Classic rock - the definition defies most, and yet, everyone knows a classic rock song when they hear one. What makes it classic exactly? Well, for starters, it should be an older song. Nineties rock tunes do not qualify. Generally, 70's, maybe a few 80's and 60's can qualify for the esteemed title of "classic rock."
Generally, classic rock history begins with artists that still occupy radio time today, most of whom still generate huge crowds and pack large venues. The Who, Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane - all of these artists are included in the classic rock genre. But does every song ever recorded by them qualify? No. Just the ones we remember, in our heads and in our hearts.
Classic Rock History - Come on Baby Light My Fire
The Doors with Jim Morrison leading the pack came onto the scene in the late 60's, featuring dark themes (Riders on the Storm for one) along with cryptic song lyrics. Cementing them into the roots of rock and roll history was Jim Morrison's untimely death.
Revolver, the Beatles' thirteenth album released in America. A turning point for The Beatles because it represented styles from their original, earlier works as well as experimental stylings for their latter works. Revolver is often hailed as one of the best albums in classic rock history.
The Rolling Stones, with Mick Jagger still in the mix today, has given the world a bevy of classic rock songs. The album, Sticky Fingers, in particular, was released at a time when the band was experimenting and still struggling to sculpt its identity.
Who Are You?
It's hard to turn on the television set these days without hearing one or two classic rock songs. Whether they are starting a television series or used for a commercial, advertisers know that nostalgia sells, especially for the middle-aged demographic. The Who has released a number of (now) classic rock songs and one of them starts the program CSI, making it even more popular than ever.
Wish You Were Here
Pink Floyd, those crazy Englishmen, have sold millions of albums world-wide. But what puts them at the top of the heap of classic rock history? Longevity. That's what all of these bands and their songs that have stuck with us to modern day have in common. These songs are timeless. The album Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd may not have been their most popular album, but it does delve into some sticky mental issues that founding member Syd Barrett was having at the time.
Led Zeppelin - Enough Said
Led Zeppelin produced perhaps, the most agreed upon classic rock song ever: Stairway to Heaven. This song is comprised of several different and distinct "sections" that give a living, breathing feel to the music. This song is probably the single most requested song on American airwaves today. Composed by Jimmy Page with vocals executed by Robert Plant, this song is the anchor of all classic rock songs.
Classic rock is a genre well known and loved by people in their teens all the way into their later years. In it, we find comfort and excitement, a nostalgia that is timeless and one we firmly believe will never be duplicated.
Wendy Pan is an accomplished niche website developer and author.
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