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Rock music is a broad genre of
popular music Popular music is music with wide appeal that is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. These forms and styles can be enjoyed and performed by people with little or no musical training.Popular Music. (2015). ''Funk ...
that originated as "
rock and roll Rock and roll (often written as rock & roll, rock 'n' roll, or rock 'n roll) is a Genre (music), genre of popular music that evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s. It Origins of rock and roll, originated from Africa ...
" in the United States in the late 1940s and early 1950s, developing into a range of different styles in the mid-1960s and later, particularly in the United States and United Kingdom.W. E. Studwell and D. F. Lonergan, ''The Classic Rock and Roll Reader: Rock Music from its Beginnings to the mid-1970s'' (Abingdon: Routledge, 1999), p.xi It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style that drew directly from the
blues Blues is a music genre and musical form which originated in the Deep South of the United States around the 1860s. Blues incorporated spiritual (music), spirituals, work songs, field hollers, Ring shout, shouts, chants, and rhymed simple narra ...
and
rhythm and blues Rhythm and blues, frequently abbreviated as R&B or R'n'B, is a Music genre, genre of popular music that originated in African-American communities in the 1940s. The term was originally used by record companies to describe recordings marketed p ...
genres of
African-American music African-American music is an umbrella term covering a diverse range of music and musical genres largely developed by African Americans and their culture. Their origins are in musical forms that first came to be due to the condition of Slavery ...
and from
country music Country (also called country and western) is a genre of popular music that originated in the Southern United States, Southern and Southwestern United States in the early 1920s. It primarily derives from blues, church music such as Southern gosp ...
. Rock also drew strongly from a number of other genres such as
electric blues Electric blues refers to any type of blues music distinguished by the use of electric amplifier, amplification for musical instruments. The guitar was the first instrument to be popularly amplified and used by early pioneers T-Bone Walker in the ...
and
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 Folk ...
, and incorporated influences from
jazz Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African Americans, 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 recog ...
, classical, and other musical styles. For instrumentation, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass guitar, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music with a time signature using a
verse–chorus form Verse–chorus form is a musical form going back to the 1840s, in such songs as "Oh! Susanna", "The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze", and many others. It became passé in the early 1900s, with advent of the Thirty-two-bar form, AABA (with v ...
, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political. Rock was the most popular genre of music in the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
and much of the Western world from the 1950s to the mid-late 2010s and remains popular. Rock musicians in the mid-1960s began to advance the album ahead of the single as the dominant form of recorded music expression and consumption, with
the Beatles The Beatles were an English Rock music, rock band, formed in Liverpool in 1960, that comprised John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. They are regarded as the Cultural impact of the Beatles, most influential band of al ...
at the forefront of this development. Their contributions lent the genre a cultural legitimacy in the mainstream and initiated a rock-informed
album era The album era was a period in English-language popular music from the mid-1960s to the mid-2000s in which the album An album is a collection of audio recordings issued on compact disc (CD), Phonograph record, vinyl, audio tape, or ano ...
in the music industry for the next several decades. By the late 1960s "
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 ...
" period, a number of distinct rock music subgenres had emerged, including hybrids like
blues rock Blues rock is a fusion music genre that combines elements of blues and rock music. It is mostly an electric ensemble-style music with instrumentation similar to electric blues and rock (electric guitar, electric bass guitar, and drums, sometimes w ...
,
folk rock Folk rock is a hybrid music genre that combines the elements of folk music, folk and rock music, rock music, which arose in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom in the mid-1960s. In the U.S., folk rock emerged from the American fo ...
,
country rock Country rock is a genre of music which fuses Rock music, rock and Country music, country. It was developed by rock musicians who began to record country-flavored records in the late 1960s and early 1970s. These musicians recorded rock records us ...
, southern rock,
raga rock Raga rock is Rock music, rock or pop music with a pronounced Music of India, Indian influence, either in its construction, its timbre, or its use of Indian musical instruments, such as the sitar and tabla. In addition, rock music from the 1960s ...
, and
jazz rock Jazz fusion (also known as fusion and progressive jazz) is a music genre that developed in the late 1960s when musicians combined jazz Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African Americans, African-American communities of New Or ...
, many of which contributed to the development of
psychedelic rock Psychedelic rock is a rock music Music genre, genre that is inspired, influenced, or representative of psychedelia, psychedelic culture, which is centered on perception-altering hallucinogenic drugs. The music incorporated new electronic sound ...
, which was influenced by the
countercultural A counterculture is a culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior, institutions, and Social norm, norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, Social norm, custom ...
psychedelic and hippie scene. New genres that emerged included
progressive rock Progressive rock (shortened as prog rock or simply prog; sometimes conflated with art rock Art rock is a subgenre of rock music that generally reflects a challenging or avant-garde approach to rock, or which makes use of modernist, experi ...
, which extended the artistic elements,
glam rock Glam rock is a style of rock music that developed in the United Kingdom in the early 1970s and was performed by musicians who wore outrageous costumes, makeup, and hairstyles, particularly platform shoes and glitter. Glam artists drew on divers ...
, which highlighted showmanship and visual style, and the diverse and enduring subgenre of heavy metal, which emphasized volume, power, and speed. In the second half of the 1970s, punk rock reacted by producing stripped-down, energetic social and political critiques. Punk was an influence in the 1980s on new wave,
post-punk Post-punk (originally called new musick) is a broad music genre, genre of Punk Music, punk music that emerged in the late 1970s as musicians departed from punk's traditional elements and raw simplicity, instead adopting a variety of avant-garde s ...
and eventually
alternative rock Alternative rock, or alt-rock, is a category of rock music that emerged from the independent music underground of the 1970s and became widely popular in the 1990s. "Alternative" refers to the genre's distinction from Popular culture, mainstre ...
. From the 1990s, alternative rock began to dominate rock music and break into the mainstream in the form of
grunge Grunge (sometimes referred to as the Seattle sound) is an alternative rock Music genre, genre and subculture that emerged during the in the American Pacific Northwest state of Washington (state), Washington, particularly in Seattle and nearby to ...
,
Britpop Britpop was a mid-1990s United Kingdom, British-based music culture movement that emphasised Britishness. It produced brighter, catchier alternative rock, partly in reaction to the popularity of the darker lyrical themes of the US-led grunge mu ...
, and
indie rock Indie rock is a Music subgenre, subgenre of rock music that originated in the United States, United Kingdom and New Zealand from the 1970s to the 1980s. Originally used to describe independent record labels, the term became associated with the mu ...
. Further fusion subgenres have since emerged, including
pop punk Pop punk (or punk pop) is a rock music Music genre, genre that combines elements of punk rock with power pop or pop music, pop. It is defined for its emphasis on classic pop songcraft, as well as Adolescence, adolescent and anti-suburbia themes, ...
,
electronic rock Electronic rock is a music genre that involves a combination of rock music and electronic music, featuring instruments typically found within both genres. It originates from the late 1960s, when rock bands began incorporating electronic instrume ...
,
rap rock Rap rock is a fusion genre that fuses vocal and instrumental elements of hip hop music, hip hop with various forms of rock music, rock. Rap rock's most popular subgenres include rap metal and rapcore, which include heavy metal music, heavy metal ...
, and rap metal, as well as conscious attempts to revisit rock's history, including the
garage rock Garage rock (sometimes called garage punk or 60s punk) is a raw and energetic style of rock and roll that flourished in the mid-1960s, most notably in the United States and Canada, and has experienced a series of subsequent revivals. The sty ...
/
post-punk Post-punk (originally called new musick) is a broad music genre, genre of Punk Music, punk music that emerged in the late 1970s as musicians departed from punk's traditional elements and raw simplicity, instead adopting a variety of avant-garde s ...
and techno-pop revivals in the 2000s. The 2010s saw a slow decline in rock music's mainstream popularity and cultural relevancy, with hip hop surpassing it as the most popular genre in the United States; rock was the most popular music genre in the United States and much of the
Western world The Western world, also known as the West, primarily refers to the various nations and state (polity), states in the regions of Europe, North America, and Oceania.
from the 1950s to the late 2010s. Rock has also embodied and served as the vehicle for cultural and social movements, leading to major subcultures including mods and rockers in the United Kingdom, the
hippie A hippie, also spelled hippy, especially in British English, is someone associated with the counterculture of the 1960s, originally a youth movement that began in the United States during the mid-1960s and spread to different countries around ...
movement and the wider Western counterculture movement that spread out from San Francisco in the US in the 1960s, the latter of which continues to this day. Similarly, 1970s punk culture spawned the goth,
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 su ...
, and emo subcultures. Inheriting the folk tradition of the
protest song A protest song is a song that is associated with a movement for social change and hence part of the broader category of ''topical'' songs (or songs connected to current events). It may be folk, classical, or commercial in genre. Among social mov ...
, rock music has been associated with political activism as well as changes in social attitudes to race, sex, and drug use, and is often seen as an expression of youth revolt against adult
consumerism Consumerism is a social and economic order that encourages the acquisition of goods and services in ever-increasing amounts. With the Industrial Revolution, but particularly in the 20th century, mass production led to overproduction—the Supp ...
and
conformity Conformity is the act of matching attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors to social group, group Norm (social), norms, politics or being like-minded. Norms are implicit, specific rules, shared by a group of individuals, that guide their interactions wi ...
. At the same time, it has been commercially highly successful, leading to charges of
selling out "Selling out", or "sold out" in the past tense, is a common expression for the compromising of a person's integrity, morality, Authenticity (philosophy), authenticity, or Principle#As moral law, principles by forgoing the long-term benefits of t ...
.


Characteristics

The sound of rock is traditionally centered on the amplified electric guitar, which emerged in its modern form in the 1950s with the popularity of rock and roll. It was also greatly influenced by the sounds of
electric blues Electric blues refers to any type of blues music distinguished by the use of electric amplifier, amplification for musical instruments. The guitar was the first instrument to be popularly amplified and used by early pioneers T-Bone Walker in the ...
guitarists. The sound of an electric guitar in rock music is typically supported by an electric bass guitar, which pioneered in jazz music in the same era, and by percussion produced from a drum kit that combines drums and cymbals. This trio of instruments has often been complemented by the inclusion of other instruments, particularly keyboards such as the piano, the
Hammond organ The Hammond organ is an electric organ invented by Laurens Hammond and John M. Hanert and first manufactured in 1935. Multiple models have been produced, most of which use sliding #Drawbars, drawbars to vary sounds. Until 1975, Hammond organs ...
, and the synthesizer. The basic rock instrumentation was derived from the basic
blues Blues is a music genre and musical form which originated in the Deep South of the United States around the 1860s. Blues incorporated spiritual (music), spirituals, work songs, field hollers, Ring shout, shouts, chants, and rhymed simple narra ...
band instrumentation (prominent lead guitar, second chordal instrument, bass, and drums). A group of musicians performing rock music is termed as a rock band or a rock group. Furthermore, it typically consists of between three (the
power trio A power trio is a rock and roll band format having a lineup of electric guitar, bass guitar and drum kit (drums and cymbals), leaving out a second rhythm guitar or Musical keyboard, keyboard instrument that are often used in other rock music band ...
) and five members. Classically, a rock band takes the form of a
quartet In music, a quartet or quartette (, , , , ) is an ensemble of four singers or instrumental performers; or a musical composition for four voices and instruments. Classical String quartet In classical music, one of the most common combinations o ...
whose members cover one or more roles, including vocalist, lead guitarist, rhythm guitarist, bass guitarist, drummer, and often keyboard player or other instrumentalist. Rock music is traditionally built on a foundation of simple syncopated rhythms in a
meter The metre (British English, British spelling) or meter (American English, American spelling; American and British English spelling differences#-re, -er, see spelling differences) (from the French unit , from the Greek language, Greek noun , "m ...
, with a repetitive snare drum back beat on beats two and four.C. Ammer, ''The Facts on File Dictionary of Music'' (New York: Infobase, 4th edn., 2004), , pp. 251–52. Melodies often originate from older musical modes such as the Dorian and
Mixolydian Mixolydian mode may refer to one of three things: the name applied to one of the ancient Greek ''harmoniai'' or ''tonoi'', based on a particular octave species or musical scale, scale; one of the medieval musical mode, church modes; or a modern m ...
, as well as
major Major (Commandant (rank), commandant in certain jurisdictions) is a military rank of commissioned officer status, with corresponding ranks existing in many military forces throughout the world. When used unhyphenated and in conjunction with ...
and minor modes. Harmonies range from the common triad to parallel
perfect fourth A fourth is a interval (music), musical interval encompassing four staff positions in the music notation of Western culture, and a perfect fourth () is the fourth spanning five semitones (half steps, or half tones). For example, the ascending int ...
s and fifths and dissonant harmonic progressions. Since the late 1950s, and particularly from the mid-1960s onwards, rock music often used the verse-chorus structure derived from blues and folk music, but there has been considerable variation from this model. Critics have stressed the eclecticism and stylistic diversity of rock. Because of its complex history and its tendency to borrow from other musical and cultural forms, it has been argued that "it is impossible to bind rock music to a rigidly delineated musical definition." In the opinion of music journalist
Robert Christgau Robert Thomas Christgau ( ; born April 18, 1942) is an American music journalist and essayist. Among the most well-known and influential music critics, he began his career in the late 1960s as one of the earliest professional rock critics and ...
, "the best rock jolts folk-art virtues—directness, utility, natural audience—into the present with shots of modern technology and
modernist Modernism is both a philosophy, philosophical and arts movement that arose from broad transformations in Western world, Western society during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The movement reflected a desire for the creation of new fo ...
dissociation". Unlike many earlier styles of popular music, rock lyrics have dealt with a wide range of themes, including romantic love, sex, rebellion against "
The Establishment ''The Establishment'' is a term used to describe a dominant social group , group or elite that controls a polity or an organization. It may comprise a closed social group that selects its own members, or entrenched elite structures in specific ...
", social concerns, and life styles. These themes were inherited from a variety of sources such as the
Tin Pan Alley Tin Pan Alley was a collection of History of music publishing, music publishers and songwriters in New York City that dominated the American popular music, popular music of the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It origin ...
pop tradition, folk music, and rhythm and blues. Christgau characterizes rock lyrics as a "cool medium" with simple diction and repeated refrains, and asserts that rock's primary "function" "pertains to music, or, more generally,
noise Noise is unwanted sound considered unpleasant, loud or disruptive to hearing. From a physics standpoint, there is no distinction between noise and desired sound, as both are vibrations through a medium, such as air or water. The difference arise ...
." The predominance of white, male, and often middle class musicians in rock music has often been noted, and rock has been seen as an appropriation of black musical forms for a young, white and largely male audience. As a result, it has also been seen to articulate the concerns of this group in both style and lyrics. Christgau, writing in 1972, said in spite of some exceptions, "rock and roll usually implies an identification of male sexuality and aggression". Since the term "rock" started being used in preference to "rock and roll" from the late-1960s, it has usually been contrasted with pop music, with which it has shared many characteristics, but from which it is often distanced by an emphasis on musicianship, live performance, and a focus on serious and progressive themes as part of an ideology of authenticity that is frequently combined with an awareness of the genre's history and development.T. Warner, ''Pop Music: Technology and Creativity: Trevor Horn and the Digital Revolution'' (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003), , pp. 3–4. According to Simon Frith, rock was "something more than pop, something more than rock and roll" and " ck musicians combined an emphasis on skill and technique with the romantic concept of art as artistic expression, original and sincere". In the new millennium, the term ''rock'' has occasionally been used as a blanket term including forms like pop music,
reggae music Reggae () is a music genre that originated in Jamaica in the late 1960s. The term also denotes the modern popular music of Jamaica and its Jamaican diaspora, diaspora. A 1968 single by Toots and the Maytals, "Do the Reggay" was the first popu ...
,
soul music Soul music is a popular music genre that originated in the African-American culture, African American African-American neighborhood, community throughout the United States in the late 1950s and early 1960s. It has its roots in African-American ...
, and even hip hop, which it has been influenced with but often contrasted through much of its history. Christgau has used the term broadly to refer to popular and semipopular music that cater to his sensibility as "a rock-and-roller", including a fondness for a good beat, a meaningful lyric with some wit, and the theme of youth, which holds an "eternal attraction" so objective "that all youth music partakes of sociology and the
field report Field Report is an American folk band from Milwaukee, Wisconsin led by singer/songwriter Christopher Porterfield. The band's name is an anagram of the surname Porterfield. History Chris Porterfield, the leader of Field Report, originally played w ...
." Writing in '' Christgau's Record Guide: The '80s'' (1990), he said this sensibility is evident in the music of folk singer-songwriter
Michelle Shocked Michelle Shocked (born Karen Michelle Johnston; February 24, 1962) is an American singer-songwriter. Her music has entered the Billboard Hot 100, ''Billboard'' Hot 100, been nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album, and r ...
, rapper
LL Cool J James Todd Smith (born January 14, 1968), known professionally as LL Cool J (short for Ladies Love Cool James), is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer, and actor. He is one of the earliest rappers to achieve commercial success, along ...
, and synth-pop duo
Pet Shop Boys The Pet Shop Boys are an English synth-pop duo formed in London in 1981. Consisting of primary vocalist Neil Tennant and keyboardist Chris Lowe, they have sold more than 50 million records worldwide, and were listed as the most successful duo i ...
—"all kids working out their identities"—as much as it is in the music of
Chuck Berry Charles Edward Anderson Berry (October 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017) was an American singer, songwriter and guitarist who pioneered rock and roll. Nicknamed the "Honorific nicknames in popular music, Father of Rock and Roll", he refined a ...
,
the Ramones The Ramones were an American punk rock band that formed in the New York City neighborhood of Forest Hills, Queens, in 1974. They are often cited as the first true punk rock group. Despite achieving a limited commercial appeal in the United St ...
, and the Replacements.


