Best Rock Bands of the 20th Century

A list of the greatest rock bands of the past century.

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 ...read more.

QUEEN - THE GREATEST BAND EVER! Absolutely the most talented 4 genius musicians of all time! Most eclectic of any group ever, w/ 42 diff genres of music, they could do Anything, and do it to perfection! From thrash to the most gorgeous love songs ever sung, QUEEN could do it all.
FREDDIE MERCURY - THE MOST GORGEOUS VOICE ON THE PLANET / BEST AND MOST AWESOME PERFORMER EVER TO GRACE THE EARTH... EVER!
Brian May - such a brilliant guitarist, underrated, as is all of Queen, unfortunately!
Roger Taylor - phenomenal drummer! The best!
John Deacon - the icing on the cake, w/ his amazing bass playing!
All 4 wrote and played instruments. The only band w/ each member having written a #1 song!
Queen is in the only band that is in the Songwriters' Hall Of Fame! They are superb, stunningly awesome, fantastic in every way, and put on the best show ever! BEST LIVE SHOW EVER!
FREDDIE is/was/and forever shall be the GREATEST PERFORMER EVER! Nobody will ever come close or compare ...more

Whoop! No wonder they have are number one. They have been in he charts more times than The Beatles, they are the only band to have a Christmas number one on two occasions and not to mention the blend of rock, mock opera, hard rock and ballad in one song! Oh, and all four of them have penned number ones: Freddie Mercury and Bohemian Rhapsody; Brian May and We Will Rock You; Roger Taylor and Radio GaGa and John Deacon with Another One Bites The Dust. Love you Queen. RIP Freddie! X

Queen - the great rock band, combining the four unique and talented musicians. Great voice, great guitar beautiful and powerful rhythm section! Bohemian Rhapsody is recognized as the best song of the millennium.

FREDDIE MERCURY the king of rock heavy metal

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2 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 ...read more.

Without question the greatest rock band of the 20th century, They stole our hearts with songs like "' Twist & Shout", "Love Me Do", " I Want to Hold Your Hand", "Please Please Me" & "A Hard Day's Night " and blow up our minds with songs like "Helter Skelter", "Yellow Submarine", "Strawberry Fields Forever" & "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" and make us cry with with songs like "Let It Be" And others.

With 27 studios albums hey have been awarded 6 Diamond albums, as well as 24 Multi-Platinum albums, 39 Platinum albums and 45 Gold albums in the United States while in the UK they have 4 Multi-Platinum albums, 4 Platinum albums, 8 Gold albums and 1 Silver album, 55 singles hit,17 in # 1 in the Billboard Hot 100 and 18 in # 1 in the UK Singles Charts, with a record of 7 seven times Grammy Award Winners(most wins That any other rock band in History) and 15 Ivor Novello Awards, won the ...more

Queen is my favorite band. They did everything perfectly (except not calling it quits after their last single in 1997). That being said, the Beatles are the best band of the 20th century, as well as the best band in the history of popular music. I knew this when I first heard the music of the Beatles. I would definitely keep Queen in the top 5, but not number 1. It will always be the Beatles.

No one compares to The Beatles, they sold more records by far than any other group, there popularity was worldwide, No group was ever more interviewed, never more photographed and no one can match there record for number 1 hits, are you people stupid out there.

History voted; The Beatles won.

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3 Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin were 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 ...read more.

They are one most successful, innovative and influential bands and rock history, they are pioneers of heavy metal and brings a new wave of magic and mysticism on his lyrics and on stage make then mysterious and unique, with songs like: " Black Dog", "Immigrant Song", "Whole Lotta Love" and his famous, the controversial "Stairway to Heaven". They have sold over 200 million albums worldwide according to some sources, while other sources state sales of more than 300 million records, including111.5 million certified units in the United States, making them one of the world's best-selling music artists of all time, as well as the second-best-selling band of all time in the US. They have had all of their original studio albums reach the top 10 of the Billboard album chart in the US, with six reaching the number one spot. Rolling Stone magazine has described Led Zeppelin as "the heaviest band of all time", "the biggest band of the '70s" and "unquestionably one of the most enduring bands in ...more

Why isn't this number one

The best Band ever!

Led Zeppelin is the “goat” in hard rock music. They epitomized pure rock at its best. Had John Bonham not tragically died in 1980, they would have continued writing and recording rock music under the leadership and creativity of Jimmy Page, of whom, I believe is one of if not the best guitarist of all time. Robert Plant had tremendous vocal range, while John Paul Jones and Bonham were masters in their own right!

