Crossover (music)

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As a crossover ( engl. , Overlapping ',' crossing ',' crossing ') refers to the simultaneous placement of a piece of music, which a certain genre of music is to be assigned, charts separated into at least two, for music genres. The term was coined in the 1940s when the hit parade separation of musical styles was the rule. When later fusions between rock and other genres arose and it was not sure where the pieces were to be classified, the term was given a slightly different meaning.


The crossover story begins with the clear demarcation of musical styles from one another in the USA, but especially with the isolation of an initially uniform hit parade in black rhythm and blues , white country and pop charts in 1942 by Billboard magazine . Initially, the respective genres remained in the associated charts. In addition to this rather technical separation, there was also a consumption-related, because white buyers preferred "white" country and pop music both when buying and when choosing radio stations. Increasingly, this separation has been overcome. Records by Mills Brothers , Ink Spots or Louis Jordan , actually intended for “black” consumption, were increasingly heard and bought by whites. With that they had practically become crossover performers. This was also followed by the hit parade when the Mills Brothers hit the pop charts with Paper Doll in July 1943 . Louis Jordan achieved this in January 1944 with the Ration Blues . These rather technical crossovers were initially characterized by the fact that they were better placed in their “home hit parade”, the rhythm & blues charts, than in the pop charts.

This trend then took advantage of Pat Boone and others when they "black" original versions coverten and made accessible to the pop charts. Pat Boone covered Ain't That a Shame (by Fats Domino ) in July 1955 , which made it to # 1 on the pop charts, while Domino's Original only hit # 10 in the same month. As a result, more and more white interpreters resorted to "black" originals until Elvis Presley reached the commercial peak of crossovers with Hound Dog in August 1956 and sold over 3 million records; the singer of the original, Big Mama Thornton , was only successful in the R&B charts with this. The crossover had thus taken on a new dimension: it was no longer the original artists who made the breakthrough into the other charts, but only cover versions. This crossover development increased so quickly that Billboard no longer published R&B charts between November 1963 and January 1965 because the number of crossovers had increased so much that R&B and pop charts were very similar in content.

Change of concept

During the 1980s there was a further development towards the amalgamation of different genres. The North American hardcore punk scene was looking for new forms of expression, whereby metal elements were often used due to the close relationship . Basically, however, the majority sought to open up the limited punk scheme to almost all areas of popular music, and for a long time it was synonymous with artistic freedom.

The musical forerunners of this awareness were bands that were difficult to classify and that had labels like post-punk or new wave stamped on them. While maintaining the basic energy of punk from the 1970s, experiments were increasingly carried out with styles such as country , jazz or funk, which were previously considered unsuitable. In this way a broad movement of initially subculturally oriented rock music emerged , which steadily developed further away from the original punk.

Bands such as the Minutemen , the Bad Brains or Public Image Ltd. Those who worked with funk, reggae or jazz elements met with open rejection, especially from value-conservative punks of the first generation. Not least because of opposition to such dogmatism , more progressive hardcore musicians tried from the mid-80s to differentiate themselves externally from traditional punks. They deliberately used “codes” from the hippie generation, which is often hated by punks , let their hair grow long, wore flannel shirts and ripped jeans . This outfit became extremely popular in the early 1990s due to the global success of grunge bands.

The designation as crossover was applied to bands that played a mixture of hardcore and thrash metal , such as DRI with their album entitled Crossover , 7 Seconds and Suicidal Tendencies from the United States or Black Uniforms , TT Task and Disrespect from Sweden. As a result of this mix, thrash metal and hardcore bands often performed live together.

Further development

The newly emerged awareness found a wide audience in the early 1990s. Together with the so-called grunge a new scene emerged that set itself apart from punk. The “Hardcore-Funk-Crossover” occupies a special position here, which also had many fans in the metal camp and was initially called “ Funk Metal ” there. A number of bands such as Living Color and the Beastie Boys emerged as early as the mid-1980s , and it was only with the immense commercial success of Faith No More and the Red Hot Chili Peppers that they gradually caught up with the fruits of their labor.

