Special Report

The Most Popular Rock Bands of All Time

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70. Electric Light Orchestra
> Spotify followers: 2.3 million
> Facebook likes: 1.5 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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69. Rage Against the Machine
> Spotify followers: 3.6 million
> Facebook likes: 4.4 million
> Most popular album: Rage Against the Machine

Grammy-winners Rage Against the Machine are among the most successful acts blending hip hop and rap to rise to fame during the 1990s. The band’s fiery brand of politically charged rock has led to 9 million certified record sales in the United States and two Billboard 200 chart-topping albums: “Evil Empire” and “The Battle of Los Angeles.” Despite all of their success and numerous reunion performances since the early 2000s, the group has not released a studio album since their album of covers “Renegades” in 2000.

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68. Paramore
> Spotify followers: 5.3 million
> Facebook likes: 24.7 million
> Most popular album: RIOT!

Led by singer Hayley Williams, emo pop band Paramore was formed in 2004. The group has sent 11 songs to the Hot 100, including the Top 10 hit “Ain’t It Fun.” The band has released three albums that have gone at least platinum — “Riot!,” “Brand New Eyes,” and “Paramore.” Their music was featured in video games “Rock Band 2” and “Guitar Hero World Tour” and in the teen vampire movie “Twilight.”

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67. Cream
> Spotify followers: 1.4 million
> Facebook likes: 0.7 million
> Most popular album: Fresh Cream

Cream is considered to be rock’s first supergroup, composed of drummer Ginger Baker, bassist/vocalist Jack Bruce, and guitarist Eric Clapton. Though they were together for only about two years, the band’s fusion of hard rock, blues, and psychedelic rock, and their musicianship, which included prolonged instrumental solos, had an outsized influence on rock. Cream’s success also vaulted Clapton into international stardom. The band had two Top 10 hits — “Sunshine of Your Love” and “White Room” — and four LPs were Top 10 hits, including their lone No. 1, “Wheels of Fire.”

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66. The Cure
> Spotify followers: 2.6 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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65. Blondie
> Spotify followers: 0.8 million
> Facebook likes: 2.5 million
> Most popular album: Parallel Lines

Blondie, which mixes such music styles as ska, reggae, pop, and punk, came out of the New York punk scene in the late 1970s to post four No.1 hits over a two-year period. The chart-toppers included “Heart Of Glass” in 1979 and “Rapture,” the first mainstream rap hit, in 1981. Four of Blondie’s albums have gone platinum. The group, fronted by Debbie Harry, continues to tour today.

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64. Foreigner
> Spotify followers: 1.6 million
> Facebook likes: 2.8 million
> Most popular album: Foreigner

Led by British power guitarist Mick Jones and vocalist Lou Gramm, the British-American band reeled off a string of singles and album successes in the 1970s with hooky tunes that found a vast audience on FM radio. Nine singles broke into the Top 10. The band also had a chart-topper with the single “I Want to Know What Love Is” that went platinum. Six of their albums achieved Top 10 success on the Billboard 200.

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63. Alice Cooper
> Spotify followers: 2.1 million
> Facebook likes: 4.3 million
> Most popular album: Killer

One of the pioneers of shock rock, the eponymously named group (band leader Vincent Furnier took the name from a 17th-century witch) rode to fame on hard-driving guitar work and carefully crafted, flamboyant stage shows that featured snakes, guillotines, and fake blood. Cooper’s first success was with the teenage angst song “Eighteen” that climbed to No. 21 on the Billboard Hot 100 in April of 1971. The band reached the Billboard 200 pinnacle with “Billion Dollar Babies” in 1973. The group dissolved in the 1970s and Cooper continued to have a successful career.

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62. Ramones
> Spotify followers: 1.8 million
> Facebook likes: 5.5 million
> Most popular album: Ramones

The Ramones, pioneers of punk from Queens, burst on to the music scene in the mid-1970s with a frenetic-paced rock sound, where musical talent was an afterthought. The Ramones (all band members took the last name Ramone) never had a Top 10 single or album on Billboard. But their furious guitar-playing pace, indifferent attitude, and songs such as “Rockaway Beach” and “Sheena Is a Punk Rocker” influenced bands including the Clash, Nirvana, and Metallica, all of whom are on this popular rock band list.

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61. Alice in Chains
> Spotify followers: 2.8 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.

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