Watershed Rock

14 Mar


So, Colette considers Light My Fire as a “watershed” hard rock song of the boomer generation. She asks a great question. What are some of the hard rock songs that you consider to be influential in guiding rock down different paths from your generation? Here are a few of my submissions….

Night Moves, Bob Seger

Sweet Home Alabama, Lynryd Skynryd

Takin’ Care of Business, Bachman Turner Overdrive

Sweet Emotion, Aerosmith

Tush, ZZ Top

Stairway to Heaven, Led Zeppelin

Back in Black, AC/DC

I Love Rock & Roll, Joan Jett

Addicted to Love, Robert Palmer

Hell is For Children, Pat Benetar  Deleted due to beratement and replaced with an ode to the conflict between men and women.

Rock on.


Posted by on March 14, 2008 in memories, Music History, rock


29 responses to “Watershed Rock

  1. AH

    March 15, 2008 at 2:54 am

    That kitty rocks!!
    Can’t argue with anything listed and will add just about anything by one of my all time favorites but chose this song because A – I love it beyond reason and B – could do a comparison

    CREAM – White Room


    Reunion Tour – May 2005 – Royal Albert Hall

  2. Shrewspeaks

    March 15, 2008 at 9:00 am

    I was a huge Beatle head growing up…so for me the three hardest rocking songs that changed me and I would think music are…


    Helter Skelter

    Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except For Me ANd My Monkey

    My generation…pfft we brought you the likes of Milli Vanilli and Band Aid…however…there is one hard rocking song that I believe is deemed greatly influential. I still remembering hearing this and understanding that the 80’s were not all big hair, shoulder pads and blue eyeliner. When I ask people who are about 10 years younger than me who is their all time favorite band, U2 is usually the answer.

  3. Shrewspeaks

    March 15, 2008 at 9:01 am

    PS…NIce Mullet on Bono

  4. AH

    March 15, 2008 at 9:24 am

    Just spent a lot longer than I planned with Pink Floyd on the Tube. My son turned the door to his room into a version of The Wall when he was in high school so finally decided on this live concert performance of The Wall, Part 2

  5. music maven

    March 15, 2008 at 10:54 am

    Rockin’ Kitteh….Rocks on.

  6. Colette

    March 15, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    This is interesting! Yes, go kitty go….

    When I said “watershed” I did mean some kind of a breakthrough. And it’s so interesting on MM’s list — she’s got a batch of ’70s rock break-throughs out there in force. The blistering girl rock (Joan Jett), the metrosexual rock (Robert Palmer, standing in also for David Bowie), the Southern rock (Lynard), etc. Also that Pink Floyd moment from AH meant a lot to many.

    Here are a couple others from different times — not necessarily, mind you, my favorite songs of the era, but moments that I think changed the sound, shape, tenor of pop/rock and introduced a new genre.

    Beginning of folk-rock — Dylan, “Like a Rolling Stone – 1966

    Hard, hip Brit-rock — Rolling Stones, “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” – 1966

    Jersey Rock — Bruce Springsteen, “Born to Run” — 1980s

    Electro-black slick funk and the dawning of the arty music video — “Billie Jean,” MIchael Jackson — 1980s:

  7. somebody

    March 15, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    One of these things is not like the other.

    Hell Is For Children? Seriously? All the others are spot on but Pat Benetar? Seriously?

  8. music maven

    March 15, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    I think that Pat Benetar opened doors for women rockers and she was one of the first to touch upon social issues that were considered taboo to sing about.

    At 16, this song woke me up to the shocking issues of child abuse.

    Perhaps somebody would prefer a little Molly Hatchet? Flirtin’ with Disaster>

  9. somebody

    March 15, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    If you must choose Pat go with “Heartbreaker” please? Otherwise we might as well play “Love Is A Battlefield” which woke me up to the conflict between men and women.

    I kid, I kid.

  10. music maven

    March 15, 2008 at 4:05 pm


    Men and Women conflict? Really? Seriously?

  11. somebody

    March 15, 2008 at 5:54 pm

    Before “Love Is A Battlefield” I felt that all relationships were puppies and roses. Pat put me in my place she hit me with her best shot, or something.

  12. music maven

    March 15, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    Ah, my dear somebody, you are wise and I am young. A nice trade off.

    However, our gender gap may be the most divergent.

    See, I don’t know that I ever saw relationships as puppies and roses. Even at a young age, I realized that relationships were tough…and work. A battlefield.

    In general, boys are oblivious and girls are overly attuned to situations. Our superior intellect prepares us for the inevitable letdown of love, but it does heighten our awareness of great love songs about pain and heartbreak, like THIS.

    Or something like dat.

  13. somebody

    March 15, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    That’s fascinating linkage – when I hover over THAT it underlines itself.

    You are correct “The Women Are Smarter”

  14. music maven

    March 15, 2008 at 7:01 pm

    Try again…it’s there.

    All my love…heh.

  15. brc

    March 15, 2008 at 9:26 pm

    This is a fun post — brings back LOTS of memories 🙂

    Here are a few more that come to mind. I don’t know enough about the history of music to know if they’re really watershed, but I think they’re all defining songs of my generation…

    Free Bird — Lynard Skynard

    Layla — Derek and the Dominoes

    Bohemian Rhapsody — Queen

    Me & Bobby McGee — Janis Joplin

  16. Colette

    March 15, 2008 at 11:09 pm

    Yes BRC, that Derek and the Dominos/Allman Brothers alliance — Southern Rock meets Brit Rock!

