Genres -> Hard Rock
|Hard Rocks roots can be found in the early Garage Rock and Psychedelic Rock.
Hard rock is greatly influenced mainly by blues music, making use of the popular blues pentatonic scale. Hard rock uses elements of the "British Blues" which is a form of blues played mostly with the electric guitar, bass and drums. Unlike Rock 'n' Roll which draws more elements from the "old" blues music.
The main instrument in hard rock is the electric guitar, most successful hard rock bands have remarkable guitarists, such as Brian May (Queen), Ritchie Blackmore (Deep Purple and Rainbow) and Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin). The hard rock bassist must be able to outline the harmony and keep the rhythm of the music as the same time, popular bassists are Cliff Williams (ACDC), Phil Lynott (Thin Lizzy) and Jhon Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin). Hard Rock drummers make use of mainly the snare and bass drums, the drummer while completing the rhythm section of the band should also drive the music.
During the 1970's hard rock spawned a new genre, namely heavy metal. As is the case for some bands it is nearly impossibly to classify them as "Hard Rock" or "Heavy Metal". This is the case with many of the pioneers of Heavy Metal such as Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Uriah Heep. Considered by some to be Hard Rock by others to be Heavy Metal, some simply say that they are both. Bands like Aerosmith and ACDC are generally not considered Heavy Metal but rather Hard Rock.
HISTORY - THE 1960's
British artists such as The Rolling Stones, The Kinks and The Who are considered by some to be the godfathers of hard rock, these bands defined the style of the genre. The distorted guitars, heavy vocals and the drumming onslaught brought by these bands, defined the basis of the Hard Rock genre.
During this time it was my personal favorite guitarist Jimi Hendrix who was producing a new sound by combining Psychedelic Rock, Jazz, Blues and Rock 'n' Roll. One of the first guitarists to experiment with new guitar effects like phaser, feedback and fuzz. This music is often referred to as Blues-Rock.
Then came the bands from the late 60's, bands like Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin combined the Blues-Rock and the early British rock sounds, it was the Led Zeppelin self-titled album (first album) released in 1969 which was considered the true beginning of Hard Rock. Later Deep Purple came into the scene producing albums such as "The Shades of Deep Purple" and "Deep Purple". Along with Black Sabbath is was these two bands who are considered "the best" hard rock bands.
HISTORY - THE 1970's
It was in the 1970's that Hard Rock really made it's name, the 3rd Led Zeppelin album simply titled Led Zeppelin III although it lent more to the progressive rock genre it still had the hard rock element. It was the in 1970's that British band Black Sabbath made a name for themselves with the album Black Sabbath (often considered the first true heavy metal album, along with Machine Head from Deep Purple). Black Sabbath typically used heavy grinding riffs (Toni Iommi) and dark lyrics (Ozzy Ozbourne) and just in general a dark feeling was given by the music.
Deep Purple though lacking the dark atmosphere of Black Sabbath where by most considered to be hard rock but the track "Highway Star" from the album "Machine Head" is often said to be the first Speed Metal track recorded.
In the 1970's hard rock paved the way for it's many sub-genres such as "Shock Rock" brought to you by Alice Cooper via the album "Schools Out". The year 1973 saw the release of the first Queen and Aerosmith albums, demonstrating the different ways in which the genre was going. The year after it was the Bad Company self-titled debut album which was a major influence in hard rock. The same year Queen released their 3rd album titled "Sheer Heart Attack" included the track "Stone Cold Crazy" seen to be once of the early Thrash Metal tracks.
The 70's also saw the rise of Judas Priest the band that introduced the use of two guitarists to create a much fuller rhythm section. This is still very popular among rock and metal artists today. Judas Priest went on to become a major influence in both the Power Metal and Hard Rock genres.
Rainbow and Judas Priest created the basis for Power Metal, following the lead of these two bands Black Sabbath moved away from the darker feel of their earlier albums, producing the album "Technical Ecstasy".
Van Halen entered the scene in 1978 and focused on the guitar skills of Eddie Van Halen (lead guitarist). Eddie who is the inventor of the guitar hammer ons and pull offs produced a solo titled Eruption, a very influential track for many guitarists.
It was is 1979 when ACDC released the album "Highway to Hell" which was based mainly on rhythm and blues. In the same year Motorhead released "Overkill". This provided the basis for thrash metal.
History - The 1980's
The 80's brought a new wave of rockers who ultimately set heavy metal and hard rock apart. Also in the year 1980 Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham choked on his own vomit and died which led to arguably the greatest band ever to be disbanded.
ACDC vocalist Bon Scott died earlier that year, they proceeded to release "Back In Black", the second highest selling album in history, also one on the most influential albums of the 80's. With this came the release of Van Halen albums "Van Halen II" and "Women and Children First", paving the way for the Glam Metal genre.
On the heavy metal side of things it was a solo Ozzy Ozbourne, Iron Maiden & Motorhead. Taking heavy influences from the legendary Paranoid from Black Sabbath. These bands often used a fantasy element separating them from the likes of Black Sabbath, along with Judas Priest, Diamond Head and Angel Witch these bands are considered the best of the NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal).
1981 saw the release of Motely Crue album "Too fast for Love" setting the base of Glam Metal, followed a year later by Twisted Sister - Under the Blade and Quiet Riot - Metal Health. In 1983 it was the Motley Crue album "Shout at the Devil" was a huge success and often said to be the break through for Glam Metal. The Van Halen album "1984" was a huge success with the single "Jump" gaining #1 in the charts and considered to be the most popular rock song ever written.
It was in 1984 when Kiss returned to the scene, unmasked. With the release of the album "Animalize" they officially entered the Glam Metal scene. In this time we saw the beginnings of Instrumental Rock, with Yngwie J. Malmsteen album "Rising Force" and Steve Vai album "FlexAble". Although 2 totally different styles they fall under the same genre - Malmsteen had a more classical influence while Vai had a much more rock orientated sound, sighting his most influential artist as Frank Zappa.
1986 - an important year in hard rock history, this is the year that rock entered the mainstream via "Europe" album "The Final Countdown". Together with Van Halen album "1984" they made #1 in 26 different countries. In the same year Joe Satriani (teacher and friend of Steve Vai), released his debut album "Not of this Earth". Though his true success and Instrumental Rock history milestone came the following year with the release of the album "Surfing with the Alien".
The year 1987 was also a big year and saw the release of Guns and Roses album "Appetite for Destruction", Motley Crue album "Girls, Girls, Girls" and Def Leppard album "Hysteria". The same year saw the release of Soundgarden album "Screaming Life" which lead to the "death" or hard rock and rise of grunge.
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