Saturday, 20 June 2015

Rock Music Through The Decades

Rock music is dead.

Or so it is claimed by purveyors of crap music, like Kanye West. It makes me laugh that there are so many people out there convinced that this fact is true. However, the truth is that despite being given vary little airplay, relatively speaking, rock music thrives and is arguably far more popular now than it has ever been.

In fact, rock music has been around for my entire lifetime and show no signs of disappearing.

So with this in mind, I want to follow up the post Pop Music Through The Decades  with a new post focussing on some of my favourite rock songs during my lifetime.

As you can imagine I have a huge number of songs to pick from so I will choose songs by artists you will have heard of, rather than some of the more obscure bands and artists.

I hope you like them – and remember – rock will never die!

1960’s – Led Zeppelin – Dazed and Confused

Many people consider Led Zeppelin to be the founders of heavy metal.

I disagree – I think that honour goes to Black Sabbath. However, for me, Led Zeppelin were the first major rock band and my favourite album is their eponymous first album, released way back in 1969.

The album is clearly a rock album but also blended with blues influences. The song Dazed and Confused is my favourite from the album and starts like a true blues song before accelerating into a magnificent rock opus.

Robert Plant has a magnificent voice and sings the song with such passion that you feel his pain.

1970’s – AC/DC – Let There Be Rock

The best band to come out of Australia are still going strong today, having survived the tragic loss of their lead singer, Bon Scott, when the band was supposedly at its peak in the late 1970’s.

The band recovered almost immediately with Brian Johnson taking over and have gone from strength to strength.

I love this band but my favourite song, Let There Be Rock, encapsulates everything I love about the band. It is Bon Scott’s greatest moment as a singer.

In fact, it is my ringtone - and certainly wakes people up in the office.

“Let there be light – sound – drums – guitar – LET THERE BE ROCK!!!

You can’t put it any more succinctly than that.

1980’s – Whitesnake – Crying in the Rain (1982 version).

You may know Whitesnake as a big hair metal rock band that took America by storm in the late 1980’s with lead singer David Coverdale becoming a massive heartthrob for a generation of American women who fell in love with his music.

However, before then, Whitesnake were reasonably big in the UK but their style of music was more blues oriented. Although I like their American influenced period, I much prefer the period when they made an impact in the UK from the late 1970’s to early 1980’s.

To me that’s when their music was at its peak.

This song is a blues masterpiece, so much so that David Coverdale rerecorded it with his new Americanised version of the band in 1987. Sadly, that version is a shadow of the original from 1982.

Whitesnake are another band that are still going strong, albeit in a slightly different style again. In fact I am going to see them again later this year. They are sharing the bill with Def Leppard which leads me nicely to …

 1990’s – Def Leppard  - Pearl of Euphoria

Def Leppard have survived double tragedy. First, their drummer, Rick Allen, lost his arm in a car crash, something that you may think would have marked the end of his career. Amazingly, he recovered and with the help of a special drum kit, he resumed playing with just one arm. Secondly, the guitarist, Steve Clark, tragically died at the age of only thirty.

You would have thought that such tragedies would have killed the band. It didn’t and they are still going strong.

The band were at their peak in the 1980’s but this particular song from the 1990’s is one of my all time favourites. Another slightly blues influenced song, this is Def Leppard at their very best.

2000’s – Metallica – The Day That Never Comes

Metallica are another band that have been around since the 1980’s and are still going strong today. Their style of music is very fast heavy metal and nothing is better than cranking up the volume when feeling down and losing yourself in a wall of sonic perfection.

This song starts off very peacefully and gradually builds up to a wonderful heavy metal anthem with an amazing guitar driven instrumental crescendo – just the kind of song I like.

2010’s – Deep Purple – Vincent Price

Deep Purple have been around since the 1960’s – almost all of my life in fact – and they are still releasing music. One of the founding fathers of rock and heavy metal, I have loved this band since the 1970’s and throughout the line-up changes they have thrived, despite a hiatus in the late 1970’s early 1980’s.

The line up is very different now but the lead vocalist, Ian Gillan, still has a superb voice, despite being in his late 60’s.

It seems apt that the last and most recent song is by a band that’s been around from the very start again proving that rock will never die.

And Finally...

I hope you liked the songs.

There are plenty more where those came from.


joeh said...

I don't think "real" music ever dies, it morphs into other styles, but the original remains and often gets rediscovered by younger generations.

River said...

I haven't heard of Whitesnake, but I know all the other bands, but from different songs than what you have here. Was it Deep Purple who did Smoke on the Water? I like that.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi River,

Not heard of Whitesnake? Really?

Yes - "Smoke on the Water" is a Deep Purple classic song.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Joeh,

I'm all for rediscovery. After all, at the moment I am rediscovering bands like the Rolling Stones - although I'm not that young.




Big D said...

There'#s still plenty of good Rock music out there. The mainstream media might not be too interested these days but who cares.

That Def Leppard track is a bit of a surprise, isn't it?

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Big D,

I like the album "Slang" that it comes from. It's slightly different from the other Def Leppard albums anyway.