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January 24, 2007

The Greatest Rock Bands of All Time

Let's take a break from politics and talk about "the blog post that would never die."

Many moons ago at O'Blog, I listed the 10 greatest rock bands of all time. And although I haven't written anything meaningful at O'Blog for several months, the list still gets daily traffic through Google and every now and then I receive a comment. So I have decided to move the debate to PRFL.

Here they are, the 10 greatest rock bands of all time. If you disagree, blame Mr. G.

  1. U2
  2. The Rolling Stones
  3. Pink Floyd
  4. The Who
  5. Dave Matthews Band
  6. The Doors
  7. Foo Fighters
  8. Metallica
  9. Aerosmith
  10. Rage Against the Machine


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» The 10 greatest rock bands from O'Blog
Now for something a little lighter: the 10 greatest rock bands of all time. Yes, I said, of all time. Here they are in ranked order, with #1 being the best. U2 The Rolling Stones Pink Floyd The Who Dave [Read More]


Led Zeppelin needs to go in there somewhere.

You just had to bring the madness here. Sigh. It is possibly the greatest post topic ever, so I won't complain.

Mr. G's Indisputable List of Rock Greatness:
1. AC/DC w/ Bon Scott
2. AC/DC w/ Brian Johnson
3. Guns N' Roses
4. Van Halen
5. Queen
6. ZZ Top
7. Aerosmith
8. Iron Maiden
9. The Eagles
10. Led Zepplin

There you go, vbmark, Mr. G included Led Zeppelin on his list.

G, is #4 with Gary Cherone?

We talkin metal or rock-n-roll here??? Mr. G's list looks like the headline for a metal show from the 80's

1 Beatles
2 Rolling Stones
3 Led Zeppelin
4 Jimi Hendrix Experience
5 Eagles
6 Van Halen
7 Aerosmith
8 Pink Floyd
9 Queen
10 Z Z Top

Geez, at least Bob tossed in a few bands that were worth a darn after the 80s. Are Republicans allowed to like Rage Against the Machine?

You've suckered me into it, only because this thread needs some new blood:

Sonic Youth
Velvet Underground
The Clash
The Beatles
The Replacements
Yo La Tengo

I'm taking the words "rock" and "bands" literally; otherwise Bob Dylan, Public Enemy, maybe Lucinda Williams make it.

Bob, Rage Against the Machine is way more left than me. Do you listen to the lyrics or like them because they RAWK?!?

Side note: Audioslave really sucks. People thought Chris Connell + remain Rage members = super group. Not.


Sure we can! Unless you don't listen to the newer bands.

When I think of best Rock-n-Roll Bands of all time I think of the ones who not only rocked out but have stood the test of time and had a major influence over later generations of rock bands.

Besides, I stopped listening to newer bands when I hit 40, so for me the list pretty much ends in the 90's and it's hard to judge a band as the "the Best" when they haven't been around for more than a decade.

Joel, a few "newer" bands that barely missed the list are Green Day, Oasis and Smashing Pumpkins.

Maybe it should have been a top 20 list....

Lest we forget Devo and the Sex Pistols who created the new wave and punk bands, or Black Sabbath who defines heavy Metal.

Strange this showed up here today - the local rock station is having a "playoff" of the greatest rock bands with the callers deciding who wins. Check it out at www.wsfl.com. The brackets are there shwoing the winners and losers. Led Zep - greatest bar none!

Rush isn't on the anyone's list?

They'd be #1 on mine.

Mr. Holt, leaving Rush out of the top ten was the toughest call. If I did the list again, I might put them in instead of Aerosmith, DMB or The Doors. Anyone who likes rock'n'roll should watch this.

The Beatles are easily the greatest rock artists they are the ones who are most responsible for transforming rock and roll into rock music to say otherwise would be the incorrect thing to say. They still influence many musicians today and they have lasted the longest as a major influence.

MSNBC has a different top ten list.

