I was born at the end of WW2. As such, I’ve heard Rock music from basically the beginning. My take on this genre is that it is and should be a bit rough, a bit on the edge and fun
Listen to Big Mama Thorton’s “Blue Hound Dog,” Little Richard’s, “Tutti Frutti,” Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Whole Lotta Shakin’,” Ray Charles’ “What’d I Say” and Bo Diddley. Good hooks, great rhythm and definitely an edge.
Even Doo Wop, a less rough style of music still had an edge and was definitely fun.
The Marcel’s “Blue Moon,” the Coaster’s “Charlie Brown,”
However, it didn’t take long before the producers started to meddle. The music became sweeter, the musicianship had its rougher edges honed with orchestration and strings and extra voices added to smooth out the vocals.
Buddy Holly (from “Rave On” to “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore”) and Elvis (“Jail House Rock” to “It’s Now or Never”) both got orchestrated.
New groups came onto the scene; much more produced; The Supremes, Sonny and Cher, Beach Boys and etc. Smooth and produced. It was time for a return to rough
Then came the “British Invasion” which brought back simpler less produced arrangements (early Beatles, Stones, Animals). Although there were soft groups, we again had a bit of edge to popular music.
Unfortunately, producers again started to add more orchestration, but things also changed quicker (or at least there were parallel streams of rock). Think of the edge in groups such as the Clash and Ramones and the clean sound of the Stray Cats.
I enjoy many of the bands that are now played as Classic Rock, loud and although well rehearsed with a bit of an edge. Unfortunately, today’s bands of that ilk find it difficult to gain air time. We seem bombarded with show and dance numbers featuring a big name “star,” traveling studio musicians and very choreographed numbers.
Coupled with this are some unfortunate “revivals” of 3 score and 10 plus former performers being trotted out well past their prime.
My version of Rock has returned to the smaller bands with clean but edgy sound. Bands are out there if you look. Try some of the on line independent radio stations and look for yourself. A few years back, The Head and the Heart from Seattle had the sound. Today, I kind of like Beaches from Toronto, Middle Kids from Aus. and Wolf Alice out of UK
PS. It’s been 50 years since Woodstock so I’ve listened to some of the recordings of the day. Yup that was rough.