Kerrang! is a British weekly magazine devoted to rock music and heavy metal music published by Wasted Talent. It was first published on 6 June 1981 as a one-off supplement in the Sounds newspaper. Named after the onomatopoeic word that derives from the sound made when playing a power chord on a distorted electric guitar, Kerrang! was devoted to the new wave of British heavy metal and the rise of hard rock acts. In the early 2000s it became the best-selling British music weekly. Kerrang! was founded in 1981. The magazine commenced publication on 6 June 1981 and was edited by Geoff Barton as a one-time supplement in the Sounds newspaper, which focused on the new wave of British heavy metal phenomenon and on the rise of other hard rock acts. Angus Young of AC/DC appeared on Kerrang!'s first cover. Launched as a monthly magazine, Kerrang! began to appear on a fortnightly basis and in 1987 it went weekly. The original owner was United Newspapers who sold it to EMAP in 1991. During the 1980s and early 1990s the magazine placed many thrash and glam metal acts on the cover but discarded them when grunge acts such as Nirvana rose to fame.
Readers criticise the magazine for repeating this process every time a new musical subgenre becomes trendy. The term "thrash metal" was first coined in the music press by Kerrang! journalist Malcolm Dome while making a reference to the Anthrax song "Metal Thrashing Mad" in issue number 62, page 8, published on 23 February 1984. Prior to this Metallica's James Hetfield referred to their sound as power metal. Kerrang!'s popularity rose again with the hiring of editor Paul Rees circa 2000 when the nu metal genre, featuring bands including Limp Bizkit and Slipknot, was becoming more popular. Rees went on to edit Q magazine and former Kerrang! Reviews editor Ashley Bird was appointed editor from 2003 to 2005. Following his departure, Paul Brannigan took over as editor in May 2005. With the emergence of emo and metalcore during the mid to late-2000s, Kerrang! began to feature this musical trend. The revamp was not welcomed by all readers and many complaints were received about Kerrang!'s sudden emphasis on emo and metalcore music.
However, following this change, Brannigan took the magazine into its most commercially successful period with a record ABC for the title of 80,186 copies. In 2008, EMAP sold its consumer magazines to current owner Bauer Media Group. Brannigan left Kerrang! in 2009 and Nichola Browne was appointed editor. She stepped down in April 2011. Former NME features editor and GamesMaster deputy editor James McMahon was appointed as editor on 6 June 2011. In April 2017, Kerrang! magazine, its website, the K! Awards were purchased by Mixmag Media, publisher of dance monthly Mixmag, along with assets related to defunct style magazine The Face. Mixmag has since formed parent company Wasted Talent, which relaunched Kerrang! as a digital-first title, while continuing to publish a weekly print edition. Former Editor-in-Chief Phil Alexander was appointed Global Creative Director on 3 August 2017. Bauer retained ownership of Kerrang! Radio and the Box Plus Network will continue to operate Kerrang! TV as before; the magazine received a logo change in mid-2017 before receiving a complete redesign during 2018.
This change saw several of the magazine's long-running features dropped, including the Ultimate Rockstar Test, while new features were added in their place. In March 2018, following a magazine redesign, Kerrang! announced it would be expanding to the United States, with an office in New York run by Ethan Fixell. The goal would be to generate US-centric content and brand partnerships. Kerrang!'s website, www.kerrang.com, was launched in summer 2001 by Dan Silver. Kerrang!'s parent company Emap acquired the domain name from a Norwegian cybersquatter by the name of Steingram Stegane for a token sum of £666. Kerrang!'s website features news and features on both contemporary and classic rock bands, as well as previewing upcoming events. The website hosts Kerrang!'s online shop, message board, TV and radio segments ensuring more opportunities to sell associated merchandise and products. In 2001, Kerrang! launched its own online forum with the "rants and raves" section taking up most of the traffic.
Though extremely popular, the number of users began to peter out around 2005 with the number of people online dropping to as low as 10 when it had been closer to the 100 figure. According to Alexa www.kerrang.com is ranked 83,545th globally, 33,532nd in the U. S. Since 1993, the magazine has held an annual awards ceremony to mark the most successful bands in the interests of their readers; the awards became one of Britain's most recognised events by the now defunct Guinness Book of British Hit Singles & Albums listing some of the winners in their annual round-up of the previous year. The event is presented by major music celebrities, with many others outside the industry who attend the event. After a year hiatus, the Awards were relaunched in 2018, with notable guests that included Johnny Depp, Joe Perry, Tony Iommi, Corey Taylor, Dave Grohl, among many others. In 2000, EMAP launched Kerrang! as a digital radio station, across the United Kingdom. This was principally a'jukebox' station, playing a back-to-back sequence of rock and alternative music.
