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  #1  
Old 03-06-2019, 01:31 PM
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Default What is Classic Rock?

Watched another documentary last entitled What is Classic Rock? Was it an era, a type of music, a certain style? Over 50 current and past musicians were giving their thoughts.

This is the banner from the listing.

How do you define classic rock? Is it a genre, a radio format, or music from a specific period of time? Filmmaker & lifelong rocker Daniel Sarkissian travels the world, interviewing iconic artists in search of an answer.

I kind of agreed with the thought that whatever was played on Classic Rock radio stations was Classic Rock. My sister once said, There's no such thing as Country music just country stations. I think her definition would apply here as well.

Very interesting but I am no more clear now than I was before watching. Check it out.
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Old 03-06-2019, 03:36 PM
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Default Re: What is Classic Rock?

For me, it's an era (late-'60s and throughout the '70s) and somewhat of a genre. If someone says they're playing Classic Rock, I assume that means some Kansas, Styx, Led Zeppelin, Who, early ZZ Top, Steely Dan, Elton John, some Beatles, Cream, Hendrix, etc.

In the same way, if someone says "oldies" I would expect '50/60s pop, bubblegum, doo-wop, Motown, etc. A much wider era/genre in my mind. But the term is completely subjective. The venerable L.A. oldies station, KRTH, cheerfully plays the Beatles, then Prince, then Human League. It's just a matter of time before '90s 'grunge' music starts creeping in.

I suppose today's youth will, in time, consider Britney Spears and Green Day to be oldies, but I'll bet they still call the Who (et al) Classic Rock.

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Old 03-06-2019, 04:00 PM
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Default Re: What is Classic Rock?

I agree with you, completely. One radio DJ, made the point that it is evolving, which I disagree with. Meaning if a song gets enough play time on a Classic rock station it becomes Classic Rock. Not for me. Oldies is oldies, Classic Rock is the big names rock bands for the 60's 70's. All others need to find a home.
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Old 03-06-2019, 04:03 PM
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Default Re: What is Classic Rock?

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For me, it's an era (late-'60s and throughout the '70s) and somewhat of a genre. If someone says they're playing Classic Rock, I assume that means some Kansas, Styx, Led Zeppelin, Who, early ZZ Top, Steely Dan, Elton John, some Beatles, Cream, Hendrix, etc.

In the same way, if someone says "oldies" I would expect '50/60s pop, bubblegum, doo-wop, Motown, etc. A much wider era/genre in my mind. But the term is completely subjective. The venerable L.A. oldies station, KRTH, cheerfully plays the Beatles, then Prince, then Human League. It's just a matter of time before '90s 'grunge' music starts creeping in.

I suppose today's youth will, in time, consider Britney Spears and Green Day to be oldies, but I'll bet they still call the Who (et al) Classic Rock.

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Old 03-06-2019, 04:07 PM
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Default Re: What is Classic Rock?

I started feeling old when I visited home and the local classic rock station I listened to while growing up was playing U2 and Pearl Jam alongside its usual BOC, Eagles, etc.
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Old 03-06-2019, 04:38 PM
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Default Re: What is Classic Rock?

This from Wikipedia, Classic Rock, under History.


The classic rock format evolved from AOR radio stations that were attempting to appeal to an older audience by including familiar songs of the past with current hits.[5] In 1980, AOR radio station M105 in Cleveland began billing itself as "Cleveland's Classic Rock", playing a mix of rock music from the mid-1960s to the present.[6] Similarly, WMET called itself "Chicago's Classic Rock" in 1981.[7] In 1982, radio consultant Lee Abrams developed the "Timeless Rock" format which combined contemporary AOR with rock hits from the 1960s and 1970s.[8]

KRBE, an AM station in Houston, was an early classic rock radio station. In 1983 program director Paul Christy designed a format which played only early album rock, from the 1960s and early 1970s, without current music or any titles from the pop or dance side of Top 40.[9] Another AM station airing classic rock, beginning in 1983, was KRQX in Dallas-Fort Worth.[10] KRQX was co-owned with an album rock station, 97.9 KZEW. Management saw the benefit in the FM station appealing to younger rock fans and the AM station appealing a bit older. The ratings of both stations could be added together to appeal to advertisers. Classic rock soon became the widely used descriptor for the format, and became the commonly used term, among the general public, for early album rock music.
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Old 03-10-2019, 05:58 AM
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Default Re: What is Classic Rock?

