There are thousands of rock bands that broken up in the past 70 years, breaking it down to just twenty is quite difficult and of course we are going to miss many fan favorites. There are many more bands we wanted to list, but we felt the need to narrow it down. This list also focuses only on bands, not solo artists like Jim Hendrix or Stevie Ray Vaughan.
# 20 – Lone Justice
The band Lone Justice only recorded two albums with two different lineups with the exception of Maria McKee. The original lineup was a little more raw and focused on their cowpunk sound on the first album than the muck slicker produced second record which was still great. Maria McKee has released a string of exceptional solo albums sparingly over the past 30 years. Nonetheless, watch this video below and you will understand what we are talking about.
# 19- MC5
One of the most important bands in rock and roll history and they never get the credit they deserve. They only recorded three albums between 1969 and 1971, but Kick Out the Jams was one of rock and roll’s greatest recordings.
# 18 – The Doors
Without Jim Morrison there is no Doors, it’s as simple as that. Imagine if Jim Morrison was still alive in this political climate? We wont go there, but if you had ever seen Jim Morrison perform in the 1960’s you would understand how he might react in the present day, even in his 70’s.
# 17 – Queen
# 16 – Foghat
The band Foghat continues to release new music and tour consistently. They still sound great and play hardcore blues rock in a hip hop world. Nonetheless, the lineup we fell in love with in the early 1970’s featured Lonesome Dave Peverett on lead vocals, Tony Stevens on bass, Roger Earl on drums and Rod Price on guitar. One of the greatest rock bands we ever saw in the 1970’s and that is the core group we wish were still together.
# 15 – The Stooges
The punk scene that has been contributed as starting with The Sex Pistols in 1976 actually started with The Stooges in 1967. Iggy Pop was the original punk and the Stooges rocked as hard as anyone.
# 14 – Nirvana
What the Stooges were to the 60’s and 70’s. Nirvana was to the 1990’s Kurt Cobain single handily destroyed the 1980’s big hair glam band days with one song. The biggest shift in music and culture we had ever seen.
# 13 – Emerson Lake & Palmer
There is no other band in rock and roll history that can be compared to ELP. A sound unlike anyone ever had. Musicianship of the highest degree. Rest in peace Keith Emerson and Greg Lake. I once traded Led Zeppelin tickets to see ELP. That’s how great they were.
# 12 – Cream
Cream was the ultimate power rock trio, Thank goodness Eric Clapton continued on with a brilliant solo career. However, we always felt that Cream brought out the best in Eric Clapton. It would have been interesting to see them continue.
# 11 – Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention
Frank Zappa is really the only solo artist that caused us to break our rule and sneak him into this list. We cold write a thousand pages as to why we miss probably the greatest musical mind of the twentieth century.
# 10 – The Beach Boys
How we long for the 1960’s and the sweet sounds of The Beach Boys. The classic lineup that brought us “California Girls,” and “I Get Around,” we wish were still around.
# 9 – The Eagles
The Eagles still perform, but with the passing of Glen Frey it will never be the same.
# 8 – The Who
The Who still tour every once in a while, but when Keith Moon and John Entwistle were still alive, The Who were probably the most exciting rock and roll band to ever hit the concert stage. Their last studio album as the original four entitled Who Are You was released close to forty years ago in 1979.
# 7 – Crosby Stills Nash & Young
Harmonies never sounded so sweet than when these four brilliant artists recorded Deju Vu. It was a brief stint, and there have been some tours over the years, but wouldn’t it be great to have them give it another try. Neil Young probably would not agree.
# 6 – Lynyrd Skynyrd
The band Lynyrd Skynyrd still tours. However, the lineup that we long for was the Street Survivors lineup in 1977. The band was already great and seemed destined to develop a new sound that merged southern rock and mainstream rock like never before. We miss you Ronnie.
# 5 – Pink Floyd
Take your pick, the Roger Waters era or the Syd Barrett era. We seen the band Pink Floyd in 1977 during the Animals Tour. Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Richard Wright; that’s the band we wish was still together.
# 4 – The Allman Brothers Band
The Allman Brothers Band seemed like a band that had nine lives. They purposely ended their run two years ago and the passing of Gregg Allman has sealed the bands fate. Every lineup the band put on stage was brilliant and we loved them all.
# 3 – The Ramones
Oh do we miss The Ramones! It’s so sad that three-quarters of the band has passed away. One of the most groundbreaking bands of all time.
# 2 – Led Zeppelin
When John Bonham passed away, the sound of Led Zeppelin died with him. Nonetheless when one compares the solo material of Jimmy Page and Robert Plant to the Led Zeppelin catalog, is there any doubt that those two should have kept Led Zeppelin together?
# 1 – The Beatles
Everyone blames Yoko, but time has never really answered the question as to why The Beatles broke up. There are many theories, but even Paul McCartney himself has said “we just kind of went our separate ways.” But just imagine if the Beatles had never ended in 1970. Yes, just “Imagine.”
Updated Nov 8 2020