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Album-oriented rock (AOR, originally called album-oriented radio) is an FM
radio format A radio format or programming format (not to be confused with broadcast programming) describes the overall content broadcast on a radio station. The radio format emerged mainly in the United States in the 1950s, at a time when radio was compelle ...
created in the United States in the 1970s that focuses on the full repertoire of rock albums and is currently associated with
classic rock Classic rock is a US radio format which developed from the album-oriented rock (AOR) format in the early 1980s. In the United States, the classic rock format comprises rock music ranging generally from the mid-1960s through the mid 1990s, prim ...
. Album-oriented radio was originally established by U.S. radio stations dedicated to playing album tracks by rock artists from the
hard rock Hard rock or heavy rock is a loosely defined subgenre of rock music typified by aggressive vocals and distorted electric guitars. Hard rock began in the mid-1960s with the garage, psychedelic and blues rock movements. Some of the earliest h ...
to
progressive rock Progressive rock (shortened as prog rock or simply prog; sometimes conflated with art rock) is a broad genre of rock music that developed in the United Kingdom and United States through the mid- to late 1960s, peaking in the early 1970s. Init ...
genres. In the mid-1970s, AOR was characterized by a layered, mellifluous sound and sophisticated production with considerable dependence on melodic hooks. Using research and formal programming to create an album rock format with greater commercial appeal, the AOR format achieved tremendous popularity in the late 1970s and early 1980s. From the early 1980s onward, the "album-oriented radio" term became normally used as the abbreviation of "album-oriented rock," meaning radio stations specialized in classic rock recorded during the late 1960s and 1970s. The term is also commonly conflated with " adult-oriented rock", a radio format that also uses the initialism "AOR" and covers not only album-oriented rock, but also album tracks and "deep cuts" from a range of other rock genres, such as
soft rock Soft rock is a form of rock music that originated in the late 1960s in Southern California and the United Kingdom which smoothed over the edges of singer-songwriter and pop rock, relying on simple, melodic songs with big, lush productions. ...
and
pop rock Pop rock (also typeset as pop/rock) is a fusion genre with an emphasis on professional songwriting and recording craft, and less emphasis on attitude than rock music. Originating in the late 1950s as an alternative to normal rock and roll, ea ...
.


History


Freeform and progressive

The album-oriented rock radio format started with programming concepts rooted in 1960s idealism. The freeform and progressive formats developed the repertoire and set the tone that would dominate AOR
playlist A playlist is a list of video or audio files that can be played back on a media player either sequentially or in a shuffled order. In its most general form, an audio playlist is simply a list of songs, but sometimes a loop. The term has s ...
s for much of its heyday. In July 1964, the U.S.
Federal Communications Commission The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent agency of the United States federal government that regulates communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable across the United States. The FCC maintains jurisd ...
(FCC) adopted a non-duplication rule prohibiting FM radio stations from merely running a
simulcast Simulcast (a portmanteau of simultaneous broadcast) is the broadcasting of programmes/programs or events across more than one resolution, bitrate or medium, or more than one service on the same medium, at exactly the same time (that is, simulta ...
of the programming from their AM counterparts. Owners of AM/FM affiliate stations fought these new regulations vigorously, delaying enactment of the new rules until January 1, 1967. When finally enacted, station owners were pressed to come up with alternative programming options. The freeform format in commercial radio was born out of the desire to program the FM airwaves inexpensively. Programmers like Tom Donahue at
KMPX KMPX (channel 29) is a television station licensed to Decatur, Texas, United States, serving the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex as an affiliate of the Spanish-language Estrella TV network. It is owned by Tegna Inc. alongside Dallas-licensed AB ...
in San Francisco developed stations where DJs had freedom to play long sets of music, often covering a variety of genres. Songs were not limited to hits or singles; DJs often played obscure or longer tracks by newer or more adventurous artists rather than those heard on
Top 40 In the music industry, the Top 40 is the current, 40 most-popular songs in a particular genre. It is the best-selling or most frequently broadcast popular music. Record charts have traditionally consisted of a total of 40 songs. "Top 40" or "co ...
stations of the day. This reflected the growth of albums as opposed to singles as rock's main artistic vehicle for expression in the 1960s and 1970s. With a few exceptions, commercial freeform had a relatively brief life. With more and more listeners acquiring FM radios, the stakes became higher for stations to attract
market share Market share is the percentage of the total revenue or sales in a market that a company's business makes up. For example, if there are 50,000 units sold per year in a given industry, a company whose sales were 5,000 of those units would have a ...
so that they could sell more advertising at a higher rate. By 1970, many of the stations were moving to institute programming rules with a "clock" and system of "
rotation Rotation, or spin, is the circular movement of an object around a '' central axis''. A two-dimensional rotating object has only one possible central axis and can rotate in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction. A three-dimensional ...
." With this shift, stations' formats in the early 1970s were now billed as progressive. DJs still had much input over the music they played, and the selection was deep and eclectic, ranging from folk to hard rock with other styles such as
jazz fusion Jazz fusion (also known as fusion and progressive jazz) is a music genre that developed in the late 1960s when musicians combined jazz harmony and improvisation with rock music, funk, and rhythm and blues. Electric guitars, amplifiers, and key ...
occasionally thrown in.