On 10 June 2004, Kerrang! 105.2 was launched as a regional radio station in Birmingham with an advertising campaign by London-based creative agency ODD. The radio had a number of specialist programmes dedicated to the many subgenres of rock music; the radio output included interviews with those affecting popular culture and society as well as those involved with m
Howards Alias were a band in the modern UK underground punk scene. They formed in 1999 in Southampton and blend an eclectic mix of rock, progressive and ska influences into their own musical output, they permanently disbanded in April 2008. The band released four full-length albums; the first – The Chameleon Script – was released by Good Clean Fun Records in 2002, with the second and third albums being released on the Household Name Records label in 2004 and 2005 respectively. In 2008 the band self-released their final album, before finishing as a band. During their career, Howards Alias have released a split EP with friends Desa and contributed to several international punk compilation CDs. Matthew Reynolds had a dream in which he decided that there should be a name for not only the band, but the band's sound – this was "Howard". Using the logic that music should not be confined to one genre, he decided that "Howard" should have many aliases. Howards Alias began at the end of 1999, writing songs in the ska-punk vein.
By the time that The Chameleon Script was released in 2002, it became apparent that the band's sound was somewhat more mature and defined than the usual third wave sound, overdone in previous years. The album was critically acclaimed; the band continued to tour hard with bands such as Lightyear, Captain Everything!, No Comply, Sonic Boom Six, Desa and Rx Bandits. In early 2004, the band wrote three new songs for inclusion on a split EP with Desa; the EP showed a change of direction from The Chameleon Script, with the band dropping a lot of the predominant ska influences. This showed a transition that the band cemented with the release of The Answer Is Never in the same year; the album was hailed by critics as "a masterpiece" and "one of the best British rock records made", with EuroPunk.net stating "If you claim to love music, you owe it to yourself to own this record as that". Longtime drummer Jevon Snell left the band in early 2005, was replaced by Jon Warren of Workin Lunch; the band went into the studio with this new line-up to record the follow-up to The Answer Is Never.
The result was Beat Heart, released in the July 2005. Less of a drastic step and more of a natural progression from the previous album, the critical reception of the album was positive; the inclusion of a keyboard was praised for adding a new depth to the Howards Alias sound. Some older fans, were alienated by the step further away from the original ska-punk roots of the band. With extensive touring taking its toll on inter-band friendships, bassist Stevie and drummer Jon both left the band after a tour to support the release of Beat Heart, Beat. Guitarist and vocalist Matthew Reynolds left a message on the band's website and MySpace informing fans that the band would split up after a final tour. Peter Miles – producer of The Answer Is Never and Beat Heart, Beat – was recruited to play bass, friend Lloyd Williams took drum duties. Matthew Reynolds spoke in an interview with PunkNews.co.uk, regarding the reasons behind the split: Howards Alias split up in October 2005, with a final hometown show at The Nexus club in Southampton, UK.
In January 2006, Matthew Reynolds revealed plans of a new musical outlet – Thinkpol. Named after the Thought police of George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, the band had a more straightforward and accessible rock sound than Howards Alias; the band consisted of Matthew Reynolds, brother Andrew Reynolds, Peter Miles and Robert King. Peter Miles left the band and was replaced by Nicholas Horne, fresh from his short stint playing bass guitar in NoComply. Thinkpol released two demo CDs with three songs on each, although many more were written for inclusion on their planned debut album. Howards Alias had said that they were working on the unrecorded Thinkpol song "Cough It Up" for their fourth album but it never materialised. On 25 September 2006, the following message appeared on Thinkpol's Myspace: Hello good people of the world. Thinkpol are no longer a band. For future reference go to www.myspace.com/howardsalias This was followed by news of a December tour and fourth album to follow in 2007.
