Special Report

The Most Popular Rock Bands of All Time

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100. Pretenders
> Spotify followers: 0.8 million
> Facebook likes: 0.2 million
> Most popular album: Pretenders

The British rockers — except for Ohio-born frontwoman Chrissie Hynde — have had 10 studio albums, including their self-titled debut album in 1980 that went to No. 9 on the Billboard 200. The Pretenders had two Top 10 singles: “Back on the Chain Gang” and “Don’t Get Me Wrong.” Two albums, “Learning to Crawl” and “The Pretenders,” have been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.

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99. Eurythmics
> Spotify followers: 1.0 million
> Facebook likes: 1.3 million
> Most popular album: Touch

The Grammy-winning British synth-pop duo of Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart were MTV mainstays in the 1980s with quirky, provocative videos and a series of hits. Among them were “Here Comes the Rain Again,” “Would I Lie To You?” and the chart-topping “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This).” Their albums “Be Yourself Tonight,” “Touch,” and “Greatest Hits” have all gone platinum.

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98. Steve Miller Band
> Spotify followers: 1.6 million
> Facebook likes: 1.8 million
> Most popular album: Greatest Hits 1974-1978

Steve Miller started out as a blues-rocker before shifting to a more mainstream rock performer and churning out catchy tunes such as the whimsical “The Joker” and the synthesizer-infused psychedelic song “Fly Like an Eagle.” Both songs can still be heard on classic rock radio today. Five of Steve Miller Band’s albums have gone platinum, and the greatest hits collection went platinum 14 times.

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97. Talking Heads
> Spotify followers: 1.3 million
> Facebook likes: 0.6 million
> Most popular album: Stop Making Sense

The eclectic, art-school band emerged from the New York punk scene in the 1970s. It was helmed by singer-songwriter and frontman David Byrne, who was once hailed by Time magazine as rock’s renaissance man. The Talking Heads delved into indie, dance-punk, alternative, art-rock and had most of their success with albums. Three albums — “Stop Making Sense,” Little Creatures,” and “Speaking in Tongues” — have gone platinum.

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96. Steely Dan
> Spotify followers: 1.1 million
> Facebook likes: 0.9 million
> Most popular album: Aja

The jazz-rock act led by Donald Fagen and the late Walter Becker broke through with its unique blend of genres in 1972 with the album “Can’t Buy a Thrill.” The album contained the songs “Do It Again” and “Reelin’ In the Years,” which rose to No. 6 and No. 11, respectively, on the Billboard 100 and would be played often on FM radio in the succeeding years. Steely Dan has had eight albums reach platinum status on RIAA.

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95. The Bangles
> Spotify followers: 0.7 million
> Facebook likes: 0.5 million
> Most popular album: Different Light

Led by singer and rhythm guitar player Susanna Hoffs, the Bangles hooked listeners worldwide with their special brand of new wave-inspired pop rock. Their biggest hits include the Billboard 100 top five hits “Hazy Shade of Winter,” “Manic Monday,” and “In Your Room,” as well as two chart-toppers: “Eternal Flame” and the unforgettable “Walk Like an Egyptian.” Although the group reached the height of their success in the 1980s, they are active today and released a Billboard 200-charting album — “Sweetheart of the Sun” — in 2011.

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94. The Cars
> Spotify followers: 0.9 million
> Facebook likes: 1.1 million
> Most popular album: The Cars

The Boston-based band fronted by Ric Ocasek was the most successful American new wave group in the 1980s. Five of their albums were Top 10 successes. Their eponymous debut album is a six-time certified platinum record, one of five albums to go multiplatinum. Three of the band’s four Top 10 singles came from their album “Heartbeat City” — “Drive,” “You Might Think,” and “Magic.”

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93. The Cranberries
> Spotify followers: 2.1 million
> Facebook likes: 4.0 million
> Most popular album: Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?

Starting with “Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We” — which contained the hit singles “Linger” and “Dreams” — Irish rock group The Cranberries released a string of albums from 1993 to 2001 that collectively sold over 14 million copies in the United States. After a 10-year hiatus, The Cranberries released “Roses” in 2012, followed by “Something Else” in 2017. Following lead singer Dolores O’Riordan’s untimely death in 2018, the group released “In the End,” which featured demo vocals recorded by O’Riordan, and announced their disbandment.

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92. Mötley Crüe
> Spotify followers: 2.7 million
> Facebook likes: 4.2 million
> Most popular album: Dr. Feelgood

The heavy-metal rockers from Los Angeles, whose members included Tommy Lee, Nikki Sixx, and Vince Neil, were famous for their flamboyant showmanship and eardrum-busting music and infamous for their indulgence in sex and drugs, band infighting, and legal problems. Their biggest single and album was “Dr. Feelgood.” The single reached No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100, and the LP was the band’s lone chart-topper on the Billboard 200. The self-styled “world’s most notorious rock band” has had nine Top 10 albums on Billboard and eight have been certified platinum.

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91. Soundgarden
> Spotify followers: 2.6 million
> Facebook likes: 2.8 million
> Most popular album: Superunknown

Soundgarden were one of the leaders of the 1990s grunge sound. The Seattle-based band released four albums that were certified at least platinum, including the five-times platinum “Superunknown.” The band was working on new music as recently as 2017, though efforts were interrupted when lead singer Chris Cornell committed suiсide on May 17, 2017.

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