Summaries the development of the UK popular music recording industry from the sass’s to the present day. Ass’s The sass’s represent the beginning of the development of the music industry, as it is known today. It is from here on that the genre of ‘popular music’ existed and began to dominate the charts. Of course, there were acts that existed before the says, and made a good name for them selves, acts Like Being Crosby, but It was In the ass that certain artists became household names, and idols to the masses. The first, and most iconic of these artistes, is of course, Elvis Presley.
After making a name for him self in the states, Elvis’ music then began to cross the border Into other countries, and continents. Elvis was the first truly cross-continental superstar. There were many factors to his success, and he appealed to a wide range of people, across the world. By combining several existing genres, mainly blues, gospel, and country, Elvis went on to pioneer a new genre of popular music, named ‘Rock and Roll’. For me, Elvis is the father of all Rock and Roll, and even today, 60 years on, Elvis’ Influences can still be heard in modern music.
Back in the day, Elvis’ music was a revelation. This new mere of music tended to have a 12-bar blues feel. However, contrary to previous blues songs, this new genre was faster and more up beat. This in turn gave the songs more of a ‘Jive’ feel, and so the songs were easy to dance and move to. It was this that led to the ‘rebellion’ of the younger generation. Before Rock and Roll came along, the younger generation would generally listen to their parents’ music. Rock and Roll however, changed all of this. The new genre took the younger population by storm.
They would spend nights out dancing to Rock and Roll and staying out till later than previously ever thought allowed. This went hand in hand with a change in fashion, and the music revolution began. This change in music prompted a change in popular instruments too. The electric guitar began to be used more and more in popular music. This was the birth of the guitar rock era. Using Elvis’ Inspiration, other artists began to appear on the scene, and take to the big stage. Bill Haley, EBB King, and Chuck Berry are perhaps the most memorable. Chuck Berry took the electric guitar and began to develop the ‘Guitar Rock’ genre even more.
He began to include guitar solos In his songs, which were previously unheard of. Along with Elvis, he began using thought provoking movements on stage. This added to the rebellion side of things and prompted another movement by the younger population. In the US, music was developing at an alarming rate. However, back here in the K, things were moving at a slower pace. Artists In the UK were generally focusing on a genre called skiff’s_ This was mainly acoustic, and a complete contrast to the music being produced in America. 2 big names in skiff’s were George Former and Lonnie Donovan.
These 2 acts were a big hit in the I-J, and managed to achieve lots of ‘OFF awards the end of the Ass’s, music in the I-J began to catch up with the US. Taking influences from the big names, artists began to appear with British take on their American counterparts. One act, Cliff Richard and the Shadows, took the I-J by storm. Cliff was perhaps the first to truly bridge the gap between American and British styles music. His first major hit ‘Move It’ was the defining song of British music at the time. His success led to a great career, which still carries on even today. Developments In technology also helped the music industry.
This included such things as television. Music shows began to appear. ‘The De Sullivan’ show was perhaps the first major music program to be aired on television. Only the best acts were picked to play on the show, and it was really a showcase of the best musical talent in the US. Buddy Holly, Elvis, and Chuck Berry were all included on the guest list. Towards the end of the ass’s, the Rock and Roll genre continued to carry on pushing the boundaries of popular music. More acts moved in to the limelight and took to the big stage and Rock and Roll was at a high. The sass’s introduced some of the biggest acts in music ever.
For me, the ass’s were he most important 10 years of music history. Acts from the Ass’s continued to make the headlines, and grew bigger and bigger. However, in 1962, the biggest revolution in music history ever, hit the charts. The Beetles released the song ‘Love Me Do’, and it was an instant success. Creating a new genre of Bruit Pop, the Beetles took the I-J by storm. This style of music had never been heard before. It was this new style of music that changed the music industry forever. Compared to the music on the scene at the time, The Beetles incorporated more melodies, harmonies, and even more complex rhythms.
