The most famous band formed each year since 1951

The following information is provided by Graphiq and PrettyFamous.

by Alison O’Brien

Beach Boys

The transportive nature of music is powerful, often helping listeners reminisce upon a fond memory or time period in their lives.

We have bands to thank for much of the modern music we recognize today. Unlike solo artists, multiple members contribute to a band and influence its sound with their different personalities. Take the calming, acoustic musings of Simon and Garfunkel, or the jaunty, wonder-filled tracks of The Beach Boys. No two bands are the same — they all bring their own unique style to the table.

Despite the nostalgia that songs of certain bands can create, most people usually don’t know what year the band was actually formed. Do you know the most famous band formed the year you were born? What about the year your parents were born? Or the year you graduated from high school?

PrettyFamous, an entertainment research site by Graphiq, found the most famous band formed each year since 1951. To do this, they created a customized Band Score on a scale of 1 to 100 based on a weighted average of a band’s Wikipedia page views in the last 30 days, page views of album releases and total number of Spotify followers.

The bands with the highest Band Score from each year were then ordered into a list starting in 1951 and continuing to 2015. It is important to note that since Wikipedia page views are current, all of these bands have stood the test of time, and remained famous many years after they were formed.

Note: Band formation dates are often arbitrary, as some dates account for different members entering and exiting the group. The formation data for this article is sourced from MusicBrainz, a large community of music enthusiasts with a mission to gather and organize music data from all over the world.

Play around with the custom visualization below to discover which famous band formed in a given year.

Scroll through the slideshows below to discover famous bands formed in the past seven decades.
The 1950s: From The Dave Brubeck Quartet to The Modern Jazz Quartet and the Miles Davis Quintet, the ’50s were dominated by jazz bands. Dave Brubeck was considered to be one of the first cool jazz pianists, and Miles Davis is one of the most iconic jazz musicians to have ever lived. The end of the ’50s showed a departure from jazz music. Pop group Bee Gees made their debut onto the music scene, along with one of the most popular and influential bands to this day, The Beatles, who received a Band Score of 99.51 out of 100. Their most popular song on Spotify is “Here Comes the Sun.”

The 1960s: The ’60s were an incredible decade for music. Some of the most famous bands to date were formed. The Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones, The Who and Led Zeppelin all received Band Scores over 95, meaning that, despite the passage of time, they still remain relevant and popular. The most famous band formed in this decade is Pink Floyd. Formed in 1965, the psychedelic rock group rose to fame quickly. Their song “Wish You Were Here” has been played more than 9.9 million times on and is their most popular song on Spotify.

The 1970s: The most famous bands formed in the ’70s coincided with the rising popularity of rock music, as well as the beginning of the punk rock revolution. This era saw the birth of iconic rock bands The Eagles and AC/DC as well as punk rock group The Cure and heavy metal band Iron Maiden. Queen is the most famous band formed in this decade, with a Band Score of 99.55. The band’s most popular track according to Spotify is “Bohemian Rhapsody” — probably one of the only six-minute long songs that everybody knows the words to.

The 1980s: The ’80s revealed a greater representation of American bands compared to the relative international dominance of the ’70s. Iconic formations include: rock group Nirvana, punk rock group Green Day and heavy metal band Metallica. The most famous band formed in the ’80s is the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who received a Band score of 99.84. The Chili Peppers recently released their new album, “The Getaway” in June of this year. Their most popular song on Spotify is “Californication.”

The 1990s: Often associated with pop punk, teen-angst and the rise of alternative music, the ’90s were the birthplace of several notable and mold-breaking bands. The Backstreet Boys broke onto the scene in 1993, and went on to become the best-selling boy band in history. The Gorillaz was one of the first famous virtual bands, meaning that each band member was completely animated. A few ’90s bands have recently put out new music. Blink-182 just released a new album titled “California,” and Radiohead recently released their new album titled “A Moon Shaped Pool.” British rock band Coldplay is the most famous band formed in the ’90s, with a Band Score of 99.2. Their most popular song on Spotify is “Hymn For the Weekend.”

The 2000s: The new millennium brought about a varied landscape of musical genres. From pop punk band Fall Out Boy, to Adam Levine’s crooning pop group Maroon 5, to indie rock band Florence and the Machine and EDM duo LMFAO, famous bands were departing from the rock-heavy decades of the past. The most famous band formed in the 2000s is the alternative duo twenty one pilots, who received a Band Score of 99.19. The group most likely benefits here from its recent smash hits “Stressed Out” and “Ride,” the former of which has more than 450 million plays on Spotify as of July 20.

The 2010s: Our current decade appears to be fairly pop-heavy so far. Red Velvet is the first K-pop group to appear on this list. The prevalence of reality television also seems to have had an effect. Pop bands One Direction, Little Mix and Fifth Harmony have all appeared on seasons of the reality TV talent competition “The X Factor.” The most famous band formed in the 2010s so far is girl group Fifth Harmony, who received a Band Score of 98.74. Their most popular song on Spotify is “Work From Home.”

Listen to the most popular Spotify song from the most famous band of each decade below.

Research More Bands and Artists on PrettyFamous

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