Nirvana was an American rock band formed in Aberdeen, Washington, in 1987. Founded by lead singer and guitarist Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic, the band went through a succession of drummers, most notably Chad Channing, and then recruited Dave Grohl in 1990. Nirvana's success popularized alternative rock, and they were often referenced as the figurehead band of Generation X. Their music maintains a popular following and continues to influence modern rock culture.
The Beatles were an English rock band, formed in Liverpool in 1960, that comprised John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. They are regarded as the most influential band of all time and were integral to the development of 1960s counterculture and popular music's recognition as an art form. Rooted in skiffle, beat and 1950s rock 'n' roll, their sound incorporated elements of classical music and traditional pop in innovative ways; the band also explored music styles ranging from folk and Indian music to psychedelia and hard rock. As pioneers in recording, songwriting and artistic presentation, the Beatles revolutionised many aspects of the music industry and were often publicised as leaders of the era's youth and sociocultural movements.
The Doors were an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1965, with vocalist Jim Morrison, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, guitarist Robby Krieger, and drummer John Densmore. They were among the most influential and controversial rock acts of the 1960s, partly due to Morrison's lyrics and voice, along with his erratic stage persona. The group is widely regarded as an important figure of the era's counterculture.
The Who are an English rock band formed in London in 1964. Their core lineup consisted of lead vocalist Roger Daltrey, guitarist Pete Townshend, bassist John Entwistle and drummer Keith Moon. They are considered one of the most influential rock bands of the 20th century, and have sold over 100 million records worldwide. Their contributions to rock music include the development of the Marshall Stack, large PA systems, the use of the synthesizer, Entwistle and Moon's influential playing styles, Townshend's feedback and power chord guitar technique, and the development of the rock opera. They are cited as an influence by many hard rock, punk, power pop and mod bands, and their songs are still regularly played. The Who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.
Led Zeppelin were an English rock band formed in London in 1968. The group comprised vocalist Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones, and drummer John Bonham. With a heavy, guitar-driven sound, they are cited as one of the progenitors of hard rock and heavy metal, although their style drew from a variety of influences, including blues and folk music. Led Zeppelin have been credited as significantly impacting the nature of the music industry, particularly in the development of album-oriented rock (AOR) and stadium rock.
The White Stripes were an American rock duo from Detroit formed in 1997. The group consisted of Jack White and Meg White. After releasing several singles and three albums within the Detroit music scene, the White Stripes rose to prominence in 2002 as part of the garage rock revival scene. Their successful and critically acclaimed albums White Blood Cells and Elephant drew attention from a large variety of media outlets in the United States and the United Kingdom. The single "Seven Nation Army", which used a guitar and an octave pedal to create the opening riff, became one of their most recognizable songs. The band recorded two more albums, Get Behind Me Satan in 2005 and Icky Thump in 2007, and dissolved in 2011 after a lengthy hiatus from performing and recording.
James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix was an American guitarist, singer and songwriter. Although his mainstream career spanned only four years, he is widely regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music, and one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame describes him as "arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music."
The Black Keys are an American rock duo formed in Akron, Ohio, in 2001. The group consists of Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney (drums). The duo began as an independent act, recording music in basements and self-producing their records, before they eventually emerged as one of the most popular garage rock artists during a second wave of the genre's revival in the 2000s. The band's raw blues rock sound draws heavily from Auerbach's blues influences, including Junior Kimbrough, R.L. Burnside, Howlin' Wolf, and Robert Johnson.
The Clash were an English rock band formed in London in 1976 who were key players in the original wave of British punk rock. Billed as "The Only Band That Matters", they also contributed to the post-punk and new wave movements that emerged in the wake of punk and employed elements of a variety of genres including reggae, dub, funk, ska, and rockabilly. For most of their recording career, the Clash consisted of lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Joe Strummer, lead guitarist and vocalist Mick Jones, bassist Paul Simonon, and drummer Nicky "Topper" Headon.
