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100 Most Popular Rock Bands of All Time

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Combining elements of rhythm and blues, country, jazz, and gospel, rock music has had a strong cultural impact throughout America and the world since its early inception in the 1940s and 1950s. In the three-quarters of a century that has followed, a number of bands have left an indelible stamp on the art form, captivating millions and pushing the genre to new and unforeseen heights in the process.

While solo artists like Prince, David Bowie, and Elvis certainly belong in any conversation about rock’s greatest figures, this list only considers rock bands. 

Using data from Spotify, Facebook, Ranker, and the Billboard 200 albums chart, 24/7 Tempo determined the 100 most popular rock bands of all time.

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100. Pretenders
> Spotify followers: 0.7 million
> Facebook likes: 0.2 million
> Most popular album: Pretenders

The British rockers — except for Ohio-born frontwoman Chrissie Hynde — are on tour this year. They’ve had 10 studio albums, including their self-titled debut album in 1980 that went to No. 9 on the Billboard 200. The Pretenders had two Top 10 singles: “Back on The Chain Gang” and “Don’t Get Me Wrong.” Two albums, “Learning to Crawl” and “The Pretenders,” have been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.

 

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99. The Byrds
> Spotify followers: 0.5 million
> Facebook likes: 0.1 million
> Most popular album: Turn! Turn! Turn!

The band from Los Angeles, helmed by Roger McGuinn, underwent multiple lineup changes during their brief but impactful career. Their twangy guitar sound helped influence American popular music and led to the founding of groups such as Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. They scored two No.1 hits in the 1960s on the Billboard 100 — “Turn! Turn! Turn!” and “Mr. Tambourine Man.”

 

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98. Eurythmics
> Spotify followers: 0.9 million
> Facebook likes: 1.3 million
> Most popular album: Touch

The Grammy-winning British synth-pop duo of Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart were MTV mainstays in the 1980s with quirky, provocative videos and a series of hits. Among them were “Here Comes the Rain Again,” “Would I Lie To You?” and the chart-topping “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This).” Their albums “Be Yourself Tonight,” “Touch,” and “Greatest Hits” have all gone platinum.

 

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97. The Band
> Spotify followers: 0.6 million
> Facebook likes: 0.6 million
> Most popular album: The Band

The Canadian-American rockers built a following by touring with Bob Dylan in the mid-1960s. The Band was not as popular as its contemporaries, but its folk-rock/country-rock sound was very influential. The Band was the subject of the Martin Scorsese-directed concert movie “The Last Waltz,” a star-studded chronicle of the group’s final concert at San Francisco’s Winterland Ballroom on Thanksgiving Day in 1976. Two of their more notable songs are “Up On Cripple Creek” and “The Weight.”

 

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96. No Doubt
> Spotify followers: 1.5 million
> Facebook likes: 3.3 million
> Most popular album: Tragic Kingdom

Lead by singer Gwen Stefani, No Doubt blended influences such as rock, punk, and reggae to become one of the most popular groups of the 1990s. The band’s best-selling album, “Tragic Kingdom,” was released in October 1995. The album peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in December 1996 and has since gone on to sell over 10 million units in the United States.

 

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95. Kansas
> Spotify followers: 0.8 million
> Facebook likes: 1.4 million
> Most popular album: Point Of Know Return

The classic rock band from Topeka has been together for more than 45 years, over which time they’ve sold more than 30 million records worldwide. They’ve had 14 songs chart on the Billboard Hot 100, including the enduring singles “Carry On Wayward Son” and “Dust in the Wind.” The latter song has been played more than 3 million times on the radio since its release.

 

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94. Supertramp
> Spotify followers: 1.6 million
> Facebook likes: 0.8 million
> Most popular album: Breakfast In America

The British group fused progressive rock and pop sensibilities into a successful formula in the 1970s. Supertramp played to sold-out arenas and stadiums, attracting crowds with songs such as “Give a Little Bit,” “Take the Long Way Home,” and “The Logical Song.” Their album “Breakfast in America” topped the Billboard 200 in 1979 and was a four-time platinum album.

 

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93. The White Stripes
> Spotify followers: 2.0 million
> Facebook likes: 2.8 million
> Most popular album: Elephant

The garage rock duo from Detroit — consisting of Jack White and Meg White — became one of the most popular bands of the 2000s. They released six studio albums in just eight years, including 2003’s “Elephant,” which features the enduring opening track “Seven Nation Army.” “Elephant” won a Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album — the first of four total wins for the group before they called it quits in 2011.

 

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92. Grand Funk Railroad
> Spotify followers: 0.5 million
> Facebook likes: 0.4 million
> Most popular album: Grand Funk

The power rockers from Flint, Michigan, who took their name from a local railroad, built a following in the 1970s with a heavy touring schedule. They’ve posted four Top 10 hits, including the No.1 hits “The Loco-Motion” and “We’re an American Band.” The album “We’re an American Band” rose to No. 2 on the Billboard 200, one of eight of the group’s albums to reach the Top 10, and six of their albums have been certified platinum.

 

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91. Weezer
> Spotify followers: 1.9 million
> Facebook likes: 3.3 million
> Most popular album: Weezer

Formed in Los Angeles in 1992, Weezer’s unique blend of heavy guitar, hooky melodies, and a geeky aesthetic has yielded more than a dozen studio albums and over 6 million certified album sales in the U.S. The band’s 14th album, titled “Van Weezer,” is currently scheduled for release in May 2020.

 

 

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90. Bad Company
> Spotify followers: 0.6 million
> Facebook likes: 1.0 million
> Most popular album: Holy Water

Bad Company was a 1970s-era guitar-powered supergroup that included members from the bands Free, King Crimson, and Mott the Hoople. Their self-titled debut album was a big hit, and the single “Can’t Get Enough” rose to No. 5 and was their most successful single. Bad Company has had six albums go platinum and four have been certified multiplatinum.

 

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89. The Cranberries
> Spotify followers: 1.9 million
> Facebook likes: 4.0 million
> Most popular album: Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?

Starting with “Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We” — which contained the hit singles “Linger” and “Dreams” — Irish rock group The Cranberries released a string of albums from 1993 to 2001 that collectively sold over 14 million copies in the United States. After a 10-year hiatus, The Cranberries released “Roses” in 2012, followed by “Something Else” in 2017. Following lead singer Dolores O’Riordan’s untimely death in 2018, the group released “In the End,” which featured demo vocals recorded by O’Riordan, and announced their disbandment.

 

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88. REO Speedwagon
> Spotify followers: 1.1 million
> Facebook likes: 1.7 million
> Most popular album: Hi Infidelity

REO Speedwagon was founded by two University of Illinois students in the late 1960s, and the group would eventually evolve into one of the most successful arena bands of the 1980s. The band has had four Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 and two singles — “Keep On Loving You,” and “Can’t Fight This Feeling” — that reached No. 1.

