Sunday, November 30, 2014

Rebellion and Fun: A Glimpse into the History of Rock 'N' Roll

As reported with all due diligence on this blog in the hot summer of 2014, I recently taught a course entitled The History of Rock 'N' Roll (and Everything in It) in Ten Songs at Shalem College. Inspired by Greil Marcus' The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs. I divided rock history into themes carried by ten tunes. (The list actually went up to eleven, but it was close enough for rock 'n' roll.)

Read more about the course here and the themes of Rebellion & FunProphecy, Love & Friendship, and War & Work & Sex & Death by following the links.

Below you can watch a brief clip on the theme of Rebellion & Fun, calling on music by Chuck Berry, the Beatles, the Bently Boys, and Bob Dylan

The full list of songs from the course play list appears here:

One: Rebellion & Fun*
  • Chuck Berry, “Roll Over Beethoven” (1956)
  • The Replacements, “Bastards of Young” (1985)
  •  The Crystals, “He’s a Rebel” (1963)
  • David Bowie, “Rebel, Rebel” (1974)
  • Tom Petty, “Rebels” (1985)
  • Tracy Bonham, “Mother, Mother” (1996)
  • Little Richard,“Tutti Fruitti” (1955)
  • The Beatles, “She’s Leaving Home” (1967)
Two: Prophecy, Love & Friendship
  • Patti Smith, “Gloria: In Excelsis Deo” (1975)
  • Them, “Gloria”
  • Blind Willie Johnson, “John the Revelator” (1930)
  • R.E.M., “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” (1987)
  • Aretha Franklin, “I Never Loved a Man (the Way That I Love
  • You)” (1967)
  • Bruce Springsteen, “Backstreets” (1975)
Three: War & Work
  • David Crosby (The Byrds) after “Chimes of Freedom” at the Monterey Pop
  • Festival (1967)
  • Jimi Hendrix, “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the Woodstock Festival (1969)
  • The Rolling Stones, “Gimme Shelter” (1969)
  • The Bently Boys, “Penny’s Farm” (1929)
  • Bob Dylan, “Maggie’s Farm” (1965)
Four: Sex & Death
  • Meatloaf, “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” (1977)
  • Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, “Ohio” (1970)
  • Nirvana, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (1991)
*Songs in bold are the 10 main songs of the course; other songs on the list helped us understand them.

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