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Garage rock

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Garage rock
Stylistic origins
Cultural origins Late 1950s, United States and Canada
Typical instruments
Mainstream popularity Mid-1960s United States and Canada, revivals in the 1980s and 2000s worldwide.
Derivative forms
Garage punk
Regional scenes
United States, Canada, and United Kingdom

Garage rock is a raw and energetic style of rock and roll that was popular in the mid-1960s in the United States and Canada, and other countries. At that time it had no particular name and was not yet thought of as a musical genre, but attention from rock critics in the early 1970s, and the compilation album, Nuggets, did much to define the style and bring it to people's attention. It is called "garage rock" because many of the groups that played it were made up of young amateurs, often in high school and college, who sometimes rehearsed in their families' garages, but a number of the bands were older and professional. The groups in this genre are often referred to as "garage bands".

The style, which led up to psychedelic rock, often had simple lyrics, sometimes using guitars distorted through a device called a fuzzbox. Surf rock was an early influence, then later the Beatles and the beat groups of the British Invasion became very popular, which inspired thousands of people to form bands in the United States and elsewhere between 1963 and 1968. Hundreds of bands produced regional hits, and a handful even had national chart hits. With the rise of psychedelia, a number of garage bands started to add strange and exotic elements to their sound, but after 1968, as more complex forms of rock music took over, garage rock records declined in popularity.

In the early 1970s certain critics began to refer to the style as "punk rock", which made it the first form of music to use that name; and it is sometimes called "garage punk", "protopunk", or "'60s punk" to set it apart from the more well-known punk rock movement that came later in 1970s, which garage rock influenced. The garage rock style has been revived several times in recent decades and continues to influence many modern groups who prefer a "back to basics" and "do it yourself" musical approach.