• ADHD books published by NorthEast Books & Publishing, by Association for Youth, Children and Natural Psychology
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Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock and Roll, by Rolling Stone Magazine

Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock and Roll is a comprehensive and authoritative resource from the magazine on rock and roll and modern music trends. The book explores the history and evolution of rock music, as well as what it describes as "the most important new sounds and artists" from the 1980s and '90s.


The History of Jazz by Ted Gioia

Beginning with details provided from firsthand accounts of slave dances in the early 19th-century New Orleans, Gioia relates the story of African American music from its roots in Africa to the international respect it enjoys today.

He portrays the legendary jazz players, the breakthrough styles, and the world in which it evolved. Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington at the Cotton Club, Gerry Mulligan, Stan Getz, and Lester Young, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie's advocacy of modern jazz in the 1940s, Miles Davis's 1955 performance at the Newport Jazz Festival, Ornette Coleman's experiments with atonality, Pat Metheny's visionary extension of jazz-rock fusion, the contemporary sounds of Wynton Marsalis, and the post-modernists of the current day, are considered in this work.


Sells like Teen Spirit: Music, Youth Culture, and Social Crisis by Ryan Moore

Named after one of the most recognizable alternative rock songs of all time, Sells Like Teen Spirit by Ryan Moore analyzes how social, political, and economic transitions over four decades have changed the landscape of music. The youth had been singing about peace in the 60s, belting out a more rebellious and experimental tones in the 70s, with the rise of disco and hip hop in the late 70s, into the 80s and until today.

Youth of the '90s move on to a somewhat democratic, self-expressing tune of today's youth of frustration, desperation, and pleasure, much of which is produced with pure capitalist motive. Moore succeeds in providing an enthralling first-hand narrative about the spectacle and resonance of modern music, capturing the political, economic, and social changes that led to the development of an assortment of rock subgenres.


This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession, by Daniel J. Levitin

Like most of us, you do have a song that you like, even love, more than others. You may choose a song that you can relate to, something that reverberates inside you and inexplicably captures your being. But the question just won't go away: How, exactly, can music have that effect on practically everyone's soul?

Daniel J. Levitin peeks into each human entity as he examines why music is not merely "dessert for the ears". For Levitin, science and music is as inseparable as bread and butter, and not merely an evolutionary fortuity.


Music Sociology: Examining the Role of Music in Social Life Paperback by Sara Towe Horsfall, Jan-Martijn Meij, Meghan D. Probstfield

From jazz and folk to hip hop, heavy metal, and straight edge, popular music is not only a cultural artifact but an ever-expanding part of our social lives.

The sixteen different genres explored in Music Sociology demonstrate that music everywhere reflects social values, organizational processes, meanings, and individual identity. Presenting original ethnographic research, the contributors use descriptions of subcultures to explain the concepts of music sociology, including the rituals that link people to music and to the past and each other.


How Music Works: The Science and Psychology of Beautiful Sounds, from Beethoven to the Beatles and Beyond

John Powell is a British scholar and professor who explains how we experience music. He selects examples from all manner of disciplines--music composition, simple mathematics, physics, engineering, history--and offers his insights, such as how Bach' s Prelude in C Major is similar to Led Zeppelin' s Stairway to Heaven.


The Haight: Love, Rock, and Revolution, by Joel Selvin, Jim Marshall

Covering one of the most unforgettable moments in modern history—and including images of Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsburg, and more—The Haight is an indispensable gallery of legendary photographer Jim Marshall’s Sixties-era San Francisco photography.

The counter-culture movement of the 1960s is one of the most endlessly examined moments of the twentieth century. Widely regarded as the cradle of revolution, San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury grew from a small neighborhood to a worldwide phenomenon—a concept that extends far beyond the boundaries of the intersection itself.


The Emergence of Rock and Roll: Music and the Rise of American Youth Culture (Critical Moments in American History),
by Mitchell K. Hall

Is music simply a pastime for the youth or something more? Author Mitchell K. Hall sifts through reliable accounts and documents, taking an in-depth look at how rock-and-roll music influenced the global music scene and thereby re-shaped the worldwide cultural landscape. Needless to say, as rock-and-roll music reached universal notoriety, it also opens up the door of controversy and contention in just about every place it settles.


Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America (Music Culture), by Tricia Rose

Rap music has been a prominent feature of the American pop culture scene for since the late 1970s. However, its combination of compressed rhythm and explicit lyrics rub many people, especially the older generation, the wrong way. Is rap music really just that—the angry, provocative music that exudes hate?

Author Tricia Rose brings you through a tour of the musical history of rap music and the many issues that surround it. The book also contains highly-fascinating views on the politics behind rap music, the sexual and anti-government innuendos that often accompany the beats, and a fair examination of the work of the genre's best-known artists.


Bruce , by Peter Ames Carlin

Yes, Springsteen is THAT big. From his working class roots in Long Branch, New Jersey, to the immense world-following, Springsteen's ambitious journey, took him to the heights of stardom, as well as the depths of depression. Plagued with suicidal thoughts after he reached his climactic stardom, there is more to Springsteen's angst than meets the eye.

The book, simply entitled Bruce, by Peter Ames Carlin presents a well-researched and stunningly intimate depiction of rock-and-roll's blue-collar hero. The highly-touted music writer masterfully assimilates the magnitude of Springsteen's musical achievements and delves into the mind of a man who transcends musical generations. At the end of the last sentence, you will know the real Bruce Springsteen and the story behind the music.


David Bowie: Starman, by Paul Trynka

As big as Lady Gaga has become in today's pop music scene, that chameleon-like style of reinventing oneself time and again has been done before by no less than The Alladin Sane Starman, David Bowie. A testament to Bowie's appeal and shape-shifting abilities, he has sold over 136 million albums/CDs worldwide and made recordings with the likes of John Lennon, Freddy Mercury and many others.

An androgynous cocaine abuser who was the first rock star to openly declare his homosexuality, more probably bisexuality, with a family history of schizophrenia, Bowie rode the wave of obscurity to stardom, reinventing his alter ego as Ziggy Stardust, only to shed his Stardust skin and reinvent himself again.

The book by author Paul Trynka attempts to make sense out of the qurkiness of Bowie's glam rock style through the eyes those close to him—from his lovers to classmates and managers. Bowie's influence on Hollywood and show business in general is also developed. This piece a must-read not only for David Bowie fans but also for everyone who wants to make sense one of rock music's most colorful and decadent sideshows.


She's a Rebel: The History of Women in Rock and Roll, by Gillian G. Gaar, Yoko Ono (Preface)

She's a Rebel: The History of Women in Rock and Roll, takes a spirited look at the ladies who shaped rock music, as well as the women on the fringes of rock and women's modern musical stardom. Gaar catalogs and offers insight into the people and music, leading from R & B's well-know singers of the '50s, to the girl and Motown groups, folksingers, and female rockers of the '60s, to the punk rock rebels and pop-divas of the 1970s.

Rappers, rioters and all-around rock bad-girls, lead us to the sexually unabashed superstars of the past decade. With the exception of some caveats in the form of obvious omissions, She's a Rebel that will turn you on or off to these rebel female rockers.


Glam Rock: Dandies in the Underworld,
by Alwyn W. Turner

Glam rock emerged in the 1970s as a significant sub-genre of rock music, with artists such as David Bowie, Roxy Music, T. Rex, and Mott the Hoople, along with American artists such as Lou Reed and Alice Cooper adding to the list. Androgynous, heavy on fashion and makeup, openly gay in its approach, glam rock is explored and revealed in Glam Rock: Dandies in the Underworld, for an insightful journey behind the scenes.


Early Jazz: Its Roots and Musical Development (History of Jazz), by Gunther Schuller

Almost 30 years since its first publication, Early Jazz: Its Roots and Musical Development remains one of the most influential books on the topic. Schuller focuses first on the early beginnings of the music in the 1900's to its full bloom in the 1930's. Of course, it won't be definitely called a book about Jazz if it doesn't contain the works of the greats; and how fitting it is to have one of the best jazz composers and critic in Schuller talk about their works.

Jazz: Its roots and Music Development is written in an insightful and easy-to-read style will make it a good introduction for any jazz student, aficionado, or for advanced level musicians and scholars.


Hip Hop Culture, by Emmett G. Price III

Written by one of America's leading African-American music authorities, Hip Hop Culture scientifically sorts through the exemplifying events, personalities, and ideologies that made Hip Hop the phenomenon that it is today. Come to think of it, Hip Hop has only been somewhat of a sub-culture that originated in the Bronx but how did it go from such a taboo subject to ruling the airwaves?

Hip Hop Culture delivers a wealth of information and insight into the movement and persons behind this massive cultural influence.