Maybe it's cos I'm a bit younger than the boomers, but to me classic rock is from maybe 1975-2000, and anything older than that is just straight-up oldies music. Hard to imagine that Zep and Purple are more than half a century old, but they are, and as much as I love them, they're antiques at this point. Time flies.
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Old 03-10-2019, 07:26 AM
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Default Re: What is Classic Rock?

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Maybe it's cos I'm a bit younger than the boomers, but to me classic rock is from maybe 1975-2000, and anything older than that is just straight-up oldies music. Hard to imagine that Zep and Purple are more than half a century old, but they are, and as much as I love them, they're antiques at this point. Time flies.
Punk hit around 1975. To say that Classic Rock started in 1975 doesn't make sense. Both The Doors and Are You Experienced? were released in 1967, and they're about Classic Rock as can be.
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Old 03-10-2019, 06:03 PM
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Default Re: What is Classic Rock?

I think classic rock has become a subgenre of rock. Either you sound like it or you don't. Metallica, Motley Crue, Nirvana, and Beck are not classic rock, even though the radio would lead you to believe so.

It's like saying a 57 Chevy Bel Air with a big block is no longer a hot rod because it is too old. Conversely, a Honda CRX will never be a hot rod, regardless of modifications or age.
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Old 03-10-2019, 11:58 PM
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Default Re: What is Classic Rock?

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Punk hit around 1975. To say that Classic Rock started in 1975 doesn't make sense. Both The Doors and Are You Experienced? were released in 1967, and they're about Classic Rock as can be.



Dude...1967 was 52 years ago...that's golden oldies music in my book, lol.
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Old 03-11-2019, 12:15 AM
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Default Re: What is Classic Rock?

Except that Oldies, with a capital O and Classic with a capital C have become genre and never the twain shall meet. Folk music from the 60's is also very old but will never be Oldies. Maybe elevator music, but not Oldies
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Old 03-11-2019, 04:32 AM
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Default Re: What is Classic Rock?

I don't think classic rock can just be considered for certain years.

When I was a teenager, sure, classic rock was 60's and 70's, while 80's era albums were "new".

But over time, many albums released in the 80's have become class rock staples, such as U2, Journey, The Cars, the Micky Thomas era of Jefferson Starship, with some Whitesnake, Def Leppard and Bon Jovi thrown in.

And now I'm hearing 90's and even early 2000's music on the classic rock radio stations.
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Old 03-11-2019, 05:06 AM
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Default Re: What is Classic Rock?

From my own brand new dictionary, Wacky-Pedia...

Classic rock is any rock song from any era that is warmly welcomed by the large majority of the classic rock listening public.
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Old 03-11-2019, 05:35 AM
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Default Re: What is Classic Rock?

To me, its rock that has seen excessive radio play, making it popular.
I'd say it includes all the way into the 80's and even 90's (take Collective Soul's Gel or Shine, can be heard on many a classic rock station)
Classic rock 'radio' may soon be over.
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Old 03-11-2019, 02:16 PM
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Default Re: What is Classic Rock?

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I don't think classic rock can just be considered for certain years.

When I was a teenager, sure, classic rock was 60's and 70's, while 80's era albums were "new".

But over time, many albums released in the 80's have become class rock staples, such as U2, Journey, The Cars, the Micky Thomas era of Jefferson Starship, with some Whitesnake, Def Leppard and Bon Jovi thrown in.

And now I'm hearing 90's and even early 2000's music on the classic rock radio stations.
That was one point of the article or show, that radio stations are helping Classic evolve by playing music not before considered classic on "Classic Rock Radio" stations. But to some interviewed, this was a fallacy . If a Classic Rock station started playing Chopin or Bach, that certainly would not make that music Classi Rock. I think the true Classic Rock Genre isn't large enough maybe, to fill enough air time that other music has been added to avoid playing over and over.
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Old 03-11-2019, 02:42 PM
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Default Re: What is Classic Rock?

80-88ish... Culture club... Duran Duran... Bangles... at least that's what the classic/oldies stations here in detroit play now...
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Old 03-11-2019, 05:46 PM
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Default Re: What is Classic Rock?

Classic Rock was always the 70s to me. A time period, but that's a genre in and of itself. I'm not sure why (the 60s are more classic-er than the 70s), but I don't refer to the 60s as classic rock. So many differences within rock during that period. Folk, blues, hippie, psychedelic, etc. . .but the 70s, was big guitar with distortion, big drums and singers wailing away.


