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Boogie rock
Stylistic origins Rock and roll, Blues-rock, Rhythm and blues, Country and western
Cultural origins 1970s Britain and United States
Typical instruments Guitar - Bass - Drums - Piano - Harmonica
Mainstream popularity Peaked in the 1970s in Europe and the Americas
American boogie rock - British boogie rock

Boogie rock is a music genre which came out of the hard heavy blues-rock of the late 1960s.[1] It tends to feature a repetitive driving rhythm in place of instrumental experimentation found in the more progressive blues-rock bands of the period.

Boogie rockers concentrate on the groove, working a steady, chugging back beat, often in shuffle time.[2] Boogie rock can be considered the upbeat form of blues-rock.

One of the first bands to popularize boogie rock worldwide was Canned Heat.[3] The main distinction between bands is their instrumental attack.

Boogie rock reached the height of its popularity in the mid to late 1970s[4]


Early influences

Jerry Lee Lewis, whose boogie-woogie piano style was one of the influences of the genre. Chuck Berry developed a similar style on guitar, and even earlier, artists like John Lee Hooker together with many Blues players, were among the forerunners of Boogie Rock. As it developed through the 1970s, the genre has been described as a mixture of Blues and Chuck Berry, with a lot more band.

Boogie rock started out as a sub-genre of Rock and roll, but evolved into a genre in its own right. It is divided between US style, Southern rock with bands like ZZ Top, Molly Hatchet, Foghat (originally British but moved to the USA in the early 1970s) and Blackfoot, and a European/Australian style with bands like Status Quo, Slade, Nazareth, Spider[5], and the early Whitesnake - (though the band left the style in the mid 1980s), AC/DC and Rose Tattoo. All bands being at their heights in the 1970s and early 1980s.

Types of Boogie rock


North American boogie rock

Many US boogie rock bands have a southern twang, like ZZ Top[6], The Allman Brothers Band[7] and Lynyrd Skynyrd. The Canadian band Bachman-Turner Overdrive also popularized a style of heavy, danceable boogie rock in the mid-1970s.[8]

There have also been Boogie Rock Bands over on the East Coast, including George Thorogood and the Destroyers and recently, Rumble 49, a Rockabilly band whose lead guitar player mixes Rockabilly style with a distinct Southern Boogie flavored by Tejano, Dixieland Jazz, Hill Country Blues, Punk Rock and Cajun Portland Maine's Sun Gods in Exile play a new heavy version of southern fried boogie rock whose influences are mentioned above. Their debut record Black Light White Lines is filled with the boogie rock grove.

British boogie rock

British bands like Status Quo[9], Humble Pie, Savoy Brown[10] and Foghat[11] tend to have a distinctive, heavier sound.[12] Status Quo became, in the early 1970s and onwards to this day, the quintessence of Boogie rock, despite never gaining the respect given bands like The Who or The Rolling Stones, perhaps due to their distinctive boogie style and being the band with most UK hits - 65 in total, more than any other artist. Their musical heritage has influenced generations of bands, and they were also among the predecessors of Heavy metal. This has influenced current European bands such as Backstreet Girls, Railroad[13], Predatür[14] and Hercules[15] which carry on in a style reminiscent of Status Quo.


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