According to some critics, the song “Hound Dog” by Elvis Presley precipitated the social, cultural, and generational upheaval in the 1950s and 1960s. The song was overly famous, selling over 4million copies and topping the Rhythm and Blues, Pop, and Country and Western charts (Bennett 14)…
The cultural phenomenon associated with the song is undeniable, but a close analysis of the music content exposes negligible evidence of explicit or revolutionary intents. The thrusting, shaking, and gyrating dance moves by Presley when performing this song were seen as fostering destructive and negative reactions to youths.
The song has a twelve-bar blues, carefully structured to enhance dancing, particularly with the quick tempo. The song has a constant backbone thanks to the double bass present in the guitar solo and the chorus section. The drumming is just perfect. It is unadorned and simple; purposely and concisely striking on the song beats prior to blasting into machine-gun burst at every verse-end, revealing to the listener the beginning of a subsequent twelve bars. The lead guitar solo also encourages the listeners to dance due to its simple and rhythmic nature, and with the added advantage of not distracting the beat. The rhythm from the guitar is superb, as it provides a driving, compelling impetus. Moreover, the guitar rhythm plays at nine bars of the twelve bar pattern (Bennett 15). Simultaneously, strutting riff plays, adding the body and depth of the magnificent twelve bar pattern, and when its play stops, its absence reflects a certain conspicuous. Combine the rock and roll magic of these instruments with Presley’s voice, the driving force, perfect control, and power, and you get the most unique and popular song in the 1950s. 2. Art Garfunkel and Paul Simon Consumerist ideals dominated the 1960’s society, with Americans in upper and middle class struggling to attain a “model life”. The consumerist goals created a false sense of peace and security. The song “sound of silence” by Art Garfunkel and Paul Simon uses diction, clear metaphors, contrasting tones, and repetition to highlight the need for social changes. The 1960s had an awkward epoch where majority of the Americans dared not to question or criticize societal expectations (Perone 45). The song reflects the mixed emotions in the 1960s such as hopes of societal activists and submissive conformists for social change. Composed in the aftermath of President John F. Kennedy and the Vietnam War, the two artists reinforce the need for social change; condemn submissiveness, and ignorance using the term “silence”. The song uses various similes and metaphors to pass across the message. It highlights the American national well-being as a facade that most citizens are afraid to address. The lyrics to the song compares “cancer” to the disturbing the silence, highlighting the impossibility of changes in society at the time. Through such similes, Garfunkel and Simon highlight the complacency, stubbornness of upper and middle-class levels, especially with reference to nuclear family. The song may fall into the folk music category due to its style of writing. The song resembles storytelling, though it fuses with the popular genre of music during the 1960s, which was traditional folk music, thus the presence of electric bass, drums, and electric guitar (Perone 47). The use of rhythmic syncopations and those other instruments promote the essence of storytelling. This, combined with the audacity to question societal expectations at a time when it was considered a social crime, makes the song a great piece of rock and roll music. 3. John Lennon There was imminent danger of a possible lack of unity and peace in the world in the 1970s era. The revolutions that were taking place were a threat to world peace, and this perhaps triggered John Lennon of the Beatles to compose the song “Imagine”. The song is a strong, emotional, and though-provoking piece of music advocating for the ...
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