BBC News: Rock Is Back!

August 22, 2003

Stephen Dowling of BBC News Online reports that "as THE DARKNESS, METALLICA and LINKIN PARK toast Kerrang! Awards success, rock music is enjoying rude health at the expense of pop and dance. What has happened to bring rock back into favour?

"When clubbing became the musical culture of choice in the mid-90s, dance purists claimed they had killed rock. But now the tables have turned.

"Rock is back. The logos of hoary old metal acts such as KISS and AC/DC are worn as a badge of ironic pride by fashionable youth. TV adverts come with ear-splitting soundtracks from bands like British metal band MOTÖRHEAD.

"According to the British Phonographic Institute's (BPI) own figures, in 2002 rock records outsold pop. It was only by 31% to 30.3% — but rock was on top, buoyed by records from acts such as the RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS, QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE and NIRVANA.

"And in the last three years — with a jump from 22% in 1999 to 31% last year - rock album sales have risen by nearly a third.

"At the same time the dance music scene has struggled with falling fortunes. Dance magazines such as Muzik have been hit hard. Superclubs such as Cream in Liverpool have folded.

"The Ministry of Sound, which once boasted a magazine, record label and radio station, is now redefining itself as a more upmarket nightspot as traditional club nights fall out of favour.

"This weekend's Reading Festival, which little more than a decade ago attracted acts such as URIAH HEEP, BONNIE TYLER and MEATLOAF, seems to be rediscovering its rock past after becoming more alternative in the 1990s.

"This year sees the traditional Sunday rock day headlined by METALLICA, and also features bands such as GOOD CHARLOTTE, SYSTEM OF A DOWN and SUM 41 — all of them unashamed rockers." Read more.

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