Rock music has proved popular since it first emerged in the late 1960s. It had originated from rock and roll which has been a force in the 1950s and early 1960s, so in a way it is a genre in itself. Rock music has however, developed into one of the most popular forms of popular music. Rock music differed from the other types of music with its use of the electrical guitars. The lead guitar and the bass guitar set a rhythm that at times appeared to be harsh compared to other types of music. During rock’s history there has been many different genres that have emerged, and with it some people are attracted to one particular genre of rock and be totally uninspired by another. There are some rock groups that will be grouped into one type of music and yet may also be similar to other genres. Other groups clearly fit into one area.
A good example of a band fitting into one genre are Led Zeppelin. The band had emerged together with rock music in the late 1960s and they fitted perfectly into being described as a heavy metal band. Most of the bands songs were written by Jimmy Page with the lyrics produced by Robert Plant. However, it was their role as world class musicians that set the band apart. Robert Plant as lead singer had the vocals that made the group recognizable where ever they were heard around the world. Jimmy Page is arguably one of the best lead guitarists that rock music has produced, and the group are synonymous with heavy metal music.
However, there were many other groups whose sounds were heavily influenced by other musical genres. This was particularly the case with some of the American bands and the strong influence of country music and the blues. From this mix Southern rock was formed and one of the most famous bands to emerge was Lynyrd Skynyrd. Hailing from Jacksonville in Florida the band produce two classical records “Free Bird” and “Sweet Home Alabama”. Sadly a plane crash took the lives of two of the most influential members in 1977, just as the group were reaching the height of their popularity. As newer rock bands appeared in the 70s onwards the differences in types of rock music became more and more distinctive. Glam rock, country rock, punk rock, psychedelic rock, mod rock and new wave all had their own moments in time, when their particular genre happened to be the most popular.
Some artists have evolved their music through the different genres. There is no greater example than Paul Weller who started his career as the lead singer of The Jam. They supported punk band The Clash on their 1977 “White Riot“ tour, but wasn’t long before the group became closer to the new wave and mod rock scenes. His contribution left such an indelible impression that Weller is today commonly known as “The Modfather” and it wasn’t long before he left the group to form the Style Council. Weller still wanted to adapt his music further and once he pursued a solo career his music became slower and even soulful.
There are many groups who are difficult to tie to one particular genre of rock. One of the greatest record selling rock groups of all time are Queen. Similar to Led Zeppelin in that they fronted by an inspirational front man and a world class lead guitarist, their music crossed, and even created, boundaries. Vocalist Freddie Mercury and lead guitarist Brian May were so revolutionary in the records that they produced that it was impossible to create a label that they could play under. There were clear influences of heavy metal, hard rock, progressive rock, arena rock and even pop rock, but all of it was irrelevant as classic record after classic record was written and then performed by the band.
There are many different styles of rock music represented in many different regions around the world.