Talk:Art rock

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A clafification of the deviding line between Progressiverock and Artrock. Progressive rock episises the rock, and Artrock stresses te Art, Artrock also tends to have a fulltime keyboard player, Progressiverock uses keyboards too, but they are used as a efect. Both exist as a outlet for more inventive, and usualy above average musicianship, and as a veicle to show your chops.


The essential problems with this page, which have spawned the endless debate below, are:

1) Terminology is NOT clearly defined. Clear definition means providing distinctive criteria for separation from and relation to similar and related terms (art rock vs. experimental rock vs. progressive rock). Let's keep in mind here that all of this terminology is relative, both reflecting and enhancing our awareness of phenomena in the world. For a term to work well, and not be all-inclusive, it must have clear rules and limits. 2) Due to #1, your applications of the term are nebulous, leading to this endless debate over "is/isn't" 3) Finally, you are attempting to label certain artists as "art rock" rather than certain compositions as "art rock." This is a crucial flaw.

Let me be clear here: "art rock" can be as fine-tuned or as generalized as you wish it to be. The more you fine tune it, the more you are going to cut out, but the more precise meaning the term will have.

If all "art rock" is going to be is music with pretensions of being intelligent and unique, then you are basically defining "non-pop" (and some pop even occasionally manages to be intelligent and unique.)

If, on the other hand, you define "art rock" as music that aspires to recreate the structures and/or complexity of classical music in rock forms, then you can include compositions from certain groups. But my definition of art rock is somewhat different than that, frankly. I think the worst art rock is that which relies on the status of classical music, and the very worst (since you mention Queen and ELP) is that which simply throws in bits and pieces of classical works in "rocked up" form. Blech! Let's be sure to divide pretentiousness from genuine, felt and contemporary artistic sentiments.

So, figure out how "art rock" differs from "progressive" and make your case!

The term "art rock" is her used as more of an umbrella phrase for many different genres of music than it is an actual genre in itself. To imply that everything from The Beatles to Henry Cow to The Dillinger Escape Plan to Frank Zappa and then some, fall under one category, is kind of unfair to the particular artists. It is especially offensive to suggest that "experimental music," which describes a specific goal of a type of music, lose it's entry and be called another type of "art rock." The phrase really is only useful for people who aren't familiar with music other than what's on the radio. I think the article should describe this briefly and then encourage the reader to research various other genres of music. The exception to this would be the wave of UK brands in the 00's that were specifically called "artrock" in magazines based on certain common ambitions and characteristics, but I agree with the other person on this discussion that that should be a seperate entry. ---

The suggestion wasn't to merge "art rock" into "experimental music", but to merge "art rock" with "experimental rock," an article I really have a problem with because it is a purely descriptive, and thus subjective term, and has never been applied with even the consistency of "art rock" to designate specific styles or influences. There are many subcategories of under-the-radar pop and rock music one could call "experimental," and mostly, all those artists are already treated in detail within those categories (i.e. "psych-rock", "apocalyptic folk", "noise music", etc).

The suggestion for "experimental rock" itself was to delete the entry, merging the bands and artists listed there that truly do exemplify the "experimental music" aesthetic (even though they are supposedly "pop") into the "experimental music" article, and putting the remainder of bands, and generalizations about what "experimental rock" means, here into "art rock". 08:43, 25 September 2006 (UTC)


from the artical: Though each generation of artists spawns its own set of quickly abandoned labels-- prog, new wave, grunge, alternative-- perhaps in this age of low expectations and cookie cutter radio playlists, "art rock" is the only term that can accurately hint at the variety of influences and unbridled creativity that the most unique bands of any genre aspire to.

I agree, but does this really belong in an encyclopedia?

The Police[edit]

THe POLICE???? THere is NOTHING experimental about them. ART???? Is this a joke????

I don't see the Police in that article, but have you ever paid attention to their rhythm section or style of production in the early 80s? I don't think so.

Art rock does not designate something as being good or groundbreaking. If you like, it designates it as having pretentions to be "art." While I might say a Damned song was far more genuinely artistic than a Police song, the Police and Sting had some of the most obvious "arty" pretentions ever. U2 certainly had them as well, even. Not that these bands belong in the article, but art rock doesn't really mean anything, so you shouldn't get offended if you see something there you don't like. In fact as it is, this article seems way too bent on proving "art rock" is a good thing. It should only reflect the way the term is already used-- which is varied and includes music I love and music I hate. It needs more of the bad examples (I'm not thinking Police, who are ok, more like Emerson Lake & Palmer).

Art rock is basically a broad designation that can include anything ranging from progressive rock to punk, depending on whether someone has seen it as "art," the band drew influence from other forms of "art," or fans and the media like to think of it as being "art" to distinguish it from other music out there which doesn't aspire to such a designation. As the first song the biggest Police album is based on a book by Carl Jung and the last is based on a book by Paul Bowles, and in between there's a song consisting of tuneless shouting over a Middle Eastern instrumental part, I think this definitely qualifies. :)

Something truly uncommercial that exists outside the pop or indie music industries, should probably not be designated under the umbrella "art rock" anyway, but as experimental music or something. To be art rock, it still has to be rock or pop in some form. For some reason Radiohead is mentioned in the experimental music article. really, they should not be there, they are the ultimate example of art rock.

moving incomplete text here[edit]

This is the incomplete text from the article, some of which has potential:

In the years since, "art rock" bands have had

Though the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds and the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band are,

Many artists working within "art rock" would counter that . At the same time, it is clear that art rock forms have been hijacked as well.

Art rock may prominently feature instruments beyond the standard rock band combo.

tape loops, synthesizers, samples, and electronic manipulation may also play a heavy role. It may feature cryptic lyrics

t may be accessible to the ear, or it may be noisy, chaotic, and avant-garde.

tending toward the avant-garde.

With this background, one would think serious bands would go out of their way to identify their

Much of the stigma that keeps current bands from identifying themselves as "art rock" arose during the 1970s, when

of lyrical imagery and exotic instruments. Few pop artists openly ascribe to "art rock" bands, but

Marlowe 15:45, 9 Jul 2004 (UTC)


The list of notable artists seems to be a bit over-inclusive. (Nine Inch Nails? The Cure? The criterion for inclusion seems to be something like "more alternative than Robbie Williams".) Perhaps it should be pruned down to artists who primarily epitomise art rock, such as the Velvet Underground and Can. Acb 15:00, 18 July 2005 (UTC)

It's arguable whether the Velvet Underground, despite their originality at the time and huge influence on bands in today's indie or alternative scene, could be considered particularly more "art rock" than the Cure or Nine Inch Nails when the music is taken on its own merits by today's standards. Just follow me here for a bit...
Yeah, there is White Light/White Heat and certain tracks on VU&Nico, but there's also "Pale Blue Eyes" and "Who Loves the Sun." So each band has its range.
But more important than that, one person's definition of supreme "artyness" may center around something totally abrasive like "Sister Ray," and that person may find the Cure's Disintegration or one of those interminable Trent Reznor songs to be sophomoric new agey angst shit... but another person may see "Sister Ray" with its guitar/drums/bass/scratchy vocals/sensual lyrics as pure rock n' roll in the Chuck Berry mold, and see even one of the most melodic, easy to listen to songs from Disintegration as more unique, for its lack of adherence to standard rock instrumentation/production style/whatever.
Anyway the point is, both the Cure and the Velvet Underground just to go with those easy examples, in their own ways contain typical elements of rock music, and untypical elements. It's obvious that if "art rock" means anything, it's a sliding scale, and hopefully no one would dispute Can is further along the scale than either the Cure OR the Velvet Underground, and that in turn Can is just the tip of the iceberg if you're talking about true "art rock"...
But then that's also assuming "the weirder and less accessible, the more 'arty'." Which could be a bad thing to get into assuming-- who can really say what is typical or "commercial" even in today's stifling radio climate, when the strangest sounding songs can occasionally become hits, without anyone ever having necessarily set out to be "arty"? There's something elitist about the term "art rock" that seems to presume bands with a certain education level and ability/inclination to describe their own work in intellectual terms.

