Special Report

100 Most Popular Rock Bands of All Time

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70. Janis Joplin (Big Brother and the Holding Company)
> Spotify followers: 2.0 million
> Facebook likes: 7.4 million
> Most popular album: Pearl

Janis Joplin’s meteoric career was cut short by a fatal heroin overdose in 1970 when she was 27. The Texas native, who was greatly influenced by blues singer Bessie Smith, crafted a memorable, blues-driven resume that resonates to this day. Joplin’s group Big Brother and the Holding Company came out of the drug-infused, free-love scene of San Francisco and rose to fame during the Monterey Pop Festival. Joplin’s lone No. 1, “Me and Bobby McGee,” topped the Billboard Hot 100 after her death.

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69. The Offspring
> Spotify followers: 3.4 million
> Facebook likes: 6.0 million
> Most popular album: Smash

Pop punk band The Offspring have sold nearly 17 million albums in the U.S. alone. Among their releases are eight albums that appeared on the Billboard 200 albums chart. The band’s most popular release in the U.S. is “Smash,” which has been certified 6x multi-platinum. At the time of its release, the record was the top-selling album ever to be released on an independent label.

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68. The Smashing Pumpkins
> Spotify followers: 2.6 million
> Facebook likes: 3.9 million
> Most popular album: Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness

Brooding rockers The Smashing Pumpkins are one of the most distinct-sounding bands in alternative rock, thanks in part to lead singer Billy Corgan’s expressive vocals. While the band peaked in popularity during the 1990s — with releases including 4x multiplatinum “Siamese Dream” and certified diamond “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness” — they have continued to play live and release new music.

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67. The Doobie Brothers
> Spotify followers: 1.1 million
> Facebook likes: 1.6 million
> Most popular album: Toulouse Street

The Doobie Brothers, featuring vocalist Michael McDonald, began as a mellow, pop-rock act in the 1970s that evolved into a more soulful-sounding group. The California-based ensemble amassed many hits, including “Listen to the Music,” “China Grove,” “What a Fool Believes,” and “Black Water,” the latter two went to No. 1. Seven of the band’s albums have gone platinum, and their biggest success, “Best of the Doobies,” went platinum 10 times.

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66. The Clash
> Spotify followers: 1.8 million
> Facebook likes: 3.9 million
> Most popular album: Combat Rock

Once dubbed “The Only Band That Mattered,” the Marxism-espousing British band helped legitimize punk music in the late 1970s. “London Calling,” their breakthrough album in the United States, went to No. 27 on the Billboard 200. The album also went platinum and is considered one of the most influential records in rock history. The Grammy winners’ biggest album was “Combat Rock,” which rose to No. 7 in 1983.

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65. Electric Light Orchestra
> Spotify followers: 2.0 million
> Facebook likes: 1.6 million
> Most popular album: A New World Record

The groundbreaking and genre-blending Electric Light Orchestra, led by music innovator Jeff Lynne, gained fame in the post-Beatle years of the early 1970s. The British group, also called ELO, posted seven Top 10 hits, including “Don’t Bring Me Down” in 1979, which went to No. 4. Five of their albums have gone platinum.

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64. Depeche Mode
> Spotify followers: 2.8 million
> Facebook likes: 7.1 million
> Most popular album: Violator

The British techno-pop group became one of the biggest music acts of the late 1980s and 1990s. Their popularity was fueled by the album “Music for the Masses,” which spawned the singles “Strangelove,” “Never Let Me Down Again,” and “Behind the Wheel.” Their U.S. tour in 1989 became the subject of a concert movie, “Depeche Mode: 101,” made by noted filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker. Eight albums by Depeche Mode cracked the Top 10, and “Songs of Faith and Devotion” was a chart-topper. Six of their albums were certified platinum.

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63. The Cure
> Spotify followers: 2.4 million
> Facebook likes: 6.3 million
> Most popular album: Standing On The Beach — The Singles

The British goth/glam band, helmed by Robert Smith, enjoyed success on both sides of the Atlantic, emerging from the post-punk period in the late 1970s. Their double album “Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me” became a favorite among college students in the United States in the 1980s. The Cure didn’t find much singles success, though they reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Love Song” in 1989. The romantic “Friday I’m in Love” climbed to No. 18. Five of their albums were certified platinum.

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62. Heart
> Spotify followers: 1.2 million
> Facebook likes: 2.2 million
> Most popular album: Dreamboat Annie

Heart — fronted by sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson — has had an album chart on the Billboard 200 in every decade since the release of their debut album “Dreamboat Annie” in 1976, which peaked at No. 7. The Seattle rock group that had its roots in Vancouver, Canada, whose guitar-heavy hits include “Barracuda” and “Crazy On You,” has sold more than 25 million albums in the U.S. alone and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.

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61. Alice in Chains
> Spotify followers: 2.5 million
> Facebook likes: 4.8 million
> Most popular album: Dirt

Alice in Chains were among several bands coming out of Seattle as a part of the grunge movement. Thirteen of their releases charted on the Billboard 200, including two No. 1 hits: the “Jar Of Flies” EP and the 1995 self-titled album. They’ve sold about 11 million certified copies in the U.S. and released a new album in 2018, though original singer Layne Staley died of a drug overdose in 2002, forever altering the widely admired group.