This Loud List is dedicated to the artists who carved the path for generations of awesome acts. If these 15 bands never existed, the rock and metal landscape wouldn’t be as diverse, colorful, imaginative or impactful. In fact, it might not exist at all. So we offer our undying appreciation to these legends.

If you’re aware that music exists, you know how influential the Beatles are. Having essentially invented countless subgenres of rock, the Beatles lit the fire of hard rock, heavy metal, folk rock, jangle pop and much more, inspiring musicians like Ozzy Osbourne and Joey Ramone to pursue their rock star dreams.

Though Black Sabbath are credited with creating metal, there is a very plausible argument that Judas Priest was the first true heavy metal band. The twin guitar attack, the wailing vocals, the look and attitude… Priest rip-roared their way to iconic status in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Nearly 50 years into their career, Judas Priest are still writing killer tunes, with Firepower blowing minds across the globe.

When “Smells Like Teen Spirit” first aired on MTV, the world immediately changed. A stake was plunged into the heart of hair metal and a dirty, alternative genre of rock became the only music that mattered. Nirvana remain one of the most influential artists of all time, even providing inspiration to today’s pop stars, as well as nearly every rock band of the past 25 years.

Check out our picks for the 15 Most Influential Bands of All Time in the Loud List above.

50 Most Game-Changing Hard Rock + Metal Albums of All Time