As much as we like to think we base our judgement on music acts solely on the music itself there isn't any doubt that music acts will have fluctuating degrees of "cool" associated with them, depending on location and time period. I can only speak from experience- don't we all? But for example I grew up in the UK (Scotland more precisely) in the 80s and as kids discovered music, saying you liked The Beatles would have your street cred drop massively. ("Oh my God, he likes The Beatles!") I suppose they were seen as a band your parents liked. Queen too were definitely uncool. Perhaps because they seen as an "old" band from the 1970s, and as kids we all knew that guys in their 30s did not write cool music! I was really into Queen (mostly 70s stuff) at school purely for their albums. (I listened to their cassettes on personal stereo!) Yet they weren't popular, except for a temporary spike in popularity for a short while following Live Aid. Today though Queen seem to have a resurgence in popularity. Then fast forward to the internet age and when I was on music boards I was actually surprised to hear kids in American high school saying how popular The Beatles were - and some complaining about how sick they were of The Beatles being shoved down their throats! Very different from my own experience. I also remember some guy in Israel saying how nobody listened to Led Zeppelin there when he grew up - Deep Purple were the hard rock to be into. Talking to Europeans too, Deep Purple seem to be more popular overall than Led Zeppelin. When I was in school I'd probably say U2 were the "cool" band. Simple Minds too were pretty popular. I think I lost count of the times I heard someone say "I'm into U2 and Simple Minds" I must admit I have something of a negative connotation with them because they always seemed to be the favourite band of everyone I didn't get along with! And Iron Maiden were the cool metal band that the metalheads would wear T shirts of.