You have someone like Bowie whose music was pretty conventional from the start (admit it), although slightly less so in terms of lyrics, but still had nothing on "Sister Ray" much less "Aumgn." Yet he always saw himself, and thus was seen, from an arty perspective. He had probably been to art school, and he hung out with artsy types. His album covers were ingenious.

I'm not saying Bowie is an elitist. But a system that designates "Changes" as art rock and a Tina & Ike Turner single from the same period as something else, because of elements in the performers' style, audience or biography that have nothing directly to do with the music, is a silly one, and I'm sure Bowie himself would agree.
There seems to be a consensus that part of what makes something "art rock" would be an attitude, as opposed to "prog rock," where the end complexity of the music, rather than the spirit in which it's created, have come to be all that's considered.
The artist's attitude, the most important, is also the most subjective kind of musical designation, because who is to say what does and doesn't have an arty ambition, just as who is to say what is and isn't "art"? Attempting objectivity vis a vis different tastes, the only way to define these terms is to self-define them, where "arty" or "art" denotes any work that aspires to something more than a meaningless product or commodity, just as "music" cannot be defined more specifically than denoting sound created with the intent of being listened to. So we define it by what ISN'T art rock. "Robbie Williams isn't art rock. Oasis isn't art rock." Because they set out not to be.
But then again, is a product or commodity not an "artistic" thing? Considering that's just a shorthand for something a lot of people listen to, and mostly do get SOMETHING out of? Sometimes art has been defined as art precisely because it comments on its own status as such (i.e. Warhol). But maybe some very mainstream pop music is commenting without us realizing it... how would we know? Bowie is not the only pop star of his kind. And all music with words is saying SOMETHING. Would we consider a conventional sounding song with strange lyrics to be art? What about a weird sounding song with conventional lyrics? What about a song that's so ambitiously bad it had to be intentional, to make some point? Yet these three song scenarios appear somewhat frequently on the pop charts. Do they stop being art?
Another thing is audience. Sigur Ros is art rock in America and Britain, but in Iceland they're mainstream pop music. Lou Reed is art rock... except "Walk on the Wild Side" was a huge mainstream hit. Does it count as art because it uses an upright bass instead of electric and has jazz elements (then, do we have to consider Norah Jones "art rock"- are other things that aren't rock at all, and aren't anything else either, "art rock" by default)? Or because it's about a transvestite (I could swear Robbie Williams has written songs about that.)
Defining it comes down to elitism, the desire by indie types who reject the idea of rock n' roll having a canon, to hypocritically create their own. Where "art rock" ends, everything else rock, which ostensibly is less artistic, begins.
So what if we try to limit what ISN'T "art rock" to products or commodities that not only aspire to having no higher meaning, but whose societal function is especially to recede into the background and not say anything. Mannheim Steamroller, etc. Unfortunately Eno's ambient records, whose "art rock" credentials are impeccable, would fit just right in that category as well.
The sad truth is that most rock bands on major labels now probably aspire to being art, if only because there are always people out there willing to consider them as such, and in our era those people's opinion is more readily available than ever before due to internet, etc.
The saving grace of this whole "art rock" paradox is that unlike "progressive rock" or "alternative music," art rock has never yet quite become a marketable genre in itself, it's still mainly a description. it can remain largely vague and subjective, tied to the tastes of whoever is talking about it. 08:57, 1 January 2007 (UTC) (I said it, I edited it)
What about Fischerspooner? They claim to be a "art rock" band. 21:47, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
This article is way too inclusive. For one thing, it should decide on whether art rock is a broad label or a specific genre when deciding which bands to focus on. The POV also needs to be toned down. And an incorporation of soruces would be beneficial. At this point, I feel the article may need to be completely rewritten. WesleyDodds 02:58, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

Yes it is/no it isn't[edit]

I think this is an excellent article (though, of course, it could always be improved). It does a good job of touching on the difficulties of defining "art rock" as a genre and some of the issues surrounding that, without getting too far into the "what is art" and "is band X really art rock?" questions--that way lies wanking of the sort we see at the top of this page--"NO WAY is <your favorite band> part of <you beloved genre>". Art rock, if it means anything, is more a "move" within a market context than an identifiable type of music. If you start with some genre of music, and move in the direction of a conscious critique or exploration of the form, you're moving in an art-rock direction. There's no reason the starting place can't be pop, and the end point something like Devo or Shonen Knife, or the Velvets, hovering in the space between the Brill Building and LaMonte Young.

And yes, the Police were once considered "art rock" for their ties to progressive (Stewart Copeland's stint in Curved Air, Andy Summers's time in Soft Machine). The fact that we see them now as commercial pop doesn't change the fact that they started out as "arty" musicians exploring the new wave genre. The whole landscape of pop gets redefined every few years.

Alas, I think the term has started to gain new currency as a genre definition (for "Montreal scene"-type bands or freakfolk types) and a new generation of consumers coming up without much context is going to think that the term simply means that one thing. The same thing happened with "progressive" which once meant a certain kind of rock and now seems to mean anything the listener considers outside the standard conventions of pop (the Cure again). It's the nature of cultural discourse, a real-world case of WP:OWN. But expect an onslaught of Arcade Fire fans here any day now. —rodii 18:03, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

By the way, to above: I wanted to write a note of appreciation on your talk page, but you don't have one! Do you have an actual account anywhere on WP? rodii

I do now. :) Pleasehelp 08:08, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

That list[edit]

So one person added Smashing Pumpkins to the "Some Notable Artists" list, and then someone else took them off. No discussion happened, because none is really possible. Some people think Smashing Pumpkins obviously is, some think it obviously isn't. It's a neverending, deeply pointless argument.

So here's an idea: that list is dumb and should go. If you can't define something in any way better than pointing to a list of 32 randomly chosen examples, you don't really have anything to say about it. And the fact that Can is on and Rachel's isn't, or Kayak is and Premiata Forneria Marconi isn't, is so arbitrary that it just doesn't belong in an encyclopedia. It doesn't add anything to the article but fanservice. If that list was an article, it would be on AfD as soon as it hit the servers. So let's get rid of it. Really. It's dumb. · rodii · 23:36, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

The Artrock Explosion[edit]

In the 00s in the UK there has been a real explosion of bands that the NME and Artrocker Magazine call "Artrock". By this they generally mean the current crop of Brit-pop and post-punk influenced bands, such as Neils Children, The Futureheads, Les Incompetents etc etc and even bands that undeniably do not fall under the definition offrered in this article, such as Franz Ferdinand and The Killers. The term 'artrock' is commonly used to describe these bands. It's used in a completely different way to that described in this article. I really feel a new section is necessary. sludge

Never make a new section cause one magazine told you to...but seriously, you may have a good point. adding a lot of bands like Franz Ferdinand and Futureheads to this article would reaaaaally confuse things, because those bands' position within the indie scene (which provides most of their fans) is actually the opposite: as the most poppy, least pretentious bands.

but here's an idea. the most arty thing about Franz Ferdinand is their album artwork, their attitudes toward gender and their fashion sense. The sound of their music, though now conventional, is influenced by post punk bands that were originally being quite "arty" and original. HOWEVER, let's say that even if it was not, there is still something of an art band in Franz Ferdinand. just look at their band name.

Franz Ferdinand went to art school. That is also very important to this article. Without necessarily having to dwell on whatever nonsense "scene" the NME's been happily making up, the article could be broadened and organized better to encompass ideological, rather than necessarily musical influences, which could designate a band as "art rock." Basically, rather than putting forth a phony definition for art rock, how it supposedly sounds or what its lyrics are like, and then listing arbitrary bands that fit, it could have a paragraph each on different REASONS a band might be considered as such and give examples of bands only in that context.

It's not just proggy bands that wrote lyrics directly based on their favorite books, but bands that are influenced by IDEAS (especially postmodern ones), regardless of their superficial musical style, that tend to make up art rock. By this definition, punk itself is art rock, due to its Situationist basis (or see Greil Marcus). And by this definition, bands that play with conceptions of gender identity, stretching from the New York Dolls to Morrissey and even Franz Ferdinand, are art rock. Disco could be art rock, except it's not usually placed in the category of rock at all. You have to stop somewhere. But it's all about the ideas and spirit influencing the band.

  • I am entirely aware that Franz Ferdinand do not sit comfortably in this article with the current definition of artrock – hence my suggestion that the article be broadened in order that it may conform with the general usage of the term ‘artrock’, which is consistently used to describe bands such as FF. Even under the MUSICAL, rather than ideological (although I think this is a great idea), definition of artrock that this article ascribes to, FF etc should be included. Not doing so could constitute orgingal research [of the definition of the term ‘artrock’]. Including them is only confusing because the term 'artrock' is used to describe so many different things. as an encyclopaedia, wikipedia should reflect these many meanings.

As regards the nme and artrocker magazine, I believe that the media can often be accurate in reflecting the consensus meaning ascribed collectively to cultural terms, even if this is because of a trickle-down effect… subjective disdain for these publications should not cloud one’s sense of what is or isn’t encyclopaedic. More positively, I think you may have something with the ideological definition. Although I’m sure bickering would ensue as to what ideologies are/aren’t artrock etc etc etc Peacex Sludgehaichoi 13:31, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

  • To me the current usage of the term artrock is far removed from the main thrust of this definition which seems to eminate from a book of 1992. As such it would be worth adding a post script or similar to indicate this. Admittedly I would still struggle to come up with a close definition because the term is used so loosely and across several genres. Often the bands to whom the term is applied are from an art college background and maybe this is a part of the reason for application to them of this term, rather than their musical approach. ArtRocker magazine named The Velvet Underground as their ultimate art rock band but many of the bands they champion do not obviously share much in common with them.

Don't ever read NME with the expectation of learning anything about music genres. Whenever they talk about art rock they mean business-as-usual indie bands who went to art school and have some gimmicky fashion look and maybe a retro keyboard player, no more no less. Harshmustard (talk) 13:21, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

Too much Information[edit]

I believe that the definition should get straight to the point. The rest of it is overkill due to the fact that it is only opinions of others; not all of it is facts.

The Sparks[edit]

The comment "The art rock designation is a vague one, since few rock and pop musicians openly aspire to the title" isn't quite true, since the term has been openly embraced by the band Sparks (band) for some time, even to the point of using it on official merchandise.

More importantly, it's an insult that the band is not mentioned at all in the article. Sparks is arguably the best known band to fall under this category within the past three decades.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs).

What the? Why Sparks? (Note: not "the" Sparks, just Sparks.) Everyone wants their hobbyhorse band mentioned. Why not Henry Cow? Magma? John Zorn? Third Ear Band? Neu!? Art Zoyd? The Art of Noise? Art Blakey? Art Carney?
If Sparks has embraced the term and you can document that, great. If you think something needs mention, write about it, instead of yammering about "insults." If it's cogent, sourced and NPOV, it'll be good. But this article is not going to become every fanboy's list of favorite bands.
(Moving comment to bottom where it belongs.) · rodii · 03:58, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

I've been a big fan of Sparks since their Half Nelson days but I never would have conceived of including them in with art rock. (I didn't say I follow the brothers in the press.) They are relevant to three problems with all this: 1) An act wishing to be catagorized as "art rock" does not make them so. Self-labeling has often been more a matter of marketing than respect for the majesty of rock. 2) Definitions & perceptions have changed greatly over the years. Should Wikipedia define terms only in their current fashion or only in their historical manner or blur things? 3) It amuses me greatly to sometimes hear old bands labeled with terms not even in use yet before they disbanded, which is not to say it is not useful to think of them that way. But, as it says, there's not even a Wikipedian concensus on whether rock and rock & roll are the same thing so I'll just head downstairs and enjoy some old albums. IanHistor 16:35, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

Whether or not you feel they fell into this category "back in the day", arguably, they do now. By the terms defining the genre in the article, their more recent work (Lil' Beethoven for one) is easily classifiable as art rock, whether or not the band has decided to embrace the label. --Ookamo (talk) 23:41, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

So called?[edit]

Why does it say "so called" so much? Sounds sarcastic... —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Anarchonihilist (talkcontribs) 20:40, 3 February 2007 (UTC).

This page is a Joke right?[edit]

Sonic Youth as Art Rock? Joni Mitchell? six million indie and electronica bands? I don't think so. 90% of the bands listed on here are not near experimental enough to be considered Art Rock. King Crimson, Yes, Pink Floyd, and Deerhoof fit well enough. So does Phillip Glass. But The Talking Heads and Queen? You've got to be kidding me. They're almost pop bands compared to King Crimson. For modern Art Rock look more at bands like the extremely experimental anti-pop Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and Idiot Flesh. Others I would include are Estradasphere, Secret Cheifs 3, Don Caballero, John Zorn, Hella, even Mike Patton projects Mr. Bungle and Fantomas, maybe even Tom Waits, but The Yeah Yeah Yeahs? Interpol? The Arcade Fire? What praytell are they experimenting with? Their own success? Sounding nearly the same as their contemporaries? I love these bands, but they are in no way art rock or experimental. READ THE FIRST PARAGRAPH OF THE PAGE "ART ROCK". --User:TeutonicKnightsAreLove

Talking Heads' music embraced pop, rock and folk. It also embraced afro-beat, funk, reggae, dub, ambient, electronica, etc. They have created densely percussive music, as well as utilising electronic textures. They were masters of studio craft. Of course, if you knew anything about their music you'd realise their importance. Similarly Sonic Youth must be included. No other rock band before had embraced dissonance and prepared instruments to such an extent. Why do you bring up sales? The term 'Art Rock' has absolutely nothing to do with record sales. How in the hell could be? No genre is defined be record sales; the very idea is nonsensical and utterly elitist. Incidentally, Art Rock bands still have to be recognisable as rock bands. How in the hell is Philip Glass Art Rock? Is being a mediocre composer who happens to use synthesiser sometimes enough to be categorised as such? How is he rock in any sense? 15:55, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

Radiohead deserves a mention[edit]

right now they're one of the biggest art-rock bands out there, and they're not here? whereas sonic youth and bloc party, who have little or nothing to do with art rock (don't take me wrong, i'm a big fan of sonic youth), are present. COME ON! --Flvg94 22:09, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

I agree with this guy, Radiohead's album OK Computer may as well be classified as art rock...

As for the overall discussion, I think the article is fine. True there are some argueable bands (franz ferdinand? smashing pumpkins??) which need taking off but for the rest its OK for me. I would include blackfield, which uses keyboards predominantly, as a contemporary art rock band deriving from the 70s prog.

For me, art rock is not exactly experimental but a rock genre which is meant not for dancing, thrashing or mainstream success but to be something which... you can listen and relax and see the beauty of the music... I dont know how to explain, maybe some experts or art rock day to day listeners may be better than me in this.

