April 2021 Musical Training Plan: Rock of Ages

If you’ve been a participant of the Musical Training Plan from the beginning, or at least have explored the back catalogue, you’re aware of the first ever theme: 70 Years of Pop. It was a pretty simple idea, take an album of pop music from each decade going back to the 1950’s and enjoy the sweet sounds while seeing the evolution of popular songs. In the shower (which is where I do my best thinking), trying to come up with new themes and ideas for the Musical Training Plan, it hit me: Just do that again, but with a different genre. Which brings me to this month’s theme: Rock of Ages.

Rock and Roll, as a genre of music, is very different than pop music. More than anything else, Rock is a very visceral form of music, drawing more from emotional and physical impulses than logic or calculation. It is a kind of music that you feel in your guts and your fists instead of in your brain and your toes. You don’t tap your toes and nod your head when you listen to a powerful rock song, you bang your head, pump your fists, and stomp your feet. Rock music found a way to become tied into western culture so powerfully for the last half of the 20th century that artists like Elvis Presley and John Lennon feel as important culturally and historically as most presidents and prime ministers. For better or worse, Rock music was and is always reflective of its environment, never stagnating. Rock music and Rock musicians were constantly pushing boundaries and as a result Rock and Roll has shaped modern music as much or more than other any other genre since the advent of electricity. Most importantly, I just love to listen to it. For these reasons, I am extremely excited for this month’s Musical Training Plan.

The idea is simple: 7 albums, each from a different decade, each capturing something about the state of Rock and Roll at the time. In the next 7 days I plan to do more than just present you with 7 different albums, I want to dig deep and explore the progression of my favorite genre. Unlike with the 70 Years of Pop theme, I’m going to talk about more than the albums themselves. I will dig into the history of the music, the influences, what the culture was like at the time, what was happening in the environment surrounding the artists, and, most importantly, I want to celebrate the music which has given me so much joy.

So buckle up, because this week we are going to get to experience a whole lot of killer guitar solos, heavy basslines, thunderous drums, fighting the man, being yourself, and of course, rocking and rolling. Oh gee am I excited to get into it.

Rock and Roll forever! Benny out.

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