Rock Bands To Die Out By 2026

Kelly Clarson - Winner of AI 2002

Kelly Clarson - Winner of AI 2002

There was once a time when rock co-existed peacefully with soul and pop. Then came a series of onslaughts from techno, dance and hip-hop. Rock came through slightly wounded but on the whole largely unscathed.

Now a new voracious predator has moved in, and is devouring all the native species. Since 2002, when Kelly Clarkson won American Idol’s first season, products from reality TV have made steady inroads into the rock and pop music charts (though I must admit to a sneaking regard for Kelly, since she does co-write lots of songs, has tried to stand up for herself and also sounds kind of rocky).

Labels have long regarded solo recording artists as a lot easier to work with than a volatile four-piece band. Easier to control, easier to style,  far more compliant (ie easier to bully), and providing a good outlet for the company’s tame song-writing factory.  Compare this with an on-the-edge rock band,  riven with the angst of youth, who dress how they like, and for whom helping with promotion is akin to selling your soul to the devil. Plus there’s always one member of the band whose recreational drug use spirals out of control.

Carrie Underwood - Winner of AI 2005

Carrie Underwood - Winner of AI 2005

Today the labels’  life has been made even easier.  The participants of American Idol and similar shows are beholden to the system from day 1.  Any contestant that shows a spark of individuality, originality or character never makes it to the finals, voted out by a public easily manipulated by the svengali-like judges. 

The finalists emerge from the show with an overwhelming ‘debt of thanks’  to the hierachy.  Plus they’ve had a bucket-load of publicity, which a good record company can easily capitalize on.

Taking a leaf out of these sing-along, hyped-up karaoke TV shows, the record industry at large has redoubled its efforts to find solo performers.  A&R guys are given remit to seek out new single artists, ripe for manipulation and promotion.


So let’s see if the figures match these observations.  Taking the Year End Top 50 charts from 1969 to 2008 at 5 year intervals, it’s straight-forward to count the number of slots occupied by rock bands (see the raw data appended).  And sure enough, these figures show an ominous downward trend.  Letting the computer find the line of best fit and linearly extrapolating the data, it’s possible to see that, by 2026, the year-end top 50 will be totally devoid of rock groups.    An appalling conclusion, sure to send shudders down any rock fan’s spine.

Linkin Park

Linkin Park

The picture may look bleak, but there is some light brightening the landscape. 

Solo artists suck big time when it comes to outdoor festivals.  How often do you see the fans yawning and chatting as the thin weak voice of the solo performer rises from the stage only to disappear unheard presumably into some big hole in the ground.  Yes, the fans are all patiently waiting for the decent rock group headlining act. 

Kings Of Leon

Kings Of Leon

So rock  bands are an endangered species soon to be confined to the wildlife-park equivalent of festivals and college gigs.   And of course inane Guitar Hero tracks!



Data (from year end charts at

2008 8 in top 50 Metro Station – Shake It, One Republic – Stop & Stare, Coldplay – Viva La Vida, Buckcherry – Sorry, Secondhand Serenade – Fall for You, Linkin Park – Shadow of the Day, Paramore – Misery Business, Three Days Grace – Never Too Late

2004  11 out of 50 Bowling For Soup – 1985, Jet – Are You Gonna Be My Girl, The Killers – Somebody Told Me, Linkin Park – Numb, No Doubt – It’s My Life, The Darkness – I Believe In A Thing Called Love, Counting Crows – Accidentally In Love, Maroon 5 – She Will Be Loved, Green Day – American Idiot, Limp Bizkit – Behind Blue Eyes, Evanescence – My Immortal,

1999 10 out of 50  Santana – Smooth, Jamiroquai – Canned Heat, Dave Matthews Band – Crush, Pearl Jam – Last Kiss, Blink 182 – What’s My Age Again?, Blink 182 – All The Small Things, The Offspring – Why Don’t You Get A Job?, The Offspring – Pretty Fly For A White Guy, Savage Garden – I Knew I Loved You

1994 18 out of 50 Bon Jovi – Always, Aerosmith – Crazy, Culture Beat – Mr Vain, Counting Crows – Mr Jones, Nivana – All Apologies, Bryan Adams – All For Love, U2 – All I Want Is You, Aerosmith – Amazing, James – Laid, John Melloncamp – Wild Night, Wet Wet Wet – Love Is All Around, Rod Stewart – Having A Party, Green Day – Basket Case, Prince – The Most Beautiful Girl In The World, Beck – Loser, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Mary Jane’s Last Dance, Meatloaf – Rock And Roll Dreams Come True,The Offspring – Self Esteem

1989 18 out of 50  B52s – Love Shack, U2 – All I Want Is You, Guns N Roses – Patience, Fine Young Cannibals – She Drives Me Crazy, Bon Jovi – Lay Your Hands On Me,  U2 – Angel of Harlem, Guns N Roses – Paradise City, Bon Jovi – I’ll Be There For You, Aerosmith – Love In An Elevator, The Cure – Love Song,  Love and Rockets – So Alive, Roxette – Listen To Her Heart, Bad English – When I See You Smile, Roxette The Look,  Motley Crew – Dr Feed Good,  Warrant Heaven,  Great White – Once Bitten Twice Shy, Tom Petty – I Won’t Back Down

