Top 50 Most Influential Rock Bands

  • 1. The Beatles | Essential Album: Revolver

    With record sales estimated at more than a billion worldwide, no other band had a greater influence on the course of rock music.

  • 2. Pink Floyd | Essential Album: Wish You Were Here

    At the vanguard of the Progressive Rock movement, they have sold more than 200-million albums since 1967. One of the first bands to use light shows and fireworks in their live performances.

  • 3. The Who | Essential Album: Who's Next

    One of the first, most successful, and longest lasting power trios, The Who were innovative both musically and technically.

  • 4. Rolling Stones | Essential Album: Sticky Fingers

    The original "bad boys" of rock, the Stones are among the most durable bands, recording and touring with few breaks since they began in 1961.

  • 5. Led Zeppelin | Essential Album: Led Zeppelin IV

    Their "Stairway To Heaven" is believed to have received more radio airplay than any other song in history, even though it was never released as a single.

  • 6. Eagles | Essential Album: Their Greatest Hits

    Another of rock's longest-lasting acts, their 1976 greatest hits album is the biggest selling album of all time.

  • 7. Grateful Dead | Essential Album: Anthem Of The Sun

    One of San Francisco's first "flower power" bands, their fan following is nearly as strong today as it was when the group disbanded in 1995.

  • 8. Jefferson Airplane | Essential Album: After Bathing At Baxter's

    Pioneers of the Psychedelic Rock genre, they were in the vanguard of the counter-culture of the '60s and '70s.

  • 9. The Doors | Essential Album: The Doors

    In spite of a short life and limited discography, they became one of rock's most popular and influential groups.

  • 10. Moody Blues | Essential Album: Days Of Future Passed

    With the exception of a few years in the mid-70s, this Progressive/Psychedelic group has toured and recorded since 1964.

  • 11. Fleetwood Mac | Essential Album: Rumours

    After numerous personnel and musical style changes, their 1977 Rumours album is still among the top ten best selling albums ever.

  • 12. AC/DC | Essential Album: Back In Black

    This pioneering Hard Rock/Heavy Metal group has sold an estimated 100-million albums worldwide.

  • 13. Boston | Essential Album: Boston

    When their first album was released in 1976, it was the highest grossing debut album ever seen up until that time.

  • 14. Cream | Essential Album: Wheels Of Fire

    The group existed for less than three years but staked its place as one of the first and most enduringly popular of rock's power trios.

  • 15. Def Leppard | Essential Album: Hysteria

    Futuristic instrumentation and vocal harmonies have kept them near the top of the all-time best selling album lists for a quarter of a century.

  • 16. The Byrds | Essential Album: The Byrds' Greatest Hits

    Among the pioneers of Folk Rock, their popularity in the mid-60s rivaled that of the Beatles.

  • 17. Aerosmith | Essential Album: Toys In The Attic

    Originally written off as Rolling Stones imitators, the group has consistently produced multi-million-selling albums for 30+ years.

  • 18. Santana | Essential Album: Abraxas

    This groundbreaking Latin Rock group timed the release of its first album to coincide with a highly successful performance at Woodstock in 1969.

  • 19. Blood Sweat & Tears | Essential Album: Blood Sweat & Tears

    Virtually a small orchestra, this group established a milestone in rock history with its large horn section and jazz-blues orientation.

  • 20. Van Halen | Essential Album: 1984

    One of the most innovative and influential Heavy Metal groups of the late '70s, the group continues to perform some 30+ years after its inception.

  • 21. ZZ Top | Essential Album: The Best Of ZZ Top

    The self-proclaimed "little ol' band from Texas" was one of the earliest influences in Southern Rock, and continues so, three decades later.

  • 22. Genesis | Essential Album: Platinum Collection

    With worldwide albums sales of about 150-million since 1969, Genesis was instrumental in keeping Progressive Rock in the mainstream.

  • 23. Allman Brothers | Essential Album: Eat A Peach

    The success of their unique fusion of Hard Rock, Blues, Jazz, and Classical music has secured this group's immortality.

  • 24. Journey | Essential Album: Greatest Hits

    Journey's jazz-flavored sound has been a fixture in the rock scene since 1973.

  • 25. Traffic | Essential Album: John Barleycorn Must Die

    Traffic had far greater success with albums than with singles, and thrived in spite of numerous personnel changes and long breaks.

