Top Ten Artists That Define Rock Music


The Top Ten

1 Queen Queen Queen are an English rock band formed in 1970. Members were Freddie Mercury (Vocals and Piano), Brian May (Guitar, Vocals), Roger Taylor (Drums, Vocals), and John Deacon (Bass Guitar, Vocals). Before forming into Queen, Brian May and Roger Taylor had played together in a band named Smile. Freddie Mercury more.

Rock Opera, Rock Pop, whatever ROCK you could find, Queen had a song of that. They were all around and they basically scoped the whole MUSIC scene. They had the greatest rock songs of all time too and the had the greatest rock performer as well, Freddie Mercury. Nothing can compare to what great Rock Artist these guys are and what great ARTISTS they R. In fact, they should be number one on this list.

Where would we be today without Queen? NO WHERE! They could do any genre and make it have to do with rock. Example: Opera Rock (Bohemian Rhapsody. )

For all 1970s and Classic Rock Fans, and Queen, listen to Queen II, Sheer Heart Attack and A Night at the Opera and then add all their achievments together. - allqueen

Without Queen's lead vocalist Freddie Mercury, rock would be where it is today. - israel08

2 Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin was an English rock band formed in London in 1968. The group consisted of Robert Plant (Vocal), Jimmy Page (Guitar), John Paul Jones (Bass, Keyboard) and John Bonham (Drums). The band's heavy, guitar-driven sound, rooted in blues and psychedelia on their early albums, has earned them recognition more.

They've got the riffs, the solos, the soul, the groove, the heavy stuff, the ballads, the epics and a huge catalogue that has enormous variety. Great guitar, drums, bass, singing and musicianship. Isn't that what rock n' roll is all about?

PS. Why is slayer in the top 10s? They're good but they don't define rock at all. - fidelcanojr

if you have never heard of zeppelin, you have been living under a rock since the 60's!

they are one of the most famouse bands ever! - 678rob754

Much more potent than Queen, and while not as strong at harmonizing, the musical chemistry is far superior.

Led Zeppelin defined rock. But not like Chuck Berry, Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley or Beatles. - zxm

3 The Beatles The Beatles The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. The members consisted of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. They were soon known as the foremost and most influential act of rock era. Rooted in skiffle, beat, and 1950s rock and roll, the Beatles later experimented more.

Why are Journey number 1? They have got to be the most overrated rock band of all time with the most overrated rock song of all time. Yes Steve Perry is okay, but he is extremely overrated. He sounds like every 80's singer. Any real music fan knows that Journey sucks. I expected The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Queen, The Rolling Stones, and Pink Floyd among others to be on the top of this list. But when I see that Journey is #1, then this list can't be taken seriously. Give me a break!

Saying that Rush defines rock n roll is a bit far fetched...actually a LOT far fetched! They are a good band, but The Beatles shaped and changed rock forever. If you ask anyone who The Beatles are, they would know, but I can't say the same for Rush.

Journey is above The Beatles? Unbelievable! The Beatles marked the coming of an entirely new age of music. As far as impact and influence goes, The Beatles deserve Number 2 at least. - winner333

Without the Beatles, there wouldn't be a lot of the bands there are today! They are truly great... - jprg12

4 Journey Journey Journey is an American rock band that formed in San Francisco in 1973, composed of former members of Santana and Frumious Bandersnatch.

I'm a huge fan of Journey! They are my favoriteband, except for maybe AC/DC. I'm just not sure of they define rock as much as Elvis or Led Zeppelin.


Amazing band definitely defines rock

My favorite band from the 80s

1 Comment
5 Elvis Presley Elvis Presley Elvis Presley was an American musician and actor. Known as "The King" He was mostly known for his number 1 singles including "Heartbreak Hotel" "Hound Dog" "Jailhouse Rock" "Love me Tender" Elvis debuted in the movie "Love me Tender" and focused less on his music and continued that way. more.

As John Lennon said, "Before Elvis, there was nothing".

Actually before Elvis there were tons of black rock and blues artists but OKAY - Erucu

You say it yourself, before there were tons of " black "... but none of Rhythm and Blues singers were white. Elvis said many times ( on interviews, on the 1968 T.V. come back show... ) that before him black artists were doing what he was doing back in 1954. He opened the doors to white audiences. Without him this list would not even exist!

