The Foundations of Rock: From "Blue Suede Shoes" to "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes"

The Foundations of Rock: From "Blue Suede Shoes" to "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes"

The Foundations of Rock: From "Blue Suede Shoes" to "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes"

The Foundations of Rock: From "Blue Suede Shoes" to "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes"

Synopsis

A comprehensive introduction to the inner workings of rock music, The Foundations of Rock goes back to the heart of the music itself from the time of its birth through the end of classic rock. Walter Everett expertly takes readers through all aspects of the music and its lyrics, leading fans and listeners to new insights and new ways to develop their own interpretations of the aural landscapes of their lives. Written with style, Everett does not depend on musical notationnor professional jargon, but rather combines text with nearly 300 newly written audio examples (performed on the companion website) and more than 100 expertly chosen photographs, to offer a rich text-and-web experience that brings new meanings to songs that have dominated music for a half-century. Through careful illustration, frequently citing the most familiar and pertinent examples from throughout the 1955-1970 period, The Foundations of Rock covers the nature and use of all musical instruments and vocal qualities; reveals the many different ways that phrases and sections of songs can be combined; discusses the materials and patterns in melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic invention; explains the many important ways that producers and engineers add to the artistry; and finallysuggests paths for combining an understanding of all of these elements with interpretations of a song's lyrics. This is all done in thorough detail, and always with an ear towards the possible meanings such techniques convey in a music that has had a profound impact upon our world. In doing so, Everett helpsreaders create new depths of understanding and appreciation. Hundreds of memorable hit songs are referred to in order to illustrate every individual point, while twenty-five diverse classics of the period have been chosen for very close hearing from multiple perspectives. The reader will come away with a much deeper appreciation of the music of the Beatles and the Stones, the Supremes and the Temptations, the Dead and Janis, Elvis and Buddy Holly, the Beach Boys and the Rascals.

Excerpt

How does Hendrix get those sounds from his guitar in “The Star Spangled Banner”? What is that weird instrument at the beginning of “Strawberry Fields Forever”? How do both James Brown’s “I Got the Feeling” and The Who’s “I’m Free” put me so far off balance? Why are Brian Wilson, Frank Zappa, and Eric Clapton considered geniuses? What is the fastest rock song of the 1960s? What makes Janis Ian’s “Society’s Child” sound so profoundly sad? This book, which will address these sorts of questions and lead the reader to consider many more, was written to bring a richly detailed understanding of popular music, particularly rock music, to everyone who enjoys it, whether as a casual listener, a loyal fan, or a performing musician. Even the professional composer, performer, or educator is bound to improve their musical experience by reading this volume because even though the book assumes no prior musical knowledge, it explores every domain of rock and pop recordings in greater depth than experienced anywhere else.

Our focus is on the period 1955–69. This, after all, is the golden age of rock music—of Elvis Presley, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Ray Charles, the Beach Boys, the Supremes, the Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, The Doors, the Grateful Dead, James Brown, Janis Joplin, Chuck Berry, the . . .

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