982 and 1985, influenced by Kraftwerk, David Bowie and Gary Numan, New Wave went in the direction of such New Romantics as Duran Duran, A Flock of Seagulls, Psychedelic Furs, Culture Club, Talk Talk and the Eurythmics, sometimes using the synthesizer to replace all other instruments. This period coincided with the rise of MTV and led to a great deal of exposure for this brand of synth-pop. Some rock bands reinvented themselves and profited too from MTV's airplay, for instance Golden Earring, who had a second round of success with "Twilight Zone", but in general the times of guitar-oriented rock were over. Although many "Greatest of New Wave" collections feature popular songs from this era, New Wave more properly refers to the earlier "skinny tie" rock bands such as the Knack or, more famously Blondie.

Post-punk Edit

       Main article: Post-punk

Alongside New Wave, post-punk developed as an outgrowth of punk rock. In a way was tied to punk rock. Sometimes thought of as interchangeable with New Wave, post-punk was typically more challenging, arty, and abrasive. The movement was effectively started by the debut of Public Image Ltd. in 1978, formed by former Sex Pistols singer John Lydon (formerly Johnny Rotten), and was soon joined by bands such as Joy Division, Siouxsie & the Banshees, The Fall, Gang of Four, and Echo & the Bunnymen. Predominantly a British phenomenon, the genre continued into the 1980s with some commercial exposure domestically and overseas, but the most successful band to emerge from post-punk was Ireland's U2, which by the late 1980s had become one of the biggest bands in the world.

Rock diversifies in the 1980s Edit

In the 1980s, popular rock diversified. This period also saw the New Wave of British Heavy Metal with bands such as Iron Maiden and Def Leppard gaining popularity. The early part of the decade saw Eddie Van Halen achieve musical innovations in rock guitar, while vocalists David Lee Roth (of Van Halen) and Freddie Mercury (of Queen as he had been doing throughout the 1970s) raised the role of frontman to near performance art standards. Concurrently, pop-New Wave bands remained popular, with performers like Billy Idol and The Go-Go's gaining fame. American heartland rock gained a strong following, exemplified by Bruce Springsteen, Bob Seger, Donnie Iris, John (Cougar) Mellencamp and others. Led by the American folk singer-songwriter Paul Simon and the British former prog rock star Peter Gabriel, rock and roll fused with a variety of folk music styles from around the world; this fusion came to be known as "world music", and included fusions like aboriginal rock. Also, more extreme forms of rock music began to evolve; in the early eighties, the harsh and aggressive thrash metal attracted large underground audiences and a few bands, including Metallica and Megadeth, went on for mainstream success.

Glam metal Edit

       Main article: Glam metal

One genre that was widely popular in the 1980s (c.1983) was glam metal. Taking influence from various artists such as Aerosmith, Queen, Kiss, Alice Cooper, Sweet and the New York Dolls. The earliest glam metal bands to gain notability included: Mötley Crüe, W.A.S.P., Ratt and Quiet Riot. They became known for their debauched lifestyles, teased hair and use of make-up and clothing. Their songs were bombastic and often defiantly macho, with lyrics focused on sex, drinking, drugs, and the occult.

In 1987 a second wave of glam metal acts emerged including Bon Jovi, L.A. Guns and Faster Pussycat, The 69 Eyes.

Instrumental rock Edit

Template:Seealso Instrumental rock was also popularized during this period with Joe Satriani's release of Surfing with the Alien. Many guitarists, feeling constrained by the style of music performed by their respective bands, began releasing solo albums that showcased their guitar skills. Guitarists such as: Steve Vai, Paul Gilbert, Vinnie Moore, Tony MacAlpine, Eric Johnson, Yngwie Malmsteen, Buckethead and Steve Morse have all greatly contributed to the genre.

