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In this assignment you will be required to write up a thirteen to twenty song disc which you feel represents the music and artists that we have studied in this course (Rock and roll-70s,80s and early 90s. 1970-1995).

You can arrange them in any order that you want. This is a retrospective compilation which you feel is a good representation of the material that we have studied in this course.

For each song explain why you picked it, why you like it and why today’s listeners can still relate to it. Then, explain what musical genre the selection is and how it fits in to the history of rock and roll. Also, include a brief introduction in your compilation which explains the theme or rationale of your disc.

Finally, pick three songs that we haven’t studied in class from the 90s and 00s which illustrate, in your opinion, where music is, going now. In your introduction, explain the order of your songs and how they fit together. In particular, focus on the first and last song.

In your compilation you can only use each artist once. Also, you must also use eight different genres of music (for example: funk, glam, hard rock, singer and songwriter, country rock, punk, disco, house music, new wave, post-punk, goth rock, progressive rock, alternative, grunge, synthpop, thrash metal, hardcore, hiphop).

Ace of Spades by Motorhead

The purpose of this essay is to discuss few very famous songs made between the 70’s to early 90’s and have influenced music for countless generations. These songs have been etched in the history of rock music, each imparting a unique value and influencing several sub-genre of music. Discussed below are 13 such songs that deserves to be put on my track list as the “Songs that changed the world”.

Song #: Ace of Spades

Artist Name: Motorhead

Reason for picking the song: This track introduces the listeners to the fast-paced style of rock and roll that has been perfected by Motorhead. The heavy bass line, fast drumming and swift guitar solos makes it one of the most iconic tracks of its time, influencing countless bands. This track is considered as the early prototype of thrash metal.

Song #: Winds of change

Artist Name: Scorpions

Reason for picking the song: Scorpions have always been regarded as a classic Glam band. The song is based on breaking the wall of Berlin, which brought the people of East and West Germany, and marking the end of the cold war. The song instills hope, and that the ‘winds of change’ can swoop over any force.

Song #: Black Magic Woman

Artist Name: Carlos Santana

Reason for picking the song: This song introduces the Latin funk style combined with elements of rock and roll, which was the unique aspect of Carlos Santana’s music. His guitar genius, combined with the unique percussion style of Latino music, makes Black Magic Woman a legendary song of its period (Marcus).

Song #: Beasley Street

Artist Name: John Cooper Clarke

Reason for picking the song: John Cooper Clark is a brilliant songwriter, his unique way using language to express his thoughts gave him the title of ‘bard’, as he was foremost a poet. Beasley Street is a narrative on our postmodern society, portraying it in all its grittiness and absurdities. This undervalued masterpiece deserves an honorary mention (Friedlander).

Song #: Sweet Home Alabama

Artist Name: Lynyard Skynyard

Reason for picking the song: This classic rock masterpiece takes the elements of country music (that romanticizes the beauty of the countryside) with rock music. Lynyard Skynyard infused such elements to perfection, and sweet home Alabama is a perfect example of such a unison (Moore).

Song #: Rock the Casbah

Artist Name: The Clash

Reason for picking the song: Clash is one of the pioneer punk bands from the UK, and their style and subject has always been influenced by the contemporary society and events. The song Rock the Casbah was response to the ban of Western Music in Iran. It represents how rock and roll was associated with freedom of thought and a ban on such music is a deliberation against this freedom (Gruen).

Winds of Change by Scorpions

Song #: Burnt Offerings

Artist Name: Christian Death

Reason for picking the song: Christian Death is a pioneer Goth rock band, with the vocalist Rozz Williams being legendary in his music circuit, having influenced several other Goth Bands such as Bauhaus, Sisters of mercy and London after Midnight. Burnt offerings effectively captures the gothic feelings through its down toned guitars, dystopian tunes and haunting voice (Rogers).