The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in London in 1962. Active for six decades, they are one of the most popular and enduring bands of the rock era. In the early 1960s, the Rolling Stones pioneered the gritty, rhythmically driven sound that came to define hard rock. Their first stable line-up consisted of vocalist Mick Jagger, multi-instrumentalist Brian Jones, guitarist Keith Richards, bassist Bill Wyman, and drummer Charlie Watts. During their formative years, Jones was the primary leader: he assembled the band, named it, and drove their sound and image. After Andrew Loog Oldham became the group's manager in 1963, he encouraged them to write their own songs. Jagger and Richards became the primary creative force behind the band, alienating Jones, who had developed a drug addiction that interfered with his ability to contribute meaningfully.
John Winston Ono Lennon was an English singer, songwriter, musician and peace activist who achieved worldwide fame as founder, co-songwriter, co-lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist of the Beatles. Lennon's work was characterised by the rebellious nature and acerbic wit of his music, writing and drawings, on film, and in interviews. His songwriting partnership with Paul McCartney remains the most successful in history.
James Newell Osterberg Jr., known professionally as Iggy Pop, is an American singer, musician, radio broadcaster, songwriter and actor. Called the "Godfather of Punk", he was the vocalist and lyricist of proto-punk band The Stooges, who were formed in 1967 and have disbanded and reunited many times since.
The Beach Boys are an American rock band that formed in Hawthorne, California, in 1961. The group's original lineup consisted of brothers Brian, Dennis, and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and friend Al Jardine. Distinguished by their vocal harmonies, adolescent-themed lyrics, and musical ingenuity, they are one of the most influential acts of the rock era. They drew on the music of older pop vocal groups, 1950s rock and roll, and black R&B to create their unique sound. Under Brian's direction, they often incorporated classical or jazz elements and unconventional recording techniques in innovative ways.
The Beach Boys began as a garage band, managed by the Wilsons' father Murry, with Brian serving as composer, arranger, producer, and de facto leader. In 1963, they enjoyed their first national hit with "Surfin' U.S.A.", beginning a string of top-ten singles that reflected a southern California youth culture of surfing, cars, and romance, dubbed the "California sound". They were one of the few American rock bands to sustain their commercial standing during the British Invasion. Starting with 1965's The Beach Boys Today!, they abandoned beachgoing themes for more personal lyrics and ambitious orchestrations. In 1966, the Pet Sounds album and "Good Vibrations" single raised the group's prestige as rock innovators. After scrapping the Smile album in 1967, Brian gradually ceded control of the group to his bandmates.
Creedence Clearwater Revival, also abbreviated as CCR, was an American rock band formed in El Cerrito, California. The band initially consisted of lead vocalist, lead guitarist, and primary songwriter John Fogerty; his brother, rhythm guitarist Tom Fogerty; bassist Stu Cook; and drummer Doug Clifford. These members had played together since 1959, first as the Blue Velvets and later as the Golliwogs, before settling on Creedence Clearwater Revival in 1967. The band's most prolific and successful period between 1969 and 1971 produced fourteen consecutive top 10 singles and five consecutive top 10 albums in the United States – two of which, Green River (1969) and Cosmo's Factory (1970), reached number one. The band performed at the 1969 Woodstock festival in Upstate New York, and was the first major act signed to appear there.
Cream were a British rock band formed in London in 1966. The group consisted of bassist Jack Bruce, guitarist Eric Clapton, and drummer Ginger Baker. Bruce was the primary songwriter and vocalist, although Clapton and Baker also sang and contributed songs. Formed from members of previously successful bands, they are widely regarded as the world's first supergroup. Cream were highly regarded for the instrumental proficiency of each of their members.
During their brief three-year career together, the band produced four albums, Fresh Cream (1966), Disraeli Gears (1967), Wheels of Fire (1968), and Goodbye (1969). Beginning with Disraeli Gears, the band was joined in the studio by producer and multi-instrumentalist Felix Pappalardi, who became an important influence on the band's sound. Cream's music spanned many genres of rock music, including blues rock ("Crossroads", "Born Under a Bad Sign"), psychedelic rock ("Tales of Brave Ulysses", "White Room"), and hard rock ("Sunshine of Your Love", "SWLABR"). In their career, they sold more than 15 million records worldwide. The group's third album, Wheels of Fire (1968), is the world's first platinum-selling double album.
T. Rex (originally Tyrannosaurus Rex) were an English rock band, formed in 1967 by singer-songwriter and guitarist Marc Bolan, who was their leader, frontman and only consistent member. Though initially associated with the psychedelic folk genre, Bolan began to change the band's style towards electric rock in 1969, and shortened their name to T. Rex the following year. This development culminated in 1970 with their first hit single "Ride a White Swan", and the group soon became pioneers of the glam rock movement.
