Thousand Oaks High School

What happened to rock and roll?

Through multitudes of top hits and sell out concerts, it is obvious that rock and roll has taken a turn for the worse. The 21st century music scene is dominated by pop princesses declaring their unrequited love for a certain someone and rebelling rappers spitting out poetry glorifying drugs and alcohol. Though hundreds, even thousands, of new rock bands have produced eminent albums, the spirit of rock and roll has ceased and fully demolished among the majority. Rock is dead. This particular genre signifies true passion and zeal, it is a symbol for everything that is real in music. No technology, no autotune (usually), and fans that have a true love for the music.

The music is still rapid and alive, but the people of our society refuse to hear it. We tune out rock and roll for Nicki Minaj, Taylor Swift, Drake, etc.  and we forget about the basic strum of a guitar. Though rock and roll now may be translated into an indie/alternative genre, that true ardor that was present in the late 60s is still there, just with a few alterations of sound. Each decade has stemmed new genres of rock resulting in a series of rock sub genres that include alternative, metal, punk, new wave, grunge, indie, etc. Rock music is still alive, but the spirit itself has completely abated over the past 25 years.

Rock and roll originated in the late 1940s to the early 1950s, bringing a new sound to the society at the time. Elvis Presley, Bill Haley and his Comets, and Nat King Cole shaped this new era of music and were the originators of this new musical revolution. In the 1960s, rock music dominated the world by storm, with new bands originating from all over the world. Rock music was one of the first genres to have social and political significance among a popular crowd. Though love songs were present due to relatability and relevance, emerging bands began implementing social and political conflicts within their lyrics. It wasn’t just about the music anymore, but rather the power of a voice, the power of protest. Rock legends such as Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, and countless others began speaking out about the hardships and disputes of the time. These artists molded new sub genres of rock such as British invasion, folk, surf, soul, and psychedelic. The 60s also called for the submergence of girl bands and music festivals across the globe.

In the midst of the 1970s, rock and roll was considered “dead”, yet the new generation still felt as though it was at its peak. The 70s called for the birth of hard rock and heavy metal due to the vast majority of deaths from previous rock legends. Rock was in a series of progression and rebirth from the previous years and many artists that originated in the 60s continued to record music such as The Who, The Rolling Stones, Simon and Garfunkel, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, etc. These bands kept the rock stigma alive and their personas represented the new variety of rock music. The 80s and 90s called for prevalence of music videos, making particular artists viewed as more than just rock stars, but people. These videos helped fans relate to their favorite artists on an intimate level, giving rock a larger influence on the society of the time. These two decades were the period of decline for rock and roll, but punk, grunge, new wave, and disco emerged into the musical norms of the time. The 80s rock scene was shaped by artists such as Joy Division, The Cure, ACDC, U2, etc. and the 90s included artists such as Nirvana, Foo Fighters, and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Though the genre was degressing, rock was still alive, both musically and socially.

The 21st century marked the official death of rock and roll due to the popularization of pop, rap and electronic genres. Thousands of artists are still continuing to create profound rock n roll, but the people can’t hear it. What happened to rock and roll?

My favorite rock albums 

 

32 Comments

  • Reply Russ January 12, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    Ms. King,

    Rock n roll is not dead. It’s just not on the top of the charts like it once was. I remember when I was in high school I thought the same thing; pop music dominates and good music hasn’t been produced since Zeppelin, Hendrix, you get my gist. I recommend looking outside the box and finding some good music you haven’t heard before. There is some downright amazing music being made right now that you could call “rock n roll” if you’d like. So instead, next time you write an article about music it can be about some of these great bands that aren’t getting enough credit, help promote the music scene. Rock n roll is not dead, in fact it is alive and thriving.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Reply Yasmine King January 12, 2016 at 2:39 pm

      I agree. Like I said in my article thousands of rock bands are creating eminent albums that could be even more profound than rock n roll records back in the day. The fact is the music is still alive, but the movement isn’t.

      Like

    • Reply Carol A Garnett July 24, 2016 at 9:27 am

      Rock N’ Roll is very much alive it lives in UK…With social media you can find great Rock the way it should be played..Drums, guitars, Bass & Front man…that’s all you need…no techno/dubbing & all that shizz…I’ve become great friends with so many UK Rock people…If you wanna Rock & hear great new stuff you have to travel with your pc/phones or whatever method you use…Check out Newcastle’s premiere band “Massive Wagons” to hear some music & lyrics that will blow you away…I haven’t been this excited about a band since The Beatles…Enjoy..Carol G

      Like

      • Reply Barb Cast December 3, 2018 at 8:00 pm

        OMG YES!!! But I don’t understand how music like this doesn’t make it to the radio anymore!

