Generation vs. Generation of Music

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Music has been around for ages, and has seen many different faces and many different styles. In today’s age, people don’t really listen to music or remember music that happened before the 1960s. In this time period, the emergent style of music was called rock and roll, this music was new and inventive, and something no one had really seen before. It featured electric guitars, loud songs, and a whole new era of talented and innovative musicians. Some would argue that the 1960s and 70s were the best years our world has seen musically. Today, music is much different than it was 40 and 50 years ago. Hip-hop, pop, and rap have emerged as leading styles of music, and most instruments have been omitted. These two, extremely different eras of music both have fan bases of their own today. I am going to tell you why one of these styles is a lot better, in both the pleasure of listening, and musical ability.

Popular music of the 60s and 70s is far superior then the popular music of today for many reasons, I will name just a few. First of all, in today’s popular music there is a lot of electronic enhancement, and special effects. Some would say these have helped music, but I would disagree, in the 70s and 60s everyone relied on talent to make it big. People can appreciate music of that era a lot more, because it takes serious talent to be that good. Anyone who plays any instrument should know that. Secondly, classic rock music (60s/70s music) has a lot of variety in both songs and bands. It seems like today, every band is one pop singer with their voice enhanced, singing to a computer projected drum beat, while classic rock included everything from soft jam bands like The Grateful Dead, who are famous for their live performances, where one beautiful acoustic songs runs into the next, to hard-rock pioneers like Led Zeppelin, who started the age of electric guitars and rocking drum-beats. These are reasons why modern day music will never surpass classic rock.


First of all, popular music of the 60s and 70s is far superior then popular music today because of the skill and talent of the musicians. People can enjoy music a lot more if they can appreciate the hard work and talent that goes into it (especially if they are a musician themselves.) In the 60s and 70s the world saw some of the greatest musicians ever to walk this earth. From belting and shrieking singers like Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) and Mick Jagger (The Rolling Stones) to some of the best ‘axe-men’ of all time, which are guitarists such as David Gilmour (Pink Floyd) and Eric Clapton (Cream). According to numerous sources such as Digitaldreamdoor.com and Guitar Heroes (book), the best guitarists, bassists, drummers, keyboardists, and singers have come from the 60s and 70s. Back then, someone’s talent defined music, and fans of classic rock could appreciate that. On the other hand, today, we seem to have lost sight of that, and it seems as though less and less talent is used in popular bands, as electronic enhancement takes over the music world. Secondly, live musical performances benefit immensely from talented musicians. Live concerts have taken a big hit since the 1960s and 70s, because musicians don’t have the ability to play anything other than what was recorded in the studio, if that! In the 60s and 70s, live concerts were a spectacle to see, they were something that defined some bands, and made others famous. Bands like the Grateful Dead, who made hundreds of bootleg albums, which were just from live concerts. They would have long jams and great variations of songs on stage, making it a whole new experience, or Led Zeppelin who made a name for themselves in America by rocking venue after venue, blowing out the headliners who shamefully had to go on after them. Concerts such as Woodstock have changed the world. They weren’t only filled with great music, but they were also a sign of peaceful protest or rebellion or whatever they wanted it to be. Great concerts like this changed people’s lives and made musicians famous. Now, it seems as though most popular performers aren’t talented enough to make a concert much different then what you can get on the CD. In conclusion, talent and musical ability of musicians has changed music immensely over the decades. Not only, did talent make the music of the 60s and 70s much better, but it also made people appreciate it much more. Also, it changed live concerts greatly.

The next reason that the classic rock era of music was better than today’s era of music would be the great variety in not only the songs, but also the bands. First of all, in songs of the 1960s and 70s, there was a great amount of changes in both the speed and volume of songs. A music professor once told my jazz band that a song should “take you on a journey,” that you should be able to just “sit back and relax, and the music will take you on a journey without having to even move.” This rings true with classic rock songs, a lot of songs from famous bands like Led Zeppelin, Cream, The Doors, The Grateful Dead, and others, were long 20-plus minute jams, where the musicians had to fill time and not bore their audience. This is why fans received slow, melodic beginnings, iconic, middle jam sessions, and hard rocking climaxes, all in one song. Artists like Eric Clapton made a name for themselves simply by filling empty spaces in songs with revolutionary solos. The most famous songs of the 60/70s would end as a completely different song from when they started. Take arguably the most famous song ever, “Stairway to Heaven,” it is over eight minutes long, and starts with a slow and beautiful guitar part, not having drums and bass even play until about four minutes into the song, then it builds into an explosive guitar solo, and a final, speedy, hard-rock verse until finishing quite like it started. Songs like this made classic rock music diverse and exciting. Today, the majority of songs seem to be three minutes of people yelling the same repetitive verse in your face, which may be catchy at first, but soon gets old. This is a main reason why modern day songs can’t remain popular for more than maybe a month. People can only take so much repetition. Secondly, bands of the 60/70s differed about as much as their songs, which is why not only could each band build a large, specific fan base, but it also made it so fans could be immersed in very different styles of songs while still not straying far from the classic rock genre. Bands would set a new style and milestone daily. First it was pop bands like the Beatles and The Beach Boys, then mysterious jam bands with great songwriters, like Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, and The Grateful Dead. At the same time, hard rock pioneers such as the Rolling Stones, The Who, Cream, and Jimi Hendrix began to emerge. Then psychedelic rock grew with Pink Floyd recording The Wall and The Dark Side of the Moon, and also Led Zeppelin and The Doors gaining fan bases on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. All of these genres both coexisted together and shared their time at the top, leaving fans with a taste of something new every few years. Today bands do share variety between them, but it is difficult to distinguish the most popular groups from each other. In conclusion, the exciting variety between both songs and bands of the 60s and 70s, and the lack thereof with bands today, is yet another reason why the classic rock era far surpasses the hip-hop era.

Finally, some people might say that classic rock was so revolutionary, because it was the first time people had ever heard anything like it, and that at the time they might not have liked it, but now we know it’s one of the greatest styles of music ever. Some people may say that the same would go for modern-day music, that it may seem to wild to some people now, but it will become legendary just like classic rock someday. Well, in a sense, this is correct in a lot of ways, but I also believe, that we need to know what kind of musical change is good, and what kind is not so good, and this new revolution is not good. In 1960 we saw a change for the more exciting, today we are just seeing a change for the less talented and more annoying.

In conclusion, classic rock and roll of the 60s and 70s dominates popular modern day music in comparison, because the musicians were many times more talented which made better music and better concerts, and the music was more diverse, making more exciting and interesting songs.





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