The King. He didn't really father rock n roll but he just did it so well. - comicoco

6 AC/DC AC/DC AC/DC are a Australian hard rock band, formed in November 1973 by brothers Malcolm and Angus Young, who continued as members until Malcolm's illness and departure in 2014 . They were fronted by Bon Scott until his untimely death due to alcohol poisoning in 1979, after which they hired Brian Johnson more.

AC/DC should be way higher at least ahead of Journey. Classic! When you think of rock you think of AC/DC, The Beatles, Queen, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, KISS, and Metallica - booklover24

AC/DC defines rock plain and simple
Who put's journey up everywhere

The Best Rock band ever! How are they not #1 or at least in the top 5? Seriously, Highway to Hell is like an Anthem for all things Rock.

They defines hard rock - shatti

7 Rush

One of my favourite bands of all time. They take hard rock to the next level. - IronSabbathPriest

Rush is amazing and is the best band of all time I don't no why its not number 1

I loved Rush! Although they are more progressive. - Pony

The most talented band of all time

8 The Rolling Stones The Rolling Stones The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in London in 1962. The first settled line-up consisted of Brian Jones (guitar, harmonica), Ian Stewart (piano), Mick Jagger (lead vocals, harmonica), Keith Richards (guitar), Bill Wyman (bass) and Charlie Watts (drums). more.

They really defined rock they were the first bad influence rock band and began an age of rebellion they should easily be number one

I was listening to the Stones back when everyone else I knew listened to the Beatles. - BobG

Rolling stones is a legend

9 Linkin Park Linkin Park Linkin Park is an American rock band formed in Agoura Hills, California, in 1996. The members currently include Mike Shinoda (vocals, keyboards, rhythm guitar), Brad Delson (guitar), Dave "Phoenix" Farrell (bass), Joe Hahn (DJ) and Rob Bourdon (drums). Linkin Park are associated with a mixture of Alternative more.

Absolutely no way should Linkin Park even be on this list. They never did anything to define rock. If they didn't exist, the world would be no different.

They have ease, soul every song. Lp is the best number 1

Lp is the best they should number 1

They define 21st century rock!

10 Pink Floyd Pink Floyd Pink Floyd was an English progressive rock band formed in 1965 in London, England. They achieved international acclaim with their progressive and psychedelic music. The band consisted of 5 members - David Gilmour (Vocals and Guitar), Syd Barrett (Vocals and Guitar), Nick Mason (Drums), Roger Waters more.

They certainly did better than the Beatles, that's for sure

Why is this below Linkin Park?

Why is this below Linkin Park? Linkin Park created nothing new, they just made good songs that sounded like other good songs. PF, however, did things no one else had done before.

The Contenders

11 Chuck Berry Chuck Berry Charles Edward Anderson "Chuck" Berry was an American guitarist, singer and songwriter, and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. He died on 18 March 2017.

Hows does Green Day and Linkin Park define rock? Seriously people, IF YOU don't KNOW ABOUT WHAT YOUR VOTING FOR THEN don't VOTE

Only Millennials could have Chuck Berry down at #12 on a list like this, since they imagine that the world began the day they were born.

Father of Rock N' Roll. There wouldn't be any rock music without him. Both Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry did for rock music. But if its about rock solos, riffs, then Chuck Berry deserves the credit. He should be on top 20 at least. - zxm

The embodiment of rock n roll. No Chuck = wasteland

1 Comment
12 KISS KISS Kiss is an American hard rock band formed in New York City in January 1973 by Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons and the band's original manager, Lew Linet.

I don't necessarily listen to Kiss at ALL, but when I grew up, I always thought "Man, those are THE guys" when thinking of rock music. - higgsboson2142

KISS Should be number one in this list, Because The Music, Make-Up, and the Stage Performance that they had since day 1, KISS Is the greatest rock band in the history of rock n roll

13 Metallica Metallica Metallica is an American Thrash Metal band formed in 1981 . The original lineup was James Hetfield (Vocalist and Rhythm guitarist), Dave Mustaine (Lead Guitar), Lars Ulrich (Drums), Ron McGovney (Bassist). The group came into mainstream from their Self-Titled album and the hit single "Enter Sandman". more.

What is Avril Lavinge doing on this list?

WHAT?! Metallica at 22 and F***ING LINKIN PARK AT 4?! This list is bull plus slayer and black sabbath are even further down! If it wasn't for Sabbath metal wouldn't exist!

14 U2 U2 U2 are an Irish rock band from Dublin. Formed in 1976, the group consists of Bono, the Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr. U2's early sound was rooted in post-punk but eventually grew to incorporate influences from many genres of popular music. Throughout the group's musical pursuits, they have more.

U2 barely qualifies as rock. They suck

They're ok I guess but not the best

15 Deep Purple Deep Purple Deep Purple are an English rock band formed in Hertford in 1968. They are considered to be among the pioneers of heavy metal and modern hard rock, although their musical approach changed over the years. Originally formed as a progressive rock band, the band shifted to a heavier sound in 1970. Deep Purple, more.

How is this possible? A product of the un-initiated voting!

My favorite band of all time. (Well, except during the mid-70's when guys started leaving the band or dying.) - BobG

16 Guns N' Roses Guns N' Roses Guns N' Roses is an American hard rock band from Los Angeles formed in 1985. The classic lineup, as signed to Geffen Records in 1986, consisted of vocalist Axl Rose, lead guitarist Slash, rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin, bassist Duff McKagan, and drummer Steven Adler. Apart from hard rock they are also more.

Guns n roses has a lot of good songs. welcome to the jungle, sweet child o mine, mr. brownstone, paradise city, your crazy and so much other tops. oh and they also did a cover on knockin on heveans door.

17 Green Day Green Day Green Day are an American pop punk, punk rock, and alternative rock band formed in East Bay, California in 1986. The members include Billie Joe Armstrong (vocals and guitar), Mike Dirnt (bass), Tré Cool (drums) and Jason White (guitar) . Green Day are associated with punk rock, pop punk and alternative more.

Why other stupid rock posers are above them? Green Day is so much better than those posers. They should be in the top 10.

Oh damn Green Day can't be in 31'st position.. Guys vote for Green Day they are so epic...

Why theses guys are ahead of AC/DC I will never understand.

18 The Who The Who The Who is an English rock band formed in London, England in 1964. The most recognizable lineup was Roger Daltrey (lead vocals), Pete Townshend (guitar), John Entwistle (bass guitar), and Keith Moon (drums). They are best known for their live performances and hit songs Baba O'Riley, My Generation, and more.

the who must be on the top 5 - snoopbanks

Played punk rock before the punks came along. - BobG

This disappoints me. Sometimes I wonder if they were the last band that knew what rock 'n roll is about.

Becuse 60's wasn't only Rolling stones and Beatles

19 Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi is a hard rock band formed in 1983, which had a streak of successful albums in the late 1980s. The band originally consisted of lead vocalist Jon Bon Jovi, guitarist Ritchie Sambora (left in 2013), bassist Alec John Such (left in 1994), keyboard David Bryan, and drummer Tico Torres. The band's more.
20 Nirvana Nirvana Nirvana was an American grunge band that was formed in Aberdeen, Washington in 1987. Nirvana disbanded after Kurt Cobain committed suicide in 1994. The drummer of the band, David Grohl, went on to start the Foo-Fighters, an alternative rock band. more.

Nirvana is the definition of Grunge Rock - Danielsun182

Inspired me to play guitar and smells like teen spirit was so inspiring to people... Beatles, Nirvana, Rolling Stones, Led ZeplinnACDC, The chili peppers all have to get up on this!

Nirvana were the greatest musicians ever.

So Nirvana is below One Direction? I've lost faith in humanity. Should be in the top 10. One Direction isn't even rock! - Alpha101

21 Black Sabbath Black Sabbath Black Sabbath were a Heavy Metal band formed in Birmingham, England in 1968 by guitarist and songwriter Tony Iommi, singer John "Ozzy" Osbourne, bassist and main lyricist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward. more.

Sabbath at 36? That's enough internet for today...

These guys defined everything in heavy metal, including hard rock, glam rock, grunge, and Iron Man is in Beavis and Butthead.

These guys have a unique sound to their music and are one of the bands that practically started rock/metal. Sabbath is a legend!

