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.
Edited By: Area Man (with input from Bruno, Ryan, Spawn of Lilith, and Zach)
Last Updated: 2022-03-21