The Gift of Rock

There are songs that once they are launched, the lyrics, music, and musicians are immortalized. It may be due to a catchy tune, an angelic voice, or tear-jerking lyrics. Regardless of the elements, there is no doubt that some songs are made to be played forever, no matter the genre. Everyone's music taste is respected (as beauty is in the eyes of the beholder), but there is a certain genre that came many decades ago, and it was made to stay; at a time when music was at its revolutionary peak, at a time when musicians from all over the world were innately talented (without the need of technology, like Auto-Tune), at a time when most of the songs were poetry with music, humanity received the gift... of rock.

In the 40's and 50's, the world witnessed a fusion between blues, jazz, and country that blew everyone's minds. It was the music of Bob Dylan, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Ray Charles, and -- of course -- Elvis Presley, that kick-started the whole Rock & Roll movement. From catchy guitar riffs to wild, "overly sexualized" performances (Elvis *cough cough*), everyone fell in love with rock. It was a huge change from the previously commonly known and accepted swing, and it was the distraction many Americans (as well as everyone around the globe) needed following the end of WWII. Many bands and solo artists emerged as a result of this new form of music. The initial roster of musicians that started the movement were essential to the genre's development and attraction, but one band changed everything; a band that is quintessential to the point I will be trying to make; a band that was home to the most beloved, successful, and prolific songwriting duo of all time: The Beatles.

The Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, and Starr combination can pretty much sum up the reasons as to why rock is such the gift that it is, whether we're looking at The Beatles themselves, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, or even Nirvana and Coldplay (yes, they may be considered Alternative, more on that in a bit).

The Beatles created emotional masterpieces and head-bopping tunes throughout their musical trajectory. McCartney's catchy "Nanana", powerful consoling message, and soothing voice make Hey Jude one of the most well-known Beatles' tunes, and one memorable contribution to the world of music. Lennon's nostalgic, dreamy voice and poetic lyrics make In My Life a timeless classic. Harrison's sweet guitar melody makes Here Comes the Sun an all-time favorite. These are only three of their songs, and we can already see how they unconsciously (or maybe purposefully) incorporated all these different elements that make rock an everlasting genre. All beauty aside, it is also important to note another type of music that fused in The Beatles' music that made it unique, and that is music by J.S. Bach. Who would've ever imagined that even rock-stars used Bach's pieces as inspiration? Most notably is Blackbird's baroque background, which Paul McCartney describes in an interview.

The Beatles made record-breaking albums (some records that still, to this day, belong to them) and wrote songs that made them the most important band to this day. It even inspired a whole new genre of music, psychedelic rock, which led to the origins of the alternative genre. Many bands were influenced by The Beatles, including Coldplay, who definitely have followed in the fab four's footsteps.

The Beatles are only an example of the everlasting impact of rock. There are the iconic guitar riffs of Def Leppard (with their dreamy hit, Hyesteria), there’s the unreal sadness behind Nazareth’s hit Love Hurts, the head-bopping distortion of Nirvana (with their anthem of the 90's, Smells Like Teen Spirit), the unique voice of Guns N' Roses' lead singer, Axl Rose, and even Queen, with Freddie Mercury's legendary voice and with what many claim to be the best song of all time: Bohemian Rhapsody.

What makes rock the best music genre, is its versatile appeal, universal adaptation, and the fact it will simply never go out of style.

There is a type of rock for every type of listener: if you're into true emotional classics, The Beatles are for you, if you like hard rock, there's Mötley Crüe, and if you want something random every time, just listen to a Queen Album. There is even the camp-fire, bluesy vibe of El Tri and the poetic music of Caifanes, two of Mexico's greatest rock bands.

All in all, rock came to us in the 40's, and it came to stay. No matter if you are transmitting this music to your grand-kids or if you discovered it after getting tired of all the pop albums, rock will never get old. Age only makes it more legendary. No Type was a one-week hit, everyone already forgot about Taylor Swift, and we won't even get started on the reputation of country music. Rock, however, is a gift. It is still the basis of all music, and it will always be that way, forever.


 

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