Page updated: November 15, 2015




Music Psychology - Rock and Roll


The Musical Roots of Rock and Roll


Rock and roll has roots in the blues and jazz which evolved in the United States from African-influenced slave music and ragtime. Born in the early 1950s, son of the swing era and the blues, boogie woogie, gospel and R & B, with country and pop influences, rock & roll was more than a new form of music, in the words of Robert Palmer for Rolling Stone on the topic, it became a conversion that provided an energetic injection into otherwise dull, mundane lives of white America.

While parents were "horrified" or at the least "dismissive" of rock, this new form of music overtook the lives of young people in the '50s, something definitely not for the older folk, but exclusively for youth. Rock & Roll became an "obsession and a way of life", for millions of white and black youth in America, and remains so to this day for millions of youth and adults who were raised on rock music.

Of course, the rock youth of the 1950s didn’t remain youth, 65 years later, the earliest rocking teens of the 1950s are now in their 70s, our fathers and grandfathers; however, many who are now in their 60s and even 70s carry the passion for the rock & roll from their youth in their aging veins.


The First Song of Rock and Roll


A question that often comes up is, what was the first rock & roll song? The precise answer to these questions is not universally agreed upon and still open to debate and interpretation. However, some believe that the evolution of rock & roll began in the post-WWII years of the 1940s notes Mitchell K. Hall, Professor and Chair of the Department of History at Central Michigan University.

Some commentators put the year of the first actual rock song at 1951 with the song "Rocket 88", about a man trying to impress a woman with his new Oldsmobile, made popular by Jackie Renston and His Delta Cats. The song featured a boogie-woogie piano and a distorted electric guitar (from a damaged amplifier), along with a catchy sax solo.

Others have put the date of the emergence of genuine rock and roll at 1953 with Bo Diddley’s new rhythmic beat featured in the song Who Do You Love. Hall notes that, that more than just a new form of music, the emergence of rock & roll as a dominant musical form was a far-reaching moment in American history, having a profound influence in the cultural and social fabric to come in the 1960s onward (Hall, M. 2014).


Early Rock and Roll and Its Predecessors


Prior to the rock & roll era, the popular music of the day included big band leaders such as Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey, soloists and crooners such as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennet, Bing Crosby, and Perry Como, as well as Boogie Woogie style vocal groups such as the Andrew Sisters, to mention a few. Broadway songs were popular in the 1940s and 1950s, but the focus was usually towards a broad family appeal rather than exclusively towards one age group. What made rock & roll different is that the marketing focus and appeal was almost exclusively towards young people.

The new musical form was a combination of feel-good, overtly or casually sexual, and slightly rebellious, something that tended to put off parents, but that appealed to youth. A positive effect of rock & roll on culture, is that because the roots of rock music were in black American culture, it helped take down the social barrier between young whites and blacks in the 1950s, opening the door towards a blending of cultures.

The radio was a key factor in the emergence and development of the populartity of rock & roll. In the late 1940s the television still was not ubiquitous in the American household, but nearly every household had a radio. One of the key players in promoting rock & roll was Cleveland disc jockey Alan Freed, who popularized the term rock & roll, which actually was a phrase coined from then-African American street vernacular for the sexual act.

While some of the earliest rockers such as Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis are known for their wild piano performances, the key instrumental development that contributed to rock & roll's evolution was the electric guitar. Fender began selling solid body electric guitars in 1950, with the Stratocaster, one of the most famous blues-rock guitars to date, appearing in 1954. Les Paul came up with his first electric guitar in 1952.

1950s rockers included boogie woogie pianist Fats Domino (Ain’t It a Shame), duck-stepping guitar pounding Chuck Berry (Johnny B. Goode), flashy and flamboyant Little Richard, Bill Haley (Rock Around the Clock), Bo Diddley with his hypnotic syncopated "hambone" rhythm, a rhythm copied by artists as diversified as Elvis Presley (Marie's the Name His Latest Flame), The Supremes, Jefferson Airplane (She Has Funny Cars) The Who (Magic Bus), David Bowie (Panic in Detroit), Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (American Girl), The Clash (Rudie Can't Fall), U2 (Movin' on Up), The Police (Deathwish), among numerous others.


A Defining Pivot Point in Early Rock - Elvis Presley and Rockabilly


A Pentecostal singer from Mississippi moved to Memphis, Tennessee in 1953, combining a strong blues beat with country and western, a whole lot of physical energy, and not a little sexuality, to create a genre known as "rockabilly". His shows were more sexually charged that anything to date in the mainstream musical world—parents and clergyman were appalled.