 

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87. Steely Dan
> Spotify followers: 1.0 million
> Facebook likes: 1.0 million
> Most popular album: Aja

The jazz-rock act led by Donald Fagen and the late Walter Becker broke through with its unique blend of genres in 1972 with the album “Can’t Buy a Thrill.” The album contained the songs “Do It Again” and “Reelin’ In the Years,” which rose to No. 6 and No. 11, respectively, on the Billboard 100 and would be played often on FM radio in the succeeding years. Steely Dan has had eight albums reach platinum status on RIAA.

 

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86. Santana
> Spotify followers: 1.4 million
> Facebook likes: 6.3 million
> Most popular album: Santana

Santana, led by guitar virtuoso Carlos Santana, posted their first Top 10 single in 1970 (“Evil Ways”) and their most recent hit in 2008 (“Into the Night”). Two songs have climbed to the Billboard Hot 100 pinnacle — “Smooth” in 1999 and “Maria Maria” in 2000. Four Santana albums have gone to No.1 on the Billboard 200, including their most recent work “Shaman” in 2002. Santana’s 1971 album “Abraxas” is a five-time platinum record.

 

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85. Nine Inch Nails
> Spotify followers: 1.4 million
> Facebook likes: 3.4 million
> Most popular album: The Downward Spiral

Formed in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1989, Nine Inch Nails helped popularize industrial rock through critically and commercially successful albums such as “The Downward Spiral,” “The Fragile,” “With Teeth,” and “Year Zero.” In recent years, members Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross have received acclaim for their work in film scoring, including original compositions for “The Social Network,” “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” and “Gone Girl.”

 

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84. The Black Keys
> Spotify followers: 3.1 million
> Facebook likes: 4.2 million
> Most popular album: Brothers

Consisting of guitarist and vocalist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney, the Black Keys have sold over 5 million albums in the United States and have won four Grammy awards. After a hiatus beginning in 2015, during which Auerbach and Carney pursued solo projects and collaborated with other artists, the bluesy duo returned in 2019 with the release of “Let’s Rock,” which quickly became the band’s fourth album to reach the Top 10 on the Billboard 200.

 

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83. The Cars
> Spotify followers: 0.8 million
> Facebook likes: 1.2 million
> Most popular album: The Cars

The Boston-based band fronted by Ric Ocasek was the most successful American new wave group in the 1980s. Five of their albums were Top 10 successes. Their eponymous debut album is a six-time certified platinum record, one of five albums to go multi-platinum. Three of the band’s four Top 10 singles came from their album “Heartbeat City” — “Drive,” “You Might Think,” and “Magic.”

 

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82. Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band
> Spotify followers: 0.8 million
> Facebook likes: 2.3 million
> Most popular album: Icon: Greatest Hits

The raspy-voiced Detroit rocker and unofficial spokesman for the American heartland have recorded 13 platinum albums, seven of them consecutively. The Grammy winner had a big year in 1976 with the release of the albums “Live Bullet” and “Night Moves.” His tours with the Silver Bullet Band and songs about the ruggedness and solitude of the West as well as ballads about small-town America garnered critics’ and fan approval. The durable Seger has had seven Top 10 singles, including the chart-topper “Shakedown” in 1987.

 

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81. Talking Heads
> Spotify followers: 1.2 million
> Facebook likes: 0.6 million
> Most popular album: Stop Making Sense

The eclectic, art-school band emerged from the New York punk scene in the 1970s. It was helmed by singer-songwriter and frontman David Byrne, who was once hailed by Time magazine as rock’s renaissance man. The Talking Heads delved into indie, dance-punk, alternative, art-rock and had most of their success with albums. Three albums — “Stop Making Sense,” Little Creatures,” and “Speaking in Tongues” — have gone platinum.

 

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80. Soundgarden
> Spotify followers: 2.3 million
> Facebook likes: 2.8 million
> Most popular album: Superunknown

Soundgarden was one of the leaders of the 1990s grunge sound. The Seattle-based band released four albums that were certified at least platinum, including the 5x multi-platinum “Superunknown.” The band was working on new music as recently as 2017, though efforts were interrupted when lead singer Chris Cornell committed suicide on May 17, 2017.

 

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79. Three Dog Night
> Spotify followers: 0.4 million
> Facebook likes: 0.7 million
> Most popular album: Suitable For Framing

Few bands were bigger in the 1970s than the Los Angeles pop-rockers, who took their name from an Australian expression that describes how cold a night is by how many dogs one would need to sleep with. Buoyed by the songwriting talent of Harry Nilsson, Laura Nyro, Randy Newman, and Hoyt Axton, the well-blended voices of band members Danny Hutton, Chuck Negron, and Cory Wells produced 11 Top 10 hits such as “One”, “Eli’s Coming,” and “Mama Told Me (Not To Come).”

 

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78. Judas Priest
> Spotify followers: 1.9 million
> Facebook likes: 4.4 million
> Most popular album: Screaming For Vengeance

Take the goth-theme from Black Sabbath and the soaring guitar riffs of Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin and you get Judas Priest, a heavy metal act from Birmingham, England, that developed an almost cult-like following on either side of the Atlantic. Their 1982 album “Screaming for Vengeance” was their most successful in America, rising to No. 17 on the Billboard 200, and it went double platinum. Five of the band’s albums have been certified platinum.

 

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77. Yes
> Spotify followers: 1.0 million
> Facebook likes: 0.8 million
> Most popular album: 90125

The trailblazing British prog-rockers — Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman, and Bill Bruford — gained critical claim and a strong following on American shores in 1971 with their album “Fragile.” The band had best-selling albums “Close to the Edge,” “Tales From Topographic Oceans,” and “Going For The One.” The Grammy winners has had just one Top 10 hit, the No. 1 “Owner Of A Lonely Heart,” which topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1984 and was on constant rotation on MTV and FM radio.

 

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76. Boston
> Spotify followers: 1.3 million
> Facebook likes: 2.2 million
> Most popular album: Boston

Boston was a major arena rock act in the 1970s and 1980s and their songs “More Than a Feeling” and “Don’t Look Back” both cracked the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and continue to be frequently played today on classic rock radio. Boston albums “Third Stage” and “Don’t Look Back” both reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Their self-titled debut album is one of the biggest sellers of all time and has gone platinum 17 times. “Boston” had been the best-selling pop debut album before it was topped by singer Whitney Houston’s first record in 1986.

 

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75. Megadeth
> Spotify followers: 2.5 million
> Facebook likes: 7.8 million
> Most popular album: Countdown To Extinction

Led by original Metallica member Dave Mustaine, LA rockers Megadeth are a pivotal thrash metal band. The group began forming their brand of fast and technical guitar-driven rock in the early 1980s and released their debut album “Killing Is My Business… And Business Is Good!” in 1985. They’ve released five albums that have been certified at least platinum and are still active today.

 

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74. Blondie
> Spotify followers: 0.7 million
> Facebook likes: 2.5 million
> Most popular album: Parallel Lines

Blondie, which mixes such music styles as ska, reggae, pop, and punk, came out of the New York punk scene in the late 1970s to post four No.1 hits over a two-year period. The chart-toppers included “Heart Of Glass” in 1979 and “Rapture,” the first mainstream rap hit, in 1981. Four of Blondie’s albums have gone platinum. The group, fronted by Debbie Harry, continues to tour today.

