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Thread: Rock is dead

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    Banned! Hotlantadude1981's Avatar
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    Default Rock is dead

    This was in my local paper today. So what do you think?

    Rock-and-roll is dead: Let it be


    By Thane Tierney

    Here's an excellent way to celebrate rock-and-roll's 50th birthday: Pull the plug and give it the proper burial it deserves.

    Rock has been in a persistent vegetative state for more than a decade, and it shows no signs of coming back. Ever.

    Want evidence? Look at the top-15-grossing pop (very broadly defined) tours from last year. The top five were Prince, Celine Dion, Madonna, Metallica and Bette Midler, all of whom have been recording in excess of 20 years. Ditto all the rockers in the next 10 (Elton John, Rod Stewart, Van Halen, Jimmy Buffett, et al), with the exception of Dave Matthews, who has been around a mere dozen years. (Just for reference, a dozen years is the span of time between Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel" and the Beatles' "Hey Jude.")

    Look at the top-albums chart. Three rock records in the Top 20. Three. That's only three more than you have, and you don't make records.

    Cue the howls of protest.

    "If only your harebrained correspondent knew about (insert band name here), he'd play a different tune."

    "I just got the new album by (insert band name here), and it's the best thing since (insert classic rock-band name here)."

    "That moron doesn't know anything about real rock. Rock lives!"

    Uh huh. So does Elvis.

    As long as there's a Disneyland, there will be barbershop quartets. As long as there are cruise ships, there will be swing bands. As long as there are electric guitars, there will be rockers. So what?

    To its credit, rock lived a good long life. Like an old bluesman, though, it seems to have lost its birth certificate. Various reports have it born in 1951, when Jackie Brenston recorded "Rocket 88," or 1949, when Roy Brown cut "Good Rockin' Tonight." Its birth date is most commonly given as 1955, the year when Bill Haley & The Comets' "Rock Around the Clock" hit No. 1.

    In its adolescence, rock not only articulated the angst of a disaffected youth, it also shaped language, style, clothing and politics. It sought to raise consciousness, from Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth" to John Lennon's "Imagine." Even apolitical Elvis got into the spirit with "In the Ghetto." Rock abdicated its primacy in those roles to hip-hop and rap years ago, and rock's audience largely abandoned it; just ask any record company for the figures.

    Endless recycling, not only of riffs but of the music itself, sapped rock of its vitality. Time was, oldies were dragged out of retirement solely on holidays for the inevitable Top 100 Countdown of Your All-Time Favorites. No longer. Fleetwood Mac's "Rhiannon," Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama," and Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" have all been in continuous rotation on radio for more than 30 years, especially on networks such as Clear Channel and Infinity Broadcasting. Had this been the case in the '60s, we would have grown up listening to golden oldies by the likes of Fred Waring and His Pennsylvanians, the Ink Spots, and the Paul Whiteman Orchestra.

    Historically speaking, rock had a great run. Dixieland flourished for about 30 years; big-band swing lasted about half that long. As those styles ran out of gas, their most talented practitioners retired or led the charge to the next big sound. Rock stars, however, seem locked into the same old tired groove.

    When are these guys going to hang up their rock-and-roll shoes anyway? Eric Clapton is 60. Mick Jagger is 62. Paul McCartney is 63. Ringo Starr is 65. Chuck Berry is 79. Anybody who says any of them is just as good now as he or she was then either wasn't there, or has been huffing glue for the last 40 years.

    I can't blame rock fans for being stuck in the denial phase of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross' five stages of grief. But it's time to move on, before rock's carcass begins stinkin' up the joint.

    Sure, filling out rock's death certificate is problematic. It's as hard to attach a specific date to its demise as it was to affix one to its birth. Some would place it at disco's ascendancy in the late '70s; others would say punk's arrival spelled the death knell for substance, replacing it with fashion.

    Personally, I would point to 1992, when Eric Clapton's Unplugged album turned rock's most eloquent cri de coeur, "Layla," into a lounge-lizard anthem. It might not have been the actual agent of rock's death, but it was a potent indicator: The soul of rock's greatest living guitarist had been snatched by Bill Murray.

