Author Topic: Top 10 Rock Bands of ALL Time  (Read 2213 times)

Offline CorranHorn

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Top 10 Rock Bands of ALL Time
« on: November 12, 2004, 10:24 PM »
Despite the myriad number of music threads already (please mods don't ban music talk!  ;D) I had something on my mind sparked from a conversation I had earlier today with a friend.

Who do you think are the Top 10 Rock Bands of ALL Time? A basis on who would make the cut would be their success at their time, their influence on the genre, their continued success today (especially if they are no longer active), and of course their musical abilities. Here's the Top 10 list my friend and I came up with, including some reasoning behind it. It's not in a particular order, it may be too difficult to rank one band over another....

1.) The Beatles - they are responsible for the modern rock band concept and of course helped lead the way for the British invasion. The music they played had not been heard on such a wide scale when they appeared on the Ed Sullivan show and it forever changed the way people thought about rock and roll.

2.) The Rolling Stones - The Stones took what the Beatles started and gave it more of an edge sending Rock a bit farther away from it's Blues and Motown roots. Wildly successful for 40+ years, the fact that they can still play is a wonder all onto itself.

3.) Led Zeppelin - Not only did they take what the Stones and Beatles did and gave it even more of edgier and unique sound, they revolutionized the idea of "conceptual rock" that would later lead to bands like Pink Floyd and Dream Theater. Considered by many to be the pinnacle of rock bands, their music is as fresh today as it was 30 years ago.

4.) Jimi Hendrix - The man did things with guitars no one else could ever dream of at the time. It's his take on the axe that has given rock it's true voice and was no doubt an inspiration to everyone on this list.

5.) Pink Floyd - While Zeppelin revolutionized the idea of "conceptual rock", Floyd took it to a whole other level. Their music allowed people to think outside the box when it came to rock and has led to some amazing work throughout the years.

6.) Black Sabbath/Ozzy Osbourne - Sort of a combo here as Ozzy was wildly successful after he left Sabbath, but the band wasn't so much. Sabbath is the pioneer of heavy metal, they took the style of the Stones, mixed in a little bit of the blues and gave a darker feeling that had never been heard before. Without them, modern rock today could very well be the equivalent of bands like Oasis or REM.

7.) AC/DC - Coming in a little bit on the lighter side of Sabbath, AC/DC is a fast paced explosion of rock that can electrify anyone. Their song library is considered to be the epitome of arena rock and despite the saddened change of lead singers they have never lost a step.

8.) Metallica - Disregarding the last 7 or so years (every band has to have a hiccup), Metallica has been the influential driving force for today's hard rock/metal. Influenced by such bands as Motorhead, the Misfits, and Diamond Head, Metallica took their spirit and brought out the fast-paced speed metal mixed in with melodic overtones.

9.) Pearl Jam - Though many credit Sonic Youth and Nirvana for starting the grunge/alternative phenomenon of the 90's, it was really PJ that brought it into a national scale. Their angst-ridden songs became the anthems for Generation X'ers such as myself worldwide and have influenced the not so heavier but certainly not soft side of rock for the last decade.

10.) Grateful Dead - This was solely my buddy's entry into the list as I would have put The Who in, but the Dead's amazing ability to draw in people seems almost unmatched. Even after Jerry Garcia's death people still clamor for the Dead and that certainly has to count for something, doesn't it?

So what are you're thoughts and what's your top 10?

Offline Scott

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Re: Top 10 Rock Bands of ALL Time
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2004, 10:38 PM »
If you're talking influence, hits and longevity, I'd go with:

The Beatles
The Stones
Pink Floyd
The Who (The Dead?  Come on :P)
Led Zeppelin

After these 5 it gets trickier

I'd say:

Guns N' Roses
U2
Queen
REM
Aerosmith

I think you could make a case for one of the grunge bands (Nirvana or PJ) but I can't honestly say they are better than the 10 I have listed...

