Rock lovers, who today are like followers of a church in dark times, stoically and devoutly endure apocalyptic provocations: eventually they come across a video on some social network in which they ask some guys at the exit of a concert “who sings better, Freddie Mercury or Featherweight?” and the young idol of the corridos and the Mexican trap is victorious. Yes, that happened on a video.
The genre, which this July 13 celebrates International Rock Day, is no longer the protagonist of the listings: has been displaced for years from the radio and sales rankings in the world, see from below how Bad Bunny is celebrated as artist of the year by prestigious music magazines.
(Read also: Elton John says goodbye to the stage, after 52 years on them).
But far from measuring that success in numbers, rock rejoices as the greatest countercultural reference of the 20th century. In some ways, the rebelliousness and libido to the fullest that proponents of reggaeton promulgate is not very different from what it meant at the time for the Rolling Stones to sing Brown Sugar or Under My Thumb, or for Frank Zappa to declare the furious metaphor My Guitar. Wants to Kill Your Mama.
Perhaps for this reason, in recent years rock has been the protagonist from another stage: the cinema. The so-called biopics, or films that recreate biographies, have focused on Queen, Elton John and Elvis Presley, most with the production or at least the participation of relatives or surviving members of those groups. Soon it will be the turn of the Bob Marley biopic, for which there is already a trailer.
It is not something new: we have seen them since The Doors, by Oliver Stone (1991) or Great Balls of Fire! (1989). And there are the rockumentaries: Wham!, the story of the duo from which George Michael emerged, on Netflix, and on HBO is Moonage Daydream, the artistic journey of David Bowie.
Rock has been declared dead many times. And the panorama does not help: to the recent departure of Tina Turner and the announced farewell to Aerosmith is added the insistent statement of Gene Simmons, from Kiss, that “rock is dead.” He said it before his massive farewell tour that took two years and that he was in Bogotá on two occasions during that tour, one of those at the festival called ‘Monsters of Rock’.
This 2023 has seen new albums: Lux Aeterna, by Metallica, one of the group’s best works since the so-called ‘black album’; Foo Fighters rose from the ashes as they bounced back from the death of drummer Taylor Hawkins and released their eleventh studio album, But Here We Are.
The Smashing Pumpkins completed with Atum: A rock Opera in Three Acts a trilogy that began in 1996, as it is conceptually connected to Mellon Collie and The Infinite Sadness and then Machina/The Machines of God (2000). They have also shone Queens of the Stone Age, with In Times New Roman…; Avenged Sevenfold, with Life is but a Dream…; Matchbox Twenty even returned, after an 11-year hiatus, publishing Where the Light Goes.
For the second semester there are works by Pearl Jam, Blink-182, Greta Van Fleet, Staind, The Killers, even up to Jane’s Addiction (which would be their first album after 10 years of waiting).
Many of these names are old acquaintances, but keep in mind the achievements of bands in the last 10 years such as Tame Impala, Ghost, Foals, She Killed a Wheeler, Machine Gun Kelly, Gary Clark Jr., Nation of Language, Chvrches, without leaving out probably the biggest rock act of the last 20 years: Muse.
(It may interest you: Charlie Watts, of the Rolling Stones, revives with a powerful selection of jazz).
The reissues do their thing for rock. EL TIEMPO currently distributes a vinyl edition collection of great albums in the history of rock, called ‘Lado A’- The titles are essential: Led Zeppelin, the first Led Zeppelin album; David Bowie’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust; Ramones, by the Ramones; The number of the beast, by Iron Maiden; Greatest Hits, a landmark Fleetwood Mac compilation album; 1984, by Van Halen; Purple Rain by Prince; Dookie, from Green Day’, and In Rock, from Deep Purple. They are available in chain stores or on the website eltiempo.com/vinilo
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