Special Report

The Most Famous Band Formed Each Year Since 1957

Michael Webb / Getty Images

In 1957, four boys from Liverpool got together to form The Beatles. With each member contributing a special something, the group ushered in the modern band era and changed the course of music history forever.

Current popular music is especially favored by the youth, who often are drawn to what’s new. Each generation tends to champion its own bands and often is uninterested in what came before. With musicians constantly forming new groups, the demands of the youth for new music is always satisfied.

24/7 Wall St. has identified the most famous band formed each year from 1957 through 2017 by reviewing online popularity, album sales, and Wikipedia page views for thousands of musical groups. While no band has found the same stunning level of success as The Beatles, each has made a lasting impact on popular music and won fans across the world.

Click here to see the most famous band formed the year you were born.
Click here to see our detailed findings and methodology.

Correction: A previous version of this article listed ABBA as the most famous band formed in 1982. In fact, ABBA formed in 1972 and disbanded in 1982.

1957
> Artist: The Beatles
> Top charting track: Hey Jude
> Top charting album: Abbey Road
> Albums sold: 178 million

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1958
> Artist: Bee Gees
> Top charting track: How Deep Is Your Love
> Top charting album: Spirits Having Flown
> Albums sold: 28 million

1959
> Artist: Creedence Clearwater Revival
> Top charting track: Proud Mary
> Top charting album: Green River
> Albums sold: 28 million

1960
> Artist: The Temptations
> Top charting track: I Can’t Get Next To You
> Top charting album: All Directions
> Albums sold: 12.5 million

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1961
> Artist: The Beach Boys
> Top charting track: Kokomo
> Top charting album: Endless Summer
> Albums sold: 22.5 million

1962
> Artist: The Rolling Stones
> Top charting track: Miss You
> Top charting album: Some Girls
> Albums sold: 66.5 million

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1963
> Artist: Simon and Garfunkel
> Top charting track: Bridge Over Troubled Water
> Top charting album: Bridge Over Troubled Water
> Albums sold: 38.5 million

1964
> Artist: Lynyrd Skynyrd
> Top charting track: Sweet Home Alabama
> Top charting album: Street Survivors
> Albums sold: 28.5 million

1965
> Artist: Pink Floyd
> Top charting track: Another Brick In The Wall (Part II)
> Top charting album: The Dark Side Of The Moon
> Albums sold: 75 million

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1966
> Artist: Santana
> Top charting track: Smooth
> Top charting album: Supernatural
> Albums sold: 43.5 million

1967
> Artist: Fleetwood Mac
> Top charting track: Dreams
> Top charting album: Rumours
> Albums sold: 49.5 million

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1968
> Artist: Led Zeppelin
> Top charting track: Whole Lotta Love
> Top charting album: Led Zeppelin II
> Albums sold: 111.5 million

1969
> Artist: Black Sabbath
> Top charting track: Iron Man
> Top charting album: 13
> Albums sold: 15 million

1970
> Artist: Queen
> Top charting track: Another One Bites The Dust
> Top charting album: The Game
> Albums sold: 34.5 million

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1971
> Artist: Eagles
> Top charting track: Hotel California
> Top charting album: Hotel California
> Albums sold: 120 million

1972
> Artist: Van Halen
> Top charting track: Jump
> Top charting album: For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge
> Albums sold: 56.5 million

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1973
> Artist: AC/DC
> Top charting track: Moneytalks
> Top charting album: Black Ice
> Albums sold: 72 million

1974
> Artist: Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band
> Top charting track: Shame On The Moon
> Top charting album: Against The Wind
> Albums sold: 44.5 million

1975
> Artist: Iron Maiden
> Top charting track: Run To The Hills
> Top charting album: The Final Frontier
> Albums sold: 6.5 million

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1976
> Artist: U2
> Top charting track: With or Without You
> Top charting album: The Joshua Tree
> Albums sold: 52 million

