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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:01 am
by Adam Blake
But getting back to an earlier question:

Are we in agreement that the first Rock record was "You Really Got Me" by The Kinks?

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:06 am
by Martin Owen
Well, he says he's into his music but I don't believe him
He just doesn't seem to understand the rock media
Well, I know, I'm not super hip and I'm liable to take a slip
But I don't care how cold you are, I'm coming home soon.
I'm gonna make you a star, yeah, yeah.

David Essex....

As a grammar school boy/undergraduate in the 60's it was de-rigeur to be walking around with John Mayall albums under your arm. We were a market.

Walking only became a hobby because there was enough "stuff" for blokes to buy to sustain a magazine. In 1962-3 enter a changing "Melody Maker". NME was pop, the MM was Jazz until somebody decided it should sell to me and my like.

By the way, Charlie once played the Osmonds' Crazy Horses on his Sunday morning show. It was a competition track... a sort of "you will never guess who this is". I still have the Roy Brown/Gatemouth Stevens album I won that week (I taught in a girl's school!).

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:09 am
by Martin Owen
Adam Blake wrote:But getting back to an earlier question:

Are we in agreement that the first Rock record was "You Really Got Me" by The Kinks?


No C'mon by the Rolling Stones

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 2:39 pm
by Ted
Wikipedia reckons that the first recorded guitar solo with feedback was on The Beatles "I Feel Fine". If we're choosing arbitrary start points that will do for me.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 2:39 pm
by Ted
Wikipedia reckons that the first recorded guitar solo with feedback was on The Beatles "I Feel Fine". If we're choosing arbitrary start points that will do for me.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 3:04 pm
by Martin Owen
Oops, I realise I have made a terrible social gaffe on this list. I mentioned the Rolling Stones in a discussion of Rock bands. Terribly unfashionable don't you know....

but seriously, like 'em or not, the Stones were the definitive Rock band. Grammar school boys posing as outcasts (as Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits had it).

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 3:28 pm
by Ted
Martin Owen wrote:but seriously, like 'em or not, the Stones were the definitive Rock band. Grammar school boys posing as outcasts (as Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits had it).


I'd argue that they weren't yet a rock band at that time - and the fact that they changed "jerk" in Chuck Berry's original to "guy" shows how cautious not to offend anyone they were.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:24 pm
by Adam Blake
Agreed, Ted. I'd say the first Stones record that was definitely Rock was "The Last Time", which was some months after "You Really Got Me". "I Feel Fine" has a lovely bit of feedback on the intro but after that it's all Pop R'n'B!!

Oh, it's such fun labelling things :)

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 11:36 pm
by Gordon Neill
Hmmm. I'm not convinced that "You Really Got Me" was the first Rock record. It's a great single, and it's got The Riff, but isn't it a bit too 'poppy'? (I mean that in the best sense of the word). And it's a bit single-ly as well. Rock wasn't keen on singles. I mean, it did them, but it was more of an album ... er... thing. There's only so much cod-poetry and meaning-of-life that you can cram into a three minute single. Much better to spread it all over some cod-awful album.

For me, Rock was always a bit self-consciously poetic and portentous. There's not much pomposity about the early Kinks. Also they hadn't got the hair right at that point. The hair seemed to be terribly important. Inasmuch as I've ever thought about it, Cream's 'Disraeli Gears' was the earliest 'Rock' record that sprung to my feeble mind. An album that I still love.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 12:34 am
by Hugh Weldon
The Who's 'Can't Explain' (Jan 65) provides an interesting comparison to 'You Really Got Me' (Aug 64). Watching that Who documentary the other night Townshend freely admitted the Kinks influence, though Daltrey added an interesting point on the lyric as 'coming from inside' stressing what 'I' feel.

Perhaps due to the Beatles influence - the already mentioned 'I Feel Fine' or 'I'm A Loser' for example (both from 64). In fact my Beatles songbook has no fewer than 26 songs whose titles begin with 'I', 'I'm', 'I'll' etc, perhaps the majority of which are from 63-65.

So the first person lyric, interiority, which led into the dope/acid preoccupation with what was going on in the 'revolution in the head' - surely a 'rock' rather than a 'pop' preoccupation.

