After the era of "big-bit" (Polish style of simple rock'n'roll), one of the earliest pioneers of Polish rock was Tadeusz Nalepa, a singer, guitarist and songwriter who began his career playing pop music in his group - Blackout, before turning to blues rock and changing the band's name to Breakout in 1968. Their debut - "Na drugim brzegu tęczy", is often referred to as the "first Polish rock album in history".
Significant artists of the "big-bit era" include: Czerwone Gitary, Niebiesko-Czarni, Czerwono-Czarni, Trubadurzy, Karin Stanek.
In the 1970s, due to political and censorship pressure, there were very few bands that managed to gain success or good artistic level.
Significant 1970s artists include: Niemen, Budka Suflera, SBB, Marek Grechuta (artist on the edge of rock, usually not of that genre), Skaldowie.
1982 - beginning of the "boom of rock" in Poland - debuts or first success of many important bands. On 24.04.1982 was first broadcast of Lista Przebojów Programu Trzeciego, voting chart that helped promoting many rock bands. Underground artists were promoted at Rozgłośnia Harcerska.
1987-1990 - crisis of rock, many artists emigrated, bands broke up, split or were suspended. Meanwhile, there was second wave of Polish rock called Krajowa Scena Młodzieżowa (Sztywny Pal Azji, Chłopcy z Placu Broni, Róże Europy, Kobranocka, Tilt, Mr Z'OOB, Rezerwat), but with minor market and/or artistic success.
- official market: "THE GREAT FOUR": Perfect, Republika, Lady Pank, Maanam. Other: Oddział Zamknięty, Lombard, TSA, Bajm (most of them still active and popular in 2000s)
- underground scene: Kult, Dezerter, Brygada Kryzys, Klaus Mitffoch, Dżem, T.Love Alternative, Turbo, Aya RL, Izrael, Daab, Kat
1992-1995 - second boom of Polish rock, many female vocalists
From 1997 till the mid-2000s Polish rock "went underground" due to not being played on greatest commercial medias, despite many artistic successes or attention of many fans.
significant 1990s artists: Wilki, Myslovitz, Acid Drinkers, Homo Twist, Vader, Voo Voo, Armia, Sweet Noise, Kazik/Kazik Na Żywo, Ira
female rock: Hey, Edyta Bartosiewicz, Kasia Kowalska, O.N.A., Closterkeller
gained new success: Kult, Dżem, T.Love (after changing style from punk to rock shortened its name from T.Love Alternative)
reunioned and managed to gain new fans: Perfect, Republika, Lady Pank, Maanam
significant 2000s artists: Myslovitz, Kult, Hey, Dżem, Wilki, Cool Kids of Death, Coma, Lao Che, Nosowska, Pogodno, Ścianka, Vader, Behemoth, Voo Voo, Lech Janerka, Strachy na Lachy, Krzysztof Wałecki, Darek Pietrzak, Acid Drinkers and Riverside.
Poland has a very active underground extreme metal Music Scene. Some of the bands that have heralded and helped the cause are Vader, Behemoth, Yattering, Decapitated and Lux Occulta. This has paved ground for a large underground movement. One of the biggest record labels of death metal in Poland is Metal Mind Records.