The man, of course, was Elvis Presley, who went on to become an American icon, a musical hero, who broke barriers, giving the green light to musical sexual idols to follow the trail he unconsciously blazed. Jerry Lee Lewis, the Everly Brothers, and Buddy Holly were some of the popular rock artists who also sported a rockabilly style, to become part of the universal eternal fabric of early rock and roll.

Criticism of rock and roll reached its apex in 1959, but numerous factors resulted in its eventual acceptance, including the influence of Dick Clark, whose sanitized version of rock on his popular show American Bandstand made it easier for the pre-rock generation of adults to digest.


American Folk Music Bends To Rock


In the meantime American folk music continued to develop, with American folk "keepers" of the genre such as Pete Seeger, Odetta, the New Lost City Ramblers, and so on; the 1960s began to spawn a new version of folk singers.

Folk singers such as Bob Dylan and Joan Baez focused more on social issues, speaking for a discontent generation, making public statements in song of personal liberty and a desire to be freed from the constraints of the prevailing society. Folk rock had taken a counterculture stance in the 1960s that became a prevailing attitude for the decades to come.

Bob Dylan started as a guitar strumming, harmonica blowing folk rock purist who spoke for a generational sub-culture. He drew criticism in 1965 with his fifth album, "Bringing It All Back Home", where side B continued the acoustic guitar tradition, but side A featured Dylan on electric guitar. When Dylan performed electric guitar rock at the Newport Folk Festival, some sections of the audience actually booed him.

The Woodstock music festival in 1969 brought folk rock and rock and roll together, with acoustic music such as Country Joe (MacDonald) and the Fish, with Country Joe's Vietnam protest song on acoustic guitar, and groups such as Crosby Stills and Nash becoming household names, with their folk-rock influenced counterculture rock message.


Black Pop and R & B Gives Birth to Motown in 1959


Motown Records was established in 1959, with a genre of black pop with a foundation on rhythm and blues, crossing paths with the world of rock and roll as well. Blues-soul singers such as Ray Charles and Sam Cooke, gave way to one of the most influential black singers ever, James Brown, "the Godfather or Soul", with an energetic sexually charged version of soul music, and captivating live performances, wild music emerging from a wild lifestyle, James Brown's troubled personal life mirrored a just-under-control stage performance.


Rock and Roll Creative Dormancy in the Early 1960s


The early 1960s were what some rock historians have described as a more or less dormant period in terms of rock and roll creative drive, where mellower versions of rock gently rolled ashore, a contrast from the groundbreaking rough surf of the 1950s, and the musically innovative drug-influenced period of the mid to late 1960s; the rock surf of the early '60s rock was more like a gently lapping Polynesian (or California) beach.

The Beach Boys are an example of an early '60s rock group that provided vocal harmonies to gentle rock music, feel-good music to be sure; this, though, hid the backdrop of a destructive lifestyle of the Beach Boys lead singer, standing at the harbinger of a new offshoot era of drug-influenced psychedelic rock music to come.


The Beatles and Beatlemania Hit the U.S.


The national American television program, the Ed Sullivan Show, also helped bridge the gap between mainstream American culture and rock & roll featuring prominent rock acts during the 1960s. In February 1964, a history-altering event transpired on the Ed Sullivan, helping to set the mood for the future of rock & roll music to this day.

As the Beatles made their first U.S. appearance, the television audience drowned out Sullivan’s intro with what the press referred to as "a full-throated primordial shriek." Behold the new rock-gods of the 1960s, who maintain a musical and even spiritual presence on a generation caught in the embrace of the Beatles’ influence. 74 million viewers, the largest television audience to date, watched the Beatles' performance, a performance that critics at the time expressed contempt for, but that has become as mainstream in the U.S. as apple pie.

While early Beatles music often featured clever and cute pop love songs, with only a dab of overt sexuality and rebelliousness, the Beatles entered the world of psychedelia in 1966-1967, while experimenting with marijuana and LSD, along with a growing youthful fascination with Hindu religion, which brought into Beatles music the slightest musical influence of India, adding to the groups depth.