The Beatles
BEATLES: Cursory Summary of Some of their Significant Influences and Precedents


- caused cultural (as well as musical) upheaval

- made RnR central to youth's lives

- globalize RnR to extent previously unknown
- appearance: most visibly, introduce fashion of long hair through "Beatle haircut" (made obligatory)

- attitude: make it fashionable to be cute, smart, irreverent, eclectic, chic, cultured etc.

- fostered through personal appearances in which musical act now are non-threatening in earlier tradition of EPresley, JLLewis, LRichard; (but are "threatening" to youth in their seductive, influential nature)

- fostered through movies: Hard Day's Night and Help, which allowed fans an "up-close-and-personal" view of Beatles, with appeal of movies e.g. (1) bringing "beach-genre" movies to close, (2) causing creation of spin-off group "Monkees", (3) inspiring future folk-rocker Roger McGuinn to purchase Rickenbacker 12- string guitar just like one seen in movie, etc.

- overall, Beatles convey attitude: "Be yourself, don't let anybody tell you how to run your life"

- success lifts UK out of lingering post-WW2 doldrums, helps to redefine UK (ironic in that UK authority/press reject US RnR from beginning)

- help to reshape RnR into "Rock": music that is capable of introducing serious social issues into the mainstream and though that becomes more than mere commercial entertainment (as is Pop)

- renders much of existing USA RnR (esp Rockabilly, Phil. Mach., doo wop, pre-Motown girl groups, etc) out of style during initial introduction in 1964
- intense appeal of music revives bland/stultified pop market, success set up environment for British Invasion
- lay foundation for "arena rock," with their 1965 performance in Shea Stadium (NYC) entertaining 55,000 fans, demonstrating their intense appeal
- Beatles helped set in motion a maturation process for RnR, ultimately ending with their contribution for establishing "Rock" by proving that RnR could be conduit for significant message re culture/society: in process they expanded to embrace topics and musical style formerly excluded from RnR genre
- expansion in full bloom on Revolver '66: "Taxman"--protest about rapacious taxation by UK govt, "Eleanor Rigby"-- reflecting on emptiness of life and religious ritual, melody set to string quartet (no trad. rock insts), "Love To You"-- introduction of subcontinent Indian musical style (raga) and instruments (tabla and sitar), "Tomorrow Never Knows"-- Lennon advocation for opening one's mind to new experience, exploiting technical innovations (see technical)
- music sets new artistic and commercial standards for future RnR (the "yardstick" by which every group will be measure in '60s and into '70s)
- sets trend for bands establishing and maintaining artistic control over their music:
- inaugurate era of "self-contained" band (inspiring thousands to pick up guitars and imitate them)
- help to reestablish trend that artists compose songs for themselves: bands now expected (by fans) to create own material; redirects song-writing trend away from centralized, production-line, professional song-writing concept indicative of Brill Bldg
- set trend for bands to record their music themselves
- in all, establishing many aspects of "DIY" trend, which becomes measure of authority
- accorded credit for creating new style of album with Sgt Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band: "concept album," in which songs can be seen to relate to one central topic or idea
- helps establish "album" rather than "single" as industry standard
- seen as pushing Beatle creativity into realm of classical music: Pepper's songs now contain stylistic diversity and artistic sophistication to be considered equivalent to Romantic "art-song" and album equivalent to Romantic "song cycle" by Schubert, Schumann, Wolf, etc
- seen as early pioneers of music video with promotional film for "SFF", also sections of HDN
- said to start (but re-introduce) concept of double A-side single

