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Rock & Roll is often used as a generic term, but its sound is rarely predictable. From the outset, when the early rockers merged country and blues, rock has been defined by its energy, rebellion and catchy hooks, but as the genre aged, it began to shed those very characteristics, placing equal emphasis on craftmanship and pushing the boundaries of the music. As a result, everything from Chuck Berry's pounding, three-chord rockers and the sweet harmonies of the Beatles to the jarring, atonal white noise of Sonic Youth has been categorized as "rock." That's accurate -- rock & roll had a specific sound and image for only a handful of years. For most of its life, rock has been fragmented, spinning off new styles and variations every few years, from Brill Building Pop and heavy metal to dance-pop and grunge. And that's only natural for a genre that began its life as a fusion of styles.