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Top 25 Bands

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... according to about.com

1. The Beatles

Essential Album: Revolver

With record sales estimated at more than a billion worldwide, no other band had a greater influence on the course of rock music.

2. Pink Floyd

Essential Album: Wish You Were Here

They had one of the flashiest stage shows of any band, but their music gained its most fame being used in movies.

3. The Who

Essential Album: Who's Next

One of the first, most successful, and longest lasting "power trios," this group was innovative both musically and technically.

4. Rolling Stones

Essential Album: Sticky Fingers

The original "bad boys" of rock, they are among the most durable bands, recording and touring with few breaks since they began in 1961.

5. Led Zeppelin

Essential Album: Led Zeppelin IV

Their Stairway To Heaven is believed to have received more radio airplay than any other song in history, even though it was never released as a single.

6. Eagles

Essential Album: Their Greatest Hits

Another of rock's longest-lasting acts, their 1976 greatest hits album is the biggest selling album of all time.

7. Grateful Dead

Essential Album: Anthem Of The Sun

One of San Francisco's first "flower power" bands, their fan following is nearly as strong today as it was when the group disbanded in 1995.

8. Jefferson Airplane / Jefferson Starship

Essential Album: While Bathing At Baxter's

Pioneers of the Psychedelic Rock genre, they were in the vanguard of the counter-culture of the '60s and '70s.

9. The Doors

Essential Album: The Doors

In spite of a short life and limited discography, they became one of rock's most popular and influential groups.

10. Moody Blues

Essential Album: Days Of Future Passed

With the exception of a few years in the mid-70s, this progressive/psychedelic group has toured and recorded since 1964.

11. Fleetwood Mac

Essential Album: Rumours

After numