What is this thing called rock and roll?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from devildavid. Show devildavid's posts

    What is this thing called rock and roll?

    When I Googled rock and roll this definition came up:

    a type of popular dance music originating in the 1950s, characterized by a heavy beat and simple melodies. Rock and roll was an amalgam of black rhythm and blues and white country music, usually based on a twelve-bar structure and an instrumentation of guitar, bass, and drums.

    Every fan of rock and roll seems to have some built in definition in their minds about what music is or isn't rock.  Some especially like to point out that certain music is not rock. Me, I think that trying to define it is somewhat against the spirit of rock music itself. Rock music should knock down barriers, not create new ones. It shouldn't be an exclusive club where only certain performers qualify as members. Me, I hate definitions that limit us from seeing music as music within a broad spectrum broken down only by vaguely defined terms. If anything, rock music is the mongrel of popular music. It is not a pure breed, with easy to follow bloodlines. Some rock music is loud and raucous, but it can also be melodic and sweet.

    For me, if there is a guiding spirit of rock music, it is that of freedom and fun. It is pop music. It can be heavy or light, serious or frivolous. It is as disposable as it is important.

    Nobody can pin down rock music. It defies definition.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEZnGTRByh0

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIvhvWDI_ts

     

     

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: What is this thing called rock and roll?

    For me I guess Chuck Berry defines the origin of rock and roll, at least as the clearest template for what would become rock music.  It was fast, electric dance music with killer hooks that could whip people into a happy frenzy.  Go Johnny Go.   

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from devildavid. Show devildavid's posts

    Re: What is this thing called rock and roll?

    In response to Hfxsoxnut's comment:

    For me I guess Chuck Berry defines the origin of rock and roll, at least as the clearest template for what would become rock music.  It was fast, electric dance music with killer hooks that could whip people into a happy frenzy.  Go Johnny Go.   



    I think Chuck Berry is very important to rock and roll, but he is only one piece of a very large puzzle. Performers like Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Little Richard, Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Eddie Cochran, just to name some that pop into my head, all made important contributions to the origins of the music. Even doo-wop was considered a part of rock and roll music.

    Here are a few Chuck Berry recordings that may not fit into what we think of as rock and roll music.

    Memphis Tennessee:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kb-oIEkD1mU

    Havana Moon:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rd_51B4ZDn0

    Too Pooped To Pop:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KReZFllQbo

     

     

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from royf19. Show royf19's posts

    Re: What is this thing called rock and roll?

    Rock and Roll is like art and pornography. At some basic level, we can all agree on what each are. But as you stray away from the core, we all start having various points where we diverge on opinions. And it often becomes hard to completely define but we know it when we hear (see) it.

     

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from devildavid. Show devildavid's posts

    Re: What is this thing called rock and roll?

    In response to royf19's comment:

    Rock and Roll is like art and pornography. At some basic level, we can all agree on what each are. But as you stray away from the core, we all start having various points where we diverge on opinions. And it often becomes hard to completely define but we know it when we hear (see) it.

     



    This same thought came to me but then I think it is too vague. Even the idea of what is pornography has changed over time. To me, the toughtest thing to agree on is what is not rock music. I don't think there is any basic agreement on that. And that is much of the problem of definining most anything.

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from royf19. Show royf19's posts

    Re: What is this thing called rock and roll?

    In response to devildavid's comment:

    In response to royf19's comment:

    [QUOTE]

     

    Rock and Roll is like art and pornography. At some basic level, we can all agree on what each are. But as you stray away from the core, we all start having various points where we diverge on opinions. And it often becomes hard to completely define but we know it when we hear (see) it.

     

     



    This same thought came to me but then I think it is too vague. Even the idea of what is pornography has changed over time. To me, the toughtest thing to agree on is what is not rock music. I don't think there is any basic agreement on that. And that is much of the problem of definining most anything.

     

    [/QUOTE]

    Good point.

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from MattyScornD. Show MattyScornD's posts

    Re: What is this thing called rock and roll?

    In response to devildavid's comment:

    In response to Hfxsoxnut's comment:

    [QUOTE]

     

    For me I guess Chuck Berry defines the origin of rock and roll, at least as the clearest template for what would become rock music.  It was fast, electric dance music with killer hooks that could whip people into a happy frenzy.  Go Johnny Go.   

