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Album-oriented rock (AOR, originally called album-oriented radio) is an FM radio format created in the United States in the late 1960s that focuses on the full repertoire of rock albums and is currently associated with classic rock.
US radio stations dedicated to playing album tracks by rock artists from the hard rock and progressive rock genres initially established album-oriented radio. In the mid-1970s, AOR was characterized by a layered, mellifluous sound and sophisticated production with considerable dependence on melodic hooks. The AOR format achieved tremendous popularity in the late 1960s to the early 1980s through research and formal programming to create an album rock format with great commercial appeal.
From the early 1980s onward, the abbreviation AOR transitioned from "album-oriented radio" to "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.
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