Best Rock Bands of All Time

Rock and roll is a genre of music that emerged as a defined musical style in the American South in the 1950s, and quickly spread to the rest of the country, and the world. It later evolved into the various different sub-genres of what is now called simply "rock".

This list is a collection of the top ten rock bands of all time. This includes bands that can be categorized as rock and roll, hard rock, southern rock, metal, punk and just about any other genre that has evolved from 50's rock and roll.

The Top TenXW

1Led Zeppelin

I think after going through quite a few lists that unfortunately the very young generally have more to say than the older group who might not necessarily even ventured onto a computer. There is a top 5 without a doubt, not in any particular order and they are Led Zeppelin, Beatles, Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd ( I never understood there popularity but it is there just the same ) and the newest member to the to group AC/DC

Groups should not even be considered unless they are loved worldwide and have been together for many many years with little change and still be able to command high venue sellouts and also in most cases if not huge radio play than at least high radio request. Many great great bands are biting at the doorstep of the big 5. Rush, Queen, U2 and Metallica, Black Sabbath to name a few.

I love these lists and they hold huge interest and although you will never get it just right for everyone they do make for great talk.

Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, and the late John Bonham... Led Zeppelin; four individuals from differing backgrounds with diverse personalities and creativity came together composing, producing, and performing music without limits.

They are legendary and formed the backbone of what "hard rock" is defined as today. Jimmy Page was and still is the heart and soul of Led Zeppelin. They deserve their rightful place as the number one rock band of all time.

Led Zeppelin, the true Hard Rock originals placed at No.2! Sort of pains me. It should be in number 1 slot. And Metallica doesn't deserve that number 1 position. I have heard Queen, Guns N Roses, Black Sabbath, The Who, Beatles, AC/DC, Metallica but none have that understated elegance in Rock Music, perfect tunes, great Guitar riffs, fantastic drums and of-course the lyrics. I have been a fan of all above mentioned Rock Bands at various times but finally getting hold of many Led Zeppelin albums made me an honest fan of them. Also at times I feel embarrassed that all these years I had been listening to average to run-of-the-mill rock songs (My Pre-Led Zeppelin years).

I like Led Zeppelin, but they're a little overrated for my tastes. By no means does that mean they're not deserving of their fame, Bonham's one of the best drummers in rock history, but they stole a lot of blues songs, Jimmy Page got sloppier as time went on, and I was never a fan of Robert Plant's voice. And if I have to hear "Stairway to Heaven" one more time... - lordofthejimmy

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2The Beatles

It seems I was born in the wrong generation, because I see that Metallica is the first. The Beatles is a legend, unbelievable phenomenon in the music history.

This band started music without the Beatles the world would still be in the great depression

I too think that I am born in this wrong generation why people are going after Metallica or somebody because the Beatles is good

All time best in the history of music!

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3Pink Floyd

I honestly think Pink Floyd should be at number one. The combination of Waters concepts and lyrics and Gilmours guitar/vocals (as well as the fine musicianship of Rick Wright and Nick Mason)produced a force that generates Pink Floyd addicts to this very day.

I recently saw someone write "Pink Floyd has never written a bad song. There may be a weak song, or a song that requires thought to understand, but never a bad song". I agree with this 100%. This is one of the few bands that has never released a 'filler' album.

Metallica at the top? What a disgrace... Pink Floyd are easily one of the most influential bands in history, with one of the largest fan bases of any band. They definitely deserve to be number one!

The Beatles are the greatest rock band ever, but I was so horrified at the place of the second greatest that I had to put my vote here. Best progressive rock band ever. Dark Side of the Moon is the greatest album ever, and that includes Sgt. Peppers (which does have the most innovative use of the studio ever, but the songs themselves aren't as good as on revolver).

Dude I agree with you 100 %. It should go 1. Beatles 2. Pink Floyd and Dark Side is the greatest album ever and Revolver is my favorite Beatles album as well. You read my mind exactly. - PeterG28

I agree, Pink Floyd are the best.

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I find that freddie mercury a so good vocal have and that no men of the wide universe where we live not other creature can sing so as freddie mercury!

And the different styles that freddie mercury can do in different songs is
Not possible!

Queen had it all. The sound, the show, the image, the everything. Queen has composed many songs that are still remembered today.

There's nothing as attractive and magical as a Queen concert. Just buy one of their DVDs and try to imagine you were there. A great band and a mythical voice rocking you on and on. This was Queen, this was Freddie.

They changed the story of rock and music

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Metallica opened my world. Metallica opened my eyes. Metallica opened my ears.

