Rock Bands That Have Lasted Over 30 Years

by Djesika | created - 27 Apr 2019 | updated - 01 Jul 2019 | Public

Dedicated to my all-time favorite band, who captured a vision and turned it into a dream.

The following bands have since their formation lasted more than thirty years. Some bands took time apart and were reunited, while others kept going continuously. Many have struggled through tough breaks and setbacks; members have come and gone; but they never lost sight of what they believed in, and so they held the dreams within their hearts, always remaining true to themselves along the way.

Which of these rock* bands that have lasted over thirty years is your favorite? Or, which one would you most like to discover?

*including subgenres progressive metal, progressive rock, heavy metal and hard rock

Discuss here

1. AC/DC

Soundtrack | Iron Man

AC/DC is a legendary rock band from Australia, formed in Sydney in 1973 by brothers Malcolm and Angus Young. AC/DC have sold more than 200 million records worldwide, including 71.5 million albums in the United States, adding them to the list of highest-certified music artists in the United States ...

Australian hard rock band, formed in 1973

2. Aerosmith

Soundtrack | Armageddon

Aerosmith is an American rock band, sometimes referred to as "the Bad Boys from Boston" since they were formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1970. Aerosmith is the best-selling American hard rock band of all time, having sold more than 150 million records worldwide, including over 70 million records ...

American rock band, formed in 1970

3. Black Sabbath

Soundtrack | Iron Man

Black Sabbath were an English rock band, formed in Birmingham in 1968, by guitarist and main songwriter Tony Iommi, bassist and main lyricist Geezer Butler, drummer Bill Ward and singer Ozzy Osbourne. Black Sabbath are often cited as pioneers of heavy metal music. The band helped define the genre ...

British heavy metal band, 1968-2017

4. Deep Purple

Soundtrack | Twister

Formed in 1968 in Hertford, England.

British hard rock band, formed in 1968

5. Def Leppard

Soundtrack | Last Action Hero

Def Leppard is an English rock band formed in 1977 in Sheffield as part of the new wave of British heavy metal movement. Since 1992, the band has consisted of Joe Elliott (lead vocals), Rick Savage (bass, backing vocals), Rick Allen (drums, backing vocals), Phil Collen (guitars, backing vocals), ...

British hard rock band, formed in 1977

6. Dream Theater

Soundtrack | Sleeping Dogs

Dream Theater is a two-time Grammy nominated progressive metal band from New York City. The band was formed in 1985 by guitarist John Petrucci, drummer Mike Portnoy and bassist John Myung while they attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. Current band members are guitarist ...

American progressive metal band, formed in 1985

American progressive metal band, formed in 1982

8. Genesis

Soundtrack | American Psycho

One of the most successful British bands of all time, Genesis made their mark in the 1970s as a progressive rock band influenced by classical music, folk and even jazz fusion, before becoming a huge stadium band in the 1980s with a series of big pop hits fronted by a singer who was also a solo ...

British progressive rock band, 1967-2007

9. Guns N' Roses

Soundtrack | Body of Lies

Guns N' Roses is an American hard rock band from Los Angeles, California, formed in 1985. The lineup, when first signed to Geffen Records in 1986, consisted of vocalist Axl Rose, lead guitarist Slash, rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin, bassist Duff McKagan, and drummer Steven Adler. Guns N' Roses has ...

American hard rock band, formed in 1985

10. Heart

Soundtrack | Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Ranked #57 on VH1's 100 Greatest Hard Rock Artists.

American rock band, formed in 1973

11. Iron Maiden

Soundtrack | Murder by Numbers

Studio Albums: Iron Maiden (1980) Killers (1981) The Number of the Beast (1982) Piece of Mind (1983) Powerslave (1984) Somewhere in Time (1986) Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (1988) No Prayer for the Dying (1990) Fear of the Dark (1992) The X Factor (1995) Virtual XI (1998) Brave New World (2000) ...

American heavy metal band, formed in 1975

12. Jethro Tull

Soundtrack | Apollo 18

Jethro Tull are a British rock band formed in Blackpool, Lancashire in 1967. Initially playing blues rock, the band later developed its sound to incorporate elements of hard and folk rock to forge a progressive rock signature. The band is led by Ian Anderson, and has featured a revolving door of ...

British progressive rock band, formed in 1967

American rock band, formed in 1973

14. Judas Priest

Soundtrack | Adventureland

Judas Priest is an English heavy metal band formed in West Bromwich in 1969. The band have sold over 50 million copies of their albums to date. They are frequently ranked as one of the greatest metal bands of all time. Despite an innovative and pioneering body of work in the latter half of the ...

British heavy metal band, formed in 1969

15. Kansas

Soundtrack | Pitch Perfect

Formed in 1970, the band Kansas, originally called Reasons Why, did not start to gain in popularity until 1973 and really did not have a hit until the release of their 4th album, "Leftoverture" in October 1976, which produced a hit single, "Carry on my Wayward Son". Some of their songs have been ...

American progressive rock band, formed in 1973

16. KISS

Soundtrack | The Nice Guys

KISS is an American rock band formed in New York City in January 1973 by Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Peter Criss, and Ace Frehley. Well known for its members' face paint and stage outfits, the group rose to prominence in the mid-to-late 1970s with their elaborate live performances, which featured ...

American heavy metal band, formed in 1973

17. Marillion

Soundtrack | Brave

One of the most forgotten bands of the 1980s, Marillion were - it seems hard to believe now - one of the biggest British rock bands of the decade, something which is often ignored in retrospectives of the era. They emerged from the short-lived progressive rock revival of the early 1980s and went on...

British progressive rock band, formed in 1979

18. Megadeth

Soundtrack | Mortal Kombat: Annihilation

Megadeth is an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California. Guitarist Dave Mustaine and bassist David Ellefson formed the band in 1983. A pioneer of the American thrash metal scene, Megadeth is credited as one of the genre's "big four," along with Metallica, Anthrax, and Slayer, ...

American heavy metal band, formed in 1983

19. Metallica

Soundtrack | Mission: Impossible II

Metallica is an American heavy metal band. The band was formed in 1981 in Los Angeles, California by drummer Lars Ulrich and vocalist/guitarist James Hetfield, and has been based in San Francisco, California for most of its career. The group's fast tempos, instrumentals and aggressive musicianship ...

American heavy metal band, formed in 1981

20. Motörhead

Soundtrack | Grosse Pointe Blank

Motörhead was an English rock band formed in June 1975 by bassist, singer, and songwriter Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister, who was the sole constant member, guitarist Larry Wallis and drummer Lucas Fox. The band are often considered a precursor to the new wave of British heavy metal, which revitalized heavy ...

British heavy metal band, 1975-2015

21. Mötley Crüe

Soundtrack | Charlie's Angels

Mötley Crüe was an American hard rock band formed in Los Angeles, California, on January 17, 1981. The group was founded by bassist Nikki Sixx and drummer Tommy Lee, lead singer Vince Neil and lead guitarist Mick Mars. Mötley Crüe has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, including 25 ...

American heavy metal band, formed in 1981

22. Pink Floyd

Soundtrack | Doctor Strange

Syd Barrett: vocals, guitar (born: Roger Keith Barrett; 6 January, 1946; Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, UK). In 1968, Syd Barrett left the band. Syd died in July, 2006 at aged 60 from pancreatic cancer.

David Gilmour: vocals, guitar (born: David John Gilmour; 6 March, 1946; Cambridge, ...

British progressive rock band, 1965-2014

23. Queen

Soundtrack | Flash Gordon

Queen were one of the longest-lasting and most commercially successful bands to emerge from the British heavy rock scene of the early 1970s, but unlike their contemporaries such as Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath, they soon became just as popular with pop fans as fans of hard rock and ...

British rock band, formed in 1970

24. Queensrÿche

Actor | Queensrÿche: Silent Lucidity

Queensrÿche is an American heavy metal band. It formed in 1980 in Bellevue, Washington out of the local band the Mob. The band has released 15 studio albums and continues to tour and record. Queensrÿche has sold over 20 million albums worldwide, including over 6 million albums in the United States....

American progressive metal band, formed in 1980

25. R.E.M.

Soundtrack | Man on the Moon

R.E.M. was an American rock band from Athens, Georgia, that was formed in 1980 by drummer Bill Berry, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist/backing vocalist Mike Mills, and lead vocalist Michael Stipe. R.E.M. was pivotal in the creation and development of the alternative rock genre. In 2007, the band was ...

American rock band, 1980-2011

26. Rush

Soundtrack | Small Soldiers

Rush members are Neil Peart (drums), Geddy Lee (bass and vocals) and Alex Lifeson (guitar).

Canadian progressive rock band, 1968-2018

27. Scorpions

Soundtrack | Knight and Day

Their biggest hits were produced by Dieter Dierks ("Rock You Like a Hurricane") and Keith Olsen ("Wind of Change"). Their current producer is Desmond Child.

German hard rock band, formed in 1965

28. The Moody Blues

Soundtrack | 45 Years

Despite their status as pioneers of progressive rock and their enduring popularity and album sales of 70 million, critical respect has largely eluded them and they weren't inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame until 2018, 29 years after they were first eligible.

British progressive rock band, formed in 1964

29. The Rolling Stones

Soundtrack | The Boat That Rocked

The Rolling Stones are the legendary British rock band known for many popular hits, such as Paint it Black, Lady Jane, Ruby Tuesday, and (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction. Almost everyone who attended their shows is quick to comment on their ability to start you up and shake your hips. Their song "...

British rock band, formed in 1962

30. The Who

Soundtrack | The Kids Are Alright

Roger Daltrey formed the Detours in 1962, with several member changes and role swaps abound, John Entwistle joined. Sometime later, on John's recommendation, Pete Townshend was added to the line up. In the meantime, The Detours had become a four-piece band; the drummer was changed with Keith Moon ...

British rock band, formed in 1964

31. Twisted Sister

Soundtrack | Ready Player One

Twisted Sister was an American heavy metal band originally from Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey, and later based on Long Island, New York. They began playing in 1972 and disbanded in 2016. Twisted Sister's best-known hits include "We're Not Gonna Take It" and "I Wanna Rock", which had music videos noted for ...

American heavy metal band, 1972-2016

32. U2

Soundtrack | Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

U2 has been perhaps the biggest music act in the world since the late 1980s to the current day. They take prominent stands on human rights issues, expressed through their lyrics and other public statements and actions. The band's lead singer, Bono, has become quite prominent in charity movements ...

Irish rock band, formed in 1976

33. Uriah Heep

Soundtrack | Life on Mars

Members have included lead singer David Byron, Mick Box, Philippe Melançon, Bernie Shaw, Russell Broom, Ken Hensley.

British hard rock band, formed in 1969

34. Van Halen

Soundtrack | Spaceballs

Van Halen is an American hard rock band formed in Pasadena, California, in 1972. The band went on to become major stars, and by the early 1980s they were one of the most successful rock acts of the time. 1984 was their most successful album. The lead single, "Jump", became an international hit and ...

American hard rock band, formed in 1972

35. Yes

Soundtrack | Apollo 18

Yes are an English progressive rock band formed in London in 1968 by singer Jon Anderson and bassist Chris Squire. The band has undergone numerous personnel changes throughout its history; twenty musicians have been full-time members. Yes have explored several musical styles over the years, and are...

British progressive rock band, formed in 1968

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