Rock music originated from “rock and roll” in the United States of America in the early 1950s before spreading around the world in various guises from the 1960s onwards. Today there are dozens of rock genres, from classic rock to progressive rock, from punk rock to heavy metal. You can rest assured that if you get into rock music then you will be able to find a style, genre and band that tickles your fancy. Over the years, there have been dozens of mega bands who play rock music. In this article we are going to take a look at some of the biggest rock bands of all time; how many of them have you listened to?
Queen are a British rock band that formed in 1970 in the English capital of London. The original line-up saw the legendary Freddy Mercury on lead vocals and piano, Brian May on lead guitar and vocals, John Deacon on bass guitar and Roger Taylor on drums and vocals. When Queen first hit the stage, they were heavily influenced by progressive rock, heavy metal and hard rock but then mellowed to become more radio-friendly by incorporating pop rock and arena rock into their repertoire. The band is credited with having the first modern day music video, which accompanied “Bohemian Rhapsody,” a song released in 1975 and one that is still regarded as a masterpiece. Mercury died on November 23, 1991 and the band was never the same again, although they continue to play to this very day with the help of Adam Lambert.
Another British rock band formed in London are Pink Floyd. The group were formed in 1965 and were active until 1995. The legendary band reformed in 2005, and again between 2012-14 but have since disbanded, partly due to a number of the band’s members dying. Pink Floyd’s 1973 album Dark Side of the Moon is one of the best rock albums in the history of music. It peaked at number two in the band’s native UK but has been certified 14x Platinum and more than 4.3 million copies sold in the UK alone; a further 15 million were sold in the U.S.A. It is estimated that 45 million copies have been sold worldwide, an impressive figure helped by it staying in the Billboard Top LPs & Tapes chart for 741 weeks between 1973 and 1988.
Metallica formed in 1981 in Los Angeles, California and are probably the best-known heavy metal band of all-time. Fast temps, amazing instrumentals and aggressive style helped them become part of the so-called “Big Four” bands of thrash metal alongside Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax. The band’s third album, Master of Puppets, is considered one of the heaviest and most influential thrash metal albums in the history of the genre and still continues to sell in impressive numbers to this very day. Metallica last released an album, the tenth in their history, in 2016 entitled Hardwired…to Self-Destruct showing that the band is still current despite forming more than 35 years ago.