Hi, I hope you enjoy this almost arbitrary list of sixteen all-time great rock bands. It is in part a challenge to those who insist that there is a “top ten" or "top hundred" list of rock bands. I often wonder why people insist on squeezing bands onto “best of” lists. There are hundreds of bands who are, if not the “best,” than certainly great. Here, in alphabetical order, are 16 of them.
AC/DC – One of the longest-lived rock bands around, AC/DC never lost a step. The band even managed to soar to greater heights than ever after losing their original vocalist, and amazing feat in and of itself.
Alice in Chains – A tragically short lived act that combined elements of grunge, metal, and vocal harmony to produce many lasting sounds. Singer Layne Staley’s trademark harmonies have rarely been equaled.
The Beatles – The Beatles were, and in many ways still are, one of the most iconic bands of all time. Combining astonishing song writing talent with unmatchable charisma, the band’s music is still celebrated over fifty years after they first played together.
The Doors – The Doors blazed the path that many chose to follow. Their music was subversive and psychedelic, but still managed to appeal to millions.
Green Day – Green Day set the stage for “pop punk”, and then reinvented themselves as a socially relevant rock group in the 21st Century. The band has a surprising ability to grow and change with the times.
Led Zepplin – One of the classics of true rock. Combining amazing musicianship and creative lyrics, Led Zepplin defined rock for a generation. The guitar work in particular is some of the most iconic ever produced.
Metallica – One of the undisputed monsters of Metal. Perhaps one of the more accessible “hard rock” bands in existence, their sound is unique in an overcrowded genre.
Nirvana – Nirvana single-handedly brought Grunge to the mainstream and ended the musical excesses of the 1980s. Unlike most of their early 90s counterparts, their music has stood the test of time.
Pink Floyd – Pink Floyd married blues and psychedelic tones to produce a truly unique sound. Every album produced is a near-classic, and The Wall stands as a triumph of musical creativity.
Queen – No band has ever combined the bombast of opera and the energy of rock so well. Freddie Mercury was a one of a kind frontman, and no band has ever matched the over-the-top nature of the band’s music.
The Ramones – The American counterpart to the Sex Pistols proved that you do not have to play well to make great music. Directly responsible for the growth of the American punk scene.
The Rolling Stones – Always vying for the top spot on any list of the greatest bands, the Rolling Stones have coupled excellent rock energy with unmatched longevity.
Rush – This Canadian band combines a unique sound with incredibly complex music. While the messages behind their sounds can be difficult to decipher, the music itself is some of the most technically impressive on the mainstream market.
The Sex Pistols – The forefather English Punk, the Sex Pistols turned the music scene on its head. Their in-your-face attitude and fast, messy style influenced hundreds of bands on both sides of the Atlantic.
The Velvet Underground – While not terribly successful in their own right, they were one of the most influential bands of all time. The saying goes that very few people bought their record, but everyone that did started a band.
The Yard Birds – One of the most influential bands in music, the Yard Birds was a band full of musicians’ musicians. They may not have had many hits, but they changed the face of music.