Rock is a genre of music, which is traditionally characterized by an occupation of guitar, bass guitar and drums, supplemented by vocals and/or other instruments.

Rock became popular in the United States during the 1950s, where it evolved from existing genres such as rhythm-and-blues and country. Whereas in the 1950s it consisted only of rock’n’roll and rockabilly, rock grew into a musical movement with many different subgenres.

Rock blew over to the rest of the world in the 1960s, thanks in part to the British Invasion. In the late 1960s, psychedelic rock was born, followed by hard rock and punk in the 1970s. In the years that followed, new wave, heavy metal and grunge were popular. Rock remains one of the most listened to genres worldwide.

Because the genre is very broad, ‘rock’ is a fairly general term today. It covers both charts such as Kane and K’s Choice as well as some forms of metal. Sometimes blues and country are also included in the rock.

Rock became an international cultural phenomenon with a significant social effect, widely varying styles and widespread popularity.

The 1960s: British Invasion, psychedelic rock and folk rock
In the 1960s, rock and roll was the most popular genre of music, especially in the United States. By the end of the decade, however, the genre was bleeding more or less to death. [2] This made room for a new generation of musicians who initially operated mainly from central England (Merseybeat). The bands of this movement are considered the first real rock bands. The 1960s were also the era of The Beatles, who released their first record in 1962. Their reputation quickly rose and a real Beatlemania arose. The band was also partly responsible for the British Invasion; artists that made Merseybeat music popular in the United States, Australia and Canada. The Beatles’ most incensed record, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, was released in 1967. Other singles, such as Hey Jude, Help!, Yesterday and Let It Be became number 1 hits. In total, The Beatles achieved 40 number one positions with their albums, singles and EPs and became the best-selling band of all time with over a billion records.

Psychedelic rock , a subgenre that included The Beatles, was on the rise in the mid-1960s. Bands like The Doors and Jefferson Airplane made the genre popular. Jimi Hendrix scored with his Jimi Hendrix Experience hits such as Purple Haze and All Along the Watchtower. Hendrix’s qualities on the guitar made Rolling Stone the best guitarist of all time in 2004.  Another popular subgenre was folk rock, in which Bob Dylan would play a major role. His politically charged songs like “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “Masters of War” were a point of recognition for many. Other hits by Dylan included Mr. TambourineMan en Like a Rolling Stone. Famous artists in folk rock were Neil Young, The Byrds, The Band and Simon & Garfunkel.

Other bands that would make a big mark on rock music were also formed in the 1960s. Rolling Stones were able to measure their popularity with The Beatles and scored hits such as (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, Paint It Black and Jumpin’ Jack Flash. Even after the 1960s, The Rolling Stones continued to make music; they sold more than 200 million albums[5] and are still active to date. The Who, known for its energetic live performances, was founded in 1964 and was an influence for many rock, hard rock and punk bands. In 1969, the band released Tommy, which was considered the first rock opera. Big hits included My Generation, Pictures of Lily and Pinball Wizard. Other artists, such as The Yardbirds (with Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page), The Kinks, The Animals and Cream (again with Clapton) had a lot of commercial success. From the United States, acts such as The Velvet Underground, Frank Zappa, The Doors and Iggy Pop & The Stooges gained notoriety.

Early 70s: heavy metal, hard rock and glam rock
1968 formed Jimmy Page with John Paul Jones, Robert Plant and John Bonham Led Zeppelin, one of the first bands to introduce heavy metal. They became known with songs like Stairway to Heaven and Whole Lotta Love. VH1 placed Led Zeppelin at number 1 in the 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock list. [6] Other bands helped bring the genre to the general public: The Australian AC/DC became known worldwide with Whole Lotta Rosie and Highway to Hell, although American success would not come until the 1980s. AC/DC’s album Back In Black has sold 42 million copies worldwide. Van Halen, (with the Dutch-American Eddie and Alex van Halen), Black Sabbath (who released the influential album Paranoid in 1970) and Deep Purple (with the songs Child in Time and Smoke on the Water) also became famous names in the world of hard rock.

