Re: What is this thing called rock and roll?
posted at 8/26/2013 3:21 PM EDT
In response to devildavid's comment:
In response to MattyScornD's comment:
I also agree that the lines blur often, but distinguishing between "rock" and "pop" - especially from song-to-song - is a fair enough evasion, IMO.
Honestly, for me it's kind of visceral: how I can like all kinds of country-tinged rock, but not "pure" country music...and often a case-by-case choice.
Some fans of country music would call today's country music merely country tinged. I am not a purist when it comes to these definitions. For me, calling something pop music is not meant as a value judgement. If anything, I consider it a positive descriptive term. Each genre of music may have certain general attributes that help define it. Could be time signatures, vocal style, dominant instrumentation. As each genre matures and becomes more widespread and popular it is inevitable the sound of the music will change. Is Hank Williams Sr. really "pure" country or is he in some ways a popularizer of a more primitive backwoods music? To me, his music is pop. My view is that he did not 'invent" country music, but brought it to a wider audience. By the same token, Howlin' Wolf brought the more primitive music of Charlie Patton, electrified it, modernized it, and popularized it. When compared to the recordings of Charley Patton, some of Howlin' Wolf's songs might be considered slick pop. And the same thing has happened in rock and roll. I guess I'm a relativist when it comes to music.
I can see your points. I never meant 'pop' as a pejorative, either. There's plenty of great pop music, but not all of it genuinely rocks. I dig the Beach Boys' "Pet Sounds", but to me it's a pop album, not a rock album.
I also concur that HW Sr. didn't invent country, just like Bird or Miles didn't invent jazz. They opened it wide, so more could see inside. All were serious musicians, however, with notable contributions to their respective forms.
Honestly, I wouldn't mind hearing a true country music fan for their perspective of that genre.
But was Howlin' Wolf ever really that popular on the charts? At least until the British Invasion and other early rockers reminded us all of what we were missing?
(I think of it as like hippies trying to change the literature inherent in The Lord Of The Rings. They didn't change the book; they only appropriated it to their time and sentiment.)