We have had some very controversial lists relating to rock and pop music over the past year and a bit – and today we have one that I think might take the cake. This is a submitted list of the ten greatest rockers (bands or individuals). Almost all of the bands or people here have been featured on other lists but in differing orders or for different reasons. Hopefully there is at least one group here for everyone’s taste!
10. The Beach Boys
The Beach Boys are an American rock and roll band. Formed in 1961, the group gained popularity for its close vocal harmonies and lyrics reflecting a California youth culture of surfing, girls, and cars. Brian Wilson’s growing creative ambitions later transformed them into a more artistically innovative group that earned critical praise and influenced many later musicians.The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988
Metallica is an American heavy metal band that formed in 1981 in Los Angeles, California. Founded when drummer Lars Ulrich posted an advertisement in a Los Angeles newspaper, Metallica’s original line-up consisted of Ulrich, rhythm guitarist and vocalist James Hetfield, lead guitarist Dave Mustaine, and bassist Ron McGovney.
Metallica has released eight studio albums, two live albums, two EPs, nine videos, and has finished recording their upcoming ninth studio album, Death Magnetic. The band has become one of the most commercially successful and influential heavy metal acts. With over 95 million records sold worldwide, including 57 million in the United States, the band has won seven Grammy Awards, and has had four albums peak at number one on the Billboard 200
Queen are an English rock band formed in 1970 in London by guitarist Brian May, lead vocalist Freddie Mercury, and drummer Roger Taylor, with bass guitarist John Deacon joining the following year. Queen rose to prominence during the 1970s and are arguably Britain’s most successful band of the past thirty years.
The band is noted for their musical diversity, multi-layered arrangements, vocal harmonies, and incorporation of audience participation into their live performances. Since 1975, eighteen ofthe band ’s albums have reached number one on numerous charts around the world. Since 1973, they have released fifteen studio albums and five live albums.
7. Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd are an English rock band who initially earned recognition for their psychedelic or space rock music, and, as they evolved, for their progressive rock music. They are known for philosophical lyrics, sonic experimentation, innovative cover art, and elaborate live shows. One of rock music’s most successful acts,the group have sold over 200 million albums worldwide including 74.5 million albums in the United States alone.
They have released fourteen studio albums, four live albums, seven compilations, twenty-six singles, twenty-six B-sides, fifteen music videos, and six video albums.
6. The Who
The Who are an English rock band that formed in 1964. The primary lineup consisted of guitarist Pete Townshend, vocalist Roger Daltrey, bassist John Entwistle and drummer Keith Moon.The band reached international success, became known for their energetic live performances, are regarded as one of the most influential rock bands of the 1960s and ’70s, and recognized as one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time.The Who have sold more than 100 million albums worldwide.
The Who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990, the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005 and won the first annual Freddie Mercury Lifetime Achievement in Live Music Award in 2006. They received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the British Phonographic Industry in 1988, and from the Grammy Foundation in 2001, for creative contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording. Tommy was inductedinto the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998, “My Generation” in 1999 and Who’s Next in 2007.
5. The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones are an English band whose music was initially based on rhythm and blues and rock & roll. Formed in London and having their first success in the UK, they subsequently became popular in the US during the “British Invasion” in the early 1960s.
The band formed in 1962 when original leader Brian Jones and pianist Ian Stewart were joined by singer Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards, whose songwriting partnership later contributed to their taking the leadership role inthe group.
The Rolling Stones have released 22 studio albums in the UK (24 in the US), eight concert albums (nine in the US) and numerous compilations; they have had 32 UK & US top-10 singles, 43 UK & US top-10 albums between 1964 and 2008 and have sold more than 200 million albums worldwide. 1971’s Sticky Fingers began a string of eight consecutive studio albums at number one inthe United States. In 1989 the Rolling Stones were inducted into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
4. The Jimi Hendrix Experience
The ‘Jimi Hendrix Experience’ were an English/American rock band famous for the guitar work, original songs, outrageous style and performance of its eponymous frontman Jimi Hendrix on songs such as ‘Hey Joe’, ‘Purple Haze’, ‘Foxy Lady’, ‘Fire’, ‘Little Wing’, ‘Spanish Castle Magic’, ‘All Along the Watchtower’ and ‘Voodoo Child (Slight Return)’. They are also known for their performance at Woodstock. The Experience was inductedinto the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.
3. Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin were an English rock band that formed in 1968. Led Zeppelin consisted of Jimmy Page (guitar), Robert Plant (vocals), John Paul Jones (bass guitar, keyboards) and John Bonham (drums). With their heavy, guitar-driven sound, Led Zeppelin are regarded as one of the first heavy metal bands. However,the band ’s individualistic style draws from many sources and transcends any one genre. Their rock-infused interpretation of the blues and folk genres also incorporated rockabilly, reggae, soul, funk,classical, Celtic, Indian, Arabic, pop, Latin and country.
Close to 30 years after disbanding following Bonham’s death in 1980, Led Zeppelin continues to be held in high regard for their artistic achievements, commercial success and broad influence.The band has sold more than 300 million albums worldwide including 111.5 million sales in the United States and they have had all of their original studio albums reach the U.S. Billboard Top 10. Led Zeppelin are ranked No. 1 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. Rolling Stone magazine has described Led Zeppelin as “the heaviest band of all time” and “the biggest band of the 70s”.
2. Elvis Presley
Elvis was an American singer, musician and actor. He is considered a cultural icon, sometimes referred to as “The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll”, or simply “The King”.
Presley began his career as one of the first performers of rockabilly, an uptempo fusion of country and rhythm and blues with a strong back beat. His novel versions of existing songs, mixing “black” and “white” sounds, made him popular—and controversial—as did his uninhibited stage and television performances. He recorded songs in the rock and roll genre, with tracks like “Hound Dog” and “Jailhouse Rock” . Presley had a versatile voice and had unusually wide success encompassing other genres, including gospel, blues, ballads and pop. To date, he has been inducted into four music halls of fame. The King has had 215 top singles worldwide.
1. The Beatles
The Beatles were a pop and rock group from Liverpool, England formed in 1960. Primarily consisting of John Lennon (rhythm guitar, vocals), Paul McCartney (bass guitar, vocals), George Harrison (lead guitar, vocals) and Ringo Starr (drums, vocals) throughout their career, The Beatles are recognised for leading the mid-1960s musical “British Invasion” intothe United States. Although their initial musical style was rooted in 1950s rock and roll and homegrown skiffle, the group explored genres ranging from Tin Pan Alley to psychedelic rock. Their clothes, styles, and statements made them trend-setters, while their growing social awareness saw their influence extendinto the social and cultural revolutions of the 1960s. After the band broke up in 1970, all four members embarked upon solo careers.
The Beatles are one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed bands in the history of popular music. The Beatles are the best-selling musical group in history. In the United Kingdom, The Beatles released more than 40 different singles, albums, and EPs that reached number one, earning more number one albums (15) than any other group in UK chart history. This commercial success was repeated in many other countries; their record company, EMI, estimated that by 1985 they had sold over one billion records worldwide. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, The Beatles have sold more albums in the United States than any other band. According to Rolling Stone Magazine, The Beatles’ innovative music and cultural impact helped define the 1960s, and their influence on pop culture is still evident today.