Hard Rock: the history of style

One of the fundamental styles of music that turned all its development in a new direction was hard rock. The genre was formed over 40 years ago, but still remains popular and in demand on the music scene. Why is hard rock so attractive for listeners of different ages?

Hard rock and its features

The genre of rock from the first days of its existence began to stand out significantly among the variety of musical styles. The main reason for this was the heavy sound, which was previously not typical for rock bands. Its foundations lie in two things:

1 Rhythm Section – Bands like Led Zeppelin have given the bass and drum parts more importance, providing support for the main rhythm of the composition;

2 riffs – they appeared back in the mid-60s, but it was hard rock that gave them key importance, making them an obligatory component of every composition.

Hard rock: origins

The style was formed in the early seventies with the release of the first Black Sabbath albums and the first works of the golden composition of Deep Purple. However, the first ideas appeared long before that. In fact, it has its roots in British Invasion bands The Kinks and The Who, as well as psychedelic rockers like Jimi Hendrix and Cream. It was from their sound that the first famous riffs appeared, which became the basis of the genre.

In fact, the first composition that laid the foundation for the formation of hard rock was You really got me by the Kinks. A little later, their idea of ​​using riffs in song structure was developed by Jimi Hendrix. A special influence on the development of hard rock was his debut work “Are you Expirienced?”.

The basics of hard sound can also be heard in the work of Cream – Sunshine of your love. However, these groups did not become the founders of the genre. In fact, Led Zeppelin is considered the main group that embodies the whole variety of the hard rock sound palette.

Their sound was unusual for the late sixties – heavy riffs, an abundance of solo parts, including for the rhythm section, high vocals. These signs formed the basis of the traditional understanding of the style of foreign hard rock.

The early albums of two other whales of hard rock – Black Sabbath and Deep Purple – finally helped to form the genre. Remarkably, all the founders are British. In America, the genre began to be popularized somewhat later.

It was these three groups that identified the main directions in the sound, which takes its origins in many styles of music:

  • classic (Deep Purple);
  • blues (Led Zeppelin, Nazareth);
  • jazz (to which Black Sabbath initially paid attention), as well as:
  • psychedelics, which actually became its fundamental principle (Jimi Hendrix, Steppenwolf, Iron Butterfly);
  • folk (it was often used in their melodies by Led Zeppelin and Thin Lizzy. Battle of evermore and Whiskey in the jar are striking examples).

Top Hard Rock Albums

A good half of the work of the bands that emerged at the turn of the sixties and seventies can be safely attributed to influential discs in the history of the genre. However, the most significant hard rock albums that have had a particular influence on hard rock or consolidate its status as a commercially successful style are:

Led Zeppelin – I. The first disc that became the basis for the creative breakthrough of zeppelins. Many songs from the album are considered classics, although they are largely borrowed.

Deep Purple – Machine Head. The quintessence of the genre. It contains the greatest achievements of the masters – magnificent riffs, amazing solos and well-coordinated work of the rhythm section, which made the disc a standard, and songs like Smoke on the Water are a real hard rock anthem.

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AC/DC – Back in Black. The album, released shortly after the death of Bon Scott, marked the emergence of new stars on the world rock scene. Brian Johnson quickly became “his own” in the team, and sales of the record, which might not have been, exceeded 50 million.

Led Zeppelin IV. The main achievement of the group. Standing apart, of course, is “Stairway to Heaven”, recognized by many experts as the best ballad in the history of rock music.

Bon Jovi This disc became the epitome of the commercial success of hard rock – disc sales exceeded 25 million copies. Many of the songs like Livin’ on a prayer became hits in the glam era.