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4 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). ...read more.

One of the most charismatics and influencials groups in the history of rock, since his first album released in 1964 we know that they are here to stay. with songs like: " Paint In Black", "Sympaty For The Devil", "Ruby Tuesday", "Honky Tonk Women" and " Brown Sugar" They are one of the most recognizibles rock bands of the world. they were inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 they are the second most successful group in the Billboard Hot 100 chart and they re with no doubt the 2nd greatest rock band of the 20th century.

In y opinion, Rolling Stones is just one of the best bands out there. Paint it black is my favorite.

I IS GREAT AS GOD

5 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 ...read more.

Well well well what are the AC/DC doing here?
You all know that the band is great according to their songs
And albums. Though AC/DC's Highway To Hell is better enough to prove
It... And its really really GOOD!

6 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". ...read more.

Of the Century? More like best band ever. My other favorite band is Green Day, but I chose to vote for this because it's higher up. By the way, popularity does not mean it's the best.

Metallica on 2, still under rated.. Its surely should be number 1... They ruled music for 4 decades.. Listening to Metallica feels like riding the lightening

The best of all time hands down nobody gets the blood going better

Absolutely in love with them.

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7 The Who The Who The Who is an English rock band formed in London, England in 1964 . The members are Roger Daltrey (lead singer), Pete Townshend (guitarist), John Entwistle (bassist), and Keith Moon (drums). They are best known for their live performances and hit songs Baba O'Riley, My Generation, and Won't Get Fooled ...read more.

Best live sound and musicianship of them all, ambitious music

8 Pink Floyd Pink Floyd Pink Floyd were an English progressive rock band formed in London. 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 Guitarist), Nick Mason (Drums), Roger Waters (Vocals and Bass), ...read more.

Hey people, Pink Floyd was more capable of doing anything than Led Zeppelin, simply because they had better sounds and could make any sound. Pink Floyd Rolling Stone magazine said that Pink Floyd did whatever the heck they wanted to do, regardless of the rules. Led Zeppelin's lyrics get cheesy after a while. In my opinion the 2 greatest guitarists of all time are Jimi Hendrix and David Gilmour. Nobody else can dig into your soul more than these 2 guitarists. Pink Floyd has better vocals than Robert Plant. Jimmy Page is a great guitarist too, but he sounds extremely messy. I don't really like that. So that's why I go with Hendrix and Gilmour for guitar. Oh by the way, Echoes is a far better song than Stairway to Heaven. There's no comparison. I'm not dissing Led Zep, but I think that Pink foyd is a better artist. They should be ahead of Led Zep and Queen on this list. Pink Floyd would destroy Queen.

The music of my life.

More Albums sold than the Beatles. Needs to be higher.

Pink Floyd should be #1!

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9 Rage Against the Machine Rage Against the Machine Rage Against the Machine is a rock band formed in Los Angeles, California. The band consists of vocalist Zack de la Rocha, bassist Tim Commerford, guitarist Tom Morello and drummer Brad Wilk.

Managed to combine their political views via rap with heavy metal, their band contained one of the most gifted guitarists, Tom Morello, one of the most talented bassist's, Tim Copperfield, an excellent drummer in Brad Wilk and Zack De La Rocha who managed to rap about his views over hard music. They haven't made one bad song and they all have a true meaning, they're definitely one of the most influential and all-round talented bands ever!

Who is this? - Doom

10 Eagles Eagles The Eagles are an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1971 by Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Bernie Leadon, and Randy Meisner.

Best American band ever- with more selling records across the world--159million copies sold.

The Eagles were inspired by Led Zeppelins Folk Music side and the Beatles too.

Eagles beat most of the bands in the top ten

Go Joe Walsh

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The Contenders

11 Black Sabbath Black Sabbath Black Sabbath were a Heavy Metal band formed in Birmingham, England in 1968 by guitarist and songwriter Tony Iommi, Singer Ozzy Osbourne, Bassist and Main Lyricist Geezer Butler and Drummer Bill Ward. The band got into mainstream after improving after their debut album got negative feedback. In 1978, ...read more.

They created heavy metal so...

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.
13 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. ...read more.

Kurt Cobain conveys so much emotion through his lyrics and the music.

Legendary riffs in simple yet complex music that is totally underrated

14 Def Leppard Def Leppard Def Leppard are an English rock band formed in 1977 in Sheffield as part of the new wave of British heavy metal movement. V 1 Comment
15 Guns N' Roses

Maybe not the best.. but still.. THEY ARE STILL A LIVING LEGACY! THEY ARE... REALLY... ONE HELL OF A KIND..

