Album-oriented rock

Album-Oriented Rock

Album-oriented rock

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Album-oriented rock (abbreviated AOR) is an American FM radio format focusing on album tracks by rock artists.

Music played

Most radio formats are based on a select, tight rotation of hit singles. The best example is Top 40, though other formats country, smooth jazz, and urban, all utilize the same basic principles, with the most popular songs repeating every 2 to 6 hours, depending on their rank in rotation. Generally there is a strict order or list to be followed and the DJ does not make decisions about what selections are played.

AOR, while still based on the rotation concept, focused on the album as a whole (rather than singles). In the early 1970s many DJs had the freedom to choose what track(s) to play off a given album — as well as latitude to decide what order to play the records in.

Later in the 1970s AOR formats became tighter and song selection shifted to the Program Director or Music Director, rather than the DJ. Still, when an AOR station added an album to rotation they would often focus on numerous tracks at once, rather than playing the singles as they were individually released. As AOR stopped playing new music and died out in the late 1980s the core repertoire of AOR became that of the Classic Rock format.


Freeform and progressive

The roots of the album-oriented rock (AOR) radio format began with programming concepts rooted in 1960s idealism. The freeform or progressive formats developed the repertoire and set the tone that would dominate...
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