1970s

In October 1971, WPLJ in New York began to shift its freeform progressive rock format into a tighter, hit-oriented rock format similar to what would later become known as AOR. WPLJ's parent company, ABC, installed similar formats on all of its FM stations, including
KLOS Klos or KLOS may refer to: * Klos (surname) * Klos, Dibër, a town in eastern Albania ** Harketari Klos KF, a defunct football club based in Klos, Dibër * Klos, Elbasan, a village in central Albania * Klos, Mallakastër, a village in south-central ...
in Los Angeles and
WRIF WRIF (101.1 FM) is a commercial active rock radio station licensed in Detroit, Michigan and serving Metro Detroit as well as bordering city Windsor, Ontario, Canada. The station is currently owned by Beasley Media Group. WRIF is a grandfathere ...
in Detroit. In 1973,
Lee Abrams Lee Abrams (born 1952) is an American media executive who has held a number of posts for large and influential companies, and is generally credited with developing the Album Oriented Rock format first heard at WQDR Raleigh and thereafter emplo ...
, formerly at WRIF, successfully installed a similar format, later known as SuperStars, at WQDR in Raleigh, North Carolina. In 1972, Ron Jacobs, program director at
KGB-FM KGB-FM (101.5 MHz) is a commercial radio station licensed to San Diego, California. It is owned and operated by iHeartMedia and broadcasts a classic rock music format. KGB-FM's studios are located in San Diego's Kearny Mesa neighborhood on th ...
in
San Diego San Diego ( , ; ) is a city on the Pacific Ocean coast of Southern California located immediately adjacent to the Mexico–United States border. With a 2020 population of 1,386,932, it is the eighth most populous city in the United States ...
, began using detailed listener research and expanded playlists in shifting the
top 40 In the music industry, the Top 40 is the current, 40 most-popular songs in a particular genre. It is the best-selling or most frequently broadcast popular music. Record charts have traditionally consisted of a total of 40 songs. "Top 40" or "co ...
station toward a
progressive rock Progressive rock (shortened as prog rock or simply prog; sometimes conflated with art rock) is a broad genre of rock music that developed in the United Kingdom and United States through the mid- to late 1960s, peaking in the early 1970s. Init ...
format. Meanwhile, at competing station KPRI, program director Mike Harrison was similarly applying top 40 concepts to the progressive format, which he dubbed "album-oriented rock." In the mid-1970s, as program directors began to put more controls over what songs were played on air, progressive stations evolved into the album-oriented rock format. Stations still played longer songs and deep album tracks (rather than just singles), but program directors and consultants took on a greater role in song selection, generally limiting airplay to just a few "focus tracks" from a particular album and concentrating on artists with a more "commercial" sound than what had been featured a few years earlier. Noted DJ " Kid Leo" Travagliante of station
WMMS WMMS (100.7 FM) – branded ''100.7 WMMS: The Buzzard'' – is a commercial radio station licensed to Cleveland, Ohio, serving Greater Cleveland and much of surrounding Northeast Ohio. Widely regarded as one of the most influential rock ...
in Cleveland observed the changes in a 1975 interview: "I think the '60s are ending about now. Now we are really starting the '70s. The emphasis is shifting back to entertainment instead of being 'relevant' ... In fact, I wouldn't call our station progressive radio. That's outdated. I call it radio. But I heard a good word in the trades, AOR. That's Album-Oriented Rock. That's a name for the '70s." Radio consultants Kent Burkhart and Lee Abrams had a significant impact on AOR programming. Beginning in the mid-1970s, they began contracting with what would become over 100 stations by the 1980s. Abrams' SuperStars format, previously developed at WQDR, was based on extensive research, focused on the most popular artists such as
Fleetwood Mac Fleetwood Mac are a British-American rock band, formed in London in 1967. Fleetwood Mac were founded by guitarist Peter Green, drummer Mick Fleetwood and guitarist Jeremy Spencer, before bassist John McVie joined the line-up for their epony ...