Metallica released my soul. Metallica are the best metal band that will be playing in the whole universe. Great performers!
In fact... I listen nothing else matters now!

Metallica roars like a lion that is what separates it from others and makes it the number 1 it's the real HARDCORE man's choice. Real EPIC hard Rock means Metallica

Metallica is an another meaning to rock metal!
Long live Metallica

I mean I like Metallica, but greatest rock band ever? I'm not so sure about that... - lordofthejimmy

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What why is japan x and 30 seconds to mars higher than AC/DC, acdc are legendary their music's raw and to the bone.

AC/Dc back in black album has sold more than 49 million copies, and is the second highest album sold WORLDWIDE! Is there any rock band in the world that can beat this EPICNESS!


You have been...thunderstruck

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7The Rolling Stones

The Stones #38? Are you kidding me? Proof positive why they shouldn't let 'tweeners vote on the all-time greatest anything except episodes of Sponge Bob. Twenty years from now, if this question is asked, the Rolling Stones will still be in the discussion. And bands like 30 seconds to Mars, Linkin Park, and their ilk will be just cutout records in the dump bin.

Kept scrolling down thinking 'well surely the stones are next... ' Number 37? Are you kidding me? I think I've lost fate in humanity! I wouldn't mind as much, but 30 Seconds To Mars are at number 6 for gods sake! The Beatles should be number 1 and The Rolling Stones should be number two! Any song by The Rolling Stones would have been a hit for 30 Seconds To Mars, but for The Rolling Stones it was just another song on another album! - GuitarZero

They are a great classic rock band and they made lots of influences. Some people know them as The Beatles Rivals! - RichardKoshorekII

I think The Rolling Stones are often overshadowed by The Beatles, and let's be honest, they made some bad albums later on. But at their peak, which for me would be '68 - '73, they could do no wrong. STICKY FINGERS is one of my favorite albums, thanks in part to Mick Taylor for his great guitar work. But Keith Richards shouldn't be forgotten, "Can't You Hear Me Knockin" come on! And as much as we like to make fun of Mick, you hear him sing "Moonlight Mile" or "Wild Horses," it's very soulful. Even when "Satisfaction" comes on, it gets me hyped. And definitely give them credit for still rocking out after so many years. - lordofthejimmy

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8Guns N Roses

Best voice on the planet, Axl Rose
Best guitarist of all time, Slash
Coolest bassist ever, Duff GUNS N ROSES
Badass drummer, Steven Adler
Best songwriter, Izzy Stradlin

This list is a joke. Linkin Park above Guns N' Roses, The Rolling Stones and Nirvana? Probably the most silly list I've seen. So ridiculous. What is Linkin Park doing at number 6. That garbage must be remove from list. - joshsanz

Why Guns n Roses is the best? Because it's simply the best band you can Jam om with an air guitar. That's why. Listen to slash's awesome guitar strummin' and axl's voice combining in an awesome pack of songs

Yeah you're right! They are the best band ever. , the original member is the best band formation of all time. ,

They're not my #1, but damn these guys sound so badass (especially on their first album). Whenever I listen to songs like Rocket Queen or Welcome To The Jungle I just wanna wear ripped clothes and drink beer all day.

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Who the heck is tokio hotel? Why isn't nirvana in the top ten? They changed music forever! How is a band like Ah-ha or X Japan ahead of nirvana! I've never even heard of them! Nirvana should of cracked the top ten at least! This list is rigged! Metallica number 1? They're a really good band but number one maybe a bit much. I think the beatles should've made it number 1

I'm a big nirvana fan but did they really change music forever? Certainly not in a big way! I feel Grunge pretty much died the same day kurt did. Did they influence any bands? I'm sure they did but that can be said for 100's of bands. - Darren_jm

NIRVANA is the best band ever! Hands down. Nirvana should be at least in the top 5 or 10. Every single album they made was different and yet Awesome, so many fans worldwide in such a short period! NIrvana has inspired me in so many ways and I'm only 11 years old. ILY KURT!

Nirvana is for me the best band ever, they may not be better than Metallica but they changed the history of RnR. And with Kurt Cobain as frontman they just must be in the top 10

This band changed music and made so much progress with just three albums.

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10The Who

Best band, hands down. from my generation to real good looking boy, the who have created fantastic music. Who's next, Quadrophenia, Tommy, The Who by numbers, the who sell out, who are you. all great albums. this band should be #1. every person on earth probably likes at least one song by the who. the majority will like at least on album. and maybe 1/5 to 1/3 of people in the world like at least 30 who songs. I own 100 songs by them and every one of them (besides underture from tommy) is gold. - Nickname

This whole list is lame and really messed up due to too many fanboys and people who have a bad taste in music from this generation. Reading some comments and dear God, the fanboyism. And so many bands like the Rolling Stones so down on the list and bands like Muse so up there. What the... Anyway...

