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Rock is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the late 1940s and early 1950s, developing into a range of different styles from the mid-1960s, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style that drew directly from the blues and rhythm and blues genres of African-American music and from country music. Rock also drew strongly from genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz and other musical styles. For instrumentation, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass guitar, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music with a 4
time signature
using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political. Rock was the most popular genre of music in the U.S. and much of the Western world from the 1950s to the 2010s.

Rock musicians in the mid-1960s began to advance the album ahead of the single as the dominant form of recorded music expression and consumption, with the Beatles at the forefront of this development. Their contributions lent the genre a cultural legitimacy in the mainstream and initiated a rock-informed album era in the music industry for the next several decades. By the late 1960s "classic rock" period, a number of distinct rock music subgenres had emerged, including hybrids like blues rock, folk rock, country rock, southern rock, raga rock, and jazz rock, which contributed to the development of psychedelic rock, influenced by the countercultural psychedelic and hippie scene. New genres that emerged included progressive rock with extended artistic elements, glam rock, highlighting showmanship and visual style. In the second half of the 1970s, punk rock reacted by producing stripped-down, energetic social and political critiques. Punk was an influence in the 1980s on new wave, post-punk and eventually alternative rock.

From the 1990s, alternative rock began to dominate rock music and break into the mainstream in the form of grunge, Britpop, and indie rock. Further fusion subgenres have since emerged, including pop-punk, electronic rock, rap rock, and rap metal. Some movements were conscious attempts to revisit rock's history, including the garage rock/post-punk revival in the 2000s. Since the 2010s, rock has lost its position as the pre-eminent popular music genre in world culture, but remains commercially successful. The increased influence of hip-hop and electronic dance music can be seen in rock music, notably in the techno-pop scene of the early 2010s and the pop-punk-hip-hop revival of the 2020s. (Full article...)

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The Music Machine in 1966.
The Music Machine was an American rock band formed in Los Angeles, California in 1966. Fronted by chief songwriter and lead vocalist Sean Bonniwell, the band cultivated a characteristically dark and rebellious image reflected in an untamed musical approach. Sometimes it made use of distorted guitar lines and hallucinogenic organ parts, punctuated by Bonniwell's distinctively throaty vocals. Although they managed to attain national chart success only briefly with two singles, the Music Machine is today considered by many critics to be one of the groundbreaking acts of the 1960s. Their style is now recognized as a pioneering force in proto-punk; yet within a relatively short period of time, they began to employ more complex lyrical and instrumental arrangements that went beyond the typical garage band format.

In 1965, the band came together as a folk rock trio known as the Raggamuffins, before expanding to the quintet that was later rechristened the Music Machine. The group was known for their style of dress, clothing themselves in all-black attire. In 1966, the Music Machine was signed to Original Sound, and released its first single "Talk Talk" in the latter half of the year, with it reaching the Top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100. Their debut album (Turn On) The Music Machine and the moderate hit "The People in Me" followed. The band's original lineup fragmented in late 1967 after managerial and financial disputes. Bonniwell reassembled the group under the name The Bonniwell Music Machine. In 1968, a second album, The Bonniwell Music Machine appeared, but the group disbanded in early 1969. (Full article...)

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Maynard Keenan performing in June 2018.
Maynard James Keenan (born James Herbert Keenan; April 17, 1964) is an American singer, songwriter, philanthropist, record producer, and winemaker. He is best known as the singer and primary lyricist of the rock bands Tool, A Perfect Circle, and Puscifer.

Having grown up in Ohio and Michigan, Keenan joined the U.S. Army after graduating from high school. After leaving the Army, he attended the Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He relocated to Los Angeles in 1988 to pursue a career in interior design and set construction, and formed Tool with Adam Jones shortly thereafter.

In addition to his music career, Keenan owns Merkin Vineyards and Caduceus Cellars in Arizona, where he resides. Since rising to fame, he has been noted as a recluse, although he does emerge to support charitable causes and for the occasional interview. He has also ventured into acting. (Full article...)

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Breakaway is the second studio album by American pop singer Kelly Clarkson, released on November 30, 2004, by RCA Records. The album is the follow-up to her successful debut album, Thankful (2003). Breakaway sees Clarkson collaborating with various producers and songwriters for the first time, primarily Dr. Luke, Max Martin, John Shanks, Kara DioGuardi, Ben Moody, and David Hodges; the latter two are former members of American rock band Evanescence. Despite the established commercial success of Thankful, music critics still continued to typecast Clarkson as an American Idol winner and were also critical of her attempts of establishing a commercial appeal on her own. Wanting to stray from those, she was convinced by Davis to work with Dr. Luke and Martin in Stockholm, and with Moody and Hodges in Los Angeles, in pursuit of a pop rock direction. This also led her to part ways with her manager Simon Fuller and hire the management services of Jeff Kwatinetz before the album's release. Breakaway is primarily a pop rock record with elements of rock and soul music, marking a departure from the R&B-oriented sound of Thankful; its lyrics explore themes of heartbreak, love, and escapism.

Breakaway received a positive response from music critics, with many commending the album's new-found pop rock sound and Clarkson's vocal performances. It received several awards and nominations, including winning two Grammy Awards and receiving a nomination for a Juno Award. The album became a commercial success worldwide. By selling over 12 million copies worldwide, Breakaway is Clarkson's best selling album of her career so far, and one of the best-selling albums of the 21st century. After debuting at number three on the Billboard 200 in the United States, it stayed on the top twenty of the chart for more than a year, eventually being certified 6× multi-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipments of more than six million copies.

