Boston is home to some of the most influential and iconic bands in history.
The city has produced numerous artists that have contributed to genres like R&B, hip-hop, rap, and hard rock with their unique Boston style.
We’ve compiled a list of the best bands from Boston who have not only gained commercial success but are also considered cultural icons thanks to their Boston roots.
Nicknamed the “Bad Boys from Boston,” Aerosmith blends hard rock and blues to create party-fueling music.
They have released multiple hit singles like “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” “Walk This Way,” and “Dream On.”
They have sold over 150 million records which makes them one of the best-selling music artists of all time.
Their music won numerous American Music Awards and even a Grammy in 1990.
Boston was one of the most popular rock bands around the 1970s and 80s and had the crowd going crazy at every concert.
With at least 20 million copies sold worldwide, their debut album Boston was a huge success and is still considered one of the best-selling debut albums ever.
Some of their best songs include “More Than a Feeling,” “Rock and Roll Band,” and “A Man I’ll Never Be.”
Pixies are an alternative rock band known for the unique blend of punk rock and surf rock in their music.
Although they aren’t well known, they have inspired many popular bands like Alice in Chains, Nirvana, and Radiohead.
Some of their best albums include Beneath the Eyrie, Indie Cindy, and Surfer Rosa.
Their music often touches on controversial and heavy subjects like sexuality, incest, and biblical violence.
4. The Cars
The Cars are most famous for their debut album of the same name which is also considered one of the most famous albums of the 19th century.
Three of their early singles, “My Best Friend’s Girl,” “Good Times Roll,” and “Just What I Needed,” charted on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1978.
Their single “You Might Think” was nominated for five awards and won the first MTV Video Music Award for Video in 1984.
5. Dropkick Murphys
Dropkick Murphys came into being in 1996 by band members Ken Casey, Matt Kelly, Al Barr, James Lynch, Tim Brennan, and Jeff DaRosa.
Their music is often described as a blend of punk rock, Celtic folk music, and hardcore.
The song “I’m Shipping Up To Boston” is one of their greatest hits of all time and
The band’s lyrics often touch on themes like Irish pride, working-class struggles, and social justice issues, with a healthy dose of humor and irreverence.
6. Beacon Street Union
Beacon Street Union’s music is known for its adventurous approach to songwriting.
They have inspired many other bands in the psychedelic and progressive rock genres.
Their last single “Lord Why Is it So Hard” / “Can’t Find My Fingers” was recorded in 1970.
Some of their best albums include The Eyes of the Beacon Street Union, The Clown Died in Marvin Gardens, and Come Under Nancy’s Tent.
7. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones was formed in 1983 and is famous for its punk rock themes.
Their albums Let’s Face It and When God Was Great are some examples of their impressive discography.
Their music style can be described as a mix of ska, punk rock, and alternative rock.
The Bosstones’ music is characterized by fast-paced, upbeat rhythms and loud guitar sounds.
8. The Lemonheads
The Lemonheads’ music consists of catchy melodies, jangly guitars, and a mix of punk and folk influences.
The band started as a college band formed by three members but the members have changed with time and only one of them, Dando, remains.
Their most popular song, “Into Your Arms,” is a prime example of their signature music, with its upbeat tempo and sing-along chorus.
Overall, the band’s music is known for its accessibility, catchy hooks, and combination of punk and pop sensibilities.
9. New Edition
New Edition’s music has been a source of inspiration for many popular musicians, and they are considered the blueprint of modern boy bands.
Their blend of R&B and pop music has won them many awards, including two American Music Awards and a Soul Train Award.
The band broke up in the early 1990s to pursue solo careers but occasionally held reunions for live performances.
Godsmack’s independent single “Keep Away” managed to jumpstart their career by being frequently played on the Boston radio station.
Most of their inspiration comes from other popular bands, including Led Zeppelin, Metallica, Aerosmith, and Alice in Chains.
Alongside four Grammy nominations, the band has won almost every Boston Music Award they’ve been nominated for since their debut.
Best Bands From Boston – Final Thoughts
Boston has given us some of the most renowned bands in history, such as Aerosmith and The Lemonheads.
Although many bands moved on to live in other cities, the Boston essence stayed with them and can be felt in their music wherever they go.
If you’re a fan of rock music and enjoy music with different cultural influences, we’re sure you’ll connect with and appreciate many of these bands.
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