This was the beginning of a music revolution. Even today, The Beetles are still one of the biggest grossing acts of all time. What’s more, they were the first British act to make it really big over in the US, and in turn, this meant international success. They were the first British act to break the barrier between the US and UK markets. This break through led too mass I-J acts breaking into the limelight and making it big. 1963 saw the introduction of acts such as The Yardarms, and Led Zeppelin. These acts went on to expand on the Rock and Roll genre and take ‘guitar rock to a new level.
New boundaries were made, and acts continued to experiment. Clayton went on to leave The Yardarms, and Joined John Mammal & The Blueberries. It was this that defined his career, and gave him his nickname, ‘slowdown’. Playing the guitar in ways never seen before, Clayton was hailed as a god, and the genre of blues was re-instated into the music industry. Clayton then went on to form the first ‘super group’. In 1966, Cream were formed, and by combining Claptrap’s bluesy styles with the more rocky style of Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker, Cream created a new genre of blues rock.
Zeppelin could also be credited for pioneering this genre. It was this genre that got Cream and Zeppelin noticed in the US. In 1964, Top of the Pops was born. Like previous music shows, it was a showcase of musical talent. The show went down brilliantly in the I-J, with mass numbers watching the show each week to catch a glimpse of their idols. All the current acts at the time were called to play on the show, and it was great publicity for each act. Top developed and brought to the mainstream market, such things as organs. This allowed acts to create new sounds push the boundaries of popular music even rather.
Into the 2nd half of the decade came the arrival of The Rolling Stones and The Who. These continued along the Blues Rock path pioneered by Cream and Zeppelin, and both had great success. It was these acts that led to the nickname, the swinging ass’s’. 1966 saw the beginning of psychedelic music. It was The Beetles who first began to experiment like this. Adding new instruments and recording methods, and also new rhythms, melodies, and structure to their music, they began to create yet another new genre of music. It was this new genre that led to the ‘summer of love’ in ’67.
With psychedelic influences growing, and acts such as The Beetles and The Doors expanding on them, more and more acts began experimenting in the same way. Along with this new genre of music, came the mainstreaming of drugs. This is the period that everyone associates with hippies, long hair, flowery shirts, and campers. The ‘summer of love’ was known for its free-loving, drug-induced gatherings. Combined with live music, these turned into what we know today as festivals. One of the very first, and perhaps most inspirational was Monterey Festival in ’67. Never before had such a huge roster of artists been gathered in one place.
Huge crowds gathered to experience seeing their idols on the big stage. No one at the time knew how inspirational this event would be, and how the idea of the festival would be continued in the future for so long. Monterey Festival also saw the introduction of a modern legend, Jim Hendrix. Hendrix broke the boundary of what was thought possible on a guitar. It was this extraordinary ability that led Hendrix to worldwide stardom and fame. Even today, Hendrix is still considered a true legend, and his inspiration can still be heard. Hendrix was in many ways similar to Clayton. In 1969, there was the Woodstock festival.
This was even bigger than Monterey. Again, people had never seen such a large artist roster. Thousands and thousands gathered, even whole families. This was something not to be missed. Even today, this is the festival that everyone wishes they had attended. That fact alone proves how big Woodstock was. Also at Woodstock, came the introduction of printed t-shirts. For the first time ever, fans could advertise their love for an act by wearing a t-shirt with their logo/alum cover printed on it. This led to a huge change in fashion once again, and even today, people still wear band t-shirts.
This was a huge thing for fans. Along with the change in fashion, came the end of the hippie era. This is in part down to the Alton gig held by the Rolling Stones. With the Hells Angels in charge of security, things turned sour. Many ended up being hurt, and some even killed. The end of the hippie era also ended the dominant presence of the psychedelic genre. Classic Rock, and Blues Rock took over the limelight with acts such as the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, and Black Sabbath. This was the era known for long hair and guitar solos, and continued well into the ass’s. ass’s
With Classic and Blues Rock dominating the charts for much of the early ass’s, there seemed little room for new acts/genres. However, in the sass’s there were huge changes to popular music, and many new genres and acts were introduced to the market. Around 71 saw the introduction of Glam Rock. Acts such as T-Rexes and David Bowie began to make it big in the charts, and their new and unique style gave the around this period. The outrageous sparkly outfits, and extraordinary songs were an instant hit. In ’72, came Prop. Developed from Classic Rock, and taking influences from the psychedelic era, Prop was born.
