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Rock music 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 in the mid-1960s and later, 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 music also drew strongly from a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical, and other musical styles. For instrumentation, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music with a 4
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 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, many of which contributed to the development of psychedelic rock, which was influenced by the countercultural psychedelic and hippie scene. New genres that emerged included progressive rock, which extended the artistic elements, glam rock, which highlighted showmanship and visual style, and the diverse and enduring subgenre of heavy metal, which emphasized volume, power, and speed. 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, as well as conscious attempts to revisit rock's history, including the garage rock/post-punk and techno-pop revivals in the 2000s, and the 2010s saw a slow decline in rock music's mainstream popularity and cultural relevancy, with hip-hop surpassing it as the most popular genre in the United States. (Full article...)

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Nine Inch Nails, commonly abbreviated as NIN and stylized as NIИ, is an American industrial rock band formed in 1988 in Cleveland, Ohio. Singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Trent Reznor was the only permanent member of the band until the official addition of English musician Atticus Ross in 2016. The band's debut album, Pretty Hate Machine (1989), was released via TVT Records. After feuding with TVT about how to promote the album, Reznor signed with Interscope Records and released the EP Broken (1992). The following Nine Inch Nails albums, The Downward Spiral (1994) and The Fragile (1999), were released to critical acclaim and commercial success.

Following a hiatus, Nine Inch Nails resumed touring in 2005 and released their fourth album, With Teeth (2005). Following the release of Year Zero (2007), Reznor left Interscope after a feud. Nine Inch Nails continued touring and independently released Ghosts I–IV (2008) and The Slip (2008) before a second hiatus. Their eighth album, Hesitation Marks (2013), was followed by a trilogy consisting of the EPs Not the Actual Events (2016) and Add Violence (2017) and their ninth album Bad Witch (2018). In 2020, Nine Inch Nails released two further instalments in the Ghosts series, Ghosts V: Together and Ghosts VI: Locusts.

When touring, Reznor typically assembles a live band to perform with him under the Nine Inch Nails name. Not including sporadic band hiatuses, this live band has varied over the decades, with the most recent lineup consisting of Robin Finck (who initially joined in 1994), Alessandro Cortini (who initially joined in 2005), and Ilan Rubin (who initially joined in 2009) alongside Reznor and Ross. The band's concerts are noted for their extensive use of thematic visual elements, complex special effects, and elaborate lighting; songs are often rearranged to fit any given performance, and melodies or lyrics of songs that are not scheduled to be performed are sometimes assimilated into other songs.

Nine Inch Nails has sold over 20 million records and have been nominated for 13 Grammy Awards, winning for the songs "Wish" in 1992 and "Happiness in Slavery" in 1996. Time magazine named Reznor one of its most influential people in 1997, while Spin magazine has described him as "the most vital artist in music". In 2004, Rolling Stone placed Nine Inch Nails at No. 94 on its list of the 100 greatest artists of all time. Nine Inch Nails were nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014, their first year of eligibility; they were nominated again in 2015 and 2020, with the latter resulting in an induction. (Full article...)

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Sir James Paul McCartney CH MBE (born 18 June 1942) is an English singer, songwriter and musician who gained worldwide fame as co-lead vocalist, co-songwriter and bassist for the Beatles. One of the most successful composers and performers of all time, he is known for his melodic approach to bass-playing, versatile and wide tenor vocal range, and musical eclecticism, exploring styles ranging from pre-rock 'n' roll pop to classical and electronica. His songwriting partnership with John Lennon remains the most successful in history.

Born in Liverpool, McCartney taught himself piano, guitar and songwriting as a teenager, having been influenced by his father, a jazz player, and rock 'n' roll performers such as Little Richard and Buddy Holly. He began his career as a member of the Quarrymen in 1957, which evolved into the Beatles in 1960. Sometimes called "the cute Beatle", McCartney later involved himself with the London avant-garde and spearheaded the incorporation of experimental aesthetics into the Beatles' studio productions. Starting with the 1967 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, he gradually became the band's de facto leader, providing the creative impetus for most of their music and film projects. Many of his Beatles songs, including "And I Love Her", "Yesterday", "Eleanor Rigby" and "Blackbird", rank among the most covered songs in history.

After the Beatles disbanded, he debuted as a solo artist with the 1970 album McCartney and formed the band Wings with his first wife, Linda, and Denny Laine. Led by McCartney, Wings was one of the most successful bands of the 1970s, with more than a dozen international top 10 singles and albums. He resumed his solo career in 1980 and has toured as a solo artist since 1989. Without Wings, his UK or US number-one hits have included "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey" (with Linda), "Coming Up", "Pipes of Peace", "Ebony and Ivory" (with Stevie Wonder) and "Say Say Say" (with Michael Jackson). Beyond music, he has taken part in projects to promote international charities related to such subjects as animal rights, seal hunting, land mines, vegetarianism, poverty and music education.

