Rock ‘n’ Roll: A Dying Genre?


Image courtesy of Polyphonic Press

Mathew Yeager, Staff Writer

In a world where trends are constantly changing, comparing the music that dominated the 70s to the popular songs that are easily recognizable today, the difference is extraordinary. From the high energy, unrelenting riffs and sounds of the electric guitar, to the catchy, quick-versed lyrics of pop music, the public’s perception and favored choice of music, while mostly spurred by the influence of the younger generation, shifts drastically. “Rock ‘n’ Roll”, a genre that gained high popularity in the 70s because of bands like Rush, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, and many, many others, has seemed to have become irrelevant to the mainstream music culture, as the audience for it shrinks and the high profiting corporations lie complacent, pushing for an increase in the music that sells. There are many reasons why the rock genre has become less popular, with some of the most major reasons being answered in this article.

One of the key reasons why new rock bands are so unheard of these days is heavily due to the fact that major record labels have barely, if not at all, signed off on them since the year 2000. Another factor is brand, as you hear of bands from the 70s and 80s selling out their shows whenever they are touring, but this is due to the already built-up fanbase and the long duration the band has been around for. Taking a step back and looking at artists today, how do they and their music get popular? Well for starters, it is due to what I had just previously stated, but the main reason being advertising. Music barely gets viral organically anymore, with billboards and advertisements used to promote the big names, costing more money than any start-up band can afford, especially without a big record label attached to them. Thus, if a band has barely any followers online and does not have the money to promote themselves, it is nearly impossible for them to be given any recognition, no matter how good the music. 

However, modern rock bands do still exist, although the only problem is that it is hard to find any worth listening to without a good amount of patience and research. Australia has come a long way in terms of music, with some rock bands cultivating from this recent growth, while America’s modern rock bands focus more on what the audience wants rather than how they want to express themselves. However, no-fault can be put on these artists, as it is the only way that they can sustain a fanbase for such a small audience that is willing to listen. So, looking back at everything presented, if the current generation, as well as those who come after continue to display the same type of music taste, the death of new rock music, is almost inevitable, especially when popular bands from the 70s/80s stop touring and go into retirement.