Go Guns N' Roses!

16 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 ...read more.
17 Green Day Green Day Green Day are an American pop punk and alternative rock band formed in East Bay, California in 1987. 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 rock. Some ...read more.

Green day is a very underestimated band. Its songs from 1994 onwards are just spectacular. It is the one which carried forward punk to the 21st century. Even before the release of Dookie the songs were of pretty good quality, with some of their best solos. The recent album trilogy displays their various capabilities. They are a true punk rock band.

They are one of my favorite bands

That should be in the top 10

Bille Joe Armstrongs Band is one of the best punk bands I have heard (along with the Ramones, the Clash, and the Sex Pistols.) :-) P.S. they actually formed in 1987.

18 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 ...read more.
19 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, ...read more.
20 The Jimi Hendrix Experience The Jimi Hendrix Experience The Jimi Hendrix Experience was an English-American rock band that formed in Westminster, London, in September 1966. Composed of singer, songwriter, and guitarist Jimi Hendrix, bassist and backing vocalist Noel Redding, and drummer Mitch Mitchell, the band was active until June 1969. During this time ...read more.

This band was amazing. Widely recognized as hugely influential on the development of hard rock and heavy metal in the late-1960s and beyond, The Experience were best known for the skill, style and charisma of frontman Hendrix, who has been voted one of the greatest guitarists by various music publications and writers. All three of the band's studio albums, Are You Experienced (1967), Axis: Bold as Love (1967) and Electric Ladyland (1968), were featured in the Rolling Stone list of The 500 Greatest Albums of all time, at positions 15, 82 and 54 respectively. In 1992, The Jimi Hendrix Experience were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His most famous songs are: "Foxy Lady", "Hey Joe", "Purple Haze", "All Along the Watchtower"&"Voodoo Child". For the, is ranking as the 6th greatest rock band of all time.
Personal note: I have wished put the experience a little more higher but because for the lack of more success and impact ...more

Short duration or not, Jimi Hendrix should have been #1. No 16, you must be kidding

21 The Ramones The Ramones The Ramones were an American punk rock band that formed in the New York City neighborhood of Forest Hills, Queens, in 1974. They are often cited as the first band to define the punk rock sound.
22 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.

This band dominate the early to mid 80s' like no other band couldn't do it smiling and dancing but don't underestimate this guys they can rock all night long with songs like: "You Really Got me", "Dreams", "Hot For a Teacher", "Panama"& "Jump ".

As of 2007 Van Halen has sold 80 million albums worldwideand has had the most #1 hits on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, Van Halen is the 19th best-selling band/artist of all time with sales of over 56 million albums in the United States alone, and is one of five rock bands that have had two albums sell more than 10 million copies in the U.S. In 1999, the RIAA certified their debut album diamond for ten million in U.S. sales.

There were inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 12, 2007.
For they sucess and accolades is the 8th greatest rock band of 20th century.

VAN HALEN RULES that's all I have to say!

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23 Lynyrd Skynyrd Lynyrd Skynyrd Lynyrd Skynyrd is an American rock band best known for popularizing the Southern rock genre during the 1970s They are known for songs like "Free Bird", "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Tuesdays Gone" .

Southern rock and bluesy style is the best. Awesome live!

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24 Iron Maiden Iron Maiden Iron Maiden are an English heavy metal 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 guitarist Adrian ...read more.

New wave of british heavy metal!

25 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".

Brought country and blues to rock and the people loved it!

26 ZZ Top ZZ Top ZZ Top is an American rock band that formed in 1969 in Houston, Texas. The band is composed of bassist and lead vocalist Dusty Hill, guitarist and lead vocalist Billy Gibbons, and drummer Frank Beard.

Truly underrated.

27 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.

The Clash are an amazing rock band that released the songs "Rock The Casbah" "Should I Stay Or Should I Go" "London Calling". They are the definition of a hit band of British Punk.

28 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).
29 Oasis Oasis Oasis were an English rock band formed in Manchester in 1991. Developed from an earlier group, the Rain, the band originally consisted of Liam Gallagher (vocals and tambourine), Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs, Paul "Guigsy" McGuigan, and Tony McCarroll.

Should be number one!

They are crap and should be number 1000

These guys are one of the best bands in history. so individual. real talent. the whole of the morning glory album and be here now are just amazing. people who are saying they are crap don't know what they are on about.