     



    I think Chuck Berry is very important to rock and roll, but he is only one piece of a very large puzzle. Performers like Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Little Richard, Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Eddie Cochran, just to name some that pop into my head, all made important contributions to the origins of the music. Even doo-wop was considered a part of rock and roll music.

     

    Here are a few Chuck Berry recordings that may not fit into what we think of as rock and roll music.

    Memphis Tennessee:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kb-oIEkD1mU

    Havana Moon:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rd_51B4ZDn0

    Too Pooped To Pop:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KReZFllQbo

     

     

    [/QUOTE]

    I would agree with all of that...

    ...and maybe add that "rock n' roll" as a term should necessarily be confined to the early days and styles of those artists you mentioned...

    ...and that "rock" music is the homogenized term, even as the best examples of "rock" invariably use some component of those early days...

    ...be they Chuck's riffs, Carl's leads, Buddy's songcraft, Jerry Lee's passion, Elvis's backbeat/voice, Richard's howl, The Everlys' harmonies, etc.

     

    P.S. I always thought there should be separate "rock" and "roll" categories for popular music, but what do I know....  

     

     

     

     

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from MattyScornD. Show MattyScornD's posts

    Re: What is this thing called rock and roll?

    In response to devildavid's comment:

    In response to royf19's comment:

    [QUOTE]

     

    Rock and Roll is like art and pornography. At some basic level, we can all agree on what each are. But as you stray away from the core, we all start having various points where we diverge on opinions. And it often becomes hard to completely define but we know it when we hear (see) it.

     

     



    This same thought came to me but then I think it is too vague. Even the idea of what is pornography has changed over time. To me, the toughtest thing to agree on is what is not rock music. I don't think there is any basic agreement on that. And that is much of the problem of definining most anything.

     

    [/QUOTE]

    I also agree that the lines blur often, but distinguishing between "rock" and "pop" - especially from song-to-song - is a fair enough evasion, IMO.

    Honestly, for me it's kind of visceral: how I can like all kinds of country-tinged rock, but not "pure" country music...and often a case-by-case choice.

     

     

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from devildavid. Show devildavid's posts

    Re: What is this thing called rock and roll?

    In response to MattyScornD's comment:



    I also agree that the lines blur often, but distinguishing between "rock" and "pop" - especially from song-to-song - is a fair enough evasion, IMO.

     

    Honestly, for me it's kind of visceral: how I can like all kinds of country-tinged rock, but not "pure" country music...and often a case-by-case choice.

     

     



    Some fans of country music would call today's country music merely country tinged. I am not a purist when it comes to these definitions. For me, calling something pop music is not meant as a value judgement. If anything, I consider it a positive descriptive term. Each genre of music may have certain general attributes that help define it. Could be time signatures, vocal style, dominant instrumentation. As each genre matures and becomes more widespread and popular it is inevitable the sound of the music will change. Is Hank Williams Sr. really "pure" country or is he in some ways a popularizer of a more primitive backwoods music? To me, his music is pop. My view is that he did not 'invent" country music, but brought it to a wider audience. By the same token, Howlin' Wolf brought the more primitive music of Charlie Patton, electrified it, modernized it, and popularized it. When compared to the recordings of Charley Patton, some of Howlin' Wolf's songs might be considered slick pop. And the same thing has happened in rock and roll. I guess I'm a relativist when it comes to music.

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from MattyScornD. Show MattyScornD's posts

    Re: What is this thing called rock and roll?

    In response to devildavid's comment:

    In response to MattyScornD's comment:

    [QUOTE]

     



    I also agree that the lines blur often, but distinguishing between "rock" and "pop" - especially from song-to-song - is a fair enough evasion, IMO.

     

    Honestly, for me it's kind of visceral: how I can like all kinds of country-tinged rock, but not "pure" country music...and often a case-by-case choice.

     

     

     



    Some fans of country music would call today's country music merely country tinged. I am not a purist when it comes to these definitions. For me, calling something pop music is not meant as a value judgement. If anything, I consider it a positive descriptive term. Each genre of music may have certain general attributes that help define it. Could be time signatures, vocal style, dominant instrumentation. As each genre matures and becomes more widespread and popular it is inevitable the sound of the music will change. Is Hank Williams Sr. really "pure" country or is he in some ways a popularizer of a more primitive backwoods music? To me, his music is pop. My view is that he did not 'invent" country music, but brought it to a wider audience. By the same token, Howlin' Wolf brought the more primitive music of Charlie Patton, electrified it, modernized it, and popularized it. When compared to the recordings of Charley Patton, some of Howlin' Wolf's songs might be considered slick pop. And the same thing has happened in rock and roll. I guess I'm a relativist when it comes to music. 

