All in one - Mainstream Rock and Roll in the 1970s Overview...

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Mainstream Rock and Roll in the 1970’s Overview Rock and Roll tragedies – Hendrix, Mama Cass, “Beatles”, Janis Joplin; Vietnam is a disaster shift to blatant consumerism and end of idealism Rock becomes big business – anyone can own a record label New self-consciousness and idea of identity – malleable persona: sexuality, race etc…: “We can’t change the world, how do we change ourselves?” Definition of Mainstream Smoothing out of other styles o Less aggressive/avant-garde Categories o Americana – Neo-Alt-Country o Soft Rock – The Singer –Songwriter “Americana” Pop rock Nostalgia for early 1960s; pop crooner, r&b, rockabilly Elton John, “Crocodile Rock” (1972) Pop crooner and doo-wop references o “Heart and Soul” chord progression o Gospel piano; soulful vocals Lyrics: “I remember when rock was young . . . ” o British artist affecting American accent o Nostalgia for pre-British Invasion era Bruce Springsteen, “Born to Run” (1975) – “Heartland Rock” Revival of 1950s working-class rock ‘n’ roll identity Vocal style: gospel emotionalism of Elvis plus verbosity of Bob Dylan, earnestness of unprofessional/unclear sound “Anthem Rock” – knock you over the head fullness of sound Bells evoke American, high school marching band o Also boosts high end of the mix to cut through on the radio Spector-like monumental ode to teenage dissatisfaction and restlessness Singer/Songwriters and Soft Rock Primary interest is the voice and lyrics Melodic vocal hooks Musical influences of folk and jazz Drums low in the mix; no extended instrumental solos Undistorted or acoustic guitar Lyrics are “confessional”; first person explorations of emotions; earnest “Help Me” Joni Mitchell (1974) Jazz-influenced vocal style Instruments: woodwinds (flutes, clarinets); muted brass at the break Dense poetry; Dylan-influenced free verse style Melody: shows off her wide vocal range Hook: falling melodic line from high to low for refrain “Help me . . .” Singer/Songwriter Group: Fleetwood Mac Early sound: blues revival band (1967-70) Stable members: bassist John McVie and drummer Mick Fleetwood o Personnel changes between 1970-75 1975: add L. A. folk-rock duo Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham o o Successful combination: mixed gendered folk/country/pop/rock band “Rhiannon,” 1975 Low end boosted in the mix Dreaminess created by strong bass riff plus shimmery percussion Choral refrain with rich folk-rock harmonies Stevie Nicks: distinctive grainy, “country” voice
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Song about a witch; established Nicks’ stage persona (mystical and sexual) Heavy Metal Stylistic Traits Repeating bass riffs or unison bass-guitar riffs as foundation High-register vocals
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This note was uploaded on 11/04/2010 for the course MUSIC 221 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at Cornell.

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All in one - Mainstream Rock and Roll in the 1970s Overview...

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