SparkNotes Blog

The History of Rock (Part One)

Luna_22 is our new expert on rock ‘n’ roll… and all other kinds of rock. Get ready for some musical instruction… —Sparkitors

These days there are more and more young people that are listening to hip hop and pop music, but what about good ol’ rock? I’m talking about punk rock, classic rock, psychedelic rock, garage rock, and rock n’ roll.

I’m here to tell you about my favorite rock stars, from The Beatles to Deep Purple, and hopefully you’ll agree and/or fall in love with them as well!

1.    The Beatles (1960-1970): If you haven’t heard of the Beatles, you either live under a rock (the mineral, not the music) or you’ve been frozen for the past sixty years. The band was composed of Paul McCartney (guitar), Ringo Starr (drums), and the two deceased members, John Lennon (guitar) and George Harrison (bass guitar). Their songs are classic and you will memorize the lyrics if you listen to them enough. Their music varies from “Please Please Me,” an early hit, to “Strawberry Fields Forever,” from their later psychedelic years. The Beatles were the beginning of British rock, and their music covers most of the themes in rock: the ballads (“Let It Be”), the genius (“While My Guitar Gently Weeps”), and the classics (“Help!” and “She Loves You”). The perfect start for anybody still in Rock 101.

2.    The Beach Boys (1961-present): For the surfer dudes and dudettes, we have The Beach Boys, the creators of the famous “California Girls” and “Surfin’ USA.” Their songs are perfect for dancing, beach parties, and dancing at beach parties.

3.    The Rolling Stones (1962-present): The Rolling Stones (not to be confused with the magazine) began at the same time as The Beatles, and the two bands shared music styles (they wrote “I Wanna Be Your Man” together). Mick Jagger, the lead singer, is still just as awesome as when The Stones were in their youth. Their hits consist of “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” “Get of My Cloud,” and “Time is on My Side.”

4.    The Who (1964-present, not continuously): Who? Yes, The Who. Another British band, with many great classic tunes. Some of my favorite include “I Can’t Explain,” “Boris the Spider,” “Pictures of Lily,” “Who Are You,” and, of course, “My Generation.”  The Who is one of the best British rock bands, along with The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

5.    The Doors (1965-1973): This American band is known for their powerful singer Jim Morrison, who has poetry in his lyrics. Their best songs include “Light My Fire,” “Hello, I Love You,” and “Touch Me.”

6.    Pink Floyd (1965-1996): Pink Floyd is the definition of psychedelic rock. Their long songs have philosophical lyrics, and the music is accompanied by sound effects. Roger Waters, the founder, is the most widely known from the band. Their best albums are The Dark Side of the Moon, The Wall, Animals, and Wish You Were Here.

7.    The Jimi Hendrix Experience (1966-1970): Jimi Hendrix! The greatest electric guitarist EVER! (I’m not exaggerating.) His band, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, has great songs with awesome guitar riffs. Some of my favorites are “Foxy Lady,” “Purple Haze,” “The Wind Cries Mary,” and “Hey Joe.”

8.    Led Zeppelin (1968-1980): Boy, does Robert Plant know how to wail. And Jimmy Page is awesome. And who can’t like such voluminous and curly hair!  My favorite songs include “Immigrant Song,” “Black Dog,” “Kashmir,” “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You,” and “Whole Lotta Love.” Just listen to all their songs and you’ll get the idea.

9.    Deep Purple (1968-present, not continuously): Deep Purple is a lot like Led Zeppelin, because they are both hard rock. Deep Purple’s vocals (Ian Gillian) aren’t as loud as Led Zeppelin’s, and Deep Purple has more instrumental parts, like Pink Floyd. The style of music is similar to progressive rock, which is rock instruments and a “jazzy” style of playing. Some of their best songs are “Mandrake Root,” “Wring That Neck,” “Into the Fire,” and “Smoke on the Water.”

I know I didn’t include many many other great artists (feel free to call me a narrow-minded butthead), but there will be a Part Two History of Rock that will go from 1970 till the present, and will feature rock, punk, and indie rock bands. And I want to know some of your favorite rock bands!

Rock on, Sparklers!

What do you think of rock (and we’re not talking about beating scissors, here)? Got any favorite bands?

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