    [/QUOTE]

    I can see your points.  I never meant 'pop' as a pejorative, either.  There's plenty of great pop music, but not all of it genuinely rocks.  I dig the Beach Boys' "Pet Sounds", but to me it's a pop album, not a rock album.

    I also concur that HW Sr. didn't invent country, just like Bird or Miles didn't invent jazz.  They opened it wide, so more could see inside.  All were serious musicians, however, with notable contributions to their respective forms.

    Honestly, I wouldn't mind hearing a true country music fan for their perspective of that genre.

    But was Howlin' Wolf ever really that popular on the charts?  At least until the British Invasion and other early rockers reminded us all of what we were missing?

    (I think of it as like hippies trying to change the literature inherent in The Lord Of The Rings.  They didn't change the book; they only appropriated it to their time and sentiment.)

     

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from ZILLAGOD. Show ZILLAGOD's posts

    Re: What is this thing called rock and roll?


    Rock and Roll is music.

    Not all music is Rock and Roll.

    We had these comparisons way back in school....a beagle is a dog, but not all dogs are beagles, policemen are people, but not all people are policemen,you remember these right?

    Rock music is popular music, but NOT all popular music is rock. Cher, the Captain and Tenille, the Village People . these are examples of artists that might have been categorized as Rock, by some people ( ignorant people, I might add...but probably shouldn't).

    Rock music was originally a dance music for teenagers. It morphed into a rebellious street music that commented on everything from Aardvarks to Zebras. It absorbed influence from every type of music that came before it ( and some that came after ....Rush uses a Rap passage in their song 'Roll The Bones'). Rock has more sub-genres than any other style, because , as one of our other astute posters points out , it is a ba$tard son of everything that came before, it borrows heavily from Blues, uses African rhythms, borrrows from Jazz, Swing, Country, Folk and finally Classical.

    It is the music of the masses. It has very few rules. It is vague and mysterious. It is exciting , it can be loud or soft.

    It is everything....but everything is not Rock...does this make any sense?

    Pure Rock and Roll ,that is the most basic style of Rock and Roll would probably resemble Rockabilly more than any other style.

    "Advertising is legalized lying."- H.G.Wells

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from devildavid. Show devildavid's posts

    Re: What is this thing called rock and roll?

    In response to MattyScornD's comment:


    I can see your points.  I never meant 'pop' as a pejorative, either.  There's plenty of great pop music, but not all of it genuinely rocks.  I dig the Beach Boys' "Pet Sounds", but to me it's a pop album, not a rock album.

     

    I also concur that HW Sr. didn't invent country, just like Bird or Miles didn't invent jazz.  They opened it wide, so more could see inside.  All were serious musicians, however, with notable contributions to their respective forms.

    Honestly, I wouldn't mind hearing a true country music fan for their perspective of that genre.

    But was Howlin' Wolf ever really that popular on the charts?  At least until the British Invasion and other early rockers reminded us all of what we were missing?

    (I think of it as like hippies trying to change the literature inherent in The Lord Of The Rings.  They didn't change the book; they only appropriated it to their time and sentiment.)

     



    I may not be a true country fan but I do love a couple of country performers: Hank Williams, Sr. and George Jones. What I love about their music is its emotional power and directness, which are traits I tend to love in a lot of other genres of music. Much like the blues, good country music somehow makes you feel better by hearing about the singer's troubles.

    As to Howlin' Wolf, I just meant that his electrified blues eventually gained a broader audience than some of the blues that came before him. 

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: What is this thing called rock and roll?

    In response to ZILLAGOD's comment:

    It is everything....but everything is not Rock...does this make any sense?

    Pure Rock and Roll ,that is the most basic style of Rock and Roll would probably resemble Rockabilly more than any other style.

    "Advertising is legalized lying."- H.G.Wells



    I think I agree about rockabilly. I have heard Led Zep's Rock and Roll described as a rockabilly song. 

    For me one of the quintessential rock and roll performances is the Beatles' version of Chuck Berry's Rock and Roll Music.  When you listen to that song you picture kids dancing up a storm with their heads shaking madly.  You picture John Lennon shaking as he sings it.  It's a happy frenzy.  For me this is the purest picture of rock and roll. 

     

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