100 Most Popular Rock Bands of All Time

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

90. The Mamas & the Papas
> Spotify followers: 0.9 million
> Facebook likes: 0.3 million
> Most popular album: If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears

The folksy four-person pop act that popularized the close harmony, easy-listening California sound were often heard on AM radio during the 1960s. The vocal group formed in 1965 and they took off the next year with the hit “California Dreamin’,” which climbed to No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in March of 1966. Their debut album, “If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears,” topped the Billboard 200 two months later. As harmonious as they were while performing, offstage romantic complications created disharmony and the group dissolved. Their brief time in the spotlight ended in 1971.

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89. Judas Priest
> Spotify followers: 2.1 million
> Facebook likes: 4.4 million
> Most popular album: Screaming for Vengeance

Take the goth-theme from Black Sabbath and the soaring guitar riffs of Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin and you get Judas Priest, a heavy metal act from Birmingham, England, that developed an almost cult-like following on both sides of the Atlantic. Their 1982 album “Screaming for Vengeance” was their most successful in America, rising to No. 17 on the Billboard 200, and it went double platinum. Five of the band’s albums have been certified platinum.

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88. Grateful Dead
> Spotify followers: 1.0 million
> Facebook likes: 2.0 million
> Most popular album: In the Dark

The bluesy-country rockers from San Francisco, Grateful Dead members included Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, and Bill Kreutzmann. The band became one of the counterculture’s poster groups with their legendary jamming sessions during their prolific concert tour schedule and their association with drug use. Their songs “Uncle John’s Band,” “Casey Jones,” “Sugar Magnolia,” and “Truckin’ ” continue to receive airplay on classic rock radio stations. Six albums of the Grateful Dead went platinum.

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87. The Allman Brothers Band
> Spotify followers: 0.9 million
> Facebook likes: 1.4 million
> Most popular album: Brothers and Sisters

The venerable southern blues-rockers, whose members included Gregg and Duane Allman and Dickey Betts, got their start in the early 1970s. They withstood tragedy and division among their members and continue to perform today. The Grammy winners’ biggest album, “Brothers and Sisters,” went to No. 1 in 1973, one of four platinum album recordings, and produced the enduring FM standard “Ramblin’ Man” that reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.

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86. Funkadelic
> Spotify followers: 1,233,701
> Facebook likes: 449,750
> Most popular album: One Nation Under a Groove

Formed in Plainfield, New Jersey, in 1968, Funkadelic mixed 60s psychedelia and blues with soul and funk, throwing in some social commentary for good measure. The album “One Nation Under a Groove,” whose cover replicated the flag raising at Iwo Jima, was the group’s biggest hit, reaching No. 16 on the Billboard 200, and was certified platinum in 1978.

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85. Styx
> Spotify followers: 1.0 million
> Facebook likes: 1.7 million
> Most popular album: The Grand Illusion

Styx, formed in Chicago in the early 1970s, started out as a progressive group before evolving into an arena band that favored soaring guitar riffs and rock ballads. The band, named after the river that flows through the underworld in Greek mythology, toured frequently in the early 1970s and built a following. Styx broke through with the song “Lady” from their second album, “Styx II,” in 1973, climbing to No. 6 on Billboard, becoming the first of their eight Top 10 hits. They’ve also had five albums reach the Top 10 on the Billboard 200 and six LPs have gone platinum.

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84. Dave Matthews Band
> Spotify followers: 1.3 million
> Facebook likes: 3.1 million
> Most popular album: Under the Table and Dreaming

The Dave Matthews Band have been hugely successful on a commercial level, selling more than 34 million albums in the United States alone. They’ve also released 30 albums — including numerous live recordings — that have appeared on the Billboard, including seven chart-toppers. Performing an eclectic mix of pop, jazz, funk, and rock, oftentimes with a jam band-like approach, the Dave Matthews Band won a Best Rock Performance Grammy in 1996 for the song “So Much To Say.”

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83. No Doubt
> Spotify followers: 1.6 million
> Facebook likes: 3.3 million
> Most popular album: Tragic Kingdom

Led by singer Gwen Stefani, No Doubt blended influences such as rock, punk, and reggae to become one of the most popular groups of the 1990s. The band’s best-selling album, “Tragic Kingdom,” was released in October 1995. The album peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in December 1996 and has since gone on to sell over 10 million units in the United States.

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82. The Doobie Brothers
> Spotify followers: 1.3 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.

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

81. Janis Joplin/Big Brother and the Holding Company
> Spotify followers: 2.2 million
> Facebook likes: 7.3 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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