The conversations around ranking the best rock bands of all time are opinion-based, however, we’ve boiled it down so that it’s at least based on the views of hundreds of millions of people. We can crowdsource that info based upon things like sales, tours, and awards won. Right now, Rock band t-shirsts will show you a list of top 10 rock bands in the music industry, from 70’s best rock bands, 80’s best rock band to 90’s best rock bands. If you ever have seen any rock band tee with the name Nirvana or Led Zeppelin and have no idea who were on that shirt, this article may help you!
>>> Read more: Best rock band t-shirts
While there might be consent this way, we all know the average person couldn’t explain to you the most basic thing about music theory, but they know what they like while they hear it. That means that some of the most-skilled bands out there won’t make the list because they don’t have mass appeal. And that’s a bit of our equation here.
The real fun is comparing the list here among our lists like the richest rock stars and the best guitarists of the whole time and seeing if there’s a pattern that emerges. Do money and talent go hand-in-hand in the music industry, and are best rock bands culture really driven by leading roles like guitar or vocals? Open those links in the background to gain out, but in the meantime let’s jump into the listing of the best rock bands of all time.
1. The Beatles – the best rock band of all time
The Beatles had a short run of only 10 years between 1960 and 1970, but they’re still the best-selling artists and one of the best rock bands of all time by far. If you meant to add in their solo albums and side groups, they’ll take that record forever. They started fresh and led the British Invasion of pop and rock into the USA, and their fans grew up alongside them, buying each album as time went on. Their certified sales was 279.8 million
These guys won all the honors, starred in and produced movies, and even hold records like having the various covered song of all time. The Lennon-McCartney songwriting team are the most strong ever. They had pop appeal, rock appeal, evolved through the interests of one hippy era… they’re some of the best musicians to ever exist.
They’re so good that hipsters think it’s cool to hate them.
Facts: UNESCO acknowledges January the 16th as World Beatles Day. Eric Clapton was almost welcomed since the fifth Beatle. Each member of the band and the band itself become an asteroid named after them. Paul McCartney is still releasing music and gaining millions of views on YouTube!
>>>Read more: Female rock stars
2. The Rolling Stones – One of the 70s’ best rock bands
The Rolling Stones is such great deals that even the members solo careers, like that of Mick Jagger plus Keith Richards, are just as big. They got started in 1962 and stayed at the forefront of the British Invasion. Of the top 5 highest-grossing trips, four of them belong to this 70’s best rock band. Certified sales: 100 million
Part of their success is assigned to them staying true to the safe foundational genres like R&B, soul, and rock. They even recently won a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues album. Consistency is key when pop music evolves and changes so rapidly, which exists why they’re still on top after nearly 60 years.
Facts: The Rolling Stones thankfully survived several feuds that have broken up other bands. In the time they’ve released 30 studio albums, 23 live albums, 25 compilations, 120 singles, also embarked on 48 tours.
3. Pink Floyd – The best psychedelic rock band of England
Even with their early publicity led by Syd Barrett, Pink Floyd was already making their mark on the British rock scene. Following, when David Gilmour joined this 80’s best rock band and took over the creative direction people gained international recognition. Four of their albums topped both the US and UK plans, though only two of their singles ever reached the top 10 within either region. Their sale reached 121.4 million.
In a six decade career, they’ve released 15 albums and voyaged to support each release. They even composed film scores for some lesser-known movies. Two of their albums, The Dark Side of The Moon and The Wall are both in the list of the best-selling albums of all age. Dark music like theirs won’t ever be considered pop, but they have only as many fans and longer-lasting popularity.
Fun facts: Pink Floyd’s band name was derived from two of Syd Barrett’s favorite blues musicians, Pink Anderson also Floyd Council. They were huge fans of the comedy group Monty Python and supported finance the 1975 movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
4. The Beach Boys – one of the best rock bands
The Beach Boys rode the flow of the California Sound of surf-rock and then evolved into more personal issues as their fan base also matured. Their music’s orchestrations and arrangements became extremely complex that, like the Moody Blues, they couldn’t perform it faithfully live moving stage.
Their vocal harmonies were recorded in one take early on and hold absolute perfection that few achieve today. They’re one of the few best rock bands that gained success before the British Invasion and maintained it during and after the period. These guys were deeply spiritual and if you listen closely you could hear it in the lyrics. Their certified sales was 31.1 million.
Facts: The Beach Boys’ religiosity led Dennis Wilson to befriend Charles Manson and begin recording music with him at Wilson’s house studio, which you can hear if you look for it. Eventually, Manson’s fans invaded Wilson’s home and then the big event occurred. The Beach Boys came under massive negative media scrutiny during that time.
5. Led Zeppelin – British legendary rock band
Part of reaching a broad audience is having a wide appeal. Led Zeppelin played music in the blues-rock and folk-rock genres but are thought of as progenitors regarding heavy metal, too. Possibly the most influential and popular song in rock records is their single Stairway to Heaven. These guys did it big, every moment.
The concerts broke records for people in attendance. Their albums rank among these top-selling ever. Each of their nine total albums reached the top 10 with six reached the number-one slot on the charts, make them one of the best rock bands of all time. They’ve earned all of the music awards available. Their legacy is everlasting among musicians and fans alike. Their certified sales was 140.6 million.
