Friday, December 13, 2013

Genre research project 1/1357: Soft rock

Fleetwood Mac - Rumours

Soft rock is a style of light, melodic, radio-friendly Rock music which gained huge commercial success in the 1970s. It employs clean, highly polished production values and arrangements, often led by piano and/or acoustic guitar, aided by bouncy, harmonious bass guitar and with smooth, restrained use of electric guitar. Artists make frequent use of catchy, high-pitched harmonies, simple verse-chorus structures and sentimental lyrics, whilst additional layers of gentle synths and orchestration are not uncommon.

The style took cues from 1960s Folk Pop, Country Rock and Baroque Pop, with artists such as Carole King, Bread and James Taylor initially pioneering the sound. It remained hugely popular throughout the 1970s and early 1980s; Elton John, Billy Joel, Fleetwood Mac, Chicago, Christopher Cross, America and Air Supply exemplified soft rock's abundance in the US charts during this period. The sound still retains a moderate degree of popularity, with singer/songwriters such as James Blunt and Jack Johnson adopting the style, whilst the influence is evident in UK bands The Feeling, Coldplay and Keane.


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