The Best Rock Bands and Rockers of the Past Forty Years


THUNDER BAY – Let’s start a debate? Who are the best rockers of the past forty years?

Rock music has seen many legendary artists over the past four decades, each contributing unique sounds and unforgettable performances. Here, we celebrate the best rock bands and rockers based on their longevity, record sales, electrifying concerts, and exceptional music.

1. The Rolling Stones


The Rolling Stones have been rocking stages since 1962, making them one of the longest-running rock bands in history. With over 200 million records sold, albums like “Sticky Fingers” and “Exile on Main St.” are rock staples. Their live performances, including their recent tours, continue to draw massive crowds, showcasing their enduring appeal.

2. Queen


Queen, led by the incomparable Freddie Mercury, has left an indelible mark on rock music. With over 300 million records sold, hits like “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We Will Rock You” have become timeless anthems. Their concerts were legendary for their theatricality and Mercury’s magnetic stage presence, and their music continues to inspire new generations.



KISS, known for their elaborate stage makeup and pyrotechnic-filled concerts, have been rock icons since the 1970s. With over 100 million records sold, songs like “Rock and Roll All Nite” and “Detroit Rock City” have become rock classics. Their live shows are known for their high energy and spectacular visuals, making them a must-see act.

4. Dire Straits


Dire Straits, formed in 1977, brought a unique blend of rock and jazz to the mainstream. With over 100 million records sold, their albums “Brothers in Arms” and “Making Movies” are celebrated for their intricate guitar work and storytelling. Mark Knopfler’s distinctive guitar style and the band’s tight performances have earned them a dedicated fan base.

5. The Guess Who

Website: Burton Cummings

The Guess Who, originating from Canada in the 1960s, achieved international success with hits like “American Woman” and “These Eyes.” Iconic Canadian musicians Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman headlined the band during its glory years.

The two have combined in recent years to thrill their fans with their music. Their blend of rock, blues, and jazz has sold millions of records and influenced countless artists. Their concerts are known for their dynamic performances and enduring appeal.

David Crosby entertained Thunder Bay with his humour, amazing music and stories.
David Crosby entertained Thunder Bay with his humour, amazing music and stories.

6. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young


Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, formed in the late 1960s, are renowned for their harmonious vocals and politically charged lyrics. With over 70 million records sold, albums like “Déjà Vu” have become rock classics. Neil Young, a member of the group, has a special connection to Thunder Bay, Ontario, often referencing the region in his music and maintaining close ties with the community. Their concerts, marked by soulful harmonies and powerful messages, continue to resonate with audiences.

7. Rod Stewart


Rod Stewart, with his raspy voice and charismatic stage presence, has been a rock and pop icon for over five decades. With over 250 million records sold, hits like “Maggie May” and “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?” have cemented his status as a music legend. His live performances are celebrated for their energy and connection with the audience.

8. Tina Turner


Tina Turner, the “Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” has electrified audiences with her powerful voice and energetic performances. With over 100 million records sold, songs like “What’s Love Got to Do with It” and “Proud Mary” have become iconic. Her concerts were legendary for their intensity and Turner’s unparalleled stage presence.

9. Alice Cooper


Alice Cooper, the master of shock rock, has been a fixture in the rock world since the 1970s. Known for his theatrical stage shows featuring guillotines, electric chairs, and snakes, Cooper has sold over 50 million records. Hits like “School’s Out” and “Poison” have made him a rock icon, and his concerts are a spectacle not to be missed.

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