 

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73. Steve Miller Band
> Spotify followers: 1.4 million
> Facebook likes: 1.8 million
> Most popular album: Book of Dreams

Steve Miller started out as a blues-rocker before shifting to a more mainstream rock performer and churning out catchy tunes such as the whimsical “The Joker” and the synthesizer-infused psychedelic song “Fly Like an Eagle.” Both songs which can still be heard on classic rock radio today. Five of Steve Miller Band’s albums have gone platinum, and the greatest hits collection went platinum 14 times.

 

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72. Grateful Dead
> Spotify followers: 0.9 million
> Facebook likes: 2.0 million
> Most popular album: In The Dark

The bluesy-country rockers from San Francisco, Grateful Dead members included Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, and Bill Kreutzmann. The band became one of the counterculture’s poster groups with their legendary jamming sessions during their prolific concert tour schedule and their association with drug use. Their songs “Uncle John’s Band,” “Casey Jones,” “Sugar Magnolia,” and “Truckin’ ” continue to receive airplay on classic rock radio stations. Six albums of the Grateful Dead went platinum.

 

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71. The Allman Brothers Band
> Spotify followers: 0.8 million
> Facebook likes: 1.4 million
> Most popular album: Brothers And Sisters

The venerable Southern blues-rockers, whose members included Gregg and Duane Allman and Dickey Betts, got their start in the early 1970s. They withstood tragedy and division among their members and continue to perform today. The Grammy winners’ biggest album, “Brothers & Sisters,” went to No. 1 in 1973, one of four platinum album recordings, and produced the enduring FM standard “Ramblin’ Man” that reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.

 

 

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70. Janis Joplin (Big Brother and the Holding Company)
> Spotify followers: 2.0 million
> Facebook likes: 7.4 million
> Most popular album: Pearl

Janis Joplin’s meteoric career was cut short by a fatal heroin overdose in 1970 when she was 27. The Texas native, who was greatly influenced by blues singer Bessie Smith, crafted a memorable, blues-driven resume that resonates to this day. Joplin’s group Big Brother and the Holding Company came out of the drug-infused, free-love scene of San Francisco and rose to fame during the Monterey Pop Festival. Joplin’s lone No. 1, “Me and Bobby McGee,” topped the Billboard Hot 100 after her death.

 

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69. The Offspring
> Spotify followers: 3.4 million
> Facebook likes: 6.0 million
> Most popular album: Smash

Pop-punk band The Offspring have sold nearly 17 million albums in the U.S. alone. Among their releases are eight albums that appeared on the Billboard 200 albums chart. The band’s most popular release in the U.S. is “Smash,” which has been certified 6x multi-platinum. At the time of its release, the record was the top-selling album ever to be released on an independent label.

 

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68. The Smashing Pumpkins
> Spotify followers: 2.6 million
> Facebook likes: 3.9 million
> Most popular album: Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness

Brooding rockers The Smashing Pumpkins are one of the most distinct-sounding bands in alternative rock, thanks in part to lead singer Billy Corgan’s expressive vocals. While the band peaked in popularity during the 1990s — with releases including 4x multi-platinum “Siamese Dream” and certified diamond “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness” — they have continued to play live and release new music.

 

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67. The Doobie Brothers
> Spotify followers: 1.1 million
> Facebook likes: 1.6 million
> Most popular album: Toulouse Street

The Doobie Brothers, featuring vocalist Michael McDonald, began as a mellow, pop-rock act in the 1970s that evolved into a more soulful-sounding group. The California-based ensemble amassed many hits, including “Listen to the Music,” “China Grove,” “What a Fool Believes,” and “Black Water,” the latter two went to No. 1. Seven of the band’s albums have gone platinum, and their biggest success, “Best of the Doobies,” went platinum 10 times.

 

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66. The Clash
> Spotify followers: 1.8 million
> Facebook likes: 3.9 million
> Most popular album: Combat Rock

Once dubbed “The Only Band That Mattered,” the Marxism-espousing British band helped legitimize punk music in the late 1970s. “London Calling,” their breakthrough album in the United States, went to No. 27 on the Billboard 200. The album also went platinum and is considered one of the most influential records in rock history. The Grammy winners’ biggest album was “Combat Rock,” which rose to No. 7 in 1983.

 

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65. Electric Light Orchestra
> Spotify followers: 2.0 million
> Facebook likes: 1.6 million
> Most popular album: A New World Record

The groundbreaking and genre-blending Electric Light Orchestra, led by music innovator Jeff Lynne, gained fame in the post-Beatle years of the early 1970s. The British group, also called ELO, posted seven Top 10 hits, including “Don’t Bring Me Down” in 1979, which went to No. 4. Five of their albums have gone platinum.

 

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64. Depeche Mode
> Spotify followers: 2.8 million
> Facebook likes: 7.1 million
> Most popular album: Violator

The British techno-pop group became one of the biggest music acts of the late 1980s and 1990s. Their popularity was fueled by the album “Music for the Masses,” which spawned the singles “Strangelove,” “Never Let Me Down Again,” and “Behind the Wheel.” Their U.S. tour in 1989 became the subject of a concert movie, “Depeche Mode: 101,” made by noted filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker. Eight albums by Depeche Mode cracked the Top 10, and “Songs of Faith and Devotion” was a chart-topper. Six of their albums were certified platinum.

 

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63. The Cure
> Spotify followers: 2.4 million
> Facebook likes: 6.3 million
> Most popular album: Standing On The Beach — The Singles

The British goth/glam band, helmed by Robert Smith, enjoyed success on both sides of the Atlantic, emerging from the post-punk period in the late 1970s. Their double album “Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me” became a favorite among college students in the United States in the 1980s. The Cure didn’t find much singles success, though they reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Love Song” in 1989. The romantic “Friday I’m In Love” climbed to No. 18. Five of their albums were certified platinum.

 

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62. Heart
> Spotify followers: 1.2 million
> Facebook likes: 2.2 million
> Most popular album: Dreamboat Annie

Heart — fronted by sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson — has had an album chart on the Billboard 200 in every decade since the release of their debut album “Dreamboat Annie” in 1976, which peaked at No. 7. The Seattle rock group that had its roots in Vancouver, Canada, whose guitar-heavy hits include “Barracuda” and “Crazy On You,” has sold more than 25 million albums in the U.S. alone and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.

 

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61. Alice in Chains
> Spotify followers: 2.5 million
> Facebook likes: 4.8 million
> Most popular album: Dirt

Alice in Chains was among several bands coming out of Seattle as a part of the grunge movement. Thirteen of their releases charted on the Billboard 200, including two No. 1 hits: the “Jar Of Flies” EP and the 1995 self-titled album. They’ve sold about 11 million certified copies in the U.S. and released a new album in 2018, though original singer Layne Staley died of a drug overdose in 2002, forever altering the widely admired group.

