Friday, March 24, 2023

2 Bands that Defined the Sound of Modern Rock

 Rock music has a long and illustrious history. From its early roots in the music of black America in the form of blues, it began to be transformed as bands of the fifties and sixties took guitar riffs and grooves from this era and transformed them. A key driver of rock music was the invention of the electric guitar. Two key players in the guitar industry, Gibson and Fender, started making electric guitars in the 1950s that would come to define the sound of rock music.

The Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul are widely recognized as being timeless instruments of rock music, and their popularity amongst modern musicians continues to grow. Modern rock music was defined by literally hundreds of bands around the world. This article focuses on two of those that are widely considered to have been instrumental in shaping the sounds of modern rock.

Led Zeppelin


Led Zeppelin was one of the first true rock and roll supergroups, and they enjoyed a jet-set lifestyle of excess that symbolizes the height of rock and roll culture. All true rock fans will instantly be able to recognize the intro riff to the classic “Stairway to Heaven” with Jimmy Page and his Les Paul guitar mapping out a timeless classic that is one of the all-time great rock standards.

It is a fascinating and amusing fact that many guitar stores actively stop people from playing this song when trying out new guitars. This is because the song has been played (at a wide range of skill levels) hundreds of times in guitar shops all over the world, and store owners simply do not wish to hear it every day for the rest of their working careers! Today, the legacy of Led Zeppelin lives on, with millions of gig and festival goers wearing Led Zeppelin T-shirts and hoodies from stores such as to show their appreciation of this truly timeless band.

Jimi Hendrix


No artist from the history of rock music can claim to have had the same impact on the genre as Jimi Hendrix. From an early age, Jimi was fascinated by the guitar after a family relative gave him a battered and broken acoustic with several strings missing. Jimi was widely recognized to be a shy and retiring individual until he had a guitar in his hands and could jam out an intoxicating infusion of both lead and rhythm guitar simultaneously. This raw, almost animalistic style of playing, combined with heavy use of fuzz and Wah pedals, gave a signature sound that no band could truly emulate. His performance at the 1967 Monterey Music Festival remains one of the key moments in rock history where he set fire to his guitar on stage during an incendiary set. This truly was a moment in rock and roll history and is one that has become a part of rock folklore.

Perhaps the saddest fact for Jimi Hendrix is that the world never got a chance to see how he would shape the future of rock music. On September 18th 1970, Jimi sadly passed away in a hotel in London; his life was cut short at the age of just 27. Having created just a handful of albums, all of which pushed the boundaries of rock music, fans are left to wonder just how modern rock music would have developed had he lived. 



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