        Like

      • Reply RIC August 16, 2019 at 6:37 pm

        Hey, Carol!

        Thanks for the recommendation!
        You’re right about the UK.
        I’m always on the lookout for real RNR.

        Check out JOHNOSSI from Sweden!

        Like

  • Reply I January 12, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    The movement is alive. You’re just not looking in the right places.

    Like

  • Reply jumpinjezebel January 13, 2016 at 8:27 am

    What happened to Rock and Roll?? Ask the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” and all the garbage they keep inducting that have no fame or Rock either. “If it don’t make your heart beat faster and raise your blood pressure, and make you want to yell and sing along – it ain’t Rock”. Jumpinjezebel

    Like

  • Reply KEY January 13, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    THE CHARTS ARE DOMINATED BY POP STARS. THE CHARTS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN A PLACE FOR MUSIC FOR TEENAGERS. EACH GENERATION SEEKS ITS OWN SOUND. FOR MY GRANDPARENTS IT WAS AL JOLSON & BING CROSBY. MY PARENTS, BIG BANDS & FRANK SINATRA. THE MUSIC INDUSTRY HAS CHANGED DRASTICALLY WITH NO TALENTS WITH COMPUTER ENHANCEMENT & THE RIGHT IMAGE & TOO MUCH FLESH. IT’S NOT MUSIC. THE RIGHT VIDEO ON YOUTUBE DOES NOT EQUAL PAYING ONE’S DUES & MASTERING A CRAFT. MUSIC IS NOW A PRIVATE EVENT LISTENED TO UNDER HEADPHONES – IT’S NO LONGER A COMMUNAL EXPERIENCE. CONCERTS ARE NOR AFFORDABLE. 45’S & CD’S ALLOWED ONE TO ABSORB MUSIC IN A DIGESTIBLE AMOUNT. AN HOUR OF CD IS TOO MUCH. SKIPPING TRACKS IS TOO EASY . BUYING ONE SONG ONLINE, WHICH IS PLAYED A MILLION TIMES A DAY ON THE RADIO OR IN STORES, DOESN’T ALLOW FOR ALBUM TRACKS TO BE HEARD. PLUS MOST KIDS NOW HAVE NO IDEA OF THE MUSIC THAT CAME BEFORE THE CRAP THEY CALL MUSIC TODAY. THERE’S PLENTY OF NEW ROCK IF YOU HAVE THE TIME TO SEARCH FOR IT. SUBSCRIPTION RADIO IS A GOOD WAY TO FIND IT.

    Like

  • Reply Joe January 13, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    Yasmine, You definitely have a gift for the written word and what’s more a keen sense for what has transpired in the world of rock and roll in recent decades. I agree with most everything you had to say and I really don’t understand why rock has faded to the level it’s at today. I hate to admit that, as much as I love The Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Ted Nugent, Black Sabbath, The Who, Yes, Aerosmith, etc., you can only listen to the same songs for so long before they lose their vigor, surprise, adrenaline pumping force that they for so long they were able to produce. Rock is still all I ever listen to and occasionally I stumble across a song that I used to love but forgot about and it’s almost like a present to hear it again. It’s not quite as good as something new but it’s better than nothing new at all. You should be proud Yasmine and maybe if we’re lucky some young band will re-energize the soul of rock and roll that’s been gone for so long. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    Like

  • Reply david March 16, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    can you list some of the good rock bands of today please? Im 17 and am tired of the mainstream crap and love the old school rockers, but i want to start listening to todays rock bands to give me a sense of hope that it’s still alive

    Like

    • Reply Nachel December 18, 2016 at 2:07 am

      Bring Me The Horizon

      Like

    • Reply RIC August 16, 2019 at 6:35 pm

      JOHNOSSI

      Like

  • Reply Asdrubal June 10, 2016 at 1:47 am

    David, with all due respect, I’m struggling to name a decent “ROCK” band nowadays myself. Modern mainstream music has certainly taken over the music industry. To be honest, there is no such thing as straight-up classic rock & roll anymore these days. But you probably have to look deeper to explore what Rock really has to offer now.

