Music

The Greatest American Rock Bands  

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Originally by Ranker Community
1.3M votes 51.1k voters 1M views 364 items

List Rules Bands must have formed in the United States and have mostly American band members

Ranker Video Greatest American Rock Bands Ever

Some of the greatest bands in rock history are from the United States. While the merits of their musical prowess can be fairly disputed between fans, these famous rock bands bring a certain American flair and bravado that other bands from different countries don't have. Almost all of the American bands on this list should be household names among rock fans and there should be few, if any surprises on this list.

A range of American cities are represented here. Bands from Los Angeles are the most populous here with classic rock bands like The Doors and Van Halen, as well as Guns N' Roses, The Beach Boys, Rage Against the Machine, and The Eagles. Due to the popularity of grunge in the early '90s, Seattle is well represented. Famous bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains are included on this list. There are metal bands (Metallica), hard rockers (Aerosmith, Alice Cooper), psych bands (Grateful Dead, Phish), punk outfits (The Ramones, Green Day) and even funk bands (Sly and the Family Stone, Prince) that are on this list. If a band is from America and awesome, it should be here.

Vote for the top American rock bands that you think are the best to come from the 50 states. Pick the band who you consider to be the greatest American rock band of all time. There are plenty of great choices to choose from so you can't really go wrong.

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26
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands
American V: A Hundred Highways, American IV: The Man Comes Around, At Folsom Prison
John R. "Johnny" Cash was a singer-songwriter, actor, and author, widely considered one of the most influential American musicians of the 20th century. Although primarily remembered as ...more
27
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands
Déjà vu, 4 Way Street, Crosby
Crosby, Stills & Nash is a folk rock supergroup made up of David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash. They are known as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young when joined by occasional fourth ...more
28
Bruce Springsteen is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands
Born to Run, Born in the U.S.A., The Rising
Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen is an American singer-songwriter, guitarist and humanitarian. He is best known for his work with his E Street Band. Nicknamed "The Boss", Springsteen ...more
29
Ramones is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands
Ramones, Rocket to Russia, End of the Century
The Ramones were an American punk rock band that formed in the New York City neighborhood of Forest Hills, Queens, in 1974. They are often cited as the first band to define the punk rock sound. ...more
30
Chicago is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands
Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago II, Chicago Christmas: What's It Gonna Be
Chicago is an American rock band formed in 1967 in Chicago, Illinois. The self-described "rock and roll band with horns" began as a politically charged, sometimes experimental, rock ...more
31
The Revolution is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands
Purple Rain, Around the World in a Day, Parade - Music From The Motion Picture Under The Cherry Moon
The Revolution was an American rock band formed in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1979 by Prince. Although widely associated with rock music, the band's sound incorporated pop, funk, R&B and hard ...more
32
Foo Fighters is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands
Wasting Light, The Colour and the Shape, Foo Fighters
Foo Fighters is an American rock band, formed in Seattle in 1994. It was founded by Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl as a one-man project following the death of Kurt Cobain and the resulting ...more
33
R.E.M. is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands
Murmur, Green, Automatic for the People
R.E.M. was an American rock band from Athens, Georgia, formed in 1980 by singer Michael Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills, and drummer Bill Berry. One of the first popular ...more
34
Jefferson Airplane is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands
Surrealistic Pillow, Volunteers, Bark
Jefferson Airplane is a musical band. The members have included Marty Balin, Paul Kantner, Spencer Dryden, Jack Casady, Grace Slick, Jorma Kaukonen and Skip Spence.
35
Foreigner is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands
Superpayasadas added 4, Complete Greatest Hits, Agent Provocateur
Foreigner is a British-American rock band, originally formed in 1976 by veteran English musician Mick Jones and fellow Briton and ex-King Crimson member Ian McDonald along with American vocalist ...more
36
Simon and Garfunkel is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands
Bridge Over Troubled Water, Sounds of Silence, Bookends

I Am a Rock, etc.

Simon & Garfunkel were an American folk rock duo consisting of singer-songwriter Paul Simon and singer Art Garfunkel. They are best known for achieving commercial and critical success in the ...more
37
The Doobie Brothers is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands
Toulouse Street, The Captain and Me, What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits
The Doobie Brothers are an American rock band. The group has sold more than 40 million albums worldwide throughout their career. The band has been active in five decades, with their biggest ...more
38
The Byrds is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands
Sweetheart of the Rodeo, Mr. Tambourine Man, Younger Than Yesterday
The Byrds were an American rock band, formed in Los Angeles, California in 1964. The band underwent multiple line-up changes throughout its existence, with frontman Roger McGuinn remaining the ...more
39
Kiss is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands
Destroyer, Icon, Revenge
Kiss is an American hard rock band formed in New York City in January 1973 by Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons. Well known for its members' face paint and stage outfits, the group rose to ...more
40
Steely Dan is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands
Pretzel Logic, Aja, Countdown to Ecstasy
Steely Dan is an American jazz rock band founded by core members Walter Becker and Donald Fagen. The band's popularity peaked in the late 1970s, and their seven albums over that period of time ...more
41
Alice Cooper is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands
Welcome to My Nightmare, Hey Stoopid, Brutal Planet
Alice Cooper is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and occasional actor whose career spans five decades. With a stage show that features guillotines, electric chairs, fake blood, boa ...more
42
The Cars is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands
Candy-O, The Cars, Just What I Needed: The Cars Anthology
The Cars are an American rock band that emerged from the new wave scene in the late 1970s. The band originated in Boston, Massachusetts, with lead singer, rhythm guitarist and songwriter Ric ...more
43
Soundgarden is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands
Superunknown, Badmotorfinger, Down on the Upside
Soundgarden is an American rock band formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1984 by singer and rhythm guitarist Chris Cornell, lead guitarist Kim Thayil, and bassist Hiro Yamamoto. Matt Cameron ...more
44
Cheap Trick is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands
Cheap Trick at Budokan, In Color, Dream Police
Cheap Trick is an American rock band from Rockford, Illinois, formed in 1973. As of 2010, the band currently consists of Robin Zander, Rick Nielsen, Tom Petersson and Daxx Nielsen, who replaced ...more
45
Blondie is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands
Parallel Lines, Heart of Glass, Blondie
Blondie is an American rock band founded by singer Debbie Harry and guitarist Chris Stein. The band was a pioneer in the early American new wave and punk scenes of the mid-1970s. Its first two ...more
46
The Temptations is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands
The Temptations Christmas Card, The Very Best of Christmas, The Temptations Sing Smokey
The Temptations are an American vocal group known for their success with Motown Records during the 1960s and 1970s. Known for their choreography, distinct harmonies, and flashy wardrobe, the ...more
47
Kansas is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands
but chickens double d added Point of Know Return, Leftoverture, Kansas
Kansas is an American rock band that became popular in the 1970s initially on album-oriented rock charts and later with hit singles such as "Carry On Wayward Son" and "Dust in the ...more
48
Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double ... is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands
Couldn't Stand the Weather, In Step, Texas Flood
Double Trouble is an American blues rock band from Austin, Texas, formed by guitarist/singer Stevie Ray Vaughan in 1978. The group was active throughout the 1980s and responsible for reviving ...more
49
Chuck Berry is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands
The Great Twenty-Eight, Maybellene, Two Great Guitars
Charles Edward Anderson "Chuck" Berry is an American guitarist, singer and songwriter, and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. With songs such as "Maybellene", ...more
50
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest American Rock Bands
dicksbookroom added I Love Rock 'n' Roll, Glorious Results of a Misspent Youth, Fetish
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts is a 1983 Juno Award nominated musical group.