Rock music is a form of popular music with a prominent vocal melody, accompanied by electric guitar, bass guitar, and drums. Many styles of rock music also use keyboard instruments such as organ, piano, mellotron, and synthesizers. Other instruments sometimes utilized in rock include saxophone, harmonica, violin, flute, French horn, banjo, melodica, and timpani. Also, less common stringed instruments such as mandolin and sitar are used. Rock music usually has a strong back beat, and often revolves around the guitar, either solid electric, hollow electric, or acoustic.
Rock music has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll and rockabilly, which evolved from blues, country music and other influences. According to Allmusic, "In its purest form, Rock & Roll has three chords, a strong, insistent back beat, and a catchy melody. Early rock & roll drew from a variety of sources, primarily blues, R&B, and country, but also gospel, traditional pop, jazz, and folk. All of these influences combined in a simple, blues-based song structure that was fast, danceable, and catchy."
In the late 1960s, rock music was blended with folk music to create folk rock, blues to create blues-rock and with jazz, to create jazz-rock fusion, and without a time signature to create psychedelic rock. In the 1970s, rock incorporated influences from soul, funk, and latin music. Also in the 1970s, rock developed a number of subgenres, such as soft rock, heavy metal, hard rock, progressive rock, and punk rock. Rock subgenres that emerged in the 1980s included synthpop, hardcore punk and alternative rock. In the 1990s, rock subgenres included grunge, Britpop, indie rock, and nu metal.
A group of musicians specializing in rock music is called a rock band or rock group. Many rock groups consist of a guitarist, lead singer, bass guitarist, and drummer, forming a quartet. Some groups omit one or more of these roles and/or utilize a lead singer who plays an instrument while singing, sometimes forming a trio or duo; others include additional musicians such as one or two rhythm guitarists and/or a keyboardist. More rarely, groups also utilize stringed instruments such as violins or cellos, and/or horns like saxophones, trumpets or trombones.
Led Zeppelin were an English rock band that formed in 1968. Led Zeppelin consisted of Jimmy Page (guitar), Robert Plant (vocals), John Paul Jones (bass guitar, keyboards) and John Bonham (drums). With their heavy, guitar-driven sound, Led Zeppelin are regarded as one of the first heavy metal bands. However, the band's individualistic style draws from many sources and transcends any one genre. Their rock-infused interpretation of the blues and folk genres also incorporated rockabilly, reggae, soul, funk, classical, Celtic, Indian, Arabic, pop, Latin and country. The band did not release the popular songs from their albums as singles in the UK, as they preferred to develop the concept of album-oriented rock.
Close to 30 years after disbanding following Bonham's death in 1980, Led Zeppelin continue to be held in high regard for their artistic achievements, commercial success and broad influence. The band have sold more than 300 million albums worldwide, including 111.5 million sales in the United States and they have had all of their original studio albums reach the U.S. Billboard Top 10. Led Zeppelin are ranked No. 1 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. Rolling Stone magazine has described Led Zeppelin as "the heaviest band of all time" and "the biggest band of the 70s".
On 10 December 2007 the surviving members of Led Zeppelin reunited (along with deceased drummer John Bonham's son Jason) for the Ahmet Ertegün Tribute Concert at the O2 Arena in London.
Metallica live in London, 2003. Left to right: Robert Trujillo, Kirk Hammett, Lars Ulrich, James Hetfield.
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, The Rolling Stones
, The Who
, Black Sabbath
, Led Zeppelin
, Pink Floyd
, Lynyrd Skynyrd