MUSC 2150 Chapter Notes - Chapter 8: Whole Lotta Love, Jazz Fusion, Virtuosity

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27 Mar 2012

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Week 9
Textbook: pg.304-367
CHAPTER 8: The Growing Rock Monster
- Rock in the 70s grew out of some aspect of 60s rock
- Psychedelia in the 60s developed into separate distinct styles
- The first half of the 1970’s is characterized by bands still experimenting musically and testing
the limits
- The second half is more controversial, with the industry run by multinational corporations with
little previous involvement in music (corporate rock)
- According to some, this corrupt form of rock music was designed solely to make money
- This interpretation led to the celebration of punk and new wave music instead
The Hippie Aesthetic
- One of the more important changes of 1966-69 music was changing rock focus from the single
to the album and from dancing music to listening music
- An album became a “trip”, a musically provocative listening experience
- There was broadening to rock’s stylistic range by incorporating elements from other musical
genres, and by also taking advantage of studio techniques
- Some bands blended in classical, folk or country elements; others focused on virtuosic soloing
influenced by blues and jazz; and some engaged serious issues in their lyrics.
- Hippie aesthetic” basically means that a rock musician is an artist who has a responsibility to
produce sophisticated music using all means that are at his or her disposal
- Music should be timeless and lyrics should be meaningful
- Musical prowess and virtuosity became important and rock musicians began taking themselves
and their music seriously
Blues-Based British Rock
Led Zeppelin:
- Led Zeppelin was one of the most successful new British groups in the 1970s
- Lead by Jimmy Page, a highly virtuosic guitar player known for his complex arrangements and
guitar mastery
- The band was devoted to the idea of the album and resisted releasing tracks as singles
- Described as a blend of traditional electric blues, acoustic folk and a fair amount of psychedelic
experimentation. This blend of music is best demonstrated in “Stairway to Heaven”
- Their music dealt with themes of spirituality and sex
Led Zeppelin – “Whole Lotta Love
oBlues, blended with psychedelia
oCompound AABA
oThe A sections follow simple verse-chorus form, with verse and chorus based on the
same musical material
oSong begins with a guitar riff
oVocal hook “Got a whole lotta love
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oThe central section consists of spacey psychedelia with avant-garde effects
oPlant’s swaggering and wails are a direct reference to sexuality
oPages’ aggressive guitar solo demonstrates psychedelic blues-rock virtuosity
oFinal section consists of a vocal cadenza, where the music stops and Plant provides a
solo flourish
oThis song provides a bridge from the 60s to the 70s
Deep Purple:
- Origins in late 60s rock mixing blues based rock with classical music (orchestral elements)
- Focused on instrumental solos with blues and classical influences
- Also incorporated aspects of psychedelic trippiness into their style
- Wrote their own material and produced its own records
Black Sabbath:
- Began as a blues band in the late 60s
- Dark image with gothic touches
- Their music is based in blues riffs and structures
- Often the guitar, bass and vocals all played variants of the same riff simultaneously
- Provided a basis for heavy metal which would emerge later
American Blues Rock and Southern Rock
The Allman Brothers Band:
- Were considered “southern rock”, a stereotypical genre label to describe bands emerging from
the southeast US
- Drew influences from the blues and R&B
- They blended this heritage with rock, influenced by the British blues rockers
- Known for extended improvised solos (as part of the San Francisco psychedelic legacy)
- Served as a model for many other southern bands
The Allman Brothers Band – “Whipping Post”
oBest example of the band’s blues influence
oContrasting verse-chorus
oIrregular meter (jazz influence)
oInstrumental response that echoes the vocal
oInstrumental interlude that builds up to the final statement of the chorus
oElement of extended soloing, demonstrates a psychedelic influence
oThe jazz-influenced ending contains the complex harmonies of jazz as well as some
final improvisation in the guitars.
Lynyrd Skynyrd:
- Continued the “southern rock” style but opted for more radio appropriate tracks
- Songs possessed clear lyrical and melodic hooks that told stories of everyday life in the south
- Mexican born virtuoso guitarist that emerged out of San Francisco’s psychedelic scene
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