|This article possibly contains inappropriate or misinterpreted citations that do not verify the text. (August 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
|Cultural origins||Late 1960s in the United States and United Kingdom|
Hard rock had been established as a mainstream genre by 1968. From the end of the 1960s, it became common to divide mainstream rock music into soft and hard rock, with both emerging as major radio formats in the US.
The Carpenters' hit version of "(They Long to Be) Close to You" was released in the summer of 1970, followed by Bread's "Make It with You", both early examples of a softer sound that was coming to dominate the charts. This eventually reached its commercial peak in the mid-to-late 1970s with acts such as Billy Joel, Elton John, Chicago, Toto, Christopher Cross, Michael McDonald, England Dan & John Ford Coley, Air Supply, Seals and Crofts, America and the reformed Fleetwood Mac, whose Rumours (1977) was the best-selling album of the decade. By 1977, some radio stations, like New York's WTFM and WYNY, and Los Angeles' KOST had switched to an all-soft rock format. Phoenix, Arizona's KBBC "Mellow Rock" formula focused on picking non-yet-hit tracks that fit the easier tempo of soft rock but introduced an album orientation. By the 1980s, tastes had changed and radio formats reflected this change, including musical artists such as Journey.
- Alan Stephenson, David Reese, Mary Beadle, 2013, Broadcast Announcing Worktext: A Media Performance Guide p. 198.
- R. B. Browne and P. Browne, eds, The Guide to United States Popular Culture (Popular Press, 2001), ISBN 0-87972-821-3, p. 687.
- M. C. Keith, The Radio Station: Broadcast, Satellite and Internet (Focal Press, 8th edn., 2009), ISBN 0-240-81186-0, p. 14.
- Simpson, 2011 Early 70s Radio, chap. 2 "Pillow Talk: MOR, Soft Rock, and the 'Feminization' of Hit Radio".
- P. Buckley, The Rough Guide to Rock (Rough Guides, 3rd edn., 2003), p. 378.
- C. H. Sterling, M. C. Keith, Sounds of Change: a History of FM broadcasting in America (UNC Press, 2008), pp. 136-7.
- "Journey: The band who did not stop believing". BBC News. November 12, 2010. Retrieved December 6, 2010.
- "10 Best Soft Rock Ballads". Made Man. Retrieved December 6, 2010. “Journey fans can easily list a dozen soft rock ballads from the band...”
- C. H. Sterling, M. C. Keith, Sounds of Change: a History of FM Broadcasting in America (UNC Press, 2008), p. 187.
- Kim Simpson, 2011, Early 70s Radio: The American Format Revolution ISBN 978-1-441-13678-7