Some folks have told me that unless something is electric guitar oriented – ala their favorite shredders of all time – it can’t really be rock.  For the purposes of what we do I instead prefer to define things by radio formats.  In this category I use three acronyms, but only two are really relevant today – AAA (adult album alternative) and ALT (or Modern Rock, or New Rock depending on the source).

Most Colorado public/community radio lean heavily AAA, as a general format.  AOR is a throwback format to the 70s and 80s, but I use it here as a cross format catchall .. or where neither format seems applicable.

AAA (Adult Album Alternative)  A spinoff of the Album Oriented Rock (AOR) formats of the 70s and 80s, AAA “has a broader, more diverse playlist than most other formats. Musical selection tends to be on the fringe of mainstream pop and rock as well as many other music genres such as indie rock, pop rock, alternative rock, alternative country, jazz, folk, world music and blues. The musical selections tend to avoid hard rock and rap music.   Music selection also includes tracks from albums that are not singles, which leads to the enhanced and larger playlist.  Some AAA outlets focus more on classic rock artists, folk and blues while others focus on more contemporary artists & modern/indie rock.”

ALT (Alternative Rock) or MODERN ROCK, as it is sometimes referred to is a rock format that “consists primarily of the alternative rock genre.  Generally beginning with late 1970s punk but referring especially to rock music since the 1980s, the phrase “modern rock” is used to differentiate the music from classic rock, which focuses on music recorded in the 1960s through the early 1980s.”


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Only those records released between November 1, 2012 and October 30, 2013 are considered “current” 2013 releases for the purpose of this poll, and the end of year charts.  

Author: goat

I've been on the air in Northern Colorado since 1978. The Colorado Playlist is broadcast on 30 FM frequencies in the state. I am also a musician, talent buyer and business consultant. Email me at

2 thoughts on “FAN FAVORITE POLL – 2013 – Rock / AAA / ALT / AOR”

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