Classic Rock Photography

Classic Rock

Blues, jazz, R&B, and gospel dominated the 1940s and, during that period, were all considered “race music.” In the ’50s “rock ’n’ roll” evolved as a “legitimate” style—suitable for mainstream white audiences—and laid the foundation for the social revolution to come. By the early ’60s, the more encompassing genre known simply as “rock” emerged, quickly becoming the most dominant form of popular music.

“Classic Rock” is generally held to define both a style and an era. Musicians from the mid ’60s through the early ’80s aspired to transcend entertainment and produce artistic masterpieces imbued with sophisticated and meaningful content. The musical and lyrical breakthroughs of these creative pioneers secured them an enduring cultural legacy.

Early bands such as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones—through later acts like Pink Floyd and David Bowie—have retained their relevance, and their appeal has transcended generations. The artists emblematic of the “golden age of rock” were responsible for shaping the course of 20th-century music, and their influence is still with us today.

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