With new instruments becoming more accessible to the masses, more and more people began to experiment. Acts Yes, and Emerson Lake & Palmer were perhaps the most successful of the period. Where music of the past usually had a set structure, Prop took these rules and threw them away. New time signatures were introduced and the term music was given a whole new meaning. 73 to 74 saw a huge oil crisis, and the resulting 3-day week. Prices went up and there was a huge uproar. This was reflected in the music industry, and so came the genre of Punk, or Street Rock. Pioneered by young musicians, Punk appealed to the younger generations.
The Ramose were perhaps the first successful Punk act. However, it was the Sex Pistols that took the genre one huge step further. Taking their music to the next level, they were instantly recognized and quickly made it into the limelight. This led to an appearance on television, and what an appearance it was. During an interview, the band did something never seen or heard on television before, swearing. Seen as icons of rebellion, the Sex Pistols were an overnight success, and their fan base at least doubled. They were as iconic and inspiration as Elvis and The Beetles. Punk took over the charts and Rock was slowly faded out.
In 78, yet another genre of music began to creep into the market. With the development of synthesizers, New Wave music was born. Gary Unman was perhaps the leader in this genre. Aka music also began to become popular. With new labels popping up, more acts had a chance at the big time. The label tone music with the act The Madness is an example of this. 78 also saw the beginning of disco music. Disco turned out to be one of the biggest genres in the ass’s. With pumping bass lines, easy to dance to structures, and an up beat tempo, all generations were enticed to et up and dance.
Disco nights started up in clubs, and this was the beginning of the modern day ‘club nights’. Acts such as The Bee Gees took the market by storm and made big names for themselves, and are still recognizable today as some of the biggest acts of the ass’s. The influence of Disco inspired a change in fashion too. The film ‘Saturday Night Fever’ is perhaps the most recognizable media form from this era. At the end of the ass’s, with Disco dominating the charts, yet more new came to the market. The genre of Rap picked up and began to make it big on the scene.
Acts such as the Sugar Hill Gang, took the genre to a new level that appealed to many. With its pumping beats and its poetically tongue-twisting lyrics, Rap music began make a name for it’s self, and the genre continued well into the ass’s. Even today, Rap music is still popular with the masses with acts like Mine leading the genre on a new level. Ass’s The transition into the Ass’s was not a pleasant one for many. The period was known as the winter of discontent’. With Thatcher in power, the country was not a happy place. Money problems hit hard for many families and nothing seemed to be going eight.
The music industry was also hit hard. Nothing really seemed to change in the early Ass’s until the market picked back up again. Perhaps the most notable song of the early Ass’s came in ’81, ‘Ghost Town’ by The Specials. Inspired by the hard times in Britain at the time, the tune appealed to the masses and was an instant hit. As times again, with the introduction of the new romantic era. Acts like Duran Duran and Spandex Ballet Even today, this genre is still going strong, and Duran Duran are still a touring, performing band. Perhaps the most important revolution in the early Ass’s was MET.
Showing primarily popular rock acts, MET was a large budget TV channel, showing non-stop music videos, all day, every day. This gave acts more of a chance to air their music to a huge audience, and be heard. Also, with the introduction of MET, came a huge increase in the budget for music videos. Music videos became of a much higher standard, almost instantly, as the music industry became not only a fight for the top music spot, but also the best video too. In ’83 came a video that took the world by storm. Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ was, and still is perhaps the biggest and best music video of all time.
