“No matter how hard you try you can’t stop us now” is the battle cry from the song “Renegades of Funk” performed by Rage Against the Machine. This song is a true testament of how lyrics can shape the way we think or feel. The ability to string up a series of words to create a narrative, or a theme, to convey an idea of the current landscape. Music is not exempt from “The Darwinian Theory”. Music is truly an evolutionary process.
Modern day rock & roll has its roots set in the old delta blues. Music that was dominated by African-Americans and conveyed a feeling of soul. The artists had the ability to express their feelings through song, and the way they were feeling was passed on to the listener. Some songs were upbeat, some songs expressed heart break, but either way they had a clever hook.
The art of perfection, as it pertains to music, starts off with a strong base. A base that contains artists such as Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Willie Brown, Sam Chatmon, just to name a few. These artists have led to other artists such as, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, The Beach Boys. These artists led to The Beatles and The Beatles have single handedly led to every other rock and roll artist, to date.
The Beatles hit America in 1964. They appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in New York and sang five songs, and that show was viewed by over 73 million people. This was the start of “The British Invasion”. The Beatles ushered in groups like Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Rolling Stones, The Animals, The Trogs, Queen and so many more. Many of these groups are still around, performing. Sadly, some of the members of these groups have died due to alcohol and drug abuse. But, the music still lives on.
In the 70’s Disco took shape, but didn’t last long. In the 80’s there was a new genre of heavy metal. The first metal band to make it was Quiet Riot. They helped usher in a series of artists, but they took the genre to a new level. The era of hair bands was born, and the music was commercial. Record company executives made it a requirement that hair bands would have to produce at least one “ballad’. Although this era in music was good, there was better. And, in the early 1990’s Nirvana was born.
Of all the bands that have ever existed, there has never been any more powerful band than Nirvana. Yes, it is true, that The Beatles have been around longer. The Beatles have more songs, and Nirvana was only around for four years. However, they were and continue to be The Beatles of that era until this very day.
Nirvana’s song, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is an amalgamation of good old rock and roll and heavy metal. This has been labeled as “Grunge music” Just like The Beatles, Nirvana ushered in a series of bands. Bands that were ushered in include, Sound Garden, Pearl Jam, Screaming Trees and many more
Many of the bands that are present today owe their existence to Nirvana, which owes their existence to The Beatles, which owes their existence to the early artists from the old delta blues era.