From 1970 to 1973, T. Rex encountered a popularity in the UK comparable to that of the Beatles, with a run of eleven singles in the UK top ten. They scored four UK number one hits, "Hot Love", "Get It On", "Telegram Sam" and "Metal Guru". The band's 1971 album Electric Warrior received critical acclaim, reached number 1 in the UK and became a landmark album in glam rock. The 1972 follow-up, The Slider, entered the top 20 in the US. Bolstering their style with soul music, funk and gospel, the band released Tanx in 1973 which reached the top 5 in several countries. From 1974, T. Rex's appeal began to wane, though the band continued releasing albums. Their subsequent releases blended rock with R&B and occasionally even disco.
Jefferson Airplane was an American rock band based in San Francisco, California, that became one of the pioneering bands of psychedelic rock. Formed in 1965, the group defined the San Francisco Sound and was the first from the Bay Area to achieve international commercial success. They were headliners at the Monterey Pop Festival (1967), Woodstock (1969), Altamont Free Concert (1969), and the first Isle of Wight Festival (1968) in England. Their 1967 break-out album Surrealistic Pillow was one of the most significant recordings of the Summer of Love. Two songs from that album, "Somebody to Love" and "White Rabbit", are among Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Songs of All Time".
The October 1966 to February 1970 lineup of Jefferson Airplane, consisting of Marty Balin (vocals), Paul Kantner (guitar, vocals), Grace Slick (vocals), Jorma Kaukonen (lead guitar, vocals), Jack Casady (bass), and Spencer Dryden (drums), was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. Marty Balin left the band in 1971. After 1972, Jefferson Airplane effectively split into two groups. Kaukonen and Casady moved on full-time to their own band, Hot Tuna. Slick, Kantner, and the remaining members of Jefferson Airplane recruited new members and regrouped as Jefferson Starship in 1974, with Marty Balin eventually joining them. Jefferson Airplane was presented with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016.
Steppenwolf was an American-Canadian rock band that was prominent from 1968 to 1972. The group was formed in late 1967 in Los Angeles by lead singer John Kay, keyboardist Goldy McJohn, and drummer Jerry Edmonton, all formerly of the Canadian band the Sparrows. Guitarist Michael Monarch and bass guitarist Rushton Moreve were recruited via notices placed in Los Angeles-area record and musical instrument stores.
Steppenwolf sold over 25 million records worldwide, released seven gold albums and one platinum album, and had 13 Billboard Hot 100 singles, of which seven were Top 40 hits, including three top 10 successes: "Born to Be Wild", "Magic Carpet Ride", and "Rock Me". Steppenwolf enjoyed worldwide success from 1968 to 1972, but clashing personalities led to the end of the core lineup. Today, John Kay is the only original member, having been the lead singer since 1967. The band was called John Kay & Steppenwolf from 1980 to 2018. In Canada, they had four top 10 songs, 12 top 40, and 14 in the top 100.
Blue Öyster Cult is an American rock band formed on Long Island in Stony Brook, New York, in 1967. Best known for the singles "(Don't Fear) The Reaper", "Burnin' for You", and "Godzilla", the band has sold 25 million records worldwide, including 7 million in the United States alone. The band's fusion of hard rock and psychedelia with occult, fantastical and often tongue-in-cheek lyrics had a major influence on heavy metal music. Though they have experienced limited and infrequent commercial success, the band has developed a cult following and their most popular songs remain classic rock radio staples.
The Animals (also billed as Eric Burdon and the Animals) are an English rock band, formed in Newcastle upon Tyne in the early 1960s. The band moved to London upon finding fame in 1964. The Animals were known for their gritty, bluesy sound and deep-voiced frontman Eric Burdon, as exemplified by their signature song and transatlantic number-one hit single "The House of the Rising Sun" as well as by hits such as "We Gotta Get Out of This Place", "It's My Life", "Don't Bring Me Down", "I'm Crying", "See See Rider" and "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood." The band balanced tough, rock-edged pop singles against rhythm-and-blues-oriented album material and were part of the British Invasion of the US.