All of us have seen our favorite artists perform live on stage. And no matter how many people there were in the room, we always felt that the band played especially for us. Of course, there have been numerous ratings, reviews, and music lists over the years. However, according to the community's votes, these are the top 30 live bands in musical history.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
As an American rock band, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers performed for more than 40 years. The band was established back in 1976 and disbanded in 2017 due to the sudden death of Perry, their lead singer. However, we'll always remember their final tour!
The band recently celebrated their 40th anniversary with a setlist that included some of their rarely played tracks. This included 'Rockin' Around (With You),' from their 1976 debut album. What's more, they concluded their cruise and career with three nights at the Hollywood Bowl.
The Iconic 'Prince' Rogers Nelson
Born in 1958, Prince is considered as one of the greatest musicians of his generation. But even though he signed a record deal with Warner Bros. Records at the age of 19, he spent a couple of years before having his breakthrough in 1983, performing alongside James Brown and Michael Jackson.
More exactly, he finally promoted his debut album 'For You,' and according to Time Magazine, Prince was the star of the day. Over his career, he released a total of 39 albums, and up until this day, his 2007 appearance remains one of the best Super Bowl halftime shows in history.
The King 'Elvis Presley'
Also known as the 'King of Rock and Roll,' 'Elvis' or simply 'the King', Presley is one of the most important cultural icons of the 20th century. He started his career with the Memphis show back in 1954 and has entertained an audience of millions during his career.
What's more, he was the first-ever solo artist whose live show was beamed worldwide by a satellite. Undoubtedly, Presley had many remarkable, sexually provocative gigs and energized interpretations. He finished his career with the performance in Indianapolis on June 26, 1977, only six weeks before he died.
The English Rock Band 'Deep Purple'
What should a band do to leave a fan unconscious? Well, we should ask Deep Purple, as three individuals reportedly blacked out on their 1972 concert at London's Rainbow Theatre. And expectedly enough, they were listed as 'the globe's loudest band' in the Guinness Book of World Records.
The band was established back in 1968 and spent almost half a century entertaining fans all around the globe. Deep Purple toured the world in various lineups and had their final performance on the 2017 Long Goodbye Tour when they promoted 'Infinite' as their twentieth studio album.
The Unpredictable 'Eagles'
The Eagles were established back in 1971 in Los Angeles. But unexpectedly enough, the founding members Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Bernie Leadon, and Randy Meisner, disbanded in 1980. However, the band reunited once again for the album 'Hell Freezes Over' in 1994.
Since then, they have continually toured and sold more than 200 million records, making them one of the world's best-selling bands. Even so, the drummer Don Henley said the band wouldn't perform again after the death of Glenn Frey in January 2016. Luckily, they played sell-out gigs once again in 2017/2018.
The Award-Winning 'Foo Fighters'
After the passing of Kurt Cobain and the dissolution of Nirvana, Dave Grohl founded Foo Fighters, an American rock band, in 1994. Over the years, the band has played at music festivals and intimate gigs, as well as a crowd-funded concert in Richmond, Virginia.
According to the band members, their performance at London's Wembley Arena in 2008 was one of their most memorable gigs. Dave Grohl, the lead singer of the band told NME 'that was huge for me because we never imagined we would get to the point we could do something like that.'
The 'Allman Brothers' Band
The brothers Duane and Gregg Allman, together with Dickey Betts, Berry Oakley, Butch Trucks, and Jai Johanny 'Jaimoe' Johanson, formed the band back in 1969 in Florida. But apart from their noticeably simple name, the band also gave the world a collection of remarkable performances.
One of their most legendary gigs took place at the Fillmore East Theater in New York back in March 1971, when they performed 'Whipping Post' for nearly 23 minutes. What's more, they returned to Fillmore East three months later to play for the last time and party with their audience up until dawn.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience
James Marshall, or as we all know him, Jimi Hendrix, was a rock legend who established an American-English rock band alongside drummer Mitch Mitchell, and bassist Noel Redding, in London, back in 1966. And evidently, it only took the band four active years to become one of the most popular acts in rock.
More exactly, The Jimi Hendrix Experience recorded three hit albums. And together, they played hits such as 'Purple Haze' and 'Hey Joe.' One of their most remarkable shows was the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival when Hendrix set his black Fender Stratocaster on fire and began the band's U.S. tour.
'Alice Cooper's' Theatrical Elements
With a career spanning over 50 years, Alice Cooper certainly deserved his place on this list. The American singer, songwriter, and actor, is best known for the theatrical elements in all his gigs, which accounts for his nickname as a 'shock-rock' anti-hero.
Over his career, he successfully and continually brought his tracks back to life. But he certainly delighted the audience back in 2017, when he reunited with his original band. That's when he had his first U.K. tour in five years. And even today, at the age of 72, Cooper doesn't seem to slow down.
