Rock and Roll evolved from blues music in the late 1940s. It was originally called rhythm and blues, because it was essentially blues music but a little more upbeat and with a bigger rhythm section. Artists like Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, and Buddy Holly paved the way for Rock and Roll Bands to make a name for themselves. Though there are too many to account, this list will provide you with the Top 10 Rock Bands of All Time.
1. The Beatles
No list about Rock and Roll could be complete without the Beatles. Though rhythm and blues was an American phenomenon, it quickly made it’s way across the pond to England where four young men by the names of John, Paul, George, and Richard (otherwise known as Ringo), heard what was happening and decided to make some music of their own. The band was formed in Liverpool in 1960 and quickly became one of the most popular bands of all time. They have sold over 600 million units worldwide and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.
2. The Rolling Stones
Honestly, The Rolling Stones should be tied for first. While there were “rock bands” before, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones really paved the way for what a rock band should be. The Rolling Stones were formed just two years after The Beatles in London. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 and celebrated their 50th Anniversary in 2012.
3. The Who
The Who were founded in 1964 in England. They have sold over 100 million records worldwide and were one of the most influential bands of all time. Their performances were almost more of a performance art piece, with crazy movement, wild images, and destroying guitars. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.
4. The Kinks
The Kinks are another English band founded in 1964 by brothers Ray and Dave Davies. Though they were very briefly part of the British Invasion but were banned from the US in 1965. Arguably their most famous song was their third single, “You Really Got Me”. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.
5. The Byrds
The Byrds are the first American rock band on this list, founded in L.A. in 1964. Frontman Roger McGuinn is the band’s only consistent member. They were pioneers of the genre “folk-rock” and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991.
6. The Doors
The Doors, founded in 1965, were a band like no other. Jim Morrison was a poet, and that transcribed to their music. They continued to make hits together until Morrison’s untimely death at the age of 27. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame in 1993.
7. The Grateful Dead
The Grateful Dead have possibly one of the most iconic fanbases of all time. “Deadheads” have been rocking out to their music since the band was founded in 1965. This psychedelic band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.
8. Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin, originally known as the New Yardbirds, was an English band founded in 1968. They had a bluesy, psychedelic sound that made them very popular throughout the 70s and 80s. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995.
9. Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd was a London based band formed in 1965 that strived to make performance into an artform. There psychedelic artwork and progressive sound made them a staple of the 70s and 80s. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.
10. The Velvet Underground
The Velvet Underground was a New York-based band that was only active for less than 10 years. During that time they created incredibly provocotive and innovative music. For a very short time, they were even managed by artist Andy Warhol. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.