The birth of rock and roll in the 1950s was just the beginning of a magical voyage that would change the trajectory of music forever. Rock has expanded to include more sub-genres than we can count. But at the heart of it all, the cornerstones of rebellion, passion, and escapism are alive and well.
Ranking the best rock bands of ALL TIME is no simple task. I’m sure you could poll an arena full of people who would each insist their favorite band should be number one on everyone’s list. In an attempt to bring some reasonable criteria to the question, factors such as album sales, digital downloads, radio air play, and concert ticket sales might provide a good starting point.
In reality, almost any list regarding music is largely subjective. We each have our own personal, constantly evolving lists, determined not so much by “official” rankings, but by the connection these bands and their music have to our own life experiences. With that in mind, this list has been heavily influenced by bands that have provided the soundtrack to my life in one way or another.
I’ve seen many of the following bands in concert. This connection and appreciation for musicians who moved me through their live performances has in many ways shaped the very idea I hold of what defines the best rock bands—bands that compel us to crank up the radio, sing along, and feel like we’re a part of something bigger than ourselves provide nothing short of therapy for us. That’s exactly what I have found in the bands I’ve ranked.