13 of the most iconic and best group t-shirts of all time

By Eli Duxson

It’s Ausmusic T-Shirt Day and we’ve got you covered if your workplace forbids celebrating!

Have you ever walked away from a gig with so much energy or always so captivated by the person you saw that you thought you just had to savor the moment with a t-shirt as a souvenir? This is if you remember what live music is! You might remember that feeling you had after washing it, only to realize that it had shrunk and was forever banished to the bottom of your pile.

But being Ausmusic T-shirt Day and being a Friday, we’ve decided to put together 13 of the most iconic and best band t-shirts of all time.

Now we understand, this is a very restrictive list and with so much to choose from, literally countless designs, we decided to go for the iconic designs that transcended the merch stand and entered popular culture itself.

Read all the latest features, lists and columns here.

Pink floyd

You can’t have an iconic band t-shirt list without Pink Floyd, because like many on this list, they have too much to choose from. The increasingly popular record of 1973 The dark side of the moon and the ensuing t-shirt design has since transcended the band’s t-shirt community.

The Triangular Prism logo itself has overtaken this community and popular culture itself, and I mean with hits like “Breathe”, “Time” and “Money” the album is also pretty darn good!


If this tee doesn’t scream America then I don’t know what does. The presidential seal and a bald eagle holding a baseball bat? I mean, come on!

Nonetheless, the logo is iconic and I’m sure almost every small market stall has ripped it off at some point, because with how often I see it and the demographics I see it on, there is no way that so many people have original shirts of the time.


running dmc t-shirt

The design, coloring and lettering are so simple, but this loud t-shirt is instantly recognizable because he arguably pioneered the design of simple t-shirts everywhere, especially in the sports fashion industry.

Run DMC grew into a very popular hip hop group and became the first non-sporting entity to receive major endorsement from a sportswear company, Adidas.

the lively youth

sonic youth goo band t-shirt

The cover of the 1990 Sonic Youth album Go features an illustration by Raymond Pettibon based on a photo of Maureen Hindley and David Smith, key witnesses in the 1966 trials of the Moors murderers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley.

While not the most obvious image to become a cult classic, the album features their hit ‘Kool Thing’ which peaked at number 7 on the US Alt graphics.


aerosmith draw the line t-shirt

Wayne’s World featured one of the best group t-shirts ever made in Garth’s “Aero Force One” shirt, but sadly it’s no longer available, so we’ve found a suitable number one option, their record breaking. 1977. Draw the linethe album cover.

Famous cartoonist Al Hirschfield drew the cover, and it was the band’s fifth studio album, reaching number 11 on the Display panel 200 in America.

Rolling stones

Rolling Stones tattoo you t-shirt

I know what you’re thinking, where’s the language ?! Did i just receive Rick-rolled?

Well yeah. This list would be pretty boring and predictable with the classic language which is perhaps the most iconic band logo of all time, but the album cover for Tattoo yourself is a great work itself which is celebrating its 40th anniversary on the market this year! The album kicks off with ‘Start Me Up’ which is one of their many most popular songs.

Plus, do you know how hard it was to find another iconic Stones t-shirt that could even accommodate the multitude of tongue designs?

Led Zeppelin

led zeppelin strip t-shirt

Led Zeppelin deserves a spot on any list involving the words “best” and “band,” but this t-shirt is especially important as it marked the band’s eleventh and final North American concert tour.

If you own an original I’m willing to make an offer but like many of us wouldn’t have the pleasure of experiencing one of their last shows which must be a crazy thing to have stored in your bank of memory.


choose wham life!

(Image: ITV / Rex features)

When George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley wore the “Choose Life” t-shirts in their “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” music video, it became an instant classic. The slogan promotes an anti-drug and anti-suicide campaign and was also worn by Queen drummer Roger Taylor in the group’s video for “Hammer to Fall”.

English fashion designer Katharine Hamnett designed the shirt and has since gained fame for inventing the slogan t-shirt that prints large-print political messages on plain t-shirts.

Frankie goes to Hollywood

Frankie goes to hollywood t-shirt

ZZT (Frankie’s label) journalist and co-founder Paul Morley designed the t-shirt as a conscious scam of Hamnett’s “Choose Life” design, and it took off.

The BBC banned the group’s debut single “Relax” in 1983 when it was number six on the charts and it went on to dominate the UK Singles Chart for five consecutive weeks, continuing to enjoy sustained chart success throughout. of this year and ultimately becoming the seventh best-selling UK single of all time.


nirvana t-shirt

Many believe that Kurt Cobain designed the Nirvana logo. If you haven’t seen the same color or design, you’ve probably seen it worn in several other ways on t-shirts no matter where you are from.

The logo is simple but linked to the name Nirvana makes it even more iconic. Some of Cobain’s handwritten notes and drawings have recently been auctioned and feature more of his “works of art”.

Grateful death

grateful death tee

Depicted with a red, white, and blue color scheme, the Grateful Dead “Steal Your Face” logo was known to others as the “Lightning Skull” shirt and is one of the most stood out shirts on this list. .

The logo was developed in 1973 and began appearing on Grateful Dead products that same year.

The velvet metro

the underground velvet t-shirt

If you want to be a little different and not wear a The Velvet Underground t-shirt with Andy Warhol’s iconic banana on it, Nico’s lips drinking a coke is an incredibly stylish alternative.

The pop artist became their manager in 1966 and they served as a house group for the Warhol art collective known as “The Factory”. Andy Warhol, Nico and Lou Reed. Iconic names, iconic t-shirt.


acdc t-shirt

Do we really need to say something here? It’s an honorary post because their lightning bolt logo is so iconic it’s now a part of life. Aussie rockers are a band you don’t seem to know, you were just born knowing they exist.

They place KISS on this list with the honorary position of the iconic logo due to my subjective position on their album covers being superior in terms of aesthetics. Yeah, I said it.

Learn more about Ausmusic T-Shirt Day and don’t forget to put it in your calendar early for 2022!

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