I’ve enjoyed every chapter of this series so far. What Steven Hyden has done very well here is not so much focus on the bands themselves as how they either created or epitomized the landscape shifts in rock and roll. Led Zeppelin is the template for the sound, style, and behavior, Kiss takes it to the ignored cultural hinterlands. Bon Jovi expands to more female audiences. Aerosmith comes full circle on both sound and style to where it is largely two different bands based on decades. Metallica transitions from underground to mainstream in a larger-scale version of the “sellout vs. pure” debate that we associate more with punk rock than metal more often than not.
Here, Linkin Park is the last band before terrestrial, commercial alt-rock formats on radio lose their bearings. The Black Keys will be Hyden’s final entry next week.
The only complaint I can raise is that U2 isn’t a focal point. But that’s probably because U2 is a bizarre, unusual chameleon across the past few decades, floating above whatever the rock thing is. It’s probably the same thing with Foo Fighters.