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The Classic Rock Connection

Welcome to The Classic Rock Connection, where you can explore information about the makeup of rock groups from the era of classic rock music.

What is "classic rock"?

The term classic rock refers to a style of rock music that emerged in the 1960s and 1970s, and which continues to be popular today. It typically includes songs and bands from the era of the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Who, and other influential rock groups of the time.

The genre is characterized by its heavy use of electric guitars, drums, and bass, as well as its focus on melody, catchy choruses, and memorable riffs. Classic rock songs often have a bluesy or folk-influenced sound, and frequently feature extended instrumental passages or guitar solos.

The term "classic rock" has come to represent a particular era in music history, as well as a certain style and attitude associated with that era. Many classic rock songs have become enduring anthems and cultural touchstones, and the genre continues to be popular among music fans of all ages.

Classic rock has also come to include progressive rock. Also known as prog rock, it is a sub-genre of rock music that also emerged in the late 1960s and gained popularity in the 1970s. It is characterized by its complex musical structures, use of unusual time signatures, and incorporation of elements from various genres such as classical, jazz, and folk music.

In contrast to traditional rock music, which typically features simple song structures and straightforward lyrics, progressive rock often features extended pieces that may incorporate multiple sections, instrumental interludes, and intricate musical arrangements. Lyrics in progressive rock songs are often more abstract and introspective, exploring themes such as spirituality, social commentary, and science fiction.

Some of the most influential and well-known progressive rock bands include Pink Floyd, Yes, Genesis, King Crimson, Rush, and Emerson, Lake & Palmer. The genre has continued to evolve over the years, with newer bands incorporating elements of electronic music, metal, and other genres into their sound.

Blues rock in the 1980s and 1990s was characterized by a revival of the genre, with many bands and artists drawing inspiration from the blues of the 1960s and 1970s. The sound was marked by heavy guitar riffs, powerful vocals, and a strong emphasis on the blues scale and its variations.

One of the most influential blues rock artists was Stevie Ray Vaughan, whose virtuosic guitar playing and soulful vocals made him a favorite among blues purists and rock fans alike. Other notable blues rock artists of the decade included Eric Clapton, who continued to explore his blues roots with albums like "From the Cradle" and "Unplugged," and Kenny Wayne Shepherd, who burst onto the scene in the mid-1990s with his powerful guitar playing.

Another significant development in blues rock in the 1990s was the emergence of female artists in the genre. Susan Tedeschi, for example, gained critical acclaim for her blues-influenced sound, which blended elements of rock, soul, and folk music. Other notable female artists included Koko Taylor, Beth Hart, and Shemekia Copeland.

Decades after its heyday, classic rock, as defined by radio stations labeling their format as such, has come to mean most popular music from the 1960s and 1970s, up to the time that disco and dance music emerged as the popular genre in the late 1970s.

Hundreds of those artists, and many more who didn't receive significant airplay but should have, are included here in the Index of Classic Rock Bands.