What’s the recipe for becoming one of the top 100 classic rock artists? It takes considerable influence, longevity, groundbreaking importance and a certain indelible quality. But being very present does not necessarily mean that all these qualities must be present at the same time.
For some of those listed below, the fame was fleeting – though their impact certainly wasn’t. Bands may have broken up, careers may have been derailed, lives may have been tragically lost, but one thing defines these 100 great acts, some of which have come and gone, and others that have remained remarkably enduring. : they are unforgettable, an enduring part of our lives.
The variety, however, is staggering. There are some defined by songs, and others by how other artists have rushed to sound like them. A few figures trace through multiple entrances, appearing singly and in larger groups. Some have stayed true to their musical beliefs, playing with remarkable consistency; others seemed to change direction as often as they changed location on a crossover world tour. Then there are those that appear like shooting stars, burning bright but gone way too soon.
They weren’t all ’60s legacy bands either. performers and from punk to hard rock and pop-metal – and this list connects all those different threads. It’s quite a journey. Find out how they rank, as we count down the top 100 classic rock artists.