Top Ten Most Amazing Rock Bands of All Time
Rock and roll has been revived and has survived by young rock bands and a reissuing and resampling of the old. Ever wondered why old rock bands still have compilations of their greatest works and their CDs on your local music stand? Rock music aficionados know the importance of having massive music collections that showcase the most influential bands of all time.
Consider this top ten list your rock music 101. It’s tough to put together a top ten list of the most amazing rock bands of all time, but arrange and rearrange the following and you still have the best of the best, long before the emo movement took over the airwaves.
Our top ten pick of the most amazing rock bands of all time are as follows:
#1 The Beatles
You can’t say “rock music”, or just “music” for that matter without remembering the Beatles. They are, without a doubt, the most influential and one of the best bands to have ever walked this earth. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr are some of the most revered rock legends today.
These British lads led the “British Invasion” and caused Beatlemania in different countries around the world. They wrote brilliant songs that ranged from pop to rock, experimenting along the way. To this day, they are still credited for their massive influence on musicians that came after them.
#2 Led Zeppelin
If you can’t say “music” without the Beatles popping into mind, Led Zeppelin is the epitome of Rock and Roll. Their main career lasted for just over ten years, from 1969 to 1979; however, during that period, they were known as the most popular rock band in the world.
They sold more than 200 million records worldwide. Today, the band continues to captivate the hearts and minds of rockers with their rock-ladened interpretation of folk-rock and blues-rock with an infusion of rockabilly, soul, reggae, jazz, funk, pop and other music genres.
Although the band’s music is heavy on guitars, there’s no denying the impact created by Robert Plant’s unique and powerful vocals. Jimmy Page weaves magic with his wailing guitar solos, while John Paul Jones creates heart-pounding music with his bass and excellent keyboard skills. Their drummer John Bonham, up to his death, was surely one magnificent sight as he blisteringly pounded through the music with his fast and skillful drumming.
Any top ten list of rock and roll greats just wouldn’t be right without these English lads.
#3 The Rolling Stones
To be honest, it was actually a toss between Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones for second place. The Rolling Stones have, without a doubt, earned the title of “The World’s Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll Band.” Their rise to popularity came after the Beatles said “adieu” to their band career and decided to work on solo projects.
To this day, The Rolling Stones continue to entertain and speed up the beating hearts of old and young audiences as the legendary band performs their unique combo of rhythm-and-blues-infused rock music.
The third English rock band on the list was formed in 1962 and has been playing ever since. Although they started out covering some R&B and American blues songs, they quickly established themselves as a formidable rock act with the release of their massive hit single “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.”
One of the most diverse and highly talented bands ever, Queen lands in the well-deserved number four position. Freddie Mercury’s voice is just absolutely unforgettable, and who could dispute the incendiary quality of Brian May’s solos and riffs?
Their most popular song may be the smash hit “Bohemian Rhapsody”, with its opera-rock-classical fusion, but their other songs mark their versatility as a rock band. You can also check out their diversity and their musical creativity with the intense and highly melodic vocal harmonies, the audience participation in live performances and their multi-layered arrangements.
Massive kudos to this great band.
#5 The Ramones
Our first American band on the list, the Ramones are credited for being the first punk rock group. This American punk band has amazing energy, humor, attitude and fantastic noise to share as evidenced by their outstanding music and highly memorable songs. They helped breathe new life to rock and roll right when it was needed during the 1970s.
Their punk style has been copied by various younger bands in the past decades, which gives this band a well-deserved fifth place.
#6 Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd is, without the slightest doubt, one of the most experimental and eccentric bands in this list. This English rock band is highly recognized for its cinematic sound and unique psychedelic rock music. As the years went by, Pink Floyd’s sound became more progressive than psychedelic, earning them praise from various music critics during their time.
Each of their songs has highly philosophical and almost poetic lyrics. The cover art for their albums was innovative and artistic, and their live shows were known to be amazing and elaborate. Their sonic experimentation has also earned them the label of one of the greatest rock bands during the peak of their music career.
They’ve sold around 74.5 million albums in the US alone, and were a huge success in the London underground music scene during the late 60s. Sid Barrett led the band until his erratic behavior eventually forced his band mates to kick him out of the band.
Their music has influenced great rock artists like Genesis, Yes, David Bowie, Radiohead, Tool and Dream Theater.
#7 The Doors
If there’s one thing that should be remembered about this amazing band, it’s that they had a sound that was all their own. They infused jazz and blues with rock to create their own unique rock and roll sound.
You probably remember The Doors as Jim Morrison’s band, but aside from his powerful and strangely hypnotic vocals, another interesting fact about the band is that all the other members were talented enough to create excellent music sans bass guitar.
What they lacked on bass, they made up with great keyboards, drums and guitars. Since Morrison’s untimely death in 1971, the band has sold more than 76 million albums worldwide.
#8 The Sex Pistols
With lyrics like “I am an Antichrist! I am an anarchist!” the Sex Pistols scream “punk” loud and clear. They may not have been the first punk band in history, but they’re certainly one of the most popular punk rock bands to have walked this planet.
The English punk band was formed in 1975. Originally, the members were Johnny Rotten (vocals), Paul Cook (drums), Steve Jones (guitars) and Glen Matlock (bass). Matlock was later replaced by the infamous Sid Vicious.
The band may have lasted for a mere three years, but their music has no doubt initiated and influenced the punk movement in the United Kingdom.
Aside from their unique and constantly progressing and evolving sound, what makes this band absolutely worthy of being called one of the greatest bands in history is their consistency in providing the world with rockin’ great sound.
U2 was formed in 1976, in Dublin, Ireland. The members were, and still are, Bono (vocals and guitar), Adam Clayton (bass), The Edge (guitar, vocals and keyboards) and Larry Mullen Jr. (percussion/drums). They are considered one of the most popular rock bands in the world, having sold over 170 million albums and winning a whopping total of 22 Grammy Awards in the process.
The band still continues to produce great music for their millions upon millions of fans around the world.
You can’t think of grunge without remembering Nirvana. This American rock band shot to fame with their raw and catchy single “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Kurt Cobain, the talented and doomed vocalist of Nirvana, started the band with Krist Novoselic. Although they had a string of drummers, the drummer that stayed with the band longest was Dave Grohl, now the frontman of another super rock band, the Foo Fighters.
The band had a very short but extremely successful run in the music industry, producing hit after hit and penetrating the mainstream to introduce the grunge sound. Cobain, who was unable to come to terms with the pressure brought by the fame, committed suicide in April 1994. Even today, Nirvana’s music is still played by hundreds of radio stations around the world, proving that beyond Cobain’s death, Nirvana’s music lives on.
If you love rock music, then take the time to get to know the pillars of rock and roll. If you enjoy reading this article, you’ll be delighted to learn the Five Ways to Convince people you’re a Rock god.