The Consistent 'Grateful Dead'
The American rock band, the Grateful Dead, was formed in California in 1965. The band is best known for its eclectic style music, combining different rock, psychedelic rock, as well as folk, country, jazz, bluegrass, blues, and gospel elements. What's more, the band was one of the most consistent tourers in U.S. history.
The band toured between the winter of 1965 and the summer of 1995, except for 1975. Aside from the U.S., the band also played a handful of foreign gigs. After the death of lead guitarist and singer Jerry Garcia, the other band members toured in various arrangements.
The Incomparable 'David Bowie'
The English singer-songwriter and actor, David Bowie, was mostly known for crossing boundaries on his live performances. And up until this day, no one can compare to his image and sound. Over his career, this cultural icon loved to confuse and leave the audience wondering for his next gig.
One such example is London's Hammersmith Odeon back in 1973 when he announced that was his final Ziggy Stardust show ever. Fortunately, he returned as a 'Young Americans' inspired character the following year. However, Bowie passed away days after his 69th birthday in 2016.
The Most Influential 'Beatles'
It's safe to say that there isn't a single soul on earth who isn't familiar with the Beatles? The English rock band, comprised of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, was established in 1960 and made a series of historic live show performances over their life-long career.
One of their most remarkable gigs as 'The Fab Four,' was at Sam Houston Coliseum in Texas in August 1965. Apart from incredible audience responses, the Beatles also got a review 'It sounds like the Beatles are drenched in sweat, and loving it' by the Rolling Stone.
'Pearl Jam's' Spectacular Amends
Thirty years ago, Pearl Jam made their live debut at the Off Ramp Café to an audience of fewer than 300 people. However, things have changed from 1990 when the band went by the name 'Mookie Blaylock'. Today, Ament, Gossard, McCready, Vedder, and Cameron, sell out the biggest venues worldwide.
One remarkable happening took place in June 2018 when the band canceled their second night at London's O2 hours before the gig because the singer was unable to perform, as he had lost his voice. However, they apologized with a three-hour set to close the European leg of their world tour.
The Reformation Of 'Guns N' Roses'
Guns N' Roses was formed as a hard rock band back in 1985 in Los Angeles, California. However, over the years, the band went through several line-up changes. What's more, when the lead vocalist Axl Rose was asked if the original group would ever reform, he answered 'Not In This Lifetime.'
Surprisingly enough, the classic line-up, including Axl Rose, Slash, Duff McKagan, and Steven Adler, reunited in 2016 and embarked on a tour named after Rose's response. The band then performed in the U.K. for the first time in 24 years. Quite the reform, isn't it?
The Future of 'Kiss'
Gene Simmons announced the end of the band back in 2002. Two years later, rhythm guitarist Paul Stanley replied 'People change their minds, and in this case that goes along with being a living, thinking person. What one says one day with total commitment may at another time turn out not to be so'.
Evidently, Kiss is another American rock band whose actions cannot be predicted. To be more specific, they went on their final world tour 'End of the Road,' which put an end to their 45-year long career. But who is to say that this time is truly their last, as they might surprise us again in the future?
The Infamous End of 'The Doors'
Vocalist Jim Morrison, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, guitarist Robby Krieger, and drummer John Densmore, founded the Doors in L.A. back in 1965. Over their career, they had released many show-stopping hits like 'Break on Through' and 'Light My Fire.' However, one of their live shows had an infamous end.
To be more specific, Morrison started to scream at the audience on a gig at Miami's Dinner Key Auditorium, which took place in March 1969. The police officers were lined up in front of the stage when he exposed himself and got arrested. However, he died while the case was still under appeal.
The Canadian Rock Band 'Rush'
Have you ever wondered what the future holds for Rush? Starting from 1968, when Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart formed the band, we have all admired their live stage performances. However, they wrapped their R40 Live Tour in 2015 and haven't performed together ever since.
Considering the departure of Neil Peart, who got the epithet of 'the single greatest drummer alive' by Rolling Stone, the band will most probably put an end to their gigging days. However, there is still hope invested in the remaining members, or vocalist Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson.
The Best-Selling 'Van Halen'
Van Halen is an American rock band formed by the Van Halen brothers back in 1972. Over the years, the band has built a remarkable reputation because of its live show performances and became one of the best-selling rock and roll bands in history.
Up until this day, the band still knows how to surprise its fans. For instance, they have played some long-forgotten songs, such as 'Light Up The Sky' and 'Feel Your Love Tonight,' on their most recent tour, which ended in 2015. The question is whether Van Halen has another stadium tour in the sleeves?
