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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 3:28 pm
by Ted
Adam Blake wrote:Oh. Well, I'll just keep quiet then.


Sorry if that sounded a bit dismissive, but you must agree that when o I don't know, some boy band or other, makes a "rock" tune, it can have all the musical elements in place and still not be rock.

I can't disagree with what you were saying about developments in the mid sixties, but remember there has been forty years of rock since then.

PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 3:52 pm
by Adam Blake
Ted wrote: o I don't know, some boy band or other, makes a "rock" tune, it can have all the musical elements in place and still not be rock.

I can't disagree with what were saying about developments in the mid sixties, but remember there has been forty years of rock since then.


You mean like The Osmonds "Crazy Horses" ?!

I always forget about the last 40 years of rock. Or at least the last 35 or so. They don't really count, do they?

Oh, and Des, I don't know how to type a loud raspberry farting noise so I'm afraid you'll have to take the will for the deed.

PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 4:35 pm
by Rob Hall
It's odd that, when you look into it, "rock" is such a Brit thing, because I have always associated it with US acts. That's probably just me/my personal bias. When I think of "rock" I think of Springsteen, but I look at his Wiki entry and they talk about him in terms of "rock and roll". But what do they know, eh?

Actually, my views are not a million miles away from Adams on this whole thing, it's just that I started off by saying that, for me, the Free Trade Hall concert was the birth of "rock" and Adam puts it a few years later with Cream. (Apologies if I've got that wrong.) And while I appreciate that there's value in considering the question in strictly musical terms, I reckon there's more to it than that, and besides, that would be a musicians-only discussion, and where's the fun in that?

But we still don't know at what stage, if someone was asked "what kind of music do you play?" they would answer "rock". Charlie seems to think that it occurred some time around 1960-62, which surprises me, but then he did the research and had a book published and I didn't. I reckon that there has been an entire generation of kids who have come and gone since we were young, for whom "rock" is just a given, something that has always been there. It's probably only dinosaurs such as us who remember a time (OK, I'm stretching it here - I was 6 in 1960) when there was no such thing.

Apologies for rambling. Feel free to ignore me.

PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 5:33 pm
by Pete Fowler
I don't remember the word 'rock' used in this context till about 1970. I'm probably wrong...must say, I thought the 'verdict' above on You Really Got Me and the Who sounds eminently plausible. These records were very much a different take on the tradition; much more so than Shaking All Over, which, to these ears, echoed Eddie Cochran - a damned fine rock'n'roll record but nothing groundbreaking (except, of course, it was British, and we weren't exactly blessed with decent rock'n'roll guitarists at that time).

I wonder, though....to me, whatever this tradition was started not with The Kinks or The Who - but with Link Wray's Rumble. True, it didn't have a vocal; but the sheer crass and anarchic sound of that record was from another planet. It even sounded dynamite in Pulp Fiction.

Can't agree, incidentally, that Dylan's 66 persona was just 'loud folk music'. It was loud rock'n'roll music with a lyrical twist: the folk was subservient to the rock'n'roll, not the other way round. And it was a real turning point, no getting away from it. Without Dylan's electric work, no Satisfaction, no Help, no I Got You, Babe. There was a moment in the 1965 charts when the Top 5 would have been inconceivable without Dylan going electric.

And Creedence? A rock'n'roll band par excellence. I remember seeing Chuck Berry at the Stevenage Locarno, must have been '69. With his usual crap pick up band. It was early enough for Teds still to be around and I talked to a bunch of them in front of the stage. "Do you like anything modern?', I innocently asked. Guy with quiff replies, 'Creedence, they're alright'. 'What records have you got by them....you heard 'Lodi'?'

"I haven't got any records of theirs', he replied, 'because you can't get them on 78s'.

Now he really was pre-Rock.

PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 8:58 pm
by Gordon Moore
Gordon Moore wrote:I'm working on a subtle mathematical technique called the Dedekind Cut.

If Status Quo is a current lower supremum and Jerry Lee is an upper infernum, then as we raise and lower the bars as it were we will reach the first Rock record - the cut.

I'm now embarking on my PhD so you can all call me Doctor Gordon...

kidding,


I was only kidding about the PhD, the Dedekind cut is deadly serious!

PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 9:02 pm
by Gordon Moore
Adam Blake wrote:Oh, and Des, I don't know how to type a loud raspberry farting noise so I'm afraid you'll have to take the will for the deed.


allow me...ppphhhhhhrrrrrrrpppppppp phhp

PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 2:08 am
by Hugh Weldon
Just watched that BBC4 doc about Pink Floyd. Interesting how the first prog rock band were also a pop group trying to get singles into the charts, in their early days at least. Traffic were another 'rock' group who made 'pop' singles. It was only when Zeppelin had a definite policy of not releasing singles from around 69/70 that the pop/rock divide became more established I think.

'Dark Side of the Moon' in retrospect sounds more like 'pop' music with longer tunes. As does much prog rock, lots of good hooks intermixed with interminably long instrumental breaks and improvisations, self indulgent on the part of the performers and generally only enjoyed by stoned listeners.

PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 7:01 pm
by David Flower
just caught up with this thread and no-one seems to have mentioned lyrics. Don't all pop songs have fairly banal shallow lyrics, while rock was where the artist got introspective, first personal and attempted a deeper meaning?

PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 8:02 pm
by Gordon Moore
David Flower wrote: Don't all pop songs have fairly banal shallow lyrics, while rock was where the artist got introspective, first personal and attempted a deeper meaning?


that'll be James Blunt then...on both counts

PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 8:19 pm
by Paul
Pop music shallow lyrics, Rock music has more meaningful wordplay and musicianship eh? Well some groups would qualify on both fronts if this is the criteria. 'She Loves you' is of course a pop record whereas Sgt Pepper would be a quitessential prototype rock album. My guess is that the Beatles best work was recorded between these two important recordings.

