300 Greatest Classic-Era AOR/Melodic Rock Artists

AOR rock bands Journey, Boston, Foreigner, Styx
Background: Adult-oriented rock (AOR), also known as "melodic rock" and, derisively, "corporate rock," and sometimes used synonymously with "arena rock," is a genre of rock that was at the peak of its success between the mid-1970s and early-1990s. It is known for its sleek, shiny, glossy, polished, slick, well-produced, radio-ready, commercially-friendly sound. Despite this, it is a distinct genre from pop-rock and power pop (although some artists overlap with these genres). This hook-heavy genre almost always takes a sincere, unironic, earnest, sentimental, and played-straight approach to rock music and its subject matter. Other features of AOR/melodic rock are hard rock anthems, soft rock power ballads, arena rock aesthetics, sing-along choruses, heavy use of keyboards/synthesizers (most of the time), and smokin' guitars. Adult-oriented rock (AOR), a genre of music, is different from album-oriented rock (also abbreviated AOR), a radio format. This list only includes artists who released albums during the classic era of the genre. We somewhat arbitrarily used 1993 as the last year for album releases to accept nominations. Nonetheless, an artist's post-1993 output was factored into their position.

Criteria: These artists were chosen on their popularity, acclaim, and influence.

Last Updated: 2022-03-21
AOR/Melodic Rock Artists
  1. Journey
  2. Boston
  3. Foreigner
  4. Styx
  5. REO Speedwagon
  6. Toto
  7. Heart (1983-1993 output)
  8. Pat Benatar
  9. Chicago (1980-1991 output)
10. Eddie Money
11. Survivor
12. Jefferson Starship / Starship
13. Bryan Adams
14. ZZ Top (1983-1992 output)
15. Loverboy
16. Billy Squier
17. Asia
18. Night Ranger
19. Cheap Trick (1983-1991 output)
20. Kansas (1980-1988 output)
21. .38 Special
22. Kenny Loggins (1980-1988 output)
23. Peter Frampton
24. Bad Company (1986-1993 output)
25. Rainbow (1979-1986 output)
26. Blue Öyster Cult (1977-1985 output)
27. Cher (1982-1992 output)
28. Michael Bolton (1983-1989 output)
29. Europe
30. Triumph
31. Bonnie Tyler (1983-1991 output)
32. April Wine
33. Rick Springfield
34. Yes (1983-1991 output)
35. Roger Daltrey (1980-1992 output)
36. John Farnham (1986-1991 output)
37. Jimmy Barnes
38. Corey Hart
39. John Waite
40. Petra
41. Richard Marx
42. The Babys
43. Donnie Iris
44. Honeymoon Suite
45. Red Rider
46. Kim Mitchell
47. Aldo Nova
48. Trooper
49. Bad English
50. Glass Tiger
51. Lou Gramm
52. Steve Perry
53. Mike + the Mechanics
54. Saga
55. Harlequin
56. Mr. Mister
57. Magnum
58. Peter Cetera
59. Head East
60. Cutting Crew
61. Prism
62. Alannah Myles
63. The Johnny Van Zant Band / Johnny Van Zant
64. Chilliwack (1978-1984 output)
65. Uriah Heep (1978-1991 output)
66. Nelson
67. Little River Band (1983-1990 output)
68. John Parr
69. Zebra
70. Platinum Blonde
71. Gowan
72. Tommy Shaw
73. Russ Ballard
74. Robin Beck
75. Quarterflash
76. Harem Scarem
77. Benny Mardones
78. Tony Carey
79. Giant
80. Angel
81. FM
82. Scandal
83. Sheriff
84. Giuffria
85. Toronto
86. Autograph
87. Frozen Ghost
88. Dennis DeYoung
89. Streetheart
90. Axe
91. Le Roux
92. Icon
93. Michael Stanley Band
94. GTR
95. Shooting Star
96. Streets
97. White Sister
98. Strangeways
99. Henry Lee Summer
100. Paul Janz
Journey rock band
Journey


