When Bill Haley and the Comets helped launch the rock and roll era with their hit “Rock Around the Clock” in the mid-1950s, few people imagined the profound effect that the raucous music would have on world culture, or that it would endure into the 21st century.
Rock and roll, more than any other music, is the genre of rebellion and change. And in the 1960s and 1970s, when the music form was at its zenith in popularity, bands such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Led Zeppelin that tapped into the issues upending the culture — from drugs to love to war — remain the most popular groups of all time.
Using a number of different metrics, 24/7 Wall St. has identified the 100 most popular rock bands of all time. The selection of these artists is based on measures such as record sales, Billboard performance, Wikipedia page views, Facebook “likes,” and popularity on the online streaming platform Spotify. While there are many great rock performers who are better known as solo artists – such as Prince, David Bowie, and Elvis Presley – 24/7 Wall St. included only bands for this article.