'Aerosmith' Didn't Miss a Thing
Formed in Boston in 1970, Aerosmith is a world-recognized and well-appreciated rock band name. Throughout their career, the band members took part in some of the most remarkable gigs in all time. One such example is Aerosmith's 2017 'Aero-vederci Baby!' tour, including 15 countries in 3 months.
But what makes the band special is their character or uncertainty regarding the future. At one point, Tyler, the lead singer, asked his band-mate Perry 'Is there any truth to the rumors that this could be the last hurrah' to which he replied 'Who knows'? Quite exciting for the fans, isn't it?
The Epic 'Iron Maiden'
Established in London in 1975, Iron Maiden is an English heavy metal band with a discography of 39 albums. Even so, what placed Iron Maiden on our list was their remarkable way of performing. More exactly, they are mostly known for their impressive stage sets.
In their career, Iron Maiden has reproduced a First World War trench, including a papier-mâché mask squirting blood and futuristic artwork, as well as lots of fire and incredible lights. Even more, the band undertook one of the longest rock tours in history, when they promoted their album "Powerslave."
The Irish Rock Band 'U2'
Another incredible live performer on our list is U2, a group including Bono, the Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr. To be more specific, the band had their first tour "Zoo T.V." in the 90s, when they matched their revolutionary smash-hit "Achtung Baby" with an appropriate, refined show.
At that point, Bono developed his alter ego, Fly, which he kept for the entire tour. Almost three decades later, in 2018, Bono, as the singer of U2, ended the last show of their tour "Experience + Innocence" with a devastating statement that the band is going away from the stage. What a bummer!
The Leading Rock Guitarist Jimi Hendrix
Once again, we have Jimi Hendrix on our list. Only this time, we present him as one of the most celebrated solo artists of the 20th century. More exactly, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame described him as "the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music."
Even though he had many remarkable live performances, the one at Woodstock back in 1969, was definitely one of his most memorable ones. At the gig, he played an uninterrupted set for almost two hours, with a final medley including the national anthem. He truly knew how to make history!
Bruce Springsteen's Double Reputation
Over the years, Bruce Springsteen has developed a reputation as a solo artist, as well as the leader of the E Street Band. But what got him world-recognition and a huge fan base was his mindset regarding the shows. More exactly, he perceives each gig as a true collaboration between him and his audience.
That's why he often decided to skip the setlist and take on requests from his crowd. Together with his off-the-scale energy, Springsteen also performed at some lengthy shows, such as the one in Helsinki, Finland in 2012, throughout his career. Thus, no matter how his fans always get their money's worth.
Metallica's Memorable Performance
The next live performer worth mentioning is Metallica, an American heavy metal band established in 1981 in Los Angeles. Over the years, the band has changed its lineup in several instances. Even so, they developed a growing fan base in the underground music community, and earned critical acclaims.
One of their most historic gigs took place in Moscow's Tushino Airfield in 1991, when Metallica performed as part of Monster of Rock '91. Metallica broke its personal record, as a million fans came to see them play. Even more, this was the first Russian free show to feature worldwide rock stars.
The Comeback of the 'Rolling Stones'
We were all quite devastated when the Rolling Stones stopped touring back in 2007. After all, they were a well-established, world-recognized rock band ever since their establishment in 1962. Luckily, they got back on the performing stage with their "50 & Counting" tour.
They gathered the original line-up, including Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, and Ronnie Wood, to celebrate the band's 50th anniversary. Throughout the tour, many celebs names, such as Lady Gaga, Bruce Springsteen, and Mick Taylor turned up to pay their respects to the Rolling Stones.
The Power-Driven 'AC/DC'
The Scottish-born brothers, Malcolm and Angus Young, established the Australian rock band AC/DC back in 1973 in Sydney. Since then, they have continually toured and performed on-stage, becoming one of the most recognized "rock and roll" names with a huge international fan base.
One of AC/DC's most remarkable gigs was the 20-month "Black Ice" tour. More exactly, they decided to return to Argentina after 13 years, and according to the guitarist Angus Young "Those fans were as crazy as they've ever been". But after a while, we would also have gone mad to see this iconic band perform!
The English Rock Band 'The Who'
The classic line-up, including lead singer Roger Daltrey, guitarist and singer Pete Townshend, bass guitarist John Entwistle and drummer Keith Moon, has established The Who in 1964 in London. The band has toured regularly since the 60s, becoming one of the top live performers in history.
However, their most remarkable gig took place at the University of Leeds when the band performed its 1970 Valentine's Day show. They played an astonishing number of 38 songs for a 2,000 audience. Even more, they included a 15-minute version of "My Generation." So, it was an honor to be there!
