Rock

Jimi Hendrix: Voodoo child (slight return)

This is a classic 1960s rock track with a legendary guitar intro.  The first minute is essentially guitar, bass and drums only; later there are some vocals but the instrumentals definitely get the lion’s share of the music.  Improvisation is a key feature, which I like as it sounds spontaneous and gives the music more life.

Foo Fighters: Everlong

After a short introduction, this 1997 song has a much heavier and fuller sound than the Hendrix track; the drums in particular are really noticeable throughout.  I find this sort of intensity through a whole song a bit much for my liking, and prefer tracks which have some contrast.  I listened to a few of their tracks and they all had a similar sort of sound – some  distortion on the guitars and occasional shouted vocals (typical of the post-grunge style that began in the 1990s).

Green Day: American Idiot

Green Day was formed in the 1980s, but this song was released in 2004 after a come-back. It features a distinctive vocals and drums only phrase, sandwiched between loud guitar/bass/drums replies.  I think this contrast is quite effective, but the rest of the track is a bit repetitive for my taste.  Like some of the the rap music I’ve listened to, the lyrics of a lot of rock music convey a particular message, in this case about America being controlled by the media.

Summary

The label ‘rock music’ covers a huge range of music, from Hendrix in the 1960s to contemporary bands both in the USA and elsewhere.  I was already familiar with some of the earlier rock music (Queen, Pink Floyd etc) but it was interesting to listen to some later examples and styles.  One pervasive feature through the decades is that rock music is performed by a band and often at live concerts – it sounds more improvised and less polished than other styles of music (particularly commercial pop music), but I quite like the spontaneity.

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