Hard rock is a loosely-defined genre of music, based on rock, but with a "harder" sound bordering on heavy metal. Hard rock maintains the structure and instrumentation of rock music, but utilizes it in a more aggressive manner with increased tempos, louder instruments and vocals, and more use of distortion.
Hard rock evolved in the 1960s out of garage rock, psychedelic rock, and blues rock. The term was often used synonymously with heavy metal, but they diverged more through the 1970s as hard rock just referred to a harder version of rock, while heavy metal became even more abrasive sounding and took on elements of fantasy and horror. Hard rock began to fall out of favor in the 1990s. Rock was supplanted by grunge, and the youth largely turned to urban music like rap, R&B, and hip hop.
With a father and older brother who were both fans of many hard rock bands, I listened to a lot of hard rock in my childhood, and my favorite radio stations were primarily those that played rock music, especially hard rock songs.
These are hard rock bands and artists that are important to me.
- See Hard rock songs.