Offline jokabofe

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Re: Top 10 Rock Bands of ALL Time
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2004, 11:24 PM »
Tough topic to answer, as there are so many influential bands out there. I'd have to say the Top 10 Rock bands (I guess we're putting Metal in here too?) would be:

1. The Beatles - like Jason said, without The Beatles, there would be NO rock music, period. They invented rock music.

2. Guns N Roses - Solely responsible for the resurgence of Rock music in the mainstream, if you ask me. Took what The Stones did and kicked that up a notch. Back in their heyday, GNR were bigger than The Beatles were in their heyday - and that's something. Never been a bigger rock band - almost overnight at that - and there never will be.

3. The Rolling Stones - took what the Beatles did and kicked it up a notch or two. Louder, harder, and (slightly) faster at times, it was a true progression in the sound of music at the time.

4. Metallica - re-invented the Metal genre, taking it away from the hair bands like Ratt and Poison, and making arena rock safe (well, maybe not safe) for all.

5. Black Sabbath - the inventors of the Heavy Metal genre. Without Black Sabbath, who knows what rock/metal would sound like today - if there even would be such a thing?

6. Nirvana - As big a PJ fan as I am, I would still have to say that Nirvana were bigger - and more responsible - for bringing the grunge/Seattle sound into the mainstream. They were the first Seattle band to have any commercial success while still doing what they wanted to do. They never intended to be rock stars, it just happened.

7. Slayer - taking what Metallica did and re-inventing it into a faster, harder, more aggresive sound, they are the grandfathers of the Death/Thrash/Speed Metal sub-genre of Metal.

8. Nine Inch Nails - Trent Reznor is a musical genius, if you ask me. Again, taking parts from different styles of music at the time and re-inventing a "new" style, slightly techno, slightly industrial, slightly dance/club oriented, yet still on the harder/metal edge, he's just a innovator and a big influence to many musicians out there today.

9. Led Zeppelin - okay I have a confession to make. Being a musician, and a huge fan of music in general, this is gonna get me a lot of flak, but here goes: I think Led Zep is overrated. One of the most overrated bands in music history. That said, they were still a huge influence on music, and the sound of rock at the time. They opened the doors for bands like The Doors, Deep Purple, Iron Butterfly and all the other psychadelic 70's rock bands. But that doesn't change the fact that I don't like them. And the fact that I don't like them doesn't change the fact that they were a huge influence on music.

10. Elvis Presley - okay, maybe not a band, per se, but as much an influence on modern rock as The Beatles. The most dangerous man on television :)

Offline inadvertent imitation

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Re: Top 10 Rock Bands of ALL Time
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2004, 11:40 PM »
The Beatles
Led Zeppelin
The Rolling Stones
Pink Floyd
Black Sabbath

The Stooges- The only real punk band there ever was or will be.  They absolutely did not give a flipping **** about ANYTHING. That's why they're real, and as much as I like Black Flag, Dead Kennedys, and the like,  the Stooges are the real thing.

KISS- influenced a generation of guitar players. Hell, they probably influenced drummers, bassists, and lead singers as well. They also changed the way bands were marketed-- bet John, Paul, George, and Ringo never had action figures or lawn mowers in their heyday. (It's rumored there is such a thing as a KISS lawnmower.)

Tool- took the best parts of Floyd  and Sabbath and created their own package
of great ******' music.

Pearl Jam/ Nirvana (tie)- Nirvana brought grunge (I hate that term) mainstream, but PJ proved it could evolve and go beyond the angry lyrics and the ****-everything attitude, even after every other 'grunge band' broke up and Kurt redecorated his kitchen with brain matter.
don't you know there ain't no devil, there's just God when he's drunk

Offline Darby

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Re: Top 10 Rock Bands of ALL Time
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2004, 11:58 PM »
In terms of sheer influence, longevity, popularity, all of it, there's only a few that really can be considered great. 

The Beatles, the Stones, Led Zep, the Ramones, U2.

I'd throw in Queen, the Grateful Dead, and the Beach Boys (Pet Sounds automatic honorable mention), but after that it gets hairy.  I love everyone's lists.

Offline Nicklab

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Re: Top 10 Rock Bands of ALL Time
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2004, 12:04 AM »
Always a tough thing to do, but here it is the way I see it.

1)  The Beatles.  They were revolutionaries, pure and simple.