 

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60. Kings of Leon
> Spotify followers: 4.1 million
> Facebook likes: 11.0 million
> Most popular album: Only By The Night

Nashville-formed Kings of Leon began as a southern-tinged garage rock band before evolving into a world-famous pop-rock act. Their major breakthrough was the 2008 multiplatinum album “Only by the Night,” which peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard 200. The album featured the Grammy-winning single “Sex On Fire.”

 

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59. The Killers
> Spotify followers: 5.1 million
> Facebook likes: 9.1 million
> Most popular album: Hot Fuss

Formed in Las Vegas in 2002, The Killers are one of the newer groups to rank among the best rock bands of all time. The new wave band’s breakthrough came with the release of “Hot Fuss” in 2004, which peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard 200 in October of the following year. Later releases include “Sam’s Town,” “Day & Age,” “Battle Born,” and “Wonderful Wonderful,” which peaked at No. 2, No. 6, No. 3, and No. 1, respectively.

 

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58. Foreigner
> Spotify followers: 1.5 million
> Facebook likes: 2.8 million
> Most popular album: Foreigner

Led by British power guitarist Mick Jones and vocalist Lou Gramm, the British-American band reeled off a string of singles and album successes in the 1970s with hooky tunes that found a vast audience on FM radio. Nine singles broke into the Top 10. The band also had a chart-topper with the single “I Want to Know What Love Is” that went platinum. Six of their albums achieved Top 10 success on the Billboard 200.

 

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57. Genesis
> Spotify followers: 1.7 million
> Facebook likes: 1.9 million
> Most popular album: Invisible Touch

The British rockers can trace their origins to the late 1960s when they were among the pioneers of the progressive rock movement, then their sound eventually evolved into more mainstream pop. Genesis became one of the biggest groups of the 1980s with seven Top 10 hits, including the No. 1 “Invisible Touch.” Their success would make drummer-singer Phil Collins and singer-songwriter-record producer Peter Gabriel into international music stars and launch the solo careers of members Tony Banks, Michael Rutherford, and Steve Hackett.

 

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56. The Kinks
> Spotify followers: 1.4 million
> Facebook likes: 1.3 million
> Most popular album: The Kinks Greatest Hits!

Pete Townshend, leader of The Who, described the Kinks as the group that “defined the British invasion of America.” The guitar-grinding, garage-band sounding group produced hits like “You Really Got Me” and “All Day and All of the Night.” They also did some playful gender-bending with the song “Lola” as well as a mocking commentary on conformity with the song “A Well Respected Man.” The Kinks are considered by rock historians as one of the more underrated bands in rock history.

 

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55. Oasis


> Spotify followers: 4.9 million
> Facebook likes: 8.7 million
> Most popular album: (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?

Formed in Manchester, England, in 1993, Oasis’s blend of catchy, Beatles-inspired guitar melodies, hard-partying image, and cool Britishness put them at the forefront of the British pop-rock movement of the mid-1990s. The band put out seven studio albums until their 2009 breakup, three of which reached the Top 10 on the Billboard 200.

 

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54. Dire Straits


> Spotify followers: 3.2 million
> Facebook likes: 3.2 million
> Most popular album: Brothers In Arms

Dire Straits emerged from the punk era as an understated, guitar-driven act from London in the late 1970s. The group was led by guitar master Mark Knopfler, who was influenced by blues-rocker J.J. Cale and Bob Dylan. Dire Straits took their name from their difficult financial situation in the late 1970s. The British group’s self-titled album reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200 in 1979 and produced their first hit, “Sultans of Swing.” The advent of MTV helped to boost their fame. The album “Brothers in Arms,” which reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in August of 1985, won a Grammy and produced the group’s lone No. 1 single “Money for Nothing,” a poke at the silliness of fame. “Brothers in Arms” went 9x multiplatinum.

 

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53. Blink-182


> Spotify followers: 5.7 million
> Facebook likes: 9.9 million
> Most popular album: Enema Of The State

Pop-punk jokesters blink-182 are masters of crafting simple, catchy hits. Among their numerous popular albums is 1999’s “Enema of the State,” which is a certified 5x multiplatinum and includes the Hot 100-charting singles “All the Small Things” and “What’s My Age Again?” Original member Tom DeLonge was replaced by guitarist and singer Matt Skiba in 2015, and the band has released two studio albums with this new lineup.

 

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52. Scorpions


> Spotify followers: 3.1 million
> Facebook likes: 6.7 million
> Most popular album: Crazy World

The German hard rockers have been a heavy metal staple since the 1970s. They’ve sold more than 22 million records worldwide thanks to hits such as “Rock You Like a Hurricane” and “Wind of Change.” The band’s most popular album in the U.S. was “Love at First Sting” (1984), which sold 3 million certified copies.

 

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51. Korn


> Spotify followers: 3.6 million
> Facebook likes: 12.4 million
> Most popular album: Follow The Leader

Nu-metal act Korn was one of the most popular American bands to form in the 1990s. The Grammy winners blended numerous music genres, including heavy metal, hip hop, and electronic to sell 16.5 million certified album copies in the U.S., with the most popular album being 1998’s “Follow the Leader.”

 

 

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50. Panic! at the Disco


> Spotify followers: 8.9 million
> Facebook likes: 6.6 million
> Most popular album: Death Of A Bachelor

Out of the emo-era of the mid-aughts came Las Vegas-based Panic! at the Disco, who blended indie rock and punk with a dollop of psychedelic rock. Five of the band’s albums climbed into the Billboard 200 Top 10, with two of them — “Death of a Bachelor” and “Pray for the Wicked” — reaching the top of the chart. Five of their albums have gone platinum.

 

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

 

49. Fall Out Boy


> Spotify followers: 7.6 million
> Facebook likes: 9.0 million
> Most popular album: Save Rock And Roll

Formed in 2001 in Chicago, Fall Out Boy helped usher in the era of emo rock throughout the early aughts. Fall Out Boy first achieved mainstream fame with the release of their second album, “From Under the Cork Tree,” which featured the singles “Sugar, We’re Goin Down” and “Dance, Dance.” The band has since released five studio albums, four of which reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200.

 

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

 

48. Evanescence


> Spotify followers: 2.5 million
> Facebook likes: 21.3 million
> Most popular album: Fallen

Formed in 1995 in Little Rock, Arkansas by Amy Lee and Ben Moody, Evanescence first found mainstream success in 2003 with the release of their first official album “Fallen,” which featured the singles “Bring Me To Life” and “My Immortal.” While “Fallen” peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200, Evanescence later reached No. 1 on the album charts with the release of “The Open Door” in 2006 and the self-titled album “Evanescence” in 2011.

 

Source: Mike Pont / Getty Images

 

47. Muse


> Spotify followers: 5.6 million
> Facebook likes: 16.3 million
> Most popular album: The Resistance

Fusing elements of alternative rock, electronica, pop, opera, and glam, Muse is one of the newer acts to rank among the most popular rock bands of all time. While “The Resistance” — the group’s best-selling album — peaked on the Billboard 200 at No. 3 in 2009, the band later topped the charts with the release of “Drones” in 2015.

