Last week, we discussed how, by 1974, rock and roll was breaking down into factions, separating segments of its originally broad audience into smaller ‘subsets’. Some followed country rock, others preferred the ‘harder’ sounds of proto-metal, while others followed glam, or prog, or songwriters…you get the idea.
In this show, we look a little more deeply into that trend. Not only was ‘rock’ being crushed into dozens of smaller ‘rocks’, the music itself was being stripped down, analyzed and reconstructed.
Few bands did more to discern the exact constituents of music than King Crimson. In their case, every bit was analyzed, drawn through fire and tempered until it came out as something that occasionally barely resembled rock music at all.
Frank Zappa worked in a similarly self-conscious manner, making music that was devoid of cliché, and only occasionally cognizant of mainstream tastes.
In between these two monsters, we feature poor little Poco (pun intended – sorry), the country band that couldn’t. Other pseudo-country acts like the Eagles bastardized country-rock into some type of pumped-up, steroid addled monster of its former self, and ran away with the prize money. Richie Furay tried to maintain his cool for six albums but left the band in 1974, surely despairing at what the marketplace suddenly demanded.
Everything was getting bigger, faster, heavier, louder, more complex, more ironic, more specific…It was a trend that would grow and grow until it couldn’t. That bubble burst in 1976, but here is where you can see the bubble expanding.
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