Selections are determined by a combination of album sales, radio airplay, touring history, and degree of continuous popularity. Solo artists are included in a separate list.
26. Jethro Tull
Essential Album: Very Best Of Jethro Tull
Tull developed and maintained a sound that was completely unlike any other band's, with the use of the flute as a lead instrument, and with a heavy classical music influence.
Essential Album: Complete Greatest Hits
A group of back-up players got together in 1976 and formed a group that became a longtime Arena Rock and radio airplay favorite.
28. The Kinks
Essential Album: Ultimate Collection
They maintained their popularity through the 60s and 70s by adjusting their lyric themes and musical styles as times, and public tastes, changed.
29. Blue Oyster Cult
Essential Album: The Essential Blue Oyster Cult
Formed in the mid 60s, this Metal/Psych Rock band had a long string of successful albums throughout the '70s and '80s.
30. Buffalo Springfield
Essential Album: Retrospective
The group existed for less than two years, but was considered a significant force in mid 60s rock, and launched the careers of members Neil Young, Stephen Stills, Jim Messina, and Richie Furay.
Essential Album: Platinum Collection
The band that put the glitter in Glitter Rock is second only to the Beatles in album sales in the UK.
32. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
Essential Album: Deja Vu
More than any other group of their time, they endeared themselves to a generation of youth with their lyric themes and eclectic variety of musical styles.
Essential Album: Gold
After failing to break through with Progressive Rock, this group is credited with originating the more mainstream Arena Rock sound.
34. Creedence Clearwater Revival
Essential Album: Chronicle
At the height of the British Invasion, they were the leading American rock band.
35. Deep Purple
Essential Album: Very Best Of
They shuffled personnel and musical styles until they became one of the most successful bands on the concert and recording circuit.
36. Steve Miller Band
Essential Album: Young Hearts
They paid their dues as a backup band before becoming one of the most popular groups of the 70s.
37. Guess Who
Essential Album: Anthology
One of Canada's most popular rock bands evolved from Soft Rock to a harder variety from the early 60s through the mid 70s.
38. Dave Clark Five
Essential Album: 30 Greatest Hits
Beatlemania helped propel this British group to great popularity in America.
Essential Album: All Time Greatest Hits
This Canadian Heavy Metal band is credited with creating the Bike Rock sub-genre.
Essential Album: Very Best Of Yes
In spite of more than the usual number of major personnel changes, this group has had a long and successful career.
41. Doobie Brothers
Essential Album: Best Of The Doobies
They weren't actually brothers, but they have parlayed a distinctive Heavy MetalSouthern Rock blend into a 30+ year career.
Essential Album: Only The Beginning
Formed in 1967, Chicago became one of the most successful orchestral rock groups and is still active four decades later.
Essential Album: Gold
Mix Hard Rock with over-the-top appearance and stage antics and you get the fathers of glitter-punk.
Essential Album: Parallel Lines
Emerging from the early Punk Rock scene, Blondie ultimately expanded their stylistic approach to include [link irl=http://classicrock.about.com/od/glossary/g/disco.htm]Disco, New Wave and Hip-Hop.
Essential Album: Permanent Waves
Rush is considered one of rock's best live bands, in addition to cranking out 30 albums over 30 years.
46. Sex Pistols
Essential Album: Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols
Their short life as a rebellious and proudly controversial Punk band was out of proportion to the huge influence they had on pop culture in England.
47. Lynyrd Skynyrd
Essential Album: Skynyrd's Innyrds
Described by All Music Guide as "the definitive Southern Rock band," they reunited ten years after the deaths of three original members in a 1977 plane crash, and still perform today.
48. The Police
Essential Album: Every Breath You Take: The Classics
The Police distinguished themselves by being able to be successful in the mainstream playing experimental rock.
49. Grand Funk Railroad
Essential Album: We're An American Band
Achieved greater commercial success than any other American rock band in the 60s and early 70s.
50. Black Sabbath
Essential Album: We Sold Our Soul For Rock And Roll
One of the longest lasting and most successful groups is credited as the first Heavy Metal band.