Blowing Minds and Speakers: Rock Bands That Shook Up the World


The sound of rock music came primarily from American rock and roll, blues, and country music. But strangely, it was the British bands that took on the spirit of these musical forms and reshaped it into the popular genre of rock as we know it. There have been many great American rock bands, particularly after the explosion of the modern rock style, that became prominent. But it was the British groups that truly became the ambassadors for this style and made it universally recognised and liked.

We are going to list 5 of the most iconic and important rock bands of all time. Listener or not, everyone knows the sound of rock music. But if you weren’t a serious listener before then this is a good place start and hopefully you will find something you like.

The Beatles

There is virtually no artist in contemporary popular music who wasn’t influenced by The Beatles. After their first single (single is a song that is typically released to the radio audience before album release) became a hit in 1962 it took only 2 more years for them to become international superstars. They led what is known as the “British invasion” from the front. They became so popular and influential because of their astounding originality. They sounded like no one else and they made music that rocked people. Rubber Soul (1965), Revolver (1966), Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) are good early albums that you may start listening to. But starting with a greatest hits compilation is probably not a bad idea either.


Cream was formed as a super group with bassist Jack Bruce, drummer Ginger Baker, and guitarist Eric Clapton. The band stayed together for only three years. But it was enough for these three young musicians to change the face of popular music forever. Their blues driven powerful sound opened up a new horizon of musical frontier. Ginger Baker’s strange drumming coupled with Clapton’s guitar work and Bruce’s song writing created a unique sound that forged a path for others to follow. All of the four albums by Cream are great in their own ways. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.

Pink Floyd

All of the bands listed here have their own unique sound, but none were perhaps quite as irreverently dismissive of all the conventions of writing music. Formed in London in 1965 by Syd Barrett, Nick Mason, Roger Waters, and Richard Wright. One of the most known members of the band David Gilmour joined later. Despite their apparent lack of concern for creating radio friendly pop music Pink Floyd is one of the most commercially successful and influential rock bands of all time. Pink Floyd continues to be relevant and widely listened. For a new listener their later album The Wall (1979) will probably be a good place to start. But if you are feeling adventurous and don’t shy away from or even enjoy to listening to music outside of your comfort zone, then start by “The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn” (1967).

Led Zeppelin

Some regard Led Zeppelin as influential in the 1970s as The Beatles were in the 1960s. Whether or not that is true Led Zeppelin caused an earthquake with their immense overdriven guitar sound and powerful rocking riffs. Before founding Led Zeppelin, Jimmy Page, the guitar player and primary songwriter, was a session musician and played in a group called The Yardbirds. He already had a vision of the sound he wanted to create. Once he found the other members everything just fell right into the place and the legendary led Zeppelin was born. The first album titled “Led Zeppelin I” is a good album to start listening to the awesome music of the band.


Who is the most charming and loved rock front man and singer or all time? While there is no right answer and it’s all subjective, the least controversial answer to this question will be Freddy Mercury of Queen. Formed in London in 1970 Queen quickly became one of the biggest rock bands of the 1970s. The first and original lineup consisted of Freddie Mercury (lead vocals, piano), Brian May (guitar, vocals), John Deacon (bass guitar), and Roger Taylor (drums). Freddie Mercury was not just the most awesome singer and front man, he was a gifted songwriter and wrote most of Queen’s biggest hits like ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, ‘We Are the Champions’, ‘Under Pressure’, ‘Killer Queen’, ‘Innuendo’ and many more. But the other members of Queen were very important and an integral part of the band’s sound even though they are often overshadowed by the extraordinary image of Mercury. It’s probably best to get a greatest hits album of Queen and start from there.