It was an argument much in discussion in the late sixties/ early seventies. One recalls Steve Marriott leaving the much loved Small Faces to form the, ahem, deeper and more progressive Humble Pie. Who on earth listens to the latter now?

In America it was even worse. Charlie remarked he would willingly swap the entire works of the Beach Boys for his copy of the Lovin' Sponfull's Greatest Hits. Well I would swap the entire recordings of all late '6o's West Coast rock (save for Love) for The Monkees Greatest Hits.

PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 1:17 am
by Adam Blake
Surely one of the things that makes good Pop are good lyrics. I thought Avril Lavigne's "Skater Boy" line:

"He was a skater boy, she said 'see you later, boy'"

was worthy of Chuck Berry.

Generally, I think Pop lyrics are much better than Rock lyrics - in fact, it's hard right now to think of a good Rock lyric, unless you count some of Dylan's lyrics as Rock lyrics.

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 2:33 pm
by Dayna
I've been hearing someone playing music downstairs here & they are younger kids that listen to the newer Pop music. A lot of it seems to have these young guys that like to sing with whiney voices these days. Why is that?

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 5:44 pm
by Dominic
Dayna wrote:I've been hearing someone playing music downstairs here & they are younger kids that listen to the newer Pop music. A lot of it seems to have these young guys that like to sing with whiney voices these days. Why is that?

The influence of Kurt Cobain &/or Morrissey, probably. Or those low-slung trousers are like really uncomfortable, especially when there's a cold wind blowing - enough to make anybody whine.

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 7:00 pm
by Gordon Moore
I refer you to the posts by Adam on EMO some time ago...drivelling drivel was possibly an apt description, but Adam probably has a much nicer turn of phrase...he is an artiste you know!

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 8:30 pm
by Ian M
Co-incidentally Jude Rogers had a piece in The Guardian on Friday on the subject. She thinks rock is about theatre- pretention and fantasy, which is a pretty good answer. Dayna, if you want to know what rock is, why don't you go and rent Spinal Tap? That should do the trick, and give you some good laughs into the bargain.



Shock value
'Rock is all about daft theatre. It's not like mainstream pop, which sparkles cheaply and perfectly like a good local panto'

Jude Rogers
Friday May 30, 2008
Guardian

Be upstanding, brave and compassionate, please: this week mainstream rock lost something forever. I'm not talking about its love of big, meaty riffs, or its inexplicable attraction to ridiculous hairdos. I'm talking about something more basic and more frightening: mainstream rock finally and completely losing its power to shock.
You can watch the last nail in rock's coffin getting banged in tomorrow. Young fans of My Chemical Romance, the emo band who reconditioned poppy gothic rock for the 21st century, will trowel on the Rimmel, put on their dark clothes and march on the Daily Mail's west London HQ. These fans will look scary, I grant you - a bit like Oswald Mosley's Blackshirts discovering hairwax and getting transported to the glittering highways of Knightsbridge. But fear not: they come in peace.

Why are they protesting? The Daily Mail blamed My Chemical Romance for the death of 13-year-old fan Hannah Bond (Why no child is safe from the sinister cult of emo), and these fans don't agree. But how will they protest? As directed by the protest organisation website, they will be polite, hold on to their litter and wave around some placards.

At first glance, this protest is brilliant. For starters, My Chemical Romance are a band whose slogan is "Don't Be Afraid to Live", not "Kill Yourself, Dumbass". Secondly, their brash emo rock is euphoric and energetic, suggesting a band much more interested in supporting gloomy teenagers than sinking them. Then there's the lyric the Mail used to implicate them: "Although you're dead and gone, believe me your memory will go on." No offence to the Chemical Romantics, but this line is as shocking as a Hallmark sympathy card. If we banned all music on this basis, then playing the chorus to Nilsson's Without You ("I can't live, if living is without you") would be tantamount to passing over a noose.

Still, news of the protest made part of me crumple, because I was told, as a teenager, that rock wasn't about abiding the law, holding off on the swear words and holding on to your crisp packet. The rock ethic, to my mind, was all about Iggy Pop, throwing raw meat about and wiggling his wanger, Alice Cooper having that unfortunate run-in with a chicken, or GG Allin doing unspeakable things involving oral sex and poo.

But with the benefits of age, I've looked at these antics again and realised something obvious. Rock is all about daft theatre. It's not like mainstream pop, which sparkles cheaply and perfectly like a good local panto, or folk and country classics, which summon up the spirit and sadness of dusty novellas. Mainstream rock is something else: a 20th-century twist on Shakespearean madness and excess fed through a Marshall stack. It's about the insane thrill of performance rather than the drudgery of life outside the stadium. It's about acknowledging the distinction between what's real and what's fantasy.

This summer's festivals will be teeming with old rockers who acknowledge this distinction too. Bands such as Kiss, Def Leppard, Whitesnake and Judas Priest will be playing up their ridiculousness in front of fans who won't care that they're watching old men made-up by Max Factor. Those of a similar mind would have loved the Stooges at last year's Glastonbury without worrying that Iggy is openly quite the intellectual these days. Others would dream of seeing Alice Cooper go ape on stage without fretting that he now spends the bulk of his time playing golf.

Maybe mainstream rock losing its power to shock isn't so heinous. After all, it doesn't mean it loses its power to thrill. Maybe this gradual sea-change is just a sign of us all growing up as a culture of music fans: of us distinguishing the everyday from the not every day, and appreciating the greatness of the rare live experience even more.

And the thing is, Daily Mail, the young fans of My Chemical Romance have realised that already. Perhaps it's high time that you grew up and sniffed the rocky reality too.