10. Radiohead (1985 – present, radiohead.com)
Straight out of Abingdon, Oxfordshire, Radiohead is an English band. Starting its path in 1985, the band has remained faithful in terms of its members for 30 years, consisting of Thom Yorke as the lead vocalist, guitar and piano player, Jonny Greenwood as the main guitarist and keyboards player, Colin Greenwood as the man with the bass, Phil Selway rocking the drums, percussion and backing vocals and finally, but not last, Ed O’Brien as guitarist and backing vocalist.
Influenced by big names such as Queen, Pink Floyd, R.E.M. and The Beatles, Radiohead has been flirting with various subgenres such as alternative rock, experimental rock, electronic and art rock. Proud owners and makers of 8 studio albums, 1 live album, 30 singles and 39 music videos, the Radiohead band members distinguished themselves from the masses and made a name in the industry, a name repaid with 70 award nominations and 18 awards won, including 3 Grammy Awards and even one MTV Video Music Awards. And hence they do not seem to want to stop, we sense more to come.
In case you have never heard of Radiohead until now, let us also give you a glimpse at the best of their work. Out of their many albums, the most remarkable ones are the 2000 Kid A and the 2001 Amnesiac. Kid A was the result of a lot of effort and changes coming from the lead Thom Yorke, while Amnesiac came with influences from classical music and jazz, though more traditional and faithful to their original style.
In case you do not have the necessary time to listen to the entire albums, we recommend you the 90s teen angst anthem Creep, the eerie Everything Is In The Right Place, the eerie Street Spirit (Fade Out) and the calming No Surprises.
9. Kiss (1973 – present, kissonline.com)
This New York City band traces its roots 42 years ago, when, after Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons united their forces to record a shelved album, managed to gather a team, put on some crazy costumes and disturbing make up and with the ingenious name Kiss, finally got the attention desired.
While some members come and go, other passed away, the band did survive very well and is now the cradle of rhythm guitarist and lead vocalist Paul “The Starchild” Stanley, lead vocalist and bassist Gene “The Demon” Simmons, drummer Eric “The Catman Singer” and lead guitarist Tommy “The Spaceman” Thayer.
Jack in the Box
Music, films, this band has done it all. Under the influence of Alice Cooper and the New York Dolls, Kiss came to the public with a name suggesting pop, yet singing hard rock, heavy metal and glam metal. In over four decades, Kiss concentrated more on making music rather than win awards, but this does not mean it has not won any – 18 actually.
Also, for musicians, any relationship with the camera is usually related to their music videos – which Kiss has 30 of them – but in this case, Kiss also has 3 feature films: Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park (1978), Detroit Rock City (1999) and Scooby Doo and Kiss: Rock and Roll Mystery (2015); not to mention other appearances in many other productions.
Taste the Kiss
20 albums, 7 live ones and 58 singles and yet you might not have listened to any song. Out of the many albums, we recommend you their first eponymous album (Kiss) whose production lasted around 3 weeks, the much darker Hotter Than Hell, which was released on the same year, Destroyer, where it can be heard a departure from the band’s original style and sound, and Monster, their latest album. In terms of songs, I Was Made for Lovin’ You, Rock and Roll All Nite and Detroit Rock City might help you become addicted. Especially the first one.
8. U2 (1976 – present, u2.com)
From Ireland, we have U2, a band consisting of the vocalist Paul Hewson better known as Bono, guitarist The Edge, bassist Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen Jr. Their journey started way back in school when all they did was play covers under the name Feedback. It took them one year to become U2, one more to get noticed in a talent show and many others to reach the fame they are enjoying today.
No Ordinary Band
Playing with rock, alternative rock, post-punk and eventually many other genres, U2 found its inspiration in other bands such as The Jam, The Clash and Sex Pistols. Joggling with social, political and Christian themes, U2 or mostly Bono managed to get involved in all sort of campaigns, offering support for various causes, such as raising money in order to help the Ethiopians victims of famine, but also for the victims of the hurricanes Katrina and Rita and seeking a solution for the unemployment issue in Ireland.
With 13 studio albums, 58 singles and 79 music videos, U2 are the proud winners of 89 awards, out of which 22 are Grammy Awards and 9 Billboard. Their best sold albums are Rattle and Hum, a tribute album to rock legends, Achtung Baby, a dark introspective compilation, The Joshua Tree, whose influences can be found in the traditional Irish music. For songs, we recommend you With or Without You, Vertigo, Ordinary Love, Beautiful Day, One, but also their collaboration with Green Day for The Skids’ cover The Saints Are Coming.
7. Metallica (1981 – present, metallica.com)
When you hear Metallica, you can not help yourself from smiling, because you know you have obviously heard of it. Formed in Los Angeles, in the year 1981, after a newspaper advertisement inviting other musicians to rock on, Metallica made itself a big name in the industry and, despite all the negativity received in the latest years, it succeeded keeping a huge fan base and reputation.
Consisting of the founder Danish drummer Lars Ulrich, vocalist and guitarist Lars Ulrich, lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo, Metallica is here to stay and is not going to leave the scene anytime soon.
Getting their inspiration from big names such as Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Scorpions, has kept its heavy metal and trash metal style along the years, while still seasoning it with some ballads. Their musical jewels – which include 9 albums, 37 singles and 26 music videos – brought them 24 awards, including 3 Billboard Music Awards and 8 Grammies, all of which they deserve entirely.
Nothing else matters, but the music
Their most acclaimed albums are the 1986 Master of Puppets, featuring political themes and a lot of anger, …And Justice for All from 1988, which brought the extremely popular song One, the 1991 eponymous album, Metallica, which is in fact one of the best-selling albums worldwide, despite the softness shown from compared to the previous ones; the album Metallica is also the one to introduce the classical pieces Enter Sandman, The Unforgiven and the one and only Nothing Else Matters.
The bands next successful CD is the 2011 Death Magnetic, where a radical change was identified, due to the lack of the specific guitar solos, yet holding another memorable song, The Day That Never Comes.