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C O U R S E 
History of Rock, 1970-Present
John Covach, University of Rochester
C O U R S E   L E C T U R E 
Country Rock's Influence on 1970s Music
Notes taken on April 7, 2015 by Edward Tanguay
the idea of blending country music together with rock and roll at the end of the 1960s was kind of a bold thing to do
because in the United States country music was the music of relatively conservative, what we would call today "red state" people
who had no respect or regard for hippies or hippy music and rock and roll
we often associate red state people with country music which is very much juxtaposed against rock
so when people like the Byrds went to Nashville to record Sweetheart of the Rodeo in 1968
they were really doing something that no one thought of doing before
the idea of blending country music and country musicians with rock musicians
bands which combined country and rock
The Byrds
The Band
1968: The Weight (took a load off Fanny)
1969: The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
embraced country, Americana, and Southern culture
Bob Dylan
1969: Nashville Skyline
Crosby, Stills, and Nash
1969: Suite: Judy Blue Eyes
country influences
song-oriented music
polished, lead vocals
rich, vocal harmonies
a lot of country touches
steel guitar
country rock was a reaction against the excessiveness of psychedelic music
going back to acoustic sounds
going back to the roots
an embrace of Americana
this apparent simplicity seemed more honest and authentic to people
not full of studio trickery
was about a singer, a song, and acoustic instruments
precursor to country rock
Creedence Clearwater Revival
hard to classify them, like
Three Dog Night
Grand Funk
played an important role in rock history
came from San Francisco but was not representative in any way of the psychedelia that was going on there in late 1960s
John Fogerty
voice that sounded like it was somewhere between country-western music and blues
many people thought he was black
1969: Proud Mary
1969: Bad Moon Rising
1969: Down on the Corner
Linda Ronstadt
You're No Good
The Eagles
there was no group who better wrapped up this country rock thing for the first half of the 1970s
no group that was more emblematic of country rock
some of them started as backup musicians to Linda Ronstadt
Glenn Frey
Don Henley
1971 broke off from Linda Ronstadt and formed their own group
she was supportive of this
a clear reference to The Birds
decided to embrace the country sounds
song oriented
emphasizes the vocals
like the Beatles
lush, harmony vocals
not a lot of fancy guitar playing
Southern influence mixed with that Southern California sounds
first couple albums produced by Glyn Johns
didn't always get along with the band
worked with the Beatles, Rolling Stones, and the Who
recorded in London
1972 Take It Easy
lush harmony vocals
country twang to the lead vocal
1972 Witchy Woman
1972 Peaceful Easy Feeling
1973 Desperado
concept album of the Wild West
disappointing follow-up
1974 On the Border
decide they don't like Glyn Johns
want to be more rocky
Best of My Love
1975 One of Those Nights
1975 Lyin' Eyes
1975 Take It to the Limit
morphed into a different kind of group
Hotel California
The Long Run
characterized the second half of the 70s
we can connect up music from the 1960s psychedelic era until the end of the 1970s around this idea of the hippy aesthetic
whether the groups were musically ambitious or relied more on simplicity
all of them embrace some aspect of this hippy aesthetic idea
first half of 1970s speciality styles coming out of psychedelia
also see the building of the music business, getting bigger than anybody expected it to do
brings more money into the business
what had been a wider variety of styles in the beginning of the 1970s becomes more and more homogenized down into safe bets of things that people know they can sell a lot of, synthetic music constructed for no other reason than to sell albums and tickets to concerts.
what grows out of this is (1) punk rock which attempts to defeat both the hippy aesthetic and this kind of corporate rock, and (2) disco, which, whether it wants to defeat the hippy aesthetic and corporate rock or not, stands in juxtaposition against it
technology is
what started at 4 tracks in the 60s becomes 8, 16, 32, and 48 by the end of the 70s
the musicians tend to fill them up with things
Steely Dan plays a big role in the development of sound