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roots rock > 1960s > southern rock

southern rock:

stylistic origins: rock and roll / rhythm and blues / rockabilly / roots rock / country rock / folk rock / blues rock / swamp pop / southern soul / tulsa sound
cultural origins: 1960s – early 1970s, Mostly Southern United States

Southern Rock drew from the heavy blues-rock of the late ’60s as well as honky tonk and Bakersfield country, creating a distinctive fusion. Throughout the early ’70s, Southern rock bands formed a major part of the American hard rock band.
The first Southern rock band was the Allman Brothers.

The dominant sound of Southern rock was its loose fusion of several rootsy genres and its fondness for heavy boogie jams. The genre died out in the early ’80s, but the spirit of the music lived on in ’90s bands like the Black Crowes and Widespread Panic.

The Allman Brothers Band – Midnight Rider – 9/10/1973; Lynyrd Skynyrd – Sweet Home Alabama (1974); The Marshall Tucker Band – Can’t You See – 9/10/1973:

fusion genres: sludge metal



1960s > electronic rock

electronic rock (synthrock, electrorock, techno-rock or digital rock):

stylistic origins: rock, electronic, experimental
cultural origins: 1960s, United Kingdom

In the late 1960s, rock musicians began to use electronic instruments, like the theremin and Mellotron, to supplement and define their sound; by the end of the decade the Moog synthesizer took a leading place in the sound of emerging progressive rock bands who would dominate rock in the early 1970s. In the 1980s, more commercially oriented synthpop dominated electronic rock. In the new millennium the spread of recording software led to the development of new distinct genres including electroclash, dance-punk and new rave.

electronic rock subgenres: alternative dance, baggy, coldwave, crunkcore, dance-punk, dance-rock, dark wave, digital hardcore, ethereal wave, electrogrind, electronicore, gothic metal, gothic rock, indietronica, industrial metal, industrial rock, krautrock, neo-progressive rock, neo-psychedelia, Neue Deutsche Härte, Neue Deutsche Todeskunst, Neue Deutsche Welle, new wave, nintendocore, noise rock, nu gaze, nu metal, post-punk, rap rock, shoegazing, space rock


fusion genres: alternative hip hop, big beat, chillwave, electroclash, electropunk, hi-NRG, new rave, speedcore, synthpop


1960s > experimental rock 

experimental rock (avant-rock):

stylistic origins: rock, avant-garde
cultural origins: late 1960s, United States

Experimental rock (or avant-rock) is a subgenre of rock music which pushes the boundaries of common composition and performance technique or which experiments with the basic elements of the genre. Artists aim to liberate and innovate, with some of the genre’s distinguishing characteristics being improvisational performances, avant-garde influences, odd instrumentation, opaque lyrics (or instrumentals), unorthodox structures and rhythms, and an underlying rejection of commercial aspirations.

In the opinion of Stuart Rosenberg, the first “noteworthy” experimental rock group was the Mothers of Invention led by composer Frank Zappa

This would also be reflected in other contemporary experimental rock LPs, such as the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds and Smile, the Who’s The Who Sell Out (1967) and Tommy (1969).
The Beatles’ album Sgt. Pepper’s inspired a new consideration for experimental rock as commercially viable music. 1“Experimental Rock”. En.Wikipedia.Org, 2018, Accessed 21 June 2018.

The Who – Odorono (Full Version); TOMMY: Overture – See Me Feel Me THE WHO; Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Full album:

experimental rock subgenres: krautrock, mathcore, noise rock, no wave, post-rock

derivative forms: art rock, neo-psychedelia

1960s > art rock

art rock:

stylistic origins: experimental rock / avant-garde / folk / jazz / classical

cultural origins: 1960s, United States and United Kingdom

“Art rock” is often used synonymously with progressive rock. Historically, the term has been used to describe at least two related, but distinct, types of rock music. The first is progressive rock, while the second usage refers to groups who rejected psychedelia and the hippie counterculture in favor of a modernist, avant-garde approach defined by the Velvet Underground.

Art rock emphasizes Romantic and autonomous traditions, in distinction to the aesthetic of every day and the disposable embodied by art pop.
Differences have been identified between art rock and progressive rock, with art rock emphasizing avant-garde or experimental influences and “novel sonic structure,” while progressive rock has been characterized as putting a greater emphasis on classically trained instrumental technique, literary content, and symphonic features.
Compared to progressive rock, art rock is “more challenging, noisy and unconventional” and “less classically influenced”, with more of an emphasis on avant-garde music.

In the late sixties and early seventies, rock both co-opted and challenged the prevailing view of musical art, often at the same time. This is evident in a diverse body of music that includes the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds and the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper; Frank Zappa’s Freak Out … the Who’s rock opera Tommy; Pink Floyd’s technologically advanced concept album Dark Side of the Moon; and Miles Davis’s jazz/rock fusion.
—Michael Campbell, Popular Music in America

Encyclopædia Britannica states that its genre’s tendencies were continued by some British and American hard rock and pop rock artists, and that Brian Eno’s late 1970s and early 1980s collaborations with David Bowie and Talking Heads are exemplary of “the successful infusion of art rock tendencies into other popular music genres”.

The Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Full Album; Pink Floyd The Dark Side of The Moon (Full Album 2017); David Bowie – The Berlin Triptych, part 1:

1960s > baroque pop

baroque pop:

stylistic origins: pop rock / baroque / orchestral pop / rock / classical
cultural origins: 1960s, United States and United Kingdom

Baroque Pop emerged during the mid-’60s, a time when artists including the Left Banke, the Beach Boys, producer Phil Spector, and composer/arranger Burt Bacharach began infusing rock & roll with elements of classical music, achieving a majestic orchestral sound far removed from rock’s wild, primitive origins. Layered harmonies, strings, and horns are all hallmarks of baroque pop, as is the music’s dramatic intensity. At the time of its inception, it was rock’s most mature outgrowth to date, and its spirit lives on in everything from the Philly soul sound of the early ’70s to the like-minded chamber pop sound of the mid-’90s.

Walk Away Renee – The Left Banke; Procol Harum’s – A Whiter Shade of Pale; The Zombies – She’s Not There:


mid 1960s > psychedelic rock

psychedelic rock:

stylistic origins: rock / psychedelia / blues / folk / jazz / electronic
cultural origins: mid 1960s, United States and United Kingdom

Psychedelic music’s LSD-inspired vibe began in the folk scene.

The first group to advertise themselves as psychedelic rock were the 13th Floor Elevators from Texas.

The Beatles introduced many of the major elements of the psychedelic sound to audiences in this period, such as guitar feedback, the Indian sitar and backmasking sound effects. Psychedelic rock particularly took off in California’s emerging music scene as groups followed the Byrds’ shift from folk to folk rock from 1965.

The psychedelic lifestyle, which revolved around hallucinogenic drugs, had already developed in San Francisco and particularly prominent products of the scene were the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s lead guitarist, Jimi Hendrix did extend 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 the Pink Floyd debuted with The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. Key recordings included Jefferson Airplane’s Surrealistic Pillow and the Doors’ Strange Days.

These trends climaxed in the 1969 Woodstock festival, which saw performances by most of the major psychedelic acts.

Lucy in the sky with diamonds – The Beatles; The Rolling Stones: 2000 Light Years From Home; Lucifer Sam – Pink Floyd:

psychedelic rock subgenres: acid rock


psychedelic rock > 1960s > acid rock

acid rock:

stylistic origins: rock / psychedelic / blues / folk rock / garage punk
cultural origins: 1960s, United States

Acid rock is a loosely defined type of rock music that evolved out of the mid-1960s garage punk movement and helped launch the psychedelic subculture. The style is generally defined by heavy, distorted guitars, lyrics with drug references, and long improvised jams. Its distinctions from other genres can be tenuous, as much of the style overlaps with 1960s punk, proto-metal, and early heavy, blues-based hard rock.

As the movement progressed into the late 1960s and 1970s, elements of acid rock split into two directions, with hard rock and heavy metal on one side and progressive rock on the other.

In the 1990s, the stoner metal genre combined acid rock with other hard rock styles such as grunge, updating the heavy riffs and long jams found in acid rock and psychedelic-influenced metal.

The term is regularly deployed interchangeably with “psychedelic rock”.

According to Per Elias Drabløs, “acid rock is generally considered a subgenre of psychedelic rock”, while Steve and Alan Freeman state the two are synonymous, and that “what is usually referred to as acid rock is generally the more extreme end of that genre”. This would mean psychedelic rock that is heavier, louder, or harder.

As a hard rock variant of psychedelia, acid rock evolved from the 1960s garage punk movement, with many of its bands eventually transforming into heavy metal acts. Percussionist John Beck defines “acid rock” as synonymous with hard rock and heavy metal.

The term eventually encompassed heavy, blues-based hard rock bands. Musicologist Steve Waksman wrote that “the distinction between acid rock, hard rock, and heavy metal can at some point never be more than tenuous”.

Count Five’s “Psychotic Reaction”, among the first successful acid (or psychedelic) rock songs, contained the characteristics that would come to define acid rock: the use of feedback and distortion replacing early rock music’s more melodic electric guitars.

Crossover in the two major psychedelic rock variants (acid rock and British-influenced psychedelia) did occur; the Animals’ song “Sky Pilot” was among the few songs of the era to juxtapose the elaborate orchestration of Sgt. Pepper-influenced, British-style psychedelic rock with the more Hendrix-influenced, electric guitar-centered American acid rock style.

Iron Butterfly’s “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” is sometimes described as an example of the transition from the acid rock into heavy metal, a movement that proved to be massively influenced by their album of the same name.


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