The most popular 100 rock bands of all time have been calculated and 60s and 70s bands ruled

Sep 29, 2019
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Some clever internet-savvy types at have done a batch of mathematical calculations to determine which rock bands are the most popular of all time. This week 24/7 Tempo released their results showing exactly what we, the earliest rock and roll fans would expect – that our rock and roll legends really do rule, even 50 years later.  It’s an exhaustive list that requires lots of patience to crawl through, so we went to work to create a summary you would appreciate, drawing attention to the biggest bands of your time – the 60s, 70s, 80s and still drawing mention to all the other bands listed in the top 50.  After all, doesn’t the rule say that people stop really listening to new music at the age of 39.

The research undertaken to determine which bands were most popular was primarily internet based and has a very scientific and mathematically calculated framework.  But the weighting allowed for those who had enormous quantities of Billboard hits but lower social media followings to shine through – as they should.

“To determine the most popular rock bands of all time, 24/7 Tempo generated an index based on the popularity of a band’s Wikipedia page, popularity on Spotify, popularity on Facebook, and Ranker user votes as of September 23, 2019. Each component of the index was given equal weight except for Ranker user votes, which was weighted twice as heavily because of the significant nature of fan opinion,” they wrote in their pre-amble of the awards results.

They were careful to point out that they did specifically leave out solo artists like Prince, David Bowie, and Elvis Presley.  We’re only reporting in on the top 50 today.  You can see the whole list in all its glory here.

50. The Cranberries

➡ Best selling album: No Need to Argue

49. Cream

➡ Spotify followers: 1.1 million
➡ Facebook likes: 0.7 million
➡ Best selling album: Disraeli Gears

Cream in the 70s – Unknown date; Source: General Artists Corporation (management) /Atco Records (the band’s record label at one time). [Public domain]

48. Chicago

➡ Best selling album: Chicago 17

47. Kiss

➡ Best selling album: Destroyer

Kiss in 2004; Source: Flickr user Wok [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

46. Rammstein

➡ Best selling album: Sehnsucht

45. Kings of Leon

➡ Best selling album: Only by the Night

44. Dire Straits

➡ Spotify followers: 2.8 million
➡ Facebook likes: 3.3 million
➡ Best selling album: Brothers in Arms

Dire Straits in 1978 in Hamburg; Source: Heinrich Klaffs [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]

43. Korn

➡ Best selling album: Follow the Leader

42. Nickelback

➡ Best selling album: All the Right Reasons

41. Deep Purple

➡ Spotify followers: 2.7 million
➡ Facebook likes: 1.6 million
➡ Best selling album: Machine Head

Deep Purple in 1971; Source: Warner Bros. Records [Public domain]

40. Van Halen

➡ Spotify followers: 2.7 million
➡ Facebook likes: 5.6 million
➡ Best selling album: 1984

Val Halen; Source GHOSTRIDER2112 [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]

39. Eagles

➡ Spotify followers: 3.7 million
➡ Facebook likes: 6.5 million
➡ Best selling album: Hotel California

38. Avenged Sevenfold

➡ Best selling album: City of Evil

37. The Killers

➡ Best selling album: Hot Fuss

36. Muse

➡ Best selling album: The Resistance

35. Evanescence

➡ Best selling album: Fallen

34. U2

➡ Spotify followers: 5.6 million
➡ Facebook likes: 16.9 million
➡ Best selling album: The Joshua Tree

U2 in 1983; Source: By James LaMantia CC BY-SA 4.0,

33. Blink-182

➡ Best selling album: Enema of the State

32. Marilyn Manson

➡ Best selling album: Mechanical Animals

31. Radiohead

➡ Best selling album: OK Computer

30. Fall Out Boy

➡ Best selling album: From Under the Cork Tree

29. The Who

➡ Spotify followers: 2.8 million
➡ Facebook likes: 5.7 million
➡ Best selling album: Who’s Next

28. System of a Down

➡ Best selling album: Toxicity

27. Creedence Clearwater Revival

➡ Spotify followers: 2.9 million
➡ Facebook likes: 4.5 million
➡ Best selling album: Cosmo’s Factory

Fantasy Records [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

26. Arctic Monkeys

➡ Best selling album: AM

25. Gorillaz

➡ Best selling album: Demon Days

24. Pearl Jam

➡ Best selling album: Ten

23. Lynyrd Skynyrd

➡ Best selling album: Street Survivors

22. Iron Maiden

➡ Best selling album: Somewhere in Time

21. Paramore

➡ Best selling album: Riot!

20. The Doors

➡ Spotify followers: 4.3 million
➡ Facebook likes: 16.3 million
➡ Best selling album: The Doors

APA-Agency for the Performing Arts-management [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

19. Fleetwood Mac

➡ Spotify followers: 3.7 million
➡ Facebook likes: 4.8 million
➡ Best selling album: Rumours

Warner Bros. Records [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

18. Foo Fighters

➡ Best selling album: Wasting Light

17. Black Sabbath

➡ Best selling album: Paranoid

16. Aerosmith

➡ Best selling album: Toys in the Attic

15. Bon Jovi

➡ Spotify followers: 6.5 million
➡ Facebook likes: 25.0 million
➡ Best selling album: Slippery When Wet

By Gochy5 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

14. Green Day

➡ Best selling album: Dookie

13. Nirvana

➡ Best selling album: Nevermind

12. The Rolling Stones

➡ Spotify followers: 7.4 million
➡ Facebook likes: 19.3 million
➡ Best selling album: Hot Rocks

By Marcel Antonisse (ANEFO) – GaHetNa (Nationaal Archief NL), CC0, Link

11. Red Hot Chili Peppers

➡ Best selling album: Blood Sugar Sex Magik

Now, for the top ten!

10. Metallica

➡ Best selling album: Metallica

9. Coldplay

➡ Spotify followers: 22.0 million
➡ Facebook likes: 38.1 million
➡Best selling album: A Rush of Blood to the Head

8. Maroon 5

➡ Spotify followers: 20.0 million
➡ Facebook likes: 37.5 million
➡ Best selling album: Songs About Jane

7. Guns N’ Roses

➡ Spotify followers: 13.8 million
➡ Facebook likes: 29.7 million
➡ Best selling album: Appetite for Destruction

6. AC/DC

➡ Spotify followers: 12.7 million
➡ Facebook likes: 29.1 million
➡ Best selling album: Back in Black

By Lost Parables from Ballymena, Northern Ireland. ©jameshughes – ACDC in full flight (not online anymore), CC BY 2.0, Link

5. Linkin Park

➡ Best selling album: Hybrid Theory

4. Pink Floyd

➡ Spotify followers: 10.3 million
➡ Facebook likes: 28.1 million
➡ Best selling album: The Wall

Capitol Records [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

3. Led Zeppelin

➡ Spotify followers: 7.9 million
➡ Facebook likes: 13.3 million
➡ Best selling album: Led Zeppelin IV

Led Zeppelin 2008; By p_a_h from United Kingdom – flickr.com, CC BY 2.0, Link

2. The Beatles

➡ Spotify followers: 13.5 million
➡ Facebook likes: 40.2 million
➡ Best selling album: The Beatles

The Beatles 1968; By ingen uppgift – Scanpix, Public Domain, Link

1. Queen

➡ Spotify followers: 19.7 million
➡ Facebook likes: 28.7 million
➡ Best selling album: The Game

Queen performing 1977; Carl Lender [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Which were your favourites?

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