Defining hard rock as "aggressive vocals over distorted electric guitars, bass guitar, and drums," it is a loosely defined type of rock music characterised by the heavy use of aggressive vocals, distorted electric guitars, bass guitar, and drums, occasionally supported by keyboards. It all started in the mid-1960s with the garage, psychedelic, and blues rock movements, and it hasn't stopped since. The Kinks, the Who, the Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds, Cream, and the Jimi Hendrix Experience were all involved in the creation of some of the first hard rock songs. During the late 1960s, hard rock was created by bands such as the Jeff Beck Group, Iron Butterfly, the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Golden Earring, Steppenwolf, and Deep Purple, to name a few examples.
In the 1970s, the Who, Led Zeppelin, and Deep Purple were joined by Aerosmith, Kiss, Queen, AC/DC, and Van Halen, who helped to establish the genre as a significant type of popular music in the United States. During the 1980s, several hard rock bands began to veer away from their hard rock origins and into more mainstream pop rock sounds. Several well-established bands made a return in the mid-1980s, while hard rock achieved its commercial zenith in the 1980s, thanks to the popularity of glam metal bands such as Bon Jovi and Def Leppard, as well as the rawer sounds of bands such as Guns N' Roses in the latter half of the decade.
Hard rock started to lose popularity in the 1990s, as the commercial success of R&B, hip-hop, urban pop, grunge, and subsequently Britpop overtook the formerly dominant genre. Yet, many post-grunge artists adopted a hard rock sound, and the decade of the 2000s witnessed increased interest in existing bands, efforts at a revival, and the emergence of new hard-rock bands that came from the garage rock and post-punk revival movements, among other things. Garage rock bands such as the White Stripes, the Strokes, Interpol, and subsequently the Black Keys emerged as a result of this trend. Few hard rock bands from the 1970s and 1980s were able to maintain extremely successful recording careers in the 2000s, with just a few exceptions.