Alternative music and the indie movement Edit

       Main article: Alternative rock

The term alternative music (also often known as alternative rock) was coined in the early 1980s to describe bands which didn't fit into the mainstream genres of the time. Bands dubbed "alternative" could be most any style not typically heard on the radio; however, most alternative bands were unified by their collective debt to punk. Important bands of the '80s alternative movement included R.E.M., Sonic Youth, The Smiths, Pixies, Hüsker Dü, The Cure, and countless others. Artists largely were confined to indie record labels, building an extensive underground music scene based around college radio, fanzines, touring, and word-of-mouth. Although these groups never generated spectacular album sales, they exerted a considerable influence on the generation of musicians who came of age in the 80s and ended up breaking through to mainstream success in the 1990s. Notable styles of alternative rock during the 80s include jangle pop, gothic rock, college rock, and indie rock. The next decade would see the success of grunge in the US and Britpop in the UK, bringing alternative rock into the mainstream.

Alternative goes mainstream (Early-mid 1990s) Edit

Grunge Edit

       Main article: Grunge music

By the 1990s, rock was dominated by slick and commercial glam metal, hair metal and arena rock artists. MTV had arrived and promoted this excessive focus on image and style. Disaffected by this, in the mid-1980s, bands in Washington state (particularly in the Seattle area) formed a new style of rock music which sharply contrasted the mainstream rock of the time.

The developing genre came to be known as "grunge", a term meaning "dirt" or "filth". The term was perhaps seen as appropriate due to the dirty sound of the music and the unkempt appearance of most musicians. Grunge fused elements of hardcore punk and heavy metal into a single sound, and made heavy use of guitar distortion, fuzz and feedback. The lyrics were typically apathetic and angst-filled, and often concerned themes such as social alienation and entrapment, although it was also known for its dark humor and parodies of commercial rock.

Bands such as Green River, Soundgarden, the Pixies, the Melvins and Skin Yard pioneered the genre, with Mudhoney becoming the most successful by the end of the decade. However grunge remained largely a local phenomenon until 1991, when Nirvana's album Nevermind broke into the mainstream. Pearl Jam also contributed to this with their album Ten. Both bands were more melodic than their predecessors and were instant sensations worldwide, but they refused to buy in to corporate promotion and marketing mechanisms. During 1991 and 1992, other grunge bands such as Soundgarden, Alice in Chains and Candlebox gained a wider audience. Commercial rock and metal faded almost completely from the mainstream.

While grunge itself can be seen as somewhat limited in range, its influence was felt across many geographic and musical boundaries; many artists who were similarly disaffected with commercial rock music suddenly found record companies and audiences willing to listen, and dozens of disparate acts positioned themselves as alternatives to mainstream music; thus alternative rock emerged from the underground. This helped pave the way for bands such as the Smashing Pumpkins and Stone Temple Pilots who were initially stereotyped as grunge but later enjoyed commercial and critical success independent of the genre.

In early April 1994, grunge took a sudden shift in popularity with the death of Nirvana's frontman Kurt Cobain. Although grunge bands continued to release albums, the genre began to decline in popularity and, by the end of the decade, many grunge bands had split up, stopped touring, or had changed their musical direction.

Britpop Edit

       Main article: Britpop

While the American mainstream was focused on grunge, post-grunge, and hip hop, numerous British groups launched a 1960s revival in the mid-90s, often called Britpop, with bands such as Suede, Oasis, Supergrass, The Verve, Radiohead, Pulp and Blur among the front-runners. These bands drew on myriad styles from the 80s British rock underground, including twee pop, shoegazing and space rock as well as traditional British guitar influences like the Beatles and glam rock. For a time, the Oasis-Blur rivalry was similar to the Beatles-Rolling Stones rivalry, or the Nirvana-Pearl Jam rivalry in America. While bands like Blur tended to follow on from the Small Faces and The Kinks, Oasis mixed the attitude of the Rolling Stones with the melody of the Beatles. The Verve and Radiohead took inspiration from performers like Elvis Costello, Pink Floyd and R.E.M. with their progressive rock music, manifested in Radiohead's most heralded album, OK Computer. Many of these bands became very successful (although Britpop's popularity in America was short, with the exception of Oasis), and for a time Oasis was given the title "the biggest band in the world" thanks to an album selling some 19 million copies worldwide, but the movement slowed down after numerous band breakups, publicity disasters in the United States and slightly less popular support. The Verve disbanded after on-going turmoil in the band between singer Richard Ashcroft and guitarist Nick McCabe. Radiohead has since gone in a more experimental, less radio-friendly direction, beginning with their critically well-received album Kid A. As a consequence, they have been subject to reduced general popularity. Of the major Britpop bands, only Oasis, Supergrass and Radiohead are still active.