22 Slayer Slayer Slayer is an American thrash metal band from Huntington Park, California, formed in 1981 by guitarists Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King. They rose to fame with their 1986 album Reign in Blood, and is credited as one of the big four of thrash metal bands, the others being Metallica, Megadeth, and Anthrax. more.
23 Creedence Clearwater Revival Creedence Clearwater Revival Creedence Clearwater Revival, often shortened to Creedence and abbreviated as CCR, was an American rock band active in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
24 Nine Inch Nails Nine Inch Nails Nine Inch Nails is an American industrial rock band and, founded in 1988 by Trent Reznor in Cleveland, Ohio.

They define industrial rock.

25 Boston Boston Boston is an American rock band from Boston, Massachusetts, that achieved their most notable successes during the 1970s and 1980s.

One of the biggest debut albums ever.

26 David Bowie David Bowie David Robert Jones, known professionally as David Bowie (January 8, 1947 - January 10, 2016) was an English singer born in London, the son of a fundraiser and a waitress. He is credited for his experimental and creative musical discography which has won praise and accolades for many critics and fans. more.

I decided to vote for someone on the list that I consider extremely influential and talented but underrated less obvious and currently low ranked. Tough choice between him and Kelly Clarkson, though. - Billyv

Hale the the thin white duke

27 Van Halen Van Halen Van Halen is an American hard rock band formed in Pasadena, California, in 1972. From 1974 until 1985, the band consisted of guitarist Eddie Van Halen, vocalist David Lee Roth, drummer Alex Van Halen, and bassist Michael Anthony.

Van Halen number 15!?!? Nickelback number 9. Van Halen is one of the most original Rock Bands ever. Nickelback is number two on's most hated musical artist partly because of their lack of originaly. Van Halen have the Greatest and most inovative guitarist after Jimmi Hendrix, Michael Anthony is a hell of a bass player and is one of the best backup vocalist in hard rock. Then their is the unique Alex van halen with his unique double kick style drumming and helped put Ludwig Drums on the map with an awesome snare drum tone and lastly there is David lee roth one of rocks greatest frontman of altime, the band survived his departure from Van Halen and enjoyed success with Sammy Hagar... a success bigger than Nickelback.

Eddie van halen was voted the greatest guitarist of all time by guitar magazine. He has one of the most famous and legendary tones of all time. He is one of the guitarist who can shred melodically. He worked with the greatest musician in history Michael ...more

28 The Allman Brothers
29 Iron Maiden Iron Maiden Iron Maiden are an English Heavy Metal / Hard Rock band formed in Leyton, East London, in 1975 by bassist and primary songwriter Steve Harris. The most critically acclaimed period for the band was from 1983-1989. With vocalist Bruce Dickinson, bassist Steve Harris, lead guitarist Dave Murray, rhythm more.

IRON MAIDEN in 29...
Good luck...Rock N Roll...

IRON MAIDEN IS BETTER THAN Green Day enough said

30 Aerosmith Aerosmith Aerosmith is an American rock band, sometimes referred to as "the Bad Boys from Boston" and "America's Greatest Rock and Roll Band".

Are you kidding me, come on society, one of the best and most influential American rock bands of all time!

Aerosmith is definitely one of the best bands in the world! And one of my personal favorites! They have so many great songs and Steven Tyler has a fantastic voice!

Best band of all time. come on! They have to be #1

No should be at one

31 Little Richard Little Richard Richard Wayne Penniman, known by his stage name, Little Richard, is an American musician, singer and songwriter.
32 The Doors The Doors The Doors were an American rock band formed in 1965 in Los Angeles, with vocalist Jim Morrison, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, guitarist Robby Krieger and drummer John Densmore.
33 Jimi Hendrix Jimi Hendrix Jimi Hendrix (born November 27, 1942 - September 18, 1970) was an American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter . Although his mainstream career spanned only four years, he is widely regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music, and one of the most celebrated more.

Absolute great guitar solos and riffs... Hendrix was a god - jprg12

Best guitarist of all time on Rolling Stone Magazine, so clearly he defines rock music

If rock means electric guitar, there is nobody more important...

34 Dire Straits Dire Straits Dire Straits were a British rock band formed in 1977 by Mark Knopfler, his younger brother David Knopfler, John Illsley, and Pick Withers.
35 Red Hot Chili Peppers Red Hot Chili Peppers The Red Hot Chili Peppers is an American funk-rock and alternative rock band, that was founded in 1983. more.

