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Classic Rock: A Brief History of Awesome

Jack Stein, Managing Editor

There are bands that groove, there are bands that soothe, there are bands whose talent you just can’t deny. And then there are some bands that just… rock. Be it ear-piercingly loud, unfathomably gentle, or emotionally riveting, there’s some music that you just can’t listen to without leaving just thinking, “wow.”

As that music, over the years, touches more and more people, grows exponentially in fan base, and slowly embeds itself within the global conciousness, it may be given the honorable title of “Classic Rock.” The holy grail of genres, classic rock is reserved for the best of the best, artists that defined a generation, and managed to create some killer music while doing so.

But classic rock has slowly faded from the public ear. The current generation would rather listen to Major Lazer, Twenty One Pilots, or Rihanna than the true classics. And that’s ok! Just because current pop music is new and different, doesn’t make it inherently worse— but it does have a very different sound. Songs today are faster and faker, trading in powerful lyrics and traditional instrumentation for club jams that are sung over tracks almost completely manufactured via computer. Not necessarily worse, just… different.

In early October, Indio, California hosted a new kind of music celebration. Desert Trip was a music festival, very similar to Coachella or Bonnaroo, except for one key difference. Instead of featuring new, upcoming artists, Desert Trip, or “Oldchella,” was a venue for older performers. Neil Young, the Rolling Stones, the Who, and more graced the stage. It marked an important landmark in music festivals—and teenage music tastes in general—because it exposed the average music festival demographic (teenagers) to a different kind of music than many of them usually listen to!

The problem is, a lot of what is considered classic rock may not be accessible to many teenagers, who are already used to hearing things much faster and fuller than the slower ballads that spring to mind when people think of classic rock. What they may not realize is that a lot of classic rock was fast, furious, and really just awesome.

So where has this Awesome Rock been all this time? Just take a trip back in time. Looking back to the most incediary periods in recent history, all of the greatest world insanities are chronicled by a great album that reflects all of the passion, the anger, the angst, the outrage and the toxic disgust that was being broiled up by the decade’s youth. In short: They rock.

These are some of them.

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