The Who were definitely the greatest rock band ever, and only Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Queen and Pink Floyd would equal them. And the albums, "Tommy" and "Who's Next" say it all. Let's not forget Live At Leeds. The greatest live concert ever. Hands down.

One last thing. Everything before the mid '90s was pure great and everyone then was "equality" great. SO PLEASE STOP THE FANBOYSM! THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT THEY ALL WERE ALL GREAT! Apart from this generation.

Been around forever-great music-'Tommy'

Sometimes I'll hear TOMMY, LIVE AT LEEDS, WHO'S NEXT, or QUADROPHENIA and think, "Yeah, this is one of the greatest bands of all time." Roger Daltrey is one of my favorite rock singers, John Entwistle one of my favorite bass players, Keith Moon is so wonderfully insane, and Pete Townshend might be one of the best rhythm guitar players in rock and was the musical genius behind these great rock-operas. We think of The Who as some bombastic band who destroyed their instruments after playing "My Generation," but in fact, a lot of their later work was quite thought-provoking. "Bargain" is probably one of the best examples of that, beautiful song with great lyrics: "In life, one and one don't make two, one and one make one." But man, when they rock hard, they rock REALLY HARD! - lordofthejimmy

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The Newcomers

?Death Cab For Cutie

The Contenders

11Linkin Park

They've brought to the world an all new Genre. Its called, Linkin Park. The combination of Chester (Amazing voice) and Mike Shinoda (Rap) is just insane. They're awesome. No one can match chester's voice when it comes to shouting like that and yet find it so pleasing. Linkin Park forever. They've produced music that no one can ever forget. Lives always somewhere within. Somewhere very deep.

When I was younger, Linkin Park was my favourite band. But then I realised that bands like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Metallica are way more talented and diverse. Every Linkin Park song has the same structure and they have no outstanding talent whatsoever.

It's the most crazy, most rocking and the exotic rock band ever evolved...

They can't be beat they change their music they have so many hit songs they are in TRANSFORMERS. They have the most views of any rock band on youtube

New divide, what I've done, crawling, in the end, numb, faint, breaking the habit and so many more hit songs. THEY ARE SIMPLY THE BEST

Plenty of other bands have their songs in movies. And you can't use a views argument because YouTube didn't exist when Beatles, Zeppelin, etc. existed. - EGBrett

Best band ever

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12Green Day

THE best of the best, go billie joe armstrong, just love these guys! 111 This should be in the top 10, their best song holiday, and best albums american idiot and 21st century breakdown, you possibly cannot beat that!

Surely the most enthusiastic band ever...21 guns, Jesus of suburbia, wake me up when September ends... Just amazing!
Their songs touch each and everyone's heart...

Nothing compares to the "Jesus Of Suburbia"! Its like their songs are for everybody, every audience that sings back their songs is not just reflecting what Green Day are saying with that song.. It is also.. Reflecting their lives being in that song.. Billie Joe is an amazing performer, musician, song-writer and singer, Mike is awesome underrated bassist ( with the best bass lines in history ) and Tre' Cool is the most bad ass, funny, pure energy, and great Rock and Roll drummer ( with awesome drum solos )... Their line up is the best

Lets bring Green Day in the top10

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13Black Sabbath

Did you forget what rock and metal is all about?! If black sabbath is number 58 then number 57 shouldn't exist!

Laugh out loud this list is so bad My Chemical Romance ahead of black sabbath this is the funniest thing ever black sabbath is definitely the most underrated band lyrical wise they are probably 2nd to led Zeppelin bass I would say geezer butler is my favorite bass player geddy lee is very close same with steve haris:tony iommi has made some of the best rifts ever(powerful) his solos are also incredible:their vocalists are very good too ozzy has one of the most distinct voices ever his lyrics are amazing(snowblind)and same said about ronnie james (heaven and hell)bill ward is very good he really uses his cymbals I don't know too much about drumming but he is one of the best
They were also the first metal band ever! Opened many doors for bands like led Zeppelin also other bands I would put them second to the beatles

The list system on this site provides the same dilemma as the the MLB all-star game. People who know nothing about music are free to vote for their pop bands like 30 Seconds to Mars and have their votes drag down great bands like Sabbath.

But Sabbath isn't just a great band. They CREATED metal. Paranoid was one of the most influential metal albums of all time. Songs off of that album (and their self-titled effort) like War Pigs, Iron Man, and Paranoid laid the foundation for metal music. As much as I love Iron Maiden, Sabbath played a much more important role in creating metal. Ever since metal was forged in the early 70s, its bands have been following Sabbath's model.

