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After the British invasion, rock and roll was firmly rooted in American culture. Rock has had two faces. One catered to the developing mass culture with its immense popularity. The other was the bad-boy image that was offered by the Mod stream of British bands. Within this context, respond to the following questions:
- How does the popularity of the Beatles compare with that of Elvis? How did the marketing of these two rock icons compare? How did they relate to the developing mass culture?
- How did the marketing of the Rolling Stones compare to that of the Beatles? How did they get their bad-boy image? Did they always have it? How do they reflect the difference between the Mods and the Rockers? Is that distinction still at work in rock today?
- How do the troubles of the British working-class baby boomers affect the developing rock ethos? Is the situation similar to that of the race issues that African Americans brought to early rock? Be sure to cite your sources.
- Do your work first in a word processing program and then upload your file using the “Submit Assignment” button.
Elvis was founded because he was a white man that could sing like a black man and his manager knew it. The Beatles were the same way, they were tailored to be the nice boys next door, but still have a rebellious side that girls of those days were attracted to. They both related to the developing mass cultures because they inspired a sexual revolution.
In terms of numbers, The Beatles have sold 42.5 million more albums in the U.S. than Elvis, yet Elvis sold 25.5 million more singles than The Beatles. Since albums usually contain 10-12 more songs than singles, The Beatles would clearly be the winner in terms of U.S. record sales.
The marketing of the Rolling Stones compared to that of the Beatles was the exact opposite, the Rolling Stones actually wanted to stay away from the good boy, groomed look and actually chose the hard, grungy look to set them apart. The Rolling Stones got their imagine from their managers, just like the Beatles. For the past five decades The Rolling Stones have enjoyed tremendous success as the original bad boys of rock for their image based on sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. Oldham created an image that followed the group to the U.S. and that was later solidified by their No. 1 hit, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.”
They reflect the difference between the Mods and the Rockers because the Mods were the well dress, groomed, go out dancing type that the Beatles represented while the Rockers were the Rolling Stones who were not the clean cut teens of the day. As a fan, if you liked one band, you most likely did not like the other. This distinction is still present in rock today because most fans of The Beatles are not fans of The Rolling Stones, as they see them as too rebellious, and most fans of The Rolling Stones are not fans of the Beatles (BBC).
The troubles of the British working class baby boomers affected the development of rock ethos by introducing the crosscurrent of class struggles (Gilmore). This situation is similar to that of what the African American brought to early rock because they brought the social and musical trend of race. After the British Invasion, African American singers were knocked off the pop charts and replaced by British bands.
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