Although rock groups had been filling some of the largest venues in the world since Music/TheBeatles played at Shea Stadium in the 1960s, this subgenre of rock music began to develop in the mid-1970s. Also known as pomp rock, melodic rock, anthem rock, stadium rock or [=AOR=] (album-oriented rock), the main exponents of the style were pop-rock bands that wrote songs specifically to appeal to large crowds, to be performed in big stadiums in front of big audiences.

Since bands of any genre can fill an arena if they're popular enough, arena rock had several additional characteristics to differentiate it from other rock subgenres. "Guitar pyrotechnics" and massed vocal harmonies performed by the whole band were very common, as were [[AudienceParticipationSong Audience Participation Songs]] with big, anthemic choruses. Most singers had cleaner-sounding vocals than a lot of the other HardRock or HeavyMetal groups of the time and often performed with an operatic flair. Lyrically, most arena rock songs were pretty simple, with many a straightforward {{Power Ballad}} for audiences to sing along with. And recordings were characterized by a slick, radio-friendly production sheen.

This was the dominant style of rock music for about ten years, starting in 1976 when Music/{{Boston}} released their first album and Music/PeterFrampton released ''Frampton Comes Alive!'' (the best-selling record of the year), and more or less ending in 1986 when Music/{{Journey}} released their last album for ten years and Music/BonJovi's ''Slippery When Wet'' album put HairMetal on top of the mainstream rock pile. Listen to any "classic rock" radio station nowadays, and chances are arena rock is the genre you'll hear the most of.

Although the spectacle and accessability of arena rock has pretty much always been [[CriticProof popular enough with the public]], it isn't always [[DeadHorseGenre treated as kindly by music critics]], many of whom seem to see it as HairMetal without any make-up on. The epithet "corporate rock" was originally applied to this type of music, with "Dad rock" also popping up sometime around the late nineties.

It's worth noting that the sort of stadium rock played by bands like Music/{{U2}}, Music/{{INXS}}, Music/SimpleMinds or Music/ThePolice doesn't necessarily come under this heading; their sound was typically more influenced by PostPunk and AlternativeRock (such as it was in the 1980s).

!!Artists commonly associated with the genre include:
[[index]]
* [[Music/ThirtyEightSpecial .38 Special]] (starting with ''Wild-Eyed Southern Boys'')
* Music/BryanAdams
* Music/{{Aerosmith}} (eighties output and everything following it)
* Music/AprilWine
* Music/{{Asia}}
* Music/PatBenatar
* Music/BlueOysterCult (from ''Agents of Fortune'' onwards, combined with HeavyMetal)
* Music/BonJovi (their glam period, mostly)
* Music/{{Boston}}
* Music/CheapTrick
* Music/{{Chicago}} (mid- to late-eighties output)
* Music/DefLeppard
* Music/DireStraits (eighties era)
* Music/{{Eagles}} (post-''On the Border'')
* Music/JoseEsposito (most well-known for "You're the Best" from TheKarateKid soundtrack)
* Music/FleetwoodMac (Buckingham/Nicks era)
* Music/{{Foreigner}}
* Music/PeterFrampton
* Music/{{Genesis}} (From ''Duke'' onward)
* Music/{{Gowan}}
* Music/{{Heart}} (mid- to late-eighties output)
* Music/HoneymoonSuite
* Music/TheHooters
* [[Music/JeffersonAirplane Jefferson Starship -> Starship]]
* Music/{{Journey}} (from ''Infinity'' onwards)
* Music/{{Kenji Sawada}} (his four-three studio, one live- albums with Co-CoLo)
* Music/{{Kansas}} (with more of a ProgressiveRock bent than usual, but still...)
* Music/{{Loverboy}}
* Music/{{Magnum}}
* Music/MeatLoaf
* Music/JohnMellencamp (eighties era)
* Music/EddieMoney
* Music/NightRanger
* Music/TheOutfield
* Music/{{Queen}} (especially ''News of the World'' and onward)
* Music/{{REO Speedwagon}}
* Music/{{Rush}} (mostly on their synth-heavy records in TheEighties)
* Music/BobSeger (''Live Bullet'' and after)
* Music/BruceSpringsteen (post-''Nebraska'')
* Music/BillySquier
* Music/{{Styx}}
* Music/{{Supertramp}}
* Music/{{Survivor}}
* Music/{{Toto}}
* Music/{{Trooper}}
* Music/{{Yes}} (post-''90125'')
* Music/ZZTop (post-''[[NewSoundAlbum Eliminator]]'')
[[/index]]

%%!!Common Tropes
%%* AudienceParticipationSong:
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%%* EpicRocking:
%%* PowerBallad:
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