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Is it finally time to declare the Rock and Roll era over?

Discussion in 'Music' started by Flint, Dec 20, 2017.

  1. Flint

    Flint "Do you know who I am?" Superstar

    I have seen a trend in the music critic world and even among some musicians and producers that the era of Rock & Roll is essentially over. Some of the arguments being made are that Rock & Roll originally grew as an escape path for young who specifically wanted to relate to a mostly anti-establishment form of music (much like Jazz was in the 1950s, but got too complex for simple non-musician youth) which flipped the bird at parents, religion, education, business, and government. It was a rebel calling card, but safe enough as to not cost you a job or scholarship. And it spoke directly to disaffected youth who didn't feel anyone really understood them. It grew with the original audience and new youth audiences were created with new versions of the genre over a 40 year period until, well, it lost that status and the phenomena ended. New rock music generally calls back in feeble attempts to recreate the fire which started the genre, but it fails to ignite its fans with the same devotion and doesn't change lives forever. Instead, the majority of the paying fans for Rock & Roll have become the very sorts of people they rebelled against as youth and swore they would never become and insisted things would be different if they were in charge.

    Basically, Rock & Roll (in the common form we acknowledge) lasted from the early 60s (with early innovators starting the path in the 50s) until the mid-90s. By the 2000s it was a echo of the past and while some great music has been created, it is mostly enjoyed by older fans who reminisce about the music of their youth. The rebellion is over and Rock & Roll won. It is so engrained in every aspect of our culture that none of it shocks, none of it worries responsible authorities, and it's grit and power is limited to reminding us of what it did 30 to 60 years ago.

    In a similar vein to how we categorize "classical" music genres into periods such as Renaissance (200 years), Baroque (150 years), Classical (80 years), Romantic (80 years) and Twentieth Century (70 years), maybe it is time to start considering the Rock & Roll period (40 to 50 years) as past its prime and now it is nothing more than a common pop culture affectation. That doesn't mean more great music won't get made and that we won't love listening to our favorite music. It is suggesting we stop believing it represents the change it once created and for which it provided the soundtrack.

    As an example, here's an old guy ripping out a screaming guitar solo which is pretty good - is he the image of the future, the driver of change, the revolution of youth?
  2. Akula

    Akula Well-Known Member


    So what would be the counter-cultural music type of today? Rap? It certainly has the disaffected minority thing going for it and it's been used to provide social commentary as well as shock value. But I don't know that it's going to become as widespread and dominant as rock music did. Rock crossed over most social groups. Rap, not so much (and it's been going for decades, itself, so it's had the opportunity).
  3. Flint

    Flint "Do you know who I am?" Superstar

    I think music has lost its impact on society for the time being. It is so pervasive and everywhere. Some have argued that the resurgence of Classical among youth, especially as performers, is a sign that things are changing. I used to argue that youth was doing what is perceived as the opposite of the establishment. So, with the current establishment being generally rock lovers, liberal, trying to change the world and stick it to the man attitude, the next big wave might be something like a more classically educated, rules preferring, pro-social contract, individually responsible culture.

    The book A Clockwork Orange predicted that sort of thing over 50 years ago. It suggested violence and lack of respect would reach massive levels, sex and sexual innuendo would fill all aspects of respectable society, and the youth would rediscover Beethoven and Bach.
    MatthewB likes this.
  4. rammisframmis

    rammisframmis Well-Known Member

    The increasing irrelevance of rock music has been something I've thought about since at least the start of the 2000s. Indeed, what I've increasingly thought about is that the basic instrumentation of "rock music", i.e. drums, electric bass guitar, lead guitar, rhythm guitar and vocals is getting way past its sell-by date. The use of synthesizers, samplers and the like are I think, sort of a dead end. While the sonic palate of synths/samplers is vast, at least in theory, the actual real world usage wears itself thin quickly. Let's face it, there's only so much that can be done with the usual rock band complement of instruments/vocals or synths and all the best stuff has probably been done already, multiple times over.

    What would take the place of all this, hell, I have no idea!

    Classical music went through a very interesting period in the 1950s through the early 1970s generally known as avant garde. This consisted of everything from purely electronic music using the primitive synthesizers of the time, through musique concrete which roughly accomplishes by tape manipulation and electronic filtering what samplers do today, through innovative use of traditional instruments and the orchestra typical of Gyorgy Ligeti, whose music was very effectively used in the film 2001; a space odyssey. But boy, was that ever a musical dead-end.

    Today, classical music is in a sort of no-man's land where composers regurgitate some of the old, some of the new, but in general make very uninteresting music. Where this ends, hell, I have no idea!

    Similarly, Jazz has kind of painted itself into a corner, along with Blues and other music in this vein.