A subgenre that often had influences from heavy metal was glam rock. Artists who popularized glam rock included David Bowie, with his songs Fame, Changes, Under Pressure (with Queen) and his character Ziggy Stardust. Heavy metal band KISS, distinguished by its black and white make-up and costumes, also incorporated a lot of glam rock into his music. KISS was also known for its spectacular performances, often with lots of smoke, fire and pyrotechnics. Glamrock also became popular in the United States when artists like Alice Cooper and The New York Dolls grew up. Jeff Beck’s own project The Jeff Beck Group had success with a combination of blues and hard rock.

The English band Queen scored two decades of hits from the 1970s onwards, including Bohemian Rhapsody, We Will Rock You and Another One Bites the Dust. Queen didn’t stick to a subgenre and tried to discover all forms of rock, including hard and glam rock. The hits stopped at the death of singer Freddie Mercury in 1991, but Queen continued to perform (with Paul Rodgers). Founded in 1964, Pink Floyd created a form of progressive rock, which evolved from experimental rock. Pink Floyd’s albums The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here and The Wall became rock classics. Other progressive-rock bands included Yes, Supertramp, Van der Graaf Generator and Genesis.

Late 70s: punk rock and new wave
Een van de eerste bands die de punkrock bekendheid gaf, waren de Ramones. Met nummers als Blitzkrieg Bop en Pet Sematary hadden zij in eerste instantie niet veel succes; pas vanaf de jaren 80 the appreciation for The Ramones grew. The Clash was founded in 1976. They made punk rock, combined with reggae, rap and rock’n’roll. The 1979 album London Calling also brought the band success in the United States. In addition to The Clash, England also produced Sex Pistols, a controversial punk rock band that would only exist for 4 years. However, their only studio album Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols, is considered a classic punk album. The Ramones, The Sex Pistols and The Clash were also known for their appearance: a minimalist style of clothing, often with leather jackets and sneakers. This style was soon associated with the punk movement of the time.

Punk bands such as Buzzcocks and Television were often placed in the new wave (also called postpunk) list. Other bands were again called pure postpunk. The English Joy Division produced a dark form of punk, which would become characteristic of new wave. This style was featured on their debut album Unknown Pleasures. In 1980, singer Ian Curtis committed suicide, which marked the end of the band. After Curtis’ death, the band released Closer, the second and final album. The other band members created a new band: New Order. Other post-punk bands included The Cure (which was also in gothic rock in terms of music style), The Police (with reggae and ska influences) and Echo & the Bunnymen.

The 1980s: alternative rock and indie rock
In England in the 1980s there was talk of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. English bands such as Iron Maiden, Motörhead and Def Leppard, and American bands like Metallica received a lot of mainstream attention with an ‘extreme’ subgenre. Metallica’s Black Album featured songs such as Enter Sandman and Nothing Else Matters. NWOBHM was close in style to glam metal, a form of heavy metal also known as hairmetal. Glam metal was played by Europe, Mötley Crüe and Bon Jovi. Guns N’ Roses got a lot of success with their combination of glam metal with blues and punk. Guns N’ Roses’ debut album Appetite for Destruction, with the songs Welcome to the Jungle and Sweet Child o’ Mine, has sold 27 million times. [10] Another well-known song is the 9-minute November Rain (from the album Use Your Illusion I).

In the United States, Aerosmith became the most successful American hard rock band of all time. [11] Their combination of blues-rock and heavy metal was already successful in the 1970s, but amassed similar fame in the decades that followed. From Ireland came U2, which in the early years made a post-punk-like rock, but then focused on alternative and pop rock. One of U2’s most famous songs is Sunday Bloody Sunday, a protest song that is present on the album War. Instrumental rock also received a lot of attention with solo guitarists such as Joe Satriani and Steve Vai. Singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen released the successful Born in the U.S.A. in 1984, having previously released the album (and eponymous single) Born to Run. Springsteen made a combination of folk and rock, sometimes known as heartland blues. In the late 1980s, funk rock also took off, with bands such as Red Hot Chili Peppers and Living Colour. In England, the shoegaze came up with bands such as The Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, Spacemen 3 and Lush.

