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What constitutes classic rock?

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I was just wondering what everyone thinks classifies "Classic Rock?" I usually just think of 60's and 70's, because that's what I listen to usually, but on a classic rock radio station that I like, "Paradise City" by Guns n' Roses came on. I'm not sure about you, but I don't think something from 1989 is really "Classic Rock." I would say that 1964-1985 is classic rock. Before 64 is oldies, I'd say

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I guess anything before the 80´s would be classic rock... and as time goes by, it´s gonna be before the 90´s and so on... Patti Smith is classic rock for me... Elton John, Lynyrd Skynnyrd, even REM...

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Classic rock was originally conceived as a radio station broadcasting format and although loosely defined, it generally includes the music from rock bands formed between the early 1960's and late 1970's. Concept albums are a major part of classic rock, amongst the prime examples are probably the four Pink Floyd concept albums, including The Wall and Dark Side of the Moon, as well as The Who's two major rock operas: Tommy and Quadrophenia. The Beatles famed Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is another prime example.

One of the other most noted classic rock bands is Led Zeppelin, although Queen, The Who, Rush, the Rolling Stones, AC/DC, and The Doors are also considered major classic rock bands.The origins of the Classic rock radio format could be traced back to The Beatles' groundbreaking album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which would forever change several courses of the rock and roll format, especially with the slow rise of the FM radio format, even though a majority of people were still listening to AM radio.

Since Sgt. Pepper did not originally spawn any singles, both AM and FM stations began to play select tracks from the album, thus adopting what would otherwise just be "Album rock" wich would continue to be popular in the 1970s and 1980s, but by the end of the 1980s, "Album rock" would be re-adopted as "Classic rock" by FM radio. In the United States, this rock music format now features a limited playlist of songs ranging from the 1960s album tracks to current songs by artists associated with the loosely defined "classic rock era" — Some classic rock stations (especially in California), call the format "The Eagle" (named after Steve Miller's hit song "Fly Like An Eagle").

The term classic means enjoyed by every generation. Classical music is not simply from another time, it is the music that is understood and listened to, to this day.

In the same way, Classic rock is rock music that is listened to and enjoyed to this day. The timeline for what is classic is always expanding. Many classic rock streaming radio stations now have segments devoted to punk rock, 80's hair bands and 90's grunge. The key element is whether the music is listened to and accepted by new generations.

Sorry about mt extesively long post, i think i got a bit carried away, but I hope it helped or was just semi interesting, but I must agree, above all, gun n roses isn't neccisarily what I would like to see labeled "classic rock" Jen.

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if i'm not mistaken, REM formed in the 80s though, so how can they be classic rock if your definition is that classic rock is everything before the 80s?

I couldn´t tell, Rachel... I guess we shouldn´t fix dates, even Bruce Springsteen and Dire Straits are classic rock for me, and they did most of their music post-80´s... jenni´s post above is very good and it can clear many things. Now, when Bob Dylan or the Rolling Stones release a new album... is that classic rock? I guess yes... When it comes to a commercial point, music becomes a classic after you´ve been listening to it for the last ten or twenty years.

Now, another question... would "96 Tears" or "Needles and Pins" be considered as "classic" rock or as "oldies"? Coz that´s how we called them...

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Imagine you are 47 and own a radio station. You market Ground Zero Radio as a classic rock venue and hire a program director rather than subscribe to a broadcast agency (good for you).

The first album you bought when you were 13 was CCR's "Cosmo's Factory." You grew up with Mountain, BOC, and Montrose. In 1982 you laughed when you overheard a conversation to the effect that "Paul McCartney had a band before Wings."

In 2005 you laugh when you discover that your 32 year old program director has never heard of Wings. But she's making your station a profit and you know not to screw up a good bottom line. Still, you wonder why the songs that your daughter listened to are creeping into the playlist....

It's called classic rock because the market target, be they 47 year old grays or 15 year old retros, isn't ready to accept the reality that they're listening to oldies.

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Well, I´m 49 and my nephews, who are 17-29 happen to listen and like the same "oldies" or "classics" than I... and they just love my albums collection with "Cosmo´s Factory" ,"Through the past darkly" or "Atom heart Mother"...

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Welcome Jenni,

What took so long for your first post ? It seems you have a wealth of knowledge about music.

I would add -

Since the end of WWII in 1945 - the Beatles 1964 invasion of America would loosely be categorized as oldies.

1964 --> some point in the early 1980's --> 1990's? (ever expanding to include more generations, as time marches on) would be termed Classic Rock.

The fm underground explosion of radio stations ( an example ) in the late 1960's helped define what is classic rock.

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So right. I first locked on fm in Idaho Falls in 1969. It was as far removed from KID, AM 590 on your radio dial as "Sugar Sugar" was from "Street Fighting Man." That tiny, wind-powered signal was too much for that reactionary cowboy town, but god bless the owners of that renegade station who broadcast without revenue for 16 months.

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It's called classic rock because the market target, be they 47 year old grays or 15 year old retros, isn't ready to accept the reality that they're listening to oldies.

I see. I just call it classic rock because when I think of oldies, I think of 50's stuff and before, which I don't like. I like most stuff from 66-80. I don't like the eighties very much. I like some stuff, but not much. Then I like the early 90s because a lot of it seemed like classic rock revival (in terms of heaviness). I realize that what I listen to is oldies, though, seeing that the music is old (except the 90s stuff)

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Welcome Jenni. Impressive first post.

I am in agreement with most everyone. I saw this post this morning before I left for work, and I thought about it off and on most of the day.