Late 1940s–mid-1960s


Rock and roll

The foundations of rock music are in rock and roll, which originated in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s, and quickly spread to much of the rest of the world. Its immediate origins lay in a melding of various black musical genres of the time, including
rhythm and blues Rhythm and blues, frequently abbreviated as R&B or R'n'B, is a Music genre, genre of popular music that originated in African-American communities in the 1940s. The term was originally used by record companies to describe recordings marketed p ...
and
gospel music Gospel music is a traditional genre of Christian music, and a cornerstone of Christian media. The creation, performance, significance, and even the definition of gospel music varies according to culture and social context. Gospel music is com ...
, with country and western.R. Unterberger, "Birth of Rock & Roll", in Bogdanov et al., 2002, pp. 1303–04. In 1951,
Cleveland, Ohio Cleveland ( ), officially the City of Cleveland, is a city in the United States, U.S. U.S. state, state of Ohio and the county seat of Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Cuyahoga County. Located in the northeastern part of the state, it is situated along ...
disc jockey
Alan Freed Albert James "Alan" Freed (December 15, 1921 – January 20, 1965) was an American disc jockey A disc jockey, more commonly abbreviated as DJ, is a person who plays recorded music for an audience. Types of DJs include Radio personal ...
began playing rhythm and blues music (then termed "
race music African-American music is an umbrella term covering a diverse range of music and musical genres largely developed by African Americans and their culture. Their origins are in musical forms that first came to be due to the condition of Slavery ...
") for a multi-racial audience, and is credited with first using the phrase "rock and roll" to describe the music. Debate surrounds the many recordings which have been suggested as "the first rock and roll record". Contenders include " The House of Blue Lights" by
Ella Mae Morse Ella Mae Morse (September 12, 1924 – October 16, 1999) was an American singer of popular music whose 1940s and 1950s recordings mixing jazz, blues, and country styles influenced the Origins of rock and roll, development of rock and roll. Her 19 ...
and
Freddie Slack Frederick Charles Slack (August 7, 1910 – August 10, 1965) was an American swing and boogie-woogie Boogie-woogie is a genre Genre () is any form or type of communication in any mode (written, spoken, digital, artistic, etc.) with soci ...
(1946); Wynonie Harris' " Good Rocking Tonight" (1948); Goree Carter's "Rock Awhile" (1949); Robert Palmer, "Church of the Sonic Guitar", pp. 13–38 in Anthony DeCurtis, ''Present Tense'',
Duke University Press Duke University Press is an academic publishing, academic publisher and university press affiliated with Duke University. It was founded in 1921 by William T. Laprade as The Trinity College Press. (Duke University was initially called Trinity ...
, 1992, p. 19.
Jimmy Preston's " Rock the Joint" (1949), which was later covered by
Bill Haley & His Comets Bill Haley & His Comets were an American rock and roll band founded in 1947 that continued until Haley's death in 1981. The band was also known as Bill Haley and the Comets and Bill Haley's Comets. From late 1954 to late 1956, the group record ...
in 1952; and " Rocket 88" by Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats (in fact,
Ike Turner Izear Luster "Ike" Turner Jr. (November 5, 1931 – December 12, 2007) was an American musician, bandleader, songwriter, record producer, and A&R, talent scout. An early pioneer of 1950s rock and roll, he is best known for his work in the 1960s ...
and his band the
Kings of Rhythm The Kings of Rhythm are an American music group formed in the late 1940s in Clarksdale, Mississippi and led by Ike Turner through to his death in 2007. Turner would retain the name of the band throughout his career, although the group has underg ...
), recorded by
Sam Phillips Samuel Cornelius Phillips (January 5, 1923 – July 30, 2003) was an American record producer. He was the founder of Sun Records and Sun Studio in Memphis, Tennessee, where he produced recordings by Elvis Presley Elvis Aaron Presley ...
for
Sun Records Sun Records is an American independent record label founded by producer Sam Phillips in Memphis, Tennessee in February 1952. Sun was the first label to record Elvis Presley, Charlie Rich, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny C ...
in 1951. Four years later, Bill Haley's "
Rock Around the Clock "Rock Around the Clock" is a rock and roll song in the Twelve-bar blues, 12-bar blues format written by Max C. Freedman and James E. Myers (the latter being under the pseudonym "Jimmy De Knight") in 1952. The best-known and most successful ren ...
" (1955) became the first rock and roll song to top ''
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 ...
'' magazine's main sales and airplay charts, and opened the door worldwide for this new wave of popular culture. It also has been argued that " That's All Right (Mama)" (1954),
Elvis Presley Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977), or simply Elvis, was an American singer and actor. Dubbed the " King of Rock and Roll", he is regarded as one of the most significant cultural figures of the 20th century. His ener ...
's first single for Sun Records in Memphis, could be the first rock and roll record, but, at the same time,
Big Joe Turner Joseph Vernon "Big Joe" Turner Jr. (May 18, 1911 – November 24, 1985) was an American singer from Kansas City, Missouri, Kansas City, Missouri. According to songwriter Doc Pomus, "Rock and roll would have never happened without him." His gr ...
's " Shake, Rattle & Roll", later covered by Haley, was already at the top of the Billboard R&B charts. Other artists with early rock and roll hits included
Chuck Berry Charles Edward Anderson Berry (October 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017) was an American singer, songwriter and guitarist who pioneered rock and roll. Nicknamed the "Honorific nicknames in popular music, Father of Rock and Roll", he refined a ...
,
Bo Diddley Ellas McDaniel (born Ellas Otha Bates; December 30, 1928 – June 2, 2008), known professionally as Bo Diddley, was an American guitarist who played a key role in the transition from the blues to rock and roll. He influenced many artists, inclu ...
,
Fats Domino Antoine Dominique Domino Jr. (February 26, 1928 – October 24, 2017), known as Fats Domino, was an American pianist, singer and songwriter. One of the pioneers of rock and roll music, Domino sold more than 65 million records. Born in New O ...
,
Little Richard Richard Wayne Penniman (December 5, 1932 – May 9, 2020), known professionally as Little Richard, was an American musician, singer, and songwriter. He was an influential figure in popular music and culture for seven decades. Described as the " ...
,
Jerry Lee Lewis Jerry Lee Lewis (September 29, 1935October 28, 2022) was an American singer, songwriter and pianist. Nicknamed "The Killer", he was described as "rock & roll's first great wild man". A pioneer of rock and roll and rockabilly music, Lewis made ...
, and
Gene Vincent Vincent Eugene Craddock (February 11, 1935 – October 12, 1971), known as Gene Vincent, was an American musician who pioneered the styles of rockabilly Rockabilly is one of the earliest styles of rock and roll music. It dates back to the e ...
. Soon rock and roll was the major force in American record sales and crooners, such as Eddie Fisher,
Perry Como Pierino Ronald "Perry" Como (; May 18, 1912 – May 12, 2001) was an Italian-American singer, actor and television personality. During a career spanning more than half a century, he recorded exclusively for RCA Victor for 44 years, after signing ...
, and
Patti Page Clara Ann Fowler (November 8, 1927 – January 1, 2013), known professionally as Patti Page, was an American singer and actress. Primarily known for pop and country music, she was the top-charting female vocalist and best-selling female ar ...
, who had dominated the previous decade of popular music, found their access to the pop charts significantly curtailed. Rock and roll has been seen as leading to a number of distinct subgenres, including rockabilly, combining rock and roll with "hillbilly" country music, which was usually played and recorded in the mid-1950s by white singers such as
Carl Perkins Carl Lee Perkins (April 9, 1932 – January 19, 1998) Pareles. was an American guitarist, singer and songwriter. A rockabilly Rockabilly is one of the earliest styles of rock and roll music. It dates back to the early 1950s in the United ...
, Jerry Lee Lewis,
Buddy Holly Charles Hardin Holley (September 7, 1936 – February 3, 1959), known as Buddy Holly, was an American singer and songwriter who was a central and pioneering figure of mid-1950s rock and roll. He was born to a musical family in Lubbock, Texas ...
and with the greatest commercial success, Elvis Presley..
Hispanic and Latino American Hispanic and Latino Americans ( es, Estadounidenses hispanos y latinos; pt, Estadunidenses hispânicos e latinos) are Americans of Spanish and/or Latin American ancestry. More broadly, these demographics include all Americans who identify ...
movements in rock and roll, which would eventually lead to the success of
Latin rock Latin rock is a term to describe a subgenre blending traditional sounds and elements of Latin American and Hispanic Caribbean folk with rock music Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United ...
and
Chicano rock Chicano rock is rock music performed by Mexican American (Chicano) groups or music with themes derived from Chicano culture. Chicano Rock, to a great extent, does not refer to any single style or approach. Some of these groups do not sing in Span ...
within the US, began to rise in the Southwest; with rock and roll standard musician
Ritchie Valens Richard Steven Valenzuela (May 13, 1941 – February 3, 1959), known professionally as Ritchie Valens, was an American guitarist, singer and songwriter. A rock and roll pioneer and a forefather of the Chicano rock movement, Valens was killed i ...
and even those within other heritage genres, such as
Al Hurricane Alberto Nelson Sanchez (July 10, 1936 – October 22, 2017), known professionally as Al Hurricane, was an American singer-songwriter, dubbed "The Godfather" of New Mexico music. He released more than thirty albums, and is best known for his cont ...
along with his brothers Tiny Morrie and Baby Gaby as they began combining rock and roll with country- western within traditional
New Mexico music New Mexico music ( es, música nuevo mexicana) is a genre of music that originated in the United States, US US State, state of New Mexico, it derives from Puebloan peoples, Pueblo Pueblo music, music in the 13th century, and with the folk music ...
. Other styles like
doo wop Doo-wop (also spelled doowop and doo wop) is a Music genre, genre of rhythm and blues music that originated in African-American communities during the 1940s, mainly in the large cities of the United States, including New York, Philadelphia, Pitt ...
placed an emphasis on multi-part vocal harmonies and backing lyrics (from which the genre later gained its name), which were usually supported with light instrumentation and had its origins in 1930s and 1940s African American vocal groups.R. Shuker, ''Popular Music: the Key Concepts'' (Abingdon: Routledge, 2nd edn., 2005), , p. 35. Acts like the Crows,
the Penguins ''The'' () is a grammatical Article (grammar), article in English language, English, denoting persons or things already mentioned, under discussion, implied or otherwise presumed familiar to listeners, readers, or speakers. It is the definite ...
, the El Dorados and
the Turbans ''The'' () is a grammatical article in English, denoting persons or things already mentioned, under discussion, implied or otherwise presumed familiar to listeners, readers, or speakers. It is the definite article An article is any membe ...
all scored major hits, and groups like the Platters, with songs including " The Great Pretender" (1955), and the Coasters with humorous songs like " Yakety Yak" (1958), ranked among the most successful rock and roll acts of the period. The era also saw the growth in popularity of the electric guitar, and the development of a specifically rock and roll style of playing through such exponents as Chuck Berry, Link Wray, and
Scotty Moore Winfield Scott Moore III (December 27, 1931 – June 28, 2016) was an American guitarist who formed The Blue Moon Boys The Blue Moon Boys were a rock and roll band formed by Elvis Presley Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – Au ...
. The use of
distortion In signal processing, distortion is the alteration of the original shape (or other characteristic) of a signal. In communications and electronics it means the alteration of the waveform of an information-bearing signal, such as an audio signal ...
, pioneered by
Western swing Western swing music is a subgenre of American country music that originated in the late 1920s in the Western United States, West and Southern United States, South among the region's Western music (North America), Western string bands. It is dan ...
guitarists such as Junior Barnard and Eldon Shamblin was popularized by Chuck Berry in the mid-1950s. The use of
power chord A power chord (also fifth chord) is a colloquialism, colloquial name for a chord (music), chord in guitar music, especially electric guitar, that consists of the root (chord), root note and the Fifth (chord), fifth, as well as possibly octaves ...
s, pioneered by Francisco Tárrega and
Heitor Villa-Lobos Heitor Villa-Lobos (March 5, 1887November 17, 1959) was a Brazilian composer, conductor, cellist, and classical guitarist described as "the single most significant creative figure in 20th-century Brazilian art music". Villa-Lobos has become the ...
in the 19th century and later on by Willie Johnson and Pat Hare in the early 1950s, was popularized by Link Wray in the late 1950s. In the United Kingdom, the
trad jazz Trad jazz, short for "traditional jazz", is a form of jazz Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African Americans, African-American communities of New Orleans, Louisiana in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with its roots in ...
and
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 Folk ...
movements brought visiting
blues music Blues is a music genre and musical form which originated in the Deep South of the United States around the 1860s. Blues incorporated spiritual (music), spirituals, work songs, field hollers, Ring shout, shouts, chants, and rhymed simple narra ...
artists to Britain. Lonnie Donegan's 1955 hit "
Rock Island Line "Rock Island Line" is an American folk music, American folk song. Ostensibly about the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad, it appeared as a folk song as early as 1929. The first recorded performance of "Rock Island Line" was by inmates of ...
" was a major influence and helped to develop the trend of skiffle music groups throughout the country, many of which, including
John Lennon John Winston Ono Lennon (born John Winston Lennon; 9 October 19408 December 1980) was an English singer, songwriter, musician and peace activist who achieved worldwide fame as founder, co-songwriter, co-lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist of ...
's Quarrymen, moved on to play rock and roll. Commentators have traditionally perceived a decline of rock and roll in the late 1950s and early 1960s. By 1959, the death of Buddy Holly,
the Big Bopper Jiles Perry "J.P." Richardson Jr. (October 24, 1930 – February 3, 1959), known as The Big Bopper, was an American singer, songwriter and disc jockey. His best-known compositions include "Chantilly Lace (song), Chantilly Lace" and "White Lightn ...
and Ritchie Valens in a plane crash, the departure of Elvis for the army, the retirement of Little Richard to become a preacher, prosecutions of Jerry Lee Lewis and Chuck Berry and the breaking of the
payola Payola, in the music industry, is the Commercial bribery, illegal practice of paying a music radio#Commercial radio, commercial radio station to play a song without the station disclosing the payment. Under US law, a radio station must disclose ...
scandal (which implicated major figures, including Alan Freed, in bribery and corruption in promoting individual acts or songs), gave a sense that the rock and roll era established at that point had come to an end.


Pop rock and instrumental rock

The term ''pop'' has been used since the early 20th century to refer to popular music in general, but from the mid-1950s it began to be used for a distinct genre, aimed at a youth market, often characterized as a softer alternative to rock and roll.S. Frith, "Pop music" in S. Frith, W. Stray and J. Street, eds, ''The Cambridge Companion to Pop and Rock'' (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), , pp. 93–108.. From about 1967, it was increasingly used in opposition to the term rock music, to describe a form that was more commercial, ephemeral and accessible. In contrast rock music was seen as focusing on extended works, particularly albums, was often associated with particular sub-cultures (like the
counterculture of the 1960s The counterculture of the 1960s was an anti-establishment cultural phenomenon that developed throughout much of the Western world in the 1960s and has been ongoing to the present day. The aggregate movement gained momentum as the civil rights mo ...
), placed an emphasis on artistic values and "authenticity", stressed live performance and instrumental or vocal virtuosity and was often seen as encapsulating progressive developments rather than simply reflecting existing trends. Nevertheless, much pop and rock music has been very similar in sound, instrumentation and even lyrical content. The period of the later 1950s and early 1960s has traditionally been seen as an era of hiatus for rock and roll. More recently some authors have emphasised important innovations and trends in this period without which future developments would not have been possible. While early rock and roll, particularly through the advent of rockabilly, saw the greatest commercial success for male and white performers, in this era, the genre was dominated by black and female artists. Rock and roll had not disappeared at the end of the 1950s and some of its energy can be seen in the Twist dance craze of the early 1960s, mainly benefiting the career of
Chubby Checker Chubby Checker (born Ernest Evans; October 3, 1941) is an American rock and roll singer and dancer. He is widely known for popularizing many dance styles, including Twist (dance), The Twist dance style, with his 1960 hit record, hit cover versi ...
.
Cliff Richard Sir Cliff Richard (born Harry Rodger Webb; 14 October 1940) is an Indian-born British musican, singer, producer, entrepreneur and philanthropist who holds both British Citizenship, British and Barbadian citizenship. He has total sales of over ...
had the first British rock and roll hit with " Move It", effectively ushering in the sound of British rock. At the start of the 1960s, his backing group
the Shadows The Shadows (originally known as the Drifters) were an English instrumental rock Instrumental rock is rock music that emphasizes musical instruments and features very little or no singing. Examples of instrumental rock can be found in practi ...
was the most successful group recording instrumentals. While rock and roll was fading into lightweight pop and ballads, British rock groups at clubs and local dances, heavily influenced by blues-rock pioneers like
Alexis Korner Alexis Andrew Nicholas Koerner (19 April 1928 – 1 January 1984), known professionally as Alexis Korner, was a British blues Blues is a music genre and musical form which originated in the Deep South of the United States around the 1860s ...
, were starting to play with an intensity and drive seldom found in white American acts.B. Eder, "British Blues", in V. Bogdanov, C. Woodstra, S.T. Erlewine, eds, ''All Music Guide to the Blues: The Definitive Guide to the Blues'' (Milwaukee, WI: Backbeat Books, 3rd edn., 2003), , p. 700. Also significant was the advent of
soul music Soul music is a popular music genre that originated in the African-American culture, African American African-American neighborhood, community throughout the United States in the late 1950s and early 1960s. It has its roots in African-American ...
as a major commercial force. Developing out of rhythm and blues with a re-injection of gospel music and pop, led by pioneers like
Ray Charles Ray Charles Robinson Sr. (September 23, 1930 – June 10, 2004) was an American singer, songwriter, and pianist. He is regarded as one of the most iconic and influential singers in history, and was often referred to by contemporaries as "The Ge ...
and
Sam Cooke Samuel Cook (January 22, 1931 – December 11, 1964), known professionally as Sam Cooke, was an American singer and songwriter. Considered to be a pioneer and one of the most influential soul music, soul artists of all time, Cooke is common ...
from the mid-1950s, by the early 1960s figures like
Marvin Gaye Marvin Pentz Gay Jr., who also spelled his surname as Gaye (April 2, 1939 – April 1, 1984), was an American singer and songwriter. He helped to shape the sound of Motown (music style), Motown in the 1960s, first as an in-house session player ...
,
James Brown James Joseph Brown (May 3, 1933 – December 25, 2006) was an American singer, dancer, musician, record producer and bandleader. The central progenitor of funk music and a major figure of 20th century music, he is often referred to by the Honori ...
,
Aretha Franklin Aretha Louise Franklin ( ; March 25, 1942 – August 16, 2018) was an American singer, songwriter and pianist. Referred to as the "Honorific nicknames in popular music, Queen of Soul", she has twice been placed ninth in ''Rolling Stone''s Roll ...
,
Curtis Mayfield Curtis Lee Mayfield (June 3, 1942 – December 26, 1999) was an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and record producer, and one of the most influential musicians behind soul music, soul and politically conscious African-American music.
and
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 musi ...
were dominating the R&B charts and breaking through into the main pop charts, helping to accelerate their desegregation, while
Motown Motown Records is an American record label A record label, or record company, is a brand or trademark of Sound recording and reproduction, music recordings and Music video, music videos, or the company that owns it. Sometimes, a record label ...
and Stax/Volt Records were becoming major forces in the record industry.R. Unterberger, "Soul", in Bogdanov et al., 2002, pp. 1323–25. Some music historians have also pointed to important and innovative technical developments that built on rock and roll in this period, including the electronic treatment of sound by such innovators as
Joe Meek Robert George "Joe" Meek (5 April 1929 – 3 February 1967) was an English record producer, sound engineer and songwriter who pioneered space age pop, space age and experimental pop music. He also assisted in the development of recording pract ...
, and the elaborate production methods of the
Wall of Sound The Wall of Sound (also called the Spector Sound) is a music production formula developed by American record producer Phil Spector at Gold Star Studios, in the 1960s, with assistance from engineer Larry Levine and the conglomerate of session mu ...
pursued by
Phil Spector Harvey Phillip Spector (born Harvey Philip Spector; December 26, 1939January 16, 2021) was an American record producer and songwriter, best known for his innovative recording practices and entrepreneurship in the 1960s, followed decades later by ...
.K. Keightley, "Reconsidering rock" in S. Frith, W. Straw and J. Street, eds, '' The Cambridge Companion to Pop and Rock'' (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), , p. 116.


Surf music

The instrumental rock and roll of performers such as
Duane Eddy Duane Eddy (born April 26, 1938) is an American rock and roll Rock and roll (often written as rock & roll, rock 'n' roll, or rock 'n roll) is a Genre (music), genre of popular music that evolved in the United States during the late 1940s an ...
, Link Wray and
the Ventures The Ventures are an American instrumental rock band formed in Tacoma, Washington, in 1958, by Don Wilson and Bob Bogle. The band, which was a quartet for most of its existence, helped to popularize the electric guitar across the world during the ...
was developed by Dick Dale, who added distinctive "wet"
reverb Reverberation (also known as reverb), in acoustics, is a persistence of sound, after a sound is produced. Reverberation is created when a sound or signal is reflected causing numerous reflections to build up and then decay as the sound is abso ...
, rapid alternate picking, and
Middle Eastern The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233: ) is a geopolitical region commonly encompassing Arabian Peninsula, Arabia (including the Arabian Peninsula and Bahrain), Anatolia, Asia Minor (Asian part of Turkey except Hatay Pro ...
and Mexican influences. He produced the regional hit " Let's Go Trippin'" in 1961 and launched the surf music craze, following up with songs like " Misirlou" (1962). Like Dale and his Del-Tones, most early surf bands were formed in Southern California, including the Bel-Airs, the Challengers, and Eddie & the Showmen.J. Blair, ''The Illustrated Discography of Surf Music, 1961–1965'' (Ypsilanti, MI: Pierian Press, 2nd edn., 1985), , p. 2. The Chantays scored a top ten national hit with " Pipeline" in 1963 and probably the best known surf tune was 1963's " Wipe Out", by the Surfaris, which hit number 2 and number 10 on the ''Billboard'' charts in 1965. Surf music achieved its greatest commercial success as vocal music, particularly the work of
the Beach Boys The Beach Boys are an American Rock music, rock band that formed in Hawthorne, California, in 1961. The group's original lineup consisted of brothers Brian Wilson, Brian, Dennis Wilson, Dennis, and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and frie ...
, formed in 1961 in Southern California. Their early albums included both instrumental surf rock (among them covers of music by Dick Dale) and vocal songs, drawing on rock and roll and
doo wop Doo-wop (also spelled doowop and doo wop) is a Music genre, genre of rhythm and blues music that originated in African-American communities during the 1940s, mainly in the large cities of the United States, including New York, Philadelphia, Pitt ...
and the close harmonies of vocal pop acts like the Four Freshmen. The Beach Boys first chart hit, " Surfin'" in 1962 reached the ''Billboard'' top 100 and helped make the surf music craze a national phenomenon.W. Ruhlman, et al., "Beach Boys", in Bogdanov et al., 2002, pp. 71–75. It is often argued that the surf music craze and the careers of almost all surf acts was effectively ended by the arrival of the British Invasion from 1964, because most surf music hits were recorded and released between 1961 and 1965.


Mid-1960s–early 1990s


British Invasion

By the end of 1962, what would become the British rock scene had started with beat groups like
the Beatles The Beatles were an English Rock music, rock band, formed in Liverpool in 1960, that comprised John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. They are regarded as the Cultural impact of the Beatles, most influential band of al ...
, Gerry & the Pacemakers and
the Searchers ''The Searchers'' is a 1956 American Technicolor VistaVision Epic films, epic Western (genre), Western film directed by John Ford and written by Frank S. Nugent, based on the 1954 novel by Alan Le May. It is set during the Texas–Indian wars, ...
from Liverpool and Freddie and the Dreamers,
Herman's Hermits Herman's Hermits are an English Beat music, beat, Rock music, rock and Pop music, pop group formed in 1964 in Manchester, originally called Herman and His Hermits and featuring lead singer Peter Noone. Produced by Mickie Most, the Hermits cha ...
and
the Hollies The Hollies are a British pop rock band, formed in 1962. One of the leading British groups of the 1960s and into the mid-1970s, they are known for their distinctive three-part vocal harmony style. Allan Clarke (singer), Allan Clarke and Graham ...
from Manchester. They drew on a wide range of American influences including 1950s rock and roll, soul, rhythm and blues, and surf music,R. Stakes, "Those boys: the rise of Mersey beat", in S. Wade, ed., ''Gladsongs and Gatherings: Poetry and its Social Context in Liverpool Since the 1960s'' (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2001), , pp. 157–66. initially reinterpreting standard American tunes and playing for dancers. Bands like
the Animals The Animals (also billed as Eric Burdon and the Animals) are an English rock band, formed in Newcastle upon Tyne Newcastle upon Tyne (Received Pronunciation, RP: , ), or simply Newcastle, is a City status in the United Kingdom, city an ...
from Newcastle and Them from
Belfast Belfast ( , ; from ga, Béal Feirste , meaning 'mouth of the sand-bank ford') is the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland, standing on the banks of the River Lagan on the east coast. It is the 12th-largest city in the United Kingdom ...
, and particularly those from London like
the Rolling Stones The Rolling Stones are an English Rock music, rock band formed in London in 1962. Active for six decades, they are one of the most popular and enduring bands of the album era, rock era. In the early 1960s, the Rolling Stones pioneered the g ...
and
the Yardbirds The Yardbirds are an English rock music, rock band, formed in London in 1963. The band's core lineup featured vocalist and harmonica player Keith Relf, drummer Jim McCarty, rhythm guitarist and later bassist Chris Dreja and bassist/producer Pa ...
, were much more directly influenced by rhythm and blues and later blues music. Soon these groups were composing their own material, combining US forms of music and infusing it with a high energy beat. Beat bands tended towards "bouncy, irresistible melodies", while early
British blues British blues is a form of music derived from American blues that originated in the late 1950s, and reached its height of mainstream popularity in the 1960s. In Britain, it developed a distinctive and influential style dominated by electric gui ...
acts tended towards less sexually innocent, more aggressive songs, often adopting an anti-establishment stance. There was, however, particularly in the early stages, considerable musical crossover between the two tendencies. By 1963, led by the Beatles, beat groups had begun to achieve national success in Britain, soon to be followed into the charts by the more rhythm and blues focused acts.R. Unterberger, "British R&B", in Bogdanov et al., 2002, pp. 1315–16. " I Want to Hold Your Hand" was the Beatles' first number one hit on the ''Billboard'' Hot 100, spending seven weeks at the top and a total of 15 weeks on the chart. Their first appearance on ''
The Ed Sullivan Show ''The Ed Sullivan Show'' is an American television program, television variety show that ran on CBS from June 20, 1948, to March 28, 1971, and was hosted by New York City, New York entertainment columnist Ed Sullivan. It was replaced in Septembe ...
'' on 9 February 1964, drawing an estimated 73 million viewers (at the time a record for an American television program) is considered a milestone in American pop culture. During the week of 4 April 1964, the Beatles held 12 positions on the ''Billboard'' Hot 100 singles chart, including the entire top five. The Beatles went on to become the biggest selling rock band of all time and they were followed into the US charts by numerous British bands.R. Unterberger, "British Invasion", in Bogdanov et al., 2002, pp. 1316–17. During the next two years British acts dominated their own and the US charts with Peter and Gordon, the Animals,
Manfred Mann Manfred Mann were an English Rock music, rock band, formed in London and active between 1962 and 1969. The group were named after their keyboardist Manfred Mann (musician), Manfred Mann, who later led the successful 1970s group Manfred Mann's ...
,
Petula Clark Petula Sally Olwen Clark, Order of the British Empire, CBE (born 15 November 1932) is an English singer, actress, and composer. She has one of the longest serving careers of a British singer, spanning more than seven decades. Clark's professi ...
, Freddie and the Dreamers, Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders, Herman's Hermits, the Rolling Stones,
the Troggs The Troggs (originally called the Troglodytes) are an English garage rock Garage rock (sometimes called garage punk or 60s punk) is a raw and energetic style of rock and roll that flourished in the mid-1960s, most notably in the United ...
, and
Donovan Donovan Phillips Leitch (born 10 May 1946), known mononymously as Donovan, is a Scotland, Scottish musician, songwriter, and record producer. He developed an eclectic and distinctive style that blended Folk music, folk, jazz, Pop music, pop, p ...
all having one or more number one singles. Other major acts that were part of the invasion included
the Kinks The Kinks were an English rock music, rock band formed in Muswell Hill, north London, in 1963 by brothers Ray Davies, Ray and Dave Davies. They are regarded as one of the most influential rock bands of the 1960s. The band emerged during the h ...
and the Dave Clark Five.. The British Invasion helped internationalize the production of rock and roll, opening the door for subsequent British (and Irish) performers to achieve international success. In America it arguably spelled the end of instrumental surf music, vocal girl groups and (for a time) the
teen idol A teen idol is a celebrity with a large Adolescence, teenage fan base. Teen idols are generally young but are not necessarily teenagers. An idol's popularity may be limited to teens, or may extend to all age groups. By region Asia East ...
s, that had dominated the American charts in the late 1950s and 1960s. It dented the careers of established R&B acts like
Fats Domino Antoine Dominique Domino Jr. (February 26, 1928 – October 24, 2017), known as Fats Domino, was an American pianist, singer and songwriter. One of the pioneers of rock and roll music, Domino sold more than 65 million records. Born in New O ...
and
Chubby Checker Chubby Checker (born Ernest Evans; October 3, 1941) is an American rock and roll singer and dancer. He is widely known for popularizing many dance styles, including Twist (dance), The Twist dance style, with his 1960 hit record, hit cover versi ...
and even temporarily derailed the chart success of surviving rock and roll acts, including Elvis. The British Invasion also played a major part in the rise of a distinct genre of rock music, and cemented the primacy of the rock group, based on guitars and drums and producing their own material as singer-songwriters. Following the example set by
the Beatles The Beatles were an English Rock music, rock band, formed in Liverpool in 1960, that comprised John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. They are regarded as the Cultural impact of the Beatles, most influential band of al ...
' 1965 LP '' Rubber Soul'' in particular, other British rock acts released rock albums intended as artistic statements in 1966, including
the Rolling Stones The Rolling Stones are an English Rock music, rock band formed in London in 1962. Active for six decades, they are one of the most popular and enduring bands of the album era, rock era. In the early 1960s, the Rolling Stones pioneered the g ...
' '' Aftermath'', the Beatles' own ''
Revolver A revolver (also called a wheel gun) is a repeating firearm, repeating handgun that has at least one gun barrel, barrel and uses a revolving cylinder (firearms), cylinder containing multiple chamber (firearms), chambers (each holding a single ...
'', and
the Who The Who are an English Rock music, rock band formed in London in 1964. Their classic lineup consisted of lead singer Roger Daltrey, guitarist and singer Pete Townshend, bass guitarist and singer John Entwistle, and drummer Keith Moon. They are ...
's '' A Quick One'', as well as American acts in
the Beach Boys The Beach Boys are an American Rock music, rock band that formed in Hawthorne, California, in 1961. The group's original lineup consisted of brothers Brian Wilson, Brian, Dennis Wilson, Dennis, and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and frie ...
(''
Pet Sounds ''Pet Sounds'' is the 11th studio album by American Rock music, rock band the Beach Boys, released on May 16, 1966, by Capitol Records. It was initially met with a lukewarm critical and commercial response in the United States, peaking at numbe ...
'') and
Bob Dylan Bob Dylan (legally Robert Dylan, born Robert Allen Zimmerman, May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter. Often regarded as one of the greatest songwriters of all time, Dylan has been a major figure in popular culture during a career sp ...
('' Blonde on Blonde'').