Boston rock band
Boston


Foreigner rock band
Foreigner


Styx rock band
Styx


REO Speedwagon rock band
REO Speedwagon


Toto rock band
Toto











DigitalDreamDoor playlists on Spotify link button
101. Praying Mantis
102. Alias
103. Noiseworks
104. Jon Butcher
105. House of Lords
106. Patty Smyth
107. Southern Sons
108. Trevor Rabin
109. Franke and the Knockouts
110. Joe Lynn Turner
111. Planet P Project
112. Sherbet (1976-1979 output) / Sherbs
113. I-Ten
114. Mark Free / Marcie Free
115. Sad Café
116. Daryl Braithwaite
117. Gamma
118. Coney Hatch
119. Sniff 'n' the Tears
120. Jude Cole
121. Ian Thomas
122. Andy Taylor
123. Stan Bush
124. Max Webster
125. 1927
126. Blackfoot (1983-1990 output)
127. Sharon O'Neill
128. RTZ
129. Danger Danger
130. Desmond Child
131. Fiona
132. Tyketto
133. Unruly Child
134. Duke Jupiter
135. Spider
136. Charlie
137. The Law
138. Roxus
139. Benjamin Orr
140. Lee Aaron
141. Ted Nugent (1982-1988 output)
142. Saraya
143. City Boy
144. Doucette
145. Orion the Hunter
146. Haywire
147. Hardline
148. Signal
149. Shadow King
150. Fortune
151. Michael Morales
152. Dakota
153. Touch
154. Red Dawn
155. Jean Beauvoir
156. Dare
157. Shy
158. The Storm
159. Tone Norum
160. David Foster
161. Witness
162. Fair Warning
163. Treat
164. Dominoe
165. Danny Spanos
166. Voyager
167. John Hall Band
168. Steel Breeze
169. Mick Jones
170. Robert Tepper
171. 707
172. Van Zant (1985 output)
173. Marilyn Martin
174. White Heart
175. Balance
176. Stage Dolls
177. Headpins
178. Hughes / Thrall
179. Robin Zander
180. Legs Diamond
181. Jeff Paris
182. Sabu
183. Zinatra
184. Taxxi
185. Tycoon
186. Greg Guidry
187. Blackjack
188. Billy Satellite
189. Virginia Wolf
190. Cobra
191. Stabilizers
192. Van Stephenson
193. Spys
194. Diving for Pearls
195. Drive, She Said
196. Novo Combo
197. Talisman
198. Device
199. Phenomena
200. Greg Lake

201. Lake
202. The Arrows
203. Paul Dean
204. New England
205. Valentine
206. Aviator
207. Erika
208. Eric Martin
209. Alien
210. Alexa
211. Gregg Rolie
212. Margaret Becker
213. Grand Prix
214. DeGarmo & Key
215. G-Force
216. Keats
217. Boulevard
218. Joe Lamont
219. Romeo's Daughter
220. Airplay
221. Barry Goudreau
222. Dan Lucas
223. Planet 3
224. Robby Valentine
225. Kane Roberts
226. Mastedon
227. Crown of Thorns
228. Arc Angel
229. Trillion
230. Jimi Jamison
231. Kerry Livgren / AD
232. Airrace
233. Santers
234. Tim Feehan
235. Only Child
236. Casanova
237. Robin George
238. Missouri
239. Zeno
240. Russ Taff
241. Joshua
242. Heartland
243. Fate
244. RPM
245. Orphan
246. Lisa Hartman
247. Tobruk
248. Paul Laine
249. Michael Thompson Band
250. China Sky
251. Mitch Malloy
252. Skagarack
253. Beau Coup
254. Prophet
255. Alaska
256. Sweet Comfort Band
257. B.E. Taylor Group
258. Adrenalin
259. Return
260. Rik Emmett
261. Stingray
262. Stone Fury
263. Blue Tears
264. Martin Briley
265. Glass Moon
266. Cannata
267. Fandango
268. Piper
269. Stan Meissner
270. Lone Star
271. Jim Jidhed
272. Myles Goodwyn
273. From the Fire
274. Allies
275. Idle Cure
276. Fahrenheit
277. Wall of Silence
278. Jerusalem
279. Chrissy Steele
280. Steve Walsh
281. Roadmaster
282. Evenrude
283. Airkraft
284. Wrabit
285. Zon
286. Brian Spence
287. Da Vinci
288. Airborne
289. David Roberts
290. Robert Hart
291. Sugarcreek
292. Rio
293. Refugee
294. Glory
295. Aviary
296. Melidian
297. Raw Silk
298. Riggs
299. Wiggy Bits
300. Wildlife
Top 25 Artists Who Touched on the AOR/Melodic Rock Sound During the Classic Era of That Genre, but are Generally Better Classified as Something Else:
1. Van Halen
2. Deep Purple
3. Def Leppard
4. Rush
5. Bon Jovi
6. Genesis
7. Dire Straits
8. UFO
9. Meat Loaf
10. Whitesnake
11. Huey Lewis and the News
12. Sammy Hagar
13. The Outfield
14. Y&T
15. Stevie Nicks
16. The Tubes
17. David Lee Roth
18. Dokken
19. Warrant
20. Winger
21. White Lion
22. Vixen
23. Damn Yankees
24. FireHouse
25. King Kobra








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