This incarnation of the band included Matthew Roberts on Rob King on drums. In the summer of 2007, Howards Alias made three new songs available for streaming on their MySpace over a period of three weeks; the first, entitled "Wot'Ave You", appeared on 29 June 2007, with the remaining two tracks—"Swansong" and "Spilt Milk"—appearing on the next two consecutive Fridays. Howards Alias confirmed via Myspace blog that they would soon be recording their fourth album, tentatively titled. Songs mentioned for inclusion on the album were "What A View", "Swansong", "Spilt Milk", "Big Brains", "Long Haul", "Saw Sense", "Taking Off", "We Are The Sun", "Rooftops", "Not The Same", "Cough It Up"; the band played three dates at the end of October to precede the recording of the album, in Derby and Folkestone. In a December blog, was announced as being "ready to buy in March 2008". On 15 April 2008, Reynolds announced; this was the first official announcement from Howards Alias in 2008, although Reynolds had been promoting his solo album, The Wreck of the Hesperus, throughout February.
Drummer Robert King had l
Compact disc is a digital optical disc data storage format, co-developed by Philips and Sony and released in 1982. The format was developed to store and play only sound recordings but was adapted for storage of data. Several other formats were further derived from these, including write-once audio and data storage, rewritable media, Video Compact Disc, Super Video Compact Disc, Photo CD, PictureCD, CD-i, Enhanced Music CD; the first commercially available audio CD player, the Sony CDP-101, was released October 1982 in Japan. Standard CDs have a diameter of 120 millimetres and can hold up to about 80 minutes of uncompressed audio or about 700 MiB of data; the Mini CD has various diameters ranging from 60 to 80 millimetres. At the time of the technology's introduction in 1982, a CD could store much more data than a personal computer hard drive, which would hold 10 MB. By 2010, hard drives offered as much storage space as a thousand CDs, while their prices had plummeted to commodity level. In 2004, worldwide sales of audio CDs, CD-ROMs and CD-Rs reached about 30 billion discs.
By 2007, 200 billion CDs had been sold worldwide. From the early 2000s CDs were being replaced by other forms of digital storage and distribution, with the result that by 2010 the number of audio CDs being sold in the U. S. had dropped about 50% from their peak. In 2014, revenues from digital music services matched those from physical format sales for the first time. American inventor James T. Russell has been credited with inventing the first system to record digital information on an optical transparent foil, lit from behind by a high-power halogen lamp. Russell's patent application was filed in 1966, he was granted a patent in 1970. Following litigation and Philips licensed Russell's patents in the 1980s; the compact disc is an evolution of LaserDisc technology, where a focused laser beam is used that enables the high information density required for high-quality digital audio signals. Prototypes were developed by Sony independently in the late 1970s. Although dismissed by Philips Research management as a trivial pursuit, the CD became the primary focus for Philips as the LaserDisc format struggled.
In 1979, Sony and Philips set up a joint task force of engineers to design a new digital audio disc. After a year of experimentation and discussion, the Red Book CD-DA standard was published in 1980. After their commercial release in 1982, compact discs and their players were popular. Despite costing up to $1,000, over 400,000 CD players were sold in the United States between 1983 and 1984. By 1988, CD sales in the United States surpassed those of vinyl LPs, by 1992 CD sales surpassed those of prerecorded music cassette tapes; the success of the compact disc has been credited to the cooperation between Philips and Sony, which together agreed upon and developed compatible hardware. The unified design of the compact disc allowed consumers to purchase any disc or player from any company, allowed the CD to dominate the at-home music market unchallenged. In 1974, Lou Ottens, director of the audio division of Philips, started a small group with the aim to develop an analog optical audio disc with a diameter of 20 cm and a sound quality superior to that of the vinyl record.
However, due to the unsatisfactory performance of the analog format, two Philips research engineers recommended a digital format in March 1974. In 1977, Philips established a laboratory with the mission of creating a digital audio disc; the diameter of Philips's prototype compact disc was set at 11.5 cm, the diagonal of an audio cassette. Heitaro Nakajima, who developed an early digital audio recorder within Japan's national public broadcasting organization NHK in 1970, became general manager of Sony's audio department in 1971, his team developed a digital PCM adaptor audio tape recorder using a Betamax video recorder in 1973. After this, in 1974 the leap to storing digital audio on an optical disc was made. Sony first publicly demonstrated an optical digital audio disc in September 1976. A year in September 1977, Sony showed the press a 30 cm disc that could play 60 minutes of digital audio using MFM modulation. In September 1978, the company demonstrated an optical digital audio disc with a 150-minute playing time, 44,056 Hz sampling rate, 16-bit linear resolution, cross-interleaved error correction code—specifications similar to those settled upon for the standard compact disc format in 1980.
