Soft rock is a musical genre that formed in the late-1960s in the USA and UK. It is a sub-genre of rock where songs maintain the structure of rock music, but use a gentler sound. This tends to come from a slower tempo, simpler chords, less change in volume, and more emphasis placed on harmony and melodic timbres. In many ways, soft rock is was the antithesis of progressive rock, doing away with the complex time signatures, experimental instruments, and discordant sounds and focusing on simple, easy to listen to music. However, like prog rock, soft rock does also require a lot of studio production to get its refined sound. Soft rock remained popular through the 1970s, but largely merged into adult contemporary in the 1980s which incorporates more jazz, soul, and easy listening as well as the growing popularity at the time of synthesizers and drum machines. Adult rock still saw hits through the 1980s and 1990s, but waned in popularity significantly.
Many popular bands in the 1970s included soft rock songs in their repertoire even if they weren't viewed as soft rock artists.
I generally like my music to be mildly complex and abrasive, however, when I'm in a lazy or melancholy mood, I tend to prefer soft rock.
These are bands and artists who produced soft rock music that are important to me. Those with an asterisk (*) after their names are not normally viewed as a soft rock artists, but still have multiple soft rock songs that I like.
- See Soft rock songs.