2)  Elvis Presley.  The King deserves his due.  Just listen to his Sun Records work with Bill Black and Scotty Moore.  That was the original rock band, and they defined it in the mid 50's.

3)  The Rolling Stones.  Not a fan per se, but they hold their own.

4)  The Jimi Hendrix Experience.  There hasn't been anyone like him since.

5)  Black Sabbath.  The true fathers of Heavy Metal.

6)  Led Zeppelin.  A tremendously influential band.

7)  The Clash.  Punk and politics.  They were actually important.

8)  Bob Marley and the Wailers.  Another true revolutionary.

9)  The Ramones.  The progenitors of the NY punk scene, and yes I DO KNOW about the NY Dolls.  The Ramones had far more of an impact.

10)  Sex Pistols.  They made punk rock dangerous, regaining the spirit that rock had lost in the 70's.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2004, 12:07 AM by Nicklab »
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Offline jokabofe

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Re: Top 10 Rock Bands of ALL Time
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2004, 12:08 AM »
They also changed the way bands were marketed-- bet John, Paul, George, and Ringo never had action figures or lawn mowers in their heyday.

Lawnmowers, no. Action figures, yes. And today, they are worth a hell of a lot more than the Kiss figures. But I will give you this much: KISS is a marketing machine. Anything that can have a KISS logo on it will, and anything you want to pay Gene and Paul to put their logo on, they'll go for. No ifs, ands, or buts.

But The Beatles had their fair share of merchandise as well. Not as much was available back then, so the amount of it doesn't compare with what some bands have available today.

This guy has a nice collection, but it doesn't even really break the surface.

My favorite piece of KISS merch will always be the Kasket. And it doubles as a cooler, so you can use it now in this life as well as the afterlife :P
« Last Edit: November 13, 2004, 12:10 AM by jokabofe »

Offline CorranHorn

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Re: Top 10 Rock Bands of ALL Time
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2004, 02:50 AM »
Some great choices so far outside of what I mentioned and for the most part all given valid reasons, but I wanted to touch on a couple of things that have been brought up.

Dave: while I believe you're right about GNR bring rock back into the mainstream, I think you may be overstating things when you say they were more popular in their time compared to the Beatles popularity at their time. The Beatles where not just a national, but global phenomenon that I think was only matched by Elvis and Michael Jackson (you know the good MJ from the early 80s).  And whats with the lack of love for Zeppelin?

Also I added Metal to the list, cause Metal is a form of rock, just like alt/grunge is as part of the evolution and branching of the genre. I just didn't want to go back to far and say add the Blues or Motown as then it would just be more complicated :P

And while Elvis is a good addition, I tend to always think of him more of what would today be called a pop star. He undoubtedly had a good voice and knew how to work a crowd, but he was very much a fabricated entity who did not create any of his own music (oh man if my mom read that she'd have a heartattack :P)


Offline jokabofe

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Re: Top 10 Rock Bands of ALL Time
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2004, 09:19 AM »
Dave: while I believe you're right about GNR bring rock back into the mainstream, I think you may be overstating things when you say they were more popular in their time compared to the Beatles popularity at their time. The Beatles where not just a national, but global phenomenon that I think was only matched by Elvis and Michael Jackson (you know the good MJ from the early 80s).  And whats with the lack of love for Zeppelin?

While I would definitely agree that The Beatles were indeed a worldwide phenomenon, so were Guns N Roses. They toured everywhere, and fans packed houses worldwide to see them. Now, considering the time difference between when The Beatles were around and when GNR were around, and the economy, and inflation, it's not fair to compare income to see who was more popular, but I would still say that GNR had a larger fan base then The Beatles did.

Lack of love for Zeppelin? I don't know, it's just something I've always felt. I feel that Jimmy Page is a great songwriter, but when it comes to lead guitar, he's very sloppy. So sloppy, in fact, that's he only outdone (or would that be underdone) by 1 other guitarist - Slash.