Added to which 'Can't Explain' has a more interesting riff and hook than 'You Really Got Me' which only really takes 'Louie Louie' a stage further. Incidentally provided the Clash with about half a dozen numbers. But were the Clash pop or rock...?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 12:51 am
by Adam Blake
Hugh Weldon wrote:Added to which 'Can't Explain' has a more interesting riff and hook than 'You Really Got Me' which only really takes 'Louie Louie' a stage further. Incidentally provided the Clash with about half a dozen numbers. But were the Clash pop or rock...?


Very interesting point about lyrics, Hugh, but I can't agree about the "Louie Louie" connection, even though it's sort of become rock crit folklore. "Louie Louie" is a one riff groove whereas "You Really Got Me" has two key changes built into its structure - another Rock device (very few Pop or R'n'B records had key changes.) The follow up to "You Really Got Me", "All Day And All Of The Night", is really a much heavier record in every sense and has often been cited as the first Heavy Metal record (although, again, I would find it hard to overlook Link Wray's "Rumble", that seems to have been something of a one-off). The Clash certainly pinched it for "1977", and the Sex Pistols pinched it for "Submission" - but they were Punk. Weren't they?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 1:11 am
by Hugh Weldon
Yeah point taken Adam, the key change is at the heart of the way that tune moves, just picked up the old gee-tah and proved to myself I was thinking rather lazily when I wrote that.

And my Clash point was rather tongue in cheek. Interesting though that when the Pistols covered the pop song '(I'm Not Your) Stepping Stone' they made it sound (something) like rock.

Or perhaps the original was one of those 'Crazy Horses' pop/rock hybrids to start with. Oh and erm 'Goodbye to Love' and um...seem to be going round in circles. Time for bed.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 5:51 am
by Ian M
Key change a feature of rock? I think you'll find the best practitioners of pop from Gershwin and Porter to Bacharach and the Beatles knew how to manipulate key changes in sophisticated ways. Rock, on the other hand, is much more prone to heavy repetitive riffing and simple structures. Key shifts masquerading as key changes in order to alleviate the tedium are not evidence of anything special to my mind.
All these examples you mention are, to me, examples with the benefit of hindsight, and are proto-rock. I agree with Gordon that rock is a late sixties thing, when amplification and the album combined with a self-importance to produce a handful (?) of decent records, accompanied by a slew of now dated, gurny guff.
Here's another one for you: pop is all about melody and lyric. Reduced to its most basic in the form of the hook, it must be memorable and succinct, it can run the gamut from banal to the sophisticated, the trite to the deeply affecting. Rock may have good lyrics, but will be predominantly concerned with the backbeat and must have guitars, but melody and 'catchiness' will not be its strong points - brevity will not be considered a virtue.

so you want to be a 'rock' star.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:17 am
by ritchie
Imagine if this thread had been a conversation and I just walked in at the end, without listening or knowing what had been said .... and then chipped in with ....,

" Well in my opinion, rock is HARD or it starts out 'hard' and then through time sometimes goes a bit soft and sticky, but when it is 'made' it's usually hard.

Of course there are lot's of different types of rock ... f'rinstance.

I think the Byrds were rock. Ok they may have made a few 'sticky' songs but fundamentally .... the Who, were also rock. The Kinks were more hard liquorice.

I'll say one thing about rock though... it must have a guitar going right through the middle.... not candy though, which is a sort of rock but is usually a bit 'sweeter' and perhaps to some, tastes a bit sickly.

Oh yes and another thing be carefull ...too much can be bad for you."

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:24 am
by Adam Blake
Hi Ian,
Wow! You mean Gershwin, Porter, Bacharach and The Beatles all used key changes? Cor... The things you learn on this forum... :)

Seriously, I'm talking about a specific moment (or few months) in the history of popular music - really the second half of 1964 - and trying to pinpoint when Rock was born. Why I am doing this I really could not say...

Key shifts and key changes are the same thing.

The Nice got rid of the guitar, as did The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown. Oh, these exceptions to nice, clean, clear rules are so bothersome!