Different eras and generations have yielded an incredible array of different music genres that have captivated the imaginations of the people who listened to them. However, it is not too far-fetched to say that no genre has been more influential and popular as good ol’ Rock N’ Roll. It is likely that we have all been exposed to Rock culture in some shape or form, whether we had our first kiss listening to “Faithfully” by Journey, or had our first sprained ankle jumping nonchalantly to the tunes of Nirvana at the expense of grandma’s furniture.
Rock has manifested itself in many different forms throughout multiple eras, however. Let’s talk about how the world’s most iconic music genre has evolved throughout the decades!
The 1950s: The Dawn of a New Era
The 1950s saw a huge era change in music when new technologies such as the Transistor Radio and the Seeburg Select-o-Matic Jukebox graced our living rooms for the very first time. With this newfound interest in listening to tunes on a regular basis came a plethora of new artists donning a radically different way of playing music which was more percussion and guitar-heavy. New stars within this genre came along such as Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, and the king himself, Elvis Presley. One of the most popular songs in this genre that came out in the 1950s called “Rock Around the Clock” played a role in the coining of the term “Rock and Roll” to be used for the genre.
The 1960s-1980s: The British Invasion
There is no doubt that the 1960s is the decade that the genre of Rock N Roll, as well as the music industry as a whole, saw the biggest paradigm shift of their respective histories. This can be largely attributed to the rise in prominence of one of the most iconic bands the world has ever seen: the Beatles.
Coming from Liverpool, England, the Beatles introduced a style of songwriting the world had never seen before, and everybody fell in love with it instantly. They quickly became a household name throughout the world and it almost seemed like there was not a single soul on the planet that did not embrace their innovative and captivating tunes.
Of course, the Beatles did not go unchallenged. The Rolling Stones, another iconic band hailing from Great Britain, came out with timeless hits such as “Paint it Black” and “Beast of Burden”. The genre that was once unanimously dominated by their Scouse counterparts was now up for grabs. A lot of Rock fans from the United Kingdom and the United States felt that the Rolling Stones, overall, were better musicians and songwriters than the almighty Beatles, but Beatles die-hards absolutely did not budge. As they say, competition creates progress, and the rivalry between the Stones and the Beatles did exactly that. Music fans from around the world were treated to some of the greatest songs ever written, everybody was a winner!
2000s-Present: New Faces, Same Passion
With the rise in popularity of other genres of music, Rock has been seeing a lot of stiff competition in recent years. There are still a lot of wildly popular Rock bands, however, with fresh faces such as the Arctic Monkeys taking the lead. Despite the genre cooling down, it is easy to say that Rock is going nowhere at the end of the day. This is because Rock is more than just a genre, it is a lifestyle and a belief system. The fact that there are still so many fans in the world embracing everything the genre stands for gives truth to the saying, “Rock and Roll will never die.”