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Piano rock

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Piano rock

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Piano rock, sometimes referred to as piano pop, is a term for a style of music that is based around the piano, and sometimes around piano-related instruments, such as the Fender Rhodes, the Wurlitzer electric piano, and keyboard-based synthesizers. Unlike the classic rock combination of lead guitar, bass guitar, drums, and vocals, piano rock puts the pianist front and center. Traditionally, piano rock has not been as prevalent as classic rock. However, modern bands such as Ben Folds Five, Coldplay, Super Sleuth and the Septagons, and The Whitlams, and solo artists such as Tori Amos and Rufus Wainwright, have heavily featured keyboard instruments in their songs.

The roots of piano rock can be traced to 1950s rock-and-roll pioneers Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis. Many of their frantic performance styles, such as kicking the piano bench out of the way to play standing, raking their hands up and down the keyboard for dramatic effect, and even sitting on the keyboard are now commonplace in modern piano rock and often seen in the performances of Elton John and Ben Folds.

Elton John can be considered the modern-day groundbreaker in the genre, with hits throughout the '70s and '80s merging the Rhythm and blues sounds of pianists Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder with Jerry Lee Lewis-inspired Rock and Pop idioms.

Artists such as Tori Amos and Ben Folds have kept piano rock in the public consciousness throughout the '90s and into the 2000s.


Notable Piano Rockers and Albums

Ben Folds Five's self-titled debut album Ben Folds Five's self-titled debut album

Little Richard - Here's Little Richard (1957)
Jerry Lee Lewis - Jerry Lee's Greatest (1961)
Billy Joel - Piano Man (1973), The Stranger (1977)
Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973), Honky Chateau (1972), Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy (1975)
Tori Amos - Little Earthquakes (1992)
Ben Folds Five - Ben Folds Five (1995)
Rufus Wainwright - Rufus Wainwright (1998)
The Whitlams - Eternal Nightcap (1998)
Ben Folds - Rockin' the Suburbs (2001)
Coldplay - A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002)
Keane - Hopes and Fears (2004)
Missy Higgins - The Sound of White (2005)
Something Corporate - North (2003)
Delta Goodrem - Innocent Eyes (2003)
The Dresden Dolls - The Dresden Dolls (2004)
Jack's Mannequin - Everything in Transit (2005)
Something Corporate - Ready... Break (2000)
Vanessa Carlton - Be Not Nobody (2002), Harmonium (2005)

Notable Recent Piano Rock Achievements

Juno Awards

Sarah McLachlan - Surfacing (Album of the Year) (1998)
Sarah McLachlan - "Building a Mystery" (Single of the Year) (1998)
Rufus Wainwright - Rufus Wainwright (Alternative Album of the Year) (1999)
Rufus Wainwright - Poses (Alternative Album of the Year) (2002)


Sarah McLachlan - "Last Dance" (Best Pop Instrumental Performance) (1998)
Sarah McLachlan - "Building a Mystery" (Best Female Pop Vocal Performance) (1998)
Train - "Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)" (Best Rock Song) (2002)

ARIA Music Awards

Delta Goodrem - "Born to Try" (Best Single) (Highest Selling Single) (2003)
Delta Goodrem - Innocent Eyes (Best Pop Release) (2003) (Highest Selling Album) (2004)
Missy Higgins - The Sound of White (Album of the Year) (Highest Selling Album) (2005)

Triple J Hottest 100

Missy Higgins finished at numbers 31, 47 and 74 in the Triple J Hottest 100, 2005 with "The Special Two", "Stuff and Nonsense" and "The Sound of White"
Ben Folds finished at numbers 55 and 89 in the Triple J Hottest 100, 2005 with "Landed" and "Bastard"
Missy Higgins's "Scar" finished number two in the Triple J Hottest 100, 2004
The Dresden Dolls came in at number twelve in Triple J Hottest 100, 2004 with "Coin-Operated Boy"
The Whitlams's "No Aphrodisiac" finished number one in the Triple J Hottest 100, 1997

See also

Rock and roll | Rock genres
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Music Sound, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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