Bo Diddley
The Definitive Collection
The Sun Story [Rhino]
Elvis Presley

Pop/Rock » Rock & Roll/Roots » Rock & Roll

In its purest form, Rock & Roll has three chords, a strong, insistent back beat, and a catchy melody. Early rock & roll drew from a variety of sources, primarily blues, R&B, and country, but also gospel, traditional pop, jazz, and folk. All of these influences combined in a simple, blues-based song structure that was fast, danceable, and catchy. The first wave of rock & rollers -- Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly, Bo Diddley, Bill Haley, Gene Vincent, the Everly Brothers, and Carl Perkins, among many others -- set the template for rock & roll that was followed over the next four decades. During each decade, a number of artists replicated the sound of the first rockers, while some expanded that definition and others completely exploded the constrictions of the genre. From the British Invasion, folk-rock, psychedelia, and through hard rock, heavy metal, glam rock, and punk, most subgenres of rock & roll initially demonstrated an allegiance to the basic structure of rock & roll. Once these permutations emerged, traditional rock & roll faded away from the pop charts, yet there were always artists that kept the flame alive. Some, like the Rolling Stones and the Faces, adhered to the basic rules of traditional rock & roll but played the music fast and loose. Others, like proto-punk rockers the Velvet Underground, the New York Dolls, and the Stooges, kept the basic song structure, but played it with more menace. Still others, like Dave Edmunds and Graham Parker, became rock & roll traditionalists, writing and recording music that never wavered from the sound of the late '50s and early '60s. Although the term "rock & roll" came to refer to a number of different music styles in the decades following its inception, the essential form of the music never changed.

Rock & Roll Artists Highlights

Bo Diddley
Bo Diddley
Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley
Chuck Berry
Chuck Berry
Buddy Holly
Buddy Holly
Jerry Lee Lewis
Jerry Lee Lewis
Gene Vincent
Gene Vincent

More Rock & Roll Artists

Rock & Roll Album Highlights

The Definitive Collection
Chuck Berry
The Definitive Collection
The Sun Story [Rhino]
Various Artists
The Sun Story [Rhino]
The Screaming End: The Best of Gene Vincent
Gene Vincent
The Screaming End: The ...
Chess Rhythm & Roll
Various Artists
Chess Rhythm & Roll
American Graffiti
Original Soundtrack
American Graffiti
The Georgia Peach
Little Richard
The Georgia Peach

More Rock & Roll Albums

Rock & Roll Song Highlights

Title/Composer Performer Stream
Maybellene Chuck Berry
(We're Gonna) Rock Around the Clock Bill Haley
Shake, Rattle and Roll Big Joe Turner
Rave On Buddy Holly
Long Tall Sally Little Richard
Good Rockin' Tonight Elvis Presley
Blue Suede Shoes Carl Perkins
Who Do You Love? Bo Diddley
You Really Got Me The Kinks
Be My Baby The Ronettes

More Rock & Roll Songs

Other Styles in Rock & Roll/Roots