I can't spell Rock without Pepper they made it extremely "Hot"

Um... Who put bands like 30 seconds to mars Green Day and nickelvack on here... The list is supposed to be defininng bands and 30 seconds to mars suck so does Green Day and nickelback may be ok but not defining

36 The Animals The Animals The Animals were an English band of the 1960s, formed in Newcastle upon Tyne, during the early part of the decade.
37 30 Seconds to Mars 30 Seconds to Mars Thirty Seconds to Mars (commonly stylized as 30 Seconds to Mars) is an American rock band from Los Angeles, California, formed in 1998. The band currently consists of brothers Jared and Shannon Leto.

Their music is holy, we should name their music Holy-Rock

38 Slipknot Slipknot Slipknot is an American Heavy Metal band formed in 1995 from Iowa. The band is best known as one of the pioneers of the New Wave of American Heavy Metal during the late 1990s - 2000s and are distinguishable by the band's clothing choices, consisting of black/red jumpsuits and horror inspired masks. more.

Best band in my opinion even though they have slowed down especially after all hope is gone and I think.5 the gray chapter is okay but not as good as their debut album and Iowa and they kind of slow down for subliminal verses.

39 Heart Heart Heart is an American rock band that first found success in Canada and later in the United States and worldwide.
40 The Clash The Clash The Clash were an English punk rock band that formed in 1976 as part of the original wave of British punk.
41 Janis Joplin Janis Joplin Janis Joplin (1943-1970) was an American singer who rose to fame as the main singer of acid band Big Brother and the Holding Company. She was known for her eccentric hippie style and psychedelic rock music.
42 Avenged Sevenfold Avenged Sevenfold Avenged Sevenfold is an American heavy metal band, that was formed 1999 in California. Their longest lineup of members was M. Shadows (Vocals), Synyster Gates (Lead Guitar), Zacky Vengeance (Rhythm Guitar), Johnny Christ (Bass Guitar), and The Rev (Drums). more.

Avenged sevenfold is way better then all of the other bands on the top! A7X foREVer

Redefining modern heavy metal since 1999... - sam117

Awful awful awful awful band

43 Buddy Holly Buddy Holly Buddy Holly, born Charles Hardin Holley (September 7, 1936 – February 3, 1959) was an American musician and singer-songwriter who was a central figure of mid-1950s rock and roll. He was a rising star when a tragic plane crash struck him down at age 22. more.
44 Bob Dylan Bob Dylan Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, author, and artist who has been an influential figure in popular music and culture for more than five decades.
45 Radiohead Radiohead Radiohead are an English rock band from Abingdon, Oxfordshire, formed in 1985. The band consists of Thom Yorke (lead vocals, guitar, piano, keyboards), Jonny Greenwood (lead guitar, keyboards, other instruments), Colin Greenwoood (bass guitar), Phil Selway (drums), and Ed O'Brien (guitar).
46 L'Arc~en~Ciel L'Arc~en~Ciel L'Arc-en-Ciel is a Japanese rock band, founded in Osaka in 1991. With a reported 40 million records sold, they were the first Japanese act to headline at Madison Square Garden.
47 Bryan Adams Bryan Adams Bryan Guy Adams is a Canadian singer, songwriter, record producer, guitarist, photographer, philanthropist and activist.
48 Alice in Chains Alice in Chains Alice in Chains is an American rock band formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1987 by guitarist and songwriter Jerry Cantrell and original lead vocalist Layne Staley.

They have a unique sound to their music and have lots of great songs. Good with both Staley and Cantrell as singers. Definitely one of the best bands in the world!

49 Blink-182 Blink-182 Blink-182 are a Pop Punk band formed in 1992. Original lineup were Mark Hoppus (Bass Guitar, Vocals) more.
50 Marilyn Manson

One of my favorites in the music industry. People can say what they want about him, but Marilyn Manson rocks!

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List StatsCreated 21 May 2009
Updated 31 Dec 2016

1,000 votes
116 listings
10 years, 185 days old

Top Remixes (9)

1. Chuck Berry
2. The Beatles
3. Elvis Presley
1. Elvis Presley
2. Rush
3. Creedence Clearwater Revival
1. Queen
2. Led Zeppelin
3. Metallica

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