 
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46. Deep Purple


> Spotify followers: 2.9 million
> Facebook likes: 1.6 million
> Most popular album: Machine Head

Deep Purple started out as a prog-rock band and transitioned into one of the greatest heavy metal groups ever. The Guinness Book of World Records credits Deep Purple for being the world’s loudest band. Their opening, growling guitar riff on the classic “Smoke on the Water” has been replicated by thousands of cover bands, and the song has frequent airplay on FM radio. That song, and the 1968 single “Hush,” were the band’s two highest-charting songs on the Billboard Hot 100. Four of their albums went platinum, among them “Machine Head” and “Made in Japan.”

 

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

 

45. R.E.M.


> Spotify followers: 2.3 million
> Facebook likes: 4.5 million
> Most popular album: Out Of Time

The Athens, Georgia-based post-punk band helped bring alternative music to mainstream awareness with their first single “Radio Free Europe” in 1981. R.E.M., fronted by Michael Stipe, would go on to make seven platinum albums, including “New Adventures in Hi-Fi,” “Monster,” and “Automatic For the People.” The band has had four songs crack the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, with “Losing My Religion” their biggest success, reaching No. 4 in 1991.

 

Source: Jo Hale / Getty Images

 

44. Slipknot


> Spotify followers: 5.5 million
> Facebook likes: 17.5 million
> Most popular album: Slipknot

The masked heavy metal band from Des Moines, Iowa, has been hugely popular throughout their 25-year career. While the band’s live act — which has historically featured nine members in assorted costumes — has caused some to dismiss the band as less serious, their critical and commercial success cannot be questioned. The band released four platinum records and won a Grammy award for Best Metal Performance for the song “Before I Forget.”

 

Source: Ian Gavan / Getty Images

 

43. OneRepublic


> Spotify followers: 9.4 million
> Facebook likes: 12.0 million
> Most popular album: Native

The Colorado pop-rockers are led by songwriter and producer Ryan Tedder, who’s worked with Adele, Paul McCartney, and Beyoncé. OneRepublic has had three songs reach the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, with two of the songs — “Counting Stars” and “Apologize” — going to No. 2. Their most successful album, “Oh My My,” went to No. 3 on the Billboard 200.

 

Source: Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

 

42. Def Leppard


> Spotify followers: 2.4 million
> Facebook likes: 5.2 million
> Most popular album: Hysteria

No band was more skilled at softening and mainstreaming heavy metal for the MTV audience than the British group Def Leppard. Album success for the group began in the early 1980s and has continued well into the 21st century. Seven LPs cracked the Top 10, with the albums “Hysteria” and “Adrenalize” topping the Billboard 200. Four of their singles entered the Billboard Hot 100, with their biggest hit “Love Bites” topping the charts in 1988.

 

Source: Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

 

41. ZZ Top


> Spotify followers: 2.3 million
> Facebook likes: 4.8 million
> Most popular album: Eliminator

The Texas-boogie band with their signature beards and fur-lined guitars were an MTV favorite in the 1980s. ZZ Top has had two Top 10 hits — “Legs” and “Sleeping Bag” — both of which reached No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100. Seven of their albums cracked the Top 10 on the Billboard 200, and seven albums went platinum, including “Eliminator,” which went 10x multiplatinum.

 

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

 

40. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers


> Spotify followers: 1.3 million
> Facebook likes: 3.2 million
> Most popular album: Greatest Hits

The Grammy-winning Florida rockers were another MTV mainstay whose music made up a good part of the soundtrack of the 1980s, with songs like “Don’t Do Me Like That,” “Runnin’ Down a Dream,” and “Don’t Come Around Here No More.” Their biggest hit was “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” (with an assist from Stevie Nicks), which rose to No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Thirteen albums charted in the Top 10 on the Billboard 200 and eight went platinum, with their greatest hits collection going 12x multiplatinum.

 

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39. Rush


> Spotify followers: 1.3 million
> Facebook likes: 2.9 million
> Most popular album: Moving Pictures

The enduring Canadian rockers and reliable stadium fillers, led by the distinctive vocals of frontman Geddy Lee, have sold more than 40 million records in their more than four-decade career. Their album “Moving Pictures” has gone platinum four times and includes FM favorites “Tom Sawyer” and “Limelight.” Twelve of their albums cracked the Top 10 on the Billboard 200, and two — “Clockwork Angels” and “Counterpart” — reached No. 2. Neil Peart, the band’s lyricist and drummer — a virtuoso drummer known for his technical proficiency who won prizes in Modern Drummer’s annual readers’ poll 38 times — died in January.

 

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38. Chicago


> Spotify followers: 1.7 million
> Facebook likes: 1.3 million
> Most popular album: Chicago Transit Authority

Despite numerous lineup changes, Chicago continues to entertain audiences of mostly aging baby boomers after more than 50 years. The jazzy, horn-driven group has been producing platinum albums and singles since their debut as the Chicago Transit Authority in the late 1960s. Borne by the sensitive vocals of Peter Cetera, the group has posted 20 Top 10 hits, among them the chart-topping “Hard to Say I’m Sorry,” “Look Away,” and “If You Leave Me Now.” Five of their albums have gone to No. 1, including “Chicago V.”

 

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37. The Police


> Spotify followers: 3.3 million
> Facebook likes: 5.5 million
> Most popular album: Zenyatta Mondatta

The three-man punk/reggae group formed in London with members from Great Britain and the United States — Sting, Andy Summers, and Stewart Copeland — had a string of hits in the 1980s, such as “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic,” “Don’t Stand So Close to Me,” and the chart-topping single “Every Breath You Take.” Eight of their albums went platinum, and four — “Zenyatta Mondatta,” “Ghost in the Machine,” “Synchronicity,” and the compilation album “Every Breath You Take” — were multiplatinum efforts.

 

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36. Paramore


> Spotify followers: 5.0 million
> Facebook likes: 24.9 million
> Most popular album: RIOT!

Lead by singer Hayley Williams, emo-pop band Paramore was formed in 2004. The group has sent 11 songs to the Hot 100, including the Top 10 hit “Ain’t It Fun.” The band has released three albums that have gone at least platinum — “Riot!,” “Brand New Eyes,” and “Paramore.” Their music was featured in video games “Rock Band 2” and “Guitar Hero World Tour” and in the teen vampire movie “Twilight.”

 

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35. Radiohead


> Spotify followers: 4.9 million
> Facebook likes: 11.4 million
> Most popular album: OK Computer

Radiohead first hit the Billboard 200 in 1993, when the group’s debut album “Pablo Honey” peaked at No. 32. The band later reached the top of the charts with the release of “Kid A” in 2000 and “In Rainbows” in 2008. In addition to their innovations in rock — adding experimental electronic sounds and recording techniques — Radiohead is credited with changing the music distribution industry by releasing “In Rainbows” online on a pay-what-you-want basis. The British group was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2019.