Garage rock

Garage rock was a raw form of rock music, particularly prevalent in North America in the mid-1960s and so called because of the perception that it was rehearsed in the suburban family garage.R. Shuker, ''Popular Music: the Key Concepts'' (Abingdon: Routledge, 2nd edn., 2005), , p. 140. Garage rock songs often revolved around the traumas of high school life, with songs about "lying girls" and unfair social circumstances being particularly common. The lyrics and delivery tended to be more aggressive than was common at the time, often with growled or shouted vocals that dissolved into incoherent screaming. They ranged from crude one-chord music (like
the Seeds The Seeds were an American psychedelic Psychedelics are a subclass of Hallucinogen, hallucinogenic drugs whose primary effect is to trigger non-ordinary states of consciousness (known as psychedelic experiences or "trips").Pollan, Michael ...
) to near-studio musician quality (including the Knickerbockers, the Remains, and the Fifth Estate). There were also regional variations in many parts of the country with flourishing scenes particularly in California and Texas. The Pacific Northwest states of Washington and Oregon had perhaps the most defined regional sound. The style had been evolving from regional scenes as early as 1958. "Tall Cool One" (1959) by the Wailers and "
Louie Louie "Louie Louie" is a rhythm and blues song written and composed by American musician Richard Berry (musician), Richard Berry in 1955, recorded in 1956, and released in 1957. It is best known for the 1963 hit version by the Kingsmen and has become ...
" by
the Kingsmen The Kingsmen are a 1960s rock music, rock band from Portland, Oregon, Portland, Oregon, United States. They are best known for their 1963 recording of R&B singer Richard Berry (musician), Richard Berry's "Louie Louie", which held the No.  ...
(1963) are mainstream examples of the genre in its formative stages. By 1963, garage band singles were creeping into the national charts in greater numbers, including
Paul Revere and the Raiders Paul Revere & the Raiders (also known as Raiders) were an American rock band formed in Boise, Idaho Boise (, , ) is the capital city, capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Idaho and is the county seat of Ada County, Idaho, A ...
(Boise), the Trashmen (Minneapolis) and the Rivieras (South Bend, Indiana). Other influential garage bands, such as
the Sonics The Sonics are an American garage rock Garage rock (sometimes called garage punk or 60s punk) is a raw and energetic style of rock and roll that flourished in the mid-1960s, most notably in the United States and Canada, and has experienc ...
(Tacoma, Washington), never reached the ''Billboard'' Hot 100. The British Invasion greatly influenced garage bands, providing them with a national audience, leading many (often surf or
hot rod Hot rods are typically American cars that might be old, classic, or modern and that have been rebuilt or modified with large engines optimised for speed and acceleration. One definition is: "a car that's been stripped down, souped up and made ...
groups) to adopt a British influence, and encouraging many more groups to form. Thousands of garage bands were extant in the US and Canada during the era and hundreds produced regional hits.R. Unterberger, "Garage Rock", in Bogdanov et al., 2002, pp. 1320–21. Despite scores of bands being signed to major or large regional labels, most were commercial failures. It is generally agreed that garage rock peaked both commercially and artistically around 1966. By 1968 the style largely disappeared from the national charts and at the local level as amateur musicians faced college, work or the draft. New styles had evolved to replace garage rock.


Blues rock

Although the first impact of the
British Invasion The British Invasion was a cultural phenomenon of the mid-1960s, when Rock music, rock and pop music acts from the United Kingdom and other aspects of Culture of the United Kingdom, British culture became popular in the United States and sign ...
on American popular music was through beat and R&B based acts, the impetus was soon taken up by a second wave of bands that drew their inspiration more directly from American
blues Blues is a music genre and musical form which originated in the Deep South of the United States around the 1860s. Blues incorporated spiritual (music), spirituals, work songs, field hollers, Ring shout, shouts, chants, and rhymed simple narra ...
, including
the Rolling Stones The Rolling Stones are an English Rock music, rock band formed in London in 1962. Active for six decades, they are one of the most popular and enduring bands of the album era, rock era. In the early 1960s, the Rolling Stones pioneered the g ...
and
the Yardbirds The Yardbirds are an English rock music, rock band, formed in London in 1963. The band's core lineup featured vocalist and harmonica player Keith Relf, drummer Jim McCarty, rhythm guitarist and later bassist Chris Dreja and bassist/producer Pa ...
. British blues musicians of the late 1950s and early 1960s had been inspired by the acoustic playing of figures such as
Lead Belly Huddie William Ledbetter (; January 20, 1888 – December 6, 1949), better known by the stage name Lead Belly, was an American folk music, folk and blues singer notable for his strong vocals, Virtuoso, virtuosity on the twelve-string guita ...
, who was a major influence on the Skiffle craze, and
Robert Johnson Robert Leroy Johnson (May 8, 1911August 16, 1938) was an American blues Blues is a music genre and musical form which originated in the Deep South of the United States around the 1860s. Blues incorporated spiritual (music), spirituals, w ...
. Increasingly they adopted a loud amplified sound, often centered on the electric guitar, based on the
Chicago blues Chicago blues is a form of blues music developed in Chicago, Illinois. It is based on earlier blues idioms, such as Delta blues, but performed in an Blues#Urban blues, urban style. It developed alongside the Great Migration (African American), Gr ...
, particularly after the tour of Britain by
Muddy Waters McKinley Morganfield (April 4, 1913 April 30, 1983), known professionally as Muddy Waters, was an American blues singer and musician who was an important figure in the post-World War II, war blues scene, and is often cited as the "father of mo ...
in 1958, which prompted
Cyril Davies Cyril Davies (23 January 1932 – 7 January 1964) was an English blues musician, and one of the first blues harmonica players in England. Biography Born at St Mildred's, 15 Hawthorn Drive, Willowbank, Denham, Buckinghamshire, Denham, Buckingh ...
and guitarist
Alexis Korner Alexis Andrew Nicholas Koerner (19 April 1928 – 1 January 1984), known professionally as Alexis Korner, was a British blues Blues is a music genre and musical form which originated in the Deep South of the United States around the 1860s ...
to form the band
Blues Incorporated Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated, or simply Blues Incorporated, were an English British blues, blues band formed in London in 1961, led by Alexis Korner and including at various times Jack Bruce, Charlie Watts, Terry Cox, Davy Graham, Ginger ...
.R. Uterberger, "Blues Rock", in V. Bogdanov, C. Woodstra, S.T. Erlewine, eds, ''All Music Guide to the Blues: The Definitive Guide to the Blues'' (Milwaukee, WI: Backbeat Books, 3rd edn., 2003), , pp. 701–02. The band involved and inspired many of the figures of the subsequent
British blues British blues is a form of music derived from American blues that originated in the late 1950s, and reached its height of mainstream popularity in the 1960s. In Britain, it developed a distinctive and influential style dominated by electric gui ...
boom, including members of the Rolling Stones and
Cream Cream is a dairy product composed of the higher-fat layer skimmed from the top of milk before Homogenization (chemistry), homogenization. In un-homogenized milk, the fat, which is less dense, eventually rises to the top. In the industrial produc ...
, combining blues standards and forms with rock instrumentation and emphasis. The other key focus for British blues was
John Mayall John Mayall, Order of the British Empire, OBE (born 29 November 1933) is an English blues singer, musician and songwriter, whose musical career spans over sixty years. In the 1960s, he was the founder of John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, a ban ...
; his band, the Bluesbreakers, included
Eric Clapton Eric Patrick Clapton (born 1945) is an English Rock music, rock and blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He is often regarded as one of the most successful and influential guitarists in rock music. Clapton ranked second in ''Rolling Ston ...
(after Clapton's departure from the Yardbirds) and later Peter Green. Particularly significant was the release of '' Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton (Beano)'' album (1966), considered one of the seminal British blues recordings and the sound of which was much emulated in both Britain and the United States. Eric Clapton went on to form supergroups Cream, Blind Faith, and
Derek and the Dominos Derek and the Dominos was an English–American blues rock band formed in the spring of 1970 by guitarist and singer Eric Clapton, keyboardist and singer Bobby Whitlock, bassist Carl Radle and drummer Jim Gordon (musician), Jim Gordon. All four ...
, followed by an extensive solo career that helped bring blues rock into the mainstream. Green, along with the Bluesbreaker's rhythm section
Mick Fleetwood Michael John Kells Fleetwood (born 24 June 1947) is a British musician, songwriter and occasional actor. He is best known as the drummer, co-founder, and leader of the rock music, rock band Fleetwood Mac. Fleetwood, whose surname was merged wit ...
and
John McVie John Graham McVie (born 26 November 1945) is a British bass guitarist. He is best known as a member of the rock bands John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers from 1964 to 1967 and Fleetwood Mac since 1967. His surname, combined with that of Mick Fleet ...
, formed Peter Green's
Fleetwood Mac Fleetwood Mac are a British-American rock band, formed in London in 1967. Fleetwood Mac were founded by guitarist Peter Green (musician), Peter Green, drummer Mick Fleetwood and guitarist Jeremy Spencer, before bassist John McVie joined the li ...
, who enjoyed some of the greatest commercial success in the genre. In the late 1960s
Jeff Beck Geoffrey Arnold Beck (born 24 June 1944) is an English rock music, rock guitarist. He rose to prominence with the Yardbirds and after fronted the Jeff Beck Group and Beck, Bogert & Appice. In 1975, he switched to a mainly instrumental style, ...
, also an alumnus of the Yardbirds, moved blues rock in the direction of heavy rock with his band,
the Jeff Beck Group The Jeff Beck Group was a British rock music, rock band formed in London in January 1967 by former The Yardbirds, Yardbirds guitarist Jeff Beck. Their innovative approach to heavy-sounding blues, rhythm and blues and rock was a major influence ...
. The last Yardbirds guitarist was
Jimmy Page James Patrick Page (born 9 January 1944) is an English musician who achieved international success as the guitarist and founder of the Rock music, rock band Led Zeppelin. Page is prolific in creating guitar riffs. His style involves various ...
, who went on to form ''The New Yardbirds'' which rapidly became
Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin were an English rock band formed in London in 1968. The group comprised vocalist Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones (musician), John Paul Jones, and drummer John Bonham. With a heavy, guitar ...
. Many of the songs on their first three albums, and occasionally later in their careers, were expansions on traditional blues songs. In America, blues rock had been pioneered in the early 1960s by guitarist
Lonnie Mack Lonnie McIntosh (July 18, 1941 – April 21, 2016), known as Lonnie Mack, was an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. He was an influential trailblazer of blues rock Blues rock is a fusion music genre that combines elements of blues and r ...
, but the genre began to take off in the mid-1960s as acts developed a sound similar to British blues musicians. Key acts included
Paul Butterfield Paul Vaughn Butterfield (December 17, 1942May 4, 1987) was an American blues Blues is a music genre and musical form which originated in the Deep South of the United States around the 1860s. Blues incorporated spiritual (music), spirituals ...
(whose band acted like Mayall's Bluesbreakers in Britain as a starting point for many successful musicians),
Canned Heat Canned Heat is an American band formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1965. The group is noted for its efforts to promote interest in Blues, blues music and its original artists and rock music. It was founded by two blues enthusiasts Alan Wilson ( ...
, the early
Jefferson Airplane Jefferson Airplane was an American Rock music, rock band based in San Francisco, California, that became one of the pioneering bands of psychedelic rock. Formed in 1965, the group defined the San Francisco Sound and was the first from the San F ...
,
Janis Joplin Janis Lyn Joplin (January 19, 1943 – October 4, 1970) was an American singer and musician. One of the most successful and widely known Rock music, rock stars of her era, she was noted for her powerful mezzo-soprano vocals and "electric" stage ...
,
Johnny Winter John Dawson Winter III (February 23, 1944 – July 16, 2014) was an American singer and guitarist. Winter was known for his high-energy blues rock Blues rock is a fusion music genre that combines elements of blues and rock music. It is mostly ...
, the J. Geils Band and
Jimi Hendrix James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix (born Johnny Allen Hendrix; November 27, 1942September 18, 1970) was an American guitarist, singer and songwriter. Although his mainstream career spanned only four years, he is widely regarded as one of the most ...
with his power trios,
the Jimi Hendrix Experience James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix (born Johnny Allen Hendrix; November 27, 1942September 18, 1970) was an American guitarist, singer and songwriter. Although his mainstream career spanned only four years, he is widely regarded as one of the most ...
(which included two British members, and was founded in Britain), and
Band of Gypsys ''Band of Gypsys'' is a live album by Jimi Hendrix and the first without his original group, the Jimi Hendrix Experience. It was recorded on January 1, 1970, at the Fillmore East in New York City with Billy Cox on bass and Buddy Miles on drums, ...
, whose guitar virtuosity and showmanship would be among the most emulated of the decade. Blues rock bands from the southern states, like the
Allman Brothers Band Allman may refer to: Music *The Allman Brothers Band, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame southern rock band, formed by Duane and Gregg Allman *The Allman Joys, an early band formed by Duane and Gregg Allman *The Gregg Allman Band People *Allman (surname) ...
,
Lynyrd Skynyrd Lynyrd Skynyrd ( ) is an American rock music, rock band formed in Jacksonville, Florida. The group originally formed as My Backyard in 1964 and comprised Ronnie Van Zant (lead vocalist), Gary Rossington (guitar), Allen Collins (guitar), Larry Ju ...
, and
ZZ Top ZZ Top is an American rock band formed in 1969 in Houston, Houston, Texas. For 51 years, they comprised vocalist-guitarist Billy Gibbons, drummer Frank Beard (musician), Frank Beard and vocalist-bassist Dusty Hill, until Hill's death in 2021. ZZ ...
, incorporated
country A country is a distinct part of the world, such as a state (polity), state, nation, or other polity, 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, so ...
elements into their style to produce the distinctive genre Southern rock.R. Unterberger, "Southern Rock", in Bogdanov et al., 2002, pp. 1332–33. Early blues rock bands often emulated jazz, playing long, involved improvisations, which would later be a major element of progressive rock. From about 1967 bands like Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience had moved away from purely blues-based music into
psychedelia Psychedelia refers to the psychedelic subculture of the 1960s and the psychedelic experience. This includes psychedelic art, psychedelic music and style of dress during that era. This was primarily generated by people who used psychedelic dru ...
. By the 1970s, blues rock had become heavier and more riff-based, exemplified by the work of Led Zeppelin and
Deep Purple Deep Purple are an English rock band formed in London in 1968. They are considered to be among the pioneers of heavy metal music, heavy metal and modern hard rock music, but their musical style has changed over the course of its existence. Ori ...
, and the lines between blues rock and
hard rock Hard rock or heavy rock is a loosely defined subgenre of rock music typified by aggressive vocals and Distortion (music), distorted Electric guitar, electric guitars. Hard rock began in the mid-1960s with the Garage rock, garage, Psychedelic roc ...
"were barely visible", as bands began recording rock-style albums.. The genre was continued in the 1970s by figures such as
George Thorogood George Lawrence Thorogood (born February 24, 1950) is an American musician, singer and songwriter from Wilmington, Delaware. His "high-energy boogie-blues" sound became a staple of 1980s rock radio, with hits like his original songs "Bad to the ...
and Pat Travers, but, particularly on the British scene (except perhaps for the advent of groups such as
Status Quo is a Latin phrase meaning the existing state of affairs (sociology), state of affairs, particularly with regard to social, political, religious or military issues. In the Sociology, sociological sense, the ''status quo'' refers to the current st ...
and
Foghat Foghat are an English Rock music, rock band formed in London in 1971. The band is known for the use of electric slide guitar in its music. The band has achieved eight Music recording sales certification, gold records, one platinum and one doub ...
who moved towards a form of high energy and repetitive
boogie rock Boogie rock is a style of blues rock music that developed in the late 1960s. Its key feature is a repetitive driving rhythm, which emphasizes the groove (music), groove. Although inspired by earlier musical styles, boogie rock has been described a ...
), bands became focused on heavy metal innovation, and blues rock began to slip out of the mainstream.


Folk rock

By the 1960s, the scene that had developed out of the
American folk music revival The American folk music revival began during the 1940s and peaked in popularity in the mid-1960s. Its roots went earlier, and performers like Josh White, Burl Ives, Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, Big Bill Broonzy, Billie Holiday, Richard Dyer-Benn ...
had grown to a major movement, using traditional music and new compositions in a traditional style, usually on acoustic instruments. In America the genre was pioneered by figures such as
Woody Guthrie Woodrow Wilson Guthrie (; July 14, 1912 – October 3, 1967) was an American singer-songwriter, one of the most significant figures in American folk music. His work focused on themes of American Left, American socialism and anti-fascism. He ...
and
Pete Seeger Peter Seeger (May 3, 1919 – January 27, 2014) was an American folk singer and social activist. A fixture on nationwide radio in the 1940s, Seeger also had a string of hit records during the early 1950s as a member of the Weavers, notably ...
and often identified with progressive or labor politics. In the early sixties figures such as
Joan Baez Joan Chandos Baez (; born January 9, 1941) is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and activist. Her contemporary folk music often includes songs of protest and social justice. Baez has performed publicly for over 60 years, releasing more ...
and
Bob Dylan Bob Dylan (legally Robert Dylan, born Robert Allen Zimmerman, May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter. Often regarded as one of the greatest songwriters of all time, Dylan has been a major figure in popular culture during a career sp ...
had come to the fore in this movement as singer-songwriters. Dylan had begun to reach a mainstream audience with hits including "
Blowin' in the Wind "Blowin' in the Wind" is a song written by Bob Dylan in 1962. It was released as a single and included on his album ''The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan'' in 1963. It has been described as a protest song and poses a series of rhetorical questions about ...
" (1963) and " Masters of War" (1963), which brought "
protest song A protest song is a song that is associated with a movement for social change and hence part of the broader category of ''topical'' songs (or songs connected to current events). It may be folk, classical, or commercial in genre. Among social mov ...
s" to a wider public, but, although beginning to influence each other, rock and folk music had remained largely separate genres, often with mutually exclusive audiences.R. Unterberger, "Folk Rock", in Bogdanov et al., 2002, pp. 1308–09. Early attempts to combine elements of folk and rock included the Animals' " House of the Rising Sun" (1964), which was the first commercially successful folk song to be recorded with rock and roll instrumentation and the Beatles " I'm a Loser" (1964), arguably the first Beatles song to be influenced directly by Dylan. The folk rock movement is usually thought to have taken off with
the Byrds The Byrds () were an American Rock music, rock band formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1964. The band underwent multiple lineup changes throughout its existence, with frontman Roger McGuinn (known as Jim McGuinn until mid-1967) remaining th ...
' recording of Dylan's " Mr. Tambourine Man" which topped the charts in 1965. With members who had been part of the café-based folk scene in Los Angeles, the Byrds adopted rock instrumentation, including drums and 12-string
Rickenbacker Rickenbacker International Corporation is a string instrument manufacturer based in Santa Ana, California. The company is credited as the first known maker of electric guitars – a steel guitar in 1932 – and today produces a range o ...
guitars, which became a major element in the sound of the genre. Later that year Dylan adopted electric instruments, much to the outrage of many folk purists, with his "
Like a Rolling Stone "Like a Rolling Stone" is a song by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan Bob Dylan (legally Robert Dylan, born Robert Allen Zimmerman, May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter. Often regarded as one of the greatest songwriters of a ...
" becoming a US hit single. According to Ritchie Unterberger, Dylan (even before his adoption of electric instruments) influenced rock musicians like the Beatles, demonstrating "to the rock generation in general that an album could be a major standalone statement without hit singles", such as on ''
The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan ''The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan'' is the second studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on May 27, 1963 by Columbia Records. Whereas his self-titled debut album ''Bob Dylan (album), Bob Dylan'' had contained only two original ...
'' (1963). Folk rock particularly took off in California, where it led acts like
the Mamas & the Papas The Mamas & the Papas were a folk rock vocal group formed in Los Angeles, California, which recorded and performed from 1965 to 1968. The group was a defining force in the music scene of the counterculture of the 1960s. The group consisted of Am ...
and Crosby, Stills, and Nash to move to electric instrumentation, and in New York, where it spawned performers including
the Lovin' Spoonful The Lovin' Spoonful is an American rock music, rock band popular during the mid- to late-1960s. Founded in New York City in 1965 by lead singer/songwriter John Sebastian and guitarist Zal Yanovsky, the band is widely known for a number of hits, ...
and
Simon and Garfunkel Simon & Garfunkel were an American folk rock duo consisting of the singer-songwriter Paul Simon and the singer Art Garfunkel. They were one of the best-selling music groups of the 1960s, and their biggest hits—including the electric remix of "T ...
, with the latter's acoustic " The Sounds of Silence" (1965) being remixed with rock instruments to be the first of many hits. These acts directly influenced British performers like Donovan and
Fairport Convention Fairport Convention are an English British folk rock, folk rock band, formed in 1967 by guitarists Richard Thompson (musician), Richard Thompson and Simon Nicol, bassist Ashley Hutchings and drummer Shaun Frater (with Frater replaced by Martin ...
. In 1969 Fairport Convention abandoned their mixture of American covers and Dylan-influenced songs to play traditional English folk music on electric instruments. This British folk-rock was taken up by bands including Pentangle,
Steeleye Span Steeleye Span are a British folk rock band formed in 1969 in England by Fairport Convention Fairport Convention are an English British folk rock, folk rock band, formed in 1967 by guitarists Richard Thompson (musician), Richard Thompson ...
and the Albion Band, which in turn prompted Irish groups like Horslips and Scottish acts like the JSD Band, Spencer's Feat and later Five Hand Reel, to use their traditional music to create a brand of Celtic rock in the early 1970s. Folk-rock reached its peak of commercial popularity in the period 1967–68, before many acts moved off in a variety of directions, including Dylan and the Byrds, who began to develop
country rock Country rock is a genre of music which fuses Rock music, rock and Country music, country. It was developed by rock musicians who began to record country-flavored records in the late 1960s and early 1970s. These musicians recorded rock records us ...
. However, the hybridization of folk and rock has been seen as having a major influence on the development of rock music, bringing in elements of psychedelia, and helping to develop the ideas of the singer-songwriter, the protest song, and concepts of "authenticity".