Zeppelin is number one (a spot that they definitely deserve). The Beatles are number 2 (They were the original "band. " I completely agree with this). Other than the Stones and the Who, really no other rock band can touch Sabbath. Because, if you erased Black Sabbath from history, bands like ...more

I like Black Sabbath, but it's not my favorite. I think their style is a little dark for me. It's just my opinion. But I realise they are one of the representative band for heavy metal and I respect them a lot!

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14Red Hot Chili Peppers

I'm sure the bands above these guys are extremely talented and have been incredibly successful in their careers, but the Red Hot Chili Peppers are just a legend still being born. They've inspired the creation of many other bands and I really believe they deserve a Top 10 spot. Who doesn't know of RHCP? Who doesn't enjoy at least one of their songs? The Red Hot Chili Peppers are one of the greatest rock bands in history. They can generate a different sound, vibe and mood with every album released.

Best Band to Grace this Earth Period. Been listening to them since I was a little tike and let me tell you something I'm a modern day Plato from listening to these guys. Kiedis theory isn't perfect but it's close, his insightfulness has been the foundation of my constitution of which I live by today. He's taught me more than any teacher could ever teach me and I love him for that, now back to the band. They fuse all these great sounds that we as humans know, love, feel and can't explain and the peppers extract those feelings from us and take us on a ride of a beautiful thing we call life. They are more than just a band to me, they are my medicine, I bleed the Red Hot Chili Peppers. If I had one wish other than everlasting wellness for my family, it would be that these guys would find the fountain of youth.

When I first heard their songs, I was completely conquered their charm. I didn't know how to express my feelings of surprise. In my mind, RHCP is one of the best bands in the world. I believe a lot of people think so.

Really? I like The Red Hot Chili Peppers, but greatest band of all time? I'm not so sure about that... - lordofthejimmy

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Rush is a kind of band that you, literally, cannot describe. Their musicality level is just beyond the boundary, and anyone who says the opposite deserves to reconsider their lack of experience and criterion.

Have you ever heard their sound? Is amazing that only THREE guys can do SUCH a sound. They keep their line-up form for more than 30 years and they gave us (and keep giving us) a variety of sounds, rhythms and styles that is just incomparable. Together, Alex, Geddy and Neil form a sound that is unapproachable and unique, with a range of styles such as progressive rock, hard rock, reggae and with a diversity of sounds that is peerless.

I have been listening to Rush since I was a small child and I have never, EVER got tired of hearing them. With classics such as Tom Sawyer, Limelight, 2112, La Villa Strangiato, Time Stand Still, Working Man, The Trees, The Spirit of Radio and Roll the Bones and more underrated songs such as The Pass, Kid Gloves, Marathon, ...more

Okay. I bet half the people here voted for bands they've heard of or because of a song they heard by a band. Seriously, listen to Rush. They've been around since 1973 and have always been a 3 piece band. Since 1973, they've released 19 albums, all are Gold or higher. Every album has at least one or two hits that most people recognize. They started out with hard rock then moved to progressive, and that change was amazing. With Neil Peart smacking the drums and writing science fiction-like vocals, Geddy Lee slapping the bass, hitting those extremely high notes and playing the keyboards and Alex Lifeson shredding on guitar, the music doesn't get better than that.

Neil Peart is an amazing drummer. There's not one beat that he can't keep. He uses every piece of his drum kit to make music and his arms and legs always seem to be moving. Aside from that, he makes most of the lyrics for the band. You can thank him for that.

Geddy Lee is like a one man band. He plays bass like ...more

Rush is 32? Have you people not heard their music, or do you simply concentrate on crap?

Peart is the most talented drummer, hands down. No one can play the skill level he's at, Bonham was able to hit what, 4 polyrythms while Peart's hitting 6 or even 7 at a time?!

What about Geddy and Alex? Combined they are the ultimate band. Go watch the move "I Love you Man" Rudd and Segel know what their talking about!

Come on man - Rush is unparalleled

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16Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden is EPIC!
They are awesome... Voted low because people in America know less about them...

I can't believe Iron Maiden isn't in the top 10! These guys define Heavy Metal Rock! Just think about it... The Trooper, Piece Of Mind, THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST! These guys are just AMAZINGLY BEASTLY! They just can't be topped!

This is messed up.. Iron maiden has to be in the top ten... FEAR OF THE DARK is reason enough..