The 90s: grunge, Britpop, Punk and fusions
In Seattle in the early 1990s, the grunge was born: a mix of punk, heavy metal, noise and indie rock, characterized with a lot of distortion in guitar work. Several Seattle bands brought the grunge to mainstream music, including Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and Alice In Chains. Nirvana was founded in 1987 and after several changes consisted of singer/guitarist Kurt Cobain, bassist Krist Novoselic and drummer Dave Grohl. Their peak was reached with the 1991 album Nevermind, which featured the song Smells Like Teen Spirit. The third (the first album was Bleach from 1989) and last album In Utero was released in 1993, a year before Cobain committed suicide. Another album that put the grunge on the map was Ten by Pearl Jam (with the song Alive). In 1994 Soundgarden released their most famous album Superunknown (with the song Black Hole Sun). Grunge eventually became the most popular subgenre in the first half of the 1990s.

In 1991, Oasis was founded in Manchester, England, led by brothers Noel and Liam Gallagher. Their debut album Definitely Maybe led to a change in British music. Oasis’ popularity soared to great heights in England after the second album (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?. Oasis fought the so-called Battle of Britpop during this period with Blur, which simultaneously popularized the Britpop genre. Britpop drew many influences from British pop music from the 1960s and 1970s and was in fact the English answer to grunge. Pulp also became a symbol for Britpop. Although they were founded in 1978, they amassed the most success in the 1990s. Radiohead also became known in the same period, but somewhat withdrew from the ‘Britpop’ stamp by making a kind of avant-garde music. Their album OK Computer was named the best album of the 1990s by Pitchfork Media.

The 1990s was also a period of mixing different genres. Many of these subgenres ended up in mainstream music. Punk and pop were combined by Green Day and The Offspring, among others. Green Day became popular with the 1994 album Dookie. With that, punk rock also became part of mainstream music, mainly in the United States. The combination of rap (hard) rock (also called rapcore) started with Faith No More’s first single Epic. This paved the way for bands like Rage Against the Machine and later Limp Bizkit, KoЯn and Slipknot. This brought a fresh sound through the combined turntablism sounds, rap with the distorted guitars of the metal-oriented rock. Later in the decade, this style was definitively labeled as rap core/rap rock and was the genre in which bands like Linkin Park and P.O.D. achieved great successes. Many of these bands go deeper and are in the nu-metal.

During the turn of the century, more bands broke through, such as Papa Roach with the Platinum Infest debut. In 2001, the nu-metal reached its peak given the large number of contracted bands at the major record companies. From 2002 onwards, however, the concentration of the music channels weakened and they focused more on pop punk and emo bands.

Related to rapcore was the now metal/alternative metal of , Nine Inch Nails and System Of A Down. The Smashing Pumpkins made a combination of hard rock, grunge and psychedelic rock.

The 2000s: postpunk revival and alternative rock
Two genres gained notoriety at the beginning of the 21st century: the garage rock revival and the post-punk revival. The Strokes were the first to form both subgenres with their debut album Is This It. After the success of Is This It, more postpunk bands gained attention, such as The Libertines and The Hives. After these bands gained more popularity, a stream of new post-punk bands followed, mainly in the UK. In 2004, Franz Ferdinand, Scotland, released his debut album with the single Take Me Out. Arctic Monkeys released their debut Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not in 2006, followed a year later by Favourite Worst Nightmare. With these albums the popularity of the band increased. Other postpunk bands included Bloc Party, Editors, Kaiser Chiefs, The Kooks and The Killers.

Coldplay became popular worldwide with their alternative rock. Their album A Rush of Blood to the Head featured the songs The Scientist and Clocks. The Red Hot Chili Peppers, meanwhile, had abandoned their funk rock, and released albums with By the Way and Stadium Arcadium that tended more towards pop rock. Besides pop rock, the alternative rock did not sit still. The White Stripes, consisting of Jack and Meg White, released the album Elephant in 2003 with the single Seven Nation Army. The White Stripes make a mix between garage rock and blues. In England, Muse became one of the most famous alternative bands, with 2001’s Origin of Symmetry the most acclaimed album. The now metal from the 90’s was continued by Linkin Park, among others. Another subgenre that gained popularity was emo, which has its roots in hardcore punk. Emo gained a large fan base in the 21st century and several bands were given the designation ’emo’, a stamp from which they usually distanced themselves