A couple of decades ago, people enjoyed music in a very different capacity. More detail was given to song writing and singing. Artists were applauded for their capacity to write a song and perform it with great showmanship while keeping the audience captivated. Frank Sinatra, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Simon and Garfunkel are all examples of great song writers who had the ability to bring their words to life in the most appealing way. They penned strong lyrics which resonate with people to this day. The live shows they did were usually as good, if not better, than their studio records and had a lot of humour and audience interaction.
While showmanship and song-writing went a long way, music and percussions were not overlooked. Instruments played a key role in the bands that were forming all around the world in that time, artists such as Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin and David Gilmour of Pink Floyd were well known for their guitar solos and abilities to sustain high notes for long periods of time. This led to solo artists of the 40s and 50s giving way to the formation of the first Rock N’ Roll bands in the 1960s which had a mixture of good song writing and music.
Reputed artists started making name and history. The 60s to 90s witnessed new forms of rock, soul, disco and even metal. Some of the artists and bands that emerged then are deeply celebrated even today. Led Zeppelin, Bob Marley, Elton John, Queen, Pink Floyd, Beatles, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Nirvana and The Eagles made timeless classic music that is relatable even to the current generation.
The solo artists however, did not die out. Artists like Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, and Frank Sinatra were major influencers in the early stages of Rock n’ Roll music and they played a part in the formation of some popular bands like The Beatles, whose first Album “Please Please Me” was compared to Elvis’ style of song writing. The Rolling Stones took after Chuck Berry’s style of catchy rhythm guitar and even covered a few of his hits like “Roll over Beethoven”. The lyrical fragments of these bands were expressive and evoked all sorts of emotions in the listeners which helped develop familiarity with one’s own reactions as well.
These artists were in touch with their natural environments and wrote about songs that they could relate to. To give you an idea, ‘Can’t help falling in love’ by Elvis Presley, ‘Stairway to Heaven’ by Led Zeppelin, ‘Country roads’ by John Denver, ‘Smells like Teen Spirit’ by Nirvana, ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon, ’Comfortably Numb’ by Pink Floyd, and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ by Queen are some celebrated songs of all time. This is often why some people prefer songs from this period to songs made these days.
This era of meaningful music lasted well into the late 90s and early 2000s until the introduction of EDM, which is an umbrella term comprising of many genres and sub genres. These songs are usually played in segue way by a DJ and were made popular by people frequenting night clubs. For a couple years, Rock music and EDM lived in harmony with each having their own share of the music industry. This started to gradually change and shift in the favour of Electronic Music. Record Labels started rebranding traditional artists and started urging them into making electronic music with the promise of more success and fame.
Their live performances, also called raves, were rebranded to be called Festivals so as to be more regularly accepted. With the rise of EDM, the significance of singers and song writing had deteriorated, causing their quality to decline. EDM focused on providing the ultimate experience to the listener in terms of sound by controlling the environment in which it’s played such as in parties, nightclubs and festivals.
Music is a way of life and millennials should be encouraged to make more meaningful music like the earlier times. It’s important that we know what a wonderful era it was for music in the 1950s and forward. Money and fame shouldn’t drive the artists to make music as it is made now. Instead instinct and nature should be their primary guide. After all, music is what echoes with our soul isn’t it?
Picture Credits : thedj.co.uk