1977
> Artist: Def Leppard
> Top charting track: Love Bites
> Top charting album: Hysteria
> Albums sold: 35.5 million

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1978
> Artist: Joy Division
> Top charting track: Love Will Tear Us Apart
> Top charting album: Unknown Pleasures
> Albums sold: N/A

1979
> Artist: Beastie Boys
> Top charting track: (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!)
> Top charting album: Licensed To Ill
> Albums sold: 23 million

1980
> Artist: R.E.M.
> Top charting track: Losing My Religion
> Top charting album: Out Of Time
> Albums sold: 20 million

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1981
> Artist: Metallica
> Top charting track: Until It Sleeps
> Top charting album: Metallica
> Albums sold: 63 million

1982
> Artist: The Smiths
> Top charting track: There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
> Top charting album: Strangeways, Here We Come
> Albums sold: 1.5 million

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1983
> Artist: Red Hot Chili Peppers
> Top charting track: Under The Bridge
> Top charting album: Stadium Arcadium
> Albums sold: 25 million

1984
> Artist: Soundgarden
> Top charting track: Black Rain
> Top charting album: Superunknown
> Albums sold: 9 million

1985
> Artist: Guns N’ Roses
> Top charting track: Sweet Child O’ Mine
> Top charting album: Appetite For Destruction
> Albums sold: 44.5 million

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1986
> Artist: No Doubt
> Top charting track: Underneath It All
> Top charting album: Tragic Kingdom
> Albums sold: 15 million

1987
> Artist: Alice in Chains
> Top charting track: Check My Brain
> Top charting album: Jar Of Flies
> Albums sold: 12.5 million

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1988
> Artist: Nirvana
> Top charting track: Smells Like Teen Spirit
> Top charting album: Nevermind
> Albums sold: 25 million

1989
> Artist: Green Day
> Top charting track: Boulevard Of Broken Dreams
> Top charting album: American Idiot
> Albums sold: 24 million

1990
> Artist: Pearl Jam
> Top charting track: Last Kiss
> Top charting album: Vs.
> Albums sold: 31.5 million

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1991
> Artist: Oasis
> Top charting track: Wonderwall
> Top charting album: Be Here Now
> Albums sold: 6 million

1992
> Artist: Blink-182
> Top charting track: All The Small Things
> Top charting album: Take Off Your Pants and Jacket
> Albums sold: 10 million

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1993
> Artist: Korn
> Top charting track: Did My Time
> Top charting album: Follow The Leader
> Albums sold: 16.5 million

1994
> Artist: Foo Fighters
> Top charting track: Best Of You
> Top charting album: Wasting Light
> Albums sold: 7 million

1995
> Artist: Nickelback
> Top charting track: How You Remind Me
> Top charting album: All The Right Reasons
> Albums sold: 24 million

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1996
> Artist: Linkin Park
> Top charting track: In The End
> Top charting album: Meteora
> Albums sold: 27 million

1997
> Artist: The White Stripes
> Top charting track: Icky Thump
> Top charting album: Icky Thump
> Albums sold: 2.5 million

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1998
> Artist: The Strokes
> Top charting track: Juicebox
> Top charting album: Room On Fire
> Albums sold: 1.5 million

1999
> Artist: Gorillaz
> Top charting track: Feel Good Inc
> Top charting album: Plastic Beach
> Albums sold: 3 million

2000
> Artist: Yeah Yeah Yeahs
> Top charting track: Maps
> Top charting album: Mosquito
> Albums sold: 0.5 million

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2001
> Artist: Fall Out Boy
> Top charting track: This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race
> Top charting album: Save Rock And Roll
> Albums sold: 6 million

2002
> Artist: Maroon 5
> Top charting track: Moves Like Jagger
> Top charting album: V
> Albums sold: 12.5 million

2003
> Artist: Bring Me the Horizon
> Top charting track: Throne
> Top charting album: That’s the Spirit
> Albums sold: 0.5 million

