Hard Rock Photography

Hard Rock

The earliest roots of Hard Rock can be found in 1960s blues-rock and psychedelia. As rock music evolved in the ’70s, artists like AC/DC and Aerosmith stepped away from the mainstream, radio-friendly archetype of the era and developed a new sound based on distorted guitars and pounding drums—always turned up to eleven!

By the 1980s, Hard Rock had broadened its audience base and exploded into the public consciousness, filling stadiums with sonically aggressive guitar riffs and anthemic, crowd-pleasing choruses. Audiences soon lost interest in the excess and debauchery of the flamboyant pop-metal of the late ’80s, however, finding more meaning and artistic integrity in the increasingly popular alternative rock and hip-hop genres.

While the vast majority of ’80s “hair-metal” acts faded into nostalgia or obscurity, the original Hard Rockers remained resilient. These icons of the ’70s, plus a few newer acts (like thrash-metal heavyweights Metallica) continue to find success cranking out fist-pumping Hard Rock—as well as the occasional power ballad—for entirely new generations of fans.

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