Jackson, already a star by this time, only increased his fame dramatically with only the aid of a single video. Shortly after, came the music video for the hit ‘Billie Jean’. After the success of the video for ‘Thriller’, MET were forced to show both videos. This in turn, opened the floodgates for other non- rock acts’ videos to be shown on MET, and so MET was dramatically different from them on. ’83 also saw another change to the music industry. MIDI was invented. This allowed instruments to talk computers. This was the birth of ‘computer music, and perhaps, modern music. It was most definitely the beginning of modern recording methods.
As both hardware and software were developed, more complex procedures could be completed, and more and more technological advances were made. Genres like Techno, Electro, and modern genres like R, Electronics, and Deputes all stemmed from this one advance in technology. Moving back on to live music, in 1985, was Live Aid. Set up by Bob Gelded among others, Live Aid was set up as a charity event, the largest charity event ever to have occurred. The biggest names in music, past and present all performed at the event, in order to raise awareness and money for those living in, for want of a better term, 3rd world countries.
This was the first mime that music was ever truly linked to charity, and it was a great success. The legacy of the festival lived on. The late Ass’s saw the return of Rap into the limelight. Acts such as AL Cool J led the charts, with their infectious style of music. However, by this time, Rap had been developed into yet another style. The Beastie Boys with their pinkish attitude, and Rock/Rap music broke through the market to take the charts for them selves. It was once again, the image of rebellion that led the band forward, and led them to popularity and stardom. G’s The ass’s were the decade of technology. It was in these years that technology advanced more than ever seen before. New devices such as mobile phones, plantations, and sky TV were available, and the possibilities seemed endless. Computer music also advanced in a huge way. New hardware and software was constantly being brought to the market, and what was now possible on a computer was unbelievable at the time. Perhaps the biggest advancement in technology though, was the internet; a new technology that allowed a mass of information to be shared almost effortlessly, to anywhere in the world.
Nobody at the time knew what impact this new technology would have on the world in later years. I’d say that now, we are almost dependent on the internet. The ass’s were also the decade of the festival. The big modern festivals, such as V, Leeds, and Gluttonously all started up in gathered at the excitement of seeing some of the biggest names in world music all gathered at one gig. The ass’s also saw some pretty big changes in the music industry. The early ass’s gave birth to a genre called Grunge. Originating in Seattle, USA, Grunge was inspired by Punk, and Rock.
This new genre was a big hit both in the USA, and the I-J, and quite a few acts managed to earn themselves a place in the charts. Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Sound Garden and Nirvana are Just a few. Perhaps the most iconic song of the time was ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ by Nirvana, released in 91 . In retrospect, this song is now hailed as the beginning of Alternative Rock hitting the mainstream market. This opening in the market led too haul of new acts hitting the stage and making it big. In the I-J, the new sensation of Bruit Pop was really picking up with acts like Blur and Oasis leading the market.
With several chart- topping hits, both bands dominated the I-J markets, and slowly began to be recognized in the US too. The early ass also saw Tony Blair come in to power, and the beginning of ‘cool Britannic’. With the new Bruit Pop music scene, and also changes in fashion, Britain, and especially London, was the place to be. London became an iconic city, and began to lead the way in terms of modern culture and desirability. This in turn gave British acts a huge push in the music industry as it became easier to be discovered over seas in the US. Cool Britannic’ also saw the increase of branding and advertisement, this tied into a change of fashion, where designer labels and big name fashion designers began to dominate the market. Later into the ass’s came the era of the boy and girl bands, 3 of the most recognizable being the Spice Girls, Take That, and Waistline. This new craze picked up immensely and really characterized the scene of Britain at the time. Each band had several hits, reaching number 1 a number of times. These acts were the biggest acts in the I-J at the time. However, they failed to make it really big in the US contrary to the increase in UK acts in the US market.
In the late ass’s came the beginning of modern mainstream music. When the Prodigy hit the charts, their explosive style of modern, Drum and Trance music kook the modern Britain by storm. They were an instant hit with the younger generation. With the new technology available, computer based music began to increase in popularity with Electronics, Trance, and D taking over the younger generations hearts. For me, this was the beginning of the modern music scene. Even today, the Prodigy are still a popular act, and are still seen as the pioneering act of modern Trance and Electronics music.
