Album-oriented rock (AOR, originally called album-oriented radio) is an FM radio format created in the United States in the 1970s that focuses on the full repertoire of rock albums and is currently associated with classic rock.
Album-oriented radio was originally established by U.S. radio stations dedicated to playing album tracks by rock artists from the hard rock and progressive rock genres. In the mid-1970s, AOR was characterized by a layered, mellifluous sound and sophisticated production with considerable dependence on melodic hooks. Using research and formal programming to create an album rock format with greater commercial appeal, the AOR format achieved tremendous popularity in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
From the early 1980s onward, the "album-oriented radio" term became normally used as the abbreviation of "album-oriented rock," meaning radio stations specialized in classic rock recorded during the late 1960s and 1970s.
The term is also commonly conflated with "adult-oriented rock", a radio format that also uses the initialism "AOR" and covers not only album-oriented rock but also album tracks and "deep cuts" from a range of other rock genres, such as soft rock and pop rock.
Acts like Boston are examples of this style.
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