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Modern rock is a term commonly used to describe a rock music format found on Americanmarker commercial radio. Generally beginning with late 1970s punk but referring especially to rock music since the 1980s, the phrase "modern rock" is used to differentiate the music from "classic rock", which focuses on music recorded in the 1960s through the early 1980s. More specifically, the modern rock format consists of commercial radio stations that primarily play alternative rock. As such, the format is also frequently called alternative radio.

A few modern rock radio stations existed during the 1980s, such as WLIR-FM in New York Citymarker and WFNX in Bostonmarker Modern rock was solidified as a radio format in 1988 with Billboard's creation of the Modern Rock Tracks chart. The 1988 episode of the VH1 show I Love the '80s discussed INXS, The Cure, Morrissey, Depeche Mode, and Erasure as modern rock artists representative of that year. But it was the breakthrough success of the grunge band Nirvana in 1992 that resulted in a large number of American radio stations switching to the format. Modern rock is considered by some to be a specific genre of alternative rock.

References and Footnotes

  1. DeRogatis, Jim. Milk It!: Collected Musings on the Alternative Music Explosion of the 90's. Cambridge: Da Capo, 2003. Pg. 357, ISBN 0-306-81271-1 Pg. 287 The author criticizing the music of Third Eye Blind during an interview with the band's frontman.

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