Manoalorts (talk) 19:02, 3 May 2010 (UTC)


Once again, Radiohead is one of my favorite bands, but they are far far away from being experimental enought to be called Art Rock. Amnesiac, their most experimental album, is certainly a gem among more mainstream bands, but alternate timings, complicated patterns and the occasional discordant horn section do not make a band Art Rock. Radiohead's overall sound is way too close to that of traditional British rock to be mentioned on this page. Would someone with a lot of experience in the music industry like to collaborate with me in cleaning up this page and making it respectible? --User:TeutonicKnightsAreLove

I think you are missing the point. As the article states, "art rock" is a term that's been used to describe rock music, rather than any kind of objective measure. It does not demean your favorite experimental musicians not to mention them on this page, even if they have far MORE ambitious and avant garde themes in their music, and have MORE melodic, rhythmic and harmonic experimentation.
In general, if you've read much music journalism, "art rock" tends to be used to describe mainstream singers, bands, etc. incorporating an "arty" sound, more than truly un-pop, experimental ones like Captain Beefheart or Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. That's because
  • People doing what they consider to be truly experimental music hardly ever use the words "art rock" to describe themselves, since it has these more mainstream connotations- i.e. 70s prog rock, gay chart topping glam and synth pop, or pop accessible bands like Radiohead or even Arcade Fire or something. This is similar to the way you will never hear Stan Brakhage, Antonioni or even Lars von Trier or Michael Haneke claiming to be making "art films," while you might hear Sofia Coppola (no offense, I love her) doing that. Art rock is the category used by the mainstream to categorize "arty" things, but more challenging things that completely escape mainstream attention will refuse to be categorized at all, or will invent their own obscure categories. Don't worry, I doubt any of your favorite musicians minds being excluded from the wiki page on art rock. If they care at all, I'm sure they appreciate it.
  • In fact "art rock" does have deep roots in "traditional British rock", it may even be one of the default styles of British rock considering how British bands (even the most lowly and simplistic ones) tend to use the recording studio and "alternate timings, complicated patterns and the occasional discordant horn section" in ways American bands do not. Pop bands like the Beatles, the Stones, Floyd, etc. can be considered among the founders of "art rock." Bands who came later and were much less innovative, but picked up the "arty" sound and style, can also be considered art rock. It does not mean they are being more complex than Steve Reich, or more challenging to a listener than Big Black. 17:36, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs[edit]

I doubt the authenticity of the quote from the early nineties mentioning The Yeah Yeahs Yeahs who were founded in 2000. ShlomoS 10:32, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Art music[edit]

The main editor who controlls art music is deleting art rock from that article. I totally disagree. Can someone who agrees with me, help me? I wrote on the art music discussion page:

Sonic Youth for instance[edit]

Hello Frederick, I don't understand where you are talking about. Sonic Youth for instance is heavily using scordatura, free improvisation, minimal musical instrumental composition, following the microtonal patterns of Glenn Branca and are mainly influenced by proto punk AND art music created after 1945 (they did a 2000 tour covering John Cage, Morton Feldman, Steve Reich). What makes you think they are just following their instinct? I think your definition is discriminating and far too selective. SY isn't coming from a popular tradition (They were involved with the No wave scene, the opposite of being popular). If Art music is only for classical music, this definition must be deleted from wikipedia because of it's subjectivity.Houtlijm 17:44, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

The Who[edit]

I'm adding The Who to the article for their imitation of classical art forms (rock opera) per Stuessy, Joe. Rock and Roll: Its History and Stylistic Development, 5th ed., Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2003. [[[International Standard Book Number|ISBN]] 0-13-099370-0] Clashwho 23:20, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Do not revert. My sources are here and here. Reverting without explaining your rationale here is bad form. Clashwho 00:29, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

All statements sourced[edit]

Hi, this talk page shows that the concept of "art rock" is disputed. What is it? Where can we draw the boundaries? As such, I argue that we should set an "all statements sourced" policy for this article, until there is a strong groundwork of points of view by notable music critics, historians, and music writers. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a chat page or a usenet discussion page, so the content should be sourced from encyclopedias, journals, and reputable magazines and newspapers.Nazamo (talk) 20:47, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

I agree this needs to be done with practically ever genre article on wikipedia and to be honest about 50% of the genre articles need to deleted or merged. There just is no sources for most of this stuff. Ridernyc (talk) 07:06, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

this whole page is a joke........if only wiki abided by notable people with notable are HURT doing in here among others... seriously lets bin this and start talking about music properly! Shame on the journos!

Please sign your posts on talk pages per Wikipedia:Sign your posts on talk pages. Thanks! Hyacinth (talk) 03:00, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Strange URLs used as references[edit]

One was a long address that began with just an iP that crashed my browser. I'm also wondering about these wc2 all music links. Is there some kind of phishing going on here? Ridernyc (talk) 07:06, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Original research[edit]

Which sections contain original research? Hyacinth (talk) 03:06, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

Citations needed[edit]

What information needs citation? Hyacinth (talk) 03:07, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

Art rock/prog rock[edit]

Even if there are differences between art and prog rock, what I didn't doubt, they are still widely used interchangeably as said on allmusic, and that deserves a mention in the first sentence, as people will look up terms with their common definitions in mind. Secondly, the article on progressive rock itself states the synonymous relation of the terms in the first phrase.
RichLow (talk) 19:23, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

I have nothing against mentioning that they're related, but you said that they're synonymous, which they clearly aren't. If they really were synonymous, the articles should be merged. But if their similarity is discussed in the article, it should also be mentioned how they differ (and the Allmusic article gives some indication of that). For example, I'd say that Asia is progressive rock but not art rock, while Laurie Anderson is art rock but not progressive rock. And I think I'll go change the article on progressive rock, since it gets its claim from the very same Allmusic article... Klausness (talk) 21:26, 7 June 2008 (UTC)
At best the fact that some people do consider the genres the same thing should be mentioned in the intro, I don't see why that need be in the first sentence. There appear to be citations in the first section of this article for the distinction between the genres. Hyacinth (talk) 00:20, 8 June 2008 (UTC)
Genres are a nightmare anyway, being broad attempts to categorise, and it's at the boundaries where the warfare occurs. I've seen this in film and music articles and the difficulty arises because of the diversity of reliable sources, which may differ among themselves even if they are accepted as reliable, which is moot. On this one, Hyacinth's point is well-taken; art-rock/progressive rock can be a fine distinction and both styles (for want of a better term) have much in common. However, to try to dichotomise strictly is doomed to failure, and my own view is that editors should realise that we are dealing with fluid and, essentially, personally defined, boundaries. --Rodhullandemu 01:07, 8 June 2008 (UTC)
I never said the terms were synonymous ("[...] is a term used synonymous to the term Prog-rock") and I didn't want to create that impression. The reason why I wanted that mentioned in, or near the start of the article is that it's important to know in which way the term is used by many. But okay, I guess the first section does that job quite well.
RichLow (talk) 22:59, 8 June 2008 (UTC)


Just about any and all reference to post-punk and other punk and indie related styles of art rock have been deleted. I find this upsetting, as not only does punk-influenced art rock easily qualify as "rock music that tends to have 'experimental or avant-garde influences'," to quote the article, but it renders the article quite boomer-centric, and ignores a vital part of the genre's history for the last 30 years. Ilikeartrock (talk) 23:12, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

Lack of examples from the 80's/90's[edit]

now, im not trying to start a 'no they aren't/yes they are' war as mentioned a few discussions above, but i believe there needs to be a few "popular" bands from the 80's/90's added to that respective section of the article.(i'm not adding any yet because this should definatly be discussed, and i'm not sure if i could 'work them' into the article without over or under emphasizing them) i think the obvious first choice would be 'tool', because they were very unconventional for the early-mid 90's when they became known. IMO, i think 'the smashing pumpkins' should also be noted because of their albums 'adore', 'machina', and 'machina II' were pretty unconventional and very "artsy"(for lack of a better description) compared to the norm(in those respective years atleast). Ry Trapp0 (talk) 08:49, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

Misquoting Scaruffi[edit]

I'm a bit disturbed by the section on the 60's. It definitely appears that Piero Scaruffi claims the Beatles elevated rock to a "high art" although he actually criticizes the Beatles immensely for doing the opposite, commercializing and homogenizing rock music while contributing nothing (See []). I'm not about to make a judgment as to whether the Beatles should be considered Art Rock, although I think Scaruffi's quotes on elevating rock to art should be used in the context of the artists he was referring to (Velvet Underground, Zappa, ...). --Skenealy (talk) 22:26, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

Impossible... but Interesting[edit]

I realize that this will be a bit of an unconventional entry, in that it stretches the limit of a discussion page... but follow me first, and perhaps you can help me refine my thinking.

