The Most Famous Band Formed Each Year Since 1957

The Most Famous Band Formed Each Year Since 1957

In 1957, four boys from Liverpool got together to form one of the most popular rock bands of all time — The Beatles. With each member contributing a special something, the group ushered in the modern band era and changed the course of music history forever.

Current popular music is especially favored by the youth, who often are drawn to what’s new. Each generation tends to champion its own bands and often is uninterested in what came before. With musicians constantly forming new groups, the demands of the youth for new music is always satisfied.

24/7 Tempo has identified the most famous band formed each year from 1957 through 2002 by reviewing online popularity, album sales, and Wikipedia page views for thousands of musical groups. While no band has found the same stunning level of success as the always fascinating Beatles, each has made a lasting impact on popular music and won fans across the world.

Source: Fox Photos / Getty Images

> Artist: The Beatles
> Top charting track: Hey Jude
> Top charting album: Abbey Road
> Albums sold: 178 million

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

> Artist: Bee Gees
> Top charting track: How Deep Is Your Love
> Top charting album: Spirits Having Flown
> Albums sold: 28 million

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

> Artist: Creedence Clearwater Revival
> Top charting track: Proud Mary
> Top charting album: Green River
> Albums sold: 28 million

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

> Artist: The Temptations
> Top charting track: I Can’t Get Next To You
> Top charting album: All Directions
> Albums sold: 12.5 million

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

> Artist: The Beach Boys
> Top charting track: Kokomo
> Top charting album: Endless Summer
> Albums sold: 22.5 million

Source: Keystone / Getty Images

> Artist: The Rolling Stones
> Top charting track: Miss You
> Top charting album: Some Girls
> Albums sold: 66.5 million

Source: Nationaal Archief, Den Haag, Rijksfotoarchief: Fotocollectie Algemeen Nederlands Fotopersbureau (ANEFO), 1945-1989 - negatiefstroken zwart/wit, nummer toegang, bestanddeelnummer 919-3036 / Wikimedia Commons

> Artist: Simon and Garfunkel
> Top charting track: Bridge Over Troubled Water
> Top charting album: Bridge Over Troubled Water
> Albums sold: 38.5 million

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

> Artist: Lynyrd Skynyrd
> Top charting track: Sweet Home Alabama
> Top charting album: Street Survivors
> Albums sold: 28.5 million

Source: TimDuncan / Wikimedia Commons

> Artist: Pink Floyd
> Top charting track: Another Brick In The Wall (Part II)
> Top charting album: The Dark Side Of The Moon
> Albums sold: 75 million

Source: Theo Wargo / Getty Images

> Artist: Santana
> Top charting track: Smooth
> Top charting album: Supernatural
> Albums sold: 43.5 million

Source: Noam Galai / Getty Images

> Artist: Fleetwood Mac
> Top charting track: Dreams
> Top charting album: Rumours
> Albums sold: 49.5 million

Source: Jim Summaria, http://www.jimsummariaphoto.com/ / Wikimedia Commons

> Artist: Led Zeppelin
> Top charting track: Whole Lotta Love
> Top charting album: Led Zeppelin II
> Albums sold: 111.5 million

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

> Artist: Black Sabbath
> Top charting track: Iron Man
> Top charting album: 13
> Albums sold: 15 million

Source: Avis De Miranda / Shutterstock.com

> Artist: Queen
> Top charting track: Another One Bites The Dust
> Top charting album: The Game
> Albums sold: 34.5 million

Source: Rick Diamond / Getty Images

> Artist: Eagles
> Top charting track: Hotel California
> Top charting album: Hotel California
> Albums sold: 120 million

Source: Ethan Miller / Getty Images

> Artist: Van Halen
> Top charting track: Jump
> Top charting album: For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge
> Albums sold: 56.5 million

Source: Lost Parables from Ballymena, Northern Ireland. ©jameshughes / Wikimedia Commons

> Artist: AC/DC
> Top charting track: Moneytalks
> Top charting album: Black Ice
> Albums sold: 72 million

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

> Artist: Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band
> Top charting track: Shame On The Moon
> Top charting album: Against The Wind
> Albums sold: 44.5 million

Source: Harry (Howard) Potts / Wikimedia Commons

> Artist: Iron Maiden
> Top charting track: Run To The Hills
> Top charting album: The Final Frontier
> Albums sold: 6.5 million

Source: P Douglas Middlemiss / Wikimedia Commons

> Artist: U2
> Top charting track: With or Without You
> Top charting album: The Joshua Tree
> Albums sold: 52 million