Technical details of Sony's digital audio disc were presented during the 62nd AES Convention, held on 13–16 March 1979, in Brussels. Sony's AES technical paper was published on 1 March 1979. A week on 8 March, Philips publicly demonstrated a prototype of an optical digital audio disc at a press conference called "Philips Introduce Compact Disc" in Eindhoven, Netherlands. Sony executive Norio Ohga CEO and chairman of Sony, Heitaro Nakajima were convinced of the format's commercial potential and pushed further development despite widespread skepticism; as a result, in 1979, Sony and Philips set up a joint task force of engineers to design a new digital audio disc. Led by engineers Kees Schouhamer Immink and Toshitada Doi, the research pushed forward laser and optical disc technology. After a year of experimentation and discussion, the task force produced the Red Book CD-DA standard. First published in 1980, the stand
Ska punk is a fusion genre that mixes ska music and punk rock music together. Ska-core is a subgenre of ska punk. Early ska punk mixed both 2 ska with hardcore punk. Ska punk tends to feature brass instruments horns such as saxophones and trumpets, making the genre distinct from other forms of punk rock, it is tied to third wave ska which reached its zenith in the mid 1990s. Before ska punk began, many ska bands and punk rock bands performed on the same bills together and performed to the same audiences; some music groups from the late 1970s and early 1980s, such as the Clash, the Deadbeats, the Specials, the Beat, Madness fused characteristics of punk rock and ska, but many of these were either punk bands playing an occasional ska-flavored song, or are considered 2-Tone ska bands who played faster songs with a punk attitude. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, ska-punk enjoyed its greatest success, heralded by bands such as Fishbone, Dance Hall Crashers, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Citizen Fish, the Porkers, Mad Caddies, Culture Shock, Operation Ivy, Reel Big Fish, Mr. Bungle.
Ska punk had significant mainstream success in the middle-to-late 1990s, with many bands topping pop and rock music charts. The best selling ska punk record of the era was No Doubt's Tragic Kingdom, certified diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America in 1999 and was certified diamond by Music Canada in 1997. By the early 2000s, many of the bands in ska punk had broken up, the genre lost mainstream appeal, though it continued to have underground popularity and featured a revival in the late 2010s with bands like The Interrupters returning to chart success, when their song "She's Kerosene" reached the top-5 on alternative and rock music charts in Canada and the U. S. Ska punk combines ska music with punk rock music. Ska-core is a subgenre of ska punk. Early ska punk combined both 2 ska with hardcore punk. Ska punk features wind instruments horns such as saxophones and trumpets, making the genre distinct from other forms of punk rock, it is faster and heavier. Before ska punk started, many ska bands and punk rock bands performed on the same bills together and appealed to the same audiences.
A ska revival occurred around the beginning of British punk rock and the near-simultaneous rebirth of the late 1970s British mod and skinhead movements. During the late 1970s and early 1980s in United Kingdom, many punk rock bands mixed punk rock with ska influences. Pioneering punk rock band the Clash incorporated influences from ska alongside a range of other genres on their seminal 1979 post-punk album London Calling. Songs like 1978's "Kill The Hippies" by the Deadbeats prominently featured horns, although there are no ska elements. Other British bands that were influenced by both punk rock and ska included the Specials, the Beat and Madness. With both films like the 1981 documentary film Dance Craze and supportive radio stations like Los Angeles, California's KROQ, ska crossed the Atlantic. Many early ska punk bands mixed 2 Tone with hardcore punk. During the 1980s, ska punk was underground. However, one of the earliest ska punk bands, achieved moderate success. Other ska punk bands from the 1980s and early 1990s include Mr. Bungle, Operation Ivy, Culture Shock, Voodoo Glow Skulls, the Porkers, Citizen Fish, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Dance Hall Crashers.
Ska punk broke into the mainstream in the mid-1990s with bands such as Sublime, No Doubt, Reel Big Fish, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Rancid all achieving mainstream success. Sublime's song. However, Sublime did not reach its peak of popularity until 1996 with the release of the band's 1996 self-titled album, certified 5x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in 1999; because of Sublime's popularity, the band's album 40oz. to Freedom was certified 2x platinum by the RIAA in 2005. Another ska punk band that achieved mainstream success during the mid-late 1990s was No Doubt. No Doubt's 1995 album Tragic Kingdom was certified diamond by the RIAA in 1999 and was certified diamond by Music Canada in 1997. Tragic Kingdom sold at least 16,000,000 copies worldwide. Rancid's song "Time Bomb" peaked at number 48 on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart and the band's 1995 album... And Out Come the Wolves was certified platinum by the RIAA. Reel Big Fish's album Turn the Radio Off, released in August 1996, was certified gold by the RIAA in November 1997.
