13 Amazing Bands Like The Rolling Stones: Similar Artists

Written by Dan Farrant

A legendary English band, the Rolling Stones has been captivating audiences with their rebellious spirit and distinctive sound since 1962. Their blues, pop, and rock and roll music has inspired countless musicians across generations.

While the Stones’ unparalleled legacy stands on its own, several contemporary bands have drawn from their influence, creating music that resonates with the band’s signature style.

In this article, we will explore 13 incredible bands similar to the Rolling Stones, offering a fresh perspective on how their influence continues to shape the music scene. So dive in to uncover these musical gems.

Rolling Stones by Jim Pietryga (CC BY-SA 3.0)

1. The Beatles

Emerging as one of the most influential bands during the British Invasion, The Beatles played a crucial role in shaping rock and roll, R&B, and music history.

Comprised of iconic musicians John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, their unique songwriting abilities and band dynamics set them apart from other groups of their time.

The Beatles’ relationship with The Rolling Stones is worth noting—the two bands maintained a friendly rapport despite often being depicted as rivals in popular media.

Lennon and McCartney wrote one of the Stones’ early singles, “I Wanna Be Your Man,” which The Beatles also recorded for their album With the Beatles. Their cultural impact transcended rivalry; together with the Stones, The Beatles helped pioneer self-contained bands that centralized pop music.

2. The Who

Emerging in 1964, British rock band The Who is another iconic group often compared to The Rolling Stones due to their significant impact on music history. The Who was an essential part of the British Invasion, which introduced many influential bands to American audiences.

Known for their powerful performances and innovative soundscapes, The Who made waves within the classic rock genre by shattering conventional norms with albums such as Tommy and Quadrophenia. Among their musical catalog are the timeless hits “My Generation,” “Pinball Wizard,” and “Baba O’Riley.”

As pioneers in concept albums and live concerts featuring elaborate light shows or smashing instruments on stage, The Who has left an indelible mark on modern music culture.

3. The Kinks

Formed in 1963, The Kinks was an incredibly influential English rock band from Muswell Hill, North London. Brothers Ray and Dave Davies laid the foundation for this legendary group with their unique musical talents, eventually recruiting Peter Quaife and Mick Avory to complete their lineup.

The band had a string of successful albums and songs throughout the 1960s. One of their most famous songs is “You Really Got Me,” a track that showcased their raw power and quickly became a hit, peaking at #1 on the UK Singles Chart.

The Kinks’ contribution to the canon of rock music is undeniable. They were acknowledged with an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 and, in 2005, into the UK Music Hall of Fame.

4. The Yardbirds

Formed in London in 1963, The Yardbirds are noted for having cultivated the careers of three of rock’s most famous guitarists: Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page.

The band’s early work was steeply rooted in American blues, much like their contemporaries, The Rolling Stones, but they soon began to experiment, creating a unique sound that blended blues, rock, and elements of Eastern music.

Their single “For Your Love” marked a departure from pure blues towards more pop-oriented melodies while retaining the edgy guitar riffs that were their signature.

The Yardbirds were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, cementing their status as one of the most important bands in rock history. Their pioneering work in guitar effects and fusion of musical styles paved the way for the psychedelic rock movement of the late 1960s, and their legacy continues to inspire.

5. The Animals

Next up is The Animals, a classic rock-and-roll band from the Newcastle music scene during the British Invasion era. They were known for their blues-rock sound, which helped to lay the foundation for many of today’s popular bands.

In terms of sound, both The Animals and the Stones had a raw, gritty quality that set them apart from many of their contemporaries. They favored a more hard-edged, bluesy sound over the polished pop aesthetic that was prevalent at the time.

Some of The Animals’ most iconic songs include “The House of the Rising Sun,” “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood,” and “We Gotta Get Out of This Place.” Fans of the Stones should check these out!

6. Cream

Often hailed as the world’s first supergroup, Cream was formed in London in 1966. The trio consisted of the already well-established musicians Eric Clapton on guitar and vocals, Jack Bruce on bass and vocals, and Ginger Baker on drums.

Their music was characterized by long, improvised jams, which showcased each member’s virtuosic musicianship. This improvisational style was influential in the emergence of progressive and psychedelic rock.

Some of their most iconic songs include “Sunshine of Your Love,” “White Room,” and “Crossroads,” a powerful reinterpretation of Robert Johnson’s blues classic.

Across their three studio albums—Fresh Cream, Disraeli Gears, and Wheels of Fire—the band’s sound evolved, becoming more experimental and incorporating an increasingly wide range of influences. In 1993, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

7. Led Zeppelin

Formed in 1968, Led Zeppelin quickly made an impact with their eponymous debut album, which blended hard rock, blues, and psychedelic music. They became known for their innovative songwriting, virtuosic performances, and willingness to experiment with different genres.