Source: wikipedia user Weatherman90 / Wikimedia Commons

> Artist: Def Leppard
> Top charting track: Love Bites
> Top charting album: Hysteria
> Albums sold: 35.5 million

Source: Remko Hoving / Flickr

> Artist: Joy Division
> Top charting track: Love Will Tear Us Apart
> Top charting album: Unknown Pleasures
> Albums sold: N/A

Source: Masao Nakagami / Wikimedia Commons

> Artist: Beastie Boys
> Top charting track: (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!)
> Top charting album: Licensed To Ill
> Albums sold: 23 million

Source: JD554. / Wikimedia Commons

> Artist: R.E.M.
> Top charting track: Losing My Religion
> Top charting album: Out Of Time
> Albums sold: 20 million

Source: Yulia Grigoryeva / Shutterstock.com

> Artist: Metallica
> Top charting track: Until It Sleeps
> Top charting album: Metallica
> Albums sold: 63 million

Source: mrmatt / Flickr

> Artist: The Smiths
> Top charting track: There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
> Top charting album: Strangeways, Here We Come
> Albums sold: 1.5 million

Source: Carlos Delgado / Wikimedia Commons

> Artist: Red Hot Chili Peppers
> Top charting track: Under The Bridge
> Top charting album: Stadium Arcadium
> Albums sold: 25 million

Source: david_silverman / Flickr

> Artist: Soundgarden
> Top charting track: Black Rain
> Top charting album: Superunknown
> Albums sold: 9 million

Source: yakub88 / Shutterstock.com

> Artist: Guns N’ Roses
> Top charting track: Sweet Child O’ Mine
> Top charting album: Appetite For Destruction
> Albums sold: 44.5 million

Source: jelizen / Wikimedia Commons

> Artist: No Doubt
> Top charting track: Underneath It All
> Top charting album: Tragic Kingdom
> Albums sold: 15 million

Source: Rex Aran Emrick / Wikimedia Commons

> Artist: Alice in Chains
> Top charting track: Check My Brain
> Top charting album: Jar Of Flies
> Albums sold: 12.5 million

Source: Maia Valenzuela / Flickr

> Artist: Nirvana
> Top charting track: Smells Like Teen Spirit
> Top charting album: Nevermind
> Albums sold: 25 million

Source: s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

> Artist: Green Day
> Top charting track: Boulevard Of Broken Dreams
> Top charting album: American Idiot
> Albums sold: 24 million

Source: perfectrx / Flickr

> Artist: Pearl Jam
> Top charting track: Last Kiss
> Top charting album: Vs.
> Albums sold: 31.5 million

Source: aon / Flickr

> Artist: Oasis
> Top charting track: Wonderwall
> Top charting album: Be Here Now
> Albums sold: 6 million

Source: Kerry Key from San Diego / Wikimedia Commons

> Artist: Blink-182
> Top charting track: All The Small Things
> Top charting album: Take Off Your Pants and Jacket
> Albums sold: 10 million

Source: Northfoto / Shutterstock.com

> Artist: Korn
> Top charting track: Did My Time
> Top charting album: Follow The Leader
> Albums sold: 16.5 million

Source: Lola's Big Adventure! / Laura / Wikimedia Commons

> Artist: Foo Fighters
> Top charting track: Best Of You
> Top charting album: Wasting Light
> Albums sold: 7 million

Source: Antonio Scorza / Shutterstock.com

> Artist: Nickelback
> Top charting track: How You Remind Me
> Top charting album: All The Right Reasons
> Albums sold: 24 million

Source: Kristina Servant / Wikimedia Commons

> Artist: Linkin Park
> Top charting track: In The End
> Top charting album: Meteora
> Albums sold: 27 million

Source: Masao Nakagami / Wikimedia Commons

> Artist: The White Stripes
> Top charting track: Icky Thump
> Top charting album: Icky Thump
> Albums sold: 2.5 million

Source: Roger Woolman / Wikimedia Commons

> Artist: The Strokes
> Top charting track: Juicebox
> Top charting album: Room On Fire
> Albums sold: 1.5 million

Source: Christian Bertrand / Shutterstock.com

> Artist: Gorillaz
> Top charting track: Feel Good Inc
> Top charting album: Plastic Beach
> Albums sold: 3 million

Source: Max Knies from New York City / Wikimedia Commons

> Artist: Yeah Yeah Yeahs
> Top charting track: Maps
> Top charting album: Mosquito
> Albums sold: 0.5 million

Source: hsaudreylynne / Wikimedia Commons

> Artist: Fall Out Boy
> Top charting track: This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race
> Top charting album: Save Rock And Roll
> Albums sold: 6 million

