What do you think of my list of the top 10 most influential Rock bands?

1. The Beatles - their influence is undeniable, even if you're not a fan. this one is probably the most obvious choice on the list.

2. The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Very innovative guitar work, the epitome of 60's Blues rock.

3. Black Sabbath - arguably the first 'real' metal band. Many might give the title to Led Zeppelin, but it's Sabbath in my opinion.

4. King Crimson - many will disagree with this choice, and put Pink Floyd or Yes instead. In terms of prog music, I'd say they were pretty damn influential.

5. The Stooges - was a huge influence on the Punk movement.

6. Joy Division - practically defined the post-punk/gothic rock sound.

7. My Bloody Valentine - was the major influence on the shoegazing genre.

8. The Pixies - if it wasn't for them, bands like Nirvana and Radiohead wouldn't sound the way they do.

9. Nirvana - brought Grunge to the mainstream. Like the Beatles, it's hard to argue this, even if you're not a fan.

10. Fugazi - again, not a very popular choice, they deserve a spot on here in my opinion, if only for the numberer of hardcore punk, noise rock, post-hardcore and emo bands that cite them as an influence.

How would you change this list? What does your own list look like?

Try to focus more on influence, and less on your personal preference. I admit I might have been biased while compiling the list, but there are a couple of bands on there that I'm not a big fan of (Fugazi, MBV, the KC, ..).


Yep, I was sad to drop Led Zepp in favor of Black Sabbath.

23 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Please throw out My Bloody Valentine, Joy Division and Fugazi. I would also question The Pixies and Nirvana, but it isn't bad!

    I would add:

    Led Zeppelin - an absolute must

    George Clinton/Parliament - created Funk, sampled by so many in the 90's...he has to be considered the forerunner of rap.....truly two decades before his time

    Smokey Robinson - created the Motown sound....wrote as many songs as he sang...forerunner to soul, funk, r&B, rap, etc.

  • 1 decade ago

    Hi Hedzy!

    I wouldn't make too many changes on your list but I have a couple of major ones.

    1. The Beatles - Definitely.

    2. The Jimi Hendrix Experience - I agree completely.

    3. Black Sabbath - arguably the first 'real' metal band.

    I would argue that Blue Cheer and their Vincebus Eruptum album released in 1968 as the first metal album.

    4. King Crimson - I'll agree with this one but not wholeheartily.

    5. The Stooges - They were an influence on the Punk movement but the real punk "look" started with Richard Hell & the Voidoids.

    6. Joy Division - I'm not knowledgable enough to answer this one.

    7. My Bloody Valentine - I have no clue about the shoegazing genre.

    8. The Pixies - That's probably true.

    9. Sorry but I'm arguing this one depending on your meaning of "mainstream",

    Nirvana's "Bleach" album which was released in 1989 wasn't as sucessful as Soundgarden's "Louder Than Love" album, (which had two hit singles and videos and was also released in 1989), until Nevermind was released two years later.

    Soundgarden is my answer although a case could also be made for Mudhoney and Mother Love Bone.

    10. Fugazi - (see my answer to #6)

    Edit: Biner, You're correct, Neil Young is the grandfather of Grunge!

  • 4 years ago

    By the influence I think the list is 1. The Who 2. The Doors 3. Deep Purple (smoke on the water,duh,duh,duh......) 4. Led Zeppelin (started heavy metal, plus Stairway to Heaven) 5. Black Sabbath (started heavy metal, plus Iron Man) 6. Rolling Stones (one of the first rock bands) 7. Judas Priest (metal gods) 8. Aerosmith (have never been unpopular) 9. Queen (have made some pretty memorable anthems). 10. Kiss 11. Scorpions 12. AC/DC 13. Iron Maiden (the most successful heavy metal band ever) 14. Motörhead 15. Manowar 16. Metallica (as fast as metal gets) 17. Nirvana (made grunge popular). I added some other groups because they had influence in the music of the other (as Motörhead and Manowar who had great influence on Metallica). Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath have influence each other (the order can change) and the three together change rock music. Doors and Who aren't so heavy metal but they showed the path, they teach all the other.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Great list - I might be tempted to switch out Jesus and Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine - or possibly throw in the Velvet Underground instead of Hendrix - he's an excellent guitar player, and there are those who ape his style, but I think a lot more punk and post-punk bands wanted to be the VU....