    So let's light the birthday candles one last time, drag out the family album(s) and tell each other the stories we've heard endlessly for the last half-century. Then blow the candles out ... and leave them out.

    Roll over Beethoven, and tell Bruce Springsteen the news.

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    Hot For Teacher MrBrownSound's Avatar
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    I'm not shooting the messenger here, no ill will to you man. But the day I believe or put any stock in what a fucking critic thinks, I'll slit my wrists. Rock Is Dead? I think not! Time to go blast Who's Next!
    Last edited by MrBrownSound; 08.07.05 at 08:57 PM.

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    "It's time to move on"?????

    And listen to what? Fucking Fiddy Cent? Sounds about as much fun as a toothache and a simultaneous case of the shits.

    And what the fuck kinda name is Thane? You actually are forced to say the name with a lisp, fer god's sake.
    Last edited by LLFHS; 08.07.05 at 09:00 PM.
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    Baluchitherium Texas Poundcake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LowLifeFlatHeadScum
    "It's time to move on"?????

    And listen to what? Fucking Fiddy Cent? Sounds about as much fun as a toothache and a simultaneous case of the shits.
    50... the guy who says "it's my burfday"? I heard a new one today by one of those kind of groups...... you know the bannanna fanna fo fanna rhyme thing? Well that is the song. LOL!

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    The produced and packaged music fed to us today will not allow rock to boom. 20-30 years ago a band could "fight" their way to popularity. Nowadays the big record companies and radio determine what we can and should listen to. It is a damn shame. Def Leppard a few years back had a decent album and made a video. The people requested it and VH1 refused to play it and radio stations wouldn't play the songs. It is criminal how companies like Clear Channel own the major markets and stations and extort labels in order to play their artists. Rock is only struggling because of the likes of such companies. You have to be a thug (50 cent)and have every song about "hos" in order to be successful.

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    The guy does make some good points, but I refuse to believe that rock is dead...yet. However, it certainly needs somebody to come along and give it a fresh new sound, not some retro act either. It needs to redefine itself to last another 20 years.
    "In our house, a song was considered shit if it didn't have a big guitar solo on it"- Slash

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    Rock died in April of 1981...it's been on fumes ever since...

    When MTV happened, the ethic became, "Let's do a sweet video." When the Stones, Zep, Springsteen, Prince, Metallica were busting out, they had YEARS of touring behind them...With MTV, you didn't need to kick ass live anymore...

    Remember the old, "Is it live or is it Memorex?" commercials? Well, Memorex won...
    Can't stop...addicted to the shindig...

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    Queens Of The Stone Age, Foo Fighters, Dave Mathews (sp?) and a bunch of other's are out there right this second doing and making quality rock music, it's not dead.

    When most of us were listening to the song's that we grew up with (im 32) all the older dudes were complaining that Rock was dead because none of these "new" bands could hold a candle to Zep, Sabbath, etc. Maybe it's just that were all to old to really get into something new, plus we have lot's of other thing's to blow our disposable income on, like whatever the wife want's! Music companies just don't sell product's geared towards the average 30 year old.

    It's always been this way, we complain about MTV not playing good music, I remember my friends dad complaining about the same thing in 1983, he wanted to hear some Who song's, and I remember thinking that he was a stupid old man that didn't know a good song when he heard one (I love The Who now).

    If 30 year old's spent half as much money on music as 18-23 year old's then I guarantee we would hear more stuff that we like, but we don't. I remember going to the Van Halen concert, ever single person that was sitting around me didn't even know there was a new Van Halen best of album out (that contained 3 new Van Halen song's)! The exact same thing happend in 2002 when I went to see Rush, nobody had the new Rush album, but they sure as hell were at the show. We should blame ourselves honestly, if people in our age group bought more and complained less then there wouldn't be this mess to begin with.

    Having said all that, I do believe the music industry is shit (it always has been), they take adavantage of the talent and rip off any and anyone they can, just to make a few extra bucks.

