Did I ever tell you my theory about rock music? I did this at Toastmaster’s once, but I’m not sure who else I’ve told. It doesn’t work 100%, but I’m willing to submit those flaws as proof that it must be accurate. 🙂
The theory is this: Rock music is angry, rebellious music. Guitars, Drums, vocals. Form and style. These are factors, but the root is the feel.
Here’s a link to Rolling Stone’s Greatest Albums list. Check it out. (It is a hard list to just browse. That is a pain.
Now it might be righteous anger. It might be petulant. The rebellion might be against society. It might be satire. It might be against injustice. It might be rebelling for the sake of rebellion.
These elements might be in the lyrics or the melody or the arrangement or the production. But they are in there somewhere.
This is why when great rock musicians age, they stop making great rock albums. They might mature and be producing better music. But if they aren’t angry anymore – they are doing something else; if they aren’t rebelling – they are doing something else.
Sometimes people try to rock without that, but it feels hollow.
Sometimes people rebel against rock. They do something else. Rap or punk. The anger is there. That is neat. Sometimes rock will eat those forms up a little and bring them in. Sometimes it doesn’t.
Not all angry music is rock. I’m not saying that. Only the reverse – all rock is angry.
Rock might also be sad. Joyful. Thoughtful. It might be those things. There’s room for other sentiments alongside rebellion and anger. But not to their exclusion.
It is probably good to listen to some music other than just rock from time to time. Listen to something without anger. Maybe.
Artists in the top of the list from Rolling Stone:
- Beach Boys
- Bob Dylan
- Marvin Gaye
- The Clash
- The Rolling Stones
- Miles Davis
- Velvet Underground
- Jimi Hendrix
- Bruce Springsteen
- Van Morrison
- Michael Jackson
- Chuck Berry