Music Technology/Creative Process
- begin to create exclusively in studio (retire from touring in 12/66)
- first successful band to do so, set trend for future bands
- pioneer new techniques to maintain creative/innovative musical style
- begin to rely on creativity of studio technicians/producer:
- E.g. ADT (artificial double tracking ["flanging"]) created to ease problematic vocal double-tracking process for JLennon, comes into wide-spread use on instruments in future albums
- E.g. Lennon's request that G Martin combine two "uncombinable" versions of "Strawberry Fields Forever"
- E.g. subjecting voices, instruments to unusual electronic modifications (limiters, etc) to produce sophisticated, inimitable "sound"
- explore innovative, avant-garde techniques (formerly unused in RnR)
- E.g. musique concrete--modification of sound through unconventional techniques: tape loops used in "Tomorrow..", steam calliope 'wash' used to help create circus atmosphere in "Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite"
- E.g. Aleatoric approach toward creating orchestral crescendos in "Day In A Life"
- E.g. avant-garde influence in "Revolution No. 9"
- experimentation is so pervasive that nearly every subsequent technique used in Rock can be traced to precedent in Beatles music
- first significant group to achieve "verticality" in business through Apple Corp. (i.e controlling all significant aspects of their business (from songwriting to recording to movies etc. through an in-house/self-contained entity)

Whyis U2 such a good band? U2 has done really nothing for rock and music.

The real list looks like this

Greatest Rock Bands:
1. The Rolling Stones
2. Led Zeppelin
3. The Beatles
4. Jimi Hendrix Experience
5. AC/DC
6. Aerosmith
7. Queen
8. The Eagles
9. Guns and Roses
10. The Who

This list was not opinionated, I don't like some bands on it, but I used VH1's greatest songs of all time and evertime a band had a song, I gave them a mark. Of course I took in consideration the rank of each song as well, although the Beatles had more songs, the Stones had the #1 song Satisfaction. Influentially though, I'd have to make a new list, so those who don't agree with Beatles/ Stones placement, look again, some bands are worse but more influential.

Most Influential Bands
1. The Beatles
2. The Rolling Stones
3. Led Zeppelin

Then again, here the list looks the same. Well, it's better than the one here anyway, I wouldn't put U2 on the top 100 list.

Hey Brian, ask me bollocks.

The top five are all British-(Zeppelin, Stones, Beatles, Floyd, Who) with Zeppelin and the Stones being Gods among little boys. The Doors, AC\DC, Aerosmith, Halen, and Rush rounding out the top ten. Honorable mention would go to Sabbath, U2, Pearl Jam, CCR, Hendrix, Clapton, Eagles, Nirvana, Metallica, and heart. Volume of great songs and how these songs stand the test of time determine a bands greatness.

come on people...
1-the beatles
2-led zeppelin
3-pink floyd
4-the stones
5-the who
6-pearl jam
7-the band
8-the smashing pumkins
9-fleetwood mac

Pearl Jam? Seriously?

the beatles are the best; they were not merely a band but a phenomenon that changed the course of popular music on this planet

The Beatles
The Rolling Stones
The Clash
The Who
The Ramones
Led Zep
Talking Heads
The Kinks

guys you have to remember that there are bands that EVERYBODY knows; not just the ones you can think of off the top of you head.
heres my list:

led zep
rolling stones
the who
pink floyd
the doors


however, good for that one guy who put yo la tengo. they're great. and pavement

of course

1 the beatles
2 led zep
3 pink floyd
4 rolling stones
5 beach boys
6 queen

Mr. G. knows whats goin' on, AC/DC is the best rock 'n roll band ever! Anyone who says different should look at the sales record for them, or even just Back in Black!

Come on guys? If we're debating Greatest ROCK Band of All-Time, nobody touches Led Zeppelin. They're in their own category. Each members is of the elite of their trade. My list...
1. Led Zeppelin
2. The Rolling Stones
3. Metallica
4. AC/DC
5. Aerosmith
6. Lynyrd Skynyrd
7. The Who
8. Guns N' Roses
9. Ozzy/Black Sabbath
10. Pink Floyd

Hello everyone . This is my first post . If we're talking about only 10 artists , I say it's impossible to handle Rock in only 10 , yet I'll post according to my opinion and then according to my taste ...

