The Progression of Rock Music Over the Years

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Rock music really began during the 1950s from a combination of rhythm and blues and gospel music. Rock music during this time included such notable and famous singers as Elvis Presley, Nat King Cole, Doris Day, and Fats Domino. In the later years of the 1950s, the music began to move into the pop charts and included doo wop and electric blues music.

Early Developments

By the 1960s, the music started to vary and diversify greatly. There was a division into different rock genre such as punk rock, psychedelic rock, folk rock and soul. During this time, we had the Beatles making an impact as well as the Supremes, the Rolling Stones, the Doors, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan. Television became a big factor in facilitating the popularity of rock music during the 1960s. This was also a time when outdoor festivals started which also increased the popularity of the rock music and musicians of the time.

The 1970s are a time when rock music really took off and there was a decreasing interest in psychedelic rock at that time. There was a change in the music and we see the emergence of heavy metal, heavy rock and what is called progressive rock music during this time. There is also a change in where rock bands play, with more bands playing at big sports arenas during the 1970s. During the 1970s there was an emergence of singers such as David Bowie and Bruce Springsteen. The band the Sex Pistols was also big during this time.

The Iconic 80’s

In the 1980s television became a major player and we see an entire channel designated for music, namely MTV. This meant that even more styles of music, musicians and bands were noticed by the public. Some notable bands of the 1980s included U2, and Dire Straits. Singers such as Whitney Houston, Prince, and Michael Jackson rose to prominence during this time, as did Madonna. During this time, we saw more female singers making a huge impact in the industry. This is also the time when we saw the emergence of hip hop music and rap. It also marked the start of charity benefit concerts such as “Live Aid”.

Modern Music

The 1990s are the time when we saw the start of the internet and arrival of digital music. Alternative rock including grunge emerged during the 1990s. These alternative bands include such notables as Smashing Pumpkins and REM, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Nirvana. These music bands became extremely popular during this time. Female musicians were still popular, including Britney Spears and Whitney Houston.

In the early 2000s, we saw the gangster rap and hip-hop music and singers such as Eminem become popular. There was also an increased interest in pop rock during this time and pop punk. By 2007 we saw the emergence of what was known as post-grunge music, played by such bands as the Foo Fighters. As computer technology has improved, there has been more creativity and computer assisted music being produced.