7 Bands Virtually Everyone Likes
Whether we’re talking indie rock or alt-tinged hip-hop, hardcore punk or jam-band fare, every genre has its diehard audience. And within each genre, there are countless bands for fans to love and hate and argue about. Indeed, just about every group big enough to tour has its share of both worshipers and haters, but what about those bands that everyone seems to like? Obviously, no band is universally adored — but there are a very special few that seemingly tap into an energy so powerful that they have very few detractors. We’re not sure how they pull it off, but we’re happy to sing their praises on this list: 7 Bands Virtually Everyone Likes.
For people old enough to remember the arrival of ‘Nevermind’ in 1991, Nirvana changed the music world forever. For those too young to remember, songs like ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ and ‘Lithium’ are still considered classics. Nirvana’s run ended with the 1994 suicide of Voice of a Generation Kurt Cobain, but their music lives on — and so does the love.
Punk music isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, but pretty much everybody needs to dig at least one punk band to feel like a well-rounded music fan. More often than not, that band is the Clash. Casual fans latch on to hits like ‘Rock the Casbah’ and ‘Should I Stay of Should I Go,’ while the obsessed have six amazing albums to feast on. There have certainly bigger punk bands over the years, but none of them are as universally loved.
The Beastie Boys
Who doesn’t love the Beastie Boys? The rap-rockers won the hearts of suburban teens across the country and around the globe in the ’80s with their wild antics and even wilder jams. They then one-upped themselves a few years later by speaking out against the juvenile mindset that first put them on the map.
Radiohead pulled off quite a coup in 1997 with ‘OK Computer': Not only did they became instant critical darlings with the iconic album’s release, but they also become immensely popular, earning a rabid following worldwide thanks to their spectacular lives shows and a string of amazing albums like ‘Kid A’ and ‘In Rainbows.’
The Pixies became darlings of the college-rock set during their initial run in the ’80s and early ’90s, then broke up under less-than-friendly circumstances following a stint opening for U2’s massive Zoo TV stadium tour — a stint that brought the Pixies into the spotlight just in time for them to collapse. But by the time they reunited in 2003 for a comeback trek, the Pixies’ popularity had increased immensely, and these days, it’s nearly impossible to find anybody with bad things to say about the band.
Bands like Oasis and Blur that hit big during the ’90s Britpop movement were polarizing forces. Despite the genre’s massive global popularity, Britpop was, for many music aficionados, a love-it-or-loathe-it proposition. But when Blur frontman Damon Albarn teamed up with visual artist Jamie Hewlett to create the cartoon project Gorillaz, pretty much everybody bought into it. The tunes were catchy as hell, the ‘toons were rock-n-roll adorable and ‘Feel Good Inc.’ was one of the biggest feelgood hits of the ’00s.
Another band that managed to turn critical acclaim popular fame, Wilco went from being virtually unknown in the mainstream to massively successful thanks to their 2002 album ‘Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.’ Wilco will likely never be big enough — or radio-friendly enough — to land a hit single on the pop charts, but their pleasing brand of folksy rock strikes a chord that people from all walks of life enjoy.