Rage Against the Machine released an eponymous album in 1992 to commercial and critical success. The album is listed at number 368 on Rolling Stone’s 500 greatest albums of all time. Rage’s music expresses revolutionary political views and uses rap, metal, and rock to create an antagonistic, in-your-face sound.
Despite only four studio albums, everyone has been certified platinum by the RIAA. The band split in 2000 after creative differences but regrouped in 2007. The band has been nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice.
Recommended Listening: Make sure their first album, ‘Rage Against the Machine’, gets a spin.
REO Speedwagon achieved significant commercial success throughout the eighties. As a traditional rock group, they did the classic five-man band with guitars, bass, drums, and keyboards. They've sold more than forty million records and have charted thirteen Top 40 hits.
Their first live show turned into a food fight. They got their name from a station wagon. They have had, to date, twenty-two band members. While the band's popularity has waned since the eighties, they remain a popular live act.
Recommended Listening: Their album 'Hi Infidelity,' released in 1980, is their most popular album, containing four US Top 40 hits, and has sold ten million copies.
Formed in 1967, Chicago originally went by Chicago Transit Authority. They're a self-described “rock and roll band with horns.” In 2008, Billboard ranked Chicago at number thirteen and fifteen in a list of the top 100 artists of all time (from 2008 and 2015, respectively).
Chicago has sold over 40 million albums in the U.S. alone and has produced twenty-three gold albums, eighteen platinum albums, and eight multi-platinum albums. In 1974, the group had seven albums on the Billboard 200 simultaneously.
Recommended Listening: Any of the “best of” albums are a good place to start. For studio albums, 'Chicago 17' is their best-selling album.
Alice in Chains
Alice in Chains is often lumped in with grunge acts, but the band incorporated many heavy metal elements. It was one of the most successful music acts of the 1990s, selling over thirty million records worldwide, with eighteen top 10 songs and eleven Grammy nominations.
Plagued with inactivity since 1996 due to vocalist Layne Staley's substance abuse, the band has reunited several times and released a new album, 'Black Gives Way to Blue,' in 2009. They've released two more albums since. Recommended Listening: We recommend the first three albums, 'Facelift,' 'Dirt,' and 'Alice in Chains. At least listen to “Man in the Box” from 'Facelift.'
Queens of the Stone Age
Formed in 1996 in California and centered around vocalist and guitarist Josh Homme, who is the band's constant member through numerous personnel shifts, QotSA has a riff-oriented, heavy rock style. They have produced one certified platinum album, 'Songs for the Deaf,' and four others certified gold.
One of the best-known facts about this band is the number of musicians who have played with the band. At present, there have been twelve current and former band members and four touring members.
Recommended Listening: Their most famous album is 'Songs for the Deaf,' and many consider their best song “A Song for the Deaf.”