1st according to my opinion i.e. influence and respect :
1) Elvis
2) Chuck
3) The Beatles
4) Bob Dylan
5) Led Zeppelin
6) Jimi Hendrix
7) Pink Floyd
8) The Rolling Stones
9) The Who
10) The Doors
I must include
11)Johnny Cash
12) The Yardbirds
13) The Kinks
14) CCR
15) Cream
16) Deep Purple
17) Black Sabbath
18) The Beach Boys
19) Neil Young / V.Morrison
20) Queen / D.Bowie
2nd according to my taste :
1) Elvis
2) Led Zeppelin (crazy fan)
3) Thin Lizzy
4) Deep Purple
5) Jimi Hendrix
6) Black Sabbath(Ozzy)
7) Cream(Clapton)
8) Pink Floyd
9) Van Halen(Lee Roth)
10) Dylan/The Beatles
11) The Who
12) The Doors
13) The Yardbirds
14) CCR
15) David Bowie
16) Bruce Springsteen
17) Yes
18) AC/DC
19) Rory Gallgher
20) Lynyrd Skynyrd
21) Blue Oyster Cult
22) Bad Company
23) Wishbone Ash

In terms of influence, music and influence on modern music. I respect Elvis he takes a huge hit for not writing his songs and not challenging the Beatles in the 60's. As it is any rock artist with any respect writes their own songs. Any rock band who truly is great does not need a obvious leader. The Beatles established those rules. The Elvis types who didn't write his songs or bands with an obvious front man like Buddy Holly or Chuck Berry were the norm. The Beatles broke those boundaries. In modern music who cites Elvis or Chuck Berry as a influence.

1. The Beatles
2. Led Zeppelin
3. Bob Dylan

metallica needs to be in the top 5


1 The Beatles
2 The Rolling Stones
3 The Who
4 Led Zeppelin
5 The Ramones
6 Bob Dylan
7 The Beach Boys
8 Queen
9 Jimi Hendrix Experience
10 U2


1 The Beatles
2 The Rolling Stones
3 The Who
4 Led Zeppelin
5 The Ramones
6 Bob Dylan
7 The Beach Boys
8 Queen
9 Jimi Hendrix Experience
10 U2

I will never forgive Bob for bringing this post here, but since it IS here and it remains the most visited archived post and still receives comments, I felt compelled to give it a little revisit.

All of the comments are greatly appreciated and certainly the topic is one of subjective taste, however, one thing remains irrefutable; AC/DC is the greatest band/rock band/musical entity of all time. Period.

We can disagree on politics, but there is no debate here. AC/DC should be on the top of everyone's list because they have been scientifically, objectively, conclusively proven to be the best, most influential band ever.

you all crazy led zep and pink are far the best one more thing i dont handerstand the bazzz after the beatels the are nice but thats it.

the list should read something like this. If this is true rock and roll.

1. AC/DC w/ Bon Scott
2. AC/DC w/ Brian Johnson
3. Tom Petty w/o the heartbreakers.
4. Tom Petty w/ Heartbreakers
5. Iron Maiden
6. The Who
7. Van Halen
8. F**k Metallica sucks
9. F**k U2 sucks
10. Guns n Roses
11. Queen

1)Led Zeppelin
2)The Beatles
3)Pink Floyd
6)Black Sabbath
7)Rolling Stones
8)Van Halen
9)Guns N'Roses

U2 is a collection of the most disgusting people in the past 3 centuries.

1. Beatles
2. Rolling stones
3. Queen
4. Pink floyd
5. Led zeppelin
6. U2
7. The doors
8. Deep Purple
9. Aerosmith
10. Guns & roses

1. Rolling Stones
2. Beatles
3. Led Zep
4. Jimi Hendrix
5. Bob Dylan
6. The Who
7. Pink Floyd
8. The Doors
9. Guns n Roses
10. Pearl Jam or Nirvana

Rolling Stone ranked Pearl Jam the greatest American band of all time, so they are definitely top 10.

