Iranian rock

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Iranian rock refers to rock music produced by Iranian artists.


Farhad (1944–2002) was one of the pioneers of rock music in Iran.

Early years[edit]

Rock music was introduced in Iran by the 1960s, together with the arrival of other Western musical genres in the country's music industry.[1] Iranian rock music was developed by the emergence of artists such as Farhad Mehrad,[2] Kourosh Yaghmaei, Black Cats,[3] and Scorpio (not to be confused with the German Scorpions). It soon grew as a popular musical genre among the young generation, especially at the nightclubs of Tehran and Abadan.[4]

After the 1979 Revolution[edit]

Following the 1979 Revolution, the authorities of the new regime imposed significant restrictions on the music industry and other fields of art and media in Iran.[5] Later, by the late 1990s, Reformist president Khatami advocated more openness in terms of the policies on cultural activities.[5][6] The Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, which was formed in 1984, is responsible for monitoring and sanctioning music and other types of cultural industries within post-revolutionary Iran.

In post-revolutionary Iran, live performances are heavily restricted by the authorities.[1] Rock musicians may obtain permission to perform on live stage, provided their music is approved by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance. However, many would have to rely on the Internet and underground scenes, as they fail to get permission from the authorities.[7]

127 were the first Iranian underground rock band to tour the United States and play at the festival of South By Southwest.[8][9]

In 2008, power metal band Angband signed with German record label Pure Steel Records[10] as the first Iranian metal band to release internationally through a European label.

Notable figures[edit]

Below is a list of homegrown Iranian rock bands and individual artists, active either inside Iran or in the diaspora.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "IRAN xi. MUSIC". Encyclopædia Iranica. XIII. March 30, 2012. pp. 474–480.
  2. ^ "Farhad Mehrad's Official Website". Retrieved 6 January 2016.
  3. ^ "Starting with Shabpareh – Iranican". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
  4. ^ "'اسکورپیو' در آپارات" ['Scorpio' on Aparat]. BBC Persian.
  5. ^ a b "Rock Rolls Once More in Iran As Hard-Liners Back Pop Revival". The Wall Street Journal. 2 June 2000. Retrieved 9 April 2010.
  6. ^ "Roll Over, Khomeini! Iran Cultivates A Local Rock Scene, Within Limits". The Washington Post. 23 August 2001. Retrieved 9 April 2010.
  7. ^ Brodie, Jai (4 June 2014). "Iran's rock stars and their underground scene". The Guardian.
  8. ^ Davies, Rodrigo. "Iran's underground rock scene thrives despite censors". BBC News. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
  9. ^ "Martin Hodgson". The Guardian. 22 April 2007.
  10. ^ "Iranian Metal Band ANGBAND Signs With Germany's PURE STEEL RECORDS". Blabbermouth. Archived from the original on 12 June 2008. Retrieved 8 June 2008.

External links[edit]