Pink Floyd's Innovative Gigs
The leading band of the progressive rock genre, Pink Floyd was formed in London, 1965. Over time, the band had a number of elaborate live shows, philosophical lyrics, and sonic experimentation. However, their most remarkable tour took place after the release of "The Wall."
It was an ambitious album, followed by an entire performance. More exactly, Pink Floyd has built an actual on-stage wall within the first half of each show and spent most of the second half behind it. And in the end, when the wall fell down, the audience was always surprised by the dramatic reveal.
The Outstanding 'Led Zeppelin'
Vocalist Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones, and drummer John Bonham, established Led Zeppelin in London in 1968. And ever since the 60s and the 70s, the band has sold out arenas, as well as stadiums all around the globe.
They mostly performed at Madison Square Garden in the U.S. However, their three-night stint at the venue eventually became a best-selling feature-length film in July 1973. What's more, it was developed as a soundtrack "The Song Remains the Same," featuring all favorites of the Led Zeppelin fans.
The Historic 'Queen'
Last but not least, Queen is a British rock band who developed a reputation as one of the top live performers. More exactly, the classic line-up including Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon, formed Queen in London back in 1970.
They have continually toured up until the death of Freddie Mercury in 1991. However, we are happy that Brian May and Roger Taylor, as the remaining members, continued to perform with vocalists Paul Rodgers, in the period 2004- 2009, and Adam Lambert, starting from 2011.
The Alternative ‘Pixies’
If you haven’t heard of the Pixies before, you shouldn’t let the name fool you. Even though the name appeals to a soft sounding, relaxing band, the Pixies were an American alternative rock band. Many people know them as a very “in your face” band or even the band that predicted the 90s.
The Pixies may not have been the first alternative rock band. Even so, they produced one of the most incredible hooks of their time. Starting from the fast rocking to the mix’s slower songs, the Pixies knew how to keep their fans on their toes. The band disbanded back in 1993 but reunited again in 2004.
Robert Smith and 'The Cure'
Many of The Cure’s fans argue that this was the band that took the goth genre to another level. They established the band back in 1978, while the band members changed a couple of times. However, Robert Smith, the guitarist, lead vocalist, and songwriter, remained constant through all the years.
Over the years, The Cure has toured in many instances. What’s more, they are still performing and have announced a live date in 2020. What makes The Cure special are Smith’s vocals with so much emotion and diversity, as the band can play happy music, as well as, dark and mysterious tones.
The Hidden Message of ‘Depeche Mode’
Formed in Basildon in 1980, Depeche Mode entered the scene as a typical synth-pop group. However, as time went by, they evolved into a rather dark and ominous sounding group. When asked for the origin of the band’s name, taken from a French fashion magazine, Martin Gore said, "It means hurried fashion or fashion dispatch."
Also, Gore revealed that the band first performed on a school gig back in May 1980 and quickly gained worldwide recognition. Ago in 2017, Depeche Mode sold 1.27 million tickets through the first nine months of the year, having one of the most unforgettable tours in modern music and its most-successful concert run ever.
The Progressive ‘Talking Heads’
David Byrne, Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth, and Jerry Harrison established the Talking Heads back in 1975 in New York City. Many would say that the band was ahead of their time because of their unique MTV music videos. And probably that’s why their best work is split pretty evenly between the 70s and 80s.
Most of all, we can recognize the Talking Heads for their diverse genres, intelligent lyrics, and good dance beats. One of their most remarkable live performances was on the 1984 American concert film “Stop Making Sense” when they promoted their new album Speaking in Tongues. Unfortunately, the band split up in 1991.
The Transition Band ‘The Stone Roses’
Similar to Pixies, The Stone Roses were a transition band to the 90s. The band’s classic lineup consisted of vocalist Ian Brown, guitarist John Squire, bassist Mani, and drummer Reni. As an English rock band, The Stone Roses wrote some great melodies, providing a shade of light in the dark 80s period.
Over the years, The Stone Roses had concerts and other live performances in Europe, Australia, North America, and Asia. Even so, many fans would agree that their most remarkable moment was on Spike Island, Widnes, on May 27, 1990, when the band played in front of 30,000 of their fans.
‘The Replacements’ As Alternative Rock’ Pioneers
Initially, The Replacements entered the scene as an American punk rock band. However, with time, they earned the title as one of the pioneers of alternative rock. For most of their career, the band was composed of Paul Westerberg, Bob Stinson, Tommy Stinson, and Chris Mars, but went through a couple of changes.
The Rolling Stones, Faces, Big Star, Slade, Badfinger, CCR, the Beatles, the Ramones, and the New York Dolls all had a significant influence over The Replacements’ work. One of the band’s most remarkable performances was on the Riot Fest when the band had its first US show in 22 years in Chicago.
