The Transition of Rock Music until The 1970s
Rock music is just like any living thing, it changes, grows and progresses over time. Artists in the 1950s like Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats introduced the idea of rock and roll to the American public. The genre of rock music changed when Led Zeppelin and The Beatles hit the scene later in time, because they incorporated influences from the 1950s and added their own unique ideas to create an original sound. Rock and roll changed from being pure entertainment to an art form where artists used it a tool of self-expression and told dramatic stories. The songs “Rocket 88”, “A Day in the Life” and “Stairway to Heaven” demonstrate how rock music has evolved by showing what the music sounded like when rock and roll first hit the scene and how the idea of rock music changed up to the 1970s.
The song “Rocket 88” was different, because it became known as the first rock and roll song. There are many R&B influences in this song, beginning with the form which is a classic twelve bar blues format, repeating throughout the song. The song uses a jump blues template, but Brenston’s rough and exuberant vocals create a unique sound. Also, the song incorporates the piano a lot in the beginning with a strong driving drum beat to set the pace of the song. There is a strong emphasis on the backbeat in this song to create a foot-tapping rhythm. However, Brenston does not do a lot of singing. He only sings three short verses in the song, which is more typical of jazz music because it tended to focus more on the instruments rather than vocals. There is a long saxophone solo in the middle of the song after the second verse. The first known use of distortion was in this song because one of the amps for the electric guitar was broken (Campbell 75). Distortion was not widely used until much later and “Rocket 88” set the groundwork for future rock and roll artists to incorporate this element into their music.
“A Day in the Life”...