Source: Timothy Tsui / Wikimedia Commons

> Artist: Maroon 5
> Top charting track: Moves Like Jagger
> Top charting album: V
> Albums sold: 12.5 million

Source: Ian Gavan / Getty Images

> Artist: Bring Me the Horizon
> Top charting track: Throne
> Top charting album: That’s the Spirit
> Albums sold: 0.5 million

Source: Isaac Brekken / Getty Images

> Artist: Panic! at the Disco
> Top charting track: I Write Sins Not Tragedies
> Top charting album: Death of a Bachelor
> Albums sold: 4.5 million

Source: Ethan Miller / Getty Images

> Artist: Five Finger Death Punch
> Top charting track: Under and Over It
> Top charting album: The Wrong Side of Heaven… Volume 1
> Albums sold: 4.5 million

Source: s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

> Artist: Lady Antebellum
> Top charting track: Need You Now
> Top charting album: Need You Now
> Albums sold: 8 million

Source: Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

> Artist: Mumford & Sons
> Top charting track: I Will Wait
> Top charting album: Babel
> Albums sold: 5.5 million

Source: Rich Lam / Getty Images

> Artist: Imagine Dragons
> Top charting track: Radioactive
> Top charting album: Smoke + Mirrors
> Albums sold: 4 million

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

> Artist: twenty one pilots
> Top charting track: Stressed Out
> Top charting album: Blurryface
> Albums sold: 4 million

Source: Jason Kempin / Getty Images

> Artist: Florida Georgia Line
> Top charting track: Meant to Be
> Top charting album: Anything Goes
> Albums sold: 4 million


> Artist: 5 Seconds of Summer
> Top charting track: Youngblood
> Top charting album: 5 Seconds of Summer
> Albums sold: 0.5 million

Source: Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images

> Artist: Kaleo
> Top charting track: Way Down We Go
> Top charting album: A/B
> Albums sold: N/A

Source: Erika Goldring / Getty Images

> Artist: LANCO
> Top charting track: Greatest Love Story
> Top charting album: Hallelujah Nights
> Albums sold: N/A

Source: Romix63 / Wikimedia Commons

> Artist: Saint Asonia
> Top charting track: Better Place
> Top charting album: Saint Asonia
> Albums sold: N/A

Source: Michael Chang / Getty Images

> Artist: DNCE
> Top charting track: Cake by the Ocean
> Top charting album: DNCE
> Albums sold: 0.5 million

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

> Artist: Prophets of Rage
> Top charting track: Prophets of Rage
> Top charting album: Prophets of Rage
> Albums sold: N/A

Source: Courtesy of Eleven Seven Music

> Artist: Bad Wolves
> Top charting track: Zombie
> Top charting album: Disobey
> Albums sold: N/A

Detailed findings

In the 1960s and 1970s, though plenty of musicians found fame, the majority of bands that left a lasting impression were rock bands. In some cases, multiple top bands formed in a specific year. Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Who both formed in 1964; Pink Floyd, The Doors, and Grateful Dead all came together in 1965; and Fleetwood Mac, Chicago, and Steve Miller Band formed in 1967. Through the lens of our metrics, only one band from each year is the most famous.

In later years, genres begin to blur. While the Beastie Boys evolved into a group that primarily performed hip hop, they began as a more rock-oriented act in 1979. Traces of this style were still present on their 1986 album, “Licensed to Ill,” which featured guitar-driven tracks like “Fight For Your Right.” Other bands with rap influences include Red Hot Chili Peppers, Linkin Park, and Gorillaz.

As pop music has increasingly become more popular, bands also transitioned to more pop than rock. Such more recent bands include Fall Out Boy and Maroon 5, which outpace other bands the year they were formed.


To determine the most famous band formed the year you were born, 24/7 Tempo created an index based on the bands listed on ranking website Ranker.com’s user-generated “The Best Rock Bands of All Time” list. In addition to the number of up and down votes for each band on the list, we considered the number of Wikipedia page views each group’s page has received over the past two years and the number of certified albums and singles sold by retailers since the time of each band’s formation as reported by the Recording Industry Association of America. Editorial discretion was used to include bands that performed especially well in all metrics but were absent from the Ranker.com list.

The year a band was formed can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint, so to be consistent, we used the band formation years listed by MusicBrainz, an extensive music database created and curated by industry experts.

A band’s top charting track is based on Billboard Hot 100 performance and the top charting album is based on Billboard 200 performance. Compilation and “greatest hits” albums were excluded. In rare cases where a band did not have any songs on the Hot 100 chart, we included their most popular song on streaming service Spotify.

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