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College Rock… and the Context of 1980s College Radio That Created It

Cover of the B-52's self-titled debut album.

What do you call music that has been lumped together, but isn’t unified by similar rhythms, instrumentation, subject matter, or geographic origin? Back in the eighties to early-nineties, we called it college rock. It had no major defining characteristic, other than the obvious: if a song or artist was played almost exclusively on college stations, then it was college rock. For a while, that bond was more than enough!

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