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This genre was born with the proto-punk and classic rock of the 60s and 70s and constantly changed its sound and style over the decades. But hard rock really came into its own in the late-70s and 80s, when bands like Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, and Judas Priest blazed a path for the bands who brought the genre to stadium-sized audiences.

With virtuoso solos, huge hooks, and a hint of hair metal, bands like Guns N' Roses, Motley Crue, and VanHalen ruled the airwaves in the 80s. The massive success of these groups led to the backlash of 90s grunge—when bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Alice In Chains came roaring out of the Pacific Northwest. Nu metal and alternative metal brought their own volcanic sounds to the mainstream with the success of Korn, LINKIN PARK, Staind, Disturbed and System of a Down.

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