Bob Dylan introduced the Beatles to marijuana in 1964, Lennon and Harrison were introduced to LSD in 1965, after both became a regular users, but especially Lennon. While McCartney did start experimenting with harder drugs such as LSD and cocaine during the same time period, even trying heroin, he did not use them as heavily as Lennon and Harrison. By 1969 and Abbey Road all reportedly were using heavy drugs to one extent or another.

John Lennon's song Cold Turkey provided emotional catharsis for the horrors of quitting heroin. Did the Beatles use of drugs influence a generation to follow suit? Some social commentators believe so, though there is not universal outspokenness on this specific topic (Nelson, S. 2014).

Lennon is widely quoted as saying, "In a way we’d turned out to be a 'Trojan Horse'. "The Fab Four moved right to the top [with love songs and light rock] and then sang about drugs and sex and then I got more and more into the heavy stuff…"

Lennon's drug abuse climaxed in 1969 with the release of Abbey Road during the making of which he and his partner Yoko Ono were snorting cocaine and shooting heroin. Lennon sang about his withdrawal agonies from drugs, specifically heroin, in the song Cold Turkey, performed soon after Abbey Road was released, echoing the agonizing groans of withdrawal pains throughout the song, that he no doubt experienced just a few months prior.


Social Rebellion, Woodstock, and psychedelia


The 1960s were noted for social rebellion, and this formed a useful platform on which coalesced the Woodstock (free) music festival held in Bethel, New York (close to Woodstock, NY), on the open field of Yazgur's farm.

32 musical acts performed to 400,000 young people, with a strong drug presence and “free love” Ashbury Haight style during this summer weekend—August 15 to 18, 1969. The weekend festival was sanctified by a Hindu guru Sri Swami Satchidananda (one of a number of charismatic spiritual Hindu leaders later to be charged with sexual philandering of his followers—Broad, W. J. 2012).

The rock and roll of the 1960s led way to various genres and subgenres of rock that developed through the 1970s through the 1990s. Some of these include psychedelia (pioneered by Jimmy Hendrix and The Beatles as the most well-known examples) and along with it acid rock.

Psychedelic music groups included those that emerged from the San Francisco Haight Ashbury scene such as the country rock influenced group the Grateful Dead, as well as groups such as Jefferson Airplane, the Yardbirds, and encapsulated with classic psychedelic rock from Pink Floyd, whose founding member Syd Barrett permanently losing his mind to LSD (the subject of Pink Floyd’s popular radio hit Shine on You Crazy Diamond). Haight Ashbury climaxed in 1967 with the Summer of Love and the Monterey pop music festival, about 100 miles south of San Francisco.

Blues-oriented bands such as the Yardbirds, Cream, the Jeff Beck Group, can still be heard on classic rock radio. First appearing in the mid-1960s, blues included such bands as the hard-driving rock-blues sound of the British band The Kinks, and of course the defining group of blues rock for what is now five decades, the Rolling Stones.


1960s through present rock band
The Who, classic rock, hard rock, radio rock, have been described by rock historians as "the epitome of rebellion". The Who paved the way for anarchic punk rock of the 1980s.

While not all rock music is necessarily angry, rock and roll does lend itself well to expressing or venting anger. The Who's anger is apparent in its music, and some rock historians have tried to determine the source of The Who's anger. Lead singer Roger Daltry, with working class roots in UK, long after The Who's catapult to stardom, talks about his anger related to social inequalities.


The Who and Hard Rock Lead to Punk Rock


The Who pushed the limits of rock to a new level of sound and intensity, creating mainstream hard rock, a is still a dominant force in rock radio; they paved the way for punk rock, a sometimes violent form of rock with a near-nihilistic philosophy.

The Who is considered to be one of the most influential forces in rock music, trail blazers with a raw energy and mass appeal that has continued to capture audiences to this year (2015), a force in rock music for some 50 years, along with the Rolling Stones and the Grateful Dead, who have also have performed for over 50 years (the Grateful Dead’s final performances—without founding member Jerry Garcia, the band refers to itself simply as The Dead—were July 3-5, 2015 in Chicago).

Classic rock music, which encompasses rock music from the mid 1960s, including the Beatles, and includes rock and hard rock music of the 1970s and ‘80s, still has a following with the generations of the day, as well as acquiring a young audience with listeners who may prefer the creative power of classic rock to the raw desperate emotions of 1990s alternative rock. Many teens of Generation X turned on by their parents to classic rock, choosing it in favor of newer or extreme forms of the same genre.

