As one of the pioneering bands of the psychedelic rock genre, Jefferson Airplane headlined the Monterey, Woodstock, Altamont, and Isle of Wight festivals and went on to be inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as well as receiving a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016. The band’s lineup consisted of Marty Balin, Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, and Jorma Kaukonen, who all contributed to the vocals, Jack Casady on the bass, and Spencer Dryden manning the drums.
After 1972, the band fell apart and was split into two separate bands, Hot Tuna, and Jefferson Starship, with the latter achieving great commercial success and releasing ten gold and platinum-selling albums.
Recommended Listening: The band’s highest-rated and most popular song, “Somebody to Love,” is, in our opinion, the absolute pinnacle of the band’s musical lineup, with a more aggressive, catchy, and potent melody and lyrics than any of their other songs.
When you think of grunge, the first band that comes to mind has to be Nirvana. Formed in 1987 in Aberdeen, Washington, by lead singer and guitarist Kurt Cobain, the band went on to become a massive success and established itself as the best grunge band of all time. The band found international mainstream success with their single "Smells Like Teen Spirit," which sold over 30 million copies and elevated Cobain to the unofficial "spokesman" of the generation he was representing.
The band included other highly talented members, such as the legendary drummer Dave Grohl, who went on to found the popular Foo Fighters following Kurt Cobain's death and the band's breakup in 1994. Nirvana was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014 - the first year they were eligible for it. The band was also ranked as one of the greatest musical groups of all time by various music magazines.
Recommended Listening: While almost everyone recognizes Nirvana instantly when listening to “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” their musical library goes far deeper, which is why we recommend "Heart-Shaped Box" to anyone who's interested in Nirvana. In the song, we meet Cobain at his most haunting and disturbing, with a lyrical-melodic combination that makes the song hard to stomach but deeply rewarding and engaging, which is what grunge is all about.
Steve Miller Band
The American blues-rock band led by Steve Miller was formed in 1966 in San Francisco, California. The band's lead singer and guitarist, Steve Miller, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016. The band had evolved over the years from being mostly blues-rock to a more pop-oriented sound which, from the mid-1970s through the early 1980s, resulted in a series of highly popular singles and albums.
Steve Miller was also a smart and savvy businessman; capitalizing on the fact that songs earn individual royalties no matter how long or short they are, he took the 57-second electronic intro from the popular song "Sacrifice," named it "Electro Lux Imbroglio" and went on to make thousands of extra dollars as a result.
Recommended Listening: Steve Miller Band's "The Joker" was an iconic song released in 1973, with a groove and feel that moves us today just as much as it did in the '70s; this one is a true classic that just about everyone that has a TV or radio has heard at least once and would immediately recognize.
Red Hot Chili Peppers
It's hard to pinpoint what the Red Hot Chili Peppers are exactly. The group's musical style has its foundation in rock but delves into other genres as well, such as funk, punk, psychedelic, and even hip-hop. They've won numerous awards, including several Grammys, and have sold over 80 million records worldwide. They have won numerous Grammys and other awards. Perhaps the best alternative rock band of all time, the group continues to make noise all around the world to this day.
The band's legendary song collection spans from the heavy "Otherside" to the popular "Californication" and all the way to many, many other great hits, such as “Dani California,” “Can't Stop,” “Snow (Hey Oh)” and even their recent 2016 single, “Dark Necessities.” Some of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' original founding members are still active today and include Anthony Kiedis as lead vocals and guitar and Flea with bass, backing vocals, trumpet, and piano.
Recommended Listening: Trying to recommend a Red Hot Chili Pepper song is like trying to choose just one dish at an all-you-can-eat buffet. The band has countless hits and legendary singles that cover every emotion and style you can think of. We'd recommend listening to "Under the Bridge" if you're a newcomer to the band and want to get a feel for their unique musical style.
Inspired by Alice Cooper and the glam hard rock of the New York Dolls, Kiss was the idea of Gene Simmons (bass and vocals) and Paul Stanley (rhythm guitar and vocals). Well known for its members' face paints and stage outfits, which mimicked the personae of comic book characters, the band went on to perform insane live feats like breathing fire, spitting blood, floating drum kits in the air, and all sorts of pyrotechnics.
The band went through different periods of more serious performances without masks vs. returns to masks and calls for nostalgia from fans. Kiss is currently touring what is considered to be their last tour ever. The band was ranked 9th by MTV in its "Greatest Metal Bands of All Time" list and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014.
Recommended Listening: Our favorite Kiss song is, without a doubt, "Detroit Rock City." The band's timeless ode to rock and roll is widely considered to be their best. Despite originally coming from New York, Kiss found their fame in Detroit and paid the city its due with this brilliant song.