McCartney has written or co-written 32 songs that have topped the Billboard Hot 100, and, , had sales of 25.5 million RIAA-certified units in the US. His honours include two inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (as a member of the Beatles in 1988 and as a solo artist in 1999), an Academy Award, 18 Grammy Awards, an appointment as a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1965 and a knighthood in 1997 for services to music. As of 2020, he was one of the wealthiest musicians in the world, with an estimated fortune of £800 million. (Full article...)

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Laid Back is the debut studio solo album by American singer-songwriter Gregg Allman, released in October 1973 by Capricorn Records. Allman, best known as the vocalist/lyricist/organist of the Allman Brothers Band, first began considering a solo career after internal disagreements with that group. He developed the album as a small creative outlet wherein he would assume full control, and he co-produced the album alongside Johnny Sandlin. Laid Back was largely recorded in March 1973 at Capricorn Sound Studios in Macon, Georgia, with additional recording and mixing taking place at the Record Plant by Manhattan Recording Engineer, Jim Reeves in New York City.

The album explores Allman's varying influences, including rhythm and blues and soul music. It consists of several cover songs, originals, and a traditional hymn, and contains performances from a host of musicians, most notably Scott Boyer and Tommy Talton on guitars, Bill Stewart on drums, and Charlie Hayward on bass guitar. The album was created while Allman also worked on Brothers and Sisters, the fourth Allman Brothers album. The album title was a studio term Allman coined for relaxing a song's tempo, while its cover was painted by Abdul Mati Klarwein.

Upon its release, Laid Back received positive reviews from music critics, and it peaked at number 13 on Billboard's Top LPs & Tape chart. To support the album, Allman embarked on an ambitious tour, consisting of a full band and an entire string orchestra. Two singles were released to promote the record, with lead single "Midnight Rider" becoming a top 20 hit in the U.S. and Canada. It was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in 1974 for shipping 500,000 copies in the U.S., making it one of Allman's best-selling albums. (Full article...)

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"Mothers of the Disappeared" is a song by Irish rock band U2. It is the eleventh and final track on their 1987 album The Joshua Tree. The song was inspired by lead singer Bono's experiences in Nicaragua and El Salvador in July 1986, following U2's participation in the Conspiracy of Hope tour of benefit concerts for Amnesty International. He learned of the Madres de Plaza de Mayo, a group of women whose children had "forcibly disappeared" at the hands of the Argentine and Chilean dictatorships. While in Central America, he met members of COMADRES, a similar organization whose children had been abducted by the government in El Salvador. Bono sympathized with the Madres and COMADRES and wanted to pay tribute to their cause.

The song was written on a Spanish guitar, and the melody lifted from a piece Bono composed in Ethiopia in 1985 to help teach children basic forms of hygiene. The lyrics contain an implicit criticism of the Reagan Administration, which backed two South American regimes that seized power during coups d'état and which provided financial support for the military regime in El Salvador. Thematically it has been interpreted as an examination of failures and contradictions in US foreign policy. The drum beat provided by Larry Mullen Jr. was processed through an effects unit that gave it a drone-like quality, which bassist Adam Clayton described as "evocative of that sinister death squad darkness".

"Mothers of the Disappeared" was favourably received by critics, who variously described it as "powerful", "a moving tribute", and containing "stunning beauty and sadness". The song was played seven times on the 1987 Joshua Tree Tour, and some recordings were considered for the ending sequence of the 1988 film Rattle and Hum. It was revived for four concerts on the 1998 PopMart Tour in South America, and for two of them, the Madres joined the band onstage for the performance, one of which was broadcast on television in Chile. Bono used the opportunity to ask former Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet to reveal to the Madres the locations of their children's bodies. The song was played a further three times on the U2 360° Tour; one performance was dedicated to Fehmi Tosun, an ethnic Kurd who forcibly disappeared in Turkey in 1995. Bono re-recorded the song a cappella in 1998 for the album ¡Ni Un Paso Atras! (English: Not One Step Back!). (Full article...)

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Credit: Rowland Scherman

Joan Baez and Bob Dylan at a civil rights march on Washington, D.C., 28 August 1963.

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Industrial metal is the fusion of heavy metal and industrial music, typically employing repeating metal guitar riffs, sampling, synthesizer or sequencer lines, and distorted vocals. Prominent industrial metal acts include Ministry, Godflesh, Marilyn Manson, Rammstein, Fear Factory and Nine Inch Nails.

Industrial metal developed in the late 1980s, as industrial and metal began to fuse into a common genre. Industrial metal did well in the early 1990s, particularly in North America, with the success of groups such as Nine Inch Nails and Pitchshifter, but its popularity began to fade in the latter half of the 1990s. (Full article...)

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Christ Illusion is the tenth studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer, released on August 8, 2006 by American Recordings. It was the band's first album featuring all four original members with their drummer Dave Lombardo since Seasons in the Abyss (1990).

Depicting a mutilated Christ painted by longtime collaborator Larry Carroll, the album's graphic artwork courted controversy; an alternative cover was issued to conservative retailers who felt uncomfortable with the original, and the band also put out a censored cover without the offensive artwork. Lyrics, particularly in the song "Jihad", describe the September 11 attacks from the perspective of a terrorist. Following protests, all Indian stocks of the album were recalled and destroyed by EMI India. (Full article...)
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