It's always interesting to hear people try to define genres and neatly fit artists into them. While musicians often feel themselves part of a school or a movement, it's usually the critics who come along after the fact and try to come up with nifty labels... often to simplify musical dialog for their own purposes. When the terms start to get bandied about, this usually roughly marks the end of the school/movement. Once it "is" something, it quickly becomes a parody of itself. So, first off... I'm not convinced that these kinds of entries have much meaning. Be that as it may, people use the term "art rock" quite frequently, in my experience, and so it might be worth taking a stab at saying what it is or isn't... while remaining cognizant of the fact that we're talking about a "working definition" and not a truth.

Here's an interesting and potentially quite useful perspective on the subject from classical/rock composer Rhys Chatham:

Chatham notes the important place of bands like MEV and AMM in bringing together classical, jazz and rock musicians... and really anyone talented who wanted to sit in. However, MEV and AMM remained jazz/classical crossovers, and while they may have served as influences for "art rock" to come... they weren't rock, so that can't be placed within this artificial construct.

From my perspective, when we're talking about "art rock"... we're talking about something whose nascent point goes back AT LEAST as far as the West German band Can... and quite possibly farther. The three reasons that Can is generally included as falling within the "art rock" genres are: 1. Can crossed over between jazz, classical and rock; 2. While Can played expansive psychedelic jams characteristic of the era, it also brought a minimalist style to rock that mirrored the minimalist visual artists of the era (e.g., Donald Judd, Richard Serra, Agnes Martin, Robert Morris, Carl Andre, etc.); 3. Other "art rock" artists have cited them as an influence. The third reason is rather weak, admittedly; it doesn't add much validity to say that artists of a genre consider another artists to fall within that same genre when their own classification within it may be equivocal.

An interesting Wiki piece on Can:

Were I playing the role of genre deity, I'd probably include the following projects within "art rock": Throbbing Gristle, Can, Faust, The Residents, Neu!, Kraftwerk, possibly Devo (after all, the thing started as an extension of art projects on de-evolution), Swans, Glenn Branca (Theoretical Girls, The Static), James Chance and the Contortions, Suicide, DNA, Teenage Jesus & the Jerks, etc. For the most part... when we talk about "art rock," I think we're talking about something quite near to the "No Wave" movement, with its roots in the music of the mid-70s and which was actually born at New York’s Artists’ Space in 1978... ultimately leading to the Brian Eno-produced recording "No New York" later that year.

It may seem a bit of a side track to talk about No Wave, but it may well be reasonable. No Wave is essentially a subset of "art rock," given that the contemporary visual artists of New York of that time embraced it, and there was a great deal of crossover between the two communities. For example, musician JG Thirlwell (aka, Foetus), for example, created album covers that have been shown frequently in major museums and galleries. This brings me to my central point: To use the term "art rock," it would only make sense that we speak of relevant art... as in any other medium... that reflects the times and is in alignment the other movements of the day.

Art rock that may be in this same tradition includes later projects like Pan Sonic, Flux Information Sciences, Masonna, Merzbow, Mr. Quintron, Pita, Christian Fennesz, People Like Us, Negativland, Acid Temple Mothers, among others. There's a great film from 2003 called "Kill Your Idols" that illustrates the continuance of the No Wave "art rock" movement in the late 90s and early aught years. It shows the musical continuum from Suicide, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, the Theoretical Girls and DNA... through Thurston Moore and Lee Renaldo of Sonic Youth and Michael Gira of Swans... on through to Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Black Dice, Liars, A.R.E. Weapons and the Gypsy stylings of Gogol Bordello. I would disagree with others who have dismissed Yeah Yeah Yeahs' place in "art rock." They would likely fall within this classification. Nick Zinner and Karen O are both visual artists... Nick having studied at Bard and Karen at NYU Tisch. Nick is a published photographer. And they're embraced by the overall movement that extends back to Can.

I don't claim to have any corner on the truth, particularly when it comes to "genres." Ontologically speaking, I just happen to be infatuated with my own truths. (talk)Steve C. (Sunday, March 29, 2009, 9:16 AM PST.) —Preceding undated comment added 16:16, 29 March 2009 (UTC).

Further point on "art rock"[edit]

In my last entry, I wrote, "To use the term 'art rock,' it would only make sense that we speak of relevant art... as in any other medium... that reflects the times and is in alignment the other movements of the day." I think that's fair, to the extent that... while any given artist may be plugged into the zeitgest without being part of an identifiable school... when we talk about the schools themselves, we're really talking about artistic movements that transcend a given medium. So, what are the major visual art movements of the late 20th century? I'd include-- though would not limit them to-- Pop Art, Conceptualism, Neo-Expressionism, Minimalism and Performance Art. Are these the same for theater? Not exactly. We probably wouldn't use these terms to define specific theater movements... though most would acknowledge the strong presence of Pop Art and Neo-Expressionist thinking in late 20th century theater... and Minimalism, Conceptualism and Performance are part of common parlance. In other words, the nomenclature may be a bit different, but the concepts are essentially the same. It may be easier, in the end, to place the movements in theater, film/TV, dance, literature, visual art, music, etc. within the broader philosophical category of "postmodernism." Unfortunately, it's very difficult to what's postmodern. We generally use the term "postmodernism" to refer to a self-conscious radical reappraisal of modern ideas on history, culture, identity, language, social structure.

This is why it would be perfectly appropriate to call a band like Gang of Four "art rock": The band's intent was to make a statement about the dehumanizing structure and values of capitalist societies through edgy visual art... loud, aggressive, almost mechanistic music... and through bitterly ironic lyrics. There's little self-consciousness or rethinking of traditional concepts in the music of Britney Spears or The Pet Shop Boys... but the problem with using this broad umbrella of "postmodernism" is that almost everything from the postmodern era has some element of it. We can't simply define it against what it isn't, and that's mostly what we'll do if we don't call on other resources. I think it's valuable to return to some of the movements from visual arts and other forms of music (e.g., contemporary classical) when we try to speak about art rock. Again... pop/commercialism, conceptualism, minimalism, performance, etc.... these are all things we might look for in "art rock," though there are no real requirements. It's a fairly empty term... because "art" can mean so many different things at different times. Ultimately, to create this artificial category that lumps together rock music that may be of different artistic schools is odd.

It's a crude designation. It's like cutting a diamond with an ax. We do this in cinema, too. "Art cinema." In cinema, it basically means "non-trash." I'm not fond of that kind of thinking. "Non-trash." It's like people who use the term "white trash," which has all kinds of ugly implications. Great art doesn't need to be labeled as art, including music, but if we're going to use the term, we can do so as meaningfully as possible by using aesthetic theory and philosophy to drill down a bit. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:16, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

Put unsourced material here[edit]

The term art rock was initially used for 70s krautrock bands and progressive rock artists like Can, Soft Machine, Brian Eno, Talking Heads. In the nineties the term was also used for more noise rock and experimental rock associated acts like Sonic Youth, Public Image Ltd., Deerhoof, Liars who also have a strong focus on avant garde music, experimental music and art in general as well as rock music, punk rock and no wave. This may lead to some confusion. The latter group of bands are sometimes also called art punk or avant-punk.OnBeyondZebrax (talk) 03:22, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

I think that this is what SOME people initally used the term "art rock" for. Within the art community-- and, by that, I mean within visual art and film and those looking to connect them with music (e.g., critics)-- art rock referred more to project like Throbbing Gristle, which started out as a confrontational performance art project (i.e., COUM Transmissions.) This is from another Wiki page, in re Genesis P-Orridge and Cosey Fanni Tutti's "Prostitution Show" [and read on afterward, because there's a point to my posting this]:

"The now infamous 'Prostitution' show, in 1976 at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London included on display Tutti's pornographic images from magazines as well as erotic nude photographs. The show featured a stripper, used Tampax in glass, and transvestite guards. Prostitutes, punks, people in costumes, and general curiosities were hired to mingle with the gallery audience.

