Tangent Sunset

The History of Conscious Music by Alex Cosper

Blurring the Identity of Rock


While the message of the rock gods was blurred by glitter, the message of the new rock was multi-dimensional and intriguing. Yet, modern rock still fit in with traditional rock and it wasn't that much radically different musically. Billy Joel exposed the parallels of new wave and traditional rock in the song "It's Still Rock And Roll To Me" in 1981. Joel at that time was still clinging to a thread of rock credibility on the strength of outspoken songs like "Movin' Out," "Only The Good Die Young" and "My Life," but was quickly falling into the broader adult contemporary category as the artists were shuffled in the transition from one big mainstream to multiple formats. Joel straddled the line for awhile, insisting he was a lunatic in "You May Be Right," but he eventually gave in to his love for nostalgic formulas.

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