    Like

  • Reply Dugan MF Cruz September 19, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    David! I got chu man. Start with “Whatever People Say I am That’s What I am Not” by Arctic Monkeys. Then “Is this it” by the Strokes, then “Songs for the Deaf” by Queens of the Stone Age, then “Physical World” by Death From Above 1979. Oh! And “Get behind me Satan” by White Stripes. That should hold you over a minute. Each one of those artists have a buncha great work you can spiral off of, and there are so many more. As for WHY rock is dead…? It’s a gritty attitude that grounds itself in primordial, yet honest Freudian ‘id’ behavior most people would rather keep a social media page in front of to not actually experience. It’s supposed to be intense, but most people don’t want intense. They wanna be sedated ;) Also, good rock takes a great deal of talent most people don’t have the patience to cultivate when they can easily make a couple grand a week spinning other top 40 songs as a DJ. Especially when NOONE is taking risks on bands anymore. In order for a band to get any support, they need to already be a well-oiled machine with dollar signs propped up around them. So what the world has said to most bands is “You learn to play instruments, you learn which gear works well together, you learn how to write good songs, you learn how you should record those songs, you look attractive enough for teen vogue, you already move 1,000s of units a year, and you DEFINITELY don’t offend anyone then maaaaaybe we’ll give a fuck. As for now, shut up, put on Arianna Grande and go back to sleep.

    Like

  • Reply roy blinkendorf October 21, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    actually. I believe there are two constants to pay attention to here. first off understand in the market or “sales” of songs , what will “catch an ear” or “make someone buy a song”, there are two consistencies. ORIGONALITY, being something “new”. sure, you can hang on to coattails with A song that “sounds like a past or present artist. but that will not carry you long perhaps and maybe build some resentment in a fan base. but being something NEW, like no one has or can put a finger on, is a catcher. and MARKTABILITY. can this be moved to motivate people to BUY. you’ve got to understand, in business is money. and everyone has to earn it or everyone wants it. so with this, no one will take a risk unless they know by numbers (even people pressing their own cd’s) the amount of demand for an “artist” before someone would invest in them. So now music has become more condensed. (some not even music, just plain pop culture.) but nonetheless, like rock and roll in the 50’s, if you find the one twist, the one “catch” you can be on to something. fortunately with so many micro ways of doing things today, you can stabilize YOUR risk without STARVING. unlike so many rock and roll artist from long ago. its really funny though. “classic” rock stations you’d think by now would play other songs off of tremendous albums from yrs ago but no. they play the same old worn out tunes! I believe if they did, they would expand a market they themselves helped to deflate!

    Like

  • Reply Robert February 14, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    Every decade though there was music aimed at teenagers. Elvis, Beatles, Beach Boys, then in the 80’s Debbie Gibson, Tiffany, New Edition, NKOTB, 90’s Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, etc. were all aimed at youths. Their primary listeners were youths, from kids to teenagers. But the late 90’s was different. That’s when the millennials (born 1980 and up) were teenagers or just turned 12-13 around 1999, such as those born in 1987. That generation was captivated by friendly pop music like Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, Britney Spears, Christina, etc. that was heavily marketed toward the teen, preteen market. Rock was still there, but it was getting lost in a sea of rap and pop. My area still has a dedicated rock station on the radio, and they do play older hits from the 80’s, etc. In the same building, though is a top 40 station that plays nothing now but new crap, they stopped playing 80’s several years ago but another station in our area plays 1980’s and newer music, and another plays classic rock from 70’s to 90’s. Plus there are internet stations that play all 70’s, all 80’s, all rock, etc. so, there are still places to hear older music. MTV Classic plays older music videos and they play 80’s, and all 80’s during I Want My 80’s.

    Like

  • Reply John A. Miller April 6, 2017 at 5:08 am

    If it was not for Europe and South America Rock and Roll would be dead. I live in Iceland and they love their death metal and many bands from the states who can’t get arrested are selling out festivals in Europe and South America while America listens to Ariana Grande and Miley Cyrus. That piece of crap mag Rolling Stone is not helping by putting rap bands int he rock and roll hall of fame because they want to change the label of what rock and roll is. They keep out great rock bands while telling me that Run DMC deserves to be in there more then Iron Madden. When we do got so called Rock and Roll its Maroon 5 and Coldplay. When the first wave of RNR was dying (aka being taking over by the big wigs) the Beatles came along and saved it. When the 70s got too serious and disco came around punk saved RNR. When hair metal was ruining the spril of RNR grenge saved RNR. We are just in a bad spell and need a few new artist to kick us in the ass again.