 

Source: Karl Walter / Getty Images

 

34. Iron Maiden


> Spotify followers: 5.1 million
> Facebook likes: 13.3 million
> Most popular album: The Number Of The Beast

Iron Maiden began its rock and roll life in East London in 1975, and despite frequent lineup changes, disruptions due to substance abuse, and controversy surrounding their alleged Satanic association, the band was one of the most influential metal acts of the 1980s. Their 1982 album “The Number of the Beast” includes songs like the title track and “Hallowed Be Thy Name.” American radio stations were skittish about playing the album because of protests from Christian activists. Two Iron Maiden albums — “The Final Frontier” and “The Book of Souls” — reached No. 4 on the Billboard 200.

 

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33. Nickelback


> Spotify followers: 4.1 million
> Facebook likes: 17.4 million
> Most popular album: All The Right Reasons

Nickelback is a post-grunge rock act from Canada who, beginning in 2001, posted six Top 10 hits in the Billboard Hot 100, including the No. 1 “How You Remind Me” in 2001. Seven of their albums reached the Billboard 200 Top 10, and the LP “All The Right Reasons” reached the peak in October of 2005. The album was one of six to go platinum. Billboard named the group the top band of the 2000s.

 

Source: Jamie Squire / Getty Images

 

32. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band


> Spotify followers: 2.9 million
> Facebook likes: 5.4 million
> Most popular album: Born In The U.S.A.

After almost 50 years in rock’s consciousness, The Boss maintains his appeal among his legion of followers. The Jersey Shore’s favorite son, and inheritor of the folk-hero mantle from Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan, has racked up 17 platinum albums, including “Born to Run,” “The River,” and “Darkness on the Edge of Town.” Springsteen has had 12 singles reach the Billboard Hot 100 Top 10, led by “Dancing in the Dark,” which peaked at No. 2 on June 30, 1984.

 

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

 

31. Lynyrd Skynyrd


> Spotify followers: 2.6 million
> Facebook likes: 5.5 million
> Most popular album: The Best Of Lynyrd Skynyrd: 20th Century Masters The Millennium Collection

The Florida rockers fused blues-rock with a carefree good ole boy attitude to rocket to stardom in the 1970s. Lynyrd Skynyrd was boosted by the songwriting talent of Ronnie Van Zant in their early days, but after his tragic death in a plane crash in 1977, the band had to regroup. The band pulled together and became a prolific touring group known for their extended jam sessions with songs such as “Free Bird.” Their highest-charting single, “Sweet Home Alabama” — a stinging rebuke to Neil Young’s “Southern Man” — went to No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100. Three of their albums reached the Top 10 on the Billboard 200.

 

 

Source: Paul Kane / Getty Images

 

30. Kiss


> Spotify followers: 4.3 million
> Facebook likes: 12.3 million
> Most popular album: Alive

Kiss, whose original members included Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Peter Criss, and Ace Frehley, captivated fans with their flamboyant makeup and costumes, outrageous shows that included smoke bombs, and fist-pounding rock. Kiss hit the road in 1975 and built a fan base with its many touring dates. The group has nine Top 10 albums, including “Sonic Boom,” which went to No. 2 in 2009. Members of the band are on “The End of the Road” farewell tour that concludes on July 17, 2021, in New York City.

 

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29. Creedence Clearwater Revival


> Spotify followers: 3.2 million
> Facebook likes: 4.5 million
> Most popular album: Bayou Country

Creedence Clearwater Revival, also called CCR, fused rockabilly, R&B, and country to ring up nine Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 from 1968 to 1971, and seven singles went platinum. CCR weighed into the politically divisive Vietnam War-era with songs like “Fortunate Son” and “Who’ll Stop the Rain.” Five CCR songs reached No. 2, including the often-covered “Proud Mary.” The California-based group was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.

 

Source: Fin Costello / Getty Images

 

28. Van Halen


> Spotify followers: 3.0 million
> Facebook likes: 5.5 million
> Most popular album: Van Halen

California rockers Van Halen have been much lampooned as the caricature of an arena rock band. But there was nothing second rate about Eddie Van Halen’s innovative guitar technique and the showmanship of frontman David Lee Roth. The band’s biggest hit, “Jump,” went to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and is played before tip-offs at basketball games. Five of Van Halen’s albums topped the Billboard 200, and 13 went platinum, including multiplatinum records “5150” and “1984 (MCMLXXXIV).”

 

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27. Pearl Jam


> Spotify followers: 5.4 million
> Facebook likes: 10.3 million
> Most popular album: Ten

Combining guitar riffs and post-punk angst, Seattle-based grunge-indie rockers Pearl Jam followed, and eventually eclipsed, the success of fellow Seattle rockers Nirvana in the 1990s. Formed by guitarist Stone Gossard and bassist Jeff Ament, and eventually joined by Eddie Vedder, the Grammy winners and rock hall of Famers cranked out five No. 1 albums such as “Vs.,” “Vitalogy,” and “No Code.” In all, 11 Pearl Jam records reached the Top 10 and seven went platinum.

 

Source: Alexandre Schneider / Getty Images

 

26. Foo Fighters


> Spotify followers: 7.3 million
> Facebook likes: 11.6 million
> Most popular album: Greatest Hits

The fertile rock and roll soil of Seattle also produced Foo Fighters, led by power drummer and Nirvana alum Dave Grohl, who wrote all the material for their debut album. The Foo Fighters filled arenas with a melodic sound founded on classic guitar rock. The group has notched two No. 1 albums — “Wasting Light” and “Concrete and Gold.” Five singles have been certified platinum, including “The Pretender,” “Best of You,” and “Everlong,” all three of which went 2x platinum.

 

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

 

25. Journey


> Spotify followers: 2.7 million
> Facebook likes: 5.7 million
> Most popular album: Journey’s Greatest Hits

Journey was founded as a jazz-rock group in San Francisco, and among its original members was former Santana guitarist Neal Schon. The band believed it needed a stronger and more charismatic vocalist and added Steve Perry in 1977. From that point on, the band’s fortunes soared. The group placed six songs in the Billboard Hot 100 Top 10, including “Open Arms” at No. 2, and the anthemic “Don’t Stop Believin'” at No. 9. Their album success was even better. Eight LPs broke into the Billboard 200 Top 10, with “Escape” topping the charts in 1981. That record was one of 11 Journey LPs to go platinum.

 

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24. The Beach Boys


> Spotify followers: 2.4 million
> Facebook likes: 1.9 million
> Most popular album: Endless Summer

Through a career spanning more than 50 years, the Beach Boys released more than two dozen studio albums. Through a mix of vocal harmony, reverb, and idyllic, surf-inspired lyrics the group is credited for the emergence of what has come to be known as the “California Sound.” While none of the band’s studio albums topped the Billboard 200, “Endless Summer,” a compilation album released in 1974, reached No. 1 in October of that year and has since sold over 3 million copies in the United States.

