Best Rock Bands of All TimeRock 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
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.
Pink Floyd deserves number 1 position, and the no.2 is Led Zeppelin - CaptainNemo
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 love the top ten bands on here but I like modern music alsoV1022 Comments
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
No matter how you spin it, the Beatles are almost universally considered to be the greatest and most influential band of all time not only by critics, other musicians and the majority of people. They are not just number one, but really in a class by themselves in what they achieved. It doesn't matter if you liked them personally. But instead look at their diversity alone. Every album the Beatles introduced had a wildly different musical style that was unheard of before that time. Many other famous bands have given them credit as their inspiration. They changed the course of music, and deserve no less then having the top spot on this list. - sharziV1467 Comments
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
The greatest band of all time. That's all I have to say. I'm too busy listening to Welcome to the Machine to right a full comment.V837 Comments
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
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.
No one can listen to "Stone Cold Crazy" and not immediately love this band.V905 Comments
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!
I can appreciate that you loved their music. It's not that they weren't good, it's that they had a particular genre of rock (hard) that was GOOD and it may have influence on this genre of rock. It didn't have the diversity to change the direction of rock music in general, which I think must be a factor in reaching top ten status. - sharzi
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
Metallica was my first consortV761 Comments
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!
I disagree. Look at the diversity of their music. AC/DC was the king of hard rock. But not rock overall. I saw them in concert back in 81, and was really into them, but they cannot top the Beatles or Pink Floyd in originality, for a few examples. This is not about who you like, but other factors need to be considered. - sharzi
AC/DC is the greatest band of all time, I'll prove it to the top tens too, but first, heart is absolutely awful: I want to puke when I hear their songs, avenged sevenfold is overrated, I heard some of their songs and thought, "these guys aren't that good. " and X japan is some weird band. Now onto AC/DC, they are criticized for using the same 3 chords in almost every one of their songs, but the simpler the better. They tried to be the greatest band out of Australia when their frontman dies. Usually, it would be the end of a band when the singer leaves/dies (unless it's black sabbath) but ac/dc found a singer in some semi-popular band from England. They recorded their first album with the new singer and it ended up being their breakthrough success, selling over 42 million copies worldwide, being the second best selling album of all time. Angus young is a great guitarist, lying on floors having spasms, duck-walking across a stage, etc. Malcolm young is the hardworking rhythm ...more - pauler94
I love the song "Hells Bells", it is so awesome.V599 Comments
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
Keith. What more needs saying?V266 Comments
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
Too bad slash left the band and pursued a solo career, but they still rock
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. ,
Most energetic and exciting band ever. AmazingV551 Comments
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
Nirvana is the best! Why 9th?V527 Comments
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.
This band has been around since the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and is definitely a major force in rock.
From classics such as Baba O'Reily, Won't Get Fooled again, My Generation, Magic Bus, My Wife... The list can go on! Besides that they have made two rock operas (Tommy and Quadrophenia) which are masterpieces on their own.
Also, the members of the band are LEGENDS. Pete Townshend, one of rock's greatest guitarist and composer of the majority of their songs? Roger Daltrey, who is known for his soulful voice that is still wailing during their concerts? Keith Moon, the Moon on the Loon, a drummer who was ahead of his time? And even John Entwistle, arguably the greatest bass player EVER?
They were (and still are) revolutionaries in music, so they deserve a higher spot. You won't regret it.
Greatest rock band everV163 Comments
They have an amazing lead. Also their songs are extremely moving!
Try Hey Lady and Angels on the Moon.
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
Why are they #11, damn it? They are the best! They have everything! Emotion, hard rock, metal, rap, hip-hop, and Chester and Mike are amazing, the whole band is amazing!V2306 Comments
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...
GREEN DAY FOREVER
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
If you don't like them, you are an American Idiot. No just an idiot.V671 Comments
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
Paranoid is one of the top 3 greatest songs everV137 Comments
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.
What I love is how their songs sound so calm in comparison to just screamingV243 Comments
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, Territories, ...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!
Valuable music in the modern world, because their songs are so full of imagination! You can't put a name to the sound of the band, other than "incredible". Definitely my favorite band of all time!V280 Comments
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..
Why is Linkin Park higher than iron maiden?V328 Comments
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
This band is the pinochle of rock, should definitely be top ten.V146 Comments
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 love the Experience, have 2 of their cd's but the reason they aren't up there in the list is because Jimi Hendrix IS the band, no disrespect to the other guys but they are shadowed, Jimi always had a back up band, and it wasn't always this, they are the best of his bands, but he had Band of Gypsies and a couple other groups at different times. This is why groups like David Bowie and The Spiders From Mars aren't in the list, because the BAND isn't noticed, the LEGEND is, and what a super legend is Hendrix! Rock and Roll hall of famer and The Rolling Stones best guitarist ever. - THEMASTER
Jimi is awesomeV58 Comments
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.
What... So many mediocre bands ahead of these legends. I will name a few bands that are ahead of these legends that have no business being near the top 10. Bullet for my Valentine, My Chemical Romance, Blink 182, Linkin Park, Foo Fighters, Evanesence, System of a Down, Muse, Green Day? ABOVE THE DOORS! The Doors at #46! You f*** kidding me! Come on, this is why I can't stand my own generation sometimes. No sense of history or in doing cool and fun s***! They were a personification of the rock and roll life: Sex, Drugs & Partying. Morons with no musical understanding vote for those safe, soulless bands with no depth, creativity or talent in their art. This list dismayed me with the Beatles not being number 1, Jimi Hendrix being ranked around 30, Linkin Park and Green Day being in the top 10, while the Rolling Stones and Iron Maiden are not. This goes to show the ignorance of peoples understanding of rock and roll. But to put the Doors at 46 is just moronic. Move the Doors up for the ...more
Jim had it manV137 Comments
U2 are still to leave their legacy.. Today still breaking all types of records; most grammy's, largest world tour (360), most tours in the top 10 of all time (3 x Popmart, Vertigo and 360)... And garnering more young fans than any other rock band... Took a photo of my 8 yr old in the golden circle at their SA leg... And behind her was a group of 8 teenagers... That's just insane!
This band should be number one. They have the most grammy's, and every single they come out with gets an award. Don't you dare try to tell me that they're not the best.
U2 are the most decent band in the world as they have made 12 albums and have sold over 650 million albums. There last tour was the U2 360 held six concerts in Australia and four in the USA. The places that were held in Australia are Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelade, Perth and Canberra. The places that were held in the USA are Chicago, Washington dc, New York and Los Angeles. U2 have made over 300 songs and 24 singles. There most popular singles were Beautiful day, With or without you, One, Sunday bloody Sunday, All I want is you, Were the streets have no name, I still haven't found what I'm looking for, Desire, Pride, Vertigo, Elevation, Walk on, and much much more. There best albums are Actung baby, Rattle and hum, The Joshua tree, The unforgettable fire, All that you can leave behind, How to dismantle an anatomic bomb, Boy, War, Under a blood red sky.
For all I know, should at least be in top tenV201 Comments
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List StatsUpdated 14 Feb 2016
10 years, 32 days old
Top Remixes (1072)
2. Dream Theater
3. Iron Maiden
2. Linkin Park
3. Bullet for My Valentine
2. Led Zeppelin
3. The Who
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