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Old 06-23-2022, 09:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Trollheart's AOR and Melodic Rock Thread


Bouncy keyboard passages, big soaring choruses, vocal harmonies and plenty of slushy ballads: yep, it must be AOR.

AOR gets a lot of stick, with people pointing to bands like Journey, REO, Foreigner and Toto, and usually laughing or puking. With good reason sometimes. AOR bands are not, to quote a phrase, reinventing the wheel. They're not even customising it. AOR bands are not known for their innovation or progression, and to the untrained (and sometimes even the trained) ear, one can sound much like another.

But there are some great bands out there, and in this thread I'm going to try to show you them. Not just AOR, but melodic rock, maybe even melodic metal (what, really, is the difference between the two?) - anything that veers more in a pop direction without actually losing its rock roots. Feel free to comment, drop in your own suggestions or just shake your head in despair.
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Old 06-23-2022, 09:29 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Okay, so what is it with AOR bands naming themselves after places that have nothing to do with them? Asia are all English, Europe are from Sweden and these guys - well, let's just say they're a long way from Texas, Toto.


Houston - "You're Still the Woman"
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Old 06-23-2022, 09:31 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Sweden isn't in Europe? I swear to god the only people you Europeans are more racist against than blacks and Muslims are other Europeans.
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Old 06-23-2022, 09:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Meh, Sweden is part of Europe but not really. There's always been this thing about Scandinavia. If someone went on holidays to Spain they'd say we went to Europe (maybe) but if they went to Sweden it would be I went to Scandinavia, or to Sweden. Probably because it's seen as way up there on its own above the main continent. It is, as Wiki will tell you, part of Europe (one of the largest countries in it) but it's just not really regarded here as being so.
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Old 06-23-2022, 09:41 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Damned hard to get information on this band, due to their name also having been the original one for Great White, but this is an English melodic rock band called Dante Fox, which for me distinguish themselves as being one of the very few AOR bands with a female singer. That I know of.


Dante Fox - "All Eyes on You"
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Old 06-23-2022, 12:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Time was, when the best - or worst, depending on your point of view and/or taste - AOR came out of the States. Already mentioned Journey, REO Speedwagon, Toto were big names, as was Boston (well, for one song mostly, and one album for a long time), Kansas, Styx and a whole lot of others. But in recent times it seems the balance of power, as it were, has shifted and the best new AOR/melodic rock acts are now coming from the frozen wastes of the north, like their marauding ancestors of old, pouring down out of the lands of ice and snow and bringing their particular brand of American-tinged-and-yet-quite-original AOR and melodic rock to the shores of Europe (the continent, smartarse), the UK and Ireland, and even playing the Yanks at their own game.

Sweden has Work of Art

Europe of course, and the already-mentioned Houston

Finland has Human Temple

Hanoi Rocks and The Von Hertzen Brothers

Norway gives us Jorn Lande


Issa and TNT
and from

Denmark we have Royal Hunt

Pretty Maids and, um, Ronnie Atkins

I'll be writing a major article on Scandinavian AOR and melodic rock (oh, no!) later, but for now this is just to give you an idea of what's happening up in those Viking lands.
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Old 06-23-2022, 04:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I like AOR. I wonder if Harem Scarem would qualify as AOR? Mood Swings is a classic, one of the best albums of the 90s.

Frontiers has been pumping out AOR and melodic rock relases.

For what it's worth, in the hockey world, as well as the curling world, Sweden is very much in Europe.

I wonder if Sweden plans on conquering the world through music? Thanks for the Work of Art post. I immediately thought of Foreigner.
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Old 06-23-2022, 07:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hey cool. Thought I'd be on my own in here. Yeah, Harum Scarum are definitely AOR, no doubt about that. Stick around; lots more to come, and feel free to post your own of course.
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Old 06-23-2022, 08:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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what does AOR stand for agian ..???
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Old 06-23-2022, 08:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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If I'm not mistaken, AOR stands for album oriented rock. I believe the term came about in the 70s, where radio DJs would play more than just the singles off an album.

As for me picking up lots of AOR of late, Rock Candy records in the UK have put out a TON of AOR reissues. Legs Diamond, Strangeways, Silent Rage, they're but a few from what I've seen. Strangeways' Native Sons should have been huge when it came out in 1987.

I'm looking forward to hearing what you have to say on the subject TH.
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