“The great thing about rock and roll is that someone like me can be a star.” – Elton John
I’m not just talking about the wonder of music – too broad a topic. No, today I want to get into one of my personal favorite forms of music – rock and roll!
I am a huge fan of the rock music across all of the decades. It began in the 1950’s (Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, The Everly Brothers, et al.) There are the greats of the 60’s (The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, etc). Despite disco, there were great acts of the 70’s (The Eagles, ZZ Top, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin and more). The 1980’s brought us classic rockers (Rush, Yes, Genesis, Queen) and hair bands (Bon Jovi, Guns n’ Roses, Skid Row, Poison and such.) In the 1990’s it was Grunge (Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Robert Westenberg.) And the beginning of the 21st Century has given us some great rock (Foo Fighters, Green Day, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Evanescence, and others).
Rock is often an ill-defined, multi-faceted genre of music (I have left out a LOT of class acts, I know). A lot of what is considered rock is also pop, folky, quirky, and everything in between.
To me (and this, fyi, is wholly my opinion) rock involves these specific elements: Guitar. Bass. Percussion. Tonality and musicality. Some of these songs make you bop your head, set your body in motion. They energize, they engage you; whether it’s a jamming, hard-rhythm tune or a power ballad. Rock literally rocks you, can change your energy and your vibration in pretty awesome ways.
“Rock and roll music, if you like it, if you feel it, you can’t help but move to it. That’s what happens to me. I can’t help it.” – Elvis Presley
Many tunes and artists classified as rock will cause you to scratch your head. Whether that would be Sonny and Cher in the 60’s or Bob Dylan in the 70’s or Elvis Costello in the 80’s or Liz Phair in the 90’s or Barenaked Ladies today – all fall under this broad classification. And all mostly match my own elemental specifications.
However you like your rock (soft, hard, pop, metal, whatever) there are over a half century of musical acts to choose from, and amazing tracks to learn and discover. The vast history of rock and roll even has its own museum dedicated to it in Cleveland, Ohio.
There are a lot of musical genres to choose from, many of which I am also very fond of (and which may get covered here at a later date). Jazz, classical, opera, showtunes, folk, new age…music is an emotional switch that is like no other, and rock and roll in particular can be used to attune every possible feeling.
There is a song in every age of rock and roll to suit every emotion. Some even cover wider ranges like Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven or Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, changing tone and temple from start to finish. Rock has even been mixed with other genres like Classical to bring an even richer, deeper sound (like The Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band or The Moody Blues’ Knights in White Satin or Michael Kamen’s orchestra and Aerosmith doing Dream On.) Rock and roll is a wonder covering an impressively wide range.
Music alone is a wonder, but every artist, every genre, arguably every instrument by itself could be a wonder of our wondrous world. But rock and roll in particular is immense, moving, multi-faceted and full of color and light and sound. Despite my own varied, eclectic musical tastes, it is most often rock to which I listen and give my soul.
“Rock and roll has probably given more than it’s taken.” – Charlie Watts.
Check out my blog, The Ramblings of a Titanium Don, for more of my work.