The Most Metamorphic Six-Year Stretch in Rock

Last year I made a video called “47 Years of Great Rock” that celebrated rock’s changing sounds during my lifetime (from 1965 to the present).

Today, I am linking up with Twisted Mixtape for a “free for all.” I decided to focus on the six-year stretch in rock and roll history that I believe is the most metaphoric: 1975 to 1980. Listen to the changes in these six years.

1975: “Night Flight” by Led Zeppelin

I love many songs by Led Zeppelin, my favorite band from my teenage years. Something about this lesser-known song surprises me. I’m always struck anew by its loose, loopy sound. Although it was originally recorded in 1971, to me it perfectly captures the sound of the year 1975 when it was released. Psychedelia was long over, and the kicked back feel-good years were deeply entrenched.

1976: “Sir Duke” by Stevie Wonder

This funk song pays tribute to Duke Ellington. I’ve always loved it, and I love that rock includes so many sounds.

1977: “Psycho Killer” by the Talking Heads

I loved how “Psycho Killer” still fit in with the good old rock and roll sound of the time, but was also new and different.

1978: “I Wanna Be Sedated” by the Ramones

When punk came along, it reminded everyone that rock didn’t have to be complicated.

1979: “Joe’s Garage” by Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa was definitely one of a kind, making great music that was funny and unique. I remember this song being on the radio all the time. When I was hanging at a friend’s house and a parent got cranky somebody was bound to come out with a sarcastic, “Don’t you boys know any nice songs?”

1980: “Emotional Rescue” by the Rolling Stones

During this era, a lot of rock bands held out for a while, but disco infected them eventually. When the Stones released this disco song, the ’60s and ’70s were very decidedly over. There was a serious disco vs. rock feud going on in my high school at the time, and I was adamantly in the rock camp. Still, this song was a guilty pleasure.

How about it? Do you agree that to get from Zeppelin’s classic rock sound of 1975 through funk and punk and arrive at the Stones’ nod to disco in 1980 is the biggest metamorphosis in six years of the history of rock?

Or maybe ’62 to ’67?

Related posts:

My Skewed ViewNaBloPoMo, Day 5 at yeah write

About Marcy

I blog about trying to get out of my comfort zone, completing 101 things in 1001 days (and beyond), and writing my memoirs. My book: Timid No More.

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18 Responses to The Most Metamorphic Six-Year Stretch in Rock

  1. The Rolling Stones could have a metamorphical post all to themselves! I was watching some documentary about rock bands in the 60’s and the Rolling Stones were on it… then later that night I saw the Dancing In The Street video with Mick Jagger and David Bowie… and I was like, “Well that is different!”
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  2. Dream says:

    Fantastic list of songs. I think coming out of psychedelia in the late 60’s and early 70’s, rock really started to diversify into different sub-genres. By the last half of the 70’s, the differences were really becoming obvious. For the most part though, its all good!
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  3. Classic rock numbers indeed! Thanks for sharing!
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  4. Music is more than anything else capable of taking you to another time and place. It’s amazing how deep our responses to music goes. Thanks for the memories.
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  5. This is a really great list, and I’m glad you came back to play. I love Joe’s Garage, I used to listen to that two-disc set constantly in the early 90’s being a late Zappa bloomer, but I gobbled it up.
    Another funny thing is I have always liked Led Zepplin’s less mainstream songs, like this one, Tangerine, a lot off of Coda….
    I get you, this is great list!
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  6. Rose says:

    Great list. I marked this page so I can come back and listen again later. Well done!
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  7. Rich Rumple says:

    First, let me say I love your choices. You did extremely well in bring about a wide range of music. Now, to your question: “No.” Sorry, I totally disagree that this was the greatest metamorphic period. My choice: 1968 to 1974. Let’s be real about this. Iggy Pop was one of the artists that pushed the punk movement during this time frame, long before the Talking Heads. Soul / R&B music made a drastic change and split into R&B / Disco. Country music, omitted here even though it was charted on rock charts also (since it had no chart of its own) went from the whining sounds of Merle Haggard to the pop tunes of Lynn Anderson and Glenn Campbell. Rock went from the “not really heavy” sounds of the Jefferson Airplane, Vanilla Fudge, and The Byrds to Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Judas Priest, and many others. We went from anti war music to “have a good time” music. From negatives to positives. This period in time, as far as six year periods, definitely ruled in the metamorphic category. But, that’s just my opinion. Well done, Marcy!
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    • Marcy says:

      You made me motivated to check out more Iggy Pop. I only know a few songs. I agree that your years are critical to bringing about the change, but I think my years are the fallout that represent the most change. As for country, I don’t lump it in with rock, I guess ’cause I don’t really like it. I know that’s purely subjective because I count funk as part of rock, and I know there’s a lot of overlap. Thanks for the thoughts, Rich!

  8. First of all, I think that may be a Zep song I’ve never heard before. Second, “Sir Duke” has got to be one of the best songs of all time. And third, there was a time when Frank Zappa was played on the radio?! (If you’d like, you can see my Mix at #21.)

    • Marcy says:

      Thanks–agreed on “Sir Duke.” It makes me so happy every time I hear it. As for “Joe’s Garage,” that song was probably played the most, but I remember “Valley Girl,” “Montana,” and “Cosmik Debris” getting a decent amount of airplay also. I’ll check out your mix tonight. I’m still going through them and have been finding a lot of great music!

  9. rarasaur says:

    I’m so uninformed about music that I have no thoughts on this one except– I loved the selections! Awesome job compiling all this!! 🙂
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  10. Cumulus says:

    1964 to 1969. British Invasion to Woodstock. You could probably illustrate how farreaching the changes were with just Beatles songs.

    • Marcy says:

      Nice point, Cumulus, and your years are great ones. I once sat and listened to all my Beatles albums in order in one night. (I don’t have them all.) It was so much fun to hear the changes. They accomplished so much and changed so rapidly in such a short span of time. I have always thought that I was born a bit too late. If I picked my birth year as far as music goes, I would be 14 when the Beatles invaded, 17 for the Summer of Love, and 19 to go to Woodstock. Instead, I was enduring 80s music as a teenager.

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