Who are the top 20 Classic Rock Artists: the Definitive List
Music is one of those fields that can´t be left outside of dispute, but in a good way, far from heated discussions, most of the time musicians tend to have interesting, and well argumentative discussions about their favorite artists. And the only result for these discussions it´s no other than the enrichment of music, with a lot brought to the table that many times find its way to the artists, that take these arguments to create something better than before.
But in some other cases it´s just an endless dispute between fanatics of very similar bands, who had their moments dozens of years ago, turning them into what it´s known as classical rock bands. Nowadays these bands are amongst the most “nostalgic” anyone can find, but they are also picking up new fans, maybe because they listened to it when they were young with their parents or that cool uncle, or may just because they like great music and the bands we are about to list, didn´t get to the top for free.
Many of the artists displayed here have found their way to reach people, back then via a new record that many of our parents or grandparents ran to the record store to get, or in modern life, via the launching of a remix of some great classic rock songs, or even because as they are memorable many times they are used as music for videos, in particular in this era when social media is one of the kings of distribution of any kind of message.
Keep in mind that this list is a product of the hard work of thousands of reviewers, but also has a quota of subjectivity, since it´s impossible to separate as music runs through people as well as it does with glass. Join us in a trip to the past to meet some of the best examples of classic rock music:
19 – KISS: the hardest critics of this band state that if they hadn´t painted their faces and put on a spectacle they might have not been as great as many people say they are. But theatrical performances or not, their music was an impressive addition to what they showed in their live performances.
18 – Black Sabbath: this British band is also responsible for a great change in music, introducing the audience to the charismatic and also crazy Ozzy Osbourne and his dark rock mystique. Their musical repertoire went from occultism to political critic.
17 – Rush: the Canadian band introduced what some consider the best drummer in history, Neil Peart, creator of a great deal of their music and lyrics.
16 – Creedence Clearwater Revival: any Vietnam movie has their music, they are one of the most “vox populi” bands in the world, but with a deserved reputation thanks to their pure rock.
15 – The Eagles: with some members like the great musician Joe Walsh, this band has one of the longest album record in rock´s but also music´s history. Creators of the great classic of rock: “Hotel California”, they are a must for any rock fan.
14 – Styx: a band so popular that they even made to The Simpsons, and the classic The Office, with songs like Lady, and of course Mr. Roboto. Signature voice by Dennis DeYoung, accompanied with great drums by John Panozzo.
13 – The Byrds: with hits like “Turn Turn Turn”, and “Mr. Tambourine Man”, they clearly marked the 60´s and 70´s with fire, even featuring some songs in Forest Gump.
12 – Jethro Tull: bringing the flute as their main instrument, this band created some songs like no other, creating their own style within rock.
11 – Van Halen: flirting with heavy metal rock, they found their way with some songs that are a signature of rock worldwide, like Jump, Panama and Hot for Teacher.
10 – Aerosmith: a band that transited a lot, turning from a really interesting example of new rock back in the late 70´s with songs like Dream on, to a commercial phenomenon with “I Don´t Want to Miss a Thing” for the 90´s blockbuster “Armageddon”.
9 – Jefferson Airplane: another of the great bands of the “Vietnam era”, with classic rock songs like White Rabbit with deep and touching content, to a more “Beatle alike” song like “Somebody to Love”.
8 – Grateful dead: one of the first “Flower Power” bands out there, that kept together till 1995, with some essential albums to rock, like “Anthem of the Sun”. It was one of the most remembered bands of Jerry Garcia till the day he died.
7- Led Zeppelin: a band true to their name, as they were in the “weight limit” of rock, almost passing to ultra-heavy metal, with a great deal of charisma and some of the best classics in rock: Immigrant Song, Whole Lotta Love, Stairway to Heaven, amongst many others.
6 – The Who: this British band marked their era with a great mixture of musical and cultural innovation in their songs, creating an impressive fan base around the world.
5 – AC/DC: one of the pioneers of rock, with more than 100 million album sold worldwide, they also are one of the most active bands in terms of live shows, with great performances even at their advanced age.
4 – The Doors: the musical style of Jim Morrison can´t be left behind, as they also changed minds and created a repertory of songs that are fused in the souls of rock lovers.
3 – Rolling Stones: a rock band that needs no introduction, just pure music and a lot of showmanship, to create the perfect recipe.
2 – Pink Floyd: without a doubt one of the most innovative and musically rich bands in this list, with deeply political songs, but also some unforgettable rock classics like Another Brick in the Wall, or Young Lust.
1 – The Beatles: the ambassadors of rock and clearly the best band in the world, even outside the reach of rock. They dominated a whole era of music without any rival for many years, selling millions of albums, but also creating some of the best songs out there.