Most Influential Rock Bands

The 10 most influential rock groups of the rock era.
The Top Ten
1 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.

Having created several musical genres no normally associated with the Beatles, most notably Heavy Metal, and introducing music video's and the use as an album as a collective unit rather than songs added to promote the single. I can't truly say how great their impact was as I was not alive when the Beatles exploded, but from what I can tell, they changed not only the world of music, but the world in general.

Sorry, I'm not saying that The Beatles were not talented ( they were enormous talented ) but when I read the first comment " before The Beatles the world was about old people, after The Beatles, the world was about young people ", I have to say that this is all wrong. Learn the history of Rock and Roll before saying something like that. Teenage rebellion began in the fifties with Elvis Presley. I dare even say that without Elvis there would be no Beatles. John Lennon said it with his famous words " Before Elvis there was nothing " and Paul McCartney said recent in an interview that the first time he heard Elvis on the radio singing " Heartbreak Hotel " he heard something that till this day he still find amazing " His phrasing, his use of echo, it's all so beautiful as if he's singing it from the dephts of hell " [ quote from Paul McCartney ]. The Beatles were without a doubt influential but they were influenced themselves of the rebellious music from the fifties.

Immensely talented in art of word craft as well as brilliant melodies and harmonies. As I recall on an awards show, the emcee stated that
their music is instantly recognizable and immediately unforgettable."

The best proof of their stature is that after 50+ years since their debut on the Ed Sullivan Show, they are still the benchmark by which every subsequent talent is compared to!

Besides being by far the top selling musical act in history, The Beatles are also the most important musical artists of the past 200 years.
Other artists changed music, but The Beatles changed the world as a whole.
Before The Beatles, the world was about old people; after The Beatles, the world was about young people.

2 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 ...read more.

Two bands are head & shoulders above everybody. Along with being revered as the most influential bands most people still maintain that Rock music reached its pinnacle in either or both of these titans. LED ZEPPELIN & THE BEATLES. I consider Led Zeppelin to be the superior outfit & the zenith of rock music. Nobody before or since has equaled their eerie mystique or commanded their level of power. Though every detail of Zeppelin's superficial qualities were (& are) endlessly studied, copied, emulated etc., there's ultimately only one reason that they are still so revered, because all the other elements will fade with the passage of time, and that is the music! Simply the music. They delivered the goods. A few more decades will pass & the unique magic & mystique will never again be truly understood...the people who experienced it will be gone & all will be reduced to subjective interpretation. They call that history & beyond cold unchanging facts & figures most of what actually existed & ...more

I agree w Zeppelin and Beatles probably being the most influential. Black Sabbath also very big influence for a lot of bands. I think the who, rush, Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd should have made this list. I love Ac/dc and Metallica but I think jimi and the who probably had more influence on other bands. Green Day is okay but I don't think should make this list. I agree that Bon jovi on this list is laughable.

Sabbath, zeppelin, & the Beatles are definitely the most influential bands. the Beatles were the ones that created the kind of guitar bands we hear today, zeppelin inspired millions with their INCREDIBLE different song styles, and sabbath was the first metal band.

I am voting for them, not because they're #1 (that is most definitely the Beatles), but there is no doubt that they are the 2nd most influential band in rock music and that a #4 ranking is an insult to their legacy.

3 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.

Huge Jovi fan here, These Days is one of the best 2-3 albums ever recorded and Sambora is one of the most versatile players that America has ever produced, however, not even I would put Bon Jovi anywhere near the top 10. Maybe somewhere 15-20th but even there, only because Slippery When Wet really opened a lot of doors for hard and heavy music and changed people's perspective (especially people who were outside the genre). So many metalheads I know are into rock/metal because of a Bon Jovi song they heard or because their parents were playing Jovi in their youth... that has to count for something. Direct influence on other bands though...rather limited.

Bon jovi rock, classic songs and a varied sound - fantastic live! One of the bands that stopped the stereotype of drugs and rock with RAD which I think is a really great thing to do as it gives a more positive roll model for kids to follow. Hair bands born of bands like bon jovi who were brave enough to play what they liked instead of what radio liked.

