AOR, a brief genre overview

Adult oriented rock (AOR) is a music genre that is characterized by a rich, layered sound, slick production and a heavy reliance on pop/rock hooks ( This genre had its heyday in the early 1980s, but luckily it never really left since.

The three genre defining bands are Journey, Foreigner and Toto.

Don’t Stop Believin’ (1981)

Waiting For A Girl Like You (1981)

Hold The Line (1978)

Other well known bands that are usually classified as AOR are REO Speedwagon and Styx, with hit songs like:

Keep On Loving You (1980)

Babe (1979)

From the early 1980s on an overwhelming amount of bands followed in the footsteps of these bands. So there’s a lot more to discover.

In the US AOR orginally stood for Album Oriented Rock, a sub genre of Symphonic Rock, that was called Pomp Rock by the British music press. More on that specific sub genre is found here.

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