The Beatles – Which rock bands have sold the most recordings in the US? No surprise: topping the list are the Beatles, who've sold 178 million units, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. Click through the gallery for more bands and their sales figures.
Led Zeppelin – One of history's first heavy metal rock bands, guitarist Jimmy Page, right, formed Led Zeppelin in England in 1968. Page, along with bassist John Paul Jones, singer Robert Plant and drummer John Bonham -- who died in 1980 -- were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 and received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award ten years later. Some of their most well-known songs include "Whole Lotta Love," "Black Dog" and the epic anthem "Stairway to Heaven." The band has sold 111.5 million units in the US, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. The band's 1971 untitled album known as "Led Zeppelin IV" alone has sold 23 million copies nationwide.
The Eagles – During the 1970s the Eagles scored so many popular songs that their greatest hits compilation sold more albums in the US than any other except Michael Jackson's "Thriller." Left to right: guitarist Don Felder, singer/drummer/songwriter Don Henley, guitarist/singer Joe Walsh, and singer/songwriter/guitarist Glenn Frey, who died in 2016. Bassist Randy Meisner, far right, left the band in 1977. Not pictured are guitarist Bernie Leadon, who left in 1975, and bassist Timothy B. Schmit. Overall, the Eagles have sold 101 million units in the US, according to the RIAA.
Pink Floyd – Progressive rock... psychedelic rock ... call it what you want, but before you define this band, you should experience it. Britain's Pink Floyd formed in 1965 and by the '70s they were giving the world masterpiece albums like "The Dark Side of the Moon," "Wish You Were Here" and "The Wall," which sold 23 million units in the US all by itself. This 1973 photo, taken after founding member Syd Barrett left the band, shows from left to right: keyboardist Rick Wright, singer/guitarist Dave Gilmour, drummer Nick Mason and singer/songwriter/bassist Roger Waters. Overall, Pink Floyd has sold 75 million units nationwide, according to the RIAA.
AC/DC – This mostly Australian band survived the tragic death of popular lead singer Bon Scott and went on to record some of their best work. AC/DC is led by Aussie Angus Young, left, on guitar. Angus' brother -- rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young -- left the band for health reasons in 2014. Englishman Brian Johnson, right, took over lead singing duties from Scott in 1980 and stepped away from the band for health reasons in 2016. Well-known AC/DC songs include: "Highway to Hell," "You Shook Me All Night Long" and "Thunderstruck." The band has sold 72 million units in the US, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.
Rolling Stones – They've been called the World's Greatest Rock and Roll Band, and if you measure by longevity it's hard to argue. The venerable Stones have been kicking it since 1962. In this 1989 photo (left to right) the Rolling Stones included guitarist Ron Wood, singer/songwriter Mick Jagger, drummer Charlie Watts, singer/guitarist/songwriter Keith Richards and bassist Bill Wyman, who left the band in the early 1990s. The Stones have sold 66.5 million units in the US, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.
Aerosmith – These Rock and Roll Hall of Famers exploded out of Boston in the 1970s with popular album tracks like "Dream On" and "Sweet Emotion." Shown here during a 1974 performance on TV's "Midnight Special," Aerosmith are (left to right) guitarist Brad Whitford, bassist Tom Hamilton, drummer Joey Kramer, singer/songwriter Steven Tyler and lead guitarist/songwriter Joe Perry. In 1986 they collaborated with Run-DMC, creating a groundbreaking rap/rock version of their hit, "Walk This Way." Later Aerosmith scored again with hit albums like "Pump" and "Get a Grip." The band has sold 66.5 million units in the US, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.
Metallica – This thrash metal band formed in LA in 1981 with Danish drummer (and sometimes film actor) Lars Ulrich and guitarist/songwriter/singer James Hetfield (right). Later, guitarist/songwriter Kirk Hammett joined the band, as did bassist Jason Newsted, left, who departed the band in 2001. Their 1991 release "Metallica" (aka The Black Album) includes the iconic "Enter Sandman." It has become the band's most popular album, selling 16 million units in the US. Overall, the band has sold 62 million units nationwide, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.
Van Halen – This band's core members -- brothers Eddie, on guitar (right) and Alex Van Halen on drums -- were born in the Netherlands before their family moved to Southern California. By 1978 they had joined bassist Michael Anthony (left) and singer David Lee Roth (center) and released their debut album. Immediately Guitar Magazine called Eddie Van Halen "the most influential American guitarist since Jimi Hendrix." After several hugely successful albums, Roth and the band famously parted ways in 1985, replaced by Sammy Hagar, who helped Van Halen's continued success. Recently the band started touring with Roth and Eddie Van Halen's son Wolfgang on bass. Overall, Van Halen has sold 56 million units nationwide, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.
Fleetwood Mac – They became international superstars after guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, (far left,) and singer/songwriter Stevie Nicks, (third from left,) joined the band. Combining with the amazing voice and songwriting of keyboardist Christine McVie and the bass playing of John McVie, (fourth and fifth from left,) the dreams of drummer Mick Fleetwood, (second from left,) became reality. According to the RIAA, Fleetwood Mac has sold 49.5 million units in the US.
U2 – Irish musicians The Edge, left, Bono, center, Larry Mullen on drums and bassist Adam Clayton, right, have been playing together as U2 since 1976. During those 40 years, they've regularly adapted their music to reflect their changing interests. First cracking the US Top 40 with "Pride in the Name of Love" in 1984, they scored their first No. 1 hit three years later with "With or Without You." U2 has sold 52 million units in the US, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.
Journey – Formed in San Francisco in 1973, Journey combined rich vocal harmonies with guitar licks and pop melodies. Former lead singer Steve Perry helped the band create a string of huge hits in the late '70s and '80s. "Don't Stop Believing" has become an enduring classic. Current band members, right to left, include original guitarist Neal Schon, original bassist Ross Valory, lead singer Arnel Pineda and keyboardist Jonathan Cain. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will induct Journey in 2017. The band has sold 48 million units in the US, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.
Guns n' Roses – This band got a lot of attention right from the start. Guns n' Roses' 1987 debut record, "Appetite for Destruction," hit No. 1 on Billboard's album chart. It included three instant '80s classics: "Welcome to the Jungle," "Sweet Child o' Mine" and "Paradise City." Posing in this 1985 promo photo are -- left to right -- guitarist Slash, bassist Duff McKagan, singer Axl Rose, guitarist Izzy Stradlin and drummer Steven Adler. Guns n' Roses have sold 44.5 million units in the US, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.
Santana – Carlos Santana (right) formed his band in 1966 and three years later, they were playing the iconic Woodstock music festival and releasing their first album. Early gems included "Evil Ways," "Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen" and "Oye Como Va." The band's classic line up included Gregg Rolie, David Brown, Mike Carabello, Jose Chepito Areas, and Michael Shrieve. In 1999, the band collaborated with Rob Thomas of Matchbox 20, Lauryn Hill and Everlast. Their album "Supernatural" resulted in smash hits "Smooth" and "Maria, Maria." Overall, nationwide, Santana has sold 43.5 million units, according to the RIAA.
Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band – Great songwriting, an unmistakable voice and constant touring early in his career helped Bob Seger and his Silver Bullet Band win a spot in the hearts of rock and roll fans. 1976's "Live Bullet" -- recorded in Seger's hometown of Detroit, Michigan, is regarded as one of the best live rock albums of all time. Their 1978 album "Stranger in Town" made Seger internationally famous with hits like "Old Time Rock and Roll" and "We've Got Tonight," all contributing to Seger's 43.5 million in total units sold in the US, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.
Chicago – In 1967, musician friends in Chicago formed a band that would eventually go on for half a century. Chicago Transit Authority shortened their name to Chicago and created a string of hit records that would dominate Top 40 radio through the 1970s and '80s, with songs like "25 or 6 to 4," "Just You and Me," "If You Leave Me Now" and "Hard to Say I'm Sorry." Shown here at a 2015 concert in Concord, California, the band has sold 38.5 million units in the US, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.
Foreigner – When this six-member band formed in 1976, half were Americans and half were British. Lou Gramm, left, a Yank, sang lead. Englishman Mick Jones right, played guitar. Brits Ian McDonald, drummer Dennis Elliot and Americans Al Greenwood on keyboards and bassist Ed Gagliardi completed the initial lineup. Foreigner sold 37 million units in the US, thanks to rockers like "Hot Blooded" and "Double Vision." But it was their ballad, "I Want to Know What Love Is," that topped Billboard's singles charts in 1985 -- pushing Madonna's "Like a Virgin" out of the No. 1 spot.
Def Leppard – This English band's 1980s hits include "Photograph," "Rock of Ages" and "Pour Some Sugar on Me," helping them sell 35 million units in the US since their first record dropped in 1979, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.
Queen – Formed in 1970, this foursome is widely considered among of the greatest rock bands of all time. Their best songs include "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," "We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions" and Queen's masterpiece, "Bohemian Rhapsody." The band -- the late singer/songwriter Freddie Mercury, bassist John Deacon, left, along with drummer Roger Taylor and guitarist Brian May -- sold 34.5 million units in the US, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.
Bon Jovi – Led by singer/songwriter Jon Bon Jovi, center, these guys turned heads in the 1980s with their blockbuster album, "Slippery When Wet," which included hits "Livin' on a Prayer," "You Give Love a Bad Name" and "Wanted Dead or Alive." Bon Jovi has sold 34.5 million units in the US, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.
Dave Matthews Band – Born in Virginia in the early 1990s, this jam-friendly band won a huge following with hits like "So Much to Say," "Too Much" and "Crash into Me." So far the Dave Matthews Band have sold 33.5 million units in the US according to the Recording Industry Association of America.
The Doors – Formed in Southern California in 1965, The Doors pushed the limits of what rock bands were allowed to do. While they were scoring No. 1 hits like "Light My Fire," they were also creating epic psychedelic songs like "The End," which included mesmerizing theatrical elements. Left to right, drummer John Densmore, guitarist Robbie Krieger, the late singer Jim Morrison and keyboardist Ray Manzarek, who died in 2013 -- sold 33 million recordings in the US, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.
Pearl Jam – After forming in Seattle in 1990, Pearl Jam went on to help define an entire rock genre -- the grunge sound of the early '90s. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame chose to induct the band in 2017, Pearl Jam's first year of eligibility. Singer/songwriter Eddie Vedder is shown here with drummer Matt Cameron. Other members include guitarists Mike McCready and Stone Gossart and bassist Jeff Ament. Pearl Jam have sold 31.5 million units in the US, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers – Preparing for his band's 40th anniversary tour in 2017, Tom Petty told Rolling Stone, "I was thinking this might be the last big one." Left to right: the band's original lineup included guitarist Steve Campbell, drummer Stan Lynch (who left in 1994), keyboardist Benmont Tench, Petty and bassist Ron Blair. The band has sold 31.5 million units in the US, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.
Boston – At first, rock music was a hobby for MIT grad Tom Scholz, left, who worked for the Poloroid camera company before turning his passion into a profession. By 1976, Scholz's band, Boston, had released its debut album with singer Brad Delp (center), drummer Jim Masdea and guitarist Barry Goudreau (right). Their best-known hits include "More Than a Feeling," "Don't Look Back" and "Amanda." With only seven albums in its catalog, the band has sold an amazing 31 million units in the US, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.
Lynyrd Skynyrd – In the 1970s, Florida's Lynyrd Skynyrd introduced America to Southern rock with "Sweet Home Alabama" and the iconic anthem "Free Bird." In 1977, lead singer Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist Steve Gaines died when the band's charter plane crashed in Mississippi. Skynrd has sold 28.5 million units in the US, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.
Creedence Clearwater Revival – Bluesy rockers Creedence Clearwater Revival contributed to the soundtrack of socially conscious America during the late 1960s and early '70s with ubiquitous songs like "Who'll Stop the Rain," "Bad Moon Rising," "Fortunate Son" and "Proud Mary." The band included singer/guitarist/songwriter John Fogerty, right, brother and guitarist Tom Fogerty, bassist Stu Cook and drummer Doug Clifford. CCR has sold 28 million units nationwide, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.
Nirvana – Pretty much everyone knows Nirvana. To say the band changed rock music after forming in 1987 isn't an overstatement. Singer/guitarist/songwriter Kurt Cobain, drummer Dave Grohl and bassist Krist Novoselic released only four albums together -- and the iconic song "Smells Like Teen Spirit" -- before Cobain's tragic suicide ended the band in 1994. Nirvana has sold 25 million units in the US, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.
Mötley Crüe – Rising to the top of the LA 1980s glam metal scene, Mötley Crüe -- consisting of drummer Tommy Lee, guitarist Mick Mars, bassist Nikki Sixx and singer Vince Neil -- broke into the Top 40 with their 1985 cover of Brownsville Station's "Smokin' in the Boys Room." Other big singles included "Girls, Girls, Girls," Dr. Feelgood" and "Without You." The Crüe has sold 25 million units in the US, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.
Red Hot Chili Peppers – This Los Angeles band formed in the mid-1980s and scored big in the '90s with their album "Blood Sugar Sex Magik." It included giant hits like "Give It Away" and "Breaking the Girl." Maintaining their chart success well into the 2000s, the Red Hot Chili Peppers joined Bruno Mars to perform during 2014's Super Bowl. Overall, the Chili Peppers have sold 25 million units in the US, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.
Rush – From Ontario, Canada, these three wise men invaded the US and built their cult audience by working hard, defying record executives and playing their special brand of music. Along the way, listeners bought 25 million Rush recordings in the US, according to the RIAA. Rush hinted that their 2015 40th anniversary tour may have been their last major tour. Left to right: guitarist Alex Lifeson, drummer Neil Peart and singer/bassist Geddy Lee were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.
ZZ Top – This Texas trio has been around since 1969. They gained Top 40 exposure in 1983 with their "Eliminator" album featuring "Gimme All Your Lovin'," "Legs" and "Sharp Dressed Man." Still touring with their signature beards are bassist Dusty Hill, left, and guitarist/singer Billy Gibbons -- along with drummer Frank Beard, who ironically is beardless. These Rock and Roll Hall of Famers have sold 25 million units in the US, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.