The show caused debate in Parliament about the public funding of such events. In the House of Commons, Scottish Conservative MP Sir Nicholas Fairbairn demanded an explanation from Arts Minister Harold Lever and proclaimed P-Orridge and Tutti as 'wreckers of civilisation'. Fleet Street was not slow to pick up the story. The reviews were cut up, framed and put on display for the remainder of the exhibition. This was also reported in newspapers, so cut-ups about the cut-ups were also put on display."

My point is this: "Art" is whatever you want it to be. But there's a difference between a bunch of art school students like the members of Talking Heads getting together to make music and the members of Throbbing Gristle getting together to make art. In my opinion, Talking Heads is essentially a commercial projects with some nice artistic elements (e.g., juxtapositions of images and words on screens behind the band which... while a banal and tired practice... has been interesting in their case.)

I find that what many people consider to be art rock is more like "artsy rock," if that makes any sense. But the term could really mean anything. It could refer to that crowd like Fred Frith, Elliott Sharp, Ikue Mori, Jim O'Rourke, etc. It could refer to No Wave. It could refer to Suicide... or to The Fall... or to the Japanese noise guys like Masonna, Merzbow, Haino. Gerogerigegege. It could mean anything. It may actually be easier to say what it isn't than what it is.

User:HB_Scone (talk) 26 April, 2009 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:23, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

Historical facts[edit]

  • Art rock

All the texts are not opinions, and that the references (serious by the way).

My text Psychedelic rock first:

See the references that I'm not lying, and is a justice to the pioneering groups. This article cited The Beatles, but I showed, The Beach Boys in 1964, 1965 and 1966 were already with albums and songs that contain musical experimentation, indeed, much more experimentation before The Beatles. Interestingly in the texts that I wrote, I said that not one was experimental more than the other, just to avoid claims. This article refer to the music of avant-garde and experimental ...

If you want to search the data sheet of the albums and compare the amount of instruments used by Beach Boys, is gigantic. In my text just said that these materials of the Beach Boys since 1965 contained strong of classical music elements and dismissed him. I'm subscribed to classical music portal (lusofone wikipedia). My problem is not having a good English (I'm from Brasil).

I now know original research. I rewrote the phrases.

Article progressive rock that was deleted too.

In another addition to any other source in the article that art rock show that Paul McCartney took the influence of Pet Sounds About Sg. Peppers The Beatles. Including George Martin said that without Pet Sounds, Sgt Peppers would not have happened.

The Today! and Summer Days (Beach Boys) albums are more experimental than the Rubber Soul. Pet Sounds is more experimental than Revolver and Sgt Peppers together.

The experimentation, production ...., is essential to understand the pioneering art rock .

Here rewritten (art rock) :

The Beach Boys release Pet Sounds album (1966) with its experimentalism ,the musical structure and production. The Beatles have said that Pet Sounds was a major influence on their album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Two references more: (psychedelic songs on Summer Days)

To make a long story short your references come nowhere near supporting your massive Original Research. Ridernyc (talk) 10:27, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
It is not really possible to discuss other articles on this page as relevant editors may not be aware of what is gong on. If there is a wider general point here that affects several articles, it should probably go to Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Rock music, or each possible change on the pages for each article one at a time.--SabreBD (talk) 13:40, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

I agree with Sabrebd, I think it is best you talk about Art rock here and Psychedelic and Progressive on their talk pages. As for the original research, until I am able to view the sources myself, I cannot be much help in adjusting the info (I have experience in copy-editing). I'll see what happens this Tuesday.--Twilight Helryx 18:10, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, we go only to talk about art rock! (Mago266 (talk) 01:24, 23 November 2009 (UTC))

I moved the talk for here Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Rock music.(Mago266 (talk) 02:24, 23 November 2009 (UTC))

Art rock should be discussed at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Progressive Rock - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 21:23, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

References more: This is a beautiful box set. The length and depth it goes towards examining and presenting the Beach Boys' PET SOUNDS album (arguably the most influential album of the 20th century, if not directly then at least artistically) is just beautiful.$%7B0%7D (Paul and his Pet Sounds influence)... (Paul and his Pet Sounds influence ....Sgt. P...) (look Here Today too).

Other ... (Mago266 (talk) 04:33, 23 November 2009 (UTC))

Original Research not supported by any sources. Ridernyc (talk) 21:21, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

It's your opinion. However you must delete all the text of wikipedia because it is based on the same sources in thousands of articles. You're accusing me of inefficient, distorting and lying. It is the same as calling all sources of lying and suspicious. (Mago266 (talk) 00:15, 24 November 2009 (UTC)) (Mago266 (talk) 00:15, 24 November 2009 (UTC))

(Mago266 (talk) 00:26, 24 November 2009 (UTC))

Careful, Mago. I'd get rid the laughing if I were you because it's pretty derisive. Try constructively explaining why it isn't original research. *sigh* Ridernyc, can you point out which part's original research so that it may be copy-edited? I'm a little source-blind at the moment so I can't confirm or disprove anything. And Mago, I don't think Amazon can be used as a source so you may wish to remove that part. Oh and could you move the parts that aren't about Art rock to their own talk pages?--Twilight Helryx 00:32, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
I have pointed it out to him him numerous times on several occasions. He is the one who keeps starting the same discussion over and over and over again. My general objection to his synthesis is located in my response to him on my talk page. He has his opinions and he tries to mix sources. A=B, B=C, therefore A=C, That won't work here. Yes Brain Wilson influenced The Beatles, yes he used certain elements in his music, that dose not mean that everything that the Beatles influenced and used the same elements was influenced by Wilson. This is my last response to this unless something new comes up. Tired of wasting my time on this. Ridernyc (talk) 09:51, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

In this case I deleted because the text is by prog rock and here is a art rock talk. But I'm so sorry for my offenses.(Mago266 (talk) 21:07, 24 November 2009 (UTC))

Hey, Mago. If you really don't want that ugly comment to stay here, try the technique described here.--Twilight Helryx 21:17, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

This discussion should be taken to Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Progressive Rock. I will be deleting this in a few days per article talk page guidelines (specifically WP:SOAPBOX) - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 21:23, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

The wikipedia has a role not hide historical facts. The wikipedia is a source of information. The wikipedia favors only the Beatles. The Beach Boys used experiments well before the Beatles. The experiments are already found in 1962 and 1963 by Brian. Thanks! (Mago266 (talk) 21:24, 24 November 2009 (UTC))

Thank you Twilight Helryx. (Mago266 (talk) 21:29, 24 November 2009 (UTC))

It is not just experiments, but modulation, harmony, melodies and production.(Mago266 (talk) 21:31, 24 November 2009 (UTC))

Since Mago266 keeps editing his own comments I'm going to post the diffs here [1]. Ridernyc (talk) 22:07, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

Ok! (Mago266 (talk) 22:15, 24 November 2009 (UTC))

I deleted it as way of discipline, but if you're using it to harm me, you have free will. But what interests me is the information. I've posted a lot, and with good references. But you do not prove the contrary, and claims the same things. (Mago266 (talk) 22:30, 24 November 2009 (UTC))

The wikipedia has a role not hide historical facts. The wikipedia is a source of information. (Mago266 (talk) 22:32, 24 November 2009 (UTC))

...lush symphonic arrangements, baritone saxes, accordions, car horns, bells, harps you namee it. and ...great classical composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein. He saw his talent and what a talent it was. Here > Pet Sounds ... (Look Leonard Bernstein) (Mago266 (talk) 01:53, 25 November 2009 (UTC))

Can you please stop posting links to references that make no mention of art rock. Ridernyc (talk) 02:33, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

Art rock is a term describing a subgenre of rock music that tends to have experimental or avant-garde influences and emphasizes "novel sonic texture."[1] Art rock is an intrinsically album-based form, which takes "advantage of the format's capacity for longer, more complex compositions and extended instrumental explorations.