Hard rock reached its commercial climax in the mid 1980s and, additional to The Who, included such groups as Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Aerosmith, AC/DC, and Van Halen, with light metal rock group Bon Jovi following. Def Leppard's version of hard rock was part of what some lament as the rise of "corporate rock" a version of production-line rock and hard rock designed to appeal to the masses, but lacking the raw driving purity of the true rock-believer. Still to come were the rawer sounds of the hard rock group Guns N' Roses.

While punk rock is outside the boundaries of mainstream musical taste, it does extend its fingers into the mainstream with groups such as The Clash and the Ramones. Other popular genres of rock music to develop in the 1970s include country rock with such groups as the Allman Brothers band and Lynyrd Skynyrd—Lyndyrd Skynyrd with a hard rock version of the southern rock genre, along with several other prominent bands.


Rock Subgenre Glam Rock


Unlike major musical periods in classical music history, which are often clearly aligned within well-defined categories, rock and roll's rapid evolution into progressive forms creates a more-fluid boundary that once created often melds or morphs into still more-progressive categories.

The subgenres of rock music, then are often more fluid than they are clearly defined, and many rock artists or groups, fit as a whole into several loosely defined categories. Specific songs from individual artists might also carry influences from numerous musical genres, making defining clear boundaries not possible. However, there are numerous subgenres of the world of rock and roll that have been defined that can provide a useful guideline in categorizing modern rock music. Some of these such as hard rock and punk rock have already been discussed.

Another subgenre of rock and roll was made popular in the early 1970s' by David Bowie, with his Ziggy Stardust alter-ego, ushering in a sub-genre of rock music with a campy androgynous twist, glam rock. Bowie was the first rock music celebrity to boldly and openly declare "I am gay". The roots of glam rock perhaps go back to one of the fathers or rock and roll Little Richard, who was the first well-known homosexual rocker, his onstage attire and flamboyant stage performance reflecting his sexual persuasion; not openly gay, Richard later renounced both the world of rock music and his lifestyle after experiencing what he describes as a frightening dream of the Apocalypse.

Popular glam rock bands also included T. Rex, Sweet, Roxy Music, Gary Glitter, Alice Cooper, New York Dolls, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, and Jobriath. Glam rock was and is a part of FM rock radio to this day, with rock groups such as KISS, and club band Twisted Sister running with the heavy makeup front that Bowie led at the height of his creative productivity.


Hard Rock Evolves Into Heavy Metal


Of course, no essay on rock music would be complete without throwing stones at the favorite target of all moral forces in the universe, that is heavy metal. Hard rock evolved into at least two distinct new music forms, previously mentioned punk rock, and heavy metal.

The Encyclopedia Britannica describes heavy metal as a "genre of rock music that includes a group of related styles that are intense, virtuosic, and powerful. Driven by the aggressive sounds of the distorted electric guitar, heavy metal is arguably the most commercially successful genre of rock music."

What was the first heavy metal song? Some pin The Beatles' Helter Skelter, while others consider Deep Purple's Smoke on the Water as the rock world’s entrance into the world of heavy metal.

On the other hand, Ozzie Ozbourne’s Black Sabbath epitomized what heavy metal came to be known for, the dark, harsh, beyond hard rock music with "Satanic" influences, that would lead to such extreme versions of heavy metal as "death metal", "thrash metal", "power metal", among others. Academic website MIT Heavy Metal 101 states tongue in cheek, "And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. And while God rested, the devil created Heavy Metal..."

MIT cites the defining moments of heavy metal with the following rock music and groups: Preceding heavy metal - Jimi Hendrix Experience - (Purple Haze, 1967); Black Sabbath (1970) is described as the Big Bang of heavy metal; Deep Purple (Smoke on the Water, 1972); Judas Priest (1978); Iron Maiden (1982); Metallica (1986); Pantera (1990); Alice in Chains (1992); In Flames (2000). (Pearlin, J. 2014).

Often overlooked are the bridge bands such as Bon Jovi, with their "light metal" sound, a pop-rock mainstream bridge in the rock-god genre, linking classic rock and heavy metal. Last FM describes light metal as "a word pun on heavy metal. It usually describes bands who are rooted in the metal music, but whose style is significantly softer, due to subtle melodies, clear vocals or numerous ballads."


Country Rock, California Rock, Angst Rock, Heartland Rock


Two other forms of notable rock sub-genres include country rock, not to be confused with southern rock, with such bands as The Band, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and Neil Young, who combined his country rock sound with folk rock Woodstocker's Crosby Stills and Nash.