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    Eruption
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    I gotta agree, rock is dead. No more do you have to start at the bottom and gig and gig and gig and tour continously to get a name for yourself. Just make a flashy video and mtv will play you. Instead of finding out if some of these bands can even hack it live they're huge stars because of MTV, but then they'll get out there and tour and you see how much studio magic has been used. Where are the hard working bands? Where are the bands that toured and toured and toured? Where are the bands that worked the LA strip night after night week after week? Where are the bands that gave their blood, sweat and tears night after night to an audience so that it might generate enough buzz for a record exec to come down and check them out so that they might get some airplay? MTV has in my honest opinion killed legitimate music and it only gets worst when things like American Idol come in into play. Lets face it, not only is rock dead, but music in general.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thane Tierney
    ...Rock abdicated its primacy in those roles to hip-hop and rap years ago, and rock's audience largely abandoned it; just ask any record company for the figures.

    Endless recycling, not only of riffs but of the music itself, sapped rock of its vitality...
    And yet rap, which recycles all kinds of music via sampling, is fresh as a daisy...

    Quote Originally Posted by Thane Tierney
    ...Time was, oldies were dragged out of retirement solely on holidays for the inevitable Top 100 Countdown of Your All-Time Favorites. No longer. Fleetwood Mac's "Rhiannon," Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama," and Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" have all been in continuous rotation on radio for more than 30 years...
    And no one listens to Beethoven's "Fifth" anymore, either...

    Quote Originally Posted by Thane Tierney
    ...Personally, I would point to 1992, when Eric Clapton's Unplugged album turned rock's most eloquent cri de coeur, "Layla," into a lounge-lizard anthem. It might not have been the actual agent of rock's death, but it was a potent indicator: The soul of rock's greatest living guitarist had been snatched by Bill Murray...
    OK, now that I can agree with. But I do think there can still be life in the genre.

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    Yep. Clapton should be shot for what he did to his own song. Almost Rock'n'roll blasphemy. Popular music is dead. And the coprorations did it for us. Go to your local bar and watch a few teens making a fresh sound. Fuck MTV.

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    Baluchitherium Leo Van Newhouse's Avatar
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    Blah.
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    Rock is not dead. If someone can't dig deeper than what's broadcasted on radio/TV then it's that person's problem. 90% of my favourite rock/metal bands come from post 2000, or at least from the late 90-ies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mishar McLeud
    Rock is not dead. If someone can't dig deeper than what's broadcasted on radio/TV then it's that person's problem. 90% of my favourite rock/metal bands come from post 2000, or at least from the late 90-ies.
    Exactly, what was it about the 80's that seems so amazing to people? I grew up in it and I don't have any feeling's as such.

    MTV catered to us back in the day, now they cater to people that are the same age as we where back then, that's how it works. If MTV and radio just played what most of our age group like's to hear then they wouldn't exist, they have to change with the times.

    I have to listen to Top 40 every time im in the car with my Girlfriend, I don't think it suck's nearly as bad as the old Top 40 from the 80's. I truly hated bands like Winger, Slaughter, Bon Jovi, or any of the other "Rock" bands of the day, except Van Halen obviously. The pure pop act's suck just as much as they have since the 60's, I don't see a difference honestly.

    Go buy the new Foo Fighters album, or Audioslave, or any of a number of other's, they don't suck as much as a lot of you guys think.

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    Romeo Delight Paco's Avatar
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    Default Not true.

    I've owned a studio for ten years now and have lately seen and heard more interest in rock than ever before. I get dozens of young clients every week that love rock and only want to play rock. And I'm not talking grunge or numetal here, I'm talking AC/DC, VH, GnR, Metallica, Zep etc. Guitar, Bass and Drum sales are way up (which you'd have to figure there's a pretty good chance they won't be used to play rap). Rock concert ticket sales outnumber rap concert ticket sales 5 to 1. And I'll bet you won't be able to find any info on the fact that rap sales have been on the decline for 3 years. Clapton is, as usual, the scapegoat. Artists have the right to do whatever the hell they want to do. It is impossible to prove Calpton caused anything whatsoever. Don't forget, people were pissed at Zep for the acoustic tracks on Zep 3. Critics said it proved that rock was dying. Then came Zep 4 and once again the critcs were proved wrong.

    Bottom line is, weak, ignorant critics like to predict the end of rock to make themselves feel powerful. They have been doing this since rock started!

 

 

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