This link mentions the musicality that appears on art rock. (Mago266 (talk) 02:47, 25 November 2009 (UTC))

in other words you are using the link to support your original research synthesis statements. Please stop, only post links that directly mention Brian Wilson and art rock. 02:53, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

Okay, Mago, here's what you should do: ONLY write EXACTLY what you see in your sources; do not assume anything or make any syllogisms. These constitute original research and do not belong here. Hope this helps.--Twilight Helryx 03:00, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

Twilight Helryx, thank you very much for attention. I did what I could. The site is blacklisted, and is Not done (Mago266 (talk) 19:24, 25 November 2009 (UTC))

No problem. Sorry I'm not able to verify anything myself. But don't worry, there are plenty of other things you can do here. You can add information about something else or you can clean up the articles that need them. So, it's far from being end of the line for you. =) --Twilight Helryx 19:31, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
Considering he still has no concept of the basic policies and nearly every edit he has ever made has been reverted by numerous editors I'm not sure there is a place for him here. Ridernyc (talk) 19:42, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
In that case, I would recommend that he get adopted by another user. This program's really helped out a lot of users and is a great way of learning how to be a better editor. For more information Mago, see Wikipedia:Adopt-a-User.--Twilight Helryx 19:45, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
His constant replies like this one here indicate that he will not make a good editor, no matter how much he is coached. He is flat out told that he can not use the source because it fails reliability and he ignores it and replies saying he really needs it. He just has no clue and is not rational about editing. Ridernyc (talk) 20:00, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

Ridernyc, I found! It's a my last source here!!!!!!! > Art rock is sometimes regarded as a separate style in its own right, incorporating the idea of the concept album to its logical conceptual extreme. However, art rock, is associated most with a specific period of rock music, usually demarked as starting with the artistic ambitions of Pet Sounds or Sgt. Peppers and ending with the nihilistic arrival of punk. The rock canon: canonical values in the reception of rock albums -By Carys Wyn Jones. It's a book. >

Twilight,I'll follow your advice. (Mago266 (talk) 20:54, 25 November 2009 (UTC))


No mention of Radiohead? Really? No Tori Amos? No Björk? No Imogen Heap? Early Muse? Mars Volta? Come on, there's a fair amount of notable experimental/prog rock artists that are worthy of mention, art rock didn't die after the 80s. And to the person who said Radiohead isn't experimental enough to be mentioned on here, all I have to say to you is REALLY?!?!?! (talk) 06:22, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Then get some reliable sources that say they are art rock and put them in.--SabreBD (talk) 07:00, 13 July 2010 (UTC)


Rock art has a link to here, so the reverse seems fair to me. Borock (talk) 13:30, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Does anyone agree with iTunes' review of Spoon's album "Ga ga ga ga ga" as being Art Rock?[edit]

Does anyone agree with iTunes' review of Spoon's album "Ga ga ga ga ga" as being Art Rock? If so, or even if it's not true please give me your thoughts cause this whole discussion page has made me confused. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:47, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

On prog and art rock, new wave[edit]

For discussion purposes I'm just going to quote a post from the art rock page on Lastfm which I think sums things up nicely

"The interesting thing about this genre is that it does not distinguish between prog and what we today call "proto-punk" . More primal acts like The Stooges, MC5, New York Dolls are of course not art rock but proto -punk (proto new wave?) acts like Velvet, Roxy, Eno, Bowie, Television, Patti Smith have distinct "artiness"/ and does have this approach in common with the prog acts of their day. Art rock makes the connection and explains a modern band like Radiohead. It is in good ways and bad an elitist thing. "Old " prog musicians like Fripp, Gabriel and the whole krautrock scene also embraced punk and new wave and for me this embrace is the essential art rock - the art rock that interests me and the rock thats its historically interesting to term art rock. So yes: King Crimson is definitely art rock" (by user thetrogg) Harshmustard (talk) 13:32, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

Going to jump in and put down some (ended up being a lot of) thoughts on the earlier styles of art rock

- Art Rock is a "soft" genre, it is not explicable purely by reference to the music alone, as "hard" genres like forms of techno (often definable by bpm, type of beat pattern), delta blues vs piedmont blues and so on. As such it is difficult to define in ways everyone agrees on but there are certain characteristics important to it, at least the earlier forms.

-- What links bands like the Doors, Velvets, Pink Floyd, Crazy World of Arthur Brown and so on is a strong tendency towards shows as performance art, including character acting and story telling, through the songs or performance itself. By story-telling I mean something more tangible than the fantasy lyrics of a symphonic metal band, or the sound effects of gunfire added into a song, superficial story-telling must obviously be excluded. This doesn't necessarily require stage perfomance to qualify; the spirit is contained in the music.

-- This definition is what is behind why most people classify later artists as Queen, Bowie, Genesis and King Crimson as art rock, though they may technically be prog or glam. The terms are not synonymous but neither are they mutually exclusive. Bowie is an excellent example of an art rocker variously perfoming in glam, heavy metal, singer-songwriter, soul etc styles.

---The crossover with prog can be seen in extended song structure and conceptual writing. Later Pink Floyd arguably owes more to art rock than the progressive tradition of irregular time signatures. ---The difference with prog is prog's overriding technical focus, and interest in instrumental music. A band such as Soft Machine is closer to a fusion band than an art one (though early albums are more psych and arty).

--The Residents

--Early New Wave's interest in Art Rock traces more of a musical and lyrical connection back to the Doors and Velvets, largely ignoring the prog tendency (Patti Smith is a good example, though there are more less "arty" acts with similar influences, and Television display leanings in the prog direction).

--No Wave is quite loosely defined but related through its strong art connections. However by this time, while performance is important it is becoming more limited to confrontation and provocation (something still inherent in the Doors and VU but more concentrated here). Most the action is focused on smaller venues too. Acts like Suicide (and Sonic Youth who are sometimes associated with NW) have a musical debt to the Velvets but a good proportion is closer to Beefheart's spasmodic squall than drone rock. This can be argued as the beginning of the end of the first wave of art rock.

--Art Punk. Post-Punk and related acts like Pere Ubu, Sonic Youth probably contribute much to the confused use of art rock in the modern indie media. VU influences are present, many bands of the era with "Krautrock"-inspired mechanical beats, an undercurrent of noise, drone, nowhere near as much pretense (this includes even Joy Division) are often referred to as art rock in its modern use. Liars are an obvious example of a band descending from this lineage, along with indie rock bands more bafflingly called art rock with a new wave/post-punk influence. The focus is more on artful noise than the concerns of art rock of yore.

--Industrial. As much as I love early industrial and appreciate it and the perfomances of TG as a highly arty form, I am confused by its association with this term. For one thing it is not rock!

--RIO's possibly a good example of the continuing lineage of the original art rock, so maybe suggestions of its death were premature

--It's always fun to introduce new terms, so how about Art Pop and Avant-Pop. Avant-Pop would be pop with that "novel sonic texture" including glitch-pop and well pretty much anything that comes out of Japan, Art Pop could hypothetically cover everything from Glam/Synth Pop Sparks and Roxy Music to Guernica. At the least it demonstrates the art rock connection to bands sometimes dismissed from the genre due to a perceived lack of depth.

--Stadium rock - no

Harshmustard (talk) 01:14, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

Art Rock as in Art[edit]

I have some observations.

I agree with others here who say that while art rock was once synonymous with prog (long compositions, technical brilliance etc.), it is now more about attitude than style and form. I would go further and say that art rock is specifically informed by the visual/conceptual arts, over and above classical music. If there is a strong classical influence, then the band would probably fall more correctly into the prog rock category. A band like Sky is definitely not an art rock band, although they may have been labeled as such at the time.

It is only since punk, where prog à la ELP became anathema to music journalists, that it was possible to see, within prog, pop rock, avant garde, glam etc. a current which distinguished itself from these other genres because of its 'artistic' attitude. This would appear to be what we are groping around and calling art rock.

