Old vs New: Popular Music

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Matt Miller
Staff Writer

Music can be a driving force in one’s persona or life. A person’s life could be completely, or near completely devoted to music. While there are many genres to choose from, some only stick to what is current or popular. Some stick to a genre that may be not so mainstream, or it once was.

Prior to the turn of the century, music was mainly Rock oriented. From the early 1950’s till the mid 1990’s, Rock music and its various sub-genres dominated the charts and radio. But then rock was replaced by something more simplistic. Pop and Rap came into the limelight and  now dominate the charts.

Pink Floyd:
The essential progressive rock band and without a doubt the most successful from the era of progressive rock in the 1970’s. This band is a personal favorite of mine.

Now you may ask, what on earth is Progressive Rock? It is a sub genre of Rock music that blends Jazz, Classical, Blues and psychedelic music into one form. It utilizes a very odd array of time signatures such as beginning a song in standard 4/4 and then moving into a 7/8 and back to the 4/4 once again. Progressive Rock also tends to have longer pieces, some of which have extended to twenty minutes or even half an hour.

Pink Floyd originally began as a four piece consisting of frontman and guitarist Syd Barret, bass guitarist Roger Waters, keyboardist Richard Wright and drummer Nick Mason. The line-up eventually changed, replacing Barret with guitarist David Gilmour, and the lineup remained till Waters departed from the band following the release of The Final Cut in 1983. All four members reunited in 2005 to perform together for one night only. And this would be the only reunion with all four members, for keyboardist Richard Wright died in 2008 of an undisclosed form of cancer.

Essentials: Darkside of the Moon (1973), The Wall (1979), Wish You Were Here (1975), Animals (1977).

David Gilmour(Front), Roger Waters(Center) and Richard Wright(Foreground) in London circa 2005

Ke$hia:
Real name Kesha Rose Sebert, Ke$ha has become a cultural phenomenon in the past few years. She began as an eighteen year old signed to Dr. Luke’s record label and then appeared in Flo Rida’s hit “Right Round” in 2009. The bulk of her music is Electropop and Dance-Pop. Both Electro-pop and Dance pop are essential the same genre, relying heavily on synthesizers and loop tracks to an upbeat tempo.

Shortly after appearing on that said single, she released her debut single “Tik Tok” off of her debut album, which shot to number 1 on the top 100 billboard. The success of that single brought her much notoriety that she needed. Her most recent edition to the charts is the single Blow and the album Animal.

Essentials: Tik Tok, Blow

The Beatles
What can be said about the Beatles that hasn’t already been said? There is so much about this group that connects with practically everyone. There tunes resonate within practically everyone’s minds. The songwriting duo of Paul McCartney and John Lennon, and some input from George Harrison, contributed to the unmistakable sound of the group. Beginning in London, England in 1960, they came to America as part of the British Invasion and changed the world of Rock music. To this very day, the Beatles have influenced a myriad of followers and have garnered a number of awards.

Absorbing influence from artists such as Elvis, Chuck Berry and Little Richard, The Beatles began their early career in Hamburg, Germany before moving into the American and British Charts. Towards the late sixties, the group made a significant change in their sound. The once simple and basic melodies had transformed into a raw, psychedelic sound.

Following their break-up in 1970, each individual member went their own way and did enjoy some success. To this very day, no matter what the musical preference, almost everyone listens to The Beatles. Young and old alike can listen to something that they both enjoy.

Essentials: The White Album (AKA The Beatles) (1968), Abbey Road (1969), Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967), Rubber Soul (1966)

Katy Perry
Along with Kesha, Perry has been topping the charts for sometime as well. Unlike Kesha, Perry’s music is more pop/rock oriented than the electropop of the latter. Demonstrating musical talent at a young age, she made her debut in 2001, before her initial success came in 2008 with the release of her second album One of The Boys. The album eventually went platinum, and a few tracks off the album garnered prestigous awards in 2009. As of now, Perry has released a new album Teenage Dream, which garnered a few awards back in 2010.

Essentials: One of the Boys (2008), Teenage Dream (2010)

No matter what musical preference you have, there manages to be a vast array of choices. And it isn’t limited to just what is popular. One has the freewill to listen to what he or she desires.

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