What years do you define as the "classic rock era"?

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PF9

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Since the turn of the 21st century, as the 1990s grew more distant, many rock songs from the 1990s (outside of those by artists already established as part of the classic rock canon by 2001, like Joe Walsh's "Ordinary Average Guy" from 1991) began to appear on many classic rock stations.

My local station, WNCX in Cleveland, is among them, though most of the 1990s songs they play don't usually appear outside of "All Request Saturday Night" from 7 PM to Midnight. The 1990s songs that do appear at other times in the week are often popular songs by acts who were well-established prior to 1990 (like "Mysterious Ways" by U2), or the most popular songs by select artists who emerged in the 1990s (especially grunge songs by the big 5: Alice in Chains, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Stone Temple Pilots).

I normally define the "classic rock era" nowadays as spanning between 1962 (the year The Beatles released their first record) and 1996 (the year I began attending kindergarten). "All Request Saturday Night" does also feature songs from the last 3 years of the 1990s (indeed, I was able to get them to play "Touch, Peel, and Stand" by Days of the New once; that song came out the same day the Pokemon episode "Bulbasaur's Mysterious Garden" first aired in Japan - June 10, 1997). Even songs from after 1999, especially if they are from acts that first became popular some time prior to 1997, are often played on these Saturday nights.

I subdivide the classic rock era into three periods which partially overlap. The "Vinyl" era (based on SiriusXM's Classic Vinyl) is 1962-77. I define the "Cassette" era (based on Classic Rewind) as 1975-91 (Classic Rewind features songs from further into the 1990s too). The "CD" era is 1987-96 (I'd like a Sirius XM station known as "Classic Digital" that plays "CD-era classic rock). The eras are defined by the dominant mediums of recorded music during these times. Seminal artists of the "CD" era of classic rock include Guns N' Roses, R.E.M., Beastie Boys, and early Sheryl Crow.

So, I want to hear from you. What years of rock music do you define as "classic"?
 
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Zorak Masaki

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It's kind of hard to classify, as I've heard some mid-2000s stuff on Classic Rock recently (Kryptonite by 3 Doors Down, Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes, Boulevard of Broken Dreams by Green Day). I'd say that 1965 could be classified as the start (One could argue the British Invasion as the start, but stuff like the Dave Clark Five and early Beatles still had a "50s rock" sound to it), and I suppose, at the moment, 2005 as the end point (though as time goes on, that'll change of course).
 
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AdrenalineRush1996

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Oh, that depends me but if anything, I definite it being from the late Sixties to the late Eighties, while I would classify the Nineties and the Noughties as the new generation of rock.
 
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PF9

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Occasionally R&B artists during the classic rock era recorded songs which have strong rock influence. Prince did this very often, and Michael Jackson recorded some rock-flavored tracks during his solo career as well, such as "Beat It" which featured Eddie Van Halen. These particular songs could be considered part of the classic rock canon, even if they are rarely played on classic rock stations. I know WNCX in Cleveland has played Purple Rain.
 

wonderfly

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Back in the mid 90's, when I really got into rock music, the "classic rock" radio station that's big around where I live played everything "hard rock" from the 70's and 80's (everything from Aerosmith and the Eagles to ZZ Top and the Scorpions), but for the 60's, they only played the Beatles and a select few singers/groups from the very late 60's (Jimmy Hendrix, The Doors), and their stopping point seemed to be 1990 or 1991, with the Black Crowes 1990 songs being the last "Okay, this is hard rock, we'll play this" band to be added. Anything from Nirvana/Pearl Jam/etc (aka "The Alternative Rock Bands", that started around 1991/1992) didn't make the cut for what they considered "Classic Rock".

The years passed, and by the very late 90's/early 2000's, that same rock station would eventually break down and add the Alternative Rock songs of the 90's, and then they moved on to add stuff like "Nickelback" and "3 Doors Down", (the big rock bands of the 2000's). They've probably started to air stuff from the 2010's by this point (I don't know for sure, I haven't listened in a couple years).

There is another radio station in town though that still specifically focuses on "classic rock", and their parameters for what they play are still stuck on the "late 60's/70's/80's/very early 90's" guidelines. So basically, if I had to nail down a timeline for "what years are the years for 'Classic Rock'", it's anything from the late 60's (probably starting with the Beatles "Revolver" album in 1966), to right up until the "Alternative Rock/Grunge Rock" phenomenon kicked off in the early 90's.

So basically from 1966 to 1991. A 25 year period.
 

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