To me, 'Classic Rock' is roughly the same span as everyone else's, only I think it really started with the British Invasion. Not to say the British Invasion is soley responsible, just that that was about the time the distictive 'Classic Rock' sound emerged.

The Beatles early stuff, though, I consider oldies. Their later sound falls into the classic rock sound. That's just my opinion.

As far as the end of the classic rock era, I would say probably the late 70's, with a small thread of the sound trickling into the early 80's.

It was definitely an era with it's own sound. Then, along came disco, punk, etc, which led to more far reaching sound experimantation. Along came hair metal, techno, etc.

Classic rock is, and always will be, IMO, the best era for good, consistently quality music. One good song, end to end, one after another, on the radio.

I won't even go into the mess that's out there now.

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I don't like to put dates on this, cause if you go by the way they label cars classic it's any song over 25 years old. Which at times I will agree and disagree with it.

I host a classic rock radio show, and will include music from as early as I can find it up into the 80's. Depending on my theme for the show, of course.

I tend to focus more on the artist and the style than the years myself.

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I was hoping that a pro would weigh in on the argument.

The answer finally: regardless the timeline, classic rock must be classic. It must be the apex. It must drip excellence. So explain the "Free Bird" virus, Mr. DJ.

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This has turned into an interesting topic. Curiously, when I named this forum I wasn't thinking "Classic Rock" per se. I like DJ KAT's explanation of classic as being a car (or song, etc.) that is at least 25 years old - I was thinking more along these lines when I chose the name.

I agree that "Classic Rock" is well defined as 60's and 70's and "Oldies" anything from the 50's and earlier. To me classic music is simply older music. :) Is the name 'Music Discussion Classic' misleading? Did you guys think we were referring strictly to classic rock?

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One thing I've learned throughout the years of listening primarily to what is referred to "classic rock" is that for the most part the many songs of the 50's, 60's and 70's have embedded themselves in western culture and interweaved themselves into the films, the documentaries, TV commercials, heck I even hear them in the grocery stores.

The baby-boomer generation identifies with this era of music like my folks identify with the big-band era.

Recorded music hit the bigtime in the 30's and 40's with radio broadcast and then 78 sales, then LP's quickly caught on, not far behind the 45's revolutionized music distribution by allowing fans to get just that one song right now, not mention jukeboxes.

The sheer volume of "so-called" classic rock that erupted from the mid-sixties into the late seventies is unbelievabley rich with diversity and ingenuity. It's the music that I love and listen to day-in and day-out like a religious ritual. It keeps my musical fires burning and throttles my soul with an endless beat!

Give the beat boys, free my soul/I wanna get lost in your rock and roll And drift away...

Mike

p.s. Great idea for a new forum Sara! :thumbsup:

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Una pregunta, Edna. Hablas Ingles muy bien. Eres de Espana o un otro pais?

Tú también hablas muy bien el español, Pete. Thanks. Actually I am French, born in Argentina from Russian and Spanish origin, so I speak three languages since I was a child. But I discovered Beatles in 63 (I was7...) so I started to learn English on my own and I´ve been using English for my work as a translator, a journalist and a rock concerts organizator, always dealing with english speaking people. I´m still learning, I must improve my "broken english", as Jr says... :laughing:

I´m not spanish but I live here since mid 70´s.

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Sara, I don't think it's misleading. It's VH1 Classics or Coke Classics. Herded all us old goats right in here. (and the youngs ones who enjoy classic rock, as well).

I wouldn't sweat it. The forum will expand. It's only a few days old. Someone will be along to start a Zeppelin/Who thread any second now. LOL.

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I think the era of "classic rock" died out in the early 80's when all the hair bands took over along with that goofy new wave sound. To me, classic rock may be older, but it's the pure form of rock 'n' roll music where the lyrics and the instrumentals actually meant something and sounded so beautiful together and weren't geared toward our MTV/pop culture. I've notice that there are many bands from the 90's that are getting back to this type of music playing. I think the majority of music from the 80's is a bit of a black hole.

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I think Addicted put it as well an anyone possibly can. It's not necessarily the age of the song, it's the style - the guitars, the drums, the singing.

There are a lot of newer bands that can fall under the umbrella of "classic rock"....Guns 'N' Roses, REM, Pearl Jam, Matchbox 20, Foo Fighters...I'll go as far as to say Nirvana and Green Day.

But the majority of the bands nowadays only care about making money and being on MTV. Every song they write sounds exactly the same as their other songs and the other bands' songs. Some will try to mix in a few classic rock tunes amid their rapping and their "hardcore" (:laughing:). For instance: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kid Rock, Third Eye Blind, Live. I like some of these band's stuff, but you can't really classify them as "classic rock". These guys are out to corner the market on brooding male teenagers who think they're able to take on the world by themselves. And the bands attempt this by brooding, themselves, just to appeal to the masses. Or, as the kids these days, call it....POSING!

There will never be another Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, The Who, or Lynyrd Skynyrd, Pink Floyd....these guys played the music because they wanted to play the music...not to appear to be something they are not.

:afro: :afro: :afro: :rockon: :rockon: :rockon:

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There's something to be said about longevity in the music industry. I can't see anyone wanted to listen to Britney Spears 30 years from now. And yet, people are willing to pay hundreds of dollars to see the Rolling Stones in concert. No one will go crazy because Good Charolette is playing at Super Bowl 60, and yet, everyone freaked out when Paul McCartney was up on stage. Classic rock is all about the music and the way it makes people feel, not how large it makes everyones wallets in a 5 year span.

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