Reel Big Fish's song "Sell Out" peaked at number 69 on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart. Goldfinger's song "Here in Your Bedroom" peaked at number 47 on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart; the Mighty Mighty Bosstones achieved mainstream success in 1997. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones' song "The Rascal King" peaked at number 68 on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart; the Mighty Mighty Bosstones' album Let's Face It, released in March 1997, was certified platinum by the RIAA in September 1997. In 2000, Billboard wrote that according to Let's Face It sold 1,700,000 copies. Smash Mouth's 1997 album Fush Yu Mang was certified 2x platinum in 1999. Ska and reggae influenced rock music retreated to niche status by the first decade of the 2000s, with many major acts, such as the Mighty Mighty Bosstones breaking up, chart success eluded most bands of
A music genre is a conventional category that identifies some pieces of music as belonging to a shared tradition or set of conventions. It is to be distinguished from musical form and musical style, although in practice these terms are sometimes used interchangeably. Academics have argued that categorizing music by genre is inaccurate and outdated. Music can be divided into different genres in many different ways; the artistic nature of music means that these classifications are subjective and controversial, some genres may overlap. There are varying academic definitions of the term genre itself. In his book Form in Tonal Music, Douglass M. Green distinguishes between form, he lists madrigal, canzona and dance as examples of genres from the Renaissance period. To further clarify the meaning of genre, Green writes, "Beethoven's Op. 61 and Mendelssohn's Op. 64 are identical in genre – both are violin concertos – but different in form. However, Mozart's Rondo for Piano, K. 511, the Agnus Dei from his Mass, K. 317 are quite different in genre but happen to be similar in form."
Some, like Peter van der Merwe, treat the terms genre and style as the same, saying that genre should be defined as pieces of music that share a certain style or "basic musical language." Others, such as Allan F. Moore, state that genre and style are two separate terms, that secondary characteristics such as subject matter can differentiate between genres. A music genre or subgenre may be defined by the musical techniques, the style, the cultural context, the content and spirit of the themes. Geographical origin is sometimes used to identify a music genre, though a single geographical category will include a wide variety of subgenres. Timothy Laurie argues that since the early 1980s, "genre has graduated from being a subset of popular music studies to being an ubiquitous framework for constituting and evaluating musical research objects". Among the criteria used to classify musical genres are the trichotomy of art and traditional musics. Alternatively, music can be divided on three variables: arousal and depth.
Arousal reflects the energy level of the music. These three variables help explain why many people like similar songs from different traditionally segregated genres. Musicologists have sometimes classified music according to a trichotomic distinction such as Philip Tagg's "axiomatic triangle consisting of'folk','art' and'popular' musics", he explains that each of these three is distinguishable from the others according to certain criteria. The term art music refers to classical traditions, including both contemporary and historical classical music forms. Art music exists in many parts of the world, it emphasizes formal styles that invite technical and detailed deconstruction and criticism, demand focused attention from the listener. In Western practice, art music is considered a written musical tradition, preserved in some form of music notation rather than being transmitted orally, by rote, or in recordings, as popular and traditional music are. Most western art music has been written down using the standard forms of music notation that evolved in Europe, beginning well before the Renaissance and reaching its maturity in the Romantic period.
The identity of a "work" or "piece" of art music is defined by the notated version rather than by a particular performance, is associated with the composer rather than the performer. This is so in the case of western classical music. Art music may include certain forms of jazz, though some feel that jazz is a form of popular music. Sacred Christian music forms an important part of the classical music tradition and repertoire, but can be considered to have an identity of its own; the term popular music refers to any musical style accessible to the general public and disseminated by the mass media. Musicologist and popular music specialist Philip Tagg defined the notion in the light of sociocultural and economical aspects: Popular music, unlike art music, is conceived for mass distribution to large and socioculturally heterogeneous groups of listeners and distributed in non-written form, only possible in an industrial monetary economy where it becomes a commodity and in capitalist societies, subject to the laws of'free' enterprise... it should ideally sell as much as possible.