Sometimes I think people think of "Classic Rock" in the same manner as something turning "antique" age. Like Icetech saying what he/she said about the 80s. The 80s are 30 years+ back. It's now, "classic" simply by age.
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Old 03-11-2019, 07:32 PM
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Default Re: What is Classic Rock?

I kind of like this defintion but in my opinion it also has holes. As I commented in the beginning after watching the movie it really left me hanging with no real definition.


As others imply, songs never really move into the "Classic Rock" category the way, say, cars technically become "classics" after 25 years. Classic Rock is essentially a "closed" genre defined one of three ways:

What is played on Classic Rock Radio stations (yes, this is a circular definition but probably the most useful and accurate one).
By time period. "Progressive" radio (not closely related to prog music) arose in the late '60s, spawned Album Oriented Rock, spawned Classic Rock. As Lee and others have said, these songs and artists were largely incompatible with new wave, punk, and later grunge and hip-hop. So a reasonable working definition for classic rock playlists becomes "well-known songs by album-focused rock artists recorded between 1967 and 1984".* Of course given this definition it would be impossible for a song to "age into" the category.
By what it is not. Lots of music came out on albums during the time period defined, while only a few hundred songs have managed to enter the "classic rock canon". Classic rock is not, generally speaking, solo singer-songwriter music, AM pop radio hits, African-American driven music including Disco, atypical cuts from artists, New Wave or punk-influenced music, or music by artists whose careers significantly pre-dated the classic rock era. Of course, there are notable exceptions to each of these claims.

* (Interestingly, Sirius radio divides its classic rock programing between the LP era (Classic Vinyl) and the Cassette era (Classic Rewind)).
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Old 03-11-2019, 07:44 PM
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Default Re: What is Classic Rock?

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I kind of like this defintion
That's a really good explanation man.
Classic Rock is amazing since (at least as defined by the CR station I listened to as a teen, Cleveland's WNCX) it can lump together Sabbath, Bowie, Fleetwood Mac, and Rush--all distinct sounding and easily identified with specific and fairly disparate genres--under one label.
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Old 03-11-2019, 07:53 PM
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Default Re: What is Classic Rock?

The Pandora app on my smart phone has , 60's rock, 70's rock, 80's rock, 90's rock and then 2 channels of Classic Rock, one called deep dive . I am trying to figure out that title.
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Old 03-11-2019, 08:08 PM
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Default Re: What is Classic Rock?

For me, it was the time in between Motown and disco.
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Old 03-11-2019, 08:44 PM
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2 channels of Classic Rock, one called deep dive . I am trying to figure out that title.
Like, deep cuts maybe? AOR?
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Old 03-12-2019, 12:13 AM
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Default Re: What is Classic Rock?

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I kind of like this defintion but in my opinion it also has holes. As I commented in the beginning after watching the movie it really left me hanging with no real definition.
I agree, there is no real definition.

I said previously, many bands who maybe got their start in the 70's had many/most of their hits in the 80's get lumped into classic rock (Journey, Tom Petty, Genesis/Phil Collins/Peter Gabriel, Rober Plant solo, Rush, etc). So, it's clearly not just a before a certain year thing.

I remember the 1st time I heard New Years Day by U2 on Classic rock radio. It's clearly an 80's era song, but now U2 is a classic rock staple.

But oddly, the Beach Boys are not, even though they were of the same time period of the Beatles, Stones, The Who, The Doors, etc.

And then, once one accepts the 80's are part of classic rock (U2, Tom Petty, Phil Collins), yet bands lumped in with New Wave are almost universally not considered classic rock. Flash Back type programming generally plays those bands.

But then there are exceptions. The Cars have been a classic rock staple, yet, sonically, they're closer to New Wave. The Police are a classic rock radio staple, but Blondie is considered new wave, but both evolved from the punk scene.

And bands like The Fixx straddle both camps. As do the Talking Heads, and INXS.

Why are some of them classic rock, others are not?

Then there is The Buggles, who are universally considered part of New Wave and not classic rock.

Yet the two musicians who made up The Buggles also played in Yes, who are considered classic rock.
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Old 03-12-2019, 11:04 AM
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Default Re: What is Classic Rock?