and the
Eagles Eagle is the common name for many large birds of prey of the family Accipitridae. Eagles belong to several groups of genera, some of which are closely related. Most of the 68 species of eagle are from Eurasia and Africa. Outside this area, jus ...
, and also included older material from those artists. While his format was not quite as constricted as
Top 40 In the music industry, the Top 40 is the current, 40 most-popular songs in a particular genre. It is the best-selling or most frequently broadcast popular music. Record charts have traditionally consisted of a total of 40 songs. "Top 40" or "co ...
radio, it was considerably more restricted than freeform or progressive radio. Their firm advised program directors for a substantial segment of AOR stations all over the U.S. By the late 1970s, AOR radio stations discarded the wide range of genres embraced earlier on to focus on a more narrowly defined rock sound. The occasional
folk Folk or Folks may refer to: Sociology *Nation *People * Folklore ** Folk art ** Folk dance ** Folk hero ** Folk music *** Folk metal *** Folk punk *** Folk rock ** Folk religion * Folk taxonomy Arts, entertainment, and media * Folk Plus or Fo ...
,
jazz Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, Louisiana in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with its roots in blues and ragtime. Since the 1920s Jazz Age, it has been recognized as a major ...
and
blues Blues is a music genre and musical form which originated in the Deep South of the United States around the 1860s. Blues incorporated spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts, chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads from the Afric ...
selections became rarer, and most Black artists were effectively eliminated from airplay. Whereas earlier
soul In many religious and philosophical traditions, there is a belief that a soul is "the immaterial aspect or essence of a human being". Etymology The Modern English noun '' soul'' is derived from Old English ''sāwol, sāwel''. The earliest att ...
,
funk Funk is a music genre that originated in African American communities in the mid-1960s when musicians created a rhythmic, danceable new form of music through a mixture of various music genres that were popular among African Americans in the ...
and R&B artists like
Stevie Wonder Stevland Hardaway Morris ( Judkins; May 13, 1950), known professionally as Stevie Wonder, is an American singer-songwriter, who is credited as a pioneer and influence by musicians across a range of genres that include rhythm and blues, pop, s ...
, War, Sly Stone and others had been championed by the format, AOR was no longer representing these styles and took a stance against
disco Disco is a genre of dance music and a subculture that emerged in the 1970s from the United States' urban nightlife scene. Its sound is typified by four-on-the-floor beats, syncopated basslines, string sections, brass and horns, electric piano ...
. In 1979, Steve Dahl of WLUP in
Chicago (''City in a Garden''); I Will , image_map = , map_caption = Interactive Map of Chicago , coordinates = , coordinates_footnotes = , subdivision_type = List of sovereign states, Count ...
destroyed disco records on his radio show, culminating in the notorious Disco Demolition Night at
Comiskey Park Comiskey Park was a baseball park in Chicago, Illinois, located in the Armour Square neighborhood on the near-southwest side of the city. The stadium served as the home of the Chicago White Sox of the American League from 1910 through 1990. Buil ...
. What links the freeform, progressive and AOR formats is the continuity of rock artists and songs carried through each phase. Programmers and DJs of the freeform and progressive phases continued to cultivate a repertoire of rock music and style of delivery that became the foundations of AOR and classic rock radio. Those AOR stations, which decided to stay demographically rooted, became classic rock stations by eschewing newer bands and styles for which their older listeners might have tuned out. Those that did not fully evolve into classic rock stations generally attempted to keep their older listeners through careful dayparting – playing large amounts of classic rock during the workday, while newer material was played at night when the listener base skewed younger.


