- The Big Picture - http://www.ritholtz.com/blog -

Who is the Greatest American Band? Your Updated List

Posted By Barry Ritholtz On January 11, 2013 @ 6:00 pm In Music | Comments Disabled

Last week, I resurrected a post that asked the question “Who Is Greatest American Rock and Roll Band? [1]

The parameters were that these were US groups, not solo artists, and they were rock & rollers.

Our admittedly random selection criteria:

1) Body of Work (recorded catalogue);
2) Influence on other musicians and song writers;
3) Live performance.

If we were looser in this rule, than Bruce Springsteen & the East Street Band would have topped all of the lists. By group, I mean a band that has a certain magic that occurs when the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Think how Lennon/McCartney or Jagger/Richards produce more great work together than apart.

Taking a summary of the comments, I put together a new top 10 list — it was 20 bands long.

Top 10 American Rock & Roll bands (a list of 20)

1. The Doors
2. R.E.M.
3. Creedence Clearwater Revival
4. Eagles
5. Grateful Dead
6. Talking Heads
7. Beach Boys
8. Red Hot Chili Peppers
9. Boston
10. Nirvana
11. Allman Brothers
12. Pearl Jam
13. Van Halen
14. Steely Dan
15. Ramones
16. Aerosmith
17. Doobie Bros
18. Guns N Roses
19. Metallica
20. Kiss

Note this is not my list — I would replace Metallica with any of the Honorable Mentions — but rather, reflects what I pulled together from your comments.  Subjectively it would be easy to swap out 5 or more names from groups 11-20 with any members of the honorable mentions below . . .



There’s much more after the jump . . .

Honorable Mention
The Black Keys
The Cars
Green Day
Velvet Underground
ZZ Top
The Black Crowes
The Replacements
Lynyrd Skynyrd
Bon Jovi
Blue Oyster Cult
Crosby Stills Nash & Young
Cheap Trick
The Roots
Grand Funk Railroad
Buffalo Springfield
REO Speedwagon
They Might Be Giants



Old School
Three Dog Night
Blood, Sweat, & Tears
Everly Brothers
The Ventures
The 4 Seasons
The Isley Brothers
The Turtles
The Supremes
Parliament Funkadelics
Sly & the Family Stone
The Temptations
Jefferson Airplane
Mamas and the Papas


Not Really Rock
Beastie Boys
Crosby Stills & Nash (without Young)
Simon & Garfunkel


The Band
Bachman Turner Overdrive
Barenaked Ladies
Neil Young
Guess Who


Not a “group”
Bruce Springsteen & the East Street Band
Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention)
The Jimi Hendrix Experience,
Stevie Ray Vaughn Double Trouble
Steve Miller Band
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Bill Haley and the Comets
Buddy Holly and the Crickets
Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band
Montrose (the eponymous ’73 album)
Edgar Winter Band
Tommy James and the Shondells
Iggy and the Stooges
Booker T & The MG’s
Patti Smith Band


Best of the rest
Hot Tuna
Little Feat
Molly Hatchet
Jane’s Addiction
Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band
Sonic Youth
The Flying Burrito Brothers77
Foo Fighters
Smashing Pumpkins
Husker Du
Dinosaur Jr.
Black Flag
Motley Crue
Moby Grape
White Stripes
Rage Against the Machine
Alice in Chains
Sonic Youth
The Pixies
Queens of the Stone Age
Dave Matthews Band

Article printed from The Big Picture: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog

URL to article: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2013/01/who-is-the-greatest-american-band-your-updated-list/

URLs in this post:

[1] Who Is Greatest American Rock and Roll Band?: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2013/01/greatest-american-rock-and-roll-band/

Copyright © 2008 The Big Picture. All rights reserved.