The Best Rock Music Bands and artists in the World! (Or at least my favourites!)

Rock Music has been an incredibly important part of my life. I love live music, I love playing Rock Music and I have shelves of vinyl, CDs and DVDs – because I am a collector.

I use the term Rock Music very loosely indeed.

I like being surrounded with my music. I’ve seen most of the best bands live and loved every moment of the pure excitement. These are my favourite bands and artists (in no particular order):



Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac

Captain Beefheart

Jimi Hendrix


Roy Harper

Downliner’s Sect

Pink Floyd








Bob Dylan

Phil Ochs

Nick Harper

Jefferson Airplane

Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention


White Strypes


Ian Dury

Doctors of Madness

Elvis Costello


Wreckless Eric


North Mississippi Allstars

Sex Pistols

Stiff Little Fingers


Neil Young

Eddie Cochran

Elvis Presley

Little Richard

Booker T & the MGs

Otis Redding

Aretha Franklin

Joni Mitchell

Buddy Holly

Bo Diddly

Chuck Berry

David Gray

John Mayall

Incredible String Band

Led Zeppelin

Buffy St Marie

Ritchie Havens

Richard and Mimi Farina

Don and Dewey

James Brown

Ray Charles

Screaming Jay Hawkins

Jerry Lee Lewis

Everly Brothers

Fats Domino

Huey Piano Smith


Arthur Brown

Fairport Convention

Leonard Cohen

Country Joe and the Fish

James Varda

Gang of Four

Bruce Springsteen

The Last Poets

Gil Scott Heron

Linton Kwesi Johnson

Lee Scratch Perry

Crosby Stills Nash and Young



Michael Smith

PJ Harvey

Bob Marley

Dead Kennedys


Tom Robinson Band


Talking Heads


Velvet Underground

Jackson C Frank

Nick Drake

Jeff Beck


The Beat


Billy Bragg





Patti Smith

Hank Williams




John Renbourn

Bert Jansch



George Harrison

John Lennon

Loudhailer Electric Company

Fela Kuti

Pretty Things

Jackson Brown

George Thorogood

John Cooper Clarke



Nick Cave


Janis Joplin – Big Brother & the Holding Company

Grateful Dead

Dire Straits


I’ve missed out the Blues! There are lots of others that I like too and I bet there’s a few major likes that I’ve overlooked. Who is it that I’ve seriously missed out?

PS – I’m not keen on Queen, Rod Stewart, Beach Boys or Elton John!

17 thoughts on “The Best Rock Music Bands and artists in the World! (Or at least my favourites!)

  1. It has to be said – the build design of the list is terrible. There’s a lack of rational order as Buffy St Marie sits beside Led Zeppelin! You thought of her straight after Led Zeppelin, so no wonder the list is a minestrone. What did you really expect anybody to be able to do with it in this state?
    There’s too many must-have omissions to even begin to suggest as there’s almost none, bar maybe three at tops on your list that ever stretches out. Most are three minute wonder merchants, repetitive and musically unadventurous.
    Not exactly anything out of the ordinary really as it’s mostly standard fair and I really hate too many to list those that I’d instantly remove.
    There’s probably not one Jazz-based artist which is pretty much unforgivable.
    You ask what you’ve missed:
    Only one of the two most exciting bands that ever graced a stage. You eventually remembered The Who, who languished so far down your list buried among a pile of shit, but omitted Pretty Things.
    There’s almost nothing left-field and most is major label corporate fair. I’m sort of surprised not to see Coldplay or Oasis, given some of the others. I can’t believe you actually collected some of these records.
    There’s almost nothing from Europe, therefore Germany and France are completely off the radar. Prog, Electronica, Ambient, Soul, Deep Blues, Jazz, only one foreign act – Fela Kuti, whom I’ve seen several times and he really isn’t that great.
    No world music artists of which I could list from now to next week. There’s not even one great Torch singer. There is, however, too much dross and you must, just must have better records than al lot of these? If not, start to panic.
    Start with Gong and keep going left…

    1. Wallace – I said there is no order. If you don’t like it – fine. I put down what I like best. I did not set out to be geekie and put all the obscure stuff. I’ll leave that to the anoraks.
      I think you will find the Pretty Things were there – a favourite of mine.
      If you think that’s all mainstream – then fine with me. I don’t really care. I’m not setting out to be pretentious. I like what I like. If you like something different that’s fine with me.