Their popularity exploded with the release of Led Zeppelin IV, featuring their most famous song, “Stairway to Heaven.” The album is often considered the band’s magnum opus, showcasing their musical versatility and innovative songwriting.

While the band disbanded in 1980 following the death of drummer John Bonham, the music and legacy of Led Zeppelin live on. In 1995, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The band also received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005

Later, in 2006, they were inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame, further acknowledging their significant impact on the music industry.

8. The Doors

Formed in Los Angeles in 1965, The Doors were an American rock band that quickly gained a reputation for their unique sound and captivating live performances.

Released in 1967, The Doors’ self-titled studio album featured the classic track”Light My Fire,” which became an instant hit, topping the Billboard Hot 100.

The Doors continued to build on their success with a series of acclaimed albums. Their second album, Strange Days, released later in 1967, further demonstrated their innovative approach to music with hits like “People Are Strange” and “Love Me Two Times.”

Recognition for The Doors’ contributions to music includes their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. In 2007, they also received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, acknowledging their enduring influence on the music landscape.

9. The Byrds

In the early stages of their career, The Byrds gained fame with their electric interpretation of Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man,” which became a #1 hit in both the US and the UK. The success of the song helped usher in the folk-rock movement of the 1960s and established The Byrds as a major act in this genre.

Throughout their career, The Byrds were noted for their willingness to experiment with different genres. They dabbled in psychedelic rock with their album Fifth Dimension and later pioneered country rock with Sweetheart of the Rodeo.

In 1991, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Their version of “Mr. Tambourine Man” was also included in the Grammy Hall of Fame, acknowledging its significance to the recording industry.

10. The Small Faces

Originating from the vibrant music scene of East London, The Small Faces was a British rock band that played an instrumental role in shaping the sound of the 1960s. Formed in 1965, the band was known for fusing rock and roll, rhythm and blues, and pop, a style similar to The Rolling Stones.

The band enjoyed considerable success during their active years. They scored numerous hit songs, including “Itchycoo Park,” “Lazy Sunday,” “All or Nothing,” and “Tin Soldier.” These songs showed off the band’s talent for creating songs with catchy melodies and clever lyrics.

Despite their success, The Small Faces’ career was marked by a series of ups and downs. There were disputes with their management over unpaid royalties, and the band’s lineup changed several times until they disbanded in 1978.

11. The Troggs

The rise of the English rock band The Troggs was meteoric. Their first single, “Lost Girl,” although not a huge success, paved the way for their breakthrough hit, “Wild Thing.”

Released in 1966, “Wild Thing” became an instant sensation, reaching #2 on the UK Singles Chart and #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US. The raw energy of the song, coupled with its catchy melody and lyrics, captivated audiences and set the stage for the band’s continued success.

Their subsequent hits included “With a Girl Like You,” “I Can’t Control Myself,” and “Anyway That You Want Me.” Each of these songs showcased the band’s ability to craft catchy pop tunes while maintaining their raw rock-and-roll edge. “With a Girl Like You,” in particular, reached #1 in the UK and was a top-10 hit in the US.

12. The Spencer Davis Group

A prominent British rock band from the mid-1960s, The Spencer Davis Group wowed us with their fusion of rhythm and blues, beat, and pop music. Formed in Birmingham in 1963, the band consisted of Spencer Davis on guitar/vocals, Steve Winwood on keyboards/vocals, Muff Winwood on bass, and Pete York on drums.

The band’s hit song “Gimme Some Lovin'” is a classic rock anthem, gaining the band international fame. It reached the top 10in both the UK and US charts.

However, the group’s success was short-lived. In 1967, Winwood left the band to form Traffic, taking with him the distinct voice that had been a key element of The Spencer Davis Group’s appeal. Despite attempts to continue with new members, the band couldn’t replicate their earlier success and eventually disbanded in 1969.

13. The Zombies

Last is The Zombies, a British rock band formed in St. Albans in 1961. The original lineup consisted of Rod Argent, Paul Atkinson, Hugh Grundy, and Colin Blunstone.

The band gained fame in the mid-1960s with their fusion of rock and roll, rhythm and blues, and jazz. They’re best known for their 1964 hit “She’s Not There,” which reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the US.

In 1968, after the band had already disbanded, one of their recorded albums, Odessey and Oracle, started gaining attention. The album is now considered a classic, featuring the hit single “Time of the Season,” which reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1969.

The Zombies reunited in various forms over the years. They have continued to record and perform, earning acclaim for their musicianship and enduring influence. In 2019, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Summing Up Our List Of Bands Similar To The Rolling Stones

There you have it! We’ve explored the dynamic world of a number of bands, all of whom share a certain kinship with the legendary Rolling Stones in their rock and roll energy, distinctive sound, and enduring influence.

We hope this article has added some new tunes to your playlist and sparked your interest in the golden age of rock.

If you feel we’ve overlooked any bands that should have made the list, we’d absolutely love to hear from you. Your suggestions and recommendations are always welcome!

Photo of author

Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.