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200 Greatest Classic-Era AOR/Melodic Rock Artists

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). 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: 2021-06-19
AOR/Melodic Rock Artists
  1. Journey
  2. Boston
  3. Foreigner
  4. Styx
  5. REO Speedwagon
  6. Toto
  7. Heart (1983-1993 output)
  8. Eddie Money
  9. Survivor
10. Pat Benatar
11. Jefferson Starship / Starship
12. Loverboy
13. Chicago (1980-1991 output)
14. ZZ Top (1983-1992 output)
15. Billy Squier
16. Asia
17. Bryan Adams
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 (1979-1983 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. Chilliwack (1978-1984 output)
64. Uriah Heep (1978-1991 output)
65. Nelson
66. Little River Band (1983-1990 output)
67. John Parr
68. Zebra
69. Gowan
70. Tommy Shaw
71. Russ Ballard
72. Robin Beck
73. Quarterflash
74. Harem Scarem
75. Tony Carey
76. Giant
77. Angel
78. FM
79. Scandal
80. Sheriff
81. Giuffria
82. Toronto
83. Autograph
84. Frozen Ghost
85. Dennis DeYoung
86. Streetheart
87. Axe
88. Le Roux
89. Icon
90. Michael Stanley Band
91. GTR
92. Shooting Star
93. Streets
94. White Sister
95. Strangeways
96. Praying Mantis
97. Alias
98. House of Lords
99. Patty Smyth
100. Franke and the Knockouts
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






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101. Joe Lynn Turner
102. Planet P Project
103. Sherbet (1977-1978 output) / Sherbs
104. I-Ten
105. Mark Free / Marcie Free
106. Benny Mardones
107. Gamma
108. Coney Hatch
109. Sniff 'n' the Tears
110. Stan Bush
111. Max Webster
112. Blackfoot (1983-1990 output)
113. RTZ
114. Danger Danger
115. Fiona
116. Tyketto
117. Unruly Child
118. Charlie
119. The Law
120. Benjamin Orr
121. Saraya
122. City Boy
123. Doucette
124. Orion the Hunter
125. Hardline
126. Signal
127. Shadow King
128. Fortune
129. Dakota
130. Touch
131. Red Dawn
132. Dare
133. Shy
134. The Storm
135. Witness
136. Fair Warning
137. Treat
138. Dominoe
139. Robert Tepper
140. 707
141. Van Zant (1985 output)
142. White Heart
143. Balance
144. Stage Dolls
145. Headpins
146. Hughes / Thrall
147. Legs Diamond
148. Jeff Paris
149. Sabu
150. Zinatra
151. Blackjack
152. Virginia Wolf
153. Cobra
154. Van Stephenson
155. Spys
156. Diving for Pearls
157. Drive, She Said
158. Talisman
159. Device
160. Phenomena
161. Lake
162. New England
163. Valentine
164. Aviator
165. Erika
166. Eric Martin
167. Alien
168. Alexa
169. Grand Prix
170. G-Force
171. Boulevard
172. Joe Lamont
173. Romeo's Daughter
174. Airplay
175. Dan Lucas
176. Planet 3
177. Robby Valentine
178. Kane Roberts
179. Mastedon
180. Crown of Thorns
181. Arc Angel
182. Trillion
183. Airrace
184. Santers
185. Tim Feehan
186. Only Child
187. Casanova
188. Joshua
189. Heartland
190. Fate
191. RPM
192. Tobruk
193. Paul Laine
194. Michael Thompson Band
195. China Sky
196. Mitch Malloy
197. Skagarack
198. Beau Coup
199. Prophet
200. Alaska
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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