Trivia Facts: Led Zeppelin’s career occurred in a time before we had the internet. Even though it’s been nearly 40 years since their last album was published, their fan base is still growing. The internet’s combined manpower becomes unveiled just how many of their songs were actually heavily influenced by if people didn’t straight up plagiarize, other songs from their time period.
6. U2 – one of the best rock bands from Ireland
U2 formed as a crew of mates in secondary school in Dubiln, Ireland before any of them had any actual proficiencies with music. Within four years they scored a record deal. By the fifth album they became a global sensation and one of the 80’s best rock bands with certified sales of 110.3 million. In the present they’ve gained 22 Grammy Awards, more than any other band, period.
Part of their success implies every time they run into controversy or boredom from their fan base, people evolve and revolutionize their sound. They’re huge experimenters, and The Edge really illustrates this with his guitar pedal array.
Fun facts: The U2 360 degree Trip of 2009 to 2011 broke the records for being the highest-attended and highest-grossing concert tour in history. They made a deal with Apple to make everyone’s devices to download one of their albums once. It was so disturbing.
7. The Who – one of the most popular British rock band
If you’re like me, you may be wondering”why, though?” The Who has a huge appeal, with their pop art with mod subculture influences and even more so thanks to their rock show Tommy and its success. I like any concept album and theirs is fabulous. They tours were enormous and exciting, which helped amplify the hype enclosing them, showing that they are one of the best rock bands with certified sales at 27.8 million.
It’s not just their music. They contributed to the development of the Marshall stack, the use of the synthesizer in rock, the use of large PA rules. And even down to things like power chords on guitar. Musicians enjoy them more than fans and cite them regularly as a top influence, including fans have to respect their favorite artists’ opinions.
Here’s a Fact: The Who solidified their reign when they played at Woodstock. Pete Townsend is credited by creating the windmill strum and other types of guitar showmanship. They also began the use of non-musical noise like feedback, and now everybody does it!
8. Nirvana – one of the 90s’ best rock bands
Nirvana’s breakout star was undoubtedly Kurt Cobain, and after his passing and the breakup of the band in 1994, Dave Grohl has moved on to be a musical great, playing the drums, bass, and singing vocalists for countless bands and collaborations. It was “Smells Like Teen Spirit” which launched them to stardom in 1991 which helped them become one of the best rock bands with certified sales reaching 52.3 million.
It didn’t take long for them to get all of the music awards in rapid succession, even being inducted within the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the first year of their acceptability in 2014. It took the strength of their Nevermind album to eventually knock Michael Jackson’s Dangerous from the top spot on the Billboard charts.
A fun Fact: Nirvana’s founders, Cobain and Novoselic, first formed a Creedence Clearwater Revival band right before evolving into the band we know and love. Courtney Love sold 25% from her stake in their catalog for $50 million in 2006.
9. The Doors – the legendary American rock bands
The Doors were active from 1965 to 1973, one short eight year run, but quickly became one of the best rock bands art of the counter-culture era and a largely contentious band due to Jim Morrison’s erratic behavior. Every decade has had a revival in interest in that band and new fans added, due to cover songs becoming popular, usage like their songs in hit movies, movies about them, etc. The Door’s certified sales was 48.2 million.
Their original album The Doors re-entered the Billboard charts 14 years after its initial release as made their greatest hits and “best of” albums. Their legacy will live on that way forever, it seems, as it should. They even created a brand unique song in 2012 with Skrillex of all people, called “Breakn’ a Sweat.”
Here’s a Fact: The Doors identified themselves after Aldous Huxley’s book The Doors of Perception. They were the first American band to earn eight consecutive gold records. Morrison used to be the first rock musician to be arrested on-stage during a live concert. He’s also a leading member of the accursed 27 Club.
10. Queen – one of the best rock bands that is still a legend
Queen previously earned their slot on this list but recently, they’re gaining even more terrain. Since 1970 they’ve not stopped touring and creating new music, albeit with different vocalists since Freddy Mercury passed. They’re name may be Queen but they’re the heads of arena rock and pop rock. They’re songs are still over-played now to the point where many of us are about sick of them.
In case you’ve been to a sporting event, you’ve undoubtedly heard their anthems chanted over those in attendance to intimidate the opposing team. The work they did to the Flash Gordon and Highlander make them some of the best soundtracks always. There was even a biographical movie made about the band recently. That’s a big time. Until now, Queen is still one of the best rock band of all time with certified sales at 147.6 million copies.
Facts: Since 2004, Queen hit the road with new triumphant tours under the name “Queen+” with vocalists Adam Lambert and Paul Rodgers charging in for Freddy Mercury. There’s a musical based on their songs. They’ve delivered 15 albums but had 21 tours to promote the releases.
Above are the list of the top 10 best rock bands from Tracy Band Tee, do you agree with us? Leave a comment to let us know!
Hello world, I’m Tracy Shaun.
Welcome to my blog, this is the world of a 36 years old experienced designer, a hardcore rock fan, and an enthusiastic god follower. I work on designing shirts for music fans for 10 years with more than thousands merch was sold on Etsy, Amazon, etc.