Rock music, originally called rock and roll, is one of the most popular forms of music. Originating during the 1950s in the United States, it encompasses a wide range of styles and techniques. Drawing on a number of other musical techniques, it actually has elements of blues, country and electric within it. Centring primarily on the electric guitar, a typical rock band will contain other electronic instruments but always at least one vocalist.

As the movement continued, there were a number of sub-genres such as psychedelic, raga, fold and country. Each of these played up the various aspects that gave them their names. As rock became more varied, it began itself to inspire further artistic movements such as punk, grunge and even rap. When it comes to which bands are the most iconic and influential, there is of course a lot of argument, so we will just run through a couple of those that paved the way for other bands to follow.

Led Zeppelin

Formed in 1968, this English band leaned rather towards the blues and psychedelic sound with their strong guitar base. They soon achieved critical success with their song ‘Stairway to Heaven’, still considered one of the most influential rock songs of all time. In 1980, drummer John Bonham passed away, causing the band to cease playing, apart from the occasional reunion.

The Beatles

Another British band, The Beatles formed in 1960. A little more poppy than other rock bands, they took their ideas from 1950s rock and roll, forming a strange mix of pop, Indian and even hard rock into their sound. Producing music that was always varied and different with each album, they won ten Grammy Awards and even an Oscar for their work. Only two members of the group survive.