Indie rock Edit

       Main article: Indie rock

By the mid-90s, the term "alternative music" had lost much of its original meaning as rock radio and record buyers embraced increasingly slick, commercialized, and highly marketed forms of the genre. At the end of the decade, hip hop music had pushed much of alternative rock out of the mainstream, and most of what was left played pop-punk and highly polished versions of a grunge/rock mishmash.

Many acts that, by choice or fate, remained outside the commercial mainstream became part of the indie rock movement. Indie rock acts placed a premium on maintaining complete control of their music and careers, often releasing albums on their own independent record labels and relying on touring, word-of-mouth, and airplay on independent or college radio stations for promotion. Linked by an ethos more than a musical approach, the indie rock movement encompasses a wide range of styles, from hard-edged, grunge influenced bands like Superchunk to do-it-yourself experimental bands like Pavement to punk-folk singers such as Ani DiFranco.

Currently, many countries have an extensive local indie scene, flourishing with bands with much less popularity than commercial bands, just enough of it to survive inside the respective country, but virtually unknown outside them.

Success of hybrid genres Edit

Pop punk Edit

       Main article: Pop punk

One result of the 70s punk explosion was pop punk. Championed by bands such as the Buzzcocks and the Ramones, the genre was never as commercially successful as the name may have suggested, but its influence can be still be heard in many artists today; the fusion of pop melodies, rapid-fire playing of instruments, and the raw and visceral lyrics and sound of punk rock is apparent in everyone from Nirvana to Oasis.

Today, pop punk is used to describe modern rock bands with a heavy pop influence such as Green Day and The Offspring are common examples of the sub-genre, while Blink-182 and Sum 41 brought the sub-genre to new commercial heights in the late nineties to early 2000s.

Post-grunge Edit

       Main article: Post-grunge

In the wake of Cobain's death a new style of music called post-grunge evolved. Similar to the relationship between pop punk and punk rock, post-grunge differed from grunge in its more radio-friendly pop-oriented sound. After Australia's Silverchair achieved international success with their debut album Frogstomp record labels began to actively search for the "next Nirvana". Former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl's new band the Foo Fighters helped further popularize the genre, and other bands such as Bush, Seether, Creed, Collective Soul, Everclear and Live helped cement post-grunge as one of the most commercially viable sub-genres of the late nineties.

Female solo artist Alanis Morissette also found success while being labeled under the post-grunge tag. In 1995 her album Jagged Little Pill became a major hit by featuring blunt, revealing songs such as "You Oughta Know". Combining the confessional, female-centered lyrics of artists such as Tori Amos with a post-grunge, guitar-based sound created by producer Glen Ballard, it succeeded in moving the introspection that had become so common in grunge to the mainstream. The success of Jagged Little Pill influenced successful more pop-oriented female artists during the late 90s including Fiona Apple, Jewel and Liz Phair.