Setting ‘New Order’ After Joy Division
Another rock band from the 1980s, the New Order are an English rock band formed after the demise of Joy Division. After the suicide of lead singer Ian Curtis, the remaining band members Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook, and Stephen Morris, joined by keyboardist Gilbert, continued as a new band.
Over the years, New Order went through a lot of changes. They performed all over the globe, starting from the UK, to the states and Australia. With so many tours and live performances, it’s difficult to distinguish their most successful one. What’s more, New Order’s schedule included 16 concerts across four countries in 2020-2021.
The American Rock Band ‘R.E.M.’
Like the Smiths, R.E.M. started as a jangle-pop group, only a bit more commercial sounding. In the beginning, most of all, people recognized R.E.M. as a college rock band in the late 80s. However, college communities recognized the band quickly after, especially after the hit song Losing My Religion.
Starting from 1985’ show at Barrymore’s Music Hall to the Muziekcentrum Vredenburg 1987, The Fox Theatre in 1989, The Borderline in 1991, the Kingpin’s Bowl and Brew in 2005, R.E.M. truly knew how to make a show for its audience. However, the band broke up and hasn’t been active since 2011.
The Brief Light of 'The Smiths'
Established in Manchester in 1982, The Smiths were one of the most remarkable and beloved groups. Many critics have declared The Smiths as one of the most influential bands to emerge from the British independent music scene of the 1980s. Unfortunately, they didn’t last long, as the band split up in 1987.
Even though the band was short-lived, they had many remarkable live performances, starting from the UK, Canada, the US, and other European countries. Most of all, the fans recognized the Smiths for their unique style influenced by 60s R&B groups, and the jangle pop style, their energetic and emotional atmosphere.
‘Stevie Ray Vaughan’ and His Spider Fingers
Born in 1954, Stevie Ray Vaughan was an American musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer. Even though Stevie had a short spanning mainstream career of seven years, many people find him one of the greatest guitarists of all time and the most iconic and influential musicians in blues music’ history.
Stevie Ray Vaughan was the frontman of the American blues-rock band Double Trouble, with whom he performed various live events throughout the world. More exactly, he took part in the Texas Flood Tour in 1983, Couldn’t Stand the Weather Tour in 1984, Japan in 1985, and Soul to Soul Tour during 1985-1986.
The King of Pop 'Michael Jackson'
Dubbed the “King of Pop”, Michael Jackson is one of the most influential and significant cultural figures of the 20th century. Born in 1958, Michael Jackson was an American singer, songwriter, and dancer. Most of all, people recognized him for his great control over his voice and the remarkable live performances.
It’s challenging to distinguish Michael’s most powerful performances on stage, as he had always found a new way to surprise his fans. Even so, the half-time at the 1993’ Superbowl, the MTV Video Music Awards in 1995, and his HIStory World Tour are great examples of what he has done over his career.
The Innovation of ‘Hüsker Dü’
Hüsker Dü was an innovative band that came up with the genre known as post-hardcore, combining elements of noise rock with punk. During the 80s, the world scene was mostly dominated by British new wave bands. So, it was a significant change to see an American band like Hüsker Dü determined to create a genre.
The band’s continual members were Bob Mould, Greg Norton, and Grant Hart. They were a striking trio on stage, and over the years, they have performed all over the states. Even though the band was never widely popular, they had a considerable impact on the industry, one much larger than sales would indicate.
The Untypical ‘Misfits’
Based on their looks and names, many people assumed that Misfits would be a typical emo band. However, this was far from the truth, as Misfits surprised everyone with their quality and unique style. More exactly, the band combined horror film themes and imagery with punk and other musical influences.
The vocalist, songwriter, keyboardist Glenn Danzig, and drummer Manny Martínez founded the group in 1977. Over the years, they changed the lineup in several instances. Even so, Misfits are still active and performing on stage for its fans. Unfortunately, they don’t have any concert dates for the current 2020.
‘Ozzy Osbourne’ after Black Sabbath
During the 1970s, John Michael, or as we all know him “Ozzy” Osbourne, was the lead vocalist of the heavy metal band Black Sabbath. It was then that Ozzy adopted the nickname “Prince of Darkness” and built a strong reputation in the metal community. So, it was no surprise when he went solo after Sabbath.
Ozzy created several great metal albums, including one of the most incredible riffs and guitar work. His solo work was quite different from the last albums with the band, which also built up his icon status and reputation. After all, he is one of the most recognizable metal voices, one with remarkable on-stage performances.
‘Motörhead’ and its Original Sounds
Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister, the sole constant member, guitarist Larry Wallis and drummer Lucas Fox founded Motörhead as an English rock band in June 1975. Most of all, people recognize the band for its unique, original sound, or one of the most stable heavy metal groups with excessive creativity.