Song #: Cars

Artist Name: Gary Numan

Reason for picking the song: This track is a classic new wave/ Synth Rock, relying heavily on the work of synth, using sound effects to mimic the concept of the sound and an eerie style of vocals. This combination makes this track a unique combination of new wave and Synth Rock, and have influenced other genres such as Industrial Rock (Baddeley).

Song #: I love rock n roll

Artist Name: Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

Reason for picking the song: This is a famous song by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts that talks about the love for rock and roll as the name suggest. The song uses punk elements that were a huge influence on Joan Jett and fuses it with hard rock, making it much heavier in sound. The track continues to be a fan favorite and a major influence for several Post Punk bands (Sondheimer).

Song #: Fortunate Son

Artist Name: Credence and Clearwater revival

Reason for picking the song: This song talks about the effects of war. The band has strong blues influence, and amazing vocal dexterity. The high-pitched voice of makes Credence and Clearwater a unique band and the song has been considered as one of the greatest hit single released by the band (Mazullo).

Song #: Pigs (three different ones)

Artist Name: Pink Floyd

Reason for picking the song: Pink Floyd is probably one of the greatest band in early rock and roll, and they have experimented on a variety of musical styles, but most famously known for its psychedelic elements. Pigs (three different ones) is about the greed of the politicians, and has a significant resemblance to the Orwellian classic “The Animal farm”. The unique lyrical content makes this track a memorable one (Unwin).

Song #: Ziggy Stardust

Artist Name: David Bowie

Reason for picking the song: David Bowie was famously known to invent and reinvent his on stage persona, which was a per of his music act. Ziggy Stardust is a persona of an alien and a rockstar who is living among us, observing our society. His persona had an androgynous look, and blurred the difference between how a male and female presented themselves on stage. This have later been picked up my later Glam Bands. Such influence makes Ziggy Stardust an important song in music history (Hajdu).

Song #: Paint it black

Artist Name: Rolling Stones

Reason for picking the song: Rolling stones was probably one of the most famous rock bands, who influenced innumerable number of musicians across the world. The song also talks about war, and how it changes our mind and perceptions in a beautiful manner. This is one of the most legendary rock songs ever to be produced (Nehring).

Out of these 13 songs, three songs that I believe deserves special mentions due to the extent of its impact on Rock music includes Burnt Offerings by Christian Death, Ace of Spades by Motorhead and Ziggy Stardust by David Bowie. These three songs not only reflect the musical style of its age, but also projects how the music changed over the years, influencing entire genre of fast paced, down toned, heavy guitar riffs and quick drumming. Burnt Offerings represents the dark lyrical themes that can be seen in case of genre such as Black Metal and Death Metal. Ziggy Stardust on the other hand represented the early form of Glam band, and the Glam persona, while Ace of Spades showed the early forms of thrash metal.

References:

Baddeley, Gavin. Lucifer Rising: Sin, Devil Worship & Rock'n'Roll. Plexus Publishing, 2015.

Friedlander, Paul. Rock and roll: A social history. Routledge, 2018.

Gruen, Bob. The Clash: Photographs by Bob Gruen. Omnibus Press, 2015.

Hajdu, David. "DAVID BOWIE A Life." (2017): 44-44.

Marcus, Greil. Mystery train: images of America in rock'n'roll music. Penguin, 2015.

Mazullo, Mark. "Fans and Critics: Greil Marcus's Mystery Train as Rock'n'Roll History." Rock Music. Routledge, 2017. 11-35.

Moore, Allan F. Rock: The Primary Text-Developing a Musicology of Rock: The Primary Text-Developing a Musicology of Rock. Routledge, 2017.

Nehring, Neil. "Introduction: The Rolling Stones." (2015): 221-225.

Rogers, Dave. Rock'n'roll. Routledge, 2016.

Sondheimer, Adrian. "Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n’Roll." Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 54.4 (2015): 328.

Unwin, Peter. "Roger Waters and Pink Floyd: The Concept Albums." Canadian Journal of Communication 42.3 (2017)

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