    Like

  • Reply RCK April 10, 2017 at 10:41 am

    Rock and Roll isn’t dead…the attitude and showmanship is what is missing.. Go see a band from the 70s or 80s and compare that to basically everything to come out since 1995 and the shows are lacking the showmanship and energy that made rock, metal, and punk rock and roll. Technical ability and the strong front person are what make a band standout -its pretty seldom there is a presence on stage these days. idk if there are people from this generation that embody the ingredients to make rockstars anymore.

    Like

  • Reply Renlynns April 14, 2017 at 10:20 am

    Hey you all! I see a lot of people wanting to find a new rock and roll band to love. You all should try listening to Palaye Royale. They definitely have the almost “bluesy” sound that old rock had. Plus, a lot of their songs are upbeat which is always fun to listen to! Don’t give up on rock n’ roll its there, just maybe not in the mainstream! Happy music listening!

    Like

    • Reply RIC August 16, 2019 at 6:42 pm

      Thanks, Renlynns!

      I’ll try Palaye Royale and you try JOHNOSSI. :)

      Like

  • Reply Dave miller May 19, 2017 at 11:43 am

    Rock went country.

    Like

  • Reply Josh December 16, 2017 at 11:28 pm

    All the good new REAL rock bands are coming out of the UK these days. In the past few years I’ve been blown away by albums from Royal Blood, Foals, Kasabian, Peace, and Nothing But Thieves (among others). For whatever reason, the UK still places a value on guitars and real music.

    Like

    • Reply RIC August 16, 2019 at 6:33 pm

      And from Sweden , like JOHNOSSI.

      Like

  • Reply zoo zuff February 6, 2018 at 11:06 am

    Because the judeo/masonic illuminati oligarchs do not want young men feeling their vigor and rallying behind hard driving rock music. Instead they use sell out sluts to push further sexual deviancy, homosexuality, transgenderism on white people and rap music to promote a criminal lifestyle to blacks in order to keep their prison industrial complex wealthy.

    Like

  • Reply WisenCynical February 9, 2018 at 12:27 pm

    Rock is still played the way it was always played. There needs to be more material but it is live in the bars, and pubs. If you play in a good rock band you can make money right now. Musicians play things that move people, and rock and roll will always do that. Then the queue the DJ between sets. Same old shtick. It is the easiest music to truck around. It will get big again. Just listen to Get the Knack by The Knack and try to keep your feet still.

    Like

  • Reply ches May 28, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    First off…how you gonna list Elvis Presley first?
    Secondly…do you mean to ask what happened to rock after the white folks stole it from.black people?
    Just saying. You write this like you’re some expert yet you obviously know little about rock and roll.

    Like

  • Reply RIC August 16, 2019 at 6:44 pm

    Long live ROCK N ROLL!
    Golden Earring Forever!

    Like

    • Reply CARRIN HARE August 19, 2019 at 10:33 am

      I’M ALWAYS TELLING PEOPLE ABOUT SIRIUS XM RADIO. I WOULD NEVER KNOW THAT THERE WAS ANY NEW MUSIC IF IT WASN’T FOR LITTLE STEVEN’S UNDERGROUND GARAGE, CHANEL 21. THEY PLAY EVERTHING FROM ROBERT JOHNSON TO BANDS THAT CAME TOGETHER YESTERDAY. I SELDOM FIND A NEED TO CHANGE THE STATION. THERE’S PLENTY OF NEW STUFF OUT THERE IF YOU’RE WILLING TO FIND IT.

      Like

      • Reply RIC August 19, 2019 at 10:13 pm

        So true, Carrin! And I def. know about Sirius XM Radio.

        I highly recommend the Swedish band JOHNOSSI.

        Happy listening!

        Like

  • Reply RIC August 19, 2019 at 10:18 pm

    My fellow rockers, lend your ears to JOHNOSSI.
    You can thank me later. ;)

    Like

  • Reply RIA August 21, 2019 at 10:12 pm

    Why-oh-why is PAT BENATAR not in the R&R Hall of Fame?!?!

    Like

    • Reply CARRIN August 22, 2019 at 1:39 pm

      SHE’S NOT IN THERE BECAUSE NO CHICKS BELONG THERE UNTIL THE SHANGRI-LAS ARE IN THERE.

      Like

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