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ATLANTIC 888; NOVEMBER 1949

 
 

 

The prevailing image of rock is often that of one endless party… where it always seems to be the weekend, the drinks never stop flowing, the guys are all good-looking and confident and the girls are all shapely and lacking inhibition.

As such there’s a certain type of rock song – aggressive and unrelenting – that endures as the prototypical sound of the entire genre. The specific instruments might change over time, from the honking saxophones of the first decade to the electric guitars of the next few generations before the bass-heavy sample-laden sounds of the last quarter century took over, but essentially it serves the same purpose, namely to act as the appropriate backdrop to fit that decedent image.

But there comes a point at every party when the keg runs dry, the stamina wanes and even the most boisterous revelers go home… or at least pass out.

What do you do then? Keep cranking up the volume to one relentless dance number after another, all pounding 4/4 beats until your head explodes? Or do you instead look for something a little different, something more appropriate for the same setting after the festivities start to die down?

That was the plan for one of the purveyors of the rowdiest styles of rock to date, a startling change of pace that attempted to broaden his sound while giving a rare glimpse into the hazy hours before dawn.
 
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