Programming

Most radio formats are based on a select, tight rotation of
hit single A hit song, also known as a hit record, hit single or simply a hit, is a recorded song or instrumental that becomes broadly popular or well-known. Although ''hit song'' means any widely played or big-selling song, the specific term ''hit record' ...
s. The best example is
Top 40 In the music industry, the Top 40 is the current, 40 most-popular songs in a particular genre. It is the best-selling or most frequently broadcast popular music. Record charts have traditionally consisted of a total of 40 songs. "Top 40" or "co ...
, though other formats, like
country A country is a distinct part of the world, such as a state, nation, or other political entity. It may be a sovereign state or make up one part of a larger state. For example, the country of Japan is an independent, sovereign state, whil ...
,
smooth jazz Smooth jazz is a genre of commercially-oriented crossover jazz and easy listening music that became dominant in the mid 1970s to the early 1990s. History Smooth jazz is a commercially oriented, crossover jazz which came to prominence in the 1 ...
and urban all utilize the same basic principles, with the most popular songs repeating every two to six hours, depending on their rank in the
rotation Rotation, or spin, is the circular movement of an object around a '' central axis''. A two-dimensional rotating object has only one possible central axis and can rotate in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction. A three-dimensional ...
. Generally, there is a strict order or list to be followed, and the DJ does not make decisions about what selections are played. AOR, while still based on the rotation concept, focused on the album as a whole rather than singles. In the early 1970s, many DJs had the freedom to choose which track(s) to play off a given album – as well as latitude to decide in what order to play the records. Consequently, AOR radio gave mainstream exposure to album tracks that never became hits on the record charts that were limited to singles; ''
Billboard A billboard (also called a hoarding in the UK and many other parts of the world) is a large outdoor advertising structure (a billing board), typically found in high-traffic areas such as alongside busy roads. Billboards present large advertis ...
'', for instance, did not establish an airplay chart for album tracks until 1981. Later in the 1970s, AOR formats became tighter and song selection shifted to the program director or music director rather than the DJ. Still, when an AOR station added an album to rotation, they would often focus on numerous tracks at once, rather than playing the singles as they were individually released.


Criticism

In the early 1980s, AOR radio was criticized by the Black Music Association, a
trade association A trade association, also known as an industry trade group, business association, sector association or industry body, is an organization founded and funded by businesses that operate in a specific industry. An industry trade association partici ...
, and other industry observers for the lack of Black artists included in their programming. AOR programmers responded that the lack of diversity was the result of increased specialization of radio formats driven by ratings and audience demographics. In 1983, the success of
Michael Jackson Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, songwriter, dancer, and philanthropist. Dubbed the " King of Pop", he is regarded as one of the most significant cultural figures of the 20th century. Over ...
's album ''
Thriller Thriller may refer to: * Thriller (genre), a broad genre of literature, film and television ** Thriller film, a film genre under the general thriller genre Comics * ''Thriller'' (DC Comics), a comic book series published 1983–84 by DC Comics i ...
'' led to the album's track " Beat It," which featured
Eddie Van Halen Edward Lodewijk Van Halen ( , ; January 26, 1955 – October 6, 2020) was an American musician and songwriter. He was the guitarist, keyboardist, backing vocalist, and primary songwriter of the rock band Van Halen, which he co-founded along ...
, being added to the playlists of many AOR channels. At the same time, other Black artists also made inroads into AOR radio: Jackson ("Beat It"),
Prince A prince is a male ruler (ranked below a king, grand prince, and grand duke) or a male member of a monarch's or former monarch's family. ''Prince'' is also a title of nobility (often highest), often hereditary, in some European states. The f ...
(" Little Red Corvette") and Eddy Grant (" Electric Avenue") debuted on ''Billboards Top Tracks chart during the same week in April 1983. Through the remainder of the 1980s, Jon Butcher,
Tracy Chapman Tracy Chapman (born March 30, 1964) is an American singer-songwriter. Chapman is best known for her hit singles " Fast Car" and " Give Me One Reason". Chapman was signed to Elektra Records by Bob Krasnow in 1987. The following year she release ...
,
Living Colour Living Colour is an American rock band from New York City, formed in 1984. The band currently consists of guitarist Vernon Reid, lead vocalist Corey Glover, drummer Will Calhoun and bassist Doug Wimbish (who replaced Muzz Skillings in 1992) ...
,
Prince A prince is a male ruler (ranked below a king, grand prince, and grand duke) or a male member of a monarch's or former monarch's family. ''Prince'' is also a title of nobility (often highest), often hereditary, in some European states. The f ...
and
Lenny Kravitz Leonard Albert Kravitz (born May 26, 1964) is an American singer-songwriter. His style incorporates elements of rock, blues, soul, R&B, funk, jazz, reggae, hard rock, psychedelic, pop and folk. Kravitz won the Grammy Award for Best Ma ...
also received AOR airplay.