Breakaway's singles "Since U Been Gone", "Behind These Hazel Eyes", "Because of You", "Walk Away", and "Breakaway" became worldwide hits and have become some of Clarkson's signature songs. Their successes prompted Billboard to credit her for landscaping the core sound of mainstream pop music as an uptempo dance-oriented sound in the 2000s. Furthermore, Breakaway established Clarkson as one of the four highest-selling acts of Sony BMG in the 2000s. Internationally, the album topped the music charts of Ireland and the Netherlands and became the world's 7th biggest-selling release of 2005, eventually being certified platinum in over 17 countries. To promote the album, Clarkson embarked on three international concert tours from 2005 to 2006: the Breakaway Tour, Hazel Eyes Tour, and the Addicted Tour. Billboard placed the album 77th in the Greatest of All Time Billboard 200 Albums. (Full article...)

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"One Tree Hill" is a song by Irish rock band U2 and the ninth track on their 1987 album The Joshua Tree. In March 1988, it was released as the fourth single from the album in New Zealand and Australia, while "In God's Country" was released as the fourth single in North America. "One Tree Hill" charted at number one on the New Zealand Singles Chart and was the country's second-most-successful hit of 1988.

The track was written in memory of Greg Carroll, a New Zealander the band first met in Auckland during the Unforgettable Fire Tour in 1984. He became very close friends with lead singer Bono and later served as a roadie for the group. Carroll was killed in July 1986 in a motorcycle accident in Dublin. After Carroll's tangi (funeral) in New Zealand, Bono wrote the lyrics to "One Tree Hill" in his memory. The lyrics reflect Bono's thoughts at the tangi and during his first night in New Zealand when Carroll took him up Auckland's One Tree Hill. They also pay homage to Chilean singer-songwriter and activist Víctor Jara. Musically, the song was developed in a jam session with producer Brian Eno. The vocals were recorded in a single take, as Bono felt incapable of singing them a second time.

"One Tree Hill" was received favourably by critics, who variously described it as "a soft, haunting benediction", "a remarkable musical centrepiece", and a celebration of life. U2 delayed performing the song on the Joshua Tree Tour in 1987 because of Bono's fears over his emotional state. After its live debut on the tour's third leg and an enthusiastic reaction from audiences, the song was played occasionally for the rest of the tour and semi-regularly during the Lovetown Tour of 1989–1990. It has appeared only sporadically since then, and most renditions were performed in New Zealand. Performances in November 2010 on the U2 360° Tour were dedicated to the miners who died in the Pike River Mine disaster. During the Joshua Tree Tours 2017 and 2019 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the album, "One Tree Hill" was performed at each show. (Full article...)

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Credit: Ollie Atkins

Elvis Presley meeting with US President Richard Nixon. On December 21, 1970.

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Psychedelic rock is a rock music genre that is inspired, influenced, or representative of psychedelic culture, which is centered on perception-altering hallucinogenic drugs. The music incorporated new electronic sound effects and recording techniques, extended instrumental solos, and improvisation. Many psychedelic groups differ in style, and the label is often applied spuriously.

Originating in the mid-1960s among British and American musicians, the sound of psychedelic rock invokes three core effects of LSD: depersonalization, dechronicization, and dynamization, all of which detach the user from everyday reality. Musically, the effects may be represented via novelty studio tricks, electronic or non-Western instrumentation, disjunctive song structures, and extended instrumental segments. Some of the earlier 1960s psychedelic rock musicians were based in folk, jazz, and the blues, while others showcased an explicit Indian classical influence called "raga rock". In the 1960s, there existed two main variants of the genre: the more whimsical, surrealist British psychedelia and the harder American West Coast "acid rock". While "acid rock" is sometimes deployed interchangeably with the term "psychedelic rock", it also refers more specifically to the heavier, harder, and more extreme ends of the genre. (Full article...)

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"R U Professional" is a 2009 satirical song by the American indie rock band The Mae Shi, inspired by a July 2008 outburst by actor Christian Bale on the set of Terminator Salvation. Bale was filming with actress Bryce Dallas Howard when he berated director of photography, Shane Hurlbut, for walking into his line of sight. An audio recording of the incident appeared on website TMZ on February 2, 2009. The Mae Shi composed and recorded the song later in the same day, and released it the next day. The group stated that the piece was created to honor Bale. The song parodies Bale by sampling his voice from the 2008 diatribe. The chorus incorporates Bale's use of the word professional from his flare-up. The lyrics reference several films the actor starred in, including Newsies, Swing Kids, American Psycho, and The Dark Knight.

The song was made available on YouTube and via download on MediaFire the next day. "R U Professional" received a generally positive reception, and was praised as an effective parody of Bale's on-set disturbance. MTV compared its style to new wave groups like Devo. The Los Angeles Times described it as a lively pop music tribute to the actor. USA Today categorized the song as fun dance music and called it creatively motivated. The Toronto Sun wrote positively of its creative lyrics and use of audio from the Bale oration. El País classed the piece as an electropop song that contributed to the viral spread of the Bale rant online. Dose placed the song within the genre of an electro jam session. Publications including The A.V. Club and Pitchfork Media were impressed with the group's ability to compose and release the song twenty-four hours after the audio of the incident appeared online. The Irish Independent wrote that they thought the group may have used a melody they already had and adapted it for the song to release it so quickly. (Full article...)
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