Rock of Aged: Can Whitesnake push the embattled genre forward? Dave Bidini’s Record of the Month Club: Rock is very old. It is grey-bearded and doddering. Palsied. Broken out in sores. Rock — not to be confused with rock ’n’ roll, which is alive evermore — has largely descended into heart-sinking concert revues like the upcoming Frampton Comes Alive wheeze-bag, dodgy reunions and CD reissues of classic albums, not forgetting the “Classic Albums Live” racket, where identikit bands approximate live renderings of ancient records at $40 a ticket to young men and women whose taste is the same as their parents’.
Perhaps I’m being cynical — A Night at the Opera is, after all, a fabulous record, however played — but unless Rock looks forward and not back, it’s destined to become to future generations what rugby and debate clubs were to varsity kids in the ’50s. It’s no wonder that the best rock ’n’ roll isn’t even found in Rock, but in Hard Disco or Electro-Thrash or New Wave Cool. Recent albums by The Strokes, Peter, John and Bjorn and TV on the Radio evince this. They are all very rock ’n’ roll, but none of them are actually very Rock.