The Beatles ... goes without sayin'.
Pink Floyd, of course.
Led Zeppelin, YES.
David Bowie (Glam God), Black Sabbath (Metal Maestro's), The Kinks, Nick Drake, King Crimson & The Rolling Stones.
There seems to be an overwhelming domination by British bands so far, for the classic rock (pre 80's) genre anyway. Those American artists that
deserve an honourable mention during this era would have to include:
Bob Dylan, The Beach Boys, The Doors, The Velvet Underground & Neil Young (I know... Canadian).
How about the pre-Rock era hmmm. The only ones that rate a mention are all Jazz ... and all American,
Miles Davis, John Coltrane & Charles Mingus.
Now for the more contemporary, the 80's and later. I will rate them in a very rough order from the most Transcendent.
Godspeed You Black Emperor!,
and... Talk Talk.
Honourable mentions to those that created at least one transcendent piece of art album (in no particular order):
My Bloody Valentine (Loveless), Television (Marquee Moon), Arcade Fire (Funeral),
Neutral Milk Hotel (In the Aeroplane Over the Sea), Sonic Youth (Daydream Nation), Sigur Rós (Ágætis byrjun),
Portishead (Dummy), Slint (Spiderland), Van Morrison (Astral Weeks), Love (Forever Changes), Nas (Illmatic),
Genius/GZA (Liquid Swords), The Zombies ( Odessey and Oracle), Yes (Close to the Edge), Can (Tago Mago),
and ... I think that is about it ... OH WAIT! The Jimi Hendrix Experience (Are You Experienced).
edit on 3-3-2014 by 3legsanda2nd because: Spelling mistake