    But a very good list there. Fugazi could just as easily be Husker Du or the Minutemen - but it's a good choice.

    Other Notables:


    The Damned

    the Crickets

    Faith No More

    Teenage Jesus and the Jerks

    Sonic Youth

    Neutral Milk Hotel




    Black Flag

    I'll just stop - this list could go for miles

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    1. Bo Diddley; he was the first artist to combine Black's blues with White's Rock and Roll.

    2. Chuck Berry; the Godfather of Rock.

    3. The Beatles; obvious choice, they influenced most of the bands we listen to, even Mikael Akerfeldt from Opeth.

    4. The Who; the Godfathers of Punk.

    5. MC5; one of the first punk rock bands IMO.

    6. The Rolling Stones; one of the best bands that came out of the 60's. When they wrote '(I can't get no) Satisfaction' in 1965, every other song was about love, and that's how I think they changed rock.

    7. Blue Cheer (1966); I think they might be one of the first heavy metal bands, even before Black Sabbath(1968).

    8. Bob Dylan; he popularized folk.

    9. Jimi Hendrix; one of the most influential guitarist of all time.

    10. The Velvet Underground; when everything was about love and peace in the 60's, Lou Reed's lyrics were more deep, "Reed analyzed subjects of personal experience that rarely had been examined so openly in rock and roll, including a variety of sexual topics and drug culture and use." Wikipedia.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I don't agree with your list, but I see where you are coming from.

    My List:

    1. Eddie Cochran - Rock-a-Billy was the beginning of the rock n roll we know today(especially punk rock).

    2. Carl Perkins - No Carl, no Elvis, The Beatles, or Jerry Lee Lewis

    3. The Beatles - Not a big fan, but their influence was huge.

    4. Jimi Hendrix - Though he never made it big while he was alive, his influence as a rock guitarist is undeniable.

    5. Alice Cooper - His music was good but the stage show and theatrics are sill imitated today.

    6. Black Sabbath - The godfathers of metal. N'uff said.

    7. Led Zeppelin - The fathers of arena rock.

    8. The Sex Pistols - The did not invent punk rock, but they gave it the needed publicity and attitude.

    9. Elvis Costello - Never cared for him, but he set the stage for the "new wave" movement.

    10. Metallica - Combining NWOBHM with punk to take metal into a new era.

    Unless you chose some garbage pop band, there is really no wrong answer because it is subjective.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I would probably add The Velvet Underground somewhere, and get rid of Fugazi and replace them with Black Flag. Black Flag influenced way more than Fugazi. I strongly agree with MBV, because without them we wouldn't have the post-rock genre, or many shoegazing bands that came after them. Plus a lot of alternative rock bands cite them as influences, such as the smashing pumpkins. I guess you HAVE to have Led Zeppelin, but they didn't influence anything I listen to really so I have no problem leaving them out. Other than that, I like the list :)

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    1. Bob Dylan- He plugged in.

    2. The Allman Brothers Band- First to introduce Southern rock to the masses.

    3.Neil Young- Grunge

    4. The Who- Progessive rock, rock opera

    5. Buddy Holly And The Crickets- The pioneer

    6. The Beatles- The English invasion

    7. The Doors- Rock poetry

    8. Richie Valens- Latino rock

    9. Patti Smith Group- Godmother of punk

    10. Cream- First supergroup

    I like your list.

  • Peepaw
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    The Beatles

    Led Zeppelin


    The Jeff Beck Group

    The Who

    The Allman Brothers Band



    Ten Years After

    Humble Pie

  • 1 decade ago

    Hi Hedzy, you made a great well-supported list.

    Also, you really sparked some great answers.

    Some of my crazy musings:-)

    In the mid 60's two twins were born. One good and one evil. The good twin was the Beach Boys that influenced psychedelia, and the evil twins was the Beatles that influenced indie. lol

    Some other pivotal bands:

    Velvet Undergound

    New York Dolls

    The Minutemen



    Talk Talk


    Animal Collective

    Also it would be great to to back even further to find the "origin" of rock n' roll that got us to the 60's.

    Yowsa, have a great day!

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