Offline Sems Fir

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Re: Top 10 Rock Bands of ALL Time
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2004, 10:47 AM »
Interesting topic for discussion as one has to take into account so many different factors.  In the modern era dubbed rock and roll starting with up-tempo blues and rhythm and blues the 1950's had Elvis who helped create the use of radio song singles to become famous.  Unfortunately, military service altered how much recording output he did during the that time period, and after a couple of years, the United States' public's musical tastes changed until the Beatles hit the shores as part of phase one of the British Invasion.  Again, the use of radio song singles were utilized to introduce the band to the public.  There was so much musical talent as the genre was changing.  The Beatles were the top musical attraction until there split in under a decades time.  Personally, I would rate it this way:

1. Led Zeppelin - I'm not stating this because I've collected Led Zeppelin for twenty years or that I'm biased.  While together they ruled the music industry longer than any other rock artist (11 years).  It's interesting following their flight path when comparing them to an artist such as the Beatles as each artist has done things the other has not.  Zeppelin became legendary without the use of radio singles as they were an album based band, and used constant touring and legendary performances to become popular.  While more considered hard rock Zeppelin explored every genre of music.  There's so much to type for reasons why.

2. Elvis -  Even though Elvis can be considered a crooner, he did have a band behind him making the music.  Elvis was the blueprint for radio single artists and his influence can still be seen today.  Did Elvis get lucky?  Perhaps, as the upstart modern era music industry needed a young charismatic Caucasian male with a voice to sing up-tempo rhythm and blues.  I'm a fan of Elvis and own some of his recorded output, and I'm not even remotely insulting Elvis.   These days it's a radio singles market and if one has the looks the industry exploits the artist to sell records.  The difference is Elvis had the talent while the artists today like to mime their material! 8>)

3. The Beatles - Helped open the floodgates for the British Invasion, for other artists such as The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, The Animals etc.  The Beatles are the blueprint for a singles pop band.  Unfortunately, internal turmoil helped split apart such a talented group of musicians.

To save space I'll place numbers four through ten as such in no real particular order:

4. The Who
5. The Yardbirds
5. The Rolling Stones
6. The Eagles
7. Pink Floyd
8. Eric Clapton
9.Bad Company
10. KISS

One has to remember there would be NO GENRE called rock and roll music without the blues, and that's a fact.  Greatest rock artist ever.  Robert Johnson. 8>)  Also, SunHouse, Willie Dixon, Howlin' Wolf, there's so many to list!  For up-tempo original rock and roll Little Richard, Chuck Berry etc.  The list goes on and on!

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Offline stormtripper

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Re: Top 10 Rock Bands of ALL Time
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2004, 12:01 PM »
Metallica
Black Sabbath
Led Zeppelin
Rage Against The Machine
The Cult
The Clash
The Police
Radio Head
Tool
U2

changed forgot about u2

« Last Edit: November 13, 2004, 04:58 PM by stormtripper »

Offline Famine

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Re: Top 10 Rock Bands of ALL Time
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2004, 12:27 PM »
10. Linkin Park-My favorite, and very inovative with some of the sounds they bring, while combining with another genre. The root is still there.
9. Ozzy Ozborne-Always been a fan of Ozzy, Blacksabath. They are on to somthing.
8. KISS-I can't think of a kiss song I don't like.
7. Aerosmith
6. The Rolling Stones
5. AC/DC
4. Slayer
3. Nirvana
2. The Doors-Another favorite of mine. I grew up listening to The Doors and my number 1 pick,
1. Guns N Roses

That's my list.

Kevin
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Offline SPIDERLEGS

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Re: Top 10 Rock Bands of ALL Time
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2004, 01:55 PM »
Pink Floyd
Rolling Stones
Queen
The Who
The Kinks
David Bowie
The Cure
REM
U2
The Smiths

I don't care what order you put them in.

Offline Sprry75

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Re: Top 10 Rock Bands of ALL Time
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2004, 02:32 PM »
It kind of seems like we're using The Beatles as a starting point, but I think you really have to go back further to guys like Robert Johnson and Charlie Parker.

I don't listen to any of that stuff, really, but you have to acknowlede that point where jazz and the blues fused with R&B to become Rock and Roll. 

I don't really know where or when that really started, or if one artist in particular can be credited for it, but whereever, whenever, and whomever got it going deserves some credit.