Another rock sub-genre with a country influence was epitomized by the California style country rock group The Eagles. The Doobie Brothers, also from California, their name derived from a slang term for the butt of a marijuana cigarette, became a symbol for typical FM radio classic rock.

Fleetwood Mac's male-female lineup took the place of the Momma's and the Pappa's in the California rock scene, with the same personal drug battles and intrapersonal feuds that characterized their Woodstock era predecessor, with the exception that, like Led Zepplin, Fleetwood Mac laced their classic rock FM songs with dabs of spiritism, adding an element of mystery to their up-rock beat, while Zepplin’s primitive spiritual wanderings added a mystical element to their mainstream hard rock music.

With the breakup of the Beatles in 1969, the 1970s elevated a new rock superstar, Bruce Springsteen. Springsteen, a rocker with working class roots, was ambitiously determined to produce the greatest rock album of all time, and he nearly did just that. He slaved with his E-Street band for a year and a half to produce Born to Run, which proved to be one of the most successful mainstream rock albums ever.

Springsteen’s music is described by some as "angst rock" (Sandford, C. p. 154), or as how Hackensack, New Jersey journalist Jim Eckerman puts it, "where hard times mirror angst in songs", or as another journalist coined it, "angst mixed with hope". Other rock historians classify rock performers such as Bruce Springsteen, John Cougar Mellencamp, and Tom Petty with the not-so-widely used term among rockers, Heartland Rock.

Alternative Rock - late 1980s through the present - Music of anguish, anger, emotional unrest.
Alternative Rock - late 1980s through the present - Music of anguish, anger, emotional unrest, and might sometimes be described as aggressive or violent. Kurt Kobain with Nirvana 1992. Photo: P.B. Rage, USA.

Anguish and emotional unrest or pain are some of the emotional hallmarks of alternative rock music. Some of the more-aggressive forms of alternative rock, like punk rock, can be described as a violent form of music.

Nirvana was one of the most-influential alternative rock bands to emerge in the early 1990s, "Nirvanamani" sweeping the country in 1991. Kurt Cobain of Nirvana, struggling with drug addiction, went on to commit suicide in 1994. Remnants of Nirvana went on to form the "Foo Fighter", with a slightly polished edge while retaining an intense angry flare that has also been described in terms of violence in music.

Cobaine's Nirvana started its version of desperate angst rock in 1987, to become one of the most influential bands of the post-classic rock era, closing the door on the major creative force and raw energy of rock music, and opening the door for a raw emotional musical force that would influence a generation of post-Beatles/Springsteen, non-heavy metal youth.

Other purveyers of mainstream rock angst included bands such as Bono's U2, punk-border group The Cure. This coalesced to form a new subgenre of rock music in the late 1980s and 1990s, alternative rock or grunge rock.


1980s classic or radio rock of the Police.
Sting with the Police--1980s classic rock or radio rock music of the 1980s. Police music has described as the "music of tension" by music critics.

Classic rock, FM radio music, with a strong raggae influence, as well as roots in the punk/new wave music scene of the early 1980s, the music of the Police and Sting, has been described as "music of tension".


"Disco Sucks" say Rock Purists - Well Maybe it Doesn't


Outside of the realm of rock and roll, a prominent musical force of the 1970s includes disco and along with it disco culture. One dictionary defines disco as "Pop music intended mainly for dancing to at discos, typically soul-influenced and melodic with a regular bass beat and popular particularly in the late 1970s." (0xford Dictionaries). Influences in the development of disco music include soul, funk, blues and gospel, Motown and pop, salsa, and psychedelic.

Disco was/is a rhythm-dominated pop genre, with a focus on the pleasure or pleasures of dancing. Disco culture evolved in the New York dance scene, initially in the gay night clubs, but also developing in black and Latino NY dance clubs during the same time period.

The 1977 film Saturday Night Fever popularized a pop form of disco with Bee Gees beat music, epitomizing the sexual abandon that accompanied disco culture in the movie and that is still apart of the philosophy predominating pop-radio airwaves with today's dance music, much of it echoing the beats of its disco-beat predecessor.

Disco is a relevant topic for discussion under the subject of the history of rock, because while rock purists held disco in disdain, the "Disco Sucks" campaign is presented as evidence, the strong disco beat found its way into rock music as various forms of modern music melded in the 1970s until today. 21st century musical subgenres such as techno, trance and their derivatives, Latin pop, as well as non-classic radio rock songs and forms, owe their existence to the breakthrough of disco.