2004
> Artist: Panic! at the Disco
> Top charting track: I Write Sins Not Tragedies
> Top charting album: Death of a Bachelor
> Albums sold: 4.5 million

2005
> Artist: Five Finger Death Punch
> Top charting track: Under and Over It
> Top charting album: The Wrong Side of Heaven… Volume 1
> Albums sold: 4.5 million

2006
> Artist: Lady Antebellum
> Top charting track: Need You Now
> Top charting album: Need You Now
> Albums sold: 8 million

2007
> Artist: Mumford & Sons
> Top charting track: I Will Wait
> Top charting album: Babel
> Albums sold: 5.5 million

2008
> Artist: Imagine Dragons
> Top charting track: Radioactive
> Top charting album: Smoke + Mirrors
> Albums sold: 4 million

2009
> Artist: twenty one pilots
> Top charting track: Stressed Out
> Top charting album: Blurryface
> Albums sold: 4 million

2010
> Artist: Florida Georgia Line
> Top charting track: Meant to Be
> Top charting album: Anything Goes
> Albums sold: 4 million

2011
> Artist: 5 Seconds of Summer
> Top charting track: Youngblood
> Top charting album: 5 Seconds of Summer
> Albums sold: 0.5 million

2012
> Artist: Kaleo
> Top charting track: Way Down We Go
> Top charting album: A/B
> Albums sold: N/A

2013
> Artist: LANCO
> Top charting track: Greatest Love Story
> Top charting album: Hallelujah Nights
> Albums sold: N/A

2014
> Artist: Saint Asonia
> Top charting track: Better Place
> Top charting album: Saint Asonia
> Albums sold: N/A

2015
> Artist: DNCE
> Top charting track: Cake by the Ocean
> Top charting album: DNCE
> Albums sold: 0.5 million

2016
> Artist: Prophets of Rage
> Top charting track: Prophets of Rage
> Top charting album: Prophets of Rage
> Albums sold: N/A

2017
> Artist: Bad Wolves
> Top charting track: Zombie
> Top charting album: Disobey
> Albums sold: N/A

Detailed findings

In the 1960s and 1970s, though plenty of musicians found fame, the majority of bands that left a lasting impression were rock bands. In some cases, multiple top bands formed in a specific year. Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Who both formed in 1964; Pink Floyd, The Doors, and Grateful Dead all came together in 1965; and Fleetwood Mac, Chicago, and Steve Miller Band formed in 1967. Through the lens of our metrics, only one band from each year is the most famous.

In later years, genres begin to blur. While the Beastie Boys evolved into a group that primarily performed hip hop, they began as a more rock-oriented act in 1979. Traces of this style were still present on their 1986 album, “Licensed to Ill,” which featured guitar-driven tracks like “Fight For Your Right.” Other bands with rap influences include Red Hot Chili Peppers, Linkin Park, and Gorillaz.

As pop music has increasingly become more popular, bands also transitioned to more pop than rock. Such more recent bands include Fall Out Boy and Maroon 5, which outpace other bands the year they were formed.

Methodology

To determine the most famous band formed the year you were born, 24/7 Wall St. created an index based on the bands listed on ranking website Ranker.com’s user-generated “The Best Rock Bands of All Time” list. In addition to the number of up and down votes for each band on the list, we considered the number of Wikipedia page views each group’s page has received over the past two years and the number of certified albums and singles sold by retailers since the time of each band’s formation as reported by the Recording Industry Association of America. Editorial discretion was used to include bands that performed especially well in all metrics but were absent from the Ranker.com list.

The year a band was formed can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint, so to be consistent, we used the band formation years listed by MusicBrainz, an extensive music database created and curated by industry experts.

A band’s top charting track is based on Billboard Hot 100 performance and the top charting album is based on Billboard 200 performance. Compilation and “greatest hits” albums were excluded. In rare cases where a band did not have any songs on the Hot 100 chart, we included their most popular song on streaming service Spotify.

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