 

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

 

23. Black Sabbath


> Spotify followers: 4.2 million
> Facebook likes: 11.6 million
> Most popular album: Paranoid

The British heavy metal maestros, who appropriated their name from a Boris Karloff movie, took the genre in a more ghoulish direction. They released their self-titled debut record (almost fully recorded in one day) on a Friday the 13th in 1970, launching the career of one of rock’s most colorful characters, Ozzy Osbourne. They were disregarded by critics at first, but the fans hardly cared. Two of their albums reached the Billboard 200 Top 10, and their LP “13” topped the chart in 2013. Eight albums have gone platinum, and the LP “Paranoid” has sold more than 4 million copies.

 

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

 

22. The Who


> Spotify followers: 3.1 million
> Facebook likes: 5.6 million
> Most popular album: Tommy

The spokesmen for their generation, who once said they hoped to die before they got old, are still touring in their 70s — and they released their first album in 13 years this past November. The Who blazed new music trails with the rock operas “Tommy” and “Quadrophenia.” The latter album and the record “Who Are You” rose to No. 2 on the Billboard 200. Among their 12 platinum albums is “Who’s Next,” considered one of the greatest rock albums ever recorded.

 

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21. Fleetwood Mac


> Spotify followers: 4.2 million
> Facebook likes: 4.8 million
> Most popular album: Rumours

Throughout their 50-year history, Fleetwood Mac has gone through more than a dozen lineup changes, survived numerous in-band romantic affairs, and released four No. 1 albums. The band’s best-selling album, “Rumours,” was released in 1977, and it has since sold more than 20 million units in the United States alone.

  

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20. The Jimi Hendrix Experience


> Spotify followers: 3.9 million
> Facebook likes: 8.4 million
> Most popular album: Are You Experienced?

Jimi Hendrix put the electric in the electric guitar. In his brief but storied career, he dazzled audiences with his technique and showmanship — such as his version of the national anthem at Woodstock — earning accolades as one of the greatest guitarists of all time before he died of a drug overdose at age 27. Hendrix’s psychedelic take on rock was fully realized on full-length records, where the Seattle native posted 10 Top 10 albums on the Billboard 200. His record “Electric Ladyland” reached No. 1 and was one of 10 albums to be certified platinum. His songs “Purple Haze,” “Foxy Lady,” and “Crosstown Traffic” are still heard on classic rock stations.

 

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19. The Doors


> Spotify followers: 4.7 million
> Facebook likes: 16.2 million
> Most popular album: The Doors

The Doors brought the Los Angeles underground rock scene to the forefront of rock and influenced a wide swath of rock acts such as Echo & The Bunnymen, Stone Temple Pilots, and Patti Smith. Their take on rock seemed to embody all the fears that parents had about the dangerous influence of rock and roll. Helmed by the legendary frontman Jim Morrison, many of their songs spoke about the dark side of humanity, particularly their opus “The End” that was played in the Vietnam War film “Apocalypse Now” and took on more nefarious connotations. Two of their singles went to No. 1 — “Hello, I Love You” and their signature hit “Light My Fire,” which went platinum. Their eponymous album “The Doors” has been certified 4x multiplatinum.

 

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18. Eagles


> Spotify followers: 4.4 million
> Facebook likes: 6.4 million
> Most popular album: Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975

The Eagles’ greatest hits album is the highest certified album of all time, meaning recognized sales and streams of the album are higher than any other record. The California-based band that seemed to perfect the mellow, country-rock sound has also had five songs reach No. 1 in the 1970s. Thirteen of the six-time Grammy winners’ albums have gone platinum. The Eagles have sold about 120 million singles and albums in the U.S., according to data from the RIAA, the fourth most of all time.

 

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17. Bon Jovi


> Spotify followers: 7.4 million
> Facebook likes: 24.9 million
> Most popular album: Greatest Hits: The Ultimate Collection

The New Jersey big-hair rockers have shifted from traditional rock and roll to more adult contemporary music. Among their four No. 1 hits are “You Give Love a Bad Name” and “Living on a Prayer.” Bon Jovi was as successful with their LPs, posting six albums that were chart-toppers such as “Slippery When Wet,” “New Jersey,” and “Lost Highway.” Twelve of their albums went platinum, and “Slippery When Wet” was certified 12x multiplatinum.

 

Source: Jo Hale / Getty Images

 

16. Green Day


> Spotify followers: 10.2 million
> Facebook likes: 30.0 million
> Most popular album: American Idiot

While Green Day’s first six albums — “39/Smooth,” “Kerplunk!” “Dookie,” “Insomniac,” “Nimrod,” and “Warning:” — garnered them a strong cult following throughout the 1990s, the band first achieved widespread success with the release of “American Idiot” in 2004. The album peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in October of that year and has since gone on to sell over 6 million copies in the United States.

 

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15. U2


> Spotify followers: 6.3 million
> Facebook likes: 16.8 million
> Most popular album: War

U2 emerged from Dublin as one of the greatest bands of the 1980s. The four-man group led by the charismatic singer Bono posted eight No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200 such as “The Joshua Tree,” “Achtung Baby,” and “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.” Two of their six Top 10 hits have topped the Billboard Hot 100 — “With or Without You” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” U2 are known for visually stunning and emotionally stirring performances, none more so than their show at halftime of the 2002 Super Bowl that paid tribute to those who died during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

 

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14. Aerosmith


> Spotify followers: 8.0 million
> Facebook likes: 15.9 million
> Most popular album: Toys In The Attic

Formed in Boston in 1970 by singer Steven Tyler and guitarist Joe Perry, Aerosmith quickly gained popularity on the heels of distorted power ballads like “Dream On” and catchier hits like “Walk This Way,” and by the mid-1970s were one of the biggest rock bands in the world. After years of declining popularity in the early 1980s, Aerosmith returned to critical and commercial acclaim with the release of “Permanent Vacation” in 1987, which peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard 200 and has sold 5 million albums in the United States to date.

 

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13. Red Hot Chili Peppers


> Spotify followers: 12.7 million
> Facebook likes: 26.9 million
> Most popular album: Greatest Hits

Combining a distinct mix of funk, punk, and a high-octane stage presence, the Red Hot Chili Peppers are one of the most successful bands to come out of the Los Angeles punk rock scene of the 1980s. RHCP achieved their first No. 1 album in 2006 with the release of “Stadium Arcadium,” which has sold 3 million units in the U.S. to date. Among their most beloved songs are “Scar Tissue,” “Under the Bridge,” and “Dani California.”

 

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12. Maroon 5


> Spotify followers: 22.2 million
> Facebook likes: 37.4 million
> Most popular album: Songs About Jane

While Maroon 5 has been a mainstay on the Billboard 200 throughout their career — their 2007 sophomore album “It Won’t Be Soon Before Long” and the polished 2014 pop effort “V” both peaked at No. 1 — the L.A. group’s best-selling effort remains “Songs About Jane.” According to data from the RIAA, the debut album has sold 4 million units in the U.S. to date.

