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Hard Rock

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Primary Stylistic Influences:
Secondary Stylistic Influences:

The Young Brothers [AC/DC] began playing at a time recognised as the Australian music scene's lowest ebb. Outdoor festivals like Sunbury were all but finished. But pubs and RSL clubs all over the country were opening their doors to the blues bands that had thrived in the elements. Here, there was plenty of heat, no mud, and unlimited supplies of beer - just the environment for a new generation of angry young men to work up a fine mist of sweat with a frontal assault of volume, and an enthusiasm to join the fray. The crowd they played to was male, volatile, and working class. They demanded to be deafened by bass, drums, and guitar. It became known as pub rock - music to drink by.
Long Way to the Top: Stories of Australian Rock & Roll

Hard rock is a sub-genre of rock, developing in the late 1960s on both sides of the Atlantic. In America, it was popularized by bands like Steppenwolf and Iron Butterfly, while in Britain it grew out of the late 60s Blues. Generally, it's rooted in Blues Rock and Psychedelic Rock. Its main definition is that it is considerably harder than conventional rock music, which means that guitars have an edgier snarl of distortion and the drumming is louder and more emphatic. It is characterized by a heavy use of distorted electric guitars played through big speaker stacks, bass guitar, drums, pianos and other keyboards (especially Hammond organ, but also synthesizers in the 1980s and beyond), and powerful vocals, making it near-indistinguishable from some of the lighter Heavy Metal bands. Many heavy metal debates are about where the dividing line is between "hard rock" and "heavy metal". (The dividing line is difficult to draw, since a band considered to be "shockingly hard" in The '70s is going to sound quite normal in the 2020s, in the era of extreme metal.)

That's the only definition you need, really. Hard rock doesn't have as much of a "scene" or subculture like Heavy Metal, though it was most popular back in The '70s. Nowadays, hard rock is rarer, having been effectively replaced officially by a few similar genres. Still, there are some bands, more "retro" in focus, who could still be classified as hard rock, such as Wolfmother and The Darkness. The term 'hard rock' persists both as a catch-all term for hard-hitting music that isn't full-fledged metal, and as an umbrella term for all hard-edged rock music from Death Metal to Hardcore Punk to Grunge , so it still comes up a lot.

Bands/artists typically classified as hard rock include: