Nirvana was a band that came out of the grunge scene of Seattle in the late 80s. It released its first album entitled “Bleach” in 1989. It then achieved mainstream success in 1991 after the release of the 1991 album called “Nevermind.” The album included the wildly successful “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” This led to the mainstream acceptance of alternative rock, with the band being called the flagship band of Generation X while its lead singer, Kurt Cobain, was called the spokesman of his generation. In 1993, it released “In Utero,” an album that featured a less commercial sound but was still successful nevertheless. It has sold over 75 million albums worldwide. Cobain, however, died in 1994.
9. The Who
This is an English rock band that has sold more than 100 million records worldwide. They were part of the Holy Trinity of British Rock, along with The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Their songs have endured the test of time, with their hits being adopted as the theme songs of the three CSI shows on television.
8. The Clash
The Clash is a punk rock band from England that gave us songs. It released its first album in 1977. It gained prominence internationally in 1979 after the release of its second album entitled “London Calling,” considered the best album of the 80s by Rolling Stone magazine. The album cover of the band’s bassist smashing his guitar is considered the best rock and roll photograph of all time. The Clash is often billed as “the only band that matters.”
Formed in 1974, the band is a major influence of the punk rock movement. It band members all have pseudonyms ending with Ramone, though they are not related. Only one of its albums actually sold well, the compilation record called “Ramones Mania.” Its importance has grown over the years and it is now considered one of the greatest bands of all time. The band disbanded in 1996. By 2004, its lead singer, guitarist and bassist were all dead.
U2 was formed in 1976 in Ireland. Though they were acclaimed live performers, the band’s albums initially did not do as well. During the Live Aid concert in 1985, the band stole the show along with Queen. It achieved a breakthrough in 1987, however, when it released “The Joshua Tree.” It has adapted through the years and has integrated industrial and alternative rock elements into its music. It has released 12 studio albums and has sold more than 150 million records around the world.
5.The Velvet Underground
The Velvet Underground is an American band formed in 1974 in New York. The band failed to achieve any significant level of commercial success, but is still considered as one of the most important and influential groups of all time. It has often been claimed that the band only sold a few thousand copies, but those few thousand who did buy its albums all went out to start a band of their own. The band’s initial offering entitled “The Velvet Underground and Nico” is considered one of the greatest albums of all time.
4. Led Zeppelin
The band started out as The New Yardbirds before it adopted the name Led Zeppelin. The band is one of the most influential bands of all time. It has sold between 200 million to 300 million albums around the world. It released nine studio albums, all of which hit the top 10, with six going all the way to number one. It is considered to be to the 70s what The Beatles were in the 60s. Its song “Stairway to Heaven” is considered to be one of the most popular and influential works in the history of rock. After its release, the band members all became certified superstars.
3. The Beach Boys
The Beach Boys is an American surf and psychedelic rock band formed in 1961. Its early music reflected an easygoing sound about youth culture featuring surfing, young love and fast cars. By the mid 60s however, the group started experimenting with a new psychedelic sound that culminated in the album called “Pet Sounds” and the single called “Good Vibrations.” It was then considered as one of the main competitors of The Beatles, though “Pet Sounds” was immediately eclipsed by the latter’s “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” It is considered as America’s best rock band ever with 36 top 40 hits, the most ever by an American band.
2. The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones is an English band formed in 1962 in London. It has been called the “World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band” during its induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The band was an integral part of the British invasion of the 60s. It has released 24 studio albums, including eight straight that went to number one, starting with the 1971 classic called “Sticky Fingers.” Its first international chart topper was the 1965 classic entitled “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” It included the now-familiar and legendary guitar riff by Keith Richards. The song spent four weeks at the top of the US chart in June of that year.
1. The Beatles
The Beatles was an English rock band formed in 1960 in Liverpool. Though its early influence was in skiffle and 50s rock and roll, it later created songs from different genres, like pop ballad, psychedelic rock and even punk rock. Its huge popularity gave rise to Beatlemania, Its songs also evolved into sophistication representative of the generation’s counterculture ideals. The Beatles has sold more than a billion records worldwide, making it the best selling band of all time. It is also considered as the most successful artist of all time.
BY HARSHVARDHAN SINGH