Psychedelic rock

Psychedelic music's
LSD Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), also known colloquially as acid, is a potent psychedelic drug. Effects typically include intensified thoughts, emotions, and sensory perception. At sufficiently high dosages LSD manifests primarily mental, vi ...
-inspired vibe began in the folk scene.M. Hicks, ''Sixties Rock: Garage, Psychedelic, and Other Satisfactions'' (Chicago, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2000), , pp. 59–60. The first group to advertise themselves as psychedelic rock were
the 13th Floor Elevators The 13th Floor Elevators was an American rock band from Austin, Texas Austin is the capital city of the U.S. state of Texas, as well as the county seat, seat and largest city of Travis County, Texas, Travis County, with portions extendi ...
from Texas. The Beatles introduced many of the major elements of the psychedelic sound to audiences in this period, such as
guitar feedback Audio feedback (also known as acoustic feedback, simply as feedback) is a positive feedback situation which may occur when an acoustic path exists between an audio input (for example, a microphone or guitar pickup) and an audio output (for examp ...
, the Indian
sitar The sitar ( or ; ) is a plucked stringed instrument, originating from the Indian subcontinent, used in Hindustani classical music. The instrument was invented in medieval India, flourished in the 18th century, and arrived at its present form in ...
and
backmasking Backmasking is a sound recording and reproduction, recording technique in which a message is recorded backward onto a track that is meant to be played forward. It is a deliberate process, whereas a message found through phonetic reversal may ...
sound effect A sound effect (or audio effect) is an artificially created or enhanced sound, or sound process used to emphasize artistic or other content of films, television shows, live performance, animation, video games, music, or other media. Traditi ...
s.R. Unterberger, "Psychedelic Rock", in Bogdanov et al., 2002, pp. 1322–23. Psychedelic rock particularly took off in California's emerging music scene as groups followed the
Byrds The Byrds () were an American Rock music, rock band formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1964. The band underwent multiple lineup changes throughout its existence, with frontman Roger McGuinn (known as Jim McGuinn until mid-1967) remaining th ...
's shift from folk to
folk rock Folk rock is a hybrid music genre that combines the elements of folk music, folk and rock music, rock music, which arose in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom in the mid-1960s. In the U.S., folk rock emerged from the American fo ...
from 1965. The psychedelic lifestyle, which revolved around hallucinogenic drugs, had already developed in San Francisco and particularly prominent products of the scene were
Big Brother and the Holding Company Big Brother and the Holding Company is an American rock band that formed in San Francisco in 1965 as part of the same psychedelic Psychedelics are a subclass of Hallucinogen, hallucinogenic drugs whose primary effect is to trigger non-ordi ...
,
the Grateful Dead The Grateful Dead was an American rock band formed in 1965 in Palo Alto, California Palo Alto (; Spanish language, Spanish for "tall stick") is a charter city in the northwestern corner of Santa Clara County, California, United States, i ...
and
Jefferson Airplane Jefferson Airplane was an American Rock music, rock band based in San Francisco, California, that became one of the pioneering bands of psychedelic rock. Formed in 1965, the group defined the San Francisco Sound and was the first from the San F ...
. The
Jimi Hendrix Experience James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix (born Johnny Allen Hendrix; November 27, 1942September 18, 1970) was an American guitarist, singer and songwriter. Although his mainstream career spanned only four years, he is widely regarded as one of the most ...
's lead guitarist,
Jimi Hendrix James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix (born Johnny Allen Hendrix; November 27, 1942September 18, 1970) was an American guitarist, singer and songwriter. Although his mainstream career spanned only four years, he is widely regarded as one of the most ...
did extended distorted, feedback-filled jams which became a key feature of psychedelia. Psychedelic rock reached its apogee in the last years of the decade. 1967 saw the Beatles release their definitive psychedelic statement in '' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band'', including the controversial track " Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", the Rolling Stones responded later that year with '' Their Satanic Majesties Request'', and
Pink Floyd Pink Floyd are an English rock band formed in London in 1965. Gaining an early following as one of the first British psychedelic music, psychedelic groups, they were distinguished by their extended compositions, sonic experimentation, philo ...
debuted with ''
The Piper at the Gates of Dawn ''The Piper at the Gates of Dawn'' is the debut studio album by English Rock music, rock band Pink Floyd, released on 5 August 1967 by Columbia Graphophone Company, EMI Columbia. It is the only Pink Floyd album made under the leadership of fou ...
''. Key recordings included Jefferson Airplane's '' Surrealistic Pillow'' and
the Doors The Doors were an American Rock music, rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1965, with vocalist Jim Morrison, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, guitarist Robby Krieger, and drummer John Densmore. They were among the most controversial and influential ro ...
' '' Strange Days''. These trends peaked in the 1969
Woodstock festival Woodstock Music and Art Fair, commonly referred to as Woodstock, was a music festival held during August 15–18, 1969, on Max Yasgur's dairy farm in Bethel, New York, United States, southwest of the town of Woodstock, New York, Woodstock. ...
, which saw performances by most of the major psychedelic acts. ''Sgt. Pepper'' was later regarded as the greatest album of all time and a starting point for the
album era The album era was a period in English-language popular music from the mid-1960s to the mid-2000s in which the album An album is a collection of audio recordings issued on compact disc (CD), Phonograph record, vinyl, audio tape, or ano ...
, during which rock music transitioned from the singles format to albums and achieved cultural legitimacy in the mainstream. Led by the Beatles in the mid-1960s, rock musicians advanced the LP as the dominant form of recorded music expression and consumption, initiating a rock-informed album era in the music industry for the next several decades.


Progressive rock

Progressive rock, a term sometimes used interchangeably with
art rock Art rock is a subgenre of rock music that generally reflects a challenging or avant-garde approach to rock, or which makes use of modernist, experimental, or unconventional elements. Art rock aspires to elevate rock from entertainment to an art ...
, moved beyond established musical formulas by experimenting with different instruments, song types, and forms.R. Unterberger, "Progressive Rock", in Bogdanov et al., 2002, pp. 1330–31. From the mid-1960s
the Left Banke The Left Banke was an American baroque pop Baroque pop (sometimes called baroque rock) is a fusion genre that combines rock music with particular elements of classical music. It emerged in the mid 1960s as artists pursued a majestic, orchestr ...
, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and the Beach Boys, had pioneered the inclusion of harpsichords,
wind Wind is the natural movement of atmosphere of Earth, air or other gases relative to a planetary surface, planet's surface. Winds occur on a range of scales, from thunderstorm flows lasting tens of minutes, to local breezes generated by heating ...
, and
string String or strings may refer to: *String (structure), a long flexible structure made from threads twisted together, which is used to tie, bind, or hang other objects Arts, entertainment, and media Films * Strings (1991 film), ''Strings'' (1991 fi ...
sections on their recordings to produce a form of Baroque rock and can be heard in singles like
Procol Harum Procol Harum () were an English rock music, rock band formed in Southend-on-Sea, Essex in 1967. Their best-known recording is the 1967 hit single "A Whiter Shade of Pale", one of the few singles to have List of best-selling singles, sold over ...
's "
A Whiter Shade of Pale "A Whiter Shade of Pale" is a song by the English rock band Procol Harum that was issued as their debut record on 12 May 1967. The single reached number 1 in the UK Singles Chart The UK Singles Chart (currently titled Official Singles Cha ...
" (1967), with its
Bach Johann Sebastian Bach (28 July 1750) was a German composer and musician of the late baroque music, Baroque period. He is known for his orchestral music such as the ''Brandenburg Concertos''; instrumental compositions such as the Cello Suite ...
-inspired introduction.J.S. Harrington, ''Sonic Cool: the Life & Death of Rock 'n' Roll'' (Milwaukee, WI: Hal Leonard Corporation, 2003), , p. 191.
The Moody Blues The Moody Blues were an English rock music, rock band formed in Birmingham in 1964, initially consisting of keyboardist Mike Pinder, multi-instrumentalist Ray Thomas, guitarist Denny Laine, drummer Graeme Edge and bassist Clint Warwick. The g ...
used a full orchestra on their album ''
Days of Future Passed A day is the time period of a full rotation of the Earth with respect to the Sun. On average, this is 24 hours, 1440 minutes, or 86,400 seconds. In everyday life, the word "day" often refers to a solar day, which is the length between t ...
'' (1967) and subsequently created orchestral sounds with synthesizers. Classical orchestration, keyboards, and synthesizers were a frequent addition to the established rock format of guitars, bass, and drums in subsequent progressive rock. Instrumentals were common, while songs with lyrics were sometimes conceptual, abstract, or based in fantasy and science fiction.
The Pretty Things ''The'' () is a grammatical Article (grammar), article in English language, English, denoting persons or things already mentioned, under discussion, implied or otherwise presumed familiar to listeners, readers, or speakers. It is the definite ...
' '' SF Sorrow'' (1968), and the Kinks' ''
Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire) Arthur is a common male given name of Brythonic origin. Its popularity derives from it being the name of the legendary hero King Arthur King Arthur ( cy, Brenin Arthur, kw, Arthur Gernow, br, Roue Arzhur) is a Legend, legendary king of ...
'' (1969) introduced the format of
rock operas A rock opera is a collection of rock music Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the late 1940s and early 1950s, developing into a range of different styles in the mid-1960s a ...
and opened the door to
concept album A concept album is an album An album is a collection of audio recordings issued on compact disc (CD), Phonograph record, vinyl, audio tape, or another medium such as Digital distribution#Music, digital distribution. Albums of recorded ...
s, often telling an epic story or tackling a grand overarching theme.
King Crimson King Crimson are a progressive rock band formed in 1968 in London, England. The band draws inspiration from a wide variety of music, incorporating elements of classical music, classical, jazz, folk music, folk, heavy metal music, heavy metal, ...
's 1969 début album, '' In the Court of the Crimson King'', which mixed powerful guitar riffs and
mellotron The Mellotron is an electro-mechanical musical instrument developed in Birmingham, England, in 1963. It is played by pressing its keys, each of which pushes a length of magnetic tape against a Capstan (tape recorder), capstan, which pulls it a ...
, with
jazz Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African Americans, 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 recog ...
and
symphonic music An orchestra (; ) is a large Musical ensemble, instrumental ensemble typical of classical music, which combines instruments from different families. There are typically four main sections of instruments: * bowed string instruments, such as the ...
, is often taken as the key recording in progressive rock, helping the widespread adoption of the genre in the early 1970s among existing blues-rock and psychedelic bands, as well as newly formed acts. The vibrant
Canterbury scene The Canterbury scene (or Canterbury sound) was a musical scene centred on the town of Canterbury, Kent, England during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Associated with progressive rock, the term describes a loosely-defined, improvisational styl ...
saw acts following Soft Machine from psychedelia, through jazz influences, toward more expansive hard rock, including
Caravan Caravan or caravans may refer to: Transport and travel *Caravan (travellers), a group of travellers journeying together **Caravanserai, a place where a caravan could stop *Camel train, a convoy using camels as pack animals *Convoy, a group of veh ...
, Hatfield and the North,
Gong A gongFrom Indonesian language, Indonesian and ms, gong; jv, ꦒꦺꦴꦁ ; zh, c=鑼, p=luó; ja, , dora; km, គង ; th, ฆ้อง ; vi, cồng chiêng; as, কাঁহ is a percussion instrument originating in East Asia and S ...
, and
National Health National Health were an English progressive rock band associated with the Canterbury scene. Founded in 1975, the band featured members of keyboardist Dave Stewart (keyboardist), Dave Stewart's band Hatfield and the North and Alan Gowen's band ...
. Greater commercial success was enjoyed by Pink Floyd, who also moved away from psychedelia after the departure of Syd Barrett in 1968, with ''
The Dark Side of the Moon ''The Dark Side of the Moon'' is the eighth studio album by the English rock band Pink Floyd, released on 1 March 1973 by Harvest Records. The album was primarily developed during live performances, and the band premiered an early version of t ...
'' (1973), seen as a masterpiece of the genre, becoming one of the best-selling albums of all time. There was an emphasis on instrumental virtuosity, with Yes showcasing the skills of both guitarist Steve Howe and keyboard player
Rick Wakeman Richard Christopher Wakeman (born 18 May 1949) is an English keyboardist best known as a former member of the progressive rock Progressive rock (shortened as prog rock or simply prog; sometimes conflated with art rock Art rock is a ...
, while
Emerson, Lake & Palmer Emerson, Lake & Palmer (informally known as ELP) were an English progressive rock Supergroup (music), supergroup formed in London in 1970. The band consisted of Keith Emerson (keyboards), Greg Lake (vocals, bass, guitar, producer) and Carl Pal ...
were a supergroup who produced some of the genre's most technically demanding work. Jethro Tull and Genesis both pursued very different, but distinctly English, brands of music.M. Brocken, ''The British Folk Revival, 1944–2002'' (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003), , p. 96.
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a Periodization, period in History of Europe, European history marking the transition from the Middle Ages to modernity and covering the 15th and 16th centuries, characterized by an e ...
, formed in 1969 by ex-Yardbirds Jim McCarty and Keith Relf, evolved into a high-concept band featuring the three-octave voice of Annie Haslam. Most British bands depended on a relatively small cult following, but a handful, including Pink Floyd, Genesis, and Jethro Tull, managed to produce top ten singles at home and break the American market. The American brand of progressive rock varied from the eclectic and innovative
Frank Zappa Frank Vincent Zappa (December 21, 1940 – December 4, 1993) was an American musician, composer, and bandleader. His work is characterized by wikt:nonconformity, nonconformity, Free improvisation, free-form improvisation, sound experimen ...
,
Captain Beefheart Don Van Vliet (; born Don Glen Vliet; January 15, 1941 – December 17, 2010) was an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and visual artist best known by the stage name Captain Beefheart. Conducting a rotating ensemble known as T ...
and
Blood, Sweat & Tears Blood, Sweat & Tears (also known as "BS&T") is a Jazz fusion#Jazz rock, jazz rock music group founded in New York City in 1967, noted for a combination of Brass instrument, brass with rock instrumentation. In addition to original music, the grou ...
, to more pop rock orientated bands like
Boston Boston (), officially the City of Boston, is the capital city, state capital and List of municipalities in Massachusetts, most populous city of the Commonwealth (U.S. state), Commonwealth of Massachusetts, as well as the cultural and financ ...
, Foreigner,
Kansas Kansas () is a U.S. state, state in the Midwestern United States, Midwestern United States. Its Capital city, capital is Topeka, Kansas, Topeka, and its largest city is Wichita, Kansas, Wichita. Kansas is a landlocked state bordered by Nebras ...
, Journey, and
Styx In Greek mythology, Styx (; grc, Στύξ ) is a river that forms the boundary between Gaia, Earth (Gaia) and the Greek underworld, Underworld. The rivers Acheron, Cocytus, Lethe, Phlegethon, and Styx all converge at the centre of the underworld ...
. These, beside British bands
Supertramp Supertramp were an English rock band that formed in London London is the capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and the United Kingdom, with a population of just under 9 million. It stands on th ...
and ELO, all demonstrated a prog rock influence and while ranking among the most commercially successful acts of the 1970s, heralding the era of ''pomp'' or ''
arena rock Arena rock (also known as AOR, melodic rock, stadium rock, anthem rock, pomp rock, corporate rock and dad rock; ; ) is a style of rock music that originated in the mid-1970s. As hard rock bands and those playing a softer yet strident kind of po ...
'', which would last until the costs of complex shows (often with theatrical staging and special effects), would be replaced by more economical rock festivals as major live venues in the 1990s. The instrumental strand of the genre resulted in albums like
Mike Oldfield Mike may refer to: Animals * Mike (cat) Mike (Some sources have his date of birth as 1909. In the ''Evening Standard'' obituary, Wallis Budge says that Mike started hanging around the museum in 1910. However, in his foreword to the "Mike" pamp ...
's ''
Tubular Bells Tubular bells (also known as chimes) are musical instruments in the Percussion instrument, percussion family. Their sound resembles that of church bells, carillon, or a bell tower; the original tubular bells were made to duplicate the sound o ...
'' (1973), the first record, and worldwide hit, for the
Virgin Records Virgin Records is a record label owned by Universal Music Group. It originally founded as a British independent record label in 1972 by entrepreneurs Richard Branson, Simon Draper, Nik Powell, and musician Tom Newman (musician), Tom Newman. It ...
label, which became a mainstay of the genre. Instrumental rock was particularly significant in continental Europe, allowing bands like
Kraftwerk Kraftwerk (, "power station") is a German band formed in Düsseldorf in 1970 by Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider. Widely considered innovators and pioneers of electronic music, Kraftwerk were among the first successful acts to popularize the ...
,
Tangerine Dream Tangerine Dream is a German electronic music band founded in 1967 by Edgar Froese. The group has seen many personnel changes over the years, with Froese having been the only constant member until his death in January 2015. The best-known lineup ...
, Can, and
Faust Faust is the protagonist of a classic German folklore, German legend based on the historical Johann Georg Faust ( 1480–1540). The wiktionary:erudite, erudite Faust is highly successful yet dissatisfied with his life, which leads him to make a ...
to circumvent the language barrier. Their synthesiser-heavy "
krautrock Krautrock (also called , German for ) is a broad genre of experimental rock that developed in West Germany in the late 1960s and early 1970s among artists who blended elements of psychedelic rock, avant-garde composition, and electronic mu ...
", along with the work of
Brian Eno Brian Peter George St John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno (; born Brian Peter George Eno, 15 May 1948) is a British musician, composer, record producer and visual artist best known for his contributions to ambient music and work in rock music, ro ...
(for a time the keyboard player with
Roxy Music Roxy Music are an English rock music, rock band formed in 1970 by Bryan Ferry—who became the band's lead vocalist and principal songwriter—and bassist Graham Simpson (musician), Graham Simpson. The other longtime members are Phil Manzanera ...
), would be a major influence on subsequent
electronic rock Electronic rock is a music genre that involves a combination of rock music and electronic music, featuring instruments typically found within both genres. It originates from the late 1960s, when rock bands began incorporating electronic instrume ...
. With the advent of punk rock and technological changes in the late 1970s, progressive rock was increasingly dismissed as pretentious and overblown. Many bands broke up, but some, including Genesis, ELP, Yes, and Pink Floyd, regularly scored top ten albums with successful accompanying worldwide tours. Some bands which emerged in the aftermath of punk, such as
Siouxsie and the Banshees Siouxsie and the Banshees were a British Rock music, rock band formed in London in 1976 by vocalist Siouxsie Sioux and bass guitarist Steven Severin. They have been widely influential, both over their contemporaries and with later acts. Q (maga ...
,
Ultravox Ultravox (earlier styled as Ultravox!) were a British new wave band, formed in London in April 1974 as Tiger Lily. Between 1980 and 1986, they scored seven Top Ten albums and seventeen Top 40 singles in the UK, the most successful of which was ...
, and
Simple Minds Simple Minds are a Scottish rock band formed in Glasgow Glasgow ( ; sco, Glesca or ; gd, Glaschu ) is the most populous city A city is a human settlement of notable size.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geog ...
, showed the influence of progressive rock, as well as their more usually recognized punk influences.T. Udo, "Did Punk kill prog?", ''Classic Rock Magazine'', vol. 97, September 2006.


Jazz rock

In the late 1960s, jazz-rock emerged as a distinct subgenre out of the blues-rock, psychedelic, and progressive rock scenes, mixing the power of rock with the musical complexity and improvisational elements of jazz.
AllMusic AllMusic (previously known as All Music Guide and AMG) is an American online database, online music database. It catalogs more than three million album entries and 30 million tracks, as well as information on Musical artist, musicians and Music ...
states that the term jazz-rock "may refer to the loudest, wildest, most electrified fusion bands from the jazz camp, but most often it describes performers coming from the rock side of the equation." Jazz-rock "...generally grew out of the most artistically ambitious rock subgenres of the late '60s and early '70s", including the singer-songwriter movement. Many early US rock and roll musicians had begun in jazz and carried some of these elements into the new music. In Britain the subgenre of blues rock, and many of its leading figures, like
Ginger Baker Peter Edward "Ginger" Baker (19 August 1939 – 6 October 2019) was an English drummer. His work in the 1960s and 1970s earned him the reputation of "rock's first superstar drummer", for a style that melded jazz and Music of Africa, Africa ...
and
Jack Bruce John Symon Asher Bruce (14 May 1943 – 25 October 2014) was a Scottish bassist, singer-songwriter, musician and composer. He gained popularity as the primary lead vocalist and ‍bassist ‍of British Rock music, rock band Cream (band), Cream ...
of the
Eric Clapton Eric Patrick Clapton (born 1945) is an English Rock music, rock and blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He is often regarded as one of the most successful and influential guitarists in rock music. Clapton ranked second in ''Rolling Ston ...
-fronted band
Cream Cream is a dairy product composed of the higher-fat layer skimmed from the top of milk before Homogenization (chemistry), homogenization. In un-homogenized milk, the fat, which is less dense, eventually rises to the top. In the industrial produc ...
, had emerged from the
British jazz British jazz is a form of music derived from American jazz Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African Americans, African-American communities of New Orleans, Louisiana in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with its roots i ...
scene. Often highlighted as the first true jazz-rock recording is the only album by the relatively obscure New York-based
the Free Spirits The Free Spirits was an American band credited as the first jazz-rock group. The band also incorporated elements of pop music, pop and garage rock. Their first album ''Out of Sight and Sound'' was recorded in 1966 and released in 1967. History Th ...
with ''Out of Sight and Sound'' (1966). The first group of bands to self-consciously use the label were R&B oriented white rock bands that made use of jazzy horn sections, like Electric Flag, Blood, Sweat & Tears and
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 ...
, to become some of the most commercially successful acts of the later 1960s and the early 1970s. British acts to emerge in the same period from the blues scene, to make use of the tonal and improvisational aspects of jazz, included
Nucleus Nucleus (plural, : nuclei) is a Latin word for the seed inside a fruit. It most often refers to: *Atomic nucleus, the very dense central region of an atom *Cell nucleus, a central organelle of a eukaryotic cell, containing most of the cell's DNA ...
and the
Graham Bond Graham John Clifton Bond (28 October 1937 – 8 May 1974) was an English rock/blues musician and vocalist, considered a founding father of the English rhythm and blues boom of the 1960s. Bond was an innovator, described as "an important, und ...
and John Mayall spin-off
Colosseum The Colosseum ( ; it, Colosseo ) is an oval amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus (Romulus and Remus, legendary) , image_m ...
. From the psychedelic rock and the Canterbury scenes came Soft Machine, who, it has been suggested, produced one of the artistically successfully fusions of the two genres. Perhaps the most critically acclaimed fusion came from the jazz side of the equation, with
Miles Davis Miles Dewey Davis III (May 26, 1926September 28, 1991) was an American trumpeter, bandleader, and composer. He is among the most influential and acclaimed figures in the history of jazz and 20th century music, 20th-century music. Davis adopted ...
, particularly influenced by the work of Hendrix, incorporating rock instrumentation into his sound for the album ''
Bitches Brew ''Bitches Brew'' is a studio album by American jazz trumpeter, composer, and bandleader Miles Davis. It was recorded from August 19 to 21, 1969, at CBS Studio Building, Columbia's Studio B in New York City and released on March 30, 1970 by Columb ...
'' (1970). It was a major influence on subsequent rock-influenced jazz artists, including
Herbie Hancock Herbert Jeffrey Hancock (born April 12, 1940) is an American jazz pianist, keyboardist, bandleader, and composer. Hancock started his career with trumpeter Donald Byrd's group. He shortly thereafter joined the Miles Davis Quintet, where he helpe ...
,
Chick Corea Armando Anthony "Chick" Corea (June 12, 1941 – February 9, 2021) was an American jazz composer, pianist, keyboardist, bandleader, and occasional percussionist. His compositions "Spain (instrumental), Spain", "500 Miles High", "La Fiesta", "Ar ...
and
Weather Report Weather Report was an American 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 jazz improvisation, improvisation with rock music, ...
. The genre began to fade in the late 1970s, as a mellower form of fusion began to take its audience, but acts like
Steely Dan Steely Dan is an American Rock music, rock band founded in 1971 in New York by Walter Becker (guitars, bass, backing vocals) and Donald Fagen (keyboards, lead vocals). Initially the band had a stable lineup, but in 1974, Becker and Fagen retired ...
, Frank Zappa and
Joni Mitchell Roberta Joan "Joni" Mitchell ( Anderson; born November 7, 1943) is a Canadian-American musician, producer, and painter. Among the most influential singer-songwriters to emerge from the 1960s folk music circuit, Mitchell became known for her sta ...
recorded significant jazz-influenced albums in this period, and it has continued to be a major influence on rock music.R. Unterberger, "Jazz Rock", in Bogdanov et al., 2002, pp. 1328–30.


