In this blog post, we’ll take a look at 10 English rock music groups that you need to know. From the Beatles to Radiohead, these are groups that have made a lasting impact on rock music.
No other band has had as much of an impact on the course of popular music as the Beatles. Hailing from Liverpool, England, the Beatles – John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr – took the world by storm with their infectious blend of pop, rock, and R&B. They revolutionized the way music was made and listened to, and their influence can still be heard today in the work of countless artists. If you’re a fan of rock music, you need to know the Beatles.
The Rolling Stones
Formed in London in 1962, The Rolling Stones have been rocking for over 50 years now and are still going strong. With hits like “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” “Paint it Black,” and “Start Me Up,” the Stones have cemented their place as one of the greatest rock bands of all time. If you’re a fan of rock music, then you need to know The Rolling Stones.
Led Zeppelin was an English rock band formed in 1968. The group consisted of guitarist Jimmy Page, singer Robert Plant, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones, and drummer John Bonham. The band’s heavy, guitar-driven sound has led them to be cited as one of the progenitors of heavy metal. Their style drew from a wide variety of influences, including blues, psychedelia, and folk music.
The band’s debut album, Led Zeppelin (1969), was a commercial success, with its singles “Good Times Bad Times” and “Communication Breakdown” becoming hits in the UK. Their second album, Led Zeppelin II (1969), became their first US number one album. It included the singles “Whole Lotta Love” and “Ramble On”. Led Zeppelin’s next two albums were both released in 1970: Led Zeppelin III featured the acoustic song “Immigrant Song”, while Led Zeppelin IV contained their best-known song, “Stairway to Heaven”.
In 1971, the band released Houses of the Holy. Physical Graffiti (1975) was a double album that surpassed sales expectations and included the singles “Kashmir” and “Trampled Underfoot”. Following Bonham’s death in 1980, Plant returned as the band’s vocalist for In Through the Out Door (1979), which was also commercially successful. Presence (1976) and Coda (1982), both of which were compilation albums, were less successful than previous releases.
Pink Floyd is one of the most well-known and successful English rock music groups. Formed in 1965, the group originally consisted of Syd Barrett, Nick Mason, Roger Waters, and Richard Wright. Pink Floyd is known for their psychedelia-influenced music, as well as their extended compositions, multi-layered sound effects, and innovative album art. The band has sold over 200 million records worldwide, making them one of the best-selling music artists of all time. In 1985, Pink Floyd was inducted into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Formed in London in 1964, The Who is one of the most important and influential rock bands of all time. The band’s classic lineup consisted of lead singer Roger Daltrey, guitarist and singer Pete Townshend, bassist John Entwistle, and drummer Keith Moon.
The Who’s early career was defined by their powerful live performances, which often featured destructive onstage antics by Townshend and Moon. The band became known for their hit singles “My Generation” (1965), “Substitute” (1966), “I Can’t Explain” (1964), and “Happy Jack” (1966). They released their debut album My Generation in 1965, followed by a string of successful albums including A Quick One (1966), Sell Out (1967), Tommy (1969), Live at Leeds (1970), Who’s Next (1971), Quadrophenia (1973), The Who by Numbers (1975), Face Dances (1981), It’s Hard (1982), Endless Wire (2006), and more.
TheWho have been cited as an influence by many important rock musicians, including Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl,and John Bonham. The band has also been credited with helping to pioneer the use of amplifiers and destruction of musical equipment as part of their stage show. In May 2008, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Queen is a British rock band that formed in London in 1970. The band members are Freddie Mercury (lead vocals, piano), Brian May (guitar, vocals), John Deacon (bass guitar), and Roger Taylor (drums, vocals). Queen’s early works included the album “Queen II” and the song “Bohemian Rhapsody”, which are both considered to be among the greatest rock songs of all time. The band has released a total of 18 studio albums, 10 live albums, and numerous compilations. Queen is one of the best-selling music groups of all time, having sold more than 300 million records worldwide. They have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001 and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 1990.
Formed in 1968 by Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward, Black Sabbath is often credited as the pioneers of heavy metal music. The band’s dark and ominous sound was a huge contrast to the more pop-oriented rock music of the time, and their debut album Black Sabbath (1970) is widely considered to be one of the most influential metal albums ever recorded. Sabbath went on to release a string of critically acclaimed and commercially successful albums throughout the 1970s, including Paranoid (1970), Master of Reality (1971), Vol. 4 (1972), Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (1973), Sabotage (1975), and Technical Ecstasy (1976). By the end of the decade, however, drug abuse and internal tensions took their toll on the band, leading to Osbourne’s firing in 1979. Though attempts were made to continue without Osbourne, Black Sabbath officially disbanded in 2006.
Deep Purple is an English hard rock band formed in 1968. They are credited as one of the pioneers of heavy metal and modern hard rock, although their musical approach changed over the years. Originally formed as a psychedelic rock and progressive rock band, they moved towards a heavier sound in 1970. Deep Purple reached their commercial peak with their album Machine Head in 1972. They have sold over 100 million copies of their albums worldwide.
Cream was a British rock supergroup formed in London in 1966. Composed of bassist Jack Bruce, guitarist Eric Clapton, and drummer Ginger Baker, the group’s sound was characterized by a hybrid of blues rock and psychedelic rock that typically relied on long improvised sections and highlighted the skilled virtuosity of its members.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience
The Jimi Hendrix Experience was an American-English rock band that was active between 1966 and 1969. The group formed in London in October 1966, and it featured guitarist Jimi Hendrix, bassist Noel Redding, and drummer Mitch Mitchell. The band was originally a backing unit for Hendrix’s recordings, but it evolved into a successful recording and touring entity in its own right.
The Experienc’s debut album, Are You Experienced, is widely regarded as one of the greatest debut albums in rock music history. The album features some of Hendrix’s most iconic songs, including “Purple Haze,” “Fire,” and “The Wind Cries Mary.” The band followed up Are You Experienced with the equally successful Axis: Bold as Love.
The group’s third and final album, Electric Ladyland, is arguably their masterpiece. It is a double album that features some of Hendrix’s most ambitious and experimental work, including the groundbreaking title track.
Sadly, the band dissolved shortly after Electric Ladyland was released due to creative differences between Hendrix and his bandmates. However, the group’s three studio albums continue to be revered by fans and critics alike as essential documents of 1960s rock music.