But since I don't know dick about that old stuff, I'll start with The Beatles, too.

1. The Beatles: I don't really listen to these guys either, but both my mom and my wife are huge fans, so I hear them all the damn time.  Their influence can't be denied.

2. The Rolling Stones: These guys I listen to, they kind of took what The Beatles were doing and sexed it up, making rock dirtier.

3. Velvet Underground: I can't believe I omitted these guys from my first version of this list.  Even before Sonic Youth, the Pixies, The Ramones, or the Sex Pistols, Velvet Undgergound were laying the foundations for the artistic and sonic expansion of rock and roll.

4.  Tie: Led Zeppelin: Kind of took what both the Stones and the Beatles were doing, added some J.R.R. Tolkein and some Aleister Crowley, and then turned it all up to eleven.
The Who: Kind of took what both the Stones and the Beatles were doing, and made it artier, more sonic, and amped rock's R&B roots.  My personal favorite of my top four.  I saw somebody saying something about these guys being the grandfathers of punk on VH1.  I think it was doucheface from Green Day.  But Eddie Vedder's kind of said something similar.  I've never figured out that connection, but if Eddie Vedder can make sense of it, then who am I to argue?  So I guess these guys are the grandfathers of punk, too.

5. Tie-The Ramones/Sex Pistols:  More or less killed seventies rock, definitely killed disco, and ignited punk.  Stooges might get an honorable mention in this category, but while they've influenced the cooler punk bands, Ramones and Sex Pistols have a wider reaching influence in today's rock and roll.

7. Sonic Youth/the Pixies: The only rock that matters anymore is "alternative" rock.  It wouldn't exist without these two bands.  I'd like to put both of these bands in front of The Ramones and the Sex Pistols, just because I like Sonic Youth and the Pixies better than I like The Ramones or the Sex Pistols, but in all honesty and fairness, I wonder if we would have had Sonic Youth and the Pixies without The Ramones or the Sex Pistols.

9. Black Sabbath:  The only rock that used to matter was metal, and Sabbath forged it out of what Zeppelin was doing with Beatles/Stones rock and roll.  Now there's this kind of nu-metal **** that all the kids love, which has taken the grungy edge of alternative rock and fused it with the dumbness of glam metal, but all of that can be traced back to Sabbath.  But don't hold that against Sabbath, without whom we wouldn't have acts like Tool.

[Sidenote:  Where the hell is good metal?  And by good, I don't necessarily mean fast stuff like Slayer or whatever.  I don't like poppy metal either, and I hate the rap/rock hybrid nu-metal garbage (which doesn't include Rage Against the Machine, but does include pretty much everything else out there, like **** messiahs Linkin Park).  I guess what I'm saying is this:  Tool is my favorite band in the whole world.  They do stuff that blows me away thematically and sonically.  Where can a Tool fan, who loves Tool but doesn't like A Perfect Circle or Cradle of Filth or any of their clones, find something to hit the spot in between Tool efforts?  And I don't mean hard rock like Local H or At the Drive-In, both of whom I like a lot for what they are...but I want something metallic and blistering loud and rock and scary.

Any suggestions?  Thanks in advance.]

10. Nirvana: By closing the door on hair metal and bringing meaningful rock back into the mainstream, these guys not only caused the explosion of "grunge" (although admittedly they didn't "invent" it), Nirvana changed the face of rock and roll forever.  To be fair on this one, though, I'd have to say that Jane's Addiction is to Nirvana what Iggy and the Stooges are to The Ramones and the Sex Pistols.

Pink Floyd doesn't fit in anywhere, but I love them.

I really don't like U2, but I recognize that they're a very good rock band.  But they have inspired absolute ****.  I blame U2 for Matchbox Twenty and Vertical Horizon and all that crap, so even though I will admit that U2 are talented, I hate them.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2004, 07:19 PM by Sprry75 »
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Offline Darby

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Re: Top 10 Rock Bands of ALL Time
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2004, 03:14 PM »
I'll repsectfully disagree with you on U2.  They inspired a whole generation of bands: The Sundays, Radiohead, James, Travis, Coldplay, I could go on.   Vertial Horizon?!   :)