Increased commercialization in the 1970s

Reflecting on developments that occurred in rock music in the early 1970s,
Robert Christgau Robert Thomas Christgau ( ; born April 18, 1942) is an American music journalist and essayist. Among the most well-known and influential music critics, he began his career in the late 1960s as one of the earliest professional rock critics and ...
wrote in '' Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies'' (1981): Rock saw greater commodification during this decade, turning into a multibillion-dollar industry and doubling its market while, as Christgau noted, suffering a significant "loss of cultural prestige". "Maybe the
Bee Gees The Bee Gees were a musical group formed in 1958 by brothers Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb. The trio were especially successful in popular music in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and later as prominent performers in the disco music era ...
became more popular than the Beatles, but they were never
more popular than Jesus "More popular than Jesus" is part of a remark made by John Lennon John Winston Ono Lennon (born John Winston Lennon; 9 October 19408 December 1980) was an English singer, songwriter, musician and peace activist who achieved worldwide f ...
", he said. "Insofar as the music retained any mythic power, the myth was self-referential – there were lots of songs about the rock and roll life but very few about how rock could change the world, except as a new brand of painkiller ... In the '70s the powerful took over, as rock industrialists capitalized on the national mood to reduce potent music to an often reactionary species of entertainment—and to transmute rock's popular base from the audience to market."


Roots rock

Roots rock is the term now used to describe a move away from what some saw as the excesses of the psychedelic scene, to a more basic form of rock and roll that incorporated its original influences, particularly country and folk music, leading to the creation of country rock and Southern rock. In 1966 Bob Dylan went to
Nashville Nashville is the capital city of the U.S. state of Tennessee and the county seat, seat of Davidson County, Tennessee, Davidson County. With a population of 689,447 at the 2020 United States census, 2020 U.S. census, Nashville is the List of muni ...
to record the album '' Blonde on Blonde''. This, and subsequent more clearly country-influenced albums, such as ''
Nashville Skyline ''Nashville Skyline'' is the ninth studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on April 9, 1969, by Columbia Records as LP record, reel to reel tape and audio cassette. Building on the rustic style he experimented with on ''Joh ...
'', have been seen as creating the genre of country folk, a route pursued by a number of largely acoustic folk musicians.K. Wolff and O. Duane, ''Country Music: The Rough Guide'' (London: Rough Guides, 2000), , p. 392. Other acts that followed the back-to-basics trend were the Canadian group the Band and the California-based
Creedence Clearwater Revival Creedence Clearwater Revival, also referred to as Creedence and CCR, was an American rock band formed in El Cerrito, California. The band initially consisted of lead vocalist, lead guitarist, and primary songwriter John Fogerty; his brother, r ...
, both of which mixed basic rock and roll with folk, country and blues, to be among the most successful and influential bands of the late 1960s. The same movement saw the beginning of the recording careers of Californian solo artists like
Ry Cooder Ryland Peter "Ry" Cooder (born March 15, 1947) is an American musician, songwriter, film score composer, record producer, and writer. He is a multi-instrumentalist but is best known for his slide guitar work, his interest in traditional music, ...
,
Bonnie Raitt Bonnie Lynn Raitt (; born November 8, 1949) is an American blues singer and guitarist. In 1971, Raitt released her Bonnie Raitt (album), self-titled debut album. Following this, she released a series of critically acclaimed Americana (music), ro ...
and Lowell George, and influenced the work of established performers such as the Rolling Stones' '' Beggar's Banquet'' (1968) and the Beatles' '' Let It Be'' (1970). Reflecting on this change of trends in rock music over the past few years, Christgau wrote in his June 1970 "Consumer Guide" column that this "new orthodoxy" and "cultural lag" abandoned improvisatory, studio-ornamented productions in favor of an emphasis on "tight, spare instrumentation" and song composition: "Its referents are '50s rock, country music, and rhythm-and-blues, and its key inspiration is the Band." In 1968, Gram Parsons recorded '' Safe at Home'' with the International Submarine Band, arguably the first true
country rock Country rock is a genre of music which fuses Rock music, rock and Country music, country. It was developed by rock musicians who began to record country-flavored records in the late 1960s and early 1970s. These musicians recorded rock records us ...
album.R. Unterberger, "Country Rock", in Bogdanov et al., 2002, p. 1327. Later that year he joined the Byrds for '' Sweetheart of the Rodeo'' (1968), generally considered one of the most influential recordings in the genre. The Byrds continued in the same vein, but Parsons left to be joined by another ex-Byrds member
Chris Hillman Christopher Hillman (born December 4, 1944) is an American musician. He was the original bassist of and one of the original members of the Byrds, which in 1965 included Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark, David Crosby and Michael Clarke (musician), Micha ...
in forming the Flying Burrito Brothers who helped establish the respectability and parameters of the genre, before Parsons departed to pursue a solo career. Bands in California that adopted country rock included Hearts and Flowers, Poco,
New Riders of the Purple Sage New Riders of the Purple Sage is an American country rock band. The group emerged from the psychedelic rock scene in San Francisco in 1969 and its original lineup included several members of the Grateful Dead. The band is sometimes referred t ...
, the Beau Brummels, and the
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band is an American country rock band formed in 1966. The group has existed in various forms since its founding in Long Beach, California. Between 1976 and 1981, the band performed and recorded as the Dirt Band. Constant ...
. Some performers also enjoyed a renaissance by adopting country sounds, including: the Everly Brothers; one-time
teen idol A teen idol is a celebrity with a large Adolescence, teenage fan base. Teen idols are generally young but are not necessarily teenagers. An idol's popularity may be limited to teens, or may extend to all age groups. By region Asia East ...
Rick Nelson who became the frontman for the Stone Canyon Band; former Monkee Mike Nesmith who formed the First National Band; and
Neil Young Neil Percival Young (born November 12, 1945) is a Canadian-American singer and songwriter. After embarking on a music career in Winnipeg in the 1960s, Young moved to Los Angeles, joining Buffalo Springfield with Stephen Stills, Richie Furay ...
. The Dillards were, unusually, a country act, who moved towards rock music. The greatest commercial success for country rock came in the 1970s, with artists including the Doobie Brothers,
Emmylou Harris Emmylou Harris (born April 2, 1947) is an American singer, songwriter and musician. She has released dozens of albums and singles over the course of her career and has won 14 Grammys, the Polar Music Prize, and numerous other honors, includin ...
,
Linda Ronstadt Linda Maria Ronstadt (born July 15, 1946) is a retired American singer who performed and recorded in diverse genres including rock, country, light opera, the Great American Songbook, and Latin. She has earned 11 Grammy Awards, three American Mu ...
and the
Eagles Eagle is the common name for many large Bird of prey, birds of prey of the family Accipitridae. Eagles belong to several groups of Genus, genera, some of which are closely related. Most of the 68 species of eagle are from Eurasia and Africa. Ou ...
(made up of members of the Burritos, Poco, and Stone Canyon Band), who emerged as one of the most successful rock acts of all time, producing albums that included ''
Hotel California "Hotel California" is the title track from the Eagles (band), Eagles' Hotel California (Eagles album), album of the same name and was released as a single in February 1977. Writing credits for the song are shared by Don Felder (music), Don Hen ...
'' (1976).N.E. Tawa, ''Supremely American: Popular Song in the 20th Century: Styles and Singers and What They Said About America'' (Lanham, MA: Scarecrow Press, 2005), , p. 227–28. The founders of Southern rock are usually thought to be the Allman Brothers Band, who developed a distinctive sound, largely derived from
blues rock Blues rock is a fusion music genre that combines elements of blues and rock music. It is mostly an electric ensemble-style music with instrumentation similar to electric blues and rock (electric guitar, electric bass guitar, and drums, sometimes w ...
, but incorporating elements of
boogie Boogie is a repetition (music), repetitive, swung note, swung note or shuffle rhythm,Burrows, Terry (1995). ''Play Country Guitar'', p.42. Dorling Kindersley Limited, London. . groove (music), "groove" or pattern used in blues which was origina ...
, soul, and country in the early 1970s. The most successful act to follow them were Lynyrd Skynyrd, who helped establish the " Good ol' boy" image of the subgenre and the general shape of 1970s' guitar rock. Their successors included the fusion/progressive instrumentalists
Dixie Dregs The Dixie Dregs is an American rock music, rock band from Augusta, Georgia. Formed in 1970, the band's performance consists entirely of instrumentals that fuse elements of diverse genres such as rock, classical music, country music, country, jaz ...
, the more country-influenced Outlaws, funk/R&B-leaning Wet Willie and (incorporating elements of R&B and gospel) the Ozark Mountain Daredevils. After the loss of original members of the Allmans and Lynyrd Skynyrd, the genre began to fade in popularity in the late 1970s, but was sustained the 1980s with acts like .38 Special,
Molly Hatchet Molly Hatchet is an American rock music, rock band formed in 1971 by guitarist Dave Hlubek in Jacksonville, Florida. They were a popular band during the late 1970s and early-to-mid 1980s among the southern rock and hard rock communities. The ba ...
and
the Marshall Tucker Band The Marshall Tucker Band is an American rock music, rock band from Spartanburg, South Carolina. Noted for incorporating blues, country music, country, and jazz into an eclectic sound, the Marshall Tucker Band helped establish the Southern rock ge ...
.


Glam rock

Glam rock emerged from the English psychedelic and art rock scenes of the late 1960s and can be seen as both an extension of and reaction against those trends. Musically diverse, varying between the simple rock and roll revivalism of figures like
Alvin Stardust Bernard William Jewry (27 September 1942 – 23 October 2014), known professionally as Shane Fenton and later as Alvin Stardust, was an English rock singer and stage actor. Performing first as Shane Fenton in the 1960s, Jewry had a moderately s ...
to the complex art rock of Roxy Music, and can be seen as much as a fashion as a musical subgenre.R. Shuker, ''Popular Music: the Key Concepts'' (Abingdon: Routledge, 2nd edn., 2005), , pp. 124–25. Visually it was a mesh of various styles, ranging from 1930s
Hollywood Hollywood usually refers to: * Hollywood, Los Angeles, a neighborhood in California * Hollywood, a metonym for the cinema of the United States Hollywood may also refer to: Places United States * Hollywood District (disambiguation) * Hollywood, ...
glamor, through 1950s pin-up sex appeal, pre-war
Cabaret Cabaret is a form of theatrical entertainment featuring music, song, dance, recitation, or drama. The performance venue might be a pub, a casino, a hotel, a restaurant, or a nightclub with a stage for performances. The audience, often dining or d ...
theatrics, Victorian literary and
symbolist Symbolism was a late 19th-century art movement of French art, French and Art of Belgium, Belgian origin in poetry and other arts seeking to represent absolute truths symbolically through language and metaphorical images, mainly as a reaction aga ...
styles, science fiction, to ancient and occult
mysticism Mysticism is popularly known as becoming one with God or the Absolute, but may refer to any kind of Religious ecstasy, ecstasy or altered state of consciousness which is given a religious or Spirituality, spiritual meaning. It may also refer to ...
and
mythology Myth is a folklore genre consisting of narratives that play a fundamental role in a society, such as foundational tales or origin myths. Since "myth" is widely used to imply that a story is not objectively true, the identification of a narra ...
; manifesting itself in outrageous clothes, makeup, hairstyles, and platform-soled boots. Glam is most noted for its sexual and gender ambiguity and representations of
androgyny Androgyny is the possession of both masculine and feminine characteristics. Androgyny may be expressed with regard to Sex, biological sex, gender identity, or gender expression. When ''androgyny'' refers to mixed biological sex characteristics ...
, beside extensive use of theatrics.. It was prefigured by the showmanship and gender-identity manipulation of American acts such as
the Cockettes The Cockettes were an avant garde psychedelia, psychedelic hippie theater group founded by Hibiscus (entertainer), Hibiscus (George Edgerly Harris III) in the fall of 1969. The troupe was formed out of a group of hippie artists, men and women, wh ...
and
Alice Cooper Alice Cooper (born Vincent Damon Furnier, February 4, 1948) is an American rock singer whose career spans over five decades. With a raspy voice and a stage show that features numerous props and stage illusions, including pyrotechnics, guilloti ...
. The origins of glam rock are associated with
Marc Bolan Marc Bolan ( ; born Mark Feld; 30 September 1947 – 16 September 1977) was an English guitarist, singer and songwriter. He was a pioneer of the glam rock movement in the early 1970s with his band T. Rex (band), T. Rex. Bolan was posthumousl ...
, who had renamed his folk duo to T. Rex and taken up electric instruments by the end of the 1960s. Often cited as the moment of inception is his appearance on the BBC music show ''
Top of the Pops ''Top of the Pops'' (''TOTP'') is a British Record chart, music chart television programme, made by the BBC and originally broadcast weekly between 1January 1964 and 30 July 2006. The programme was the world's longest-running weekly music show ...
'' in March 1971 wearing glitter and satins, to perform what would be his second UK Top 10 hit (and first UK Number 1 hit), " Hot Love". From 1971, already a minor star,
David Bowie David Robert Jones (8 January 194710 January 2016), known professionally as David Bowie ( ), was an English singer-songwriter and actor. A leading figure in the music industry, he is regarded as one of the most influential musicians of the ...
developed his Ziggy Stardust persona, incorporating elements of professional make up, mime and performance into his act.P. Auslander, "Watch that man David Bowie: Hammersmith Odeon, London, July 3, 1973" in I. Inglis, ed., ''Performance and Popular Music: History, Place and Time'' (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006), , p. 72. These performers were soon followed in the style by acts including Roxy Music,
Sweet Sweetness is a Taste#Basic tastes, basic taste most commonly Perception, perceived when eating foods rich in sugars. Sweet tastes are generally regarded as pleasure, pleasurable. In addition to sugars like sucrose, many other chemical compounds ...
,
Slade Slade are an English Rock music, rock band formed in Wolverhampton in 1966. They rose to prominence during the glam rock era in the early 1970s, achieving 17 consecutive top 20 hits and six number ones on the UK Singles Chart. The ''British H ...
, Mott the Hoople, Mud and
Alvin Stardust Bernard William Jewry (27 September 1942 – 23 October 2014), known professionally as Shane Fenton and later as Alvin Stardust, was an English rock singer and stage actor. Performing first as Shane Fenton in the 1960s, Jewry had a moderately s ...
. While highly successful in the single charts in the United Kingdom, very few of these musicians were able to make a serious impact in the United States; Bowie was the major exception becoming an international superstar and prompting the adoption of glam styles among acts like
Lou Reed Lewis Allan Reed (March 2, 1942October 27, 2013) was an American musician, songwriter, and poet. He was the guitarist, singer, and principal songwriter for the rock band the Velvet Underground and had a solo career that spanned five decades. ...
,
Iggy Pop James Newell Osterberg Jr. (born April 21, 1947), known professionally as Iggy Pop, is an American singer, musician, songwriter and actor. Called the "Honorific nicknames in popular music, Godfather of Punk", he was the vocalist and lyricist of ...
,
New York Dolls New York Dolls were an American rock music, rock band formed in New York City in 1971. Along with the Velvet Underground and the Stooges, they were one of the first bands of the early punk rock scenes. Although the band never achieved much comme ...
and Jobriath, often known as "glitter rock" and with a darker lyrical content than their British counterparts.P. Auslander, "Watch that man David Bowie: Hammersmith Odeon, London, July 3, 1973" in Ian Inglis, ed., ''Performance and Popular Music: History, Place and Time'' (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006), , p. 80. In the UK the term glitter rock was most often used to refer to the extreme version of glam pursued by
Gary Glitter Paul Francis Gadd (born 8 May 1944), best known by his stage name A stage name is a pseudonym A pseudonym (; ) or alias () is a fictitious name that a person or group assumes for a particular purpose, which differs from their original ...
and his support musicians the Glitter Band, who between them achieved eighteen top ten singles in the UK between 1972 and 1976.D. Thompson, "Glitter Band" and S. Huey, "Gary Glitter", in Bogdanov et al., 2002, p. 466. A second wave of glam rock acts, including
Suzi Quatro Susan Kay Quatro (born June 3, 1950) is an American singer, bass guitarist, songwriter, and actress. In the 1970s, she scored a string of hit singles that found greater success in Europe and Australia than in her homeland, reaching No. 1 in th ...
, Roy Wood's Wizzard and Sparks, dominated the British single charts from about 1974 to 1976. Existing acts, some not usually considered central to the genre, also adopted glam styles, including
Rod Stewart Sir Roderick David Stewart (born 10 January 1945) is a British rock and pop singer and songwriter. Born and raised in London, he is of Scottish and English ancestry. With his distinctive raspy singing voice, Stewart is among the List of best- ...
,
Elton John Sir Elton Hercules John (born Reginald Kenneth Dwight; 25 March 1947) is a British singer, pianist and composer. Commonly nicknamed the "Rocket Man" after Rocket Man (song), his 1972 hit single of the same name, John has led a commercially s ...
, Queen and, for a time, even the Rolling Stones. It was also a direct influence on acts that rose to prominence later, including
Kiss A kiss is the touch or pressing of one's lips against another person or an object. Cultural connotations of kissing vary widely. Depending on the culture and context, a kiss can express sentiments of love Love encompasses a range of s ...
and
Adam Ant Stuart Leslie Goddard, better known as Adam Ant (born 3 November 1954), is an English singer, musician, and actor. He gained popularity as the lead singer of new wave music, new wave group Adam and the Ants and later as a solo artist, scoring ...
, and less directly on the formation of
gothic rock Gothic rock (also called goth rock or simply goth) is a style of rock music that emerged from post-punk in the United Kingdom in the late 1970s. The first post-punk bands which shifted toward dark music with gothic overtones include Siouxsie an ...
and
glam metal Glam metal (also known as hair metal or pop metal) is a subgenre of heavy metal music, heavy metal that features pop music, pop-influenced Hook (music), hooks and guitar riffs, upbeat rock anthems, and slow Sentimental ballad#Power ballads, po ...
as well as on punk rock, which helped end the fashion for glam from about 1976. Glam has since enjoyed sporadic modest revivals through bands such as Chainsaw Kittens, the Darkness and in R&B crossover act
Prince A prince is a Monarch, 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 title, hereditary, in s ...
.


Chicano rock

After the early successes of Latin rock in the 1960s,
Chicano Chicano or Chicana is a chosen identity for many Mexican Americans in the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, ...
musicians like
Carlos Santana Carlos Humberto Santana Barragán (; born July 20, 1947) is an American guitarist who rose to fame in the late 1960s and early 1970s with his band Santana (band), Santana, which pioneered a fusion of Rock and roll and Latin jazz, Latin Americ ...
and
Al Hurricane Alberto Nelson Sanchez (July 10, 1936 – October 22, 2017), known professionally as Al Hurricane, was an American singer-songwriter, dubbed "The Godfather" of New Mexico music. He released more than thirty albums, and is best known for his cont ...
continued to have successful careers throughout the 1970s. Santana opened the decade with success in his 1970 single " Black Magic Woman" on the ''
Abraxas Abraxas ( grc-x-biblical, ἀβραξάς, abraxas, variant form romanized: ) is a word of mystic meaning in the system of the Gnosticism, Gnostic Basilides, being there applied to the "Great Archon (Gnosticism), Archon" (), the princeps of the ...
'' album. His third album '' Santana III'' yielded the single "No One to Depend On", and his fourth album ''
Caravanserai A caravanserai (or caravansary; ) was a roadside Pub#Inns, inn where travelers (caravan (travellers), caravaners) could rest and recover from the day's journey. Caravanserais supported the flow of commerce, information and people across the ne ...
'' experimented with his sound to mixed reception. He later released a series of four albums that all achieved gold status: '' Welcome'', '' Borboletta'', '' Amigos'', and '' Festivál''. Al Hurricane continued to mix his rock music with
New Mexico music New Mexico music ( es, música nuevo mexicana) is a genre of music that originated in the United States, US US State, state of New Mexico, it derives from Puebloan peoples, Pueblo Pueblo music, music in the 13th century, and with the folk music ...
, though he was also experimenting more heavily with
Jazz Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African Americans, 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 recog ...
music, which led to several successful singles, especially on his '' Vestido Mojado'' album, including the eponymous "Vestido Mojado", as well as "Por Una Mujer Casada" and "Puño de Tierra"; his brothers had successful New Mexico music singles in "La Del Moño Colorado" by Tiny Morrie and "La Cumbia De San Antone" by Baby Gaby. Al Hurricane Jr. also began his successful rock-infused New Mexico music recording career in the 1970s, with his 1976 rendition of "Flor De Las Flores".
Los Lobos Los Lobos (, Spanish for "the Wolves") are an American rock band from East Los Angeles, California East Los Angeles ( es, Este de Los Ángeles), or East L.A., is an unincorporated area in Los Angeles County, California. As of the 2020 Uni ...
gained popularity at this time, with their first album '' Los Lobos del Este de Los Angeles'' in 1977.