      1. You’re right – they’re stuck way down beside Fela Kuti. No wonder I missed them. What threw me was that section with Them, Animals, Yardbirds, Kinks in a row and they should have been there. I subliminally expected to see them, too. Bah humbug on me.
        I don’t think Gong were geekie or anoraks level as they were easily one of the world’s most regular festival bands and had massive exposure albeit not reflected by massive album sales, chart hit singles and videos on MTV with Daevid sporting a bevvy of poolside beauties etc.
        I wasn’t on any level suggesting you should be pretentious, but since you mention it how about one of Paul McCartney’s classical works? Enjoy.

      2. Wallace – I don’t thing Gong were geekie. They weren’t someone I particularly liked. What I was saying was that my list, rambling as it was, was purely based on what I really liked. I could easily have put in lots of the more unheard of band which would have made it pretentious and geekie. But it wasn’t about being an anorak. It was about honestly saying what I actually liked.

  2. Opher – I don’t think unheard is the right choice of word unless of course you’re a John Peel clone and privy to many home-made demos made by bedroom hopefuls.
    Unheard of to whom, I ask? How could they be unheard if they had a record out? I’m somewhat perplexed by your narrow-mindedness. Why do you consider music that wasn’t a big popular seller or a top-twenty chart hit to be pretentious and geekie?
    Excuse me if I haven’t got your exact criteria absolutely correct but you must get the rough gist here. You’re actually very typical of creatures from an era where they blindingly continued to buy into the exact same strain of music type year in year on year out, because basically we are creatures of habit and seem to be too easily satisfied with repetition albeit with a different name to it.
    By all means I’ve of course heard all from your list more times than I care to remember and own many an album too, but I’ve moved on to discover far more interesting music. It’s easy too, just read the record label and if it says CBS, avoid!
    Had you been a friend and brought a Police record round my house, I’d have shot you on the spot. Lol. Spew!

    1. music that is unheard in my book is music that had a very small audience so largely went unheard.
      I like a number of the more obscure groups but do not deliberately pick on obscure stuff if I prefer more mainstream. to do so I would consider geekie and to be the choice of an anorak.
      I happen to quite like what the Police did. no big deal.

      1. Opher – If you could wean yourself off these stupid bloody restrictive labels that you impose on yourself as some kind of protective censorship, then you might just have a spitting chance of widening that little myopic horizon. Every record shop in the land is completely supported by geeks and anoraks. Get out more. It’s 2018, not 1968.

  3. I don’t restrict myself at all. I’m open to everything. I just don’t find a great deal around these days to get carried away about.
    Oh – I did see Vicki Genfan a while back. She’d make it on to my list of acoustic guitarists. I enjoyed her performance.

    1. These days? There’s nary a handful of names on your list post `68.
      Sorry, but I don’t enjoy any of all that poorly executed slap ‘n tickle style Genfan has. She can’t even do it at any speed either. Best left to Rodrigo y Gabriela.
      I don’t think I’d be able to remember a thing she’d sung immediately after hearing it.

      1. That’s precisely because the people I’ve heard post 68 have not greatly impressed me. The magic went out of it.
        Vicki was really good to see and had a great and innovative style. I enjoyed her set though I doubt I’d buy an album. She’s great live. That’s why she’s winning awards.

  4. What a great list! I thought I was the only one who would have listed the Contours. And to include Janis Joplin – only when she was with Big Brother and the Holding Company – spot on! Terrific, Opher.

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