Nu metal and Rapcore/Rap rockEdit

       Main article: Rapcore
       Main article: Nu metal

In the early 90s, Faith No More broke into the mainstream with their success of the single 'Epic'. This paved ways for bands like Rage Against the Machine and later Limp Bizkit, Korn, System Of A Down and Slipknot. This brought a fresh sound by combining rap and rock with much success. Later in the decade this style, which contained a mix of grunge, metal, and hip-hop, became known as rap rock and spawned a wave of successful bands like Linkin Park and P.O.D.. Many of these bands also considered themselves a part of the similar genre nu metal.

Present day (2000-present) Edit

Internet influence Edit

In the early 2000s the entire music industry was shaken by claims of massive theft of music rights using file-sharing tools such as Napster, resulting in lawsuits against private file-sharers by the recording industry group the RIAA.

During much of the 2000s, rock has not featured as prominently in album sales in the US as in other countries such as the UK and Australia. By contrast to those countries, hip hop music has dominated the US single charts, with artists such as the Game, Snoop Dogg, Kanye West, Nelly, Eminem and Jay-Z. According to a recent study by Teenage Research Unlimited, hip hop is the most popular format of music among adults from ages 18-34 in the United States. R&B acts like Mariah Carey, Usher and Alicia Keys are very popular on the pop charts, although with the exception of Carey, none of these acts, rap or R&B, sell as many albums as rock did. Nearly all of the best selling albums of all time are still rock[citation needed].

The biggest factor that has affected the production and distribution of rock music is the rise of paid digital downloads in the 2000s. During the 90s, the importance of the buyable music single faded when Billboard allowed singles without buyable, album-separate versions to enter its Hot 100 chart (charting only with radio airplay). The vast majority of songs bought on paid download sites are singles bought from their albums; songs that are bought on a song-by-song basis off artist's albums are considered sales of singles, even though they have no official buyable single.

Garage rock revival Edit

       Main article: Garage rock revival

After existing in the musical underground, garage rock saw a resurgence of popularity with the garage rock revival. Bands like The White Stripes, The Strokes, The Vines, and The Hives all released successful singles and albums. This wave is also sometimes referred to as back-to-basics rock because of its raw sound.

Post-punk revival Edit

       Main article: Post-punk revival

Additionally, the retro trend has led to a Post-punk revival with bands like The Hives, The Libertines, The Killers, Bloc Party, Franz Ferdinand, Interpol, and Editors. Many of these bands are also sometimes included under the umbrella term of indie rock.

Emo Edit

In the early 2000s, pop punk began to regain popularity. Media institutions began to label this scene as emo despite the fact that emo was originally an underground offshoot of 80s hardcore rock, involving such bands as Sunny Day Real Estate. There is still a lot of debate over which bands truly are emo, and the term could be used to describe everything including Fugazi. As the name suggests, the lyrics in many emo songs are often about depression and troubled relationships. Recently dubbed emo bands include: My Chemical Romance,[5] Fall Out Boy,[6] Cute Is What We Aim For[7] The Used and Panic at the Disco.[8].

Metalcore Edit

Metalcore evolved in the early 90's but only came to prominence in the early 21st century with the video play of bands such as Killswitch Engage, Atreyu, and Avenged Sevenfold on TV music channels. Metalcore came about from combining hardcore punk and post-hardcore with metal. Influences from early emocore and screamo are also common.

Comedy Rock Edit

Comedy rock or 'mock rock' was probably started by comedy duo Jack Black and Kyle Gass as Tenacious D. They were quite successful, as their music was heavy metal but their lyrics were quite humourous. Flight of the Conchords are a New Zealand comedy duo who had many humourous songs as well.

Social impacts Edit

       Main article: Social impact of rock and roll

The influence of rock and roll is far-reaching, and has had significant impact worldwide on fashion and film styles. Its impact has been positive as well, with the trend of many rock stars facilitating charity events such as Live Aid. Saving the World is becoming a more and more common phrase associated with rock music today.

There are also spiritual aspects tied to rock music. Songwriters like Pete Townshend have explored these in their work. The common usage of the term rock god acknowledges the religious quality of the adulation some rock stars receive.

See alsoEdit


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