Soft rock, hard rock, and early heavy metal

From the late 1960s it became common to divide mainstream rock music into soft and hard rock. Soft rock was often derived from folk rock, using acoustic instruments and putting more emphasis on melody and harmonies. Major artists included
Carole King Carole King Klein (born Carol Joan Klein; February 9, 1942) is an American singer, songwriter, and musician who has been active since 1958, initially as one of the staff songwriters at 1650 Broadway and later as a solo artist. Regarded as one ...
,
Cat Stevens Yusuf Islam (born Steven Demetre Georgiou; ), commonly known by his stage names Cat Stevens, Yusuf, and Yusuf / Cat Stevens, is a British singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. His musical style consists of folk music, folk, pop, rock, a ...
and
James Taylor James Vernon Taylor (born March 12, 1948) is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. A six-time Grammy Award winner, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. He is one of the List of best-selling music artists, best-sell ...
.J.M. Curtis, ''Rock Eras: Interpretations of Music and Society, 1954–1984'' (Madison, WI: Popular Press, 1987), , p. 236. It reached its commercial peak in the mid- to late 1970s with acts like
Billy Joel William Martin Joel (born May 9, 1949) is an American singer, pianist and songwriter. Commonly nicknamed the "Piano Man (song), Piano Man" after his album and signature song of the same name, he has led a commercially successful career as a solo ...
,
America The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
and the reformed
Fleetwood Mac Fleetwood Mac are a British-American rock band, formed in London in 1967. Fleetwood Mac were founded by guitarist Peter Green (musician), Peter Green, drummer Mick Fleetwood and guitarist Jeremy Spencer, before bassist John McVie joined the li ...
, whose '' Rumours'' (1977) was the best-selling album of the decade. In contrast, hard rock was more often derived from blues-rock and was played louder and with more intensity. It often emphasised the electric guitar, both as a rhythm instrument using simple repetitive riffs and as a solo lead instrument, and was more likely to be used with
distortion In signal processing, distortion is the alteration of the original shape (or other characteristic) of a signal. In communications and electronics it means the alteration of the waveform of an information-bearing signal, such as an audio signal ...
and other effects. Key acts included British Invasion bands like the Kinks, as well as psychedelic era performers like Cream, Jimi Hendrix and
the Jeff Beck Group The Jeff Beck Group was a British rock music, rock band formed in London in January 1967 by former The Yardbirds, Yardbirds guitarist Jeff Beck. Their innovative approach to heavy-sounding blues, rhythm and blues and rock was a major influence ...
.. Hard rock-influenced bands that enjoyed international success in the later 1970s included Queen,
Thin Lizzy Thin Lizzy are an Irish hard rock band formed in Dublin in 1969. Their music reflects a wide range of influences, including blues, soul music, psychedelic rock and traditional Irish folk music, but is generally classified as hard rock or some ...
,
Aerosmith Aerosmith is an American rock band formed in Boston Boston (), officially the City of Boston, is the capital city, state capital and List of municipalities in Massachusetts, most populous city of the Commonwealth (U.S. state), Common ...
,
AC/DC AC/DC (stylised as ACϟDC) are an Australian Rock music, rock band formed in Sydney in 1973 by Scottish-born brothers Malcolm Young, Malcolm and Angus Young. Their music has been variously described as hard rock, blues rock, and Heavy metal ...
, and
Van Halen Van Halen ( ) was an American Rock music, rock band formed in Pasadena, California, in 1972. Credited with "restoring hard rock to the forefront of the music scene", Van Halen was known for its energetic live shows and for the virtuosity of it ...
. From the late 1960s the term "heavy metal" began to be used to describe some hard rock played with even more volume and intensity, first as an adjective and by the early 1970s as a noun. The term was first used in music in Steppenwolf's "
Born to Be Wild "Born to Be Wild" is a song written by Mars Bonfire and first performed by the band Steppenwolf (band), Steppenwolf. The song is often invoked in both Popular culture, popular and Counterculture of the 1960s, counter culture to denote a motorcy ...
" (1967) and began to be associated with pioneer bands like San Francisco's
Blue Cheer Blue Cheer was an American Rock music, rock band that initially performed and recorded in the late 1960s and early 1970s and was sporadically active until 2009. Based in San Francisco, Blue Cheer played in a psychedelic rock, psychedelic blues r ...
, Cleveland's
James Gang James Gang is an American Rock music, rock band formed in Cleveland, Ohio in 1966. The band went through a variety of line-up changes until they recorded their first album as a power trio consisting of Joe Walsh (guitars, lead vocals), Tom Kriss ...
and Michigan's
Grand Funk Railroad Grand Funk Railroad (often shortened to Grand Funk) is an American rock band formed in 1968 in Flint, Michigan, by Mark Farner (vocals, guitar), Don Brewer (drums, vocals), and Mel Schacher (bass). The band achieved peak popularity and success ...
. By 1970 three key British bands had developed the characteristic sounds and styles which would help shape the subgenre.
Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin were an English rock band formed in London in 1968. The group comprised vocalist Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones (musician), John Paul Jones, and drummer John Bonham. With a heavy, guitar ...
added elements of fantasy to their riff laden blues-rock,
Deep Purple Deep Purple are an English rock band formed in London in 1968. They are considered to be among the pioneers of heavy metal music, heavy metal and modern hard rock music, but their musical style has changed over the course of its existence. Ori ...
brought in symphonic and medieval interests from their progressive rock phase and
Black Sabbath Black Sabbath were an English rock music, rock band formed in Birmingham in 1968 by guitarist Tony Iommi, drummer Bill Ward (musician), Bill Ward, bassist Geezer Butler and vocalist Ozzy Osbourne. They are often cited as pioneers of heavy met ...
introduced facets of the gothic and modal harmony, helping to produce a "darker" sound.R. Walser, ''Running With the Devil: Power, Gender, and Madness in Heavy Metal Music'' (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1993), , p. 10. These elements were taken up by a "second generation" of heavy metal bands into the late 1970s, including:
Judas Priest Judas Priest are an English heavy metal music, heavy metal band formed in Birmingham in 1969. They have sold over 50 million albums and are frequently ranked as one of the greatest metal bands of all time. Despite an innovative and pioneering ...
,
UFO An unidentified flying object (UFO), more recently renamed by US officials as a UAP (unidentified aerial phenomenon), is any perceived aerial phenomenon that cannot be immediately identified or explained. On investigation, most UFOs are Ide ...
, Motörhead and
Rainbow A rainbow is a meteorology, meteorological phenomenon that is caused by Specular reflection, reflection, refraction and dispersion (optics), dispersion of light in water droplets resulting in a optical spectrum, spectrum of light appearing in ...
from Britain;
Kiss A kiss is the touch or pressing of one's lips against another person or an object. Cultural connotations of kissing vary widely. Depending on the culture and context, a kiss can express sentiments of love Love encompasses a range of s ...
,
Ted Nugent Theodore Anthony Nugent (; born December 13, 1948) is an American rock musician and activist. He initially gained fame as the lead guitarist and occasional lead vocalist of The Amboy Dukes, a band formed in 1963 that played psychedelic rock an ...
, and
Blue Öyster Cult Blue Öyster Cult ( ; sometimes abbreviated BÖC or BOC) is an American rock band formed on Long Island Long Island is a densely populated island in the southeastern region of the U.S. state of New York (state), New York, part of the Ne ...
from the US; Rush from Canada and
Scorpions Scorpions are predatory arachnids of the Order (biology), order Scorpiones. They have eight legs, and are easily recognized by a pair of Chela (organ), grasping pincers and a narrow, segmented tail, often carried in a characteristic forward curv ...
from Germany, all marking the expansion in popularity of the subgenre. Despite a lack of airplay and very little presence on the singles charts, late-1970s heavy metal built a considerable following, particularly among adolescent working-class males in North America and Europe.


Christian rock

Rock, mostly the heavy metal genre, has been criticized by some Christian leaders, who have condemned it as immoral, anti-Christian and even satanic. However, Christian rock began to develop in the late 1960s, particularly out of the Jesus movement beginning in Southern California, and emerged as a subgenre in the 1970s with artists like Larry Norman, usually seen as the first major "star" of Christian rock. The genre was mostly a phenomenon in the United States. Many Christian rock performers have ties to the
contemporary Christian music Contemporary Christian music, also known as CCM, Christian pop, and occasionally inspirational music is a genre of modern popular music, and an aspect of Christian media, which is lyrically focused on matters related to the Christianity, Christi ...
scene. Starting in the 1980s Christian pop performers have had some mainstream success. While these artists were largely acceptable in Christian communities, the adoption of heavy rock and glam metal styles by bands like Stryper, who achieved considerable mainstream success in the 1980s, was more controversial. From the 1990s there were increasing numbers of acts who attempted to avoid the Christian band label, preferring to be seen as groups who were also Christians, including P.O.D.


Heartland rock

American working-class oriented heartland rock, characterized by a straightforward musical style, and a concern with the lives of ordinary,
blue-collar A blue-collar worker is a working class person who performs manual labour, manual labor. Blue-collar work may involve skilled or unskilled labor. The type of work may involving manufacturing, Warehouse, warehousing, mining, Digging, excavation ...
American people, developed in the second half of the 1970s. The term heartland rock was first used to describe Midwestern
arena rock Arena rock (also known as AOR, melodic rock, stadium rock, anthem rock, pomp rock, corporate rock and dad rock; ; ) is a style of rock music that originated in the mid-1970s. As hard rock bands and those playing a softer yet strident kind of po ...
groups like
Kansas Kansas () is a U.S. state, state in the Midwestern United States, Midwestern United States. Its Capital city, capital is Topeka, Kansas, Topeka, and its largest city is Wichita, Kansas, Wichita. Kansas is a landlocked state bordered by Nebras ...
,
REO Speedwagon REO Speedwagon (originally stylized as R.E.O. Speedwagon) is an American Rock music, rock Band (rock and pop), band from Champaign, Illinois. Formed in 1967, the band cultivated a following during the 1970s and achieved significant commercial ...
and Styx, but which came to be associated with a more socially concerned form of roots rock more directly influenced by folk, country and rock and roll. It has been seen as an American Midwest and
Rust Belt The Rust Belt is a region of the United States that experienced industrial decline starting in the 1950s. The U.S. manufacturing sector as a percentage of the Economy of the United States, U.S. GDP peaked in 1953 and has been in decline since, ...
counterpart to West Coast country rock and the Southern rock of the American South. Led by figures who had initially been identified with punk and New Wave, it was most strongly influenced by acts such as Bob Dylan, the Byrds, Creedence Clearwater Revival and
Van Morrison Sir George Ivan Morrison (born 31 August 1945), known professionally as Van Morrison, is a Northern Irish singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist whose recording career spans seven decades. He has won two Grammy Awards. As a teenager in t ...
, and the basic rock of 1960s garage and the Rolling Stones.. Exemplified by the commercial success of singer songwriters
Bruce Springsteen Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen (born September 23, 1949) is an American singer and songwriter. He has released 21 studio albums, most of which feature his backing band, the E Street Band. Originally from the Jersey Shore, he is an origina ...
,
Bob Seger Robert Clark Seger ( ; born May 6, 1945) is an American singer, songwriter, and musician. As a locally successful Detroit-area artist, he performed and recorded as Bob Seger and the Last Heard and The Bob Seger System throughout the 1960s, break ...
, and
Tom Petty Thomas Earl Petty (October 20, 1950October 2, 2017) was an American musician who was the lead vocalist and guitarist of the rock band Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, formed in 1976. He previously led the band Mudcrutch, was a member of the late ...
, along with less widely known acts such as Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes and Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers, it was partly a reaction to post-industrial urban decline in the East and Mid-West, often dwelling on issues of social disintegration and isolation, beside a form of good-time rock and roll revivalism. The genre reached its commercial, artistic and influential peak in the mid-1980s, with Springsteen's '' Born in the USA'' (1984), topping the charts worldwide and spawning a series of top ten singles, together with the arrival of artists including
John Mellencamp John J. Mellencamp (born October 7, 1951), previously known as Johnny Cougar, John Cougar, and John Cougar Mellencamp, is an American singer-songwriter. He is known for his catchy brand of heartland rock, which emphasizes traditional instrument ...
, Steve Earle and more gentle singer-songwriters such as
Bruce Hornsby Bruce Randall Hornsby (born November 23, 1954) is an American singer-songwriter and pianist. His music draws from folk rock, jazz Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African Americans, African-American communities of New Orleans ...
. It can also be heard as an influence on artists as diverse as
Billy Joel William Martin Joel (born May 9, 1949) is an American singer, pianist and songwriter. Commonly nicknamed the "Piano Man (song), Piano Man" after his album and signature song of the same name, he has led a commercially successful career as a solo ...
,
Kid Rock Robert James Ritchie (born January 17, 1971), known professionally as Kid Rock (also known as Bobby Shazam), is an American singer, songwriter and rapper. His style alternates between rock music, rock, hip hop music, hip hop, country music, co ...
and
the Killers The Killers are an American Rock music, rock band formed in Las Vegas in 2001 by Brandon Flowers (lead vocals, keyboards, bass) and Dave Keuning (lead guitar, backing vocals). After going through a number of short-term bass players and drum ...
. Heartland rock faded away as a recognized genre by the early 1990s, as rock music in general, and blue-collar and white working class themes in particular, lost influence with younger audiences, and as heartland's artists turned to more personal works. Many heartland rock artists continue to record today with critical and commercial success, most notably Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, and John Mellencamp, although their works have become more personal and experimental and no longer fit easily into a single genre. Newer artists whose music would perhaps have been labeled heartland rock had it been released in the 1970s or 1980s, such as Missouri's
Bottle Rockets A bottle is a narrow-necked container A container is any receptacle or enclosure for holding a product used in storage, packaging, and transportation, including shipping. Things kept inside of a container are protected on several side ...
and Illinois' Uncle Tupelo, often find themselves labeled alt-country.


Punk rock

Punk rock was developed between 1974 and 1976 in the United States and the United Kingdom. Rooted in garage rock and other forms of what is now known as protopunk music, punk rock bands eschewed the perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock.J. Dougan, "Punk Music", in Bogdanov et al., 2002, pp. 1335–36. They created fast, hard-edged music, typically with short songs, stripped-down instrumentation, and often political, anti-establishment lyrics. Punk embraces a DIY (do it yourself) ethic, with many bands self-producing their recordings and distributing them through informal channels. By late 1976, acts such as the
Ramones The Ramones were an American punk rock band that formed in the New York City neighborhood of Forest Hills, Queens, in 1974. They are often cited as the first true punk rock group. Despite achieving a limited commercial appeal in the United St ...
and
Patti Smith Patricia Lee Smith (born December 30, 1946) is an American singer, songwriter, poet, painter and author who became an influential component of the New York City punk rock movement with her 1975 debut album ''Horses (album), Horses''. Called ...
, in New York City, and the
Sex Pistols The Sex Pistols were an English punk rock band formed in London in 1975. Although their initial career lasted just two and a half years, they were one of the most groundbreaking acts in the history of popular music. They were responsible for ...
and
the Clash The Clash were an English rock music, rock band formed in London in 1976 who were key players in the original wave of British punk rock. Billed as "The Only Band That Matters", they also contributed to the and new wave music, new wave moveme ...
, in London, were recognized as the vanguard of a new musical movement. The following year saw punk rock spreading around the world. Punk quickly became a major cultural phenomenon in the UK. The Sex Pistols' live TV skirmish with
Bill Grundy William Grundy (18 May 1923 – 9 February 1993) was an English journalist and broadcaster, best known for his work as anchor of ''Today'', a regional magazine programme on Thames Television in London. In the latter role, Grundy gained ...
on 1 December 1976, was the watershed moment in British punk's transformation into a major media phenomenon, even as some stores refused to stock the records and radio airplay was hard to come by. In May 1977, the Sex Pistols achieved new heights of controversy (and number two on the singles chart) with a song that referenced
Queen Elizabeth II Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary; 21 April 1926 – 8 September 2022) was Queen of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms from 6 February 1952 until Death and state funeral of Elizabeth II, her death in 2022. She was queen ...
, "
God Save the Queen "God Save the King" is the national and/or royal anthem of the United Kingdom, most of the Commonwealth realms, their territories, and the British Crown Dependencies. The author of the tune is unknown and it may originate in plainchant, b ...
", during her Silver Jubilee. For the most part, punk took root in local scenes that tended to reject association with the mainstream. An associated
punk subculture The punk subculture includes a diverse and widely known array of Punk ideologies, ideologies, Punk fashion, fashion, and other forms of expression, Punk visual art, visual art, dance, Punk literature, literature, and film. Largely characterised ...
emerged, expressing youthful rebellion and characterized by distinctive clothing styles and a variety of anti-authoritarian ideologies. By the beginning of the 1980s, faster, more aggressive styles such as hardcore and Oi! had become the predominant mode of punk rock. This has resulted in several evolved strains of hardcore punk, such as D-beat (a distortion-heavy subgenre influenced by the UK band Discharge),
anarcho-punk Anarcho-punk (also known as anarchist punk or peace punk) is ideological subgenre of punk rock that promotes anarchism. Some use the term broadly to refer to any punk music with anarchist lyrical content, which may figure in crust punk, hardcore ...
(such as
Crass Crass were an English art collective and punk rock band formed in Epping, Essex Epping is a market town and civil parish in the Epping Forest Epping Forest is a area of ancient woodland, and other established habitats, which ...
),
grindcore Grindcore is an extreme metal, extreme fusion genre of heavy metal music, heavy metal and hardcore punk that originated in the mid-1980s, drawing inspiration from abrasive-sounding musical styles, such as thrashcore, crust punk, hardcore punk, ...
(such as
Napalm Death Napalm Death are an English grindcore band formed in 1981 in Meriden, West Midlands. None of the band's original members has been in the group since 1986. But since ''Utopia Banished'' (1992), the lineup of bassist Shane Embury, guitarist Mitch ...
), and
crust punk Crust punk (also known as crust or stenchcore) is a form of music influenced by English punk rock and extreme metal. The style, which evolved in the early 1980s in England, often has songs with dark and pessimistic lyrics that linger on politica ...
. Musicians identifying with or inspired by punk also pursued a broad range of other variations, giving rise to New wave,
post-punk Post-punk (originally called new musick) is a broad music genre, genre of Punk Music, punk music that emerged in the late 1970s as musicians departed from punk's traditional elements and raw simplicity, instead adopting a variety of avant-garde s ...
and the
alternative rock Alternative rock, or alt-rock, is a category of rock music that emerged from the independent music underground of the 1970s and became widely popular in the 1990s. "Alternative" refers to the genre's distinction from Popular culture, mainstre ...
movement.


New wave

Although punk rock was a significant social and musical phenomenon, it achieved less in the way of record sales (being distributed by small specialty labels such as
Stiff Records Stiff Records is a British independent record label formed in London, England, by Dave Robinson (music executive), Dave Robinson and Jake Riviera. Originally active from 1976 to 1986, the label was reactivated in 2007. Established at the outse ...
), or American radio airplay (as the radio scene continued to be dominated by mainstream formats such as
disco Disco is a music genre, genre of dance music and a subculture that emerged in the 1970s in music, 1970s from the United States' urban nightclub, nightlife scene. Its sound is typified by four-on-the-floor (music), four-on-the-floor beats, syncop ...
and
album-oriented rock Album-oriented rock (AOR, originally called album-oriented radio) is an FM broadcasting, FM radio format created in the United States in the 1970s that focuses on the full repertoire of Rock music, rock albums and is currently associated with ...
). Punk rock had attracted devotees from the art and collegiate world and soon bands sporting a more literate, arty approach, such as
Talking Heads Talking Heads were an American rock music, rock band formed in 1975 in New York City and active until 1991.Devo Devo (, originally ) is an American Rock music, rock band from Akron, Ohio, formed in 1973. Their classic line-up consisted of two sets of brothers, the Mothersbaughs (Mark Mothersbaugh, Mark and Bob Mothersbaugh, Bob) and the Casales (Gerald ...
began to infiltrate the punk scene; in some quarters the description "new wave" began to be used to differentiate these less overtly punk bands. Record executives, who had been mostly mystified by the punk movement, recognized the potential of the more accessible new wave acts and began aggressively signing and marketing any band that could claim a remote connection to punk or new wave. Many of these bands, such as
the Cars The Cars were an American Rock music, rock band formed in Boston in 1976. Emerging from the New wave music, new wave scene in the late 1970s, they consisted of Ric Ocasek (rhythm guitar), Benjamin Orr (bass guitar), Elliot Easton (lead guitar), ...
and
the Go-Go's The Go-Go's are an American Rock music, rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1978. Except for short periods when other musicians joined briefly, the band has had a relatively stable lineup consisting of Charlotte Caffey on lead guitar and keyboar ...
can be seen as pop bands marketed as new wave; other existing acts, including
the Police The Police were an English rock music, rock band formed in London in 1977. For most of their history the line-up consisted of primary songwriter Sting (musician), Sting (lead vocals, bass guitar), Andy Summers (guitar) and Stewart Copeland (dr ...
,
the Pretenders Pretenders are an English–American rock band formed in March 1978. The original band consisted of founder and main songwriter Chrissie Hynde (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), James Honeyman-Scott (lead guitar, backing vocals, keyboards), Pete Fa ...
and
Elvis Costello Declan Patrick MacManus Order of the British Empire, OBE (born 25 August 1954), known professionally as Elvis Costello, is an English singer-songwriter and record producer. He has won multiple awards in his career, including a Grammy Award in ...
, used the new wave movement as the springboard for relatively long and critically successful careers, while "skinny tie" bands exemplified by the Knack, or the photogenic Blondie, began as punk acts and moved into more commercial territory.S.T. Erlewine, "New Wave", in Bogdanov et al., 2002, pp. 1337–38. Between 1979 and 1985, influenced by Kraftwerk,
Yellow Magic Orchestra Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO for short) is a Japanese electronic music band formed in Tokyo in 1978 by Haruomi Hosono (bass, keyboards, vocals), Yukihiro Takahashi (drums, lead vocals) and Ryuichi Sakamoto (keyboards, vocals). The group is conside ...
, David Bowie and
Gary Numan Gary Anthony James Webb (born 8 March 1958), known professionally as Gary Numan, is an English musician. He entered the music industry as frontman of the New wave music, new wave band Tubeway Army. After releasing two albums with the band, he ...
, British new wave went in the direction of such New Romantics as
Spandau Ballet Spandau Ballet () were an English New wave music, new wave band formed in Islington, London, in 1979. Inspired by the capital's post-punk underground dance scene, they emerged at the start of the 1980s as the house band for the Blitz Kids, playi ...
,
Ultravox Ultravox (earlier styled as Ultravox!) were a British new wave band, formed in London in April 1974 as Tiger Lily. Between 1980 and 1986, they scored seven Top Ten albums and seventeen Top 40 singles in the UK, the most successful of which was ...
,
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally , ''Nihonkoku'') is an island country in East Asia. It is situated in the northwest Pacific Ocean, and is bordered on the west by the Sea of Japan, while extending from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north ...
,
Duran Duran Duran Duran () are an English Rock music, rock band formed in Birmingham in 1978 by singer and bassist Stephen Duffy, keyboardist Nick Rhodes and guitarist/bassist John Taylor (bass guitarist), John Taylor. With the addition of drummer Roger ...
,
A Flock of Seagulls A Flock of Seagulls are an English New wave music, new wave band formed in Liverpool in 1979. The group, whose best-known line-up comprised Mike Score, Ali Score, Frank Maudsley and Paul Reynolds (musician), Paul Reynolds, hit the peak of thei ...
,
Culture Club Culture Club are an English pop music, pop band formed in London in 1981. The band comprises Boy George (lead vocals), Roy Hay (musician), Roy Hay (guitar and keyboards), Mikey Craig (bass guitar) and formerly included Jon Moss (drums and percu ...
, Talk Talk and the
Eurythmics Eurythmics were a British Pop music, pop duo consisting of Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart (musician and producer), Dave Stewart. They were both previously in The Tourists, a band which broke up in 1980. The duo released their first studio alb ...
, sometimes using the synthesizer to replace all other instruments. This period coincided with the rise of
MTV MTV (Originally an initialism An acronym is a word or name formed from the initial components of a longer name or phrase. Acronyms are usually formed from the initial letters of words, as in ''NATO'' (''North Atlantic Treaty Organization ...
and led to a great deal of exposure for this brand of synth-pop, creating what has been characterised as a
second British Invasion The Second British Invasion consisted of music acts from the United Kingdom that became popular in the U.S. during the early-to-mid 1980s primarily due to the cable music channel MTV. The term derives from the similar British Invasion of the U. ...
.S. Reynolds, ''Rip It Up and Start Again Postpunk 1978–1984'' (London: Penguin Books, 2006), , pp. 340, 342–43. Some more traditional rock bands adapted to the video age and profited from MTV's
airplay Airplay is how frequently a song is being played through broadcasting Broadcasting is the distribution (business), distribution of sound, audio or video content to a dispersed audience via any electronic medium (communication), mass communi ...
, most obviously
Dire Straits Dire Straits were a British Rock music, rock band formed in London in 1977 by Mark Knopfler (lead vocals and lead guitar), David Knopfler (rhythm guitar and backing vocals), John Illsley (bass guitar and backing vocals) and Pick Withers (drums ...
, whose " Money for Nothing" gently poked fun at the station, despite the fact that it had helped make them international stars, but in general, guitar-oriented rock was commercially eclipsed.


