The top ten best rock bands of all time are ones that can take rock's primary colors (guitar, bass, drum and vocal) and create amplified works of art. These ten bands wrote songs and played like no others in rock history.
- The Rolling Stones. They don’t call them “The World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band” just to fuel their egos. The Rolling Stones have one of the longest careers in music and have released countless hits in a variety of styles, from psychadelia to mod to blues, their bread-and-butter, including some of rock’s best songs, like “Satisfaction,” “Start Me Up” and “Under My Thumb.”
- The Who. The Who sure lived up to the moniker Maximum R&B," delivering feedback drenched mod-rock anthems like “My Generation” and “Magic Bus,” before delving into groundbreaking concept album territory with “Tommy.“ From synthesizers to songs about creepy, crawly spiders, The Who are one of the best rock bands of all time.
- Nirvana. Nirvana turned the music industry inside out, creating an amalgamation of punk, rock, metal and pop. The band's second album "Nevermind" went straight to the top of the charts.
The Ramones. You’ve got to be one of the best rock bands of all time if you can essentially spawn an entire sub-genre of music with three chords and a cloud of dust. The Ramones, a foursome of fellas from Queens, NY, took the songcraft of The Beach Boys and ‘60s girl groups, turned the amps up to 11 and bashed them out at lighting speed.
- The Beatles. The endless debate of The Beatles vs. The Rolling Stones usually casts the Fab Four as the pop counterpart to the Stones’ rock. How could you ignore the overdriven power of “Revolution” or the heavy metal of “Helter Skelter.” For all the songs like “When I’m 64" and “Hello Goodbye," The Beatles had tunes like “Back In The U.S.S.R.” and “Get Back," making them one of the best rock bands of all time.
- Led Zeppelin. Before Led Zeppelin, there was rock and roll. But this British blues-monster took the structure and instrumentation of rock and roll, cranked up the tubes, went on infinite solo runs and threw stuff out of hotel windows. The band needed its own jet to travel around the world and show people what all this "rock" business was about, playing songs like “Kashmir,” “Heartbreaker” and “Over the Hills and Far Away” to make its case.
- Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Rock music is music for and by the people, and "The Boss" and his cohorts, Jersey boys through and through, make music for the people for hours and hours every time they hit the stage.
The Police. Disco and punk rock didn’t kill rock music entirely in the late '70‘. This English trio co-opted punk’s sound and mixed in some jazz and reggae, releasing classic songs like “Roxanne” and “So Lonely” before they reigned over the world in the early '80s thanks to “Synchronicity” and that song Puff Daddy sampled.
- Prince and The Revolution. Contrary to popular and semi-true belief, the '80s weren’t devoid of good music. Prince and his backing group gave the world the Minneapolis sound, a freaked out mixture of pop, rock, blues, funk, soul and whatever else Prince wanted to conquer. Listen to “Let’s Go Crazy” off of "Purple Rain" and you’ll realize this is one of the best rock bands of all time.
- AC/DC. So what if they’ve been releasing the same album for the last thirty years. That’s one damn good album! These Australian hard-rockers took the blues to the arena with albums like the “Highway to Hell” and “Back in Black,” featuring Bon Scott and Brian Johnson respectively, two singers who made shredded vocal chords a style to strive for.