Essay about The History of Rock


South Korean singer/songwriter, Psy once stated, “The world's most famous and popular language is music.” Rock music was originated as rock n roll in the late 1940s and developed into a range of different styles in the mid-1960s and later. By 1990, rock had exponentially grown in many different parts of the music industry. Rock had risen from the “economic crisis in 1980” and began to influence music. Now, rock not only rose in the 1990s but continued to ascend in the early 2000s only to attain status through common barriers of the 90s. 1990’s rock and 2000’s rock were both influential, however, 1990’s rock brought increasing numbers in global music, made an impact in modern rock and created new rock genres.

Statistics presented that 1990’s Rock increased numbers in global music, specifically the United States and United Kingdom. Rock quickly became adult music with the exception of youthful trends appearing and disappearing. Many bands were mass-marketed by major music labels and soon alternative rock bands became commercially successful in the 90s. Trends in the 90s were also a success for many bands and these trends would later be associated with the 90s in the 2000’s. Although rock was no longer hitting the charts in the 2000s, many successful bands continued to ride the wave. The 90s had musicians rising to early fame; they were signing record deals and selling millions of album copies in no time. As these bands began to decline, new genres were soon introduced causing an uprise in rock once again. New technology developments in music allowed fans to receive music however they wanted. CD and vinyl records continued to sell increasing rock music sells by 84 percent and over 755 million albums were sold by 1999. New technology only increased in the 2000s allowing people to download music onto their musical devices those being: iPods and MP3 players. Rock influence in the 90’s was not only in the US but other countries like the UK, which by the end of the 90s had the biggest percentage of rock music fans. Rock fans in the 2000s slowly declined as new genres like EDM were introduced and genres like Hip Hop hit the scene only swaying those fans in a new direction. Prosperous bands like U2 sold millions of copies for their albums dropped in the 90s and made approximately over 121 million dollars that decade. Not only did numbers increase in 90s rock music but 90s rock also set a foundation for later decades. 

1990s rock became most influential during the mid-90s, many bands making chart toppers and peaking on their world fame. Even today many rock artists have admitted to being influenced by bands in the 90s. For example, Machine Gun Kelly released an album with Travis Barker in 2020, Travis Barker is drummer of Blink-182. Blink-182 is a band formed in 1992 and they definitely had a heavy influence in MGKs album. Many other bands like the Nirvana (1987), Pearl Jam (1990), Linkin Park (1996), The Strokes (1998), Arctic Monkeys (2002), etc. are still a great guidance for many new and upcoming bands. Not only did rock in the 90s make chart toppers but rock in the 2000s also had artists peaking in the top 40s list. For example, 3 Doors Down peaked at No. 3 on the hot 100. In the 90s an increasing number of voices drew in on local traditions and local concerts to absorb the music of rock. This only led to growth in live music ticket/industry revenue and concert ticket sale revenue; the US alone making billions of dollars. This would soon unfortunately disappear in the year 2009, US music sales began to decline from 14.6 billion in the 90s to 6.3 billion in the 2000s. Album sales had dropped by 8 percent each year since the 90s, but not to worry this would soon end in the mid 2000’s. As 1990’s rock set a foundation for modern rock, the 90s also brought along new genres of rock music.

The biggest curveball of 90s music was the establishment of grunge which had bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam as the face of grunge. Alternative rock had also entered the musical mainstream with bands like the Red-Hot Chili Peppers and Radiohead. Not only was grunge and alternative massive in the 90s they also made a cameo in the 2000s with bands like Arctic Monkeys, Twenty-one Pilots, Paramore, Imagine Dragons and more. The punk scene was to become hugely popular with teens both in America and the UK. Other genres like alternative metal, indie rock, pop punk, heavy metal, etc. would soon make an appearance that would sway musicians in their direction. Nonetheless, grunge was widely popular due to its defining qualities of punk and tuned down metal and pop influence. One of the biggest grunge bands to exist (Nirvana) had the world wrapped around their talented fingers. Nirvana’s sophomore album, Nevermind, was greatly responsible for bringing grunge music to a mainstream audience. Nirvana’s mix of abstract music captured Generation X youth and continues to shape and apprise rock music today. Unfortunately, their fame would soon end in 1994 when lead singer and guitarist, Kurt Cobain, was found dead in his Seattle home. This death brought devastation to the world of grunge music as well as universal rock. Many bands all over the world would credit Nirvana as one of the most influential bands and to the day would continue to do so. Now, there’s a lot of elements that go into making a genre of music enjoyable and these mentioned were only a couple.

Mass industry growth, influence on the world of rock, and the introduction of variety rock genres are what made most of the 90s and 2000’s. The industry hit its peak in the 90s then unfortunately declined in the 2000’s but continued to regain as new categories were introduced. The influence of bands in the world of rock will always be remembered and will continue to impact modern rock. Lastly, not only did a variety of rock genres sprout in the 90s but continued to prosper throughout the 2000’s and will extend to rebirth in modern rock. The category of rock sprouted from the 1940s but became even larger in later decades. Although rock music isn’t for everyone, it has still made an exponential impact in several decades and will maintain its position. The generation of rock is never ending, it will continue to sway the world in its mysterious ways. As one says “society will continue to find new ways of procreating” which will lead to a never-ending era of music. So, which decade do you think created the most influence?

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