  17. AH

    March 16, 2008 at 4:49 am

    Just slipping back in to make a case for Cream belonging on the list. Have seem them referred to as the first (or one of)power trio using only guitar, bass and drums. They are often cited as being both a major influence on the heavy metal that followed and also on jambands
    with their extended live performances.
    Sorry but had to at least try to point out the status I think they deserve. The quote is obviously self-serving but their talent level and the blues and jazz backgrounds they brought to their rock music certainly did make them “a nice little trio”

    “”Says Jack Bruce: “Cream showed that rock musicians could play. But that was a double-edged sword, because it became very unfashionable to be able to play didn’t it? But Cream was a nice little trio. It certainly was an influence—on the whole future of rock music.””

  18. music maven

    March 16, 2008 at 9:37 am

    brc — I agree wholeheartedly with those selections, however not so sure that Bohemian Rhapsody would be the Queen song I would choose. Perhaps Crazy Little Thing Called Love or We Are the Champions.

    AH — Cream is certainly one of the best of all time, but a little before my “time”. I really think you have to extract Clapton from the equations as it was his real guitar brilliance that put Cream on the map. Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker never reached the heights of Clapton after Cream broke up, although Baker followed Clapton to Blind Faith and the great Stevie Winwood.

    Speaking of which Arc of a Diver is an absolute favorite from “the day”.

    I’m still reading Clapton’s biography and I must say that he is VERY detailed on his musical affiliations. He’s most aligned with Winwood and you can certainly hear similarities in Winwood’s music to Clapton’s style.

  19. Bama

    March 16, 2008 at 11:52 am

    I started to post a response about my “watershed rock moments” but the first 6-7 were all U2! Haha! So, I’m just gonna leave them out as a “given” for me!

    These following songs all shaped my musical tastes…they are ingrained in memory as part of my “soundtrack”.

    Let’s see if I remember hot to do hotlinks….

    1. R.E.M.- Stand.

    2. Violent Femmes- Blister in the Sun.

    3. The Cure-Just Like Heaven.

    4. Depeche Mode-People Are People.

    5 . Nirvana-Smells Like Teen Spirit.

    6. Pearl Jam-Even Flow.

    There are many more too…Green Day, Metallica, Soundgarden, etc. But, I don’t want to beat y’all down!

  20. morewines

    March 16, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    Just too many to type out.

  21. music maven

    March 16, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    I think that I was remiss in not including these three:

    Boston – More Than a Feeling

    Journey – Lovin’, Touchin’ Squeezin’

    Bad Company – Feel Like Makin’ Love

    Oh, and certainly this song is one of the most played in the history of Rock:

    Deep Purple – Smoke on the Water

  22. Colette

    March 16, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    OK — remember, INFLUENTIAL, WATERSHED, BREAKTHROUGH… if I go back further here are a couple more.

    This one truly, really, deeply changed rock history: the Beatles “I Want to Hold Your Hand”

    And the first major cross-over hit record for Motown, in 1964 — rare live Supremes version from that period of “Where Did Our Love Go?”

  23. music maven

    March 16, 2008 at 8:18 pm

    I was talking Hard Rock and I still think that most of these mentioned meet the criteria. After all, they’re still being covered today.

    The Beatles and The Supremes are revolutionary, but not Hard Rock. If you want to go really retro, Little Richard, Buddy Holly and Elvis had the most profound affect on music.

  24. Colette

    March 16, 2008 at 11:42 pm

    You are so right! I stand corrected. We were indeed talking HARD ROCK — electric guitars slashing, drums blaring, built on the foundation of the blues but with lots of “heavy metal thunder.”

    I would actually leave the Beatles in there. They did everything, including hard rock. And of course, Richard, Buddy and Elvis were traiblazers.

    A couple more — the man John Lennon, the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, etc. loved and imitated, Chuck Berry. Here he is doing “Johnny B. Goode” with Bruce & the E Street Band:

    Another hugely influential rocker, and father of psychedelic rock, Jimi Hendrix (circa 1967):

    And these guys hit like a rock bombshell — paving the way for lots of metal rock — The Who:

  25. Bama

    March 17, 2008 at 8:31 am

    I’m so beat down! I wrote a nice long post, complete with hyperlinks to videos and whatnot…and I couldn’t EVER get it to post! Waaah! Now everyone has moved on….sad…

    So, just because I feel the need to shout out Watershed moments from my own youth…I will just list them…and move on with my life!!!!

    1. U2- “Where The Streets Have No Name”
    2. R.E.M.- “Stand”
    3. Violent Femmes- “Blister In The Sun”
    4. Pearl Jam- “Even Flow”
    5. Nirvana- “Smells Like Teen Spirit”

    Phew! I feel so much better now.

  26. music maven

    March 17, 2008 at 8:57 am

    Bama — Those are certainly watershed for the Gen Xers….heh.

    I consider you my resident RAWK expert and these are right on the money, IMO.

    Have to include Smells Like Teen Spirit, as Kurt Cobain was certainly a catalyst of the grunge rock scene. Such a tragedy.

    Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit

  27. Colette

    March 17, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    In a way, that Nirvana cut brings us full circle….from Jim Morrison to Curt Kobain. Sad dark angels, but they left a lot of music & musical inspiration behind…….

  28. huckleberryfriend

    March 17, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    How about Born on the Bayou – Credence Clearwater Revival – Swamp Rock.

  29. Bama

    March 17, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    Aww…thanks for posting that video…since I’m so limited in my mad hotlinking skillz….

    Gen X…we do like the slacker tunes…don’t we?


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