By the end of the 1980s early 1990, Glam and Hair Metal were reaching an apex. A storm was coming, but the haze of glitter, hair spray, and ego was so thick in the air, that record executives and musicians alike simply couldn’t see it.
Too often Progressive Rock is thought of as “nerdy,” “overcomplicated,” or “self-indulgent,” but maybe it’s time that we flip the script, and see Prog Rock as the inventive, nuanced, brain-bending, mind-opening, soul-scraping genre that it really is. While any self-respecting Devil’s Advocate could make a heady case for all of those things being true, at the end of the day, music is about taste. Sure, I love Cock Rock, and Hair Metal as much as the next person, but I love a hearty dose of Prog Rock too. In fact — make it a double.
Prog Rock, like all other genres of Rock music, has shifted, changed, and continuously recreated itself over, and over again throughout the last half-century. The cast of players may change, but the mission statement will remain the same — to create something different, something outside the box, and something which continuously breaks the mold — without pretense. Prog Rock is a journey, and like life, it has many stages. If you’re up for it — strap in, and see where it takes you.
At its core, Rock music is filthy, grungy, and dirty. It oozes sex from every orifice. While Rock music isn’t an exclusive boys club that it was once made out to be, like every genre, there are subsets that are defined by specific characteristics, and Cock Rock is no exception.
KISS’ legacy runs deeper than “Rock ‘N’ Roll All Night,” “Beth,” “Detroit Rock City,” and “I Was Made For Lovin’ You.” Sure, those are great songs, but KISS’ music is so much more than that. I hope you dig this article, and I hope it inspires you to dive deeper. KISS may be at the “End Of The Road,” but they aren’t done quite yet. I hope you double back. I hope you take the journey.
While ACϟDC’s critics will deride them for being “overly simplistic,” or “too primitive,” in reality, ACϟDC may well be the greatest Hard Rock band of them all. Their Blues-inspired brand of Rock music is subtly nuanced, and the group itself is a shining example of Rock ‘N’ Roll symbiosis paired with just a little bit of magic that only Scottish transplants from down under can replicate.
Comparing The Beatles and The Stones is like comparing apples and oranges, but if I’m going to do it, gun to my head– I’m taking Stones all day, and it’s not even very close. If my criticism of The Beatles seems harsh, remember, I’m just being honest. At the end of the day, I’m just doing and saying what others are afraid to. Anyway, who’s your favorite?
In Unmasked, and Creatures of the Night, we find the band spiraling out of control, and yet still managing to craft what I would deem quintessential albums. They were unpopular then, and they’re underrated, but at least in some ways, retroactively appreciated now. These two records are very different, yet forever linked, and both are tremendously important to the band’s development.
There is no denying that “Space Ace” has a special swagger about him…that certain something that simply makes him special. Ace is both unable and uninterested in reading music and is generally averse to playing by anybody else’s rules but his own. Still, Ace has managed to forge a fifty-year career in music and has seen the wildly unheard-of success that street-walking guys from the Bronx don’t often see.
Today I am highlighting the blue-collar workers of some of your favorite bands. These stalwart workhorses of Rock music have created many of the most memorable songs in history. Their impact may be low ley on the surface, but their legacy is larger than life.