THIS BAND IS ABSOLUTE CRAP THEY JUST SHOULD BE NUMBER 666 IN THIS BLUDDY WEBSITE

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30 Dir En Grey Dir En Grey DIR EN GREY is a Japanese metal band formed in 1997 and currently signed to Firewall Div., a sub-division of Free-Will.
31 X Japan X Japan X Japan is a Japanese heavy metal band from Chiba, formed in 1982 by drummer Yoshiki and lead vocalist Toshi.
32 Buddy Holly and The Crickets
33 Whitesnake Whitesnake Whitesnake are a rock band formed in England in 1978 by singer David Coverdale, after his departure from his previous band Deep Purple.

Simply, they are unique... One of the best.

Best of British Rock

34 Pearl Jam Pearl Jam Pearl Jam is a Grunge Rock Band formed in Seattle, Washington in 1990. The band had comprised of Eddie Vedder, Mike McCready, Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament. ...read more.

The best band ever no other band to me can beat them.enough said

35 Tool Tool Tool is an American progressive metal/alternative metal band, that was formed in 1990. ...read more.

What other band has a following so tolerant of an album being released every 10 years. That speaks to the music itself.

You people obviously have never read about "The Holy Gift" I'm guessing.

Excellent writing! And there sound is very good. Rock on Tool.

36 Jethro Tull Jethro Tull Jethro Tull were a British rock group, formed in Luton, Bedfordshire, in December 1967. Initially playing blues rock, the band soon developed its sound to incorporate elements of British folk music and hard rock to forge a progressive rock signature.
37 Rush Rush Rush is a Canadian progressive rock band that was formed in 1968. Even though the only founding member still in the band is Alex Lifeson (Guitar), the band is most well-known for their current members Neil Peart (Drums) and Geddy Lee (Bass, Vocals). ...read more.

Belongs in the top 10 or at least top 20 on this list for sure.

Rush is my favorite over all,

Great band all round!

38 Grateful Dead Grateful Dead
39 Porcupine Tree Porcupine Tree Porcupine Tree were an English rock band formed by musician Steven Wilson in 1987. The band began essentially as a solo project for Wilson, who created all of the band's music.
40 Dream Theater Dream Theater Dream Theater is an American progressive metal band from Boston, Massachusetts. The band was formed in 1985 under the name of "Majesty", only to change its name to Dream Theater later. ...read more.
41 The Smashing Pumpkins The Smashing Pumpkins The Smashing Pumpkins is an American alternative rock band from Chicago, Illinois, formed in 1988. Formed by frontman Billy Corgan and James Iha, the band included D'arcy Wretzky and Jimmy Chamberlin in its original incarnation. They are also considered to be one of the most influential alternative ...read more.
42 Can Can Can was a German experimental rock band formed in Cologne, West Germany in 1968 by the core quartet of Holger Czukay (bass), Irmin Schmidt (keyboards), Michael Karoli (guitar), and Jaki Liebezeit (drums). The group cycled through several vocalists, including Malcolm Mooney ('68–70) and Damo Suzuki ...read more.
43 Sex Pistols Sex Pistols The Sex Pistols were an English punk rock band formed in London in 1975. Although they initially lasted just two and a half years and produced only four singles and one studio album, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols, they are considered one of the most influential acts in the history ...read more.
44 The Velvet Underground The Velvet Underground The Velvet Underground was an American rock band, active between 1964 and 1973, formed in New York City.
45 Talking Heads Talking Heads Talking Heads were an American rock band formed in 1975 in New York City and active until 1991. The band comprised David Byrne, Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth, and Jerry Harrison.
46 Thin Lizzy Thin Lizzy Thin Lizzy are an Irish rock band formed in Dublin in 1969. Their leader Phil Lynott was composer or co-composer of almost all of the band's songs, and the first black Irishman to achieve commercial success in the field of rock music. Thin Lizzy's most successful songs, "Whiskey in the Jar", "Jailbreak" ...read more.
47 Coldplay Coldplay Coldplay are a British rock band formed in 1996. The band consists of Chris Martin (lead vocalist and pianist), Jonny Buckland (lead guitarist), Guy Berryman (bassist) and Will Champion (drummer and backing vocalist). Manager Phil Harvey is often considered an unofficial fifth member. The band renamed ...read more.
48 The Adicts
49 Dead Kennedys Dead Kennedys Dead Kennedys are an American hardcore punk band formed in San Francisco, California in 1978. The band was one of the first American hardcore bands to make a significant impact in the United Kingdom.
50 Steve Miller Band Steve Miller Band The Steve Miller Band is an American rock band formed in 1966 in San Francisco, California. The band is led by Steve Miller on guitar and lead vocals.
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