Let There Be Light: Did Punk Rock Really Make a Difference Essay

Let there be light, and there was lightLet there be sound, and there was soundLet there be drums, there was drumsLet there be guitar, there was guitar, ahLet there be rock

And it came to passThat rock ‘n’ roll was bornAll across the land every rockin’ bandWas blowin’ up a stormAnd the guitar man got famousThe business man got rich-Angus Young, Malcolm Young, Bon Scott (AC/DC)

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In the early 1950s when Rock and Roll was born, it was so new and so different than anything heard before that by the time the above song was released more than 25 years later, it seemed like nothing had existed before it. Punk Rock had a similar effect on the music scene. Just as the original Rock and Roll was embraced by the youth culture as something new, exciting and possibly dangerous, Punk Rock was embraced by many as a new revolution with the potential to change everything. But did it? This essay will address the question of whether Punk Rock changed anything. It will focus on the business and industry that evolved within and around the punk scene, the politics of punk and the internal ideological debates within the scene.The music industry can trace its roots to the 18th century when classical composers such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart sought commissions from the church or aristocracies by touring to promote their music (Boerner). By the early 20th century, recorded collections of songs were available for purchase for home listening. Towards the middle of the century, record album production had become the norm for getting new music to the masses and album sales had replaced sheet-music sales as a measure of popularity, with the first gold-recor…

…S. Middle Tennessee State University, June 2009. Web. 13 June 2010. .The Sex Pistols. “God Save the Queen.” Never Mind the Bollocks… Here’s the Sex Pistols. By Paul Cook, et al. London: Virgin, 1977.Thompson, Stacy. “Market failure: Punk economics, early and late.” College Literature 28.2 (2001).Time. “The Best Music of 1994.” 26 Dec 1994. Time. 24 June 2010 .


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