Spin-off formats

In the 1980s, some AOR radio stations added
glam metal Glam metal (also known as hair metal or pop metal) is a subgenre of heavy metal that features pop-influenced hooks and guitar riffs, upbeat rock anthems, and slow power ballads. It borrows heavily from the fashion and image of 1970s glam ...
bands such as
Mötley Crüe Mötley Crüe is an American heavy metal band formed in Los Angeles in 1981. The group was founded by bassist Nikki Sixx, drummer Tommy Lee, lead guitarist Mick Mars and lead singer Vince Neil. Mötley Crüe has sold over 100 million album ...
and
Bon Jovi Bon Jovi is an American Rock music, rock band formed in 1983 in Sayreville, New Jersey. It consists of singer Jon Bon Jovi, keyboardist David Bryan, drummer Tico Torres, guitarist Phil X, and bassist Hugh McDonald (American musician), Hugh McD ...
, while others embraced
modern rock Modern rock is an umbrella term used to describe rock music that is found on college rock radio stations. Some radio stations use this term to distinguish themselves from classic rock, which is based in 1960s–1980s rock music. Radio format Mod ...
acts such as
the Fixx The Fixx are a rock band from London, England, founded in 1979. The band's hits include " One Thing Leads to Another", " Saved by Zero", " Are We Ourselves?", and " Secret Separation", each of which charted in the Top 20 of the Billboard Hot ...
,
INXS INXS (a phonetic play on "in excess") were an Australian rock band, formed as The Farriss Brothers in 1977 in Sydney, New South Wales. The band's founding members were bassist Garry Gary Beers, main composer and keyboardist Andrew Farriss ...
and U2. But by the end of the decade, AOR stations were playing fewer and fewer new artists, and the rise of grunge, alternative rock and hip-hop accelerated the fade-out of the album-oriented rock format. By the early 1990s, many AOR stations switched exclusively to the
classic rock Classic rock is a US radio format which developed from the album-oriented rock (AOR) format in the early 1980s. In the United States, the classic rock format comprises rock music ranging generally from the mid-1960s through the mid 1990s, prim ...
format or segued to other current formats with somewhat of an AOR approach: * Rock 40 – A service-marked format developed by Joint Communications in 1987 and referred to as "Male CHR" (contemporary hits radio) by Burkhart, Douglas & Associates, which had difficulty because it was too close to other AOR formats and did not appeal to CHR fans because of the lack of music other than rock.
Lee Abrams Lee Abrams (born 1952) is an American media executive who has held a number of posts for large and influential companies, and is generally credited with developing the Album Oriented Rock format first heard at WQDR Raleigh and thereafter emplo ...
said the format was "too wimpy for the real rockers and too hard for the mainstream people." Most of these stations were considered in the radio trade publications to be Top 40/CHR stations rather than AOR. For a time in the mid- to late 1980s, Cleveland's
WMMS WMMS (100.7 FM) – branded ''100.7 WMMS: The Buzzard'' – is a commercial radio station licensed to Cleveland, Ohio, serving Greater Cleveland and much of surrounding Northeast Ohio. Widely regarded as one of the most influential rock ...
considered themselves to be a Rock 40 station. From 1989 until 1991, WAAF in Worcester–Boston, Massachusetts, considered themselves to be a Rock 40 station. The most successful Rock 40 station, however, when it came to duration with the format was
KEGL KEGL (97.1 FM) is a radio station licensed to Fort Worth, Texas, United States. The station broadcasts to the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. KEGL is owned and operated by iHeartMedia. The station's studios are located along Dallas Parkway in F ...
''The Eagle'' in Dallas–Fort Worth, Texas, which was mostly a rock-leaning Top 40 station from 1981 until 1992. *
Active rock Active rock is a radio format used by many commercial radio stations across the United States and Canada. Active rock stations play a balance of new hard rock songs with valued classic rock favorites, normally with an emphasis on the harder edge ...
– The modern-day mainstream rock/AOR merge. Playing artists such as
Stone Temple Pilots Stone Temple Pilots (also known by the initialism STP) is an American rock band from San Diego, California, that originally consisted of Scott Weiland (lead vocals), brothers Dean (guitar) and Robert DeLeo (bass, backing vocals), and Eric K ...