#2! Right behind The Beatles and ahead of The Rolling Stones, The Who, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd? What a joke. Bon Jovi is not the most influential at anything in rock music. Uninspired drivel.

Although they're gone through changes they are one of the most influential bands.
I don't know any band that has so much coverbands...

4 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.

Largest rock group of all time! And the best!

My biggest influence in music

Very much influence, even if they are not so good as zep or beatels

AC/DC IS BEAT

5 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.

Nirvana changed it all, and they didn't care. They grew up from nothing but divorced families and being picked on in school. Kurt Cobain AKA the Riff Master became the voice of the voiceless, the grunge city saint. Also giving a middle finger to glam rock

I remember hearing teen spirit for the first time, at that moment I knew glam rock was over, and guns and roses would lose title of biggest band on the planet.

Nirvana brought a previously unknown genre, I.E. grunge into the mainstream; and they rocked.
They were truly the "Beatles" of the 90s - yeah, yeah, yeah!

Influenced a lot of the underground indie and alt-rock/punk scene we see today.

6 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. ...read more.

Black Sabbath created the genre of Metal, simply put there isn't a metal band that hasn't been influenced by Sabbath in some way or form. They're especially influential to Doom Metal and Stoner Metal.

Black Sabbath are the Led Zeppelin of Metal.

Bon Jovi #1?!?! Anyone who has any real knowledge of rock (sorry teeny-boppers) knows that two bands made the most impact: Black Sabbath and Zeppelin.

Zeppelin might be better, but not more influential!

Literally created metal and stoner rock.

7 Queen Queen are an English rock band formed in London in 1970. The original lineup was Freddie Mercury (lead vocals, 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 ...read more.

Is there anyone who has not listen to Queen. They influenced so many because their music is imprinted in DNA now and they played in most genres than any other by miles. Their musical is successfully played in many countries for many years. They started the video era. And on and on...

Most influential rock band of all time. This band was way ahead of their time and definitely sits higher than 7 on this list. They popularized rock music with doses of funk and disco. They ARE rock music and have set the bar for bands after them to follow. No one can do what Queen has done.

Not saying they're bad or anything, but how exactly were they influential? They didn't have a very unique sound, and even something like Bohemian Rhapsody follows a structure that had already been discovered a decade earlier by The Beach Boys and The Beatles.

Best Rock and Roll band out there. Queen should be in top 3; they're one of the most covered bands out there, and they have influenced many of the musicians from the world today!

8 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 ...read more.

Bearing in mind this is a list of the most influential rock groups, not necessarily the best, it's pretty shocking that Pink Floyd isn't in the top 5 at least, let alone the top 10. Not only did they lay the ground work for an enormous portion of all music to follow, but they dared to go places that most others wouldn't, and do things that people wouldn't try, and music benefitted greatly, as a result. They took their music to a level that transcended what we consider as 'music', and as a result of this, cemented their position in the history books as one of the forefathers of, not only modern rock, but modern music in general. Maybe they're not one of the best rock groups, personally I believe they are, but they sure as hell are one of the most influential. The idea that some people actually think Green Day are more influential than Pink Floyd is a truly demoralising thought.

When I was a kid. I grew up listening to the Beatles, the doors, the band, the clash, the Ramones, Black Sabbath and many big bands I have learned from my mother. I heard the band Pink Floyd but never really had the chance to listen and be influenced by their music when I was a teenager. Until I've watched "echoes" on YouTube. From that day onwards I was astonished, amazed how great this band is. Wouldn't be able to explain further how I praise them. Love them so much.

Pink Floyd is perhaps the band any musician should listen to and strive to make them as a bench mark. Pink Floyd popularized the methods of joining songs and as for David gilmour his guitar work is off another level. Pink floys have inspired numerous bands such as dream theater. Just listen to the wall or dark side of the moon to understand how timeless this music is ( I'm 17 )

Any experimental musician or indie artist has probably listened and has been inspired by Pink Floyd. Rappers, Rockers, Metalheads alike look back to Pink Floyd.

9 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 ...read more.

Green Day have been a main influence to most, if not all, of the mainstream bands for the past 20 years.

One of the most influential and best groups of all time. They are awesome.

Why even't Green Day is in Top 10?

10 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.

These guys literally shaped the image of rock through out the 80s and 90s, and the fact that they still kick ass to this day, while everyone else mentioned on this list,... Well you know

Easily the #1 most influential band in metal and a wide reach outside of metal. The Beatles did more in rock, but everybody else is at most equal in influence.

Their live concerts are unbelievably awesome! Even better than recorded ones and that's amazing. And he really has the sound!

Inspired metal artists all over the world before they were predictably called out as posers or sellouts.

The Contenders
11 Rolling Stones

Does anyone else have 50 year old tunes still getting regular airplay?

I Can't Get No (Satisfaction) -1965

Enduring and yet remained the same, really took blues to the masses

not my favourite band but they have got to be the most influential

12 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.

For me influential is different from popular. Influential is when a band influences next generations of musicians. Very often the most influential bands are not the most popular bands.
Deep Purple get my vote because they were the most influential in the music genres I like the most: heavy metal and hard rock.

The greatest hard rock band ever. In the 70s they outclassed everyone. Never sold out their music, never had a gimmick, and never sold their soul for a few bucks. Their mistake was the never realized how big they were. True virtuoso musicians.

They did the influence on modern music that people think Led Zeppelin did.

The greatest pioneers of hard rock and heavy metal should be in the TOP 3!

13 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.

The Ramones should be at least in the top five. They made "punk" clothes (such as leather jackets, ripped jeans, etc.) popular and released the first pure punk rock album. The Ramones and the Beatles are the reasons why simple and vigorous rock songs are so popular. If only they weren't so horribly underrated.

The Ramones were the greatest garage band ever! They saved the soul of rock n roll from the horrors of the 1970's self absorbed stadium rock bands torturing audiences with 20 minute drum solos!

The Ramones inspired bands like the Clash who are in the top ten to play. They are the most influential punk band for no doubt, by the way they are in the Rock 'n' Roll hall of fame not many bands in this list are.

The Ramones changed the face of rock and roll forever. They are easily the #2 or #3 on this list

14 The Allman Brothers Band The Allman Brothers Band was an American rock band formed in Jacksonville, Florida in 1969 by brothers Duane Allman and Gregg Allman, as well as Dickey Betts, Berry Oakley, Butch Trucks, and Jai Johanny "Jaimoe" Johanson.
15 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.

I don't think you people understand that this is a list about influential bands. That being said, why are Bon Jovi at number 2? Why are Journey at number 15?!?! So many of these bands on this list did nothing in terms of influence. After the 60's, if you identified as a rock musician and you did not cite Hendrix as an influence, then you were a fraud. Every person that plays the guitar today, acoustic or electric, was influenced by this man and this band.

Way ahead of their time. All of the modern Indie, Blues Rock and Alt-rock bands would not have crafted trippy or psychedelic vibes if it wasn't for Hendrix.

They are second only to the Beatles when it comes to the influence of rock.

Really I think people don't understand this list because if there was no jimi MOST of the bands here would be non existant

16 Rush Rush was 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.

I have heard many musicians, even from this list, who have stated that Rush was a huge influence on them.

Geezus people! No group can match the musicianship these 3 have. masters they are. very hard to imitate! Everyone else is pretty easy to copy. The true rock peers/musicians know!

Rush is the ultimate rock band only 3 guys compare to kid rock about 12 guys

Almost every band on this list was influenced by Rush in some way.

17 Scorpions Scorpions are a German rock band formed in 1965 in Hanover by Rudolf Schenker. Since the band's inception, its musical style has ranged from hard rock to heavy metal.

I could think of more than 100 artist inspired by Scorpions. Even Bon Jovi was inspired by Scorpions. And Nirvana? Really? How can anyone even for that garbage?

There are a lot of artists which have been influenced by Scorpions!
It's just impossible to not be influenced by them!
Scorpions rocks!

Best rock ballads, for every ages and tastes and great hard songs for every rocker!

They will literally "Rock You Like a Hurricane"! Get it?

18 Beach Boys The Beach Boys are an American pop rock band formed in Hawthorne, California in 1961. The group's original lineup consisted of brothers Brian, Dennis, and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and their friend Al Jardine.

