200 Greatest Classic Rock Bands

Top 200 Classic Rock Bands

The AOR scene helped the term ‘classic rock’ gain momentum. Ever since the roots of rock took shape, numerous bands emerged with their signature rock sound. This article is an in-depth perspective of the best classic rock bands.

The AOR scene helped the term ‘classic rock’ gain momentum. Ever since the roots of rock took shape, numerous bands emerged with their signature rock sound. This article is an in-depth perspective of the best classic rock bands.

The term ‘classic rock’ is often used as a term to describe a particular style of music or rock bands associated with the classic rock format. Classic rock came into its own when AOR radio stations in the 80s started promoting old songs of the past with current hits in the music scene. This was done to engage older audiences to music radio formats. While the classic rock format appealed to adult listeners, with time the format has become hugely popular with the teenage segment.

Classic rock bands are hugely popular globally with fans of rock music.

The cross-culture of rock music played by AOR radio stations in the 80s helped the term ‘classic rock’ emerge with stinging venom. Suddenly, the classic rock format became a phenomenon globally. The ‘classic rock hour’ became a popular format on radio stations all around the world. Many rock bands of the 60s, 70s and 80s are associated with the term ‘classic rock’ which over the years has become detrimental in describing early rock. In rock circles ‘classic rock’ is also known as ‘Timeless rock’. Typically classic rock played at a radio station comprises of rock songs of the 60s, 70s, and 80s. The ‘old rock style’ that comprises of verse and chorus is strongly associated with the realms of classic rock.

Present rock bands that use vocal harmonies and signature riffs or licks in the verse or chorus are often associated with the classic rock style. In the realms of rock music…classic rock has become an umbrella term that includes every aspect of rock bands in 60s, 70s, and 80s. Colloquially the term ‘classic’ is used to describe a memorable rock songs of the past, however, when a reference is made to ‘classic rock’ it is often suggests of bands of the 60s 70s and 80s. For a true fan of rock music, the term ‘classic rock’ speaks emotions. Classic rock will never die…and new bands with the classic rock sound will keep emerging.

The space below showcases an epic list of the best classic rock bands from the 60s, 70s and 80s. Included in the list are AOR bands.

200 Greatest Classic Rock Bands

  1. Led Zeppelin
  2. The Doors
  3. Deep Purple
  4. The Rolling Stones
  5. Black Sabbath
  6. Fleetwood Mac
  7. The Eagles
  8. Cream
  9. Journey
  10. The Who
  11. Badfinger
  12. Lynyrd Skynyrd
  13. Boston
  14. Scorpions
  15. Toto
  16. The Jim Hendrix Experience
  17. Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
  18. Van Halen
  19. Kiss
  20. Nazareth
  21. The Kinks
  22. Dire Straits
  23. Queen
  24. Guess Who
  25. America
  26. Yes
  27. Guns N’ Roses
  28. The Doobie Brothers
  29. Pink Floyd
  30. Barclay James Harvest
  31. 10cc
  32. Aerosmith
  33. Def Leppard
  34. Heart
  35. Bon Jovi
  36. The J. Geils Band
  37. Styx
  38. Whitesnake
  39. Judas Priest
  40. Rush
  41. Free
  42. The Allman Brothers Band
  43. Rainbow
  44. Dokken
  45. Uriah Heep
  46. Motley Crue
  47. Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
  48. Quiet Riot
  49. Foreigner
  50. Skid Row
  51. Rare Earth
  52. U2
  53. The Runaways
  54. Budgie
  55. Dio
  56. Creedence Clearwater Revival
  57. Red Hot Chili Peppers
  58. Blue Oyster Cult
  59. Montrose
  60. Black Oak Arkansas
  61. Supertramp
  62. AC/DC
  63. Kansas
  64. Queensryche
  65. Motorhead
  66. The Byrds
  67. Magnum
  68. Chicago
  69. Iron Maiden
  70. Wishbone Ash
  71. The Yardbirds
  72. The Grateful Dead
  73. Sweet
  74. Cinderella
  75. Mott The Hoople
  76. 38 Special
  77. The Seeds
  78. Triumph
  79. The Smiths
  80. Genesis
  81. Hawkwind
  82. Sonic Youth
  83. Europe
  84. Mountain
  85. The Sex Pistols
  86. REO Speedwagon
  87. Status Quo
  88. The American Breed
  89. Metallica
  90. Bad Company
  91. Santana
  92. King Crimson
  93. Autograph
  94. Steely Dan
  95. Buffalo Springfield
  96. Thin Lizzy
  97. Genesis
  98. Blondie
  99. ZZ Top
  100. The Moody Blues
  101. Slade
  102. Twisted Sister
  103. Paul Revere & the Raiders
  104. Steppenwolf
  105. Little Feat
  106. Tesla
  107. The Animals
  108. Roxy Music
  109. T. Rex
  110. Jefferson Airplane
  111. The Cars
  112. Electric Light Ochestra
  113. Jethro Tul
  114. Tears For Fears
  115. Golden Earring
  116. The Alan Parson Project
  117. Survivor
  118. White Lion
  119. Loverboy
  120. Procol Harum
  121. Grand Funk Railroad
  122. Night Ranger
  123. UFO
  124. Nelson
  125. Cactus
  126. Bachman- Turner Overdrive
  127. The Velvet Underground
  128. Steelheart
  129. Big Brother and the Holding Company
  130. Cheap Trick
  131. The Zombies
  132. Caravan
  133. Goo Goo Dolls
  134. James Gang
  135. Sheriff
  136. The Lovin’ Spoonfull
  137. New Order
  138. The Police
  139. Spirit
  140. The Pretenders
  141. Iron Butterfly
  142. Collective Soul
  143. Giant
  144. Winger
  145. Ten Years After
  146. April Wine
  147. Krokus
  148. Poison
  149. Mr. Big
  150. Humble Pie
  151. The Ramones
  152. Warrant
  153. The Standells
  154. Alias
  155. Danger Danger
  156. The Five Americans
  157. Ratt
  158. Bad English
  159. Damn Yankees
  160. America
  161. Extreme
  162. Vinnie Vincent Invasion
  163. Faces
  164. Traffic
  165. The Cult
  166. Sleeze Beez
  167. Foghat
  168. The Beach Boys
  169. Blind Faith
  170. Kix
  171. Great White
  172. Asia
  173. The Grass Roots
  174. Vandenberg
  175. Mr.Mister
  176. Saxon
  177. Lillian Axe
  178. The 13th Floor Elevators
  179. Steve Miller Band
  180. The Band
  181. Saigon Kick
  182. XYZ
  183. Canned Heat
  184. Stryper
  185. Faster Pussycat
  186. Ennuf Z’ Nuff
  187. The Clash
  188. Keel
  189. Vanilla Fudge
  190. The Flaming Lips
  191. Slaughter
  192. L.A. Guns
  193. MSG (McAuley Schenker Group)
  194. House of Lords
  195. Vixen
  196. Kingdome Come
  197. Inxs
  198. Tyketto
  199. Little Caesar
  200. Trixter

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