    The ubiquitous nature of always-available music everywhere is doing nothing to increase the value music overall. Its becoming somewhat like the paint on the walls, part of the atmosphere for the masses.
  5. Randy

    Randy Well-Known Member Famous

    I don't know what it means, but I do know one thing, that guy FRICKIN RAWKS!!!!!!
  6. Flint

    Flint "Do you know who I am?" Superstar

    I feel the only truly effective "new" music is EDM, and its value is associated with an event, not as something you carry around with you. I hate it, but the clubs and festivals bringing in DJs who are good at feeding the right emotions to the Molly primed fans have mastered the EDM style to truly remove those folk from reality and give them bliss they remember for years and desire to repeat. In many ways, EDM itself is a drug.

    But, that said, much of Rock's and some of Jazz's greatest accomplishments were tied to drugs and escapism as well.
  7. rammisframmis

    rammisframmis Well-Known Member

    And of course, sex.
  8. Flint

    Flint "Do you know who I am?" Superstar

    That's true, but I am not certain Rock drove the sexual revolution and the resulting promiscuity or the other way around. I do think Rock helped drive the use of drugs in rebelling youth in the 70s and some of the 80s.
  9. hawk52

    hawk52 Well-Known Member

    I'll attest to that regarding the cycledelic era. Actually it was mid to late 60s is when it started. When the Beatles, Stones, Hendrix Starship and so many more came on scene. Woodstock was the kickstarter. I know I lived it. Not at Woodstock but the era. Will never regret what I did but we sure pushed the limit.
  10. Flint

    Flint "Do you know who I am?" Superstar

    Most rock historians put the beginning of the Rock Era around the time The Beatles released Rubber Soul in 1966. At that time there were a number of albums being released with had the vibe and characteristics which generally define what we consider "rock & roll" through the 1990s.
  11. hawk52

    hawk52 Well-Known Member

    I was 14 in 66. I agree it started about then. What I can say it accelerated and the influx of music in tandem with the anti war motion along with the the drug culture. If you didn't live with all do respect you can't imagine what it is was like. I can tell you about experiences I had that would raise hair on your back. I don't regret one moment. But think about it happening now it just couldn't.
    mzpro5 likes this.
  12. Flint

    Flint "Do you know who I am?" Superstar

  13. Flint

    Flint "Do you know who I am?" Superstar

    What is the current youth revolution? I don't see one....

    I think we are due a new movement.
  14. Akula

    Akula Well-Known Member

    I thought the current youth movement is more centered around economics and political correctness- think Bernie Sanders-brand socialism and Antifa. Thing is, while a bunch may have sympathies with the former, they aren't really THAT interested in the latter.

    What amuses me is how I see 20somethings complaining about Baby Boomers as a generation. Thing is, they're exactly the same- grew up in a time of increasing standards of living, dealing with some challenges as they come of age, are every bit as politically leftist/idealistic. Within another 10 years we'll be seeing a resurgence of something akin to the Yuppies.
  15. mcad64

    mcad64 Well-Known Member

  16. Flint

    Flint "Do you know who I am?" Superstar

    I see more apathy than anything else in the majority of today's youth - and that's not an insult. I get the impression that they don't believe there is much they can really do to make any sort of difference since their parents and grandparents have been killing themselves to make a difference, yet everything seems as bad or worse than it ever was. I say this after many conversations with my children, their friends, people in their circles, and children of co-workers and other friends. I am intentionally being general here. It isn't that kids don't care, they just don't feel anything can really be done.
  17. TitaniumTroy

    TitaniumTroy Well-Known Member

    Rock is Not Dead, it just smells Funny. Oh wait that is Jazz, or blues etc...

    So Flint are you saying as music seems to be running out of ideas for life changing sound. As is politics running out of ideas on how to fix todays problems, or how to chart a course for the future? I can agree with that.

    This has been said before but I like it. The Democrats are the party of no ideas, and the republicans are the party of bad ideas.

    BTW I am kind of a lefty Democrat, but not to the extreme.
  18. MatthewB

    MatthewB Grandmaster Pimp Daddy Famous

    I could give two shits what the youth of today listen to as their music is pure crap and I've heard cats screwing with better harmony. Rap music or as I call it Crap music is just horrible stolen beats from actual musicians and screaming bout bitches and hoe's and killing your enemy is not my idea of good music. I haven't listened to any artist after the 90's but after Jeff gave me his entire music collection at the last gtg I am really getting into older music and artists I would never consider and am falling in love with new older artists from the 40's thru 60's

    I'm currently listening to Shirley Bassey's greatest hits as a write this. Thanks Jeff
  19. rammisframmis

    rammisframmis Well-Known Member

    Mantovani perhaps? :toast::toast:
    MatthewB likes this.
  20. Flint

    Flint "Do you know who I am?" Superstar

    Everything in your post makes my argument that rock is dead. Thanks for the support.
    MatthewB likes this.

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