Punk took influence by vocal surf, so no punk without early Beach Boys, and don't get me started on late Beach Boys, they first catalyzed the Progressive movement with Pet Sounds, attempted to push Experimental into the mainstream with SMiLE and then released a trilogy of albums that would be the first recorded Lo-Fi music.

The Beach Boys not being number one on this list discredits the list and makes it a joke. I mean seriously none of the other bands before them on here are worth a damn. I have a sense of humor like anyone but I don't get it. Summerkat called it, longevity, vocal styling #1 all the way!

The Beatles and The Beach Boys are #1 and #2. I listened to Pet Sounds off and on for three years before I heard it's magic sounds. There is not a better album.

The Beach Boys for Longevity, Vocal Styling, Originality blow every other group in the world out of the water. The are #1 without dispute.

19 Celtic Frost Celtic Frost was a Swiss extreme metal band from Zürich. They are known for their strong influence on the development of extreme metal. Formed in 1981 as Hellhammer, the band became Celtic Frost in 1984 and was active until 1993.
20 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 ...read more.

Guns N' Roses Arena and Hard Rock usually inspired tons of thrash and alt-rock bands to do the same stuff they were doing.

Rip Satan rip axel roads. Rip air

Why isn't this band higher up?

Please should be top 10

21 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.

35-40 years of spectacular music, distinctive timeless guitar sound, meaningful lyrics, powerful lead singer.

And the fact that they influenced many rock bands from the 90s onward. And when some new indie rock bands say "we want to be like U2," you know that's saying something.

Bon Jovi, Evanescence, def leopard, and three days grace above U2! What a joke! U2 is one of the most influential bands of all time and the band of a generation. Top 10 easily!

Influential? This band should definitely be in the top three. Many of those listed were top sellers, but I would not call them influential like the Beatles, Zepplin or U2

Very unique sound... And every Christian band guitarist on the planet now sounds like the edge!... That's got to be worth a boost on this chart...

22 Three Days Grace Three Days Grace is a Canadian rock band formed in Norwood, Ontario in 1992 with a line-up consisting of guitarist and lead vocalist Adam Gontier, drummer and backing vocalist Neil Sanderson, and bassist Brad Walst. Their original name was Groundswell until they changed it to their current name in 1997. ...read more.

An amazing band with a promising future in the world of rock.

23 Judas Priest Judas Priest are a British heavy metal band that formed in Birmingham, England, in 1969. They are often referred to as one of the greatest metal bands of all time, and are even commonly called “The Metal Gods”, after one of the songs on their 1980 album “British Steel”. ...read more.
24 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 ...read more.

How is the Who not in the top 10? The fact that Journey, KISS Queen, and the Scorpians are in front of them if laughable. I understand this is all subjective but really?

Half the bands that came after these guys copied some element of them and countless guitarists credit Townshend as why they play guitar. These guys were the first great "live" band. Moon was arguably the best drummer ever, Entwistle was the real bass player, and Townshend is a great innovator (key boards on "Baba O'Reilly", "Won't Get Fooled Again"; he essentially invented the rock opera, "My Generation" was what Punk Rock was all about). Daltry is one of the better front men as well.

They were the first to wreck their instruments. First to invent the rock opera. First to use lasers. Invented the marshle stack... Invented the power cord... Made the first rock movie(TOMMY). Showed us what punk, heavy metal, and rock was all about ( visually). First to unbent the synthesizer. Even the Beatles wish they had what the who had. Zeppelin based themselves on the who. No one knows the facts. All you guys care about is your own opinions.

I have one question. Why are they 25 on the list?

My Generation, Tommy... Should be in the top 3!

25 Motörhead Motörhead were an English heavy metal band formed in June 1975 by bassist, singer, and songwriter Ian Fraser "Lemmy" Kilmister, who was the sole constant member; guitarist and songwriter Larry Wallis; and drummer Lucas Fox. The band's harsh vocals and fast paced tempos helped inspire speed metal and ...read more.

Motorhead inspired Lars Ulrich, a founding member of Metallica as well as other groups such as Venom. No Motorhead - no Metallica. No Metallica, no thrash metal. No venom, no black/extreme metal. Motorhead should therefore be ranked ahead of both Metallica and Celtic Frost on this list...

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