With some common roots to rock and roll, disco finds its way into rock with such songs as "Miss You", by the Rolling Stones, largely sung in an intermittent falsetto by Mic Jagger, "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy" by Rod Stewart, and "Another One Bites the Dust" by Queen, and The Kinks "Wish I Could Fly Like Superman", among possible others.


An Intelligent Artistic Alternative to Head Banging: Prog Rock
------------------------------------------(Progressive Rock)


A final rock subgenre that should be mentioned is progressive rock or prog rock. Well known Progressive rock groups include Emerson Lake & Palmer and Yes, and also may include Canadian rock, hard rock, prog rock band RUSH, Ian Anderson's hard rock and rock band Jethro Tull, The Moody Blues, King Crimson, and Genesis. Prog rock provided greater artistic expression than the simplistic three chord blues sound of some of blues-based rock songs. Songs were generally longer, more developed, artistically creative, and with notable influences in classical, jazz, or non-traditional music from other cultures.


Conclusion of the History of Rock and Roll - "The Music of Rebellion"


Rock emerged in the early 1950s as a music that for the first time catered almost exclusively to the youth of the day. It helped erase the racial divide between black and white America, and also caught on rapidly in Britain, and other parts of Europe, notably Germany. Britain rock groups became a major influence on rock music in the U.S. The major raw creative force of rock music began to wane in the 1970s, so that mainstream rock had lost its creative drive by 1990. It gave way, however, to even rawer versions of the genre with various forms of heavy metal, and along with it punk rock, and grunge (alternative) rock.

Rock music has always been rebellious in spirit, associated with rebellion, and in the case of the Beatles, “slightly rebellious. As for 1960s counterculture and folk rockers such as Bob Dylan, rebellion was an integral part of their acoustic and electric music. Social causes were dominant in rock music through the 1960s and into the 1970s, with famous rockers becoming cultural statesmen.

Punk rock of the 1970s gave way to the more-commercial version of punk, new wave, even as the raw energy of classic rock in the 1970s gave way to the commercialized corporate rock to follow. The rock music associated with counterculture became just another form of music to be exploited for monetary gain. Raw energy, however, remains in heavy metal, with a highly countercultural and rebellious leaning.

Rock music led to the nihilistic dead end of punk rock, even as disco led to an epicurean pleasure-dominated splinter of the musical dance music that exists today.

Parents and authorities criticized rock as a corrupting influence, Mitchell Hall capsulizes the spirit of rock music calling it "the music of rebellion" in his introduction and in the closing sentence of the main text of his historical/sociological work on the subject of rock and roll.


References for History of Rock and Roll


1. Beckerman, J. (2012, May 3). Springsteen's tour likely to resonate in Europe, where hard times mirror angst in songs. The Record http://www.la.com/music/ci_20539961/springsteens-tour-likely-resonate-europe-where-hard-times

2. Broad, W. J. (2012, February 28). Yoga and Sex Scandals: No Surprise Here. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/28/health/nutrition/yoga-fans-sexual-flames-and-predictably-plenty-of-scandal.html

3. Disco. Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. Retrieved July 22, 2015 from http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/disco

4. Hall, M. K. (2014). The Emergence of Rock and Roll: Music and the Rise of American Youth Culture (Critical Moments in American History series) 1st Edition. New York, NY: Routledge.

5. Light Metal. (2013, November 26) Last.FM. http://www.last.fm/tag/light%20metal

6. Nelson, S. (2014, January 22). Drug Use Belied Beatles' Squeaky-Clean Image. U.S. News and World Report. http://www.usnews.com/news/special-reports/articles/2014/01/22/drug-use-belied-beatles-squeaky-clean-image

7. Pearlin, J. (2014). A Brief History of Metal. MIT: Heavy Metal 101. http://metal.mit.edu/brief-history-metal 8. Ratliff, B., (2008, June 3). Bo Diddley, Who Gave Rock and Roll His Beat, Dies at 79. New York Times.

9. Robertson, J., (1998). Natural Prozac. San Francisco: Harper SanFrancisco.

10. Sandford. C. (1999). Springsteen: Point Blank. Boston: Da Capo Press.

11. Walser, R. (2014, November 20). Heavy Metal. Enyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. http://www.britannica.com/art/heavy-metal-music


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