What is rock music?
Thats an interesting question no matter which direction you approach it. There are different forms of rock music, but I am curious more about who or whom would be classed as rock bands or musicians. Bands that fall into a heavy metal category obviously fit the mold, as well as punk, thrash, etc. My thought comes from reading a website that had a list of the top 100 rock bands, in their opinion. I won’t give the page because that part isn’t relevant. In there opening analysis before the actual list they had lots of comments and breakdowns about Rock Bands, but the part that caused me to wonder once again, was a statement on this page that used the band Hootie & the Blowfish as an example, and than quickly added, “Don’t worry they aren’t here.” Now I don’t know if that means they didn’t make their top 100 or they didn’t fall into the rock category. As you read through the list, I see names like The Beach Boys, Frankie Vali & the Four Season, mixed in with Van Halen, Motley Crue, and the list goes on.
I like the classics from the 60’s, but i wouldn’t classify either the Beach Boys or Franki Vali as Rockers. The Beach Boys were part of the surf movement and Franki Vali is more of a pop, Doo Wop type of act. I have seen other lists, and listened to radio shows, and heard bands that I would never really consider as Rock, but are classed that way.
So is it merely subjective? In early days, playing electric instruments was a sign they were a rock and roll band. How about Bill Haley & the Comets? In their day, they were rocking, but using todays standards, how do they fit in. I was once told the Mama’s & the Papa’s were a rock band. Well if they are, than so would be the 5th Dimension. That I have a hard time thinking of as Rock. They had a great sound even today, they are great to listen to, but I can’t imagine them on a truly Rock List.
I want to add another example, and that is the Beastie Boys. They were on the original Rock list I mentioned, and to me, they are Crap, I mean Rap. Rap is not Rock, and I will never accept a Rap artist on a strictly Rock Band List. If its a list with just bands or artists, mixed classes, than add any genre you want. But if you add a rap band/artist you might as well add country as well, because your list is watered down.
So I haven’t answered anything and probably never will.