,
Nickelback Nickelback is a Canadian rock band formed in 1995 in Hanna, Alberta. It is composed of guitarist and lead vocalist Chad Kroeger, guitarist, keyboardist and backing vocalist Ryan Peake, bassist Mike Kroeger, and drummer Daniel Adair. It we ...
,
Creed A creed, also known as a confession of faith, a symbol, or a statement of faith, is a statement of the shared beliefs of a community (often a religious community) in a form which is structured by subjects which summarize its core tenets. The ea ...
,
Foo Fighters Foo Fighters are an American rock band formed in Seattle in 1994. Foo Fighters was initially formed as a one-man project by former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl. Following the success of the eponymous debut album, Grohl (lead vocals, guitar) re ...
,
Linkin Park Linkin Park is an American rock band from Agoura Hills, California. The band's current lineup comprises vocalist/rhythm guitarist/keyboardist Mike Shinoda, lead guitarist Brad Delson, bassist Dave Farrell, DJ/turntablist Joe Hahn and drumme ...
and
Korn Korn (stylized as KoЯn, or occasionally KoRn) is an American nu metal band from Bakersfield, California, formed in 1993. The band is notable for pioneering the nu metal genre and bringing it into the mainstream. Originally formed in 1993 by ...
. The active rock format was pioneered by the now-defunct KNAC-FM of
Long Beach Long Beach is a city in Los Angeles County, California. It is the 42nd-most populous city in the United States, with a population of 466,742 as of 2020. A charter city, Long Beach is the seventh-most populous city in California. Incorporated ...
–Los Angeles, California, in 1986. KNAC program director/DJ Tom Marshall and music director/DJ Michael Davis had previously worked at rock station KFMG in
Albuquerque, New Mexico Albuquerque ( ; ), ; kee, Arawageeki; tow, Vakêêke; zun, Alo:ke:k'ya; apj, Gołgéeki'yé. abbreviated ABQ, is the most populous city in the U.S. state of New Mexico. Its nicknames, The Duke City and Burque, both reference its founding in ...
. Active rock was also pioneered by the nationally syndicated
Z Rock Z Rock was a nationally syndicated radio network based in Dallas, Texas, United States that, from the mid-1980s through the mid-1990s, played heavy metal and hard rock music. The format was one of several 24-hour satellite-delivered music for ...
network, which lasted from 1986 to 1996, and expanded upon by
WXTB WXTB (97.9 FM) is a commercial active rock radio station owned by iHeartMedia and licensed to Clearwater, Florida, serving the Tampa Bay Area. The WXTB studios are located in South Tampa, while the station transmitter resides in Holiday. In a ...
out of
Clearwater, Florida Clearwater is a city located in Pinellas County, Florida, United States, northwest of Tampa and St. Petersburg. To the west of Clearwater lies the Gulf of Mexico and to the southeast lies Tampa Bay. As of the 2020 census, the city had a popu ...
, starting in 1990. *
Adult album alternative Adult album alternative (also triple-A, AAA, or adult alternative) is a radio format. See pages 9 and 10Mills, Joshua. "A New Radio Music Format: Rock for Prosperous Adults" New York Times, Feb 28 1994, p. 2. ProQuest. Web. Accessed September 4, 2 ...
(known as Triple A or AAA) – Echoed a softer AOR without hard rock or heavy metal. For a time, Seattle's KMTT even promoted "Freeform Fridays" and the Grey Pony Tail Special to highlight the halcyon days of FM radio.
WXRT WXRT (93.1 FM), also known as XRT and 93-XRT is an adult album alternative (AAA) radio station in Chicago, Illinois. For many years, their slogan has been "Chicago's Finest Rock". "Chicago's Home For Music Lovers" has been used as its slogan si ...
in Chicago is a long-running AAA station. Other Triple A stations with strong and long heritage are
KINK Kink or KINK may refer to: Common uses * Kink (sexuality), a colloquial term for non-normative sexual behavior * Kink, a curvature, bend, or twist Geography * Kink, Iran, a village in Iran * The Kink, a man-made geographic feature in remote ea ...
in Portland, Oregon; KSPN-FM in Aspen, Colorado; KFMU-FM in Oak Creek–Steamboat Springs, Colorado; WNCS ''The Point'' in Montpelier–Burlington, VT; WMWV in Conway, New Hampshire; WDST in Woodstock, New York;
WRSI WRSI (93.9 FM, "93.9 The River") is a radio station licensed to serve Turners Falls, Massachusetts. The station is owned by Saga Communications and licensed to Saga Communications of New England, LLC. It airs an adult album alternative music fo ...