  • 26. Jethro Tull | Essential Album: Very Best Of Jethro Tull

    Tull developed and maintained a sound that was completely unlike any other band's, with the use of the flute as a lead instrument, and with a heavy classical music influence.

  • 27. Foreigner | Essential Album: Complete Greatest Hits

    A group of back-up players got together in 1976 and formed a group that became a longtime Arena Rock and radio airplay favorite.

  • 28. The Kinks | Essential Album: Ultimate Collection

    They maintained their popularity through the 60s and 70s by adjusting their lyric themes and musical styles as times, and public tastes, changed.

  • 29. Blue Oyster Cult | Essential Album: The Essential Blue Oyster Cult

    Formed in the mid 60s, this Metal/Psych Rock band had a long string of successful albums throughout

  • 30. Buffalo Springfield | Essential Album: Retrospective

    The group existed for less than two years, but was considered a significant force in mid 60s rock, and launched the careers of members Neil Young, Stephen Stills, Jim Messina, and Richie Furay.

  • 31. Queen | Essential Album: Platinum Collection

    The band that put the glitter in Glitter Rock is second only to the Beatles in album sales in the UK.

  • 32. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young | Essential Album: Deja Vu

    More than any other group of their time, they endeared themselves to a generation of youth with their lyric themes and eclectic variety of musical styles.

  • 33. Styx | Essential Album: Gold

    After failing to break through with Progressive Rock, this group is credited with originating the more mainstream Arena Rock sound.

  • 34. Creedence Clearwater Revival | Essential Album: Chronicle

    At the height of the British Invasion, they were the leading American rock band.

  • 35. Deep Purple | Essential Album: Very Best Of

    They shuffled personnel and musical styles until they became one of the most successful bands on the concert and recording circuit.

  • 36. Steve Miller Band | Essential Album: Young Hearts

    They paid their dues as a backup band before becoming one of the most popular groups of the 70s.

  • 37. Guess Who | Essential Album: Anthology

    One of Canada's most popular rock bands evolved from Soft Rock to a harder variety from the early 60s through the mid 70s.

  • 38. Dave Clark Five | Essential Album: 30 Greatest Hits

    Beatlemania helped propel this British group to great popularity in America.

  • 39. Steppenwolf | Essential Album: All Time Greatest Hits

    This Canadian Heavy Metal band is credited with creating the Bike Rock sub-genre.

  • 40. Yes | Essential Album: Very Best Of Yes

    In spite of more than the usual number of major personnel changes, this group has had a long and successful career.

  • 41. Doobie Brothers | Essential Album: Best Of The Doobies

    They weren't actually brothers, but they have parlayed a distinctive Heavy MetalSouthern Rock blend into a 30+ year career.

  • 42. Chicago | Essential Album: Only The Beginning

    Formed in 1967, Chicago became one of the most successful orchestral rock groups and is still active four decades later.

  • 43. KISS | Essential Album: Gold

    Mix Hard Rock with over-the-top appearance and stage antics and you get the fathers of glitter-punk.

  • 44. Blondie | Essential Album: Parallel Lines

    Emerging from the early Punk Rock scene, Blondie ultimately expanded their stylistic approach to include Disco, New Wave and Hip-Hop.

  • 45. Rush | Essential Album: Permanent Waves

    Rush is considered one of rock's best live bands, in addition to cranking out 30 albums over 30 years.

  • 46. Sex Pistols | Essential Album: Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols

    Their short life as a rebellious and proudly controversial Punk band was out of proportion to the huge influence they had on pop culture in England.

  • 47. Lynyrd Skynyrd | Essential Album: Skynyrd's Innyrds

    Described by All Music Guide as "the definitive Southern Rock band," they reunited ten years after the deaths of three original members in a 1977 plane crash, and still perform today.

  • 48. The Police | Essential Album: Every Breath You Take: The Classics

    The Police distinguished themselves by being able to be successful in the mainstream playing experimental rock.

  • 49. Grand Funk Railroad | Essential Album: We're An American Band

    Achieved greater commercial success than any other American rock band in the 60s and early 70s.

  • 50. Black Sabbath | Essential Album: We Sold Our Soul For Rock And Roll

    One of the longest lasting and most successful groups is credited as the first Heavy Metal band.



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