The term 'art rock' still carries the resonance of a particular form of late 1960s/early 1970s album music, but as John Rockwell makes clear in The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll, the claim that underlay art rockers' experiments was that their compositions 'paralleled, imitated, or were inspired by other forms of "higher", more "serious" music.' 'Art' here referred to a distinction within musical practices (and art rock was a genre whose proponents were, indeed, more likely to have had music than art education) whereas our concern is with the interplay of pop and fine art ideas, much more evident now than in the art rock period.

Simon Frith's "Art Into Pop" (1988)

Like 'R&B', therefore, 'Art rock' may mean something totally different now than when it was first used. Those who object to Franz Ferdinand being labeled art rock are quite correct in their objections, if art rock is a synonym for prog, but quite wrong if art rock is any rock music which self consciously uses references to fine art. Brennanyoung (talk) 05:28, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

First Use of the Term / Earliest Art Rock Album[edit]

It is interesting that nobody has identified the first occurrence of the term 'art-rock'. Some have claimed that it was first used in relation to Can, which may be true (evidence?), but Can began in the classical idiom, and then shifted to rock.

The direct association of rock with art goes back at least as far as Sgt. Pepper and 'the White Album', both of which had sleeves designed by prominent pop artists. (Peter Blake and Richard Hamilton respectively). We might also bear in mind the influence of Yoko Ono, that Lennon originally wanted to be an artist, and that he had close associations with Klaus Voormann throughout the '60s.

While 'Sgt. Pepper' might be a good prototype for 'the concept album', it's still largely a pop product, with George Martin at the helm. The White Album is where the Beatles made their first really uncompromising studio experiments - in particular Revolution9. With its post-modern (i.e. eclectic) attitude, The White Album is a good candidate as the first art-rock album, or (if we take a more avant-garde view) perhaps Lennon & Ono's Two Virgins (1968). Any other suggestions? Brennanyoung (talk) 05:28, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

Very incomplete map of art rock albums and related genres (for discussion)[edit]

Art Rock and Related Genres

In this diagram, albums are chosen rather than artists, because many artists have switched genre many times. The selections are absolutely not intended as sacred exemplars, rather to show the way that art rock is interrelated with other genres through particular albums.

Brennanyoung (talk) 05:28, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

2000s section[edit]

Missed this before but Wolf Eyes, Merzbow...??? Do all of the artists discussed really need a mention? Merzbow's works are largely beatless harsh noise you couldn't really mistake for art rock by any stretch. Harshmustard (talk) 01:42, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

What A Lot Of Fuss And Bother About Nothing[edit]

How many times do you have to go around Robin Hood's barn to explain that Art Rock means Rock that attempts to convey some kind of artistic expression above and beyond the normal expectations of a Rock band, whether it be the telling of stories, the musical illustration of concepts, or the basis for a theatrical performance.

Progressive Rock is Rock that progresses, moves forward from the current standards and attempts to see how far it can go. Bands guilty of being Progressive rarely sound the same from one album to the next. They are always trying to progress towards greater achievements.

Symphonic Rock is the term created for the Rock bands who played with orchestras, did classical renditions or employed classical composition techniques.

Life would be so much more simple if people would just use these terms as originally intended, or if people would realize a band working under one of these terms is very likely working under the other 2 as well. So it often doesn’t matter which you use.

Music history, and Wikipedia, will remain an irreconcilable shambles until somebody wakes up to these simple truths.

Otherwise, these 3 terms should be listed as having no proper meaning at all, because the music press you have to depend on for citations never consistently used them to mean anything specific. They were employed in a hap-hazard manner by reviewers who were grasping at straws to explain things they didn’t understand, and that practice continues to this day, as this page bears witness to.

Even the various citations in the article conflict and fail to provide a basis for any solid definition. Every one of them says Art Rock means something different, or encompasses a different range of bands. And what your article does is present these conflicting citations with a comical shrug, inviting the reader to make some sense out of this business, because the writers of the article sure can't.

Anyway, there is a new VH1 special on Art Rock, "The Seven Ages Of Rock, Part-2." Someone might be able to use it for a reference or citation. It can be found on Google Video. Perri Rhoades (talk) 09:29, 21 April 2012 (UTC)


Radiohead is not art rock. If anyone wants to delete that edit, I'll press save. Just a thought. Lighthead...KILLS!! 06:59, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

African-American Art Rock[edit]

In this article, there is no mention of African-American musicians, even though some should be part of art-rock according to me.

I propose to mention some of Jimi Hendrix's material such as: 'Third Stone From The Sun', 'Are You Experienced?', and '1983 ... A Marman Should I Turn To Be' which blend free-jazz elements on the drums, noises as expressive means (as in the lenghty feedback variations or the studio-produced sounds), studio innovations (development of stereo-phasing, c.f. Kramer & McDermott, 2003: 95), as well as the first fully pre-set guitar solo for backward playing. Furthermore, Miles Davis as well as other jazz musicians, recognized an enormous influence of Jimi Hendrix's improvisations skills and sound explorations to their music (c.f. Shadwick, 1992: 208).

Here is a from Jean-Paul Bourelly, a musician who played with Miles Davis, to prove my point:

"Hendrix absolutely influenced Miles, I think he influenced every player in jazz who did not block out funk and rock as possibilities to gain knowledge from. He’s a reference for that, as Coltrane was a reference for improvisational jazz. Any jazz player who found funk and rock and even blues as a reference point to gain something from had ultimately to deal with Jimi. He’s what Archie Shepp calls a transformational player." (quoted in Shadwick, 1992: 208)

Other examples might include Marvin Gaye's concept album 'What's Goin' On?' or Curtis Mayfield's soundtrack for Super Fly.

Ref. Shadwick, Douglas. 2003. Jimi Hendrix : Musician. London : Backbeat Books. Kramer, Eddie & McDermott, John. 1992. Hendrix : Setting the Record Straight. New York : Warner Books.

Isaac Funes (talk) 01:05, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

Do any of these sources use the phrase "art rock", mention it at all with respect to names like Hendrix and Davis, etc.? Dan56 (talk) 01:08, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

New wave artists to be added?[edit]

I would like to propose the addition of Peter Murphy and Japan (the band) in this article. The former's solo career, especially his album "deep" with its world music influences can very much be compared to artists like Peter Gabriel of the same time. Japan on the other hand (David Sylvian's band) might have started out in the glam rock genre but their last album "paint on canvas" is very art rock in its conception and execution. Japan disbanded after that album but David Sylvian went on to pursue a solo career which almost never went into the mainstream, yet kept exploring musically to all directions. Moreover, I was going to say Sting may have a place here since his albums had such a diverse theme that touched on many subjects. However his performances were not as visually oriented so maybe his name would be better off left out from this page. I propose the addition of Peter Murphy of his solo career (not the bauhaus stuff) just listen to his wild birds compilation and tell me it's not the best if not one of the best art rock albums of all time. (extreme bias ;V) Cheers. 89ermis (talk) 21:47, 26 September 2015 (UTC)

edit deletion[edit]

User:Dan56, any particular reason this historical information was deleted?

British theorist Mark Fisher has noted "a certain English take on art pop that began with Bowie and Roxy [Music] in the early 1970s" and would later culminate in the post-punk era music of groups such as Japan.<ref>Fisher, Mark. ''Ghosts of My Life: Writings on Depression, Hauntology and Lost Futures''. Zero Books, May 30, 2014. 978-1-78099-226-6</ref>

I reverted your edit in whole because it looked like a mess. If you're going to make controversial changes (which is what your edit summary suggested), then you need to organize each change bit by bit. I could not tell where your sourced content was exactly in that revision. Dan56 (talk) 23:49, 6 October 2015 (UTC)
And "historical information" is a stretch; it's an opinion from a cultural theorist's personal writings, with no mention of "post-punk" in his entry mainly dealing with "Japan" rather than "art pop" (WP:BESTSOURCES). Dan56 (talk) 23:51, 6 October 2015 (UTC)
Fair stuff.User:GentleCollapse16 (talk) 03:27, 7 October 2015 (UTC)

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