Post-punk

If hardcore most directly pursued the stripped down aesthetic of punk, and new wave came to represent its commercial wing, post-punk emerged in the later 1970s and early 1980s as its more artistic and challenging side. Major influences beside punk bands were
the Velvet Underground The Velvet Underground was an American Rock music, rock band formed in New York City in 1964. The original line-up consisted of singer/guitarist Lou Reed, multi-instrumentalist John Cale, guitarist Sterling Morrison, and drummer Angus MacLis ...
, Frank Zappa and
Captain Beefheart Don Van Vliet (; born Don Glen Vliet; January 15, 1941 – December 17, 2010) was an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and visual artist best known by the stage name Captain Beefheart. Conducting a rotating ensemble known as T ...
, and the New York-based no wave scene which placed an emphasis on performance, including bands such as
James Chance and the Contortions James Chance and the Contortions (initially known simply as Contortions, a spin-off group is called James White and the Blacks) was a musical group led by saxophonist and vocalist James Chance, formed in 1977. They were a central act of New York ...
, DNA and
Sonic Youth Sonic Youth was an American Rock music, rock band based in New York City, formed in 1981. Founding members Thurston Moore (guitar, vocals), Kim Gordon (bass, vocals, guitar) and Lee Ranaldo (guitar, vocals) remained together for the entire hist ...
.S.T. Erlewine, "Post Punk", in Bogdanov et al., 2002, pp. 1337–8. Early contributors to the genre included the US bands Pere Ubu, Devo,
the Residents The Residents are an American art collective and art rock band best known for their avant-garde music and multimedia works. Since their first official release, ''Meet the Residents'' (1974), they have released over 60 albums, numerous music vi ...
and
Talking Heads Talking Heads were an American rock music, rock band formed in 1975 in New York City and active until 1991. The first wave of British post-punk included
Gang of Four The Gang of Four () was a Maoist political faction composed of four Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials. They came to prominence during the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976) and were later charged with a series of treasonous crimes. The gang ...
,
Siouxsie and the Banshees Siouxsie and the Banshees were a British Rock music, rock band formed in London in 1976 by vocalist Siouxsie Sioux and bass guitarist Steven Severin. They have been widely influential, both over their contemporaries and with later acts. Q (maga ...
and
Joy Division Joy Division were an English Rock music, rock band formed in Salford in 1976. The group consisted of vocalist Ian Curtis, guitarist/keyboardist Bernard Sumner, bassist Peter Hook and drummer Stephen Morris (musician), Stephen Morris. Sumner ...
, who placed less emphasis on art than their US counterparts and more on the dark emotional qualities of their music. Bands like Siouxsie and the Banshees,
Bauhaus The Staatliches Bauhaus (), commonly known as the Bauhaus (), was a German art school operational from 1919 to 1933 that combined crafts and the fine arts.Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 4th edn., 2009 ...
,
the Cure The Cure are an English Rock music, rock band formed in 1978 in Crawley, Crawley, West Sussex. Throughout numerous lineup changes since the band's formation, guitarist, lead vocalist, and songwriter Robert Smith (musician), Robert Smith has re ...
, and
the Sisters of Mercy The Sisters of Mercy is an English rock music, rock band, formed in 1980 in Leeds. After achieving early underground fame there, the band had their commercial breakthrough in the mid-1980s and sustained it until the early 1990s, when they stop ...
, moved increasingly in this direction to found Gothic rock, which had become the basis of a major sub-culture by the early 1980s. Similar emotional territory was pursued by Australian acts like the Birthday Party and
Nick Cave Nicholas Edward Cave (born 22 September 1957) is an Australian singer, songwriter, poet, lyricist, author, screenwriter, composer and occasional actor. Known for his baritone voice and for fronting the rock music, rock band Nick Cave and the B ...
. Members of Bauhaus and Joy Division explored new stylistic territory as Love and Rockets and New Order respectively. Another early post-punk movement was the industrial music developed by British bands
Throbbing Gristle Throbbing Gristle were an English music and visual arts The visual arts are Art#Forms, genres, media, and styles, art forms such as painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics (art), ceramics, photography, video, filmmaking, desig ...
and Cabaret Voltaire, and New York-based
Suicide Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one's own death Death is the Irreversible process, irreversible cessation of all biological process, biological functions that sustain an organism. For organisms with a brain, death can also ...
, using a variety of electronic and sampling techniques that emulated the sound of industrial production and which would develop into a variety of forms of post-industrial music in the 1980s. The second generation of British post-punk bands that broke through in the early 1980s, including the Fall,
the Pop Group The Pop Group are an English rock music, rock band formed in Bristol in 1977 by vocalist Mark Stewart (English musician), Mark Stewart, guitarist John Waddington (musician), John Waddington, bassist Simon Underwood, guitarist/saxophonist Gareth ...
,
the Mekons The Mekons are a British band formed in the late 1970s as an art collective. They are one of the longest-running and most prolific of the first-wave British punk rock bands. The band's style has evolved over time to incorporate aspects of c ...
, Echo and the Bunnymen and the Teardrop Explodes, tended to move away from dark sonic landscapes. Arguably the most successful band to emerge from post-punk was Ireland's U2, who incorporated elements of religious imagery together with political commentary into their often anthemic music, and by the late 1980s had become one of the biggest bands in the world. Although many post-punk bands continued to record and perform, it declined as a movement in the mid-1980s as acts disbanded or moved off to explore other musical areas, but it has continued to influence the development of rock music and has been seen as a major element in the creation of the alternative rock movement.


Emergence of alternative rock

The term alternative rock was coined in the early 1980s to describe rock artists who did not fit into the mainstream genres of the time. Bands dubbed "alternative" had no unified style, but were all seen as distinct from mainstream music. Alternative bands were linked by their collective debt to punk rock, through hardcore, New Wave or the post-punk movements.S.T. Erlewine, "American Alternative Rock / Post Punk", in V. Bogdanov, C. Woodstra and S.T. Erlewine, ''All Music Guide to Rock: the Definitive Guide to Rock, Pop, and Soul'' (Milwaukee, WI: Backbeat Books, 3rd edn., 2002), , pp. 1344–6. Important alternative rock bands of the 1980s in the US included R.E.M., Hüsker Dü,
Jane's Addiction Jane's Addiction is an American Rock music, rock band from Los Angeles, formed in 1985. The band consists of vocalist Perry Farrell, guitarist Dave Navarro, drummer Stephen Perkins and bassist Eric Avery. Jane's Addiction was one of the first b ...
,
Sonic Youth Sonic Youth was an American Rock music, rock band based in New York City, formed in 1981. Founding members Thurston Moore (guitar, vocals), Kim Gordon (bass, vocals, guitar) and Lee Ranaldo (guitar, vocals) remained together for the entire hist ...
, and the Pixies, and in the UK
the Cure The Cure are an English Rock music, rock band formed in 1978 in Crawley, Crawley, West Sussex. Throughout numerous lineup changes since the band's formation, guitarist, lead vocalist, and songwriter Robert Smith (musician), Robert Smith has re ...
, New Order,
the Jesus and Mary Chain The Jesus and Mary Chain are a Scottish alternative rock Alternative rock, or alt-rock, is a category of rock music that emerged from the independent music underground of the 1970s and became widely popular in the 1990s. "Alternative" ref ...
, and
the Smiths The Smiths were an English rock band formed in Manchester in 1982. They comprised the singer Morrissey, the guitarist Johnny Marr, the bassist Andy Rourke and the drummer Mike Joyce (musician), Mike Joyce. They are regarded as one of the most i ...
.S.T. Erlewine, "British Alternative Rock", in V. Bogdanov, C. Woodstra and S.T. Erlewine, ''All Music Guide to Rock: the Definitive Guide to Rock, Pop, and Soul'' (Milwaukee, WI: Backbeat Books, 3rd edn., 2002), , pp. 1346–47. Artists were largely confined to
independent record labels An independent record label (or indie label) is a record label that operates without the funding or distribution of major record labels; they are a type of small and medium-sized enterprise, small- to medium-sized enterprise, or SME. The labels ...
, building an extensive underground music scene based on
college radio Campus radio (also known as college radio, university radio or student radio) is a type of radio station that is run by the students of a college, university or other educational institution. Programming may be exclusively created or produced ...
, fanzines, touring, and word-of-mouth. They rejected the dominant synth-pop of the early 1980s, marking a return to group-based guitar rock. Few of these early bands achieved mainstream success, although exceptions to this rule include R.E.M., the Smiths, and the Cure. Despite a general lack of spectacular album sales, the original alternative rock bands exerted a considerable influence on the generation of musicians who came of age in the 1980s and ended up breaking through to mainstream success in the 1990s. Styles of alternative rock in the US during the 1980s included
jangle pop Jangle pop is a Music subgenre, subgenre of pop rock or college rock that emphasizes jangle, jangly guitars and 1960s-style pop music, pop melodies. The term originated from Bob Dylan's song "Mr. Tambourine Man", whose 1965 rendition by the Byr ...
, associated with the early recordings of R.E.M., which incorporated the ringing guitars of mid-1960s pop and rock, and college rock, used to describe alternative bands that began in the college circuit and college radio, including acts such as
10,000 Maniacs 10,000 Maniacs is an American alternative rock band that was founded in 1981. They have released nine studio albums, six EPs, and five live albums. They achieved their most significant success between 1987 and 1993, when they released four album ...
and the Feelies. In the UK, Gothic rock was dominant in the early 1980s, but by the end of the decade, indie or dream pop like
Primal Scream Primal Scream are a Scottish rock music, rock band originally formed in 1982 in Glasgow by Bobby Gillespie (vocals) and Jim Beattie (musician), Jim Beattie. The band's current lineup consists of Gillespie, Andrew Innes (guitar), Simone Butler ...
, Bogshed, Half Man Half Biscuit and
the Wedding Present The Wedding Present are an English indie rock group originally formed in 1985 in Leeds, England, from the ashes of The Lost Pandas. The band's music has evolved from fast-paced indie rock in the vein of their most obvious influences The Fall ( ...
, and what were dubbed shoegaze bands like My Bloody Valentine,
Slowdive Slowdive is a British rock band that formed in Reading, Berkshire, in 1989. The band consists of Rachel Goswell on vocals and guitar, Neil Halstead on vocals and guitar, Christian Savill on guitar, Nick Chaplin on bass and Simon Scott (drummer ...
, Ride and Lush entered. Particularly vibrant was the
Madchester Madchester was a musical and cultural scene that developed in the English city of Manchester in the late 1980s, closely associated with the indie dance scene. Indie-dance (sometimes referred to as indie-rave) saw artists merging Indie rock, i ...
scene, producing such bands as
Happy Mondays Happy Mondays are an English rock band formed in Salford Salford () is a city and the largest settlement in the City of Salford metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. In 2011, Salford had a population of 103,886. It is als ...
,
Inspiral Carpets Inspiral Carpets are an English rock band, part of the late-1980s/early-1990s Madchester movement. Formed in Oldham in 1980, the band's most successful lineup featured frontman Tom Hingley, drummer Craig Gill, guitarist Graham Lambert, bass ...
and
the Stone Roses The Stone Roses were an English rock band formed in Manchester Manchester () is a city in Greater Manchester, England. It had a population of 552,000 in 2021. It is bordered by the Cheshire Plain to the south, the Pennines to the nor ...
. The next decade would see the success of
grunge Grunge (sometimes referred to as the Seattle sound) is an alternative rock Music genre, genre and subculture that emerged during the in the American Pacific Northwest state of Washington (state), Washington, particularly in Seattle and nearby to ...
in the US and
Britpop Britpop was a mid-1990s United Kingdom, British-based music culture movement that emphasised Britishness. It produced brighter, catchier alternative rock, partly in reaction to the popularity of the darker lyrical themes of the US-led grunge mu ...
in the UK, bringing alternative rock into the mainstream.


Early 1990s–late 2000s


Grunge

Disaffected by commercialized and highly produced pop and rock in the mid-1980s, bands in Washington state (particularly in the
Seattle Seattle ( ) is a seaport city on the West Coast of the United States. It is the seat of King County, Washington. With a 2020 population of 737,015, it is the largest city in both the state of Washington and the Pacific Northwest regio ...
area) formed a new style of rock which sharply contrasted with the mainstream music of the time.. The developing genre came to be known as "grunge", a term descriptive of the dirty sound of the music and the unkempt appearance of most musicians, who actively rebelled against the over-groomed images of other artists. Grunge fused elements of
hardcore punk Hardcore punk (also known as simply hardcore) is a punk rock music genre and subculture that originated in the late 1970s. It is generally faster, harder, and more aggressive than other forms of punk rock. Its roots can be traced to earlier punk ...
and heavy metal into a single sound, and made heavy use of guitar
distortion In signal processing, distortion is the alteration of the original shape (or other characteristic) of a signal. In communications and electronics it means the alteration of the waveform of an information-bearing signal, such as an audio signal ...
, fuzz and
feedback Feedback occurs when outputs of a system are routed back as inputs as part of a chain of cause-and-effect that forms a circuit or loop. The system can then be said to ''feed back'' into itself. The notion of cause-and-effect has to be handled ...
. The lyrics were typically apathetic and angst-filled, and often concerned themes such as social alienation and entrapment, although it was also known for its dark humor and parodies of commercial rock. Bands such as Green River,
Soundgarden Soundgarden was an American Rock music, rock band formed in Seattle, Seattle, Washington, in 1984 by singer and drummer Chris Cornell, lead guitarist Kim Thayil (both of whom are the only members to appear in every incarnation of the band), an ...
, Melvins and Skin Yard pioneered the genre, with
Mudhoney Mudhoney is an American rock music, rock band formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1988, following the demise of Green River (band), Green River. Its members are singer and rhythm guitarist Mark Arm, lead guitarist Steve Turner (guitarist), Steve ...
becoming the most successful by the end of the decade. Grunge remained largely a local phenomenon until 1991, when
Nirvana ( , , ; sa, निर्वाण} ''nirvāṇa'' ; Pali: ''nibbāna''; Prakrit: ''ṇivvāṇa''; literally, "blown out", as in an oil lampRichard Gombrich, ''Theravada Buddhism: A Social History from Ancient Benāres to Modern Colombo.' ...
's album ''
Nevermind ''Nevermind'' is the second studio album by the American Rock music, rock band Nirvana (band), Nirvana, released on September 24, 1991, by DGC Records. It was Nirvana's first release on a Record label#Major versus independent record labels, major ...
'' became a huge success, containing the anthemic song "
Smells Like Teen Spirit "Smells Like Teen Spirit" is a song by the American rock band Nirvana ( , , ; sa, निर्वाण} ''nirvāṇa'' ; Pali: ''nibbāna''; Prakrit: ''ṇivvāṇa''; literally, "blown out", as in an oil lampRichard Gombrich, ' ...
". ''Nevermind'' was more melodic than its predecessors, by signing to Geffen Records the band was one of the first to employ traditional corporate promotion and marketing mechanisms such as an MTV video, in store displays and the use of radio "consultants" who promoted airplay at major mainstream rock stations. During 1991 and 1992, other grunge albums such as
Pearl Jam Pearl Jam is an American Rock music, rock band formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1990. The band's lineup consists of founding members Jeff Ament (bass guitar), Stone Gossard (rhythm guitar), Mike McCready (lead guitar), and Eddie Vedder (lead v ...
's '' Ten'', Soundgarden's ''
Badmotorfinger ''Badmotorfinger'' is the third studio album by American Rock music, rock band Soundgarden, released on October 8, 1991, through A&M Records. Soundgarden began the recording sessions for the album with new bassist Ben Shepherd in the spring of 1 ...
'' and
Alice in Chains Alice in Chains (often abbreviated as AIC) is an American rock band from Seattle, Washington, formed in 1987 by guitarist and vocalist Jerry Cantrell and drummer Sean Kinney, who later recruited bassist Mike Starr and lead vocalist Layne St ...
' ''
Dirt Dirt is an unclean matter, especially when in contact with a person's clothes, skin, or possessions. In such cases, they are said to become dirty. Common types of dirt include: * Debris: scattered pieces of waste or remains * Dust: a genera ...
'', along with the ''
Temple of the Dog Temple of the Dog was an American rock supergroup (music), supergroup that formed in Seattle, Washington (state), Washington, in 1990. It was conceived by vocalist Chris Cornell of Soundgarden as a tribute to his friend, the late Andrew Wood ...
'' album featuring members of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, became among the 100 top-selling albums. Major record labels signed most of the remaining grunge bands in Seattle, while a second influx of acts moved to the city in the hope of success.M. Azerrad, '' Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground, 1981–1991'' (Boston, MA: Little Brown and Company, 2001), , pp. 452–53. However, with the
death of Kurt Cobain On April 8, 1994, Kurt Cobain, the lead singer and guitarist of the American rock band Nirvana (band), Nirvana, was found dead at his home in Seattle, Washington (state), Washington. Forensics investigators later determined he had died three da ...
and the subsequent break-up of Nirvana in 1994, touring problems for Pearl Jam and the departure of Alice in Chains' lead singer
Layne Staley Layne Thomas Staley (born Layne Rutherford Staley; August 22, 1967 – April 5, 2002) was an American musician, songwriter and the original lead singer of the rock band Alice in Chains, which rose to international fame in the early 1990s as part ...
in 1998, the genre began to decline, partly to be overshadowed by Britpop and more commercial sounding
post-grunge Post-grunge is a derivative of grunge Grunge (sometimes referred to as the Seattle sound) is an alternative rock Music genre, genre and subculture that emerged during the in the American Pacific Northwest state of Washington (state), Washingt ...
..


Britpop

Britpop emerged from the British alternative rock scene of the early 1990s and was characterised by bands particularly influenced by British guitar music of the 1960s and 1970s.
The Smiths The Smiths were an English rock band formed in Manchester in 1982. They comprised the singer Morrissey, the guitarist Johnny Marr, the bassist Andy Rourke and the drummer Mike Joyce (musician), Mike Joyce. They are regarded as one of the most i ...
were a major influence, as were bands of the
Madchester Madchester was a musical and cultural scene that developed in the English city of Manchester in the late 1980s, closely associated with the indie dance scene. Indie-dance (sometimes referred to as indie-rave) saw artists merging Indie rock, i ...
scene, which had dissolved in the early 1990s.. The movement has been seen partly as a reaction against various US-based, musical and cultural trends in the late 1980s and early 1990s, particularly the
grunge Grunge (sometimes referred to as the Seattle sound) is an alternative rock Music genre, genre and subculture that emerged during the in the American Pacific Northwest state of Washington (state), Washington, particularly in Seattle and nearby to ...
phenomenon and as a reassertion of a British rock identity. Britpop was varied in style, but often used catchy tunes and hooks, beside lyrics with particularly British concerns and the adoption of the iconography of the 1960s British Invasion, including the symbols of British identity previously used by the mods. It was launched around 1993 with releases by groups such as
Suede Suede (pronounced ) is a type of leather with a fuzzy, napped finish, commonly used for jackets, shoes, Textile, fabrics, Handbag, purses, furniture, and other items. The term comes from the French , which literally means "gloves from Sweden". ...
and Blur, who were soon joined by others including
Oasis In ecology, an oasis (; ) is a fertile area of a desert or semi-desert environment'ksar''with its surrounding feeding source, the palm grove, within a relational and circulatory nomadic system.” The location of oases has been of critical im ...
, Pulp,
Supergrass Supergrass are an English rock band formed in 1993 in Oxford. For the majority of the band's tenure, the line-up consisted of brothers Gaz Coombes, Gaz (lead vocals, guitar) and Rob Coombes (keyboards), Mick Quinn (bass, backing vocals) and Da ...
, and Elastica, who produced a series of successful albums and singles. For a while the contest between Blur and Oasis was built by the popular press into the "Battle of Britpop", initially won by Blur, but with Oasis achieving greater long-term and international success, directly influencing later Britpop bands, such as
Ocean Colour Scene Ocean Colour Scene (often abbreviated to OCS) are an English rock band formed in Solihull Solihull (, or ) is a market town and the administrative centre of the wider Metropolitan Borough of Solihull in West Midlands County, England. ...
and Kula Shaker. Britpop groups brought British alternative rock into the mainstream and formed the backbone of a larger British cultural movement known as
Cool Britannia Cool Britannia was a name for the period of increased pride in the culture of the United Kingdom throughout the mid and second half of the 1990s, inspired by Swinging London from 1960s pop culture. This loosely coincided with John Major's conserva ...
. Although its more popular bands, particularly Blur and Oasis, were able to spread their commercial success overseas, especially to the United States, the movement had largely fallen apart by the end of the decade.


Post-grunge

The term post-grunge was coined for the generation of bands that followed the emergence into the mainstream and subsequent hiatus of the Seattle grunge bands. Post-grunge bands emulated their attitudes and music, but with a more radio-friendly commercially oriented sound. Often they worked through the major labels and came to incorporate diverse influences from jangle pop, pop-punk,
alternative metal Alternative metal (also known as alt-metal) is a genre of heavy metal music that combines heavy metal with influences from alternative rock and other genres not normally associated with metal. Alternative metal bands are often characterized by ...
or hard rock. The term post-grunge originally was meant to be pejorative, suggesting that they were simply musically derivative, or a cynical response to an "authentic" rock movement. Originally, grunge bands that emerged when grunge was mainstream and were suspected of emulating the grunge sound were pejoratively labelled as post-grunge. From 1994, former Nirvana drummer
Dave Grohl David Eric Grohl (born January 14, 1969) is an American musician. He is the founder of the rock band Foo Fighters, in which he is the lead singer, guitarist, and principal songwriter. Prior to forming Foo Fighters, he was the drummer of grun ...
's new band, the
Foo Fighters Foo Fighters are an American Rock music, rock band formed in Seattle in 1994. Foo Fighters was initially formed as a one-man project by former Nirvana (band), Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl. Following the success of the Foo Fighters (album), epony ...
, helped popularize the genre and define its parameters.S.T. Erlewine, "Foo Fighters", in Bogdanov et al., 2002, p. 423. Some post-grunge bands, like
Candlebox Candlebox is an American Rock music, rock band from Seattle, Washington (state), Washington. Since its formation in 1990, the group has released seven studio albums, several charting single (music), singles, The Best of Candlebox, a compilation, ...
, were from Seattle, but the subgenre was marked by a broadening of the geographical base of grunge, with bands like Los Angeles'
Audioslave Audioslave was an American Rock music, rock supergroup (music), supergroup formed in Glendale, California, in 2001. The four-piece band consisted of Soundgarden's lead singer and rhythm guitarist Chris Cornell with Rage Against the Machine membe ...
, and Georgia's
Collective Soul Collective Soul is an American rock music, rock band originally from Stockbridge, Georgia. Now based in Atlanta, the group consists of lead vocalist Ed Roland, rhythm guitarist Dean Roland, bassist Will Turpin, drummer Johnny Rabb, and lead gu ...
and beyond the US to Australia's
Silverchair Silverchair were an Australian rock band, which formed in 1992 as Innocent Criminals in Newcastle, New South Wales Newcastle ( ; Awabakal language, Awabakal: ) is a metropolitan area and the second most populated city in the state of New ...
and Britain's Bush, who all cemented post-grunge as one of the most commercially viable subgenres of the late 1990s. Although male bands predominated post-grunge, female solo artist
Alanis Morissette Alanis Nadine Morissette ( ; born June 1, 1974) is a Canadian-American singer, songwriter, and actress. Known for her emotive mezzo-soprano voice and confessional songwriting, Morissette began her career in Canada in the early 1990s with two ...
's 1995 album ''
Jagged Little Pill ''Jagged Little Pill'' is the third studio album by Canadian singer Alanis Morissette Alanis Nadine Morissette ( ; born June 1, 1974) is a Canadian-American singer, songwriter, and actress. Known for her emotive mezzo-soprano voice and c ...
'', labelled as post-grunge, also became a multi-platinum hit.S.T. Erlewine, "Alanis Morissette", in Bogdanov et al., 2002, p. 761. Post-grunge morphed during the late 1990s as post-grunge bands like
Creed A creed, also known as a confession of faith, a symbol, or a statement of faith, is a statement of the shared belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the case, or that some proposition is truth, true. In epist ...
and
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 w ...
emerged. Bands like Creed and Nickelback took post-grunge into the 21st century with considerable commercial success, abandoning most of the angst and anger of the original movement for more conventional anthems, narratives and romantic songs, and were followed in this vein by newer acts including
Shinedown Shinedown is an American rock band from Jacksonville, Florida Jacksonville is a city located on the Atlantic coast of northeast Florida, the most populous city proper in the state and is the List of United States cities by area, largest cit ...
, Seether, 3 Doors Down and
Puddle of Mudd Puddle of Mudd is an American Rock music, rock band formed in Kansas City, Missouri in 1992. To date, the band has sold over seven million albums and has had a string of No. 1 Mainstream Rock (chart), mainstream rock singles in the United ...
.


Pop punk

The origins of 1990s pop punk can be seen in the more song-oriented bands of the 1970s punk movement like
Buzzcocks Buzzcocks are an English punk rock band formed in Bolton, England in 1976 by singer-songwriter-guitarist Pete Shelley and singer-songwriter Howard Devoto. They are regarded as a seminal influence on the Music of Manchester, Manchester music sc ...
and
the Clash The Clash were an English rock music, rock band formed in London in 1976 who were key players in the original wave of British punk rock. Billed as "The Only Band That Matters", they also contributed to the and new wave music, new wave moveme ...
, commercially successful new wave acts such as
the Jam The Jam were an English mod revival/punk rock band formed in 1972 at Sheerwater Secondary School in Woking, Surrey. They released 18 consecutive Top 40 singles in the United Kingdom, from their debut in 1977 to their break-up in December 1982 ...
and
the Undertones The Undertones are a Rock music, rock band formed in Derry, Northern Ireland in 1974. From 1975 to 1983, the Undertones consisted of Feargal Sharkey (vocals), John O'Neill (guitarist), John O'Neill (rhythm guitar, vocals), Damian O'Neill (lea ...
, and the more hardcore-influenced elements of alternative rock in the 1980s. Pop-punk tends to use power-pop melodies and chord changes with speedy punk tempos and loud guitars. Punk music provided the inspiration for some California-based bands on independent labels in the early 1990s, including Rancid, Pennywise, Weezer and Green Day. In 1994 Green Day moved to a major label and produced the album ''Dookie'', which found a new, largely teenage, audience and proved a surprise diamond-selling success, leading to a series of hit singles, including two number ones in the US. They were soon followed by the Weezer (1994 album), eponymous debut from Weezer, which spawned three top ten singles in the US. This success opened the door for the multi-platinum sales of metallic punk band the Offspring with ''Smash (The Offspring album), Smash'' (1994). This first wave of pop punk reached its commercial peak with Green Day's ''Nimrod (album), Nimrod'' (1997) and the Offspring's ''Americana (The Offspring album), Americana'' (1998).S.T. Erlewine, "Green Day", and "Offspring", in Bogdanov et al., 2002, pp. 484–85, 816. A second wave of pop punk was spearheaded by Blink-182, with their breakthrough album ''Enema of the State'' (1999), followed by bands such as Good Charlotte, Simple Plan and Sum 41, who made use of humour in their videos and had a more radio-friendly tone to their music, while retaining the speed, some of the attitude and even the look of 1970s punk. Later pop-punk bands, including All Time Low, the All-American Rejects and Fall Out Boy, had a sound that has been described as closer to 1980s hardcore, while still achieving commercial success.


