Turn It Up + Pass It On

Published on 14 May 2021 at 14:06

To me, rock has always been an overlooked genre.

Rock has always been overshadowed by the next up and coming genre. From punk to new wave to disco to rap to grunge, these genres were seen as trendy so rock was considered to be dead many times.

1970s bands like: Starz, Angel, Trigger, Riot, The Boyzz, 707, Topaz, Nantucket, Axe, Blackfoot, Creed, Piper and many others were overlooked due to the rise of punk, new wave and disco.

1980s bands like: BulletBoys, Every Mother's Nightmare, Sea Hags, Britny Fox, Electric Boys, Shotgun Messiah and many others were overlooked because of rap.

1990s bands like: Love/Hate, Spread Eagle, Katmandu, Kill For Thrills, Salty Dog, Saigon Kick, Baton Rouge, and many others were overlooked because of grunge.

When you think about each decade, this has always happened. I've thought about this a lot, and the reason why we don't know about these artists is because of promotion. It's great to hear that all of these bands got signed and got to release their music, but why wouldn't you promote these artists?

Money. Record labels don't sign bands because they're talented. They sign a band because they think it will sell, and if it doesn't, it becomes a write-off for the label. It's ridiculous that record labels will sign a bunch of artists just to see who will get popular, not because they see how special a band is and they want to share it with others.

If I ran a record label, I would sign artists, and I would promote those artists. Why would I sign an artist if I didn't want everyone to  hear their music?

All of the artists I listed above have talent, so there's no reason why they shouldn't have been noticed. I'm only 22, and I only know about these artists because of my dad's extensive music collection. These are all artists that I never knew about until I started going through my dad's collection, and the only reason he has them is because he was open minded enough to give these bands a chance, while so many other people overlooked them because grunge was in and rock was out.

This is an opinion that most people may not agree with, but I think the rock music of the 1990s is the best era of it. I feel this way because bands like Love/Hate, Spread Eagle, Circus Of Power, Baton Rouge existed at the same time. I feel like people don't understand how amazing that is because these bands put out some of the best music of that time period.

Why I love that era of rock is because the music was executed fantastically, and the lyrics were honest. The hair metal movement's lyrics always contained lyrics of sex, drugs and rock and roll, and it's unrealistic. If anything, lyrics like those are misleading because it's telling people that you have to have and do those things to be cool. There's an honesty in the 1990s era of rock bands that made that era so special because those bands worked so hard, in a time when the genre was dead. These bands still went to the studio and created their music because they're passionate and they had something to say.

I like certain grunge songs, but I've never loved it because I don't relate to it. I was reading an issue of Hit Parader yesterday, which featured all the rock acts of that time period and they included grunge. That looked like rock was making room for grunge, but grunge never made room for rock. It destroyed the rock scene that bands like Spread Eagle, Love/Hate, Young Turk and many others existed in.

I didn't write this to say I hate grunge, because I don't. I just don't feel that it's fair that great artists always get overlooked because of the next, up and coming genre. Grunge was known because it was promoted, while the hard rock and heavy metal acts of the era were overlooked, because they weren't promoted. Grunge was all that mattered...and it looks like these bands didn't matter either, but they did. I don't expect anyone to agree, but I feel like it's important to say the truth about what happened at that time because no one talks about it.

Even though it's absurd that this had to happen to great bands, here's what you can do help. Look up these bands, listen to their albums. Add them to your playlists. Share their music with your friends.

However, despite the fact that these bands were overlooked, there's one great thing that happened. They got to release their albums. So, someone like me, years later, could discover them and call them my favorite band.

Every artist deserves to be promoted. I'll never understand why great artists get overlooked, while average music can get popular...the only reason is because it's easier for the general public to digest. Unique acts are the kind of bands you have to listen to and it takes time to appreciate them, but when you realize how special they are, you'll understand why they're great. It's becase they're unlike anything you've ever heard before.

I made a 50 song playlist featuring great bands like: Spread Eagle, Love/Hate, Firehouse, Starz, Angel, TKO, Nantucket, Lillian Axe, Sea Hags, Baton Rouge, Riot, Every Mother's Nightmare, Teaze, Rhino Bucket, White Hot Odyssey, Money, Kik Tracee, Bulletboys, Tora Tora, 707, Rox, Junkyard, and many more!!


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