Is classic rock not considered track specific, music of a rock genre by specific artists and tracks that have become classic and almost iconic over time. Also, of a sound that appears to begin about the late 1960s from the bands around at that time. It must be of a certain age to have its classic status and currently up until within the 1980s seems to qualify.
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Old 03-12-2019, 03:44 PM
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Default Re: What is Classic Rock?

Again, the defintion is not that precise. If you could see the Movie/Documentary you would hear 50 definitions, and like me, knowing no more than I did going in. It's like Netflix and their movie definition. Is this movie a Mystery, a Drama, a Rom Com. Whatever you like. No right or wrong.
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Old 03-12-2019, 03:49 PM
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Default Re: What is Classic Rock?

Some thoughts about bands or artists that span decades....

Yes-Roundabout (Classic Rock)
Yes-Tormato (no)

Chicago-25 or 6 to 4 (Classic Rock)
Chicago-If You Leave Me Now (ahhhh...no, despite the period it was released)

Black Sabbath-War Pigs (Classic Rock)
Ozzie Osborn-Crazy Train (no)

Styx-Lady (Classic Rock)
Styx-Mr. Roboto (no)

Obviously there are others, but you get the drift.
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Old 03-12-2019, 04:16 PM
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Default Re: What is Classic Rock?

I thought "Classic Rock" was all the music through 60-70s that they wouldn't play on the radio LOL. Seems I remember radio was fairly censored in the day-so while Classic Rock scene was thriving (go to music store to find) they had to have some "Pop" to gain popularity. The Beatles had Pop then Classic Rock in my book-like Elton John had Crocodile Rock for appeal but also turned out stuff like Funeral for a Friend. I always thought it odd that Disco also happened in this era-Pop again really. I hate to hear Led Zeppelin or some other Classic Rock song as elevator music. Southern rock also happened during this era-which had a big country influence. The original Allman Bros band and first three albums I'd put in "Classic Rock" category because after that it was too country for me crap. Course my daughters and wife think all jazz is elevator music (no accounting for taste).
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Old 03-12-2019, 08:47 PM
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Default Re: What is Classic Rock?

Funny. I just came back from the store and was listening a station on my car radio and they advertise themselves as Tampa"s Classic Hits radio. Not Classic Rock, just Classic Hits.
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Old 03-13-2019, 01:38 PM
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Default Re: What is Classic Rock?

And just to throw a wrench into the gears, I have Amazon Music App on my phone with a myriad of genre options to include , Yacht Rock. Go figure.
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Old 03-13-2019, 03:24 PM
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Default Re: What is Classic Rock?

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And just to throw a wrench into the gears, I have Amazon Music App on my phone with a myriad of genre options to include , Yacht Rock. Go figure.
Jimmy Buffet? Please expand, what is yacht rock?
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Old 03-13-2019, 05:50 PM
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Default Re: What is Classic Rock?

Well they played Hall and Oates, Michael Jackson, Beatles, just a hodge podge of songs.


Yacht rock is a broad music style and aesthetic identified with soft rock. It was one of the commercially successful genres of its era, existing between the late 1970s and early 1980s. Wikipedia
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Old 03-13-2019, 06:31 PM
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Default Re: What is Classic Rock?

Well then, looks like I've been yacht rocking and didn't even know it. Interesting name for a genre for sure.
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Old 03-13-2019, 08:08 PM
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Default Re: What is Classic Rock?

I'm starting a "Classic Rock" (Bee-Gee) Gibbs Brothers tribute band-all singing falsetto wearing spandex with one of them glitter balls over head. LOL Actually the more I think their pre-disco was early rock (they stated in 1958). Dang I was three years old-who knew I'd be dancing disco a few decades later-I'm ashamed to admit that-I hated it-but my motive wasn't dancing.
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Old 03-14-2019, 03:15 PM
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Default Re: What is Classic Rock?

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I don't think classic rock can just be considered for certain years.

When I was a teenager, sure, classic rock was 60's and 70's, while 80's era albums were "new".

But over time, many albums released in the 80's have become class rock staples, such as U2, Journey, The Cars, the Micky Thomas era of Jefferson Starship, with some Whitesnake, Def Leppard and Bon Jovi thrown in.

And now I'm hearing 90's and even early 2000's music on the classic rock radio stations.
I wouldn't classify U2 and The Cars as classic rock. Journey is just on the boundary. Whitesnake and Bon Jovi are hair rock! :)

I think people equate "Classic Rock" with "vintage rock", where vintage is anything older than a certain number of years. The local classic rock radio station plays Nirvana!
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Old 03-14-2019, 07:30 PM
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Default Re: What is Classic Rock?

