For nearly 50 years, rock music has evolved into a gigantic epidemic and has touched the lives of millions of people. It has constantly reformulated and changed itself. At a micro level, it is evident that rock music was exposed to different styles and influences that contributed to shaping it to what is it now today. A clear-cut definition of rock music isn’t easy to come up with but it can be summed up as hard-edged music morphed with electric guitars, bass and steady beats escorted by lyrics. It is usually distinguished by a simple beat and hook cycles that are quick, nimble and feed on each other. It had the power to gather every human being alive in a single place at the same time and unite them to a common thread. Rock music made people forget their worries and their background and took them on a serenading expedition.
Rock music emerged into the scene during the late 1940s. In the early stages, lyrics were characterized by eccentric drug-related or anti-establishment lines. The same trend is still followed by a handful of bands such as Green Day who express their political views through their songs. The message gets delivered to the audience and influences the minds of the public. Rock music can act as a form of rebellion, full of fiery politics and emotions which is much needed to progress into an era where all voices are heard. R&B gave birth to rock and roll and certain musicians picked up bits and pieces.
The 1960s saw the birth of a few musicians who were more admired than the biggest paparazzi targets. The world was struck by an unseen phenomenon of British bands invading with their fresh exotic songs. The rise of Beatles took place overnight and the term Beatlemania came into use. Young girls surrendered themselves to the likes of the frontmen of the Beatles and boys dreamt of growing long hair and ripping electric guitars. Studio wizard George Martin assisted the Beatles in creating music and pushed them to stretch the boundaries of rock music. Through unending tryouts and with their inventive minds, the Beatles registered musical trends and technical mastery that are still witnessed in today’s music. They were the first band to use feedback in recordings and experimented extensively on their albums. Each album produced by the Beatles can be distinguished from each other by charting their creative progression. The band influenced generations and changed the way music was made.
The Beatlemania was followed by the arrival of popular hippy bands like Pink Floyd, The Who, Rolling Stones, The Grateful Dead etc. The Rolling Stones gave a definition to the sound and attitude of rock and roll that continues to shine in today’s world. They were one of the most impressive talents to come together as a band. They took Chuck Berry’s riffs and changed the way he played it. The Rolling Stones played blues like no other artist ever did, and it was stupendous to hear them play live. The band was led by frontmen Keith Richards and Mick Jagger joined by a multi-instrumentalist Brian Jones who could play anything from the organ to saxophone. Initially, the band struggled with making ends meet. They did not have the fund to go on tours and be at places where their fans wanted them to be. As Mick Jagger puts it, it wasn’t the band that got paid in the end. Someone was making money and it wasn’t them. Even if they were successful, they got paid nothing. Mick Jagger received a high appraisal for his stage moves and his singing voice. Girls would scream at the top of their lungs whilst watching Jagger move. His voice was unexceptional and he kicked open the door for unique voices to be heard in the coming age.
Queen is another British rock band formed in London in 1970. This band helped pave the way for rock music in general. They influenced thousands of people to pursue a career in music, notably the band Muse and modern era musicians. Queen initially started off as a progressive rock band, drawing influence from major breakthrough bands such as The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones etc. They gradually steered their talent into creating radio-friendly tracks and produced dozens of commercial hits. Their frontman, Freddie Mercury was a revolutionary of rock and roll. He was grand, energetic and theatrical and never failed to mesmerize audiences across the globe. Unlike other musicians, Freddie was selling his voice. He had the ability to connect the last person standing at the back of their concerts. Freddie is most famous for his vocals; he could sing anything in style. Rolling Stones did not limit their creativity by producing simple and shallow material. Their songs had numerous key changes and ambiguous chords. Although none of them had learned any instruments, they could compose music with ease while barely able to read notes. Queen was an inspiration to millions and many rallied to express their views through music because of them.
U2 are an Irish rock band that was formed in the year 1976. They are one of the few bands to achieve constant success throughout their career, hit after hit. They are considered to be the biggest band in the world. Their music is easily recognizable through their frontman Bono’s voice and through their music they influenced the global political agenda while their music progressed. Their songs always challenged a social message and earned the respect of both fans and critics. Each passing album, they changed the direction in which the band was heading and produced something different and unique. Even after completing 30 years in the music field, the four members of the band still remain friends and they are ambitious as ever.
In front of a rapidly changing era where every song sounds the same, rock music is still powering through the stirring, raucous music scene. A few artists are still true to their music and continue striving to produce excellent music like they always did, convincing the unwilling and the alienated that they are not alone. Rock music is an escape from the hustle-bustle and every stressed-out, frazzled teen or working class enslaved into the system requires a dose of it.