At the very beginning – the Fifties – Rock N Roll in its purest form was an amalgam of black rhythm and blues and white country music, usually based around a twelve-bar structure and an instrumentation of guitar, double bass, and drums.
This can be best illustrated by the likes of Little Richard and of course, Elvis Presley.
American Rock N Roll would greatly influence the Beatles and the Beach Boys who added their own melodic touches into the mix.
Inspired by these pioneers (and perhaps mind-expanding drugs), subsequent artists would experiment with Rock N Roll forms.
American youths deconstructed the British Invasion into gritty three chord wonders that were conjured in the garage.
Strident folk music – popularised by Bob Dylan – was melded with beat music by the likes of The Byrds to foster folk-rock.
Out of garage and folk-rock, experimentation with psychedelics birthed music that resembled a LSD trip.
Once psychedelia had run its course, bands were keen to return to the basics, and leading the way were The Band with their organic agenda of country-folk, blues and rock n roll.
Other artists deconstructed Rock N Roll further into its component parts focusing very much on blues riffs, eschewing harmonic complexity and delivering a visceral sonic assault.
The seventies and beyond would witness bands and artists building on the foundation of 60s Rock n Roll with a myriad of sub-genres popping up viz. Glam, Hard Rock, Prog-Rock, Jazz Fusion, Punk, Heavy Metal and the like.
The main thrust of Rock N Roll as I see it, is the lack of melodic and harmonic sophistication compensated by the emphasis on its roots, whether in blues or country music.
There you have it. I must stress that Power Pop Rock N Roll is a subjective catch-all – a means to differentiate our beloved music from the prevalent genres of the modern era – hip hop, EDM and contemporary pop.
We rock on. Believe!
… still there’s more …