Its golden age may be over | Lifestyles

I may only be 24 years old, but I grew up listening to that “old time rock ’n’ roll.” In fact, I firmly believe I was born in the wrong decade, judging by my taste in music.

I’ve been listening to music from the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s and ’90s since I was old enough to comprehend what I was hearing.

Now, I didn’t just listen to one genre from that time period, but rock was always my favorite. 

That, to me, was the golden age, when rock was at the height of its popularity.

So many truly great bands and artists came from that era — The Beatles, The Who, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Queen, Boston, AC/DC, Aerosmith, Deep Purple, Van Halen, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, just to name a few. 

I could literally spend all day listing great rock bands, and the chances are, so could you.

But rock’s golden days are over, and they have been for a long time.

Nowadays, there’s not much in the way of real rock ’n’ roll. Just like most other genres of music now, popularity is based less on virtuosity and more on what has a really good beat.

If it has a beat you can dance or tap your foot to, you’ve got it made. The days of the blistering guitar solo are over. 

Then again, we’ve seen this trend in music and pop culture before.

Back in the ’70s, disco exploded, and rock stepped back from the spotlight. But disco was short-lived (maybe not short-lived enough), and rock was back at the forefront throughout the ’80s.

So maybe it’s just a phase, right? I’m not so hopeful. The same thing was said about rock ’n’ roll when the crooners were dominating the radio, and look where they are now. 

Still, as bleak as it is for someone who prefers the rock music of days past, there is some really great rock music coming out in this day and age.

The best example that comes to mind, in my opinion, is the Foo Fighters, who released their new album, “Concrete and Gold,” just last week.

I pre-ordered the album and was lucky enough to receive my copy five days before it hit store shelves, so I’ve had a little extra time to really stew it over.

First of all, it’s very much what you would expect to hear if you’ve ever listened to Foo Fighters before, but also very different.

It’s a blend of the rock music of the ’60s and ’70s and the music of today, and it works.

When I first listened to it, I had mixed feelings. It took listening a few times through to get it, and the more I listen, the more I like it.

A nice little Easter egg of sorts is seeing the special guests who played on the album, including Justin Timberlake, Shawn Stockman of Boyz II Men and none other than Sir Paul McCartney.

You know you’re doing something right when McCartney wants to record with you.

There really isn’t a bad track on the album. It’s a solid offering from a solid rock band, and it’s definitely worth checking out.

The Foo Fighters are not the only good modern rock band out there, although they’re one of the more commercially successful.

There’s still a thriving underground scene that hardly gets any commercial attention, which has almost always been the case — not to mention all the different sub-genres of rock like punk, folk rock, funk rock, blues rock, ska, heavy metal, etc.

The advantage we have now that we didn’t have a few years ago is our capability to stream music online via providers like Spotify, Pandora and iTunes.

These streaming services have a virtually endless library of music to listen to, whether it be the classics or new music.

They even suggest music that you might like, based on what you’ve previously listened to, which is great for finding new music and new bands to which to listen.

The fact is, there’s still plenty to listen to — you just have to look for it.

CHANCE FARMER is a Martin resident who is Lifestyles editor and copy editor for The Post-Intelligencer. He can be reached by email at cfarmer@parispi.net.


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