Honorable Mention aka tough to leave out : U2, AC/DC, Queen, Grateful Dead, Cream

what an impossible thing to decide on.. ugh.. sad to see david bowie either not mentioned or barely mentioned .. pearl jam is mentioned over and over?! and not david bowie! what??? Pearl Jam should be in the top 1000. not the top 10.

what an impossible thing to decide on.. ugh.. sad to see david bowie either not mentioned or barely mentioned .. pearl jam is mentioned over and over?! and not david bowie! what??? Pearl Jam should be in the top 1000. not the top 10.

1.Rolling Stones 2. Beatles 3. The Who 4. Pink Floyd 5. Led Zeppelin 6. Cream 7. Traffic 8. Yes 9. Greatful Dead 10. Steely Dan

I think The Doors is a very strong group, they have made a century.. I love their music very much. The rolling stones are strong too. But the doors...

1.beatles 2.rolling stones 3.queen

1)Led Zeppelin
2)The Beatles
4)Rolling Stones
9)Black Sabbath
10)The Who

LUDICROUS GLARING OMMISSIONS: 1) LED ZEPPELIN 2) THE BEATLES. When you leave out what are, by far, the two most popular and influential bands in rock history, your list loses all credibility. Though there are a few great bands on your list, overall it's one of the worst top 10 I've ever seen.

Ugh, some of these lists make me sick.

Anyway, I'll refrain from complaining and simply deliver my list, which I agree is VERY difficult to do with so many great bands.

I'm sticking strictly to bands, excluding great soloists.

Here's my top 25:

1. The Beatles
2. Led Zepplin
3. Aerosmith
4. The Rolling Stones
5. Queen
6. Guns 'N Roses
7. U2
8. Bon Jovi
9. Metallica
10. Black Sabbath
11. The Who
12. Pink Floyd
13. The Doors
14. Van Halen
15. Creedence Clearwater Revival
16. The Kinks
17. ZZ Top
18. AC/DC
19. Iron Maiden
20. Lynyrd Skynyrd
21. Fleetwood Mac
22. Pearl Jam
23. Oasis
24. The Jimi Hendrix Experiment
25. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Many are interchangeable and I may very well have forgotten a band somehow, it's a rather quick list.

1. Aerosmith
2. Bon jovi
3. Metalica

LOL did I see bon jovi?

Ok. I like U2 but they aren't the greatest.Te Beatles aren't a rock band, they're just nostalgia now.Here's my list
1 Aerosmith
3 Led Zeppelin
4 Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band
5 Guns N' Roses
6 Bon Jovi
9 Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
10 Bob Dylan
11 The Rolling Stones
12 Whitesnake
13 Van Halen
14 The Jimi Hendrix Expierience
15 The Who

You guys are all CRAZY!


2. Led Zeppland
3. Bob Dylan
4. The Rolling Stones
5. The Beatles
6. U2

After you get past these 6 bands there really isnt anyone else who is even close so theres no point to make any type of comparisons

heres my list which I think is the most true out of all of you people

1 led zeppelin
2 the beatles
3 Queen
6 Cream
7 The Who
8 Aerosmith
9 Guns N Roses
10 Jimi Hendrix experience

i can't believe you people left out GENESIS! Some of your lists are sick. Here's the real list and please comment on my list.

1. The Beatles
2. The Kinks
3. Pink Floyd
4. U2
5. Genesis
6. The Rolling Stones
7. Fleetwood Mac
8. Led Zepplin
9. The Doors
10. The Police

You people need to know your music history and facts to make an educated guess at who truely is the greatest of all time. Bands like ACDC, Aerosmith, KISS is just typical rock and roll music, with a hit here or there when there was nothing else to listen to. No one has been around longer and been as consistantly succussful as Bruce Springsteen.

Go to the link below to read a great article that supports my canidate for the greatest of all time, Bruce Springsteen.


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