The Most Famous Rock Band Formed Every Year Since 1960

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Rock and roll has been a huge cultural force since it burst upon the musical scene in the 1950s. Not only has it dramatically altered the evolution of popular music, it has influenced fashion, human behavior, and cultural norms in general. 

24/7 Tempo has identified the most famous band formed each year from 1960 through 2017 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, which were formed in 1957, each band on this list has made a lasting impact on popular music and won fans across the world.

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 ranks as the most famous.

In the 1980s, genres began 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. Two bands on our list that have rap influences include Red Hot Chili Peppers and Linkin Park.

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. Here are the best pop albums of all time.