Special Report

The Most Popular Rock Bands of All Time

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60. Depeche Mode
> Spotify followers: 3.2 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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59. Genesis
> Spotify followers: 1.9 million
> Facebook likes: 2.0 million
> Most popular album: Invisible Touch

The British rockers can trace their origins to the late 1960s, when they were among the pioneers of the progressive rock movement, then their sound eventually evolved into more mainstream pop. Genesis became one of the biggest groups of the 1980s with seven Top 10 hits, including the No. 1 “Invisible Touch.” Their success would make drummer-singer Phil Collins and singer-songwriter-record producer Peter Gabriel into international music stars and launch the solo careers of members Tony Banks, Michael Rutherford, and Steve Hackett.

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58. Kings of Leon
> Spotify followers: 4.3 million
> Facebook likes: 10.9 million
> Most popular album: Only by the Night

Nashville-formed Kings of Leon began as a southern-tinged garage rock band before evolving into a world famous pop rock act. Their major breakthrough was the 2008 multiplatinum album “Only by the Night,” which peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard 200. The album featured the Grammy-winning single “Sex On Fire.”

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57. The Kinks
> Spotify followers: 1.6 million
> Facebook likes: 1.3 million
> Most popular album: The Kinks Greatest Hits!

Pete Townshend, leader of The Who, described the Kinks as the group that “defined the British invasion of America.” The guitar-grinding, garage-band sounding group produced hits like “You Really Got Me” and “All Day and All of the Night.” They also did some playful gender-bending with the song “Lola” as well as a mocking commentary on conformity with the song “A Well Respected Man.” The Kinks are considered by rock historians as one of the more underrated bands in rock history.

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56. The Killers
> Spotify followers: 5.4 million
> Facebook likes: 9.1 million
> Most popular album: Hot Fuss

Formed in Las Vegas in 2002, The Killers are one of the newer groups to rank among the best rock bands of all time. The new wave band’s breakthrough came with the release of “Hot Fuss” in 2004, which peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard 200 in October of the following year. Later releases include “Sam’s Town,” “Day & Age,” “Battle Born,” and “Wonderful Wonderful,” which peaked at No. 2, No. 6, No. 3, and No. 1, respectively.

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55. Dire Straits
> Spotify followers: 3.7 million
> Facebook likes: 3.2 million
> Most popular album: Brothers in Arms

Dire Straits emerged from the punk era as an understated, guitar-driven act from London in the late 1970s. The group was led by guitar master Mark Knopfler, who was influenced by blues rocker J.J. Cale and Bob Dylan. Dire Straits took their name from their difficult financial situation in the late 1970s. The British group’s self-titled album reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200 in 1979 and produced their first hit, “Sultans of Swing.” The advent of MTV helped to boost their fame. The album “Brothers in Arms,” which reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in August of 1985, won a Grammy and produced the group’s lone No. 1 single “Money for Nothing,” a poke at the silliness of fame. “Brothers in Arms” went nine times platinum.

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54. Oasis
> Spotify followers: 5.3 million
> Facebook likes: 8.7 million
> Most popular album: (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?

Formed in Manchester, England, in the early 1990s, Oasis’ blend of catchy, Beatles-inspired guitar melodies, hard-partying image, and cool Britishness put them at the forefront of the British pop rock movement of the mid-1990s. The band put out seven studio albums until their 2009 breakup, three of which reached the Top 10 on the Billboard 200.

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53. Scorpions
> Spotify followers: 3.5 million
> Facebook likes: 6.7 million
> Most popular album: Crazy World

The German hard rockers have been a heavy metal staple since the 1970s. They’ve sold more than 22 million records worldwide thanks to hits such as “Rock You Like a Hurricane” and “Wind of Change.” The band’s most popular album in the U.S. was “Love at First Sting” (1984), which sold 3 million certified copies.

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52. Evanescence
> Spotify followers: 2.7 million
> Facebook likes: 21.1 million
> Most popular album: Fallen

Formed in 1995 in Little Rock, Arkansas, by Amy Lee and Ben Moody, Evanescence first found mainstream success in 2003 with the release of their first official album “Fallen,” which featured the singles “Bring Me To Life” and “My Immortal.” While “Fallen” peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200, Evanescence later reached No. 1 on the album charts with the release of “The Open Door” in 2006 and the self-titled album “Evanescence” in 2011.

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51. Blink-182
> Spotify followers: 5.9 million
> Facebook likes: 9.8 million
> Most popular album: Enema of the State

Pop punk jokesters Blink-182 are masters of crafting simple, catchy hits. Among their numerous popular albums is 1999’s “Enema of the State,” which is certified five-time platinum and includes the Hot 100-charting singles “All the Small Things” and “What’s My Age Again?” Original member Tom DeLonge was replaced by guitarist and singer Matt Skiba in 2015, and the band has released two studio albums with this new lineup.

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