Over the years, Motörhead had appeared on stage in numerous instances. Their careers include many special tours, such as the 35th and the 40th Anniversary Tour, the Kings of the Road Tour, the Rock’ n’ Roll Tour, and the Sacrifice Tour, all featured powerful performances.
Elton John Before 'Rocket Man'
Perhaps it should be no surprise that Elton John's life off-stage is equally as colorful as his sold-out shows. Back in the day, before the oversized glasses and blinding ensembles, the Rocket Man first shot up to fame with his 1970 hit single, "Your Song." Ring a bell?
Safe to say, it's only been uphill for the piano-playing legend ever since then. From strutting his stuff on the red carpet to his final "Farewell Yellow Brick Road" tour, the British superstar's time on stage might be coming to an end, but it's destined to live on forever.
Fleetwood Mac's Bumpy Ride
Long before Stevie Knick's voice began dominating the world of TikTok with "Dreams," Fleetwood Mac was one of the biggest names in music. In fact, ever since the band first came together in 1967, the British-American rock group has been blessing us with hit after hit. And for those lucky enough to experience them in person?
It's no surprise that the band has found its way onto our list. With Stevie's soulful vocals and Lindsey Buckingham's electrifying guitar sets, the group's sets are truly a sight to be seen; That was, until their endless feuds led to a public break-up. Nonetheless, their reign will never be forgotten.
Journey Never Stopped Believing
It's weird to think of a time where we weren't busy belting out the words to "Don't Stop Believing" for the millionth time. But back in 1973, the legendary faces behind the classic song were just getting started, as road manager, Herbie Herbert recruited Gregg Rolie and Neal Schon, and the rest is now history. Since then?
20+ albums and decades later, the group's success only continues to grow - including their unforgettable live sets, of course. In fact, as guitarist Neal Schon himself put it, "The one thing that remains the same is [our] live performances." Safe to say, with an upcoming album in the works, these guys' journey is far from over.
When Paul McCartney Went Solo
One look at that name, and it's like we've just stepped back into the 60s. But while the Beatles icon and his famous bandmates may have since called it quits, Paul McCartney's time in front of our screens is actually far from over. Of course, we're talking about the time he made his riskiest - and perhaps most rewarding - move yet.
Going solo. Ever since his 1970 debut as a solo artist, McCartney, and his success seem to know no bounds. But don't take our word for it: He's "The best-selling songwriter in the history of recorded music," as the Guinness Book put it; And with an upcoming album on its way? The British heartthrob isn't slowing down anytime soon.
Jon Bon Jovi Was Destined to Be a Star
Sure, it's pretty safe to say we all know who Jon Bon Jovi is. But if you ask him? He was practically destined to become the household name he is today; By the age of 16, the famous rocker was already playing local clubs and venues, convinced he was going to make it big. Sure enough, he couldn't have been more right.
Ever since joining forces with David Bryan and fellow bandmates in 1983, Jon's newly-titled, 'Bon Jovi' rock group has taken the world by storm. From touring sold-out arenas to winning MTV's Best Stage Performance, it's no wonder the famous rockers are as big as they are today, despite their sudden 2013 breakup.
The Beach Boys' Refreshing Aura
It doesn't matter where you are in the world, one listen to the Beach Boys' soothing vocals, and it's like you've just been whisked away on a dreamy vacation under the sun; But that's exactly why the 1960s pop-group were as big as they once were. So, where did they get their start?
What started out as a garage band back in 1961 soon morphed into a global phenomenon, as the Beach Boys and their refreshing tunes captured the hearts of listeners worldwide. In fact, ever since they first took to the stage, the group and their captivating performances have gone on to land them a spot in Rock & Roll's Hall-of-Fame.
The Moody Blues' Soulful Reign
Back in the 60s, the Moody Blues and their mesmerizing music finally made its way to the States, bringing a whole new meaning to the 'British Invasion.' But while they may have been busy giving other foreigners a run for their money (*ahem, The Beatles*), it was their 1964 single, "Go Now," that truly propped them front and center.
The rock band's time on stage brought them all around the globe, as they continued to dominate the world one electrifying track at a time; And while, today, their days as a group are far from over, they'll forever be remembered for changing the course of rock & roll with their innovative sounds.
The Bee Gees' Brothers' Rise to Fame
As if their talent wasn't impressive enough, the story of how these brothers came to dominate the 70s and 80s, one disco at a time, will definitely do the trick. Back in the late 1950s, Barry, Robin & Maurice Gibb were busy navigating the world of music as 'The Rattlesnakes,' when their move to Australia led them to their big break.
It all started when then-Australian pop star Col Joye happened upon their set one night, soon morphing them into the dancing legends we know them as today. From their Saturday Night Fever soundtrack to show-stopping ensembles, it's hard to hear their name and not want to hit the dancefloor.
