The History of Electro-Pop Music

By Bo123
  • Period: to

    Early Experimentation of Electronic Music

    Ealy versions and experimentations continued throughout this period, but all failed to take off until the mid 1950s.
  • Experimentation began

    Experimentation began
    in the 1870s some people had started to experiment with electronically produced music; however, it wasn't until well into the next century that it really developed.
  • Period: to

    Development of Synths

    In this period the Synthesizer was under development and down to people like Moog (above) that Synthpop ever took off.
  • The first Synthesizer was created

    The first Synthesizer was created
    The first synthesizer was built at RCA, USA in 1955. The synthesizers made in this early time were however very expensive and also very hard to handle.
  • Development furthers

    Development furthers
    The work at RCA's David Sarnoff Research Center caught the attention of electronic music pioneers such as Milton Babbit. A more advanced version of this system became the basis of the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center in 1957, located at Princeton University.
  • The Moog Sytheziser

    The Moog Sytheziser
    Throughout the 1950s Robert (Bob) Moog was developing the 'Moog Synthesizer.' The Moog synthesizer gained wider attention in the music industry after it was demonstrated at the Monterey International Pop Festival in 1967.
  • Wendy Carlos releases the first synth song

    Wendy Carlos releases the first synth song
    In the end of the 1960s some already famous musicians started to use synthesizers, for example Beach Boys, but it still didn't change their music very much. In 1968 the first synthesizer only record was released, "Switched On Bach" with Wendy Carlos. It was music of Bach played on a Moog synthesizer.
  • Period: to

    Other Genres Using Synthesizers

    Synthpop was prefigured in the 1960s and early 1970s by the use of synthesizers in progressive rock, electronic art rock, disco and particularly the "Krautrock," Krautrock is a generic name for the experimental music scenes that appeared in Germany in the late 1960s and gained popularity throughout the 1970s, especially in Britain.
  • Synths go mainstream

    Synths go mainstream
    Electronic music made occasional moves into the mainstream, with jazz musician Stan Free, under the pseudonym Hot Butter, having a top 10 hit in the United States and United Kingdom in 1972, with a cover of the 1969 Gershon Kingsley song "Popcorn" using a Moog synthesizer, which is recognised as a forerunner to synthpop and disco.
  • Period: to

    Punk & Alternative Rock breakthrough with Electronic music

    The American duo Suicide, who arose from the post-punk scene in New York, used drum machines and synthesizers in a mix of electronics and post-punk on their album in 1977. The Cat Stevens album Izitso, released in April 1977, updated his pop rock style with the extensive use of synthesizers, giving it a more synthpop style. Also in 1977, a Roland TR-77 drum machine was first featured in Ultravox's October 1977 single "Hiroshima Mon Amour."
  • Tubeway army go Electro

    Tubeway army go Electro
    Tubeway Army (a British punk band headed by Gary Numan) intended their debut album to be guitar driven although in '78 Numan found a minimoog left behind in the studio by another band, and started experimenting with it.This led to a change in the album's sound to electronic New Wave.
  • Gary Newman and Electro Music

    Gary Newman and Electro Music
    The discovery that synthesizers could be employed in a different manner from that used in progressive rock or disco, prompted Numan to go solo and in '79 he releaes the electronic album The Pleasure Principle - in which he played only synths. The single 'Cars' from the album topped the charts.
  • Period: to

    Commercial Success ('81-'85)

    By the 1980s synthesizers had become much cheaper and easier to use. After the definition of MIDI in 1982 and the development of digital audio, the creation of purely electronic sounds and their manipulation became much simpler. Synthesizers came to dominate the pop music of the early 1980s, particularly through their adoption by bands of the New Romantic movement.
  • "Technopop" in America

    "Technopop" in America
    In the US, where synthpop was described as "technopop" by the press at the time, the genre became popular due to the exposure on music channel MTV, in 1982. The channel heavily featured synthpop, and especially the glamrock element. Synthpop became big across the globe, with international hits for acts including Men Without Hats and Trans X from Canada, and Propaganda from Germany.
  • Commercial Peak

    Commercial Peak
    Synthpop reached its commercial peak in the UK in the winter of 1981–2. Bands such as Soft Cell, Ultravox, Depeche Mode and even Kraftwerk, had top ten hits. The New Romantic scene also developed with these bands (as well as other like Soft Cell, Spandau Ballet, ABC and Culture Club.) They all adopted an eccentric visual style that combined elements of glam rock, science fiction and romanticism.
  • Period: to

    Declining popularity (1986–2000)

    In the UK in this period, there were many up and coming Indie bands who dominated the charts - mainlyThe Smiths - and therefore Synthpop's popularity was in decline. By 1991, in the US synthpop was losing its commercial impact as alternative radio stations were responding to the popularity of grunge rock and moving on from the Synthpop era.
  • Savage Garden

    Savage Garden
    Savage Garden was an Australian pop rock performance and songwriting duo. Their international success occurred between 1997 and 2001, including the number-one hit singles "I Want You", "To the Moon and Back", "Truly Madly Deeply". They were one of the few bands of their genre who still managed to remain popular though the synthpop drought.
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    Indie electronic began to take off in the new millennium as the new digital technology developed. As well as technological advances, the new millenium also brought with it a renewed interest in electronic music and nostalgia for the 1980s led to the beginnings of a synthpop revival. Similarly, the electroclash sub-genre began in New York at the end of the 1990s, combining synthpop, techno, punk and performance art.
  • Synthpop Become Mainstream Again

    Synthpop Become Mainstream Again
    In 2003–04 it began to move into the mainstream with bands like The Killers all producing records that incorporated vintage synthesizer sounds. In particular, The Killers soon became extremely famous. However, after their original album, The Killers soon moved on to explore classic 70s rock instead.
  • Lady Gaga

    Lady Gaga
    The genre was picked up by a large number of performers female solo artists soon after. One of the biggest stars of modern mainstream music is Lady Gaga, who's single Just Dance topped charts,
  • La Roux

    La Roux
    La Roux are an English electropop duo made up of singer, keyboardist, co-writer and co-producer Elly Jackson, and co-writer and co-producer Ben Langmaid. La Roux brought a huge revival of the Electro-pop genre. Her second single "In for the Kill" debuted at number eleven on the UK Singles Chart on 22 March 2009, peaking at number two four weeks later. Jackson said her music was influenced by 1980s British synthpop including Yazoo, Erasure, Depeche Mode, OMD, The Human League and Heaven.
  • Male Artists of the 00s

    Male Artists of the 00s
    Following the success of female artists like Gaga and Elly Jackson, many male synthpop artists stemmed. Acts that emerged in the same period include Calvin Harris, Empire of the Sun, Frankmusik, Hurts, Kaskade, LMFAO, and Owl City, whose single "Fireflies" (2009) topped the Billboard Hot 100. Many of these artists, and others, remain successful until today.