The last important factor of the ass’s comes in the form of free downloads. As internet technology increased, free music downloads and file sharing became available. This affected the music industry in a pretty severe way. It was no longer necessary to buy music, and the profits made by acts, labels, and retailers slowly began to decrease. It was only recently that action was taken to begin fighting against free downloads. Ass’s Again, in the Ass’s, the advances in technology were mind blowing. Within 10 years, technology nearly doubled in complexity, and only continued to increase even to this day.
Technology will perhaps never meet a dead end. In 2001, Apple put the first pod into production. Even though other MPH players were previously available, no other engaged to generate sales so quickly. The pod was the first real portable music device. This was a revelation, as people could easily transport a library of music they wanted. Along with the pod, came tunes, the first real computer music library system. The ability to manage all your music in one place, and also download music from online straight into your library, to transfer onto you pod was unbelievable at the time.
This technology has only got better and today, Tunes and pods are one of the largest grossing consumer technology products of all time. New music production software was also developed. This made music production much easier than ever before. With the help of the internet, people could now create, record, and promote their own music even from the comfort of their own bedroom. As more and more people began to do this, and more and more acts came to the market, the music industry became overloaded with unsigned acts. This in turn made it much harder for new acts to be discovered as something new and different.
Even though music production, and promotion became so much easier, becoming recognized became much, much harder. For me, the Ass’s were the most diverse of all the decades in terms of music genres. The girl and boy bands continued to make the charts with their pop hits. Trance and Electronics acts became more popular with the masses, and more acts became recognized. This is when the modern day clubbing sensation began, with the younger generation spending nights becoming intoxicated with alcohol, drugs, and music in clubs. However, the Ass’s for me showed the return of the Rock bands.
As true Rock fans became bored of the modern music on offer, older rock bands, and Classic Rock bands came back into fashion. Sales of Rock music increased and even genres like Alternative Rock, Grunge, and Metal came back on to the scene. Even today, there is still a huge fan base for Rock and Metal bands. As ever, Rock developed once again in the 21st century with new Hardcore and Pop Punk bands coming to the scene. Again, popular with the younger generation looking for something different to the mainstream market, these acts still have a big fan base despite the current market.
Pop music seems to be dominating the charts at the moment, and has been for the past decade. With pop having developed, and modern rappers and R&B and D&B populating the market, there were many different acts coming into the charts. In recent years, Trance music seems to have stepped up a bevel too. With new genres like Deputes coming on to the scene and Racetrack acts like Pendulum pioneering the genre, the fantasy is slowly increasing and seems to be challenging the title of the pop acts.
Music in the Ass’s continued to develop, with even more new acts being recognized, and coming into the charts. Indies music also began to build a pretty strong fan base. Even though it never really reached the limelight, and never topped the charts, the fantasy still continued to grow immensely. For me, the Ass’s were the most diverse of all the decades in terms of music available on the market. Conclusion Music has developed immensely over the past 60 years. Hand in hand with technology and fashion, there have been major changes in every decade.
It seems to me however, that music seems to be going in circle. With live music and Rock acts coming back into fashion, I believe that live music will soon take back over from the computerized, and pop music on offer in today’s market. There are several genres that I have not mentioned in this analysis. Reggae, Country, and Latin styles are a few. Country for example, has a huge fan base, and has for many decades. In fact, huge fan base, Country music has only recently been recognized in the world music scene, with artists like Brad Paisley and Taylor Swift making the charts.
The same can be said for Reggae. For decades, Reggae has been the staple music for many. However, it was only with the likes of Bob Marled and Toots and the Metals, that Reggae really became recognized by the masses. The music industry is a diverse and complex place. My beliefs though, are that the music industry will continue getting stronger, only getting more complicated and diverse each decade, with new developments in technology, and more genres being developed and coming to the mainstream market.