The Ageless Red Hot Chili Peppers
What started out as three high-school friends and their casual jam sessions, soon brought Anthony Kiedis, Michael Balzary, and Hillel Slovak into the international rockstars we know them as today. Ever since becoming the 'Red Hot Chili Peppers,' back in 1983, they've been dominating our stage, one show-stopping performance at a time.
In fact, it may have been decades since they first found their way onto our radios, but the rock band's energy is just as contagious as it was back in the day; And with new music on the way, we'd definitely keep an eye out for these guys if we were you.
Lynyrd Skynyrd is Unstoppable
Back in 1964, rockband "My Backyard" first formed, before eventually settling on the name, "Lynyrd Skynrd," and well, the rest is history. By 1970, mere years later, the newfound ground had already played over 1,000 gigs; As for where they stand today?
After a tragic plane crash in 1977 brought their thriving career to a sudden halt, the band has since gone on to fight through their struggles; In fact, ever since their 1987 reunion, their comeback was so successful, they went on to breed a 'second-generation Skynyrd,' landing a spot in Rock & Roll's Hall-of-Fame come 2006.
Janis Joplin's Famous Voice
Our next famous face might have met a tragic fate at the young age of 27, but the late star and her legacy will never be forgotten; And we're not only referring to her unforgettable time on our stage. When she wasn't busy dazzling us with her electrifying stage presence, Janis Joplin was busy using her voice elsewhere.
From speaking out in the name of equality to her iconic 1969 Woodstock performance, it's no surprise that the young activist has gone to become one of the most famous female rockers of the 1960s. "I never knew an artist that worked harder," Elliot Mazer, the editor of "Cheap Thrills," Joplin's 2nd album before going solo, revealed.
The ABBA Breakup
Believe it or not, long before "Mamma Mia!" blessed us with some of our favorite ABBA masterpieces, the Swedish group was busy dominating Eurovision, one catchy tune at a time. But while their reign in the music world might have been one for the books, a brutal breakup eventually had the group parting ways.
Back in 1982, as guitarist Björn Ulvaeus and vocalist Agnetha Fältskog's love story came to an end, the famed group decided to call it quits, embarking on relatively successful solo careers. Nonetheless, their unforgettable tunes and contagious on-stage presence has gone on to land them a spot on our countdown.
Oasis' Sibling Rivalry
They may have once told us to stop crying our hearts out, but back in the day, Liam and Noel Gallagher's sibling rivalry led to one vicious falling out - and the ultimate breakup of Britain's famous rock group. After forming in 1991, the band went on to bless us with hits like "Wonderwall;" That is, until their bitter split.
"It's with some sadness and great relief to tell you that I quit Oasis tonight… I simply could not go on working with Liam a day longer," Noel revealed in 2009, as the band's brewing tensions led to their ultimate end. While a reconciliation doesn't seem promising anytime soon, the band's time on our stage will, um, never be forgotten.
The Unbreakable Mötley Crüe
Make no mistake about it, Mötley Crüe has had one whirlwind of a ride. Ever since their formation in 1981, the rock group has gone to dominate our stages, along with their signature leather pants and unbeatable energy, of course. But by 1992, the band met its first road bump, as frontman Vince Neil left during the height of their fame.
And, of course, that was only the beginning of their eventful ride. After Tommy Lee's shocking departure and their retirement in 2014, the band is officially back and better than ever, after announcing their reunion, back in 2019. "It's a nice feeling," Neil revealed of their official comeback.
Madonna, the Timeless Material Girl
Of course, last but not least, we had to mention the Queen of Pop, whose well-established career already spans decades - and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. After going solo in 1981, the Material Girl went on to dominate the 80s, reaching levels of fame that almost no one had ever met before.
From Madonna's debut tour, "The Virgin Tour," to her unforgettable Half-Time show in 2012, it's no wonder that the triple threat's show-stopping performances have gone down in history; And at 62-years-old with no signs of slowing down, the superstar is proof enough that age is, indeed, just a number.
Creedence Clearwater Revival's Southern Rock Style
During the 60s and 70s, Creedence Clearwater Revival, also known as Creedence or CCR, cranked out hit after hit, as each band member brought something special to the table. John Fogerty was the primary songwriter, his brother, Tom, was the rhythm guitarist, plus bassist Stu Cook and drummer Doug Clifford.
Creedence won fans over with their Southern rock style, and their unique lyrics about controversial topics made them stand out among other bands. Unfortunately, though, the guys went their separate ways after topping the charts for four years, but die-hard fans will forever value their music.
