Hard to say where/who started it all. Some credit The Doors (More Jim Morrison, perhaps) with creating art rock. 70's - 80's is really where it had it's time (Pink Floyd, Janes Addiction, etc.). It's starting to make a comeback with such great bands as The Mars Volta, Queens of the Stone Age, Kyuss, Tool, The Locusts, A Perfect Cricle, etc. Art Rock is basically intelligent lyrics (sometimes random nonsense that make sense only to the person who wrote them) with mellow or sometimes fast paced guitars. Great genre.
The Mars Volta is my favorite Art Rock band. A Perfect Circle, Tool, and The Locusts come close though.
by calvinownsj00 July 20, 2005

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Top Definition
I was searching online for a thorough definition of "art rock" and could not come up with anything I LIKED, so I decided to propose my own definition:

Art Rock is a sub-genre of Rock-and-roll music that originated with the hippy culture of the late 1960s and reached its peak in the 1970s with bands like Genesis, Pink Floyd, and Yes. Art Rock generally incorporates other forms of music such as jazz, and seeks to create a mood (which is better for listening than for dancing).
Art Rock is to rock music what impressionism is to classical music.
by Dave November 27, 2003

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A broad term for a variety of bands, spanning all rock genres, that transcend the typical styles and themes of their genres. The band often combines experimental, avant-garde styles into their music. Because of the nature of art rock, the definition is a vague one and person A may consider a band art rock, while person B does not.

The term originated in reference to bands such as pink floyd, who's members originally went to art school, but now can apply to even bands such as Thursday and Mineral.

Often confused with progressive-punk. Indeed, they were once synonyms, but over time have diverged; prog becoming it's own genre of music while art rock maintaining loose and subjective to interpretation.
"Art rock makes your ears explode with joy"
by 13lindfolded July 12, 2007

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What people confuse with progressive rock.
"yes is art rock DOOD." "no they aren't"
"YES THEY ARE! LOLOLOL"
by shenadoah January 16, 2009

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The kind of music that musicians play when they want to play rock and roll, but are too busy jerking off.
Julian thinks he's cool cause he plays "art rock" but he just jerks off on stage and no one likes it.
by Sex wolf May 10, 2016

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