Will There Be A Rock and Roll Resurgence?


Logan Busbee, Co-Editor-in-Chief

When it comes to pop culture, music is always a good benchmark of seeing changes throughout the years. While hip-hop and rap are unarguably the most popular genres of music currently, that’s a stark contrast from the grunge that become very popular in the 90s with bands like Nirvana and Green Day. However, neither of these genres have yet to reach the massive heights that rock and roll did in its heyday. This is largely due to rock and roll changing with the times with different musicians like Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Queen, Guns N’ Roses, Pearl Jam, and Foo Fighters being very few examples of different generations of rock. 

However, these musicians all have some of the most well known songs in music, leading to rock and roll being kept alive in the cultural zeitgeist. This lead to rock living on be taking different styles including hair metal and heavy metal. But having classic songs still being played on the radio isn’t the same as new music being released. So, will there be a rock and roll resurgence with new bands, or are the remaining bands all that’s keeping rock alive?

When approaching new bands, the biggest stand out has to be Greta Van Fleet. What makes this one band so large in this topic is their similarity to Led Zeppelin. From a cultural standpoint Greta Van Fleet is a relatively new band that has brought back discussion around rock, much like how Led Zeppelin brought a major view back to rock before it really blew up in popularity in the 80s. 

The other reason Greta Van Fleet is often compared to Led Zeppelin is because their music sounds nearly identical to Led Zeppelin. From the guitar to the drums, but most easily noticed in the vocals, it really feels like Led Zeppelin 2. However, Greta Van Fleet has not had the widespread success Led Zeppelin had, but that is largely due to the rap being the dominant genre now.

While new rock bands may be few and far between, that doesn’t mean there’s a lack of rock music in total. Many bands are still releasing new music like Foo Fighters’ Concrete and Gold from 2017, this year’s new Tool album Fear Inoculum, and the upcoming album Who from The Who. Each of these bands represent different eras and subgenres of rock, but they are what’s keeping the rock genre alive. However, are these older bands stopping rock from being as popular as it once was?

It’s undeniable that in the eyes of most people, rock and roll is defined by classic songs like “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Stairway to Heaven”, and “Panama.” However, this is what stagnates rock, as new bands like Greta Van Fleet aren’t meet with the popularity bands used to soak up once they hit the scene. Even the new albums of these classic bands aren’t met with huge audiences, not due to the quality of the music, but due to the differentiation of what fans have grown comfortable with. Rock and roll may not be as popular as it once was, but it’s not a dead genre. There very well could be a resurgence of rock and roll, but that can only happen once fans learn to stop listening to the same songs for 20 years at a time and start embracing the newest generation of rock.