As with every decade before it, 2020 promises to bring great change. Decade to decade, music always has the most identifiable change, especially rock music. From Bob Dylan to Fall Out Boy, here’s a breakdown of how rock music has evolved over the years.
1950s: After the big band era came to its close, rock music was born. Frank Sinatra’s time in the spotlight ended while R&B, jazz and the blues gained popularity. During this transitional time, the solid-body electric guitar became a vital instrument and gave way to some of the first rock hits. And of course, who could forget Elvis Presley? Known as The King of Rock and Roll, he rose to fame with songs like “Heartbreak Hotel” and “Jailhouse Rock.”
1960s: Still relatively new, rock music took influence from many different sources, such as the hippie movement and television. As a result, the focus of the music shifted toward social and political issues. The genre also took on new forms like bubblegum rock and hard rock. At this time, garage bands began to emerge. The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones all became sensations during the ‘60s.
1970s: Once the hippie movement died down, hard rock and heavy metal really began to take shape. Bands like Black Sabbath and Deep Purple performed darker-sounding songs that people couldn’t get enough of. Though the Beatles had broken up, the legendary band Queen soon rose to stardom with classic songs including “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We Will Rock You.”
1980s: Of course, where would we be without the music our parents listened to? Artists like Bon Jovi and Billy Joel became fan favorites with “You Give Love A Bad Name” and “Piano Man.” Bands like U2 and AC/DC were also big hits. Some of the new music styles included synthpop, rap and hip-hop. MTV and music videos were also quite popular in the ‘80s.
1990s: Time for technology. The ‘90s resulted in not only the vast, music-making power of the internet but also a massive explosion of various subgenres in rock. From grunge and alternative to pop punk and techno, rock music spread like wildfire. Bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Green Day and Metallica are still popular to this day.
2000s: With all the modern advancements going into the 2000s, rock music took a more modern approach while still keeping the great music of the ‘80s and ‘90s. Bands such as My Chemical Romance, Twenty One Pilots and Panic! at the Disco all made people’s playlists.
2010s: Today, rock music is a vast and entertaining genre, including modern rock bands like Alabama Shakes, Imagine Dragons and The Struts. From Christian rock to death metal, people of the 10s listen to rock music spanning all decades and sounds.
With the number of developments the genre has gone through, it’s hard to know for sure what path this new decade of rock music will take, but one thing is for sure: I’m ready for it.