Indie rock

In the 1980s the terms indie rock and alternative rock were used interchangeably. By the mid-1990s, as elements of the movement began to attract mainstream interest, particularly grunge and then Britpop, post-grunge and pop-punk, the term alternative began to lose its meaning. Those bands following the less commercial contours of the scene were increasingly referred to by the label indie. They characteristically attempted to retain control of their careers by releasing albums on their own or small independent labels, while relying on touring, word-of-mouth, and airplay on independent or college radio stations for promotion. Linked by an ethos more than a musical approach, the indie rock movement encompassed a wide range of styles, from hard-edged, grunge-influenced bands like the Cranberries and Superchunk, through do-it-yourself experimental bands like Pavement (band), Pavement, to punk-folk singers such as Ani DiFranco. It has been noted that indie rock has a relatively high proportion of female artists compared with preceding rock genres, a tendency exemplified by the development of feminist-informed Riot grrrl music. Many countries have developed an extensive local indie (music), indie scene, flourishing with bands with enough popularity to survive inside the respective country, but virtually unknown outside them. By the end of the 1990s many recognisable subgenres, most with their origins in the late 1980s alternative movement, were included under the umbrella of indie. Lo-fi eschewed polished recording techniques for a D.I.Y. ethos and was spearheaded by Beck, Sebadoh and Pavement (band), Pavement. The work of Talk Talk and Slint helped inspire both post rock, an experimental style influenced by
jazz Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African Americans, 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 recog ...
and electronic music, pioneered by Bark Psychosis and taken up by acts such as Tortoise (band), Tortoise, Stereolab, and Laika (band), Laika,S. Taylor, ''A to X of Alternative Music'' (London: Continuum, 2006), , pp. 154–55.. as well as leading to more dense and complex, guitar-based math rock, developed by acts like Polvo and Chavez (band), Chavez. Space rock looked back to progressive roots, with drone heavy and minimalist acts like Spacemen 3, the two bands created out of its split, Spectrum (band), Spectrum and Spiritualized, and later groups including Flying Saucer Attack, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Quickspace. In contrast, Sadcore emphasised pain and suffering through melodic use of acoustic and electronic instrumentation in the music of bands like American Music Club and Red House Painters, while the revival of baroque pop reacted against lo-fi and experimental music by placing an emphasis on melody and classical instrumentation, with artists like Arcade Fire, Belle and Sebastian and Rufus Wainwright.


Alternative metal, rap rock and nu metal

Alternative metal emerged from the hardcore scene of alternative rock in the US in the later 1980s, but gained a wider audience after grunge broke into the mainstream in the early 1990s.. Early alternative metal bands mixed a wide variety of genres with hardcore and heavy metal sensibilities, with acts like
Jane's Addiction Jane's Addiction is an American Rock music, rock band from Los Angeles, formed in 1985. The band consists of vocalist Perry Farrell, guitarist Dave Navarro, drummer Stephen Perkins and bassist Eric Avery. Jane's Addiction was one of the first b ...
and Primus (band), Primus using progressive rock,
Soundgarden Soundgarden was an American Rock music, rock band formed in Seattle, Seattle, Washington, in 1984 by singer and drummer Chris Cornell, lead guitarist Kim Thayil (both of whom are the only members to appear in every incarnation of the band), an ...
and Corrosion of Conformity using garage punk, the Jesus Lizard and Helmet (band), Helmet mixing noise rock, Ministry (band), Ministry and Nine Inch Nails influenced by industrial music, Monster Magnet moving into
psychedelia Psychedelia refers to the psychedelic subculture of the 1960s and the psychedelic experience. This includes psychedelic art, psychedelic music and style of dress during that era. This was primarily generated by people who used psychedelic dru ...
, Pantera, Sepultura and White Zombie (band), White Zombie creating groove metal, while Biohazard (band), Biohazard, Limp Bizkit and Faith No More turned to hip hop and rap. Hip hop had gained attention from rock acts in the early 1980s, including the Clash with "The Magnificent Seven (song), The Magnificent Seven" (1980) and Blondie with "Rapture (Blondie song), Rapture" (1980). Early crossover acts included Run DMC and the Beastie Boys. Detroit rapper Esham became known for his "acid rap" style, which fused rapping with a sound that was often based in rock and heavy metal.C.L. Keyes, ''Rap Music and Street Consciousness'' (Chicago, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2002), , p. 108. Rappers who sampled rock songs included Ice-T, the Fat Boys,
LL Cool J James Todd Smith (born January 14, 1968), known professionally as LL Cool J (short for Ladies Love Cool James), is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer, and actor. He is one of the earliest rappers to achieve commercial success, along ...
, Public Enemy (band), Public Enemy and Whodini. The mixing of thrash metal and rap was pioneered by Anthrax (American band), Anthrax on their 1987 comedy-influenced single "I'm the Man (EP), I'm the Man". In 1990, Faith No More broke into the mainstream with their single "Epic (Faith No More song), Epic", often seen as the first truly successful combination of heavy metal with rap.S. T. Erlewine, et al., "Faith No More", in Bogdanov et al., 2002, pp. 388–89. This paved the way for the success of existing bands like 24-7 Spyz and Living Colour, and new acts including Rage Against the Machine and Red Hot Chili Peppers, who all fused rock and hip hop among other influences.T. Grierson
"What Is Rap-Rock: A Brief History of Rap-Rock"
''About.com''. Retrieved 31 December 2008.
Among the first wave of performers to gain mainstream success as rap rock were 311 (band), 311, Bloodhound Gang, and
Kid Rock Robert James Ritchie (born January 17, 1971), known professionally as Kid Rock (also known as Bobby Shazam), is an American singer, songwriter and rapper. His style alternates between rock music, rock, hip hop music, hip hop, country music, co ...
. A more metallic sound''nu metal''was pursued by bands including Limp Bizkit, Korn and Slipknot (band), Slipknot. Later in the decade this style, which contained a mix of grunge, punk, metal, rap and turntable scratching, spawned a wave of successful bands like Linkin Park, P.O.D. and Staind, who were often classified as rap metal or nu metal, the first of which are the best-selling band of the genre. In 2001, nu metal reached its peak with albums like Staind's ''Break the Cycle'', P.O.D's ''Satellite (P.O.D. album), Satellite'', Slipknot's ''Iowa (album), Iowa'' and Linkin Park's ''Hybrid Theory''. New bands also emerged like Disturbed (band), Disturbed, Godsmack and Papa Roach, whose major label début ''Infest (album), Infest'' became a platinum hit. Korn's long-awaited fifth album ''Untouchables (album), Untouchables'', and Papa Roach's second album ''Lovehatetragedy'', did not sell as well as their previous releases, while nu metal bands were played more infrequently on rock radio stations and
MTV MTV (Originally an initialism An acronym is a word or name formed from the initial components of a longer name or phrase. Acronyms are usually formed from the initial letters of words, as in ''NATO'' (''North Atlantic Treaty Organization ...
began focusing on
pop punk Pop punk (or punk pop) is a rock music Music genre, genre that combines elements of punk rock with power pop or pop music, pop. It is defined for its emphasis on classic pop songcraft, as well as Adolescence, adolescent and anti-suburbia themes, ...
and emo. Since then, many bands have changed to a more conventional hard rock, heavy metal, or electronic music sound.


Post-Britpop

From about 1997, as dissatisfaction grew with the concept of Cool Britannia, and Britpop as a movement began to dissolve, emerging bands began to avoid the Britpop label while still producing music derived from it.J. Harris, ''Britpop!: Cool Britannia and the Spectacular Demise of English Rock'' (Cambridge MA: Da Capo, 2004), , pp. 369–70. Many of these bands tended to mix elements of British traditional rock (or British trad rock), particularly the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Small Faces, with American influences, including post-grunge.. Drawn from across the United Kingdom (with several important bands emerging from the north of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), the themes of their music tended to be less parochially centered on British, English and London life and more introspective than had been the case with Britpop at its height. This, beside a greater willingness to engage with the American press and fans, may have helped some of them in achieving international success. Post-Britpop bands have been seen as presenting the image of the rock star as an ordinary person and their increasingly melodic music was criticised for being bland or derivative. Post-Britpop bands like Travis (band), Travis from ''The Man Who'' (1999), Stereophonics from ''Performance and Cocktails'' (1999), Feeder (band), Feeder from ''Echo Park (album), Echo Park'' (2001), and particularly Coldplay from their debut album ''Parachutes (Coldplay album), Parachutes'' (2000), achieved much wider international success than most of the Britpop groups that had preceded them, and were some of the most commercially successful acts of the late 1990s and early 2000s, arguably providing a launchpad for the subsequent
garage rock Garage rock (sometimes called garage punk or 60s punk) is a raw and energetic style of rock and roll that flourished in the mid-1960s, most notably in the United States and Canada, and has experienced a series of subsequent revivals. The sty ...
or post-punk revival, which has also been seen as a reaction to their introspective brand of rock.


Post-hardcore and emo

Post-hardcore developed in the US, particularly in the Chicago and Washington, DC areas, in the early to mid-1980s, with bands that were inspired by the do-it-yourself ethics and guitar-heavy music of hardcore punk, but influenced by post-punk, adopting longer song formats, more complex musical structures and sometimes more melodic vocal styles. Emo also emerged from the hardcore scene in 1980s Washington, D.C., initially as "emocore", used as a term to describe bands who favored expressive vocals over the more common abrasive, barking style.. The early emo scene operated as an underground, with short-lived bands releasing small-run vinyl records on tiny independent labels. Emo broke into mainstream culture in the early 2000s with the platinum-selling success of Jimmy Eat World's ''Bleed American'' (2001) and Dashboard Confessional's ''The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most'' (2003). The new emo had a much more mainstream sound than in the 1990s and a far greater appeal amongst adolescents than its earlier incarnations. At the same time, use of the term emo expanded beyond the musical genre, becoming associated with fashion, a hairstyle and any music that expressed emotion. By 2003 post-hardcore bands had also caught the attention of major labels and began to enjoy mainstream success in the album charts. A number of these bands were seen as a more aggressive offshoot of emo and given the often vague label of screamo.


Garage rock/post-punk revival

In the early 2000s, a new group of bands that played a stripped down and back-to-basics version of guitar rock, emerged into the mainstream. They were variously characterised as part of a garage rock, post-punk or New Wave revival. Because the bands came from across the globe, cited diverse influences (from traditional blues, through New Wave to grunge), and adopted differing styles of dress, their unity as a genre has been disputed. There had been attempts to revive garage rock and elements of punk in the 1980s and 1990s and by 2000 scenes had grown up in several countries. The commercial breakthrough from these scenes was led by four bands: the Strokes, who emerged from the New York club scene with their début album ''Is This It'' (2001); the White Stripes, from Detroit, with their third album ''White Blood Cells (album), White Blood Cells'' (2001); the Hives from Sweden after their compilation album ''Your New Favourite Band'' (2001); and The Vines (band), the Vines from Australia with ''Highly Evolved'' (2002). They were christened by the media as the "The" bands, and dubbed "The saviours of rock 'n' roll", leading to accusations of hype. A second wave of bands that gained international recognition due to the movement included Black Rebel Motorcycle Club,
the Killers The Killers are an American Rock music, rock band formed in Las Vegas in 2001 by Brandon Flowers (lead vocals, keyboards, bass) and Dave Keuning (lead guitar, backing vocals). After going through a number of short-term bass players and drum ...
, Interpol (band), Interpol and Kings of Leon from the US, the Libertines, Arctic Monkeys, Bloc Party, Kaiser Chiefs and Franz Ferdinand (band), Franz Ferdinand from the UK, Jet (band), Jet from Australia, and the Datsuns and the D4 from New Zealand.


Digital electronic rock

In the 2000s, as computer technology became more accessible and music software advanced, it became possible to create high quality music using little more than a single laptop computer. This resulted in a massive increase in the amount of home-produced electronic music available to the general public via the expanding internet, and new forms of performance such as laptronica and live coding. These techniques also began to be used by existing bands and by developing genres that mixed rock with digital techniques and sounds, including indie electronic, electroclash, dance-punk and new rave.


2010s–2020s


Decline in mainstream relevancy

During the 2010s, rock music saw a decline in mainstream popularity and cultural relevancy and by 2017, hip hop music had surpassed it as the most consumed musical genre in the United States. Critics in the latter half of the decade took notice of the genre's waning popularity, citing the popularity of hip hop electronic dance music, the rise of streaming and the advent of technology which has changed approaches toward music creation as being factors. Ken Partridge of Genius (website), Genius suggested that hip-hop became more popular because it is a more transformative genre and does not need to rely on past sounds and that there is a direct connection to the decline of rock music and changing social attitudes during the 2010s. Bill Flanagan, in a 2016 opinion piece for ''The New York Times'', compared the state of rock during this period to the state of jazz in the early 1980s, "slowing down and looking back." ''Vice Media, Vice'' suggests that this decline in popularity could actually benefit the genre by attracting outsiders with "something to prove and nothing to gain." Despite rock's decline in mainstream popularity, some rock bands and groups have continued to achieve mainstream success in the 2010s and 2020s, including Tool (band), Tool, Fall Out Boy, Greta Van Fleet, Panic! at the Disco, Twenty One Pilots, Walk the Moon, Portugal. The Man, the Black Keys, Avenged Sevenfold., Dreamcatcher (group), Dreamcatcher and
Foo Fighters Foo Fighters are an American Rock music, rock band formed in Seattle in 1994. Foo Fighters was initially formed as a one-man project by former Nirvana (band), Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl. Following the success of the Foo Fighters (album), epony ...
.


Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the virus brought extreme changes to the rock scene worldwide. Restrictions, such as quarantine rules, caused widespread cancellations and postponements of concerts, tours, festivals, album releases, award ceremonies, and competitions. Some artists resorted to giving online performances to keep their careers active. Another scheme to circumvent the quarantine limitations was used at a concert of Danish rock musician Mads Langer: the audience watched the performance from inside their cars, much like in a drive-in theater. Musically, the pandemic led to a surge in new releases from the slower, less energetic, and more acoustic subgenres of rock music. The industry raised funds to help itself through efforts such as Crew Nation, a relief fund for live music crews organised by Live Nation Entertainment, Livenation.


Pop punk and post-punk revivals

At the start of the 2020s, recording artists in both pop and rap music released popular pop-punk recordings, many of them produced or assisted by Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker. Representing a commercial resurgence for the genre, these acts included Machine Gun Kelly (musician), Machine Gun Kelly, Willow Smith, Trippie Redd, Halsey (singer), Halsey, Yungblud, and Olivia Rodrigo. The popularity of the social media platform TikTok helped spark nostalgia for the angst-driven musical style among young listeners during the pandemic. Among the most successful of these releases have been Machine Gun Kelly's 2020 album ''Tickets to My Downfall'', which topped the ''Billboard'' 200, and Rodrigo's number-one hit single "Good 4 U" (2021). In the mid-to-late 2010s and early 2020s, a new wave of post-punk bands from Britain and Ireland emerged. The groups in this scene have been described with the term "Crank Wave" by ''NME'' and The Quietus in 2019, and as "Post-Brexit New Wave" by NPR writer Fluxblog, Matthew Perpetua in 2021. Artists that have been identified as part of the style include Black Midi, Wet Leg, Squid (band), Squid, Black Country, New Road, Dry Cleaning (band), Dry Cleaning, Shame (band), Shame, Sleaford Mods, Fontaines D.C., The Murder Capital, Idles and Yard Act. Post-punk artists that attained prominence in the 2010s and early 2020s from other countries besides the UK included Parquet Courts, Protomartyr (band), Protomartyr and Geese (band), Geese (United States), Preoccupations (Canada), Iceage (Denmark), and Viagra Boys (Sweden).


Social impact

Different subgenres of rock were adopted by, and became central to, the identity of a large number of sub-cultures. In the 1950s and 1960s, respectively, British youths adopted the Teddy Boys, Teddy Boy and Rocker (subculture), Rocker subcultures, which revolved around US rock and roll. The
counterculture of the 1960s The counterculture of the 1960s was an anti-establishment cultural phenomenon that developed throughout much of the Western world in the 1960s and has been ongoing to the present day. The aggregate movement gained momentum as the civil rights mo ...
was closely associated with
psychedelic rock Psychedelic rock is a rock music Music genre, genre that is inspired, influenced, or representative of psychedelia, psychedelic culture, which is centered on perception-altering hallucinogenic drugs. The music incorporated new electronic sound ...
.M. Brake, ''Comparative Youth Culture: the Sociology of Youth Cultures and Youth Subcultures in America, Britain, and Canada'' (Abingdon: Routledge, 1990), , pp. 73–79, 90–100. The mid-late 1970s
punk subculture The punk subculture includes a diverse and widely known array of Punk ideologies, ideologies, Punk fashion, fashion, and other forms of expression, Punk visual art, visual art, dance, Punk literature, literature, and film. Largely characterised ...
began in the US, but it was given a distinctive look by British designer Vivienne Westwood, a look which spread worldwide. Out of the punk scene, the Goth subculture, Goth and Emo subcultures grew, both of which presented distinctive visual styles. When an international rock culture developed, it supplanted cinema as the major sources of fashion influence.S. Bruzzi and P. C. Gibson, ''Fashion Cultures: Theories, Explorations, and Analysis'' (Abingdon: Routledge, 2000), , p. 260. Paradoxically, followers of rock music have often mistrusted the world of fashion, which has been seen as elevating image above substance. Rock fashions have been seen as combining elements of different cultures and periods, as well as expressing divergent views on sexuality and gender, and rock music in general has been noted and criticised for facilitating greater sexual freedom. Rock has also been associated with various forms of drug use, including the amphetamines taken by mods in the early to mid-1960s, through the
LSD Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), also known colloquially as acid, is a potent psychedelic drug. Effects typically include intensified thoughts, emotions, and sensory perception. At sufficiently high dosages LSD manifests primarily mental, vi ...
, mescaline, hashish and other hallucinogenic drugs linked with
psychedelic rock Psychedelic rock is a rock music Music genre, genre that is inspired, influenced, or representative of psychedelia, psychedelic culture, which is centered on perception-altering hallucinogenic drugs. The music incorporated new electronic sound ...
in the mid-late 1960s and early 1970s; and sometimes to cannabis (drug), cannabis, cocaine and heroin, all of which have been eulogised in song. Rock has been credited with changing attitudes to race by opening up African-American culture to white audiences; but at the same time, rock has been accused of Cultural appropriation, appropriating and exploiting that culture. While rock music has absorbed many influences and introduced Western audiences to different musical traditions, the global spread of rock music has been interpreted as a form of cultural imperialism. Rock music inherited the folk tradition of
protest song A protest song is a song that is associated with a movement for social change and hence part of the broader category of ''topical'' songs (or songs connected to current events). It may be folk, classical, or commercial in genre. Among social mov ...
, making political statements on subjects such as war, religion, poverty, civil rights, justice and the environment. Political activism reached a mainstream peak with the "Do They Know It's Christmas?" single (1984) and Live Aid concert for Ethiopia in 1985, which, while successfully raising awareness of world poverty and funds for aid, have also been criticised (along with similar events), for providing a stage for self-aggrandisement and increased profits for the rock stars involved. Since its early development, rock music has been associated with rebellion against social and political norms, most obviously in early rock and roll's rejection of an adult-dominated culture, the counterculture's rejection of consumerism and conformity and punk's rejection of all forms of social convention, however, it can also be seen as providing a means of commercial exploitation of such ideas and of diverting youth away from political action.


Role of women

Professional women instrumentalists are uncommon in rock genres such as heavy metal although bands such as Within Temptation have featured women as lead singers with men playing instruments. According to Schaap and Berkers, "playing in a band is largely a male homosocial activity, that is, learning to play in a band is largely a peer-based ... experience, shaped by existing sex-segregated friendship networks. They note that rock music "is often defined as a form of male rebellion vis-à-vis female bedroom culture."J. Schaap and P. Berkers. "Grunting Alone? Online Gender Inequality in Extreme Metal Music", ''IASPM Journal'', Vol.4 (1), (2014), p. 102, (The theory of "bedroom culture" argues that society influences girls to not engage in crime and deviance by virtually trapping them in their bedroom; it was developed by a sociologist named Angela McRobbie.) In popular music, there has been a gendered "distinction between public (male) and private (female) participation" in music. "Several scholars have argued that men exclude women from bands or from the bands' rehearsals, recordings, performances, and other social activities".J. Schaap and P. Berkers, "Grunting Alone? Online Gender Inequality in Extreme Metal Music", ''IASPM Journal'', Vol.4(1), (2014), p. 104. "Women are mainly regarded as passive and private consumers of allegedly slick, prefabricatedhence, inferiorpop music ..., excluding them from participating as high status rock musicians". One of the reasons that there are rarely mixed gender bands is that "bands operate as tight-knit units in which homosocial solidaritysocial bonds between people of the same sex ... plays a crucial role". In the 1960s rock music scene, "singing was sometimes an acceptable pastime for a girl, but playing an instrument ... simply wasn't done". "The rebellion of rock music was largely a male rebellion; the womenoften, in the 1950s and '60s, girls in their teensin rock usually sang songs as personæ utterly dependent on their macho boyfriends ...". Philip Auslander says that "Although there were many women in rock by the late 1960s, most performed only as singers, a traditionally feminine position in popular music". Though some women played instruments in American all-female bands, all-female garage rock bands, none of these bands achieved more than regional success. So they "did not provide viable templates for women's on-going participation in rock". In relation to the gender composition of Heavy metal music, heavy metal bands, it has been said that "[h]eavy metal performers are almost exclusively male" "...at least until the mid-1980s" apart from "...exceptions such as Girlschool". However, "...now [in the 2010s] maybe more than ever–strong metal women have put up their dukes and got down to it", "carv[ing] out a considerable place for [them]selves." When
Suzi Quatro Susan Kay Quatro (born June 3, 1950) is an American singer, bass guitarist, songwriter, and actress. In the 1970s, she scored a string of hit singles that found greater success in Europe and Australia than in her homeland, reaching No. 1 in th ...
emerged in 1973, "no other prominent female musician worked in rock simultaneously as a singer, instrumentalist, songwriter, and bandleader". According to Auslander, she was "kicking down the male door in rock and roll and proving that a female ''musician'' ... and this is a point I am extremely concerned about ... could play as well if not better than the boys". An all-female band is a musical group in genres such as rock and blues which is exclusively composed of female musicians. This is distinct from a girl group, in which the female members are solely vocalists, though this terminology is not universally followed.For example, vocalists Girls Aloud are referred to as a "girl band" i
''OK'' magazine
and th
''Guardian''
while Girlschool are termed a "girl group" at th
''imdb''
an


See also

* List of rock genres * List of mainstream rock performers


Notes


References


Further reading and listening

* * * * Robinson, Richard. ''Pop, Rock, and Soul''. New York: Pyramid Books, 1972. . * * Szatmary, David P. ''Rockin' in Time: a Social History of Rock-and-Roll''. Third ed. Upper Saddle River NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1996. xvi, 320 p., ill., mostly with b&w photos. .


External links

* {{Authority control Rock music, Rock music genres, 20th-century music genres 21st-century music genres American culture American styles of music African-American culture African-American music British culture British styles of music 1950s fads and trends Popular music