Rock was much bigger then...

Rock was much bigger then...
Authored By John Nicholson
Something occurred to me the other day while listening to Planet Rock about the nature of rock itself. Rock is now a genre in itself primarily dedicated to bands playing loud guitars and growling vocals. Airborne are typical. Basically AC/DC with more volume and more ‘too old to live, too young to die’ attitude thrown in, which just seems fake. It’s ‘rock attitude’ - a set of  prescribed thoughts, beliefs and attitudes.
It was all so much easier in the 70s when I was a kid. Rock was much bigger and took in everything not pop or soul music. It was everything from James Taylor to Black Sabbath, didn't have a prescribed sound, a set of beliefs or anything else. It was pro-drugs and anti-drugs and everything in between. There were no petty divisions or arguments about what was or wasn't rock. No demarcation disputes.
I didn’t think the Americana of The Band was any less rock than Led Zeppelin and I don’t believe anyone else at school did. In fact ‘rock’ was a broad church and enjoyed as such. This may have been an essentially UK attitude which I took for granted because I remember seeing the Billboard charts and mocking the various apparently randomly assigned genres of charts such as Adult Contemporary, College, and Alternative. There were probably more. It was the thin edge of what was to become the marketing wedge, which all seems too anal. As everything has got ever more divided into tribes - does anyone know the difference between, death meal, black metal and rusty metal - it’s gotten pointless.
To me rock is still album music that isn’t jazz, blues, soul or pop. It can be anything and any further decisions are unhelpful.

Scroll To Top