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Hard Rock 1/9

Rock >> Hard Rock

Hard rock originated in the 1970s and is characterized by its use of heavy, distorted guitar riffs, fast drum beats and macho vocals. Hard rock is usually carried by guitars, bass, drums and vocals and is characterized by its energetic live shows and rebellious attitude.

The roots of hard rock lie in the blues rock and psychedelic rock of the 1960s. Bands like The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Cream and The Who have shaped hard rock with their innovative guitar work and explosive live shows.

In the 1970s, bands like Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple became popular, combining hard rock with elements of heavy metal. These bands shaped the genre with their heavy, distorted guitar riffs and macho vocals and were considered the forerunners of hard rock.

One of the most style-defining albums of hard rock is "Paranoid" by Black Sabbath, released in 1970. This album was characterized by its heavy, distorted guitar riffs and its dark, atmospheric sounds and became a classic of the genre.

In the 1980s, hard rock was popularized by bands like AC/DC, Metallica and Guns N' Roses. These bands relied on fast, aggressive guitar riffs and macho vocals and were known for their energetic live shows.

Hard rock is particularly well suited for licensing in movies, TV shows and commercials.


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Fat and fresh alternative rock similar to, say, some of harder Nickelback work. Uplifting and optimistic. Suitable for sports footage, downhill, skating or parachuting, racing, base jumping, any action packed footage really. The track alternates between 'down and dirty', gritty guitar riffs representing a free spirit, untamed and living the wild life.

Juiced Up (Underscore Version)
36 tracks, not registered with a PRO
172 tracks, registered with a PRO
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What is Hard Rock?

Hard rock is a harder style of rock music. Hard rock is often used as an umbrella term for a number of styles of rock music such as punk, grunge and industrial rock to distinguish them from styles such as pop rock. In technical terms, the term is more narrowly defined and describes a musical style whose roots lie in various genres such as psychedelic rock of the 1960s, blues rock and rock 'n' roll. The style was also influenced by the beat music of the 1960s. From the end of the 1960s to the beginning of the 1990s, the genre gained particular popularity.

The development of hard rock

In the mid-1960s, English and American blues and rock bands began to change traditional rock'n'roll by modifying their music with bass-heavy sounds, lashing guitar riffs, dominating drums and an often eye-catching frontman in tight pants. The songs of British bands like „You Really Got Me“ by the Kinks (1964), „My Generation“ by the Who (1965) and „I Can't Get No Satisfaction“ by the Rolling Stones (1965) anticipated elements of hard rock. The Beatles also processed certain elements of the music style developing at that time in 1968 in „Helter Skelter“, the „Yer Blues“ from the White Album and some other songs.

The different facets of Hard Rock

Later, well-known formations such as Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Uriah Heep, Alice Cooper, Nazareth and Black Sabbath shaped the hard rock of the early days. Deep Purple as well as Uriah Heep showed first approaches towards progressive rock through their classical influences. Led Zeppelin are regarded today as one of the most important groups of blues-influenced hard rock. The band Nazareth appeared in the media rather as down-to-earth rockers from the working class, who often told stories from the street in their songs - often lyrics about crime and street gangs. Alice Cooper devoted himself to "shock rock" and set new standards in terms of effort: he used guillotines and gallows in his concerts. His creepy lyrics are to be understood as black humor. With the glamorous appearances of Slade, Glam Rock began to establish itself in the early 1970s.

Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple in particular influenced the next generation of bands in the 1970s and 1980s, including AC/DC, Scorpions and Kiss. At the beginning of the 1990s, hard rock was influenced by the rise of grunge and alternative rock and at times pushed out of the market. The development of the new millennium was marked by a retro wave.

Musical structure, song structure

Hard rock songs are usually based on a 4/4 beat with an emphasis on the backbeats and use the traditional song scheme of pop music with verse, interlude and chorus. Many pieces of hard rock usually include a guitar solo. Partly this form is also broken up and complex pieces are created with partly overflowing instrumental passages, e.g. "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin and "Child in Time" Deep Purple.