Heartland rock

Heartland rock is a genre of rock music characterized by a straightforward, often roots musical style, a concern with middle class and/or blue-collar American life, and a conviction that rock music has a social or communal purpose beyond just entertainment.

The genre is exemplified by singer-songwriters Tom Petty, Bob Seger, Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp. Heartland rock is also associated with a number of country music artists including Steve Earle and Joe Ely, along with less widely known acts such as the Iron City Houserockers. The genre developed in the 1970s and reached its commercial peak in the 1980s, when it became one of the best-selling genres in the United States. In the 1990s, many established acts faded and the genre began to fragment, but the major figures have continued to record with commercial success.


Bruce Springsteen, the most commercially successful act in the genre of heartland rock, performing in East Berlin in 1988

The term heartland rock was not coined to describe a clear genre until the 1980s.[1] In terms of style it often uses straightforward rock and roll, sometimes with elements of Americana[1] and country.[2] Most artists avoided the synthesizers that dominated the electronic rock of the 1980s and placed an emphasis on guitars,[3] with a basic rhythm and blues line-up of drums, keyboards and occasional horn section instruments like a saxophone. Lyrics are often presented in a style that is raspy and unpolished, adding a sense of authenticity.[4] The genre was most strongly influenced by American country, folk and folk rock acts such as Hank Williams, Woody Guthrie,[5] Bob Dylan, The Byrds, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Van Morrison, as well as the basic rock of 1960s garage and the Rolling Stones.[1]

Verses in heartland rock songs often outline narrative stories, particularly of people undergoing hard times; choruses are often anthemic in tone.[3] The genre is associated with rural and blue-collar values,[2] particularly those of working-class regions of the Midwest and the Rust Belt.[6] It has been characterized as a predominantly romantic genre, celebrating "urban backstreets and rooftops",[7] and its major themes include alienation, despair, "unemployment, small-town decline, disillusionment, limited opportunity and bitter nostalgia".[3][8]

Other Languages
български: Хартланд рок
čeština: Heartland rock
Ελληνικά: Χάρτλαντ ροκ
español: Heartland rock
français: Heartland rock
한국어: 하트랜드 록
italiano: Heartland rock
မြန်မာဘာသာ: Heartland rock
नेपाल भाषा: हार्टल्यान्ड रक
português: Heartland rock
русский: Хартленд-рок
slovenčina: Heartland rock
українська: Heartland rock