In this context, there was also great interest from other directions. The second generation of hip-hop , known as the "New School", liked to work with hard rock beats. For example, Run DMC had a hit back in 1986 with the Aerosmith classic Walk This Way . Six years later, Public Enemy completed a tour with the metal band Anthrax , who had already brought rap elements to their music, and together they released the single Bring Tha Noize .

Soon the phenomenon was co-opted by the commercial music industry. This is how, for example, the soundtrack for the film Judgment Night was created , on which hip-hop musicians played together with metal and alternative rock bands. The album's success went far beyond the response of the actual film.

The term "crossover" established itself against the background of a second wave of crossover bands that were no longer associated with hardcore by the mass audience, such as Clawfinger , Rage Against the Machine and Body Count . Between 1994 and 1998 this type of crossover was the trend in the alternative and metal scene . Bands like Rage Against the Machine, Body Count or Dog Eat Dog sold their albums hundreds of thousands. Since the meaning of the term “fusion” already stood for the amalgamation of jazz and rock and “crossover” was suitable for characterizing these bands, the style of such formations prevailed during this time, especially in the German-speaking area. This gave rise to the misunderstanding, which is still common today, that crossover should be equated with a kind of "rap metal", which, however, is merely the most commercially successful crossover movement in North American hardcore.

Gradually this phenomenon was named with the word creation Nu Metal , under which this musical trend came back into fashion with bands like Korn , Slipknot , Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park since the late 1990s . The term crossover is sometimes used much more widely. Finally, there are similar phenomena such as B. Ska-Punk or Industrial Metal and Industrial Rock , where one also encounters the principle of crossing different styles of pop and rock music. Musical fusions that go beyond this definition are also referred to as crossovers, as it is an appropriate term for them. Especially bands like Oomph! , The Krupps , Cubanate or Think About Mutation mixed numerous electronic varieties with rock and metal and were therefore difficult to classify.

In Germany, the Freaky Fukin Weirdoz were classified as a cross association for the first time . Groups like Such a Surge , the H-Blockx , Thumb and Blackeyed Blonde were also successful on a commercial level a little later. There were also a number of crossover formations in other European countries, such as B. Urban Dance Squad in the Netherlands , FFF in France, Senser in Great Britain or Clawfinger in Sweden .

Today only a few bands are explicitly assigned to the crossover. On the one hand, this is due to the fact that crossover never referred to a certain style, but rather meant the mixing of different styles. On the other hand, it is now almost a matter of course that bands are inspired by various musical influences. Only in a few genres of music is the adoption of "diluting" elements of other styles rejected.

Major albums

The German magazine Visions published a list of the 25 crossover albums for the ages in August 2018. While the magazine sorts the albums chronologically by publication, the list below is alphabetical.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Arthur Shaw: Dictionary of American Pop . New York 1982; P. 99 f.
  2. ^ Arthur Shaw: Dictionary of American Pop . New York 1982; P. 100.
  3. ^ Arthur Shaw: Dictionary of American Pop . New York 1982; P. 101.
  4. ^ Bettina Roccor: Heavy Metal. The bands. The fans. The opponents. Original edition; CH Beck; Munich 1998; P. 76 f.
  5. ^ Bettina Roccor: Heavy Metal. The bands. The fans. The opponents. Original edition; CH Beck; Munich 1998; P. 77 f.
  6. Messiah . In: Slayer . No. 5 , 1987, pp. 10 (English).
  7. a b Metalion : Exxor . In: Slayer . No. 5 , 1987, pp. 6 (English).
  8. a b c d e Marc Halupczok : Changing winds . In: Metal Hammer . Special issue No. 1/2012: History of Metal , p. 26 f.
  9. a b c Black Uniforms . In: Slayer . No. 5 , 1987, pp. 27 (English).
  10. a b Black Uniforms . In: Slayer . No. 5 , 1987, pp. 31 (English).
  11. ^ Neutron Rain . In: Slayer . No. 5 , 1987, pp. 5 (English).
  12. Slaughter Lord . In: Slayer . No. 5 , 1987, pp. 13 (English).
  13. a b Bettina Roccor: Heavy Metal. The bands. The fans. The opponents. Original edition; CH Beck; Munich 1998; P. 82 f.
  14. oA: criss- cross . In: Visions , edition 305, pp. 61–65