Elton John
Outrageous outfits reflect 70s extravagance
Carefully crafted songs
“Rocket Man”
Alice Cooper
Pioneer of rock theatre
“School’s Out”
Make-up, extravagant shows
Very commercial (merchandise)
“Rock and Roll All Nite”
David Bowie
Glam rock
“Space Oddity”
In 1972, declares he is gay
“Ziggy Stardust”
Becomes “Thin White Duke” in 1975

One of the first to treat the concert as carefully choreographed “show”

One of the most popular bands of all time
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
– The first single whose success was connected with its video
Music of a new generation: angry, minimalist, back to basics
Born in New York at a bar called CBGB
Centers were NYC and London
is guitars, bass, drums only

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Seen as “DIY”

The Velvet Underground
“Heroin”: a journey through the mind of a drug addict
Patti Smith
• Poet
• Free verse and improvisatory rock
• Smith suggested new roles for women in rock
• Horses (1976): one of the first great punk albums
• EX. “Gloria”
The Ramones
• Back to basics, stripped-down rock
• A 50s rebel look
• Two-minute songs, high-energy guitar attack, ironic lyrics

“Teenage Lobotomy”

The Sex Pistols
• Band lasted little more than a year
• Malcolm McLaren, manager, helped create the mythology of punk: an aesthetic, political and musical revolution
• Music stripped down to the essentials of speed, noise, fury (anti-music?)

“Anarchy In The UK”
“God Save the Queen”

• A funk-based style of dance music popular in the second half of the 70s
• DJs playing non-stop dance music with thumping beat
• Dominated the charts in late 70s

• Arose from gay New York dance culture
• DJs created smooth transitions between songs
• Funk was the root musical style

Dance clubs using recorded music, around since early 60s
In 70s they added light shows from psychedelic era
KC and the Sunshine Band
• Three no. 1 singles in 1975:
– “Get Down Tonight”
– “That’s The Way I Like It”
– “(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty”
Donna Summer
• Disco’s first diva
• EX. “Love To Love You Baby” (1976)
Giorgio Moroder
Created extended, symphonic mixes (did the DJs work)
Village People
• Six gay men in costume
• Songs were gay jokes for those who got them; disco novelties/camp for those who didn’t
• EX. “Macho Man”
The Bee Gees, Saturday Night Fever
Made disco safe and widely popular
• Great commercial success: the biggest selling record ever at the time
• EX. “Staying Alive”
“Disco sucks”
• Anti-disco campaigns from the hard rock/metal axis (young white males)
• A mix of Jamaican folk music and American R&B
• The first rock style to originate in the so-called Third World
• Born in Kingston, Jamaica

Kingston slang term meaning “raggedy, everyday stuff”

• Musical characteristics include emphasis on offbeat (rhythm guitar), heavy bass, interlocking rhythms
• A political music: attacks racism, capitalism

Influenced by the Rastafari movement and Rude Boy street politics

Bob Marley
• Made reggae global in 1970s
• Six gold LPs between 1975 and 1980
• An icon for oppressed peoples everywhere
• EX. “Stir It Up”
New Wave
• Succeeds punk
• Retains punk’s energy but with a new attitude: irony vs. rage, aesthetic statement vs. nihilism
• More polished musicianship
• More commercial success
The Clash
“London Calling”
Talking Heads
“Psycho Killer”

• Represented the self-consciously artistic side of 70s alternative rock
• Aesthetic of minimalism
• Image of nerdy college students
• Mixed R&B, funk, African rhythms

The Police
• Rose from British punk scene
• Strong reggae influence: EX. “Roxanne” (1978)
• Pop superstars in the 80s
• An original guitar sound
• Launched August 1, 1981: changed popular music
Now, music video was used for marketing
The New Romantics
Music with synthesizers and a disco beat (call it synth-pop, or electro-pop)
• Began as disco diva, then used music video to make herself a star
• Bowie-like chameleon
• Consistently pushed buttons: sexuality, religion, abortion, and so forth
• Sold sex (“Like A Virgin”) but controlled every aspect of her career (songwriting, production, video, image)

“Material Girl”

Judas Priest
• Twin lead guitars
• Extravagant stage shows
• Short, catchy tunes point the way to 80s pop metal
• British Steel (1980): first album to chart in U.S.
• EX. “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming” (1982)
• Part of the first wave of American metal, formed in 1970
• Rolling Stones parallels
• “The Toxic Twins”: decline in late 70s
• Permanent Vacation (1984): comeback kids
• EX. “Sweet Emotion”
• Formed 1974; US success begins with Highway to Hell (1979)
• Back In Black is one of the best selling albums worldwide of all time (!)
• EX. “Highway to Hell”
Thrash/Speed Metal
• Underground: sought to maintain the “true” metal tradition
• From hardcore punk comes faster tempos, hostile posture, fanzines, indie labels etc.
• The father in many ways was Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead
• EX. Motorhead, “Ace Of Spades”
• Formed 1981
• Like Motorhead and, later, Megadeth, this band sped metal up to create the new style
• Underground, music circulated on cassette
• Eventually top 10 without MTV or radio airplay
• EX. “The Four Horsemen”
• Formed 1983 when Dave Mustaine was kicked out of Metallica
• This band continued Metallica’s thrash metal style with even more speed and intensity
• Created a progressive strain of heavy metal based on chops and aggression
• EX. “Mechanix”
• Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) founded 1985
• Congressional hearings, pressure for ratings system/advisory labels
• Metal and violence, profanity, occult, drugs etc.
• The “hypodermic model” of musical effects
• Famous court cases: Ozzy in 1985 (“Suicide Solution”); Judas Priest in 1990
• “Backmasking” (or “Backward masking”)
Grandmaster Flash
• EX. “The Message” (1982): a frank view of ghetto life
• Showed that rap could be much more than novelty: its lyrics could now deal with serious issues

EX. “The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel” (1981)
• The first record made entirely out of other records?
• The first true hip hop record?

• A new sound: rapid-fire vocal tradeoffs, spare boomy beats
• Brought rap to the masses with their album Raising Hell (1986)
• EX. “Walk This Way” (1986):
– Combines rap and rock
– The first top ten rap hit
– Classic video, and the first rap video ever shown on MTV
Afrika Bambaataa and the Soulsonic Force
• EX. “Planet Rock” (1982)
• Synthesized, futuristic funk sound, illustrates coming of drum machines, sampling
• Roland TR-808 drum machine
DJ Kool Herc
• Perhaps the first true turntablist
• Brought the Jamaican sound system and concept of toasting to rap
• He used two turntables to create a new mix or dub, to extend the break (break is the percussion solo in a funk song)
“Rapper’s Delight”
Sugarhill Gang
Brought rap to national attention
Dead Kennedys
• Created their own record label
• Overtly political
• EX. “California Uber Alles” (1979)
• Socially conscious folk/alternative-rock
• Clean, natural sound (vs. mainstream 80s-pop sheen)
• EX. “Radio Free Europe”
• ‘Invented’ by Grand Wizard Theodore
• EXS. Early masterpieces include Grandmaster Flash, “Adventures on the Wheels of Steel” (1981), and Herbie Hancock, “Rockit” (1983)
• DJs like Kool Herc added verbal patter (intros, segues) to the tracks
• It becomes more elaborate when others (MCs) do it while DJ spins
• One definition of it is: rhyming in rhythm
• Antecedents: childrens’ rhymes, “the dozens,” oratory of Martin Luther King and Muhammed Ali
• In essence it is about competition, the battle (e.g., MC battles)
Van Halen, “Eruption”
Expands guitar technique with hammers, pulloffs, and, especially, TAPPING