in Turners Falls–Northampton, Massachusetts;
WXPN WXPN (88.5 FM) is a non-commercial, public radio station licensed to The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that broadcasts an adult album alternative (AAA) radio format, along with many other format show ...
in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and
KBCO KBCO (97.3 FM) is a radio station in Denver that is licensed to Boulder, Colorado. Owned by iHeartMedia, it broadcasts an adult album alternative (AAA) format. Its studios are located alongside its sister stations in southeast Denver, while its ...
in Denver–
Boulder, Colorado Boulder is a home rule city that is the county seat and most populous municipality of Boulder County, Colorado, United States. The city population was 108,250 at the 2020 United States census, making it the 12th most populous city in Color ...
. *
Modern rock Modern rock is an umbrella term used to describe rock music that is found on college rock radio stations. Some radio stations use this term to distinguish themselves from classic rock, which is based in 1960s–1980s rock music. Radio format Mod ...
or alternative rock – Pioneers in this format were
KROQ-FM KROQ-FM (106.7 MHz) is a commercial radio station licensed to Pasadena, California, serving Greater Los Angeles. Owned by Audacy, Inc., it broadcasts an alternative rock format known as "The World Famous KROQ" (pronounced "kay-rock"). The sta ...
in Los Angeles,
XETRA-FM XETRA-FM (91.1 MHz), branded as 91X, and sometimes identified as XTRA-FM, is an English-language radio station licensed to Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. It airs an alternative rock radio format. The studios and offices are on Cornerstone C ...
(91X) in San Diego,
KTCL KTCL (93.3 FM) is a radio station licensed to Wheat Ridge, Colorado. Owned by iHeartMedia, it broadcasts an alternative rock format targeting the Denver metro area. Its studios are located alongside iHeartMedia's other Denver stations at 4695 ...
in Denver (but was licensed to Fort Collins in the 1970s through 1990s), the late KCGL-FM, KJQN (now
Bible Broadcasting Network The Bible Broadcasting Network (BBN) is a listener-supported global Conservative Christian radio network staffed and headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. It was founded in 1971 by Lowell Davey, who was the network's president until his de ...
O&O KYFO-FM) in Ogden–Salt Lake City, Utah; and
WOXY WOXY may refer to: * WOXY.com, a defunct Internet radio station * WOXY (FM), a radio station (97.7 FM) licensed to Mason, Ohio, United States {{Call sign disambiguation ...
(97X) in Mason–Cincinnati, Ohio (which today broadcasts a Spanish variety format as La Mega 97.7 while keeping the WOXY calls), all of which took the AOR programming approach to music with new wave,
punk Punk or punks may refer to: Genres, subculture, and related aspects * Punk rock, a music genre originating in the 1970s associated with various subgenres * Punk subculture, a subculture associated with punk rock, or aspects of the subculture s ...
,
college rock College rock was the alternative rock music played on student-run university and college campus radio stations located in the United States and Canada in the 1980s. The stations' playlists were often created by students who avoided the mainstream ...
and
grunge Grunge (sometimes referred to as the Seattle sound) is an alternative rock genre and subculture that emerged during the in the American Pacific Northwest state of Washington, particularly in Seattle and nearby towns. Grunge fuses elements of p ...
/alternative leanings, mostly in the 1980s. *
Classic rock Classic rock is a US radio format which developed from the album-oriented rock (AOR) format in the early 1980s. In the United States, the classic rock format comprises rock music ranging generally from the mid-1960s through the mid 1990s, prim ...
– Developed from the album-oriented rock (AOR) format in the early 1980s. The classic rock format features music ranging generally from the late 1960s to the mid-1990s, primarily focusing on commercially successful blues rock and hard rock popularized in the 1970s AOR format. The radio format became increasingly popular with the baby boomer demographic by the end of the 1990s.


See also

* Album era


References

{{DEFAULTSORT:Album-Oriented Rock Rock music genres Rock radio formats Rock