Saturday, January 15, 2011

What is the Greatest Rock and Roll Band of All Time?

Doug: Wow. So many great ones to choose from here. I think we should consider the entire gamut of a band's personna -- music, lyrics, personalities, longevity, influence, and as perhaps a tie-breaker you can go with where a particular band scores on your personal love-o-meter.

Doug: How about the obvious choices? The Beatles. The Rolling Stones. But what of Led Zeppelin? The Jimi Hendrix Experience? Black Sabbath? Van Halen? The Doors? Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young? The Beach Boys? Journey? Rush? AC/DC? The Bee Gees? Chicago? The Who? U2?

Have fun!


MOCK! said...

The Beatles.

And on the personal front, they got me through some tough times. I have such blinders on when it comes to them, I can't consider anyone else...but am eager to read everyone else's choices...

Anonymous said...

Pick one? Seriously? Next you'll ask me to pick a favorite comic or artist or writer?

What kind of mood am I in?

Porcupine Tree? Marillion? Genesis? Yes? Velvet Underground?

The Stones? The Beatles? The Who?

Impossible to pick.

Edo Bosnar said...

Seriously, I'm with Eric. This cannot be answered seriously (by the way, Eric, you forgot the Monkees and Manfred Mann's Earth Band. See what I mean about serious?) However, given the focus of this blog, I can say this: if you asked me this question right smack dab in the middle of the Bronze Age, around 1975/76, when I was about 7 years old, my immediate answer would have been, without a hint of snark or irony, the Bay City Rollers.

Doug said...

Chickens. :)

S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y, Night! Truly, the first catchy tune I can recall. So for a brief period, yeah -- the Bay City Rollers were pretty dominant in my youthful ears.

OK, Edo -- I'll go with my Bronze Age focus and I'll unequivocally say "the hottest band in the land, KISS!" Yep, they were my favorite for many, many years. I still have over 30 cuts on my iTouch. And it wasn't until I was in college that I figured out that they were no more talented than the garage band down the street. But that showmanship...

I have a growing appreciation for Led Zeppelin, so I think I'll offer them up as a quite serious nominee for the title none of you want to bestow. If you were a listener who'd never been exposed to the blues, or psychedelia, or hard guitar riffs, or power ballads, or catchy pop/rock, then you'd find all of that in Zeppelin. So for all-encompassing music with thoughtful lyrics and enduring musical importance, I'm going to push them forth.

Thanks for the conversation,


Anonymous said...

I'd say the Stones (the Beatles had so much great music I wouldn't consider "rock n roll"), but I gotta go with Zeppelin. If only the Stones would have quit while they were ahead (80s). The Who as well. Zeppelin ended in such rock star fashion, too, with the death of their very backbone and soul.


Anonymous said...

The Beatles. Without them, you don't have any of the others. They pretty much changed everything when they arrived on the scene.


Edo Bosnar said...

Hey, I liked Kiss for a while (true confession: I also really enjoyed their movie when I first saw it on TV); also had an ELO phase and then, when I got a bit more 'sophisticated,' a Styx phase.
Anyway, to get back to the substance of your post (& so you don't think I'm a smart-alecky threadjacker), I'd like to bring up the Doors. Again, I won't go so far and say they're the absolute greatest of all time, but they're a band whose music I've consistently enjoyed since I first became aware of them at about the tender age of 12 to the present. And I think there's no questioning their influence on succeeding generations of musicians.

Karen said...

"I figured out that they were no more talented than the garage band down the street. But that showmanship..."

Doug, thank you for saying that. I've been saying pretty much the same thing for years, but if I say it to a KISS fan, it usually sends them off on a verbal rampage. I can't deny they've got a few catchy tunes, but without the makeup and explosions, I don't think they ever would've gotten very far.

This forum question is indeed unanswerable. In the past I've picked Zeppelin but there's no way I can discount the Beatles or the Stones. I do think however, that as Starfoxxx noted, the Stones hurt themselves by staying around too long and diluting their catalog with a lot of terrible stuff. Both the Beatles and Zeppelin pretty much went out still at the top of their game.


Joseph said...

My personal favorite is the Who - no contest - with the Clash in a distant second.

But if I am being objective, I have to go with the Beatles. Like Karen and others, I recognize that the Stones were the more rockin' band of their day, but everything after Tattoo You (and some before it) continues to leave a bad taste in my mouth.

If we really are narrowly focusing on ROCK (and discounting anything pop-leaning), then Zeppelin is hard to argue against. Their influence on anything resembling hard rock is obvious and their catalog is devoid of any dud albums.

I realize this all sounds non-committal and political, but this is one heavy question - thanks for posing it!

Fred W. Hill said...

Back in the mid to late '70s, I became a Beatlemaniac. My parents were in the same age range as the Beatles, dad born in '40 (same year as John & Ringo) and mom born on June 18, 1943, exactly a year after Paul and just a few months after George, but their musical tastes were either country or very easy listening pop -- they had several Jim Nabors' albums but no Beatles or other rock music. Moreover, I was the eldest of three brothers in a Navy family that moved around quite a bit, so no one got me into the music of the '60s save for the DJ's of my favorite radio stations who played a lot of those great classics. The Rolling Stones & The Who completed my "holy trinity" of rock, and the somewhat lesser trinity was the Doors, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, although later, in my early 20s, I grew to love the music of the Kinks, and my musical tastes did expand to include more recent music, including punk & new wave. Still, because they had such a broad palate, and, admittedly, a bit of sentimental attachment, I still regard the Beatles as my favorite "rock" band. I still love the Stones & the Who too, although I'm not such a devoted fan that I've bought much of their new material over the last 30 years. I regard Pete Townshend's Empty Glass as one of his greatest works and I like the Stones' Steel Wheels, but those were a couple of last gasps of greatness from them.

Horace said...

I'm with Joseph.

The Who.

Related Posts with Thumbnails