The hard rock band from Boston was founded by multi-instrumentalist Tom Scholz and became a staple of classic rock over the years. Tom Scholz, who played most of the instruments in the band’s debut album, helped create some of the band’s most well-known songs, which include “Rock and Roll Band,” “Smokin’,” “Amanda,” “Peace of Mind,” and many more.
Boston went on to sell over 75 million albums worldwide, which makes it one of the world’s best-selling musical groups. A common theme in their album covers is a guitar-shaped spaceship with the band’s name on it. The band still tours and performs after over 40 years of rocking and was ranked the 63rd-best rock artist by VH1.
Recommended Listening: “More Than a Feeling,” the band’s most iconic song, is also considered one of their best. The song contains one of rock’s most popular riffs and choruses and also discusses one of the band’s favorite topics, which is the transcendental effects of music.
The Latin-American rock band Santana was formed in San Francisco in 1966 by Mexican-American guitarist and songwriter Carlos Santana. The group is one of the best-selling bands of all time, with roughly 100 million albums sold. With 25 released albums to date, the group's success continues even today, with Carlos Santana at the lead from the very beginning.
Santana helped revolutionize the breadth and scope of Chicano rock with elements of blues, Latin, jazz, and even psychedelics for the last five decades and shows no signs of stopping.
Recommended Listening: Santana became a superstar at the 1969 Woodstock music festival when they played the iconic "Soul Sacrifice," a combination of amazing organ beats with the lead's piercing guitar solos. Sacrifice the time; it will be worth it to enjoy this one.
The White Stripes
The American duo from Detroit, Michigan, The White Stripes, was formed in 1997 and consisted of Jack White as the songwriter, vocalist, guitarist, pianist, and on the mandolin, as well as Meg White as the drummer and singer. The band gained its fame in 2002, at a time when garage rock was experiencing its revival. The band's successful and critically acclaimed single "Seven Nation Army" became the band's signature song, with its iconic opening riff being recognized just about anywhere in the world.
The duo disbanded in 2011 after a lengthy hiatus and has not been active since. What made the White Stripes so unique was their mix of garage rock and blues with very simple composition, arrangements, and performance. Visually they were quite a sight to be seen because of their artistic fashion decision to only wear the colors of red, white, and black in accordance with the band's style. These colors appear in every album cover and fashion choices for the duo while performing live. Their last three albums all won a Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album.
Recommended Listening: Probably our shortest favorite song of all time, The White Stripes' "Fell In Love With A Girl" manages to capture the energy and sound of a late '60s rock song while remaining modern enough to make us feel like teenagers all over again. This is the band at its best.
From the uplifting rock ballad of "Livin' on a Prayer" to the romantic "Bed of Roses" and even the rebellious, "It's My Life," Bon Jovi has been consistently dominating the billboards from the early '80s, when the band was initially formed in New Jersey, up to today, with the band still touring strong. Bon Jovi’s songs regularly appear in everything from films to video games, making them a household name.
The band has released a total of 14 studio albums, five compilations, and three live albums to this date - selling over 100 million records worldwide. Bon Jovi is one of the world's most active and long-running superbands and has performed in over 2,700 concerts for over 34 million fans. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018 and announced its plans to release a new album in late 2019 or early 2020.
Recommended Listening: It’s hard to recommend any specific song with such a long list of incredible hits and musical styles. We’d recommend “It’s My Life” for the heavy metal lovers out there, “Bed of Roses” to the more romantically inclined, and “Livin' on a Prayer” for just about anyone who likes music.
Soundgarden was an American Rock band formed by the late singer Chris Cornell, lead guitarist Kim Thayil and bassist Hiro Yamamoto. The band was one of the original creators of the grunge genre, along with Kurt Cobain's Nirvana. Soundgarden went on to become the first-ever grunge band to sign to a major label and achieved commercial success along with other grunge contemporaries, such as Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, and Nirvana. The band's two most successful songs to date are "Spoonman" and "Black Hole Sun," which both debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and awarded the band a Grammy.
Despite their strong identification with grunge, the band’s bassist objects to that label, saying, "That's just marketing. It's called rock and roll, or it's called punk rock, or whatever. We never were Grunge; we were just a band from Seattle." In 2017, the band was disbanded due to the death of Chris Cornell, who took his own life. In mid-2019, Thayil said in an interview with Music Radar that the band's remaining members are trying to finish and release the album they were working on prior to Cornell's passing but that the late singer's family is withholding his vocal recordings and denying their use in the album.
Recommended Listening: Arguably, the band's signature track, "Black Hole Sun," is the band's most recognized and psychedelic song and played a huge part in the band's commercial success. We’d recommend every would-be Soundgarden fan to start with this masterpiece and explore the band’s diverse song list from there.