Before the Curse of The Ramones
New York City's own rock group, The Ramones, was known by many as the band who invented punk rock. While none of the musicians were actually related, they all adopted the last name Ramone, inspired by Paul McCartney, who used to check into hotels under the name Paul Ramone. And the Ramones were indeed a close-knit family.
Sadly, tragedy struck the band in the early 2000s, when three members passed away within a few years of each other. This became known as the curse of the Ramones, as fans couldn't believe the band was gone so quickly. "The Ramones are history, and Johnny's death is the death of punk rock," said Gary Curfist, the band's manager.
English Hall of Famers, The Kinks
When reminiscing on rock music from the 60s, chances are, you might think of the English rock band the Kinks. Brothers Ray and Dave Davies first formed the band in 1964, and then with their other band members, emerged during the height of the British rhythm and blues and Merseybeat.
Five of the Kinks' singles have made it to Billboard's top 10 in America, and 17 reached the top 20 in the UK. Clearly, this band made its mark on the music industry, and in 1990, all four original band members were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; The Davies brothers, Pete Quaife, and Mick Avory.
Nirvana Became the Figurehead Band of Generation X
Ever since Kurt Cobain founded the band Nirvana in 1987, the group has been gracing the world with incredible rock music. Nirvana helped alternative rock become more widespread; They were often referred to as the figurehead band of Generation X. They released their first album, Bleach, in 1989, and the rest was history.
Nirvana's second album, Nevermind, was a cultural phenomenon during the 90s and achieved diamond status by the Recording Industry Association of America. To this day, Nirvana is one of the best-selling bands of all time and has won numerous awards over the years.
Andy Warhol's House Band, The Velvet Underground
When The Velvet Underground first got together in 1964, they hadn't yet established this name. They tried out a few different names, and even swapped out their drummer for Moe Tucker, another musician, and then recruited Andy Warhol as their manager in 1966.
While working with the iconic pop artist, the Velvet Underground became the house band at Warhol's art collective, called the Factory. The band broke up during the early 70s, but they held a few reunion shows years later. And in 2004, Rolling Stone named them number 19 on the list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
Cream Was the World's First Supergroup
Cream mastered many different rock music genres during the 60s, including blues-rock, psychedelic rock, and hard rock. The British band formed in 1966, with three members, Jack Bruce, Eric Clapton, and Ginger Baker. Each musician had previously been part of another group, so they were often known as the world's first supergroup.
Unfortunately, though, the band broke up in 1968 because of tension between Bruce and Baker. In 1993, Cream was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and they made Rolling Stone's list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Even though they went their separate ways, Cream's music will never go out of style.
Def Leppard Brought Rock Videos to MTV
During the 1980s, Def Leppard established themselves as part of the British heavy metal movement. They released their first album, On Through the Night, in 1980, and it landed on the UK's top 15 albums, but Def Leppard hadn't been internationally recognized just yet.
However, Def Leppard's second album took them to the next level, helping the band define their hard rock style worldwide. The album's most popular song, Bringin' On the Heartbreak, became one of the first rock videos on MTV. Things continued to go up from there, and Def Leppard kept creating incredible music.
Blondie's Unique Mix of Styles
The American rock band, Blondie, was founded by Debbie Harry and Chris Stein during the 70s when the two saw a window of opportunity in the rock scene in New York City. Their first two albums were a huge success in the UK and Australia, but Blondie was considered an underground band in America until they released Parallel Lines.
And from there, Blondie continued to produce hit singles and became known for their unique mix of musical styles, including disco, reggae, pop, and even some rap. Unfortunately, Blondie stopped performing in the 80s when Chris became ill, but Debbie still pursued a solo career, as she couldn't stay off the stage for very long!
The Clash Had One of the Best Albums of the 1980s
The Clash was one of the critical bands in the original wave of British punk rock music. This English rock band also impacted the post-punk and new wave movements during the 70s and 80s. Led by vocalist and guitarist Joe Strummer, the group rose to fame in the UK after their first album, The Clash.
In 1979, The Clash released their third album, and they finally gained a following in America, helping take the band to the next level. The Clash's album, London Calling, was later recognized as the best album of the 1980s, according to Rolling Stone. Their final album was released in 1985, and the band later made it into the Hall of Fame.
Heart Always Knew How To Make a Comeback
The American rock band Heart evolved from an existing band, called White Heart. Original band members Roger Fisher and Steve Fossen were joined by sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson, Michael Derosier, and Howard Leese. Heart rose to fame during the 70s with their hard rock and heavy metal music.
The band declined during the 80s, but in 1985, they made an incredible comeback and amazed fans with even more iconic music. However, Herat split up in the late 90s but eventually got back together for a few performances later on. Some of Heart's most famous songs are Magic Man, What About Love, plus many more classic hits.