Taw Taw Taw Taw Taw Taw Taw Taw Taw Taw Taw Taw

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It's pretty sad how Aerosmith is not in the top 10. What do you get when you mix one of the greatest guitarist and the "Demon of Screamin'? You get AEROSMITH, and one hell of a show!

Aerosmith is bloody brilliant- To think they are actually below knock offs of Aerosmith is really sad. Tyler's got lyrical talent and amazing vocals- Perry is chock full of catchy riffs and Hamilton is great for a band that's not bass heavy.. The fact that these guys have lasted from '71 to now, still throwing out hits is just amazing. This list just shows how far people's musical knowledge has fallen.. Because these guys should be in the top ten.. Easy.

My Chemical Romance..

I love Led Zeppelin, Queen Journey but Aerosmith is the best band ever! Think about their song, they are all great hits! Aerosmith has to be in the top 10

They are incredibly amazing. Aerosmith is one of the best rock bands, not just said by me. They have such romantic songs and songs that teach you lessons too.

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18The Jimi Hendrix Experience

How are they not the best band, they should be at least in the top 10.
They may not have the best drummer or bassist but noel and mitch are still very good. And they have the best guitarist ever!

About 90% of these bands don't even compare to The Jimi Hendrix Experience. They don't even come close

There was Before Jimi Hendrix, and there is after Jimi Hendrix. I know I was there. Every rock musician since, just like every jazz musician after Louis Armstrong, has some of Jimi Hendrix in him; it's as simple as that. When he appeared, he put the soul in rock.

I consider all Jimi Hendrix led bands to be beyond any other rock artist in any given milieu. The only reason I can think of JHE languishing at 28 at the time of writing this, is that even to understand JHE you need to be an experienced musician; his riffs created genres, his lightning fast solos are to this day considered to be untouchable, he was the first to use guitar feedback as music, Mitch Mitchell's drums CANNOT be recreated by anybody other than himself.
Whoever brings a little bit of Hendrix into their playing style is considered to be a gifted player. Joe Satriani, Slash, Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top, Stevie Ray Vaughan, John Frusciante (RHCP) among others all consider Jimi Hendrix to be their influence. Heck, even Jimmy Page acknowledged Hendrix to be the greatest.
This goes for the amazing Eric Clapton band Cream as well.

Oh come on, Hendrix needs to be higher

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19The Doors

The Doors deserve to be in the top 15, because if you actually know the Doors than you will see how many hit songs they had made in only 4 years. They have a lot more hits/talent than most of the bands that were voted better (i.E. metallica...Metallica sucks). And the Doors influenced another big rock band in the 70s know as Led Zeppelin. Led is good, but they plagiarized way too much. The Doors took the 60s from happy "I want to hold your hand" to a rocking "Break on through to the Other Side! ". The Doors showed their talent by taking jazz/blues grooves and mixing them together and putting in Jim's hypnotizing lyrics (i.E.The End, Ship of Fools). Jim's voice too was spectacular and I love to see how much it changed from 1967-1971. The Doors pulled all the stops from "Crystal Ship" to "5 to 1" to "The Soft Parade" to Roadhouse Blues" to "L.A. woman". Some interesting facts are that Robby Krieger finger picked, which ...more

What! The doors at 58, you have to be kidding me, obviously majority of the voters from this list prefer commercial bands like linkin Park etc. That can only be the reason why great bands like the doors, pink floyd and deep purple are not doing so well. Anyways, The doors are Gods, the produced classic records that will never die, their music is heavenly and incredibly spiritual.

He is the king the "lizard king"
number 1 band of psychedelic rock!
all time favorite the lyrics the music and morison's stage performance...
jim never dies...

The Doors must be in top ten! They are one of the best rock bands ever!

V127 Comments
20Avenged Sevenfold

Most talented band all around nowadays, all their songs are great pieces of art. Plain genius

To the first reply, The Rolling Stones did not report it, it was Rolling Stone magazine. They are completely different. - Songsta41

I like avenged sevenfold because
Avenged sevenfold are the best band in the world
I like his song a dear god, almost easy, danger line, and anymore
The song is really best and nobody like avenged sevenfold
If you listen is song you be say amazing

Um why is Linkin Park ahead of A7X? They had 2 good albums! That's it! Avenged Sevenfold has the most unique sound to this date. They have one of the greatest guitarists of all time and probably the best duo of guitarists I have ever heard. And M Shadows probably has the most unique voice for a rock band I've heard. Yes, nobody will ever beat Metallica but Avenged Sevenfold at number 9? Whoever voted apparently doesn't really know what good music is. 30 Seconds to Mars is trash, Tokio Hotel is trash, and Linkin Park should be off this list. A7X foREVer

One of the only modern bands still making good music

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