I agree with Guntersdad... the definition of Classic Rock is not precise. There's a lot of compartmentalizing going on here... trying to fit artist's into specific cubby-holes as sub-genres of CR.

I'm not even sure it's track specific. The songs don't have to even theoretically 'Rock'.

Moody Blues Nights In White Satin doesn't rock or Chicago's Feeling Stronger Every Day doesn't rock, or Rolling Stones Angie doesn't rock but they are certainly all Classic Rock because they are all well known to be part of the output of the Classic Rock artist. I think when Angie comes on, most folks are nodding and thinking to themselves... Now there's a classic.

Holy crap... Journey, Bon Jovi, Metallica, Police, Doobie Brothers, Allman Brothers are the epitome definition of Classic Rock.

At the time we probably placed them in more specific categories like metal, arena, grunge, country rock, etc. But has time has moved on, I think the definition has peanut buttered into something a lot more generic and inclusive.

Last edited by Macarina; 03-15-2019 at 11:20 AM.
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Old 03-14-2019, 07:54 PM
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Default Re: What is Classic Rock?

As I said many posts back, my sister once said there is no Country music, just Country music stations. so if you are a Classic Rock station, then it must be Classic Rock.
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Old 03-15-2019, 03:06 AM
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DrumEatDrum DrumEatDrum is offline
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Default Re: What is Classic Rock?

As an experiment, I put on the local classic rock station on the way home today from a job further out than I normally go.

(Every since I got one of those USB players in my car, I rarely listen to the radio as much)

So, in rough order, they played:

Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin
Learning to Fly - Foo Fighters
Hard To Handle - Black Crows
Dude Looks Like a Lady - Aerosmith
1979 - Smashing Pumpkins
Rock you like a Hurricane - The Scorpions
Fat Bottom Girls - Queen
Sympathy for the Devil - The Rolling Stones
Wherever I May Roam - Metallica.
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Old 03-15-2019, 05:06 AM
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JustJames JustJames is offline
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Default Re: What is Classic Rock?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GetAgrippa View Post
...but my motive wasn't dancing.
This is true for most blokes.

Dancing is a vertical expression of a horizontal intention.
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Old 03-15-2019, 04:20 PM
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One Up One Down One Up One Down is offline
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Default Re: What is Classic Rock?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macarina View Post
I agree with Guntersdad... the definition of Classic Rock is not precise. There's a lot of compartmentalizing going on here... trying to fit artist's into specific cubby-holes as sub-genres of CR.

I'm not even sure it's track specific. The songs don't have to even theoretically 'Rock'.

Moody Blues Nights In White Satin doesn't rock or Chicago's Feeling Stronger Every Day doesn't rock, or Rolling Stones Angie doesn't rock but they are certainly all Classic Rock because they are all well known to be part of the output of the Classic Rock artist. I think when Angie comes on, most folks are nodding and thinking to themselves... Now there's a classic.

Holy crap... Journey, Bon Jovi, Metallica, Police, Doobie Brothers, Allman Brothers are the epitome definition of Classic Rock.

At the time we probably placed them in more specific categories like metal, arena, grunge, country rock, etc. But has time has moved on, I think the definition has peanut buttered into something a lot more generic and inclusive.
My previous post was with tongue-in-cheek...I don't care much for labelling songs with a genre.
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Old 03-15-2019, 05:23 PM
Mustion Mustion is offline
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Default Re: What is Classic Rock?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
As an experiment, I put on the local classic rock station on the way home today from a job further out than I normally go.

(Every since I got one of those USB players in my car, I rarely listen to the radio as much)

So, in rough order, they played:

Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin
Learning to Fly - Foo Fighters
Hard To Handle - Black Crows
Dude Looks Like a Lady - Aerosmith
1979 - Smashing Pumpkins
Rock you like a Hurricane - The Scorpions
Fat Bottom Girls - Queen
Sympathy for the Devil - The Rolling Stones
Wherever I May Roam - Metallica.
Black Crowes = classic rock for the 90s
Foo Fighters = classic rock not in sound but image and personal influence
Smashing Pumpkins = ??? I guess by the name of the song?

The rest are total CR stock. Add Tom Sawyer, Don't Fear The Reaper, Paranoid, Freebird, and Message In A Bottle and you've pretty much completed the canon.
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