1984 19 out of 50  U2 – Pride (In The Name Of Love), Bruce Springsteen – Dancing In The Dark, ZZ Top – Legs,  Culture Club – Karma Chameleon, Prince – Purple Rain, U2 – I Will Follow, Culture Club – Miss Me Blind, Huey Lewis and the News – Heart Of Rock and Roll, Twisted Sister – We’re No Gonna Take It, Prince – Let’s Go Crazy, Bruce Springsteen – Cover Me, Bon Jovi – Runaway, Scorpions – Rock You Like A Hurricane, Van Halen – Jump, Huey Lewis and The News – I Want A New Drug, Twisted Sister, Quiet Riot – Bang Your Head (Mental Health), Laid Back – White Horse, Quiet Riot – Mama We’re All Crazee Now, Twisted Sister – I Wanna Rock

1979 20 out of 50  Bob Seger – Old Time Rock and Roll, Earth, Wind and Fire – September, Blondie – Heart Of Glass, Earth, Wind and Fire – After The Love Has Gone, Journey – Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’, Blondie – One Way or Another, Earth Wind and Fire – Boogie Wonderland, Supertramp – Take The Long Way Home, Supertramp – Take The Long Way Home, Styx – Babe, Dire Straits – Sultans of Swing, Eagles – Heartache Tonight, Toto – Hold The Line, Allman Brothers Band – Crazy Love, AC/DC – Highway To Hell, ELO – Don’t Bring Me Down, Meatloaf – You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth, Police – Roxanne, The Knack – Heartbeat

1974 14 out of 50 Lynyrd Skynrd – Sweet Home Alabama, Bachman Turner Overdrive – Takin Care Of Business, Redbone – Come and Get Your Love, Chicago – Wishing You Were Here, Eric Clapton – I Shot the Sheriff, The Hollies – The Air That I Breathe, Rolling Stones – It’s Only Rock and Roll, Golden Earring – Radar Love, Bachman Turner Overdrive – Let It Ride, The Carpenters – I Won’t Last A Day Without You, Brownsville Station – Smokin In The Boys Room, David Bowie – Rebel Rebel, Steve Miller Band – Living in the USA, Bachman Turner Overdrive – You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet

1969 21 out of 50 Foundations – Build Me Up Buttercup,  Steam – Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye, Spiral Staircase – More Today Than Yesterday, Credence Clearwater Revival – Proud Mary, The Beatles – Something, Archies – Sugar Sugar, Doors – Touch Me, Rolling Stones – Honky Tonk Women, Creedence Clearwater Revival – Bad Moon Rising, The Beatles – Come Together, The Ventures – Hawaii 5-0, Zombies – Time Of The Season, Clear Clearwater Revival – Down On The Corner, Crazy Elephant – Gimme Gimme Good Lovin, Blood, Sweat and Tears – You’ve Made Me So Very Happy,  The Beatles – Get Back, Arlo Guthrie – Alice’s Rock and Roll Restaurant, Credence Clearwater Revival – Green River, The Guess Who – These Eyes, Santana – Jingo, Beach Boys – I Can Hear Music


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8 Responses to “Rock Bands To Die Out By 2026”

  1. mrlk Says:

    i cannot believe that anyone would try and make 2+2 and come up with 537

    what you fail to understand is that it says more about american radio than actually what happens in a REAL WORLD basis

    so the question is have you done a comparison study with rnb, country, and the myriad of other genres ?

    my guess is obviosusly you havent since if you did every single genre of music would be stuffed by 2026 if you went simply by charts 😉

    which would sort of make youre observation a tad weak 😉

    which wouldnt help your argument would it

  2. doctordenim Says:

    All the bands mentioned in this article suck.

  3. olifreke Says:

    I think MRLK somewhat missed the humour…

    I would like to see a Venn diagram of some sort showing major labels vs Indies with their different genres. That would be most instructive.

  4. Spare Us The Candy Pop Lingo Says:

    Clearly our entire country would be homosexuals if such a thing occurred. I hate all pop artists. Plus they never keep fame for more than a year. Where were you in 2005 when there were over 400 songs by rock bands hitting the airwaves? Check out any sales chart and you will find that rock album sales more than double any other genre sales out there.

  5. johnson says.... Says:

    i think the ’emo’ generation is taking hold and the ‘original’ bands are dying out due to the over populated generation now in 2009

  6. Alva Goldbook Says:

    Rock isn’t on the corporate charts, but strangely enough the “underground” music scene is now so massive that it’s a multi-billion dollar a year industry in the United States alone. This is the music that the Big 4 won’t promote. And since they won’t promote it, it’s not on the radio. The result? Almost no one listens to the radio anymore….unless you count things like online radio stations or Sirius/XM. On there, all kinds of music has new life.

    The reality is that the music industry has become chewed up and destroyed by corporate amerika. Comparing music just 10 years ago to the blond girl drivel that is pumped out now is like comparing a T-bone steak to a 3 day old McGriddle. It is so devoid of anything valuable that one wonders how it was ever made. Music made for porn flicks requires more talent.

    So as long as the Big 4 exist, so will this drivel. My suggestion to you is to not buy a single album from the Big 4. Support minor labels, support small name artists, and don’t listen to anything from a major label, ever, ever, ever. If you HAVE to, then do the honorable thing. Steal the music online.

  7. Devin Says:

    OK, so you think that just because pop and crap like that is in the picture rock is going to die out? Think how disco was. Disco was going to be this huge thing and was going to stay around forever and it was soo cool and stuff. No. When people realize rap and pop really require no skill to “create” (ex, lil wayne. He talks and they just edit the pitch. HE TALKS JUST NORMALLY, and they edit the pitch on a computer). Rock won’t die out, and your chart you have on there doesn’t even look like it has a single amount of truth in it.

  8. Iktr Says:

    People! People! rock is not just music. its a life style. and lifestyles dont die…they change. you paethetic loosers are mistaking a change in style to the death of rock bands…Retards.

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