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spring 2003

Crazy, man, crazy


  by Ger Tillekens
  Spring is in the air and so our journal has entered a new season. Again we will be offering you many new articles, and from your side: don't forget to look at our earlier ones. They are neatly catalogued in our dossiers, according to their subjects. April already brought us five fresh entries.

April 2003 was also a special month, because exactly fifty years ago Bill Haley and his Comets had their first national top twenty hit record in the United States, "Crazy, Man, Crazy", a first for a white band playing a rhythm and blues style of song. It lauded the coming of rock and roll, the music that started a whole new style of popular music.

Two of our new articles delve deeper into the roots and charactistics of rock and roll. The first one looks into the musical characteristics of early rock and roll, the second one describes its history and social backgrounds by asking the question how rock and roll came to be identified with rebellion:

The music matters (april 2003). Speaking about Chuck Berry, Robert Christgau once wrote: "Repetition without tedium is the backbone of rock and roll." This thesis is confirmed by Joe Burns for this whole style of popular music from the years 1955 through 1959. He here presents the results of his analysis of the chord progressions, time signatures and melody lines of a representative sample of 100 rock and roll songs.

The riddles of rock and roll (april 2003). Rock and roll has often been equated with rebellion. The genre, though, is just a form of popular music and many of the important players were, like the saying goes, only in it for the money. So, how did this music acquire its rebellious image? Investigating this question, Leo D'Anjou here retells the story of the early beginnings of rock music.

We hope you enjoy reading them.

  The editors
  2003 © Soundscapes