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Rock Street, San Francisco

Rock and Roll, a genre that is constantly changing and evolving it started off with artists like Elvis and The Beatles. It then started shifting to the heavier, darker sounds of Metallica, Pearl Jam and My Chemical Romance and briefly veering off course and into light, upbeat sounding songs played in clubs. The disco music of Gloria Gaynor or the funk sounds of James Brown. Most of these bands originated in California, like the beachy vibes we get from The Beach Boys. England was also the origin of many bands like Queen and The Beatles. Rock and Roll is not just the rebellious bands most people think of but a variety of genres that play across the world.Some people believe rock and roll started with The Beatles in 1957, when four boys heavily influenced by Elvis, Chuck Berry and those alike. In 1964 they came to America creating what some would call a mass hysteria, called ‘Beatlemania’. They borrowed sound from genres such as the blues and folk rock, which makes them similar to many other groups but also sets them apart and makes them unique. With hit songs such as Hey Jude and Here Comes the Sun this group of outsiders from Liverpool was labeled as one of the most influential bands of all time. Although they no longer perform, as they broke up in 1970 and two of them are dead, The Beatles still left their mark on almost every musical artist we listen to and idolize today.Folk rock The Beach Boys, who got many sounds from The Beatles, got their start in 1961, and still perform to this day. This group originated in the beachy area of California, hence the name. Rubber Soul, an album from The Beatles is what they say most of their influence came from. Songs from their early days include, Good Vibrations and Surfin’ U.S.A. The Beach Boys were originally supposed to be a rock band but because of their lack of ‘edginess’ they were labeled folk rock or sometimes called surf rock. Teens along the coast of California heavily enjoyed music from the group and was a popular choice at parties.Coming out of London in 1970 glam rock band Queen got their start in the music world. Glam Rock being a more dressed up, flashy version of rock, was as expected, drew many sounds out of classic rock bands such as The Beatles. Arguably their best and most famous song, Bohemian Rhapsody came out in 1975 The song was even covered by modern pop rock band Panic! At the Disco, who says most of their music today is inspired by Queen. The iconic punk band My Chemical Romance is also said to have been influenced by this classic glam rock band.A genre ridiculed by many, Heavy Metal, is derived from the sounds of The Beatles and Elvis but louder, and more angry in spirit. Out of Los Angeles in 1981, Metallica, is one of the most popular metal bands of our time. Inspired by glam rock bands like Kiss and Led Zeppelin, Metallica produced songs such as, Enter Sandman, and Master of Puppets. They are said to have re-invented metal with their album Ride the Lightning released in 1984. Throughout the 80s 90s teens everywhere could be found with their friends, Metallica blaring through their speakers.Moving backwards on the timeline to funk music, James Brown born in 1933 in South Carolina and grew up listening to blues and classic African American music, started singing funk in 1958 with his song Try Me. Bigger artists like Michael Jackson and The Rolling Stones also have many sounds they got from funk artists like James Brown. Funk is often labeled as disco as they have similar sounds.As mentioned above disco artist, Gloria Gaynor was inspired by funk music and by watching her father play in clubs, to get herself known in the world of music, which she did as she was crowned ‘Queen of Disco’ after her billboard hit song I Will Survive was released. Although she mainly performs gospel today she was still the biggest influence on disco music and for aspiring musicians everywhere, people from every genre of music. Herr contribution to mainstream gospel opened the pathway for gospel to be sung outside of the church.A more modern band, debuting in 2001 from New Jersey, punk band My Chemical Romance, who was inspired by glam rock band Queen. They brought light to subjects such as, mental illness, drug use and suicide, which was common among teens at the time. Another punk band, Black Flag and alternative rock band Smashing Pumpkins was an importance to My Chemical Romance’s sound and aesthetic. Popular songs and some of my personal favorites include, Welcome to the Black Parade, I’m Not Okay(I Promise) and Party Poison.New Wave was mainly composed as bands that did not fit into any other genre. The Go-Gos’ opened doors for female performers and even broke many records for being an all girl group. The Beatles and The Runaways had a great effect on this band. We Got the Beat, being one of their most popular and well known songs was released in 1981. Many reporters and journalists say this song is what really made them gain popularity. This group was mentioned specifically because of the barriers they jumped over for women.Emerging from the depths of Seattle, Grunge band Pearl Jam took off in 1990 and still tours today. Inspired by The Who and Led Zeppelin, Pearl Jam popularized grunge alongside Nirvana. Although Nirvana is one of the most popular Grunge bands of all time people argue that Pearl Jam is the real face of the genre. Grunge which is a mix of heavy metal, punk and more classic rock was and still is a genre full of bad luck, death and drug addictions.Grandmaster Flash who was at first a solo artist found his calling with his band Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. Said to be the father or more the grandfather of hip hop, Grandmaster Flash got his start with the Furious Five in 1976 and ran until 1988. He was influenced by funk and soul and spread the message about the poor living conditions in the Bronx during this time. Their song The Message is what really got people talking about them and starting to bring light to the topics talked about in the song. This song talked about not only living conditions but drugs and prostitution. Music changes more everyday with the rise of new genres and more foreign music such as K-Pop. Our next generation already enjoys music from decades ago but with trends changing and children evolving no one will be able to truly predict what may come of our music. Kids will listen and parents will revolt against it, a pattern that is too frequent when a new band emerges. From The Beatles to Metallica to Grandmaster Flash music has shifted a lot in terms of sound and aesthetic.

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