Popular music is found on most commercial and public service radio stations, in most commercial music retailers and department stores, in movie and television soundtracks. It is noted on the Billboard charts and, in addition to singer-songwriters and composers, it involves music producers more than other genres do; the distinction between classical and popular music has sometimes been blurred in marginal areas such as minimalist music and light classics. Background music for films/movies draws on both traditions. In this respect, music is like fiction, which draws a distinction between literary fiction and popular fiction, not always precise. Country music known as country and western, hillbilly music, is a genre of popular music that originated in the southern United States in the early 1920s; the polka is a Czech dance and genre of dance music familiar throughout Europe and the Americas. Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and particular
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and particularly in the United Kingdom and in the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew on the genres of blues and blues, from country music. Rock music drew on a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, incorporated influences from jazz and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar as part of a rock group with electric bass and one or more singers. Rock is song-based music with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become diverse. Like pop music, lyrics stress romantic love but address a wide variety of other themes that are social or political. By the late 1960s "classic rock" period, a number of distinct rock music subgenres had emerged, including hybrids like blues rock, folk rock, country rock, southern rock, raga rock, jazz-rock, many of which contributed to the development of psychedelic rock, influenced by the countercultural psychedelic and hippie scene.
New genres that emerged included progressive rock. In the second half of the 1970s, punk rock reacted by producing stripped-down, energetic social and political critiques. Punk was an influence in the 1980s on new wave, post-punk and alternative rock. From the 1990s alternative rock began to dominate rock music and break into the mainstream in the form of grunge and indie rock. Further fusion subgenres have since emerged, including pop punk, electronic rock, rap rock, rap metal, as well as conscious attempts to revisit rock's history, including the garage rock/post-punk and techno-pop revivals at the beginning of the 2000s. Rock music has embodied and served as the vehicle for cultural and social movements, leading to major subcultures including mods and rockers in the UK and the hippie counterculture that spread out from San Francisco in the US in the 1960s. 1970s punk culture spawned the goth and emo subcultures. Inheriting the folk tradition of the protest song, rock music has been associated with political activism as well as changes in social attitudes to race and drug use, is seen as an expression of youth revolt against adult consumerism and conformity.
The sound of rock is traditionally centered on the amplified electric guitar, which emerged in its modern form in the 1950s with the popularity of rock and roll. It was influenced by the sounds of electric blues guitarists; the sound of an electric guitar in rock music is supported by an electric bass guitar, which pioneered in jazz music in the same era, percussion produced from a drum kit that combines drums and cymbals. This trio of instruments has been complemented by the inclusion of other instruments keyboards such as the piano, the Hammond organ, the synthesizer; the basic rock instrumentation was derived from the basic blues band instrumentation. A group of musicians performing rock music is termed as a rock group. Furthermore, it consists of between three and five members. Classically, a rock band takes the form of a quartet whose members cover one or more roles, including vocalist, lead guitarist, rhythm guitarist, bass guitarist and keyboard player or other instrumentalist. Rock music is traditionally built on a foundation of simple unsyncopated rhythms in a 4/4 meter, with a repetitive snare drum back beat on beats two and four.
Melodies originate from older musical modes such as the Dorian and Mixolydian, as well as major and minor modes. Harmonies range from the common triad to parallel perfect fourths and fifths and dissonant harmonic progressions. Since the late 1950s and from the mid 1960s onwards, rock music used the verse-chorus structure derived from blues and folk music, but there has been considerable variation from this model. Critics have stressed the eclecticism and stylistic diversity of rock; because of its complex history and its tendency to borrow from other musical and cultural forms, it has been argued that "it is impossible to bind rock music to a rigidly delineated musical definition." Unlike many earlier styles of popular music, rock lyrics have dealt with a wide range of themes, including romantic love, rebellion against "The Establishment", social concerns, life styles. These themes were inherited from a variety of sources such as the Tin Pan Alley pop tradition, folk music, rhythm and blues.
Music journalist Robert Christgau characterizes rock lyrics as a "cool medium" with simple diction and repeated refrains, asserts that rock's primary "function" "pertains to music, or, more noise." The predominance of white and middle class musicians in rock music has been noted, rock has been seen as an appropriation of black musical forms for a young and male audience. As a result, it has been seen to articulate the concerns of this group in both style and lyrics. Christgau, writing in 1972, said in spite of some exceptions, "rock and roll implies an identification of male sexuality and aggression". Since the term "rock" started being used in preference to "rock and roll" from the late-1960s, it has been contrasted with pop music, with which it has shared many characteristics, but from wh