Some of the best rock bands in history are American bands. Whilst there will always be disputes over which rock band or particular rock music track takes the number one slot, American rock music has a flair and bravado unique to the United States of America. All the American bands on this list are household names among rock fans.
1. Creedence Clearwater Revival
A stirring musical legacy of tales for the common man from 1968-1972 from one of America’s top rock bands include songs including the fun “Lookin’ Out My Back Door” to the thoughtful “Who’ll Stop the Rain” to the ferocious “Fortunate Son”, framing the complex story of an American generation in the Vietnam era.
Initially featuring veteran performers from Poco, the Flying Burrito Brothers and Linda Ronstadt’s band, the Eagles helped redirect rock back to its country roots with craftsmanship and authenticity. Their series of late-period reunions with former members surprised many before they finally quit after the death of co-founder Glenn Frey in January 2016.
3. The Doors
The improvisational mix of blues, jazz and poetry allowed The Doors to use rock music to buck trends as heard on the jazz-rock hit “Light My Fire” and on protest songs like “Five to One” emerging as musical revolutionaries. Singer Jim Morrison’s self-destruction ensured their immortality.
All-American bad boys Steven Tyler and Joe Perry certainly had their ’70s-era struggles, both personal and professional, but they simply refused to stay down becoming one of the most famous rock bands to make a dramatic comeback late in the next decade.
5. Lynyrd Skynyrd
From the time they were formed in Florida in 1965, few bands wrote rock music sharing their pride for the South on their sleeves the way this rock band did. Offering a gritty, deeply American mix of blues, country and rock, Lynyrd Skynryd racked up a number of hits while embodying a rebel spirit that resonated across the country.
6. Van Halen
Few frontmen possess the bravado of vocalist David Lee Roth. Van Halen guitarist Eddie Van Halen has been the portrait of American ingenuity, helping to pioneer the finger-tap method of guitar-playing. Their heavy guitar-driven track “Everybody Wants Some” is the rock bands unapologetic celebration of sex and probably this rock bands most famous record.
7. The Beach Boys
Brothers Carl, Dennis and Brian Wilson joined cousin Mike Love and friend Al Jardine to define the West Coast youth culture as the Beach Boys combined gorgeous vocal harmonies with songs focusing on cars, girls and surfing. They influenced the modern concept of California and for brief period challenged the Beatles for wider pop-rock supremacy.
8. ZZ Top
Billy, Frank and Dusty’s no-frills guitars-bass-drums approach mirrors a straight-forward sense of pride in the forces that shaped them: American and the blues. ZZ Top have continued to earn accolades in a new century for their efforts in preserving blues music, with tours across America and another album out in September 2016.
9. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
First inspired to form a band by The Beatles, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are a rock band with sleek, energetic musicianship who know when to hold back and when to really let rip. It took the dynamism of new wave to bring Petty into fashion and now an Americam rock ‘n’ roll hero.
Americans love a rags-to-riches story, and that pretty much sums it up for Metallica, a group of hard-driving legends who rose from the then unknown thrash-metal underground to become new standard bearers for rock.