 

Source: P.B. Rage / Wikimedia Commons

 

11. Nirvana


> Spotify followers: 10.3 million
> Facebook likes: 26.5 million
> Most popular album: Nevermind

Formed in 1987 in the trenches of the Seattle grunge scene, Nirvana’s rapid and commercial success on the heels of “Nevermind” — which peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in 1992 and includes songs like “Smells Like Teen Spirit” — helped cement alternative rock as one of the most popular musical currents of the 1990s. Nirvana was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2014, 20 years after lead singer and guitarist Kurt Cobain’s untimely death from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

 

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10. Coldplay


> Spotify followers: 24.5 million
> Facebook likes: 37.9 million
> Most popular album: A Rush Of Blood To The Head

First achieving mainstream success through the popularity of the romantic ballad “Yellow,” Coldplay’s blend of memorable piano riffs, introspective lyrics, and a large, anthemic sound has made them one of the most beloved rock bands of the 21st century. Coldplay’s eight studio albums have garnered the band four No. 1 hits on the Billboard 200 and over 14 million certified sales in the U.S. alone.

 

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

 

9. Linkin Park


> Spotify followers: 14.7 million
> Facebook likes: 59.6 million
> Most popular album: Hybrid Theory

Fusing elements of metal, hip-hop, and electronica, Linkin Park first gained international fame in 2000 with the release of their debut album, “Hybrid Theory,” which peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and has sold 11 million albums in the U.S. to date. The band’s 2003 follow-up, “Meteora,” peaked at No. 1 on the charts and went on to sell 7 million albums domestically. Following singer Chester Bennington’s suicide in 2017, the band has been on an indefinite hiatus.

 

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8. Guns N’ Roses


> Spotify followers: 15.7 million
> Facebook likes: 29.5 million
> Most popular album: Greatest Hits

Formed in LA in 1985, the bluesy, gritty hard rock act Guns N’ Roses are one of the oldest bands still touring today. The band’s first album, “Appetite for Destruction” — which featured hit singles “Welcome To The Jungle,” “Paradise City,” and “Sweet Child O’ Mine” — sold more than 18 million copies in the U.S., making it the best-selling debut album of all time and making rock legends of singer Axl Rose and guitarist Slash.

 

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7. AC/DC


> Spotify followers: 14.2 million
> Facebook likes: 28.9 million
> Most popular album: Back In Black

The Australian hard rockers have reached the status of rock and roll legends thanks to their minimalist stadium anthems. They are the ninth best-selling band in the U.S., according to the RIAA, with 75 million certified album sales nationwide. One-third of their U.S. sales are for “Back in Black” — the 1980 album that features hits such as “Shoot to Thrill,” “You Shook Me All Night Long,” and, of course, “Back in Black.” AC/DC reportedly sold more than 200 million albums worldwide.

 

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6. Metallica


> Spotify followers: 13.1 million
> Facebook likes: 35.9 million
> Most popular album: Metallica

Innovative metalheads Metallica are among the most commercially successful bands of all time, selling more than 125 million albums, according to the BBC. They’ve released 10 studio albums in their nearly 40-year career, six of which reached the top of the Billboard 200 albums chart. These include the band’s 1991 self-titled album, which has spent 560 weeks on the chart, making it the second-longest charting studio album (not counting greatest-hits compilations) in the chart’s history thanks to songs like “Enter Sandman” and “Nothing Else Matters.”

 

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5. The Rolling Stones


> Spotify followers: 8.1 million
> Facebook likes: 19.2 million
> Most popular album: Hot Rocks 1964-1971

Through a career spanning nearly six decades, the Rolling Stones have released over 20 studio albums, had nine No. 1 albums, and eight No. 1 singles. The band, whose rhythm-and-blues foundation has continued to attract and retain fans throughout shifting eras of popular music, set the record for what is now the fourth highest-grossing concert tour of all time with the completion of their “A Bigger Bang” tour in 2007. They continue to tour today. “Hot Rocks: 1964-1971,” a compilation album released in 1971, remains the band’s most popular album, having sold more than 12 million certified units in the U.S.

 

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4. Led Zeppelin


> Spotify followers: 8.6 million
> Facebook likes: 13.2 million
> Most popular album: Led Zeppelin IV

Led Zeppelin, comprising singer Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones, and the late drummer John Bonham, became rock’s archetypical hard rock band in the 1970s, producing some of the most memorable rock music ever. Led Zeppelin has sold 111.5 million singles and albums in the U.S., fifth-most according to statistics from the RIAA. Emerging from the ashes of the band the Yardbirds, the band toured the U.K. and America relentlessly in 1969 and built a loyal following. Their song “Stairway to Heaven” is routinely named by rock fans as the greatest rock song ever. Seven of their albums went to No. 1, including “Houses of the Holy,” “Physical Graffiti,” and Led Zeppelin IV,” the latter of which sold more than 23 million copies.

 

Source: RB / Getty Images

 

3. Pink Floyd


> Spotify followers: 11.5 million
> Facebook likes: 28.0 million
> Most popular album: The Dark Side Of The Moon

The ethereal yet provocative British rockers — whose lineups included Nick Mason, Roger Waters, Bob Klose, Richard Wright, Syd Barrett, and David Gilmour — were an essential part of college dorm life beginning in the early 1970s. Their 1973 album “Dark Side Of The Moon,” which includes songs about loneliness and alienation in an age of scientific discovery, was on the Billboard 200 chart for a record 949 weeks. Among their canon of platinum albums are “The Wall” (23x multiplatinum), “Wish You Were Here” (6x multiplatinum), and “Animals” (4x multiplatinum). “Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)” was the band’s lone single to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

 

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

 

2. Queen


> Spotify followers: 23.6 million
> Facebook likes: 28.6 million
> Most popular album: Greatest Hits

Combining a hard-to-categorize mix of progressive rock, heavy metal, opera, vaudeville, and pop, Queen was one of the most popular arena rock acts of the 1970s and 1980s. Queen first charted on the Billboard 200 in 1974, when their eponymous debut album “Queen” peaked at No. 83. The band eventually topped the charts with the release of “The Game” in 1980. After the release of the 2018 biographical film “Bohemian Rhapsody” introduced a new audience to the British rock band and frontman Freddie Mercury, the film’s namesake song re-entered the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 33 — making “Bohemian Rhapsody” one of the few songs to enter the chart in three separate decades.

 

Source: Central Press / Getty Images

 

1. The Beatles


> Spotify followers: 15.2 million
> Facebook likes: 39.9 million
> Most popular album: 1

Fifty years ago, the Beatles broke up, yet their influence on popular culture is scarcely diminished. Thirty years after the band dissolved, their “1” album, a compilation of all of the Beatles No. 1 singles, itself went to No. 1 in 2000. Nineteen Beatles albums topped the Billboard 200, including such groundbreaking works as “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” “Revolver,” and “Rubber Soul.” “Yesterday” and “Something,” two of their 20 No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100, are among the most covered songs of all time. The Beatles even have their own day, Global Beatles Day, observed on June 25.

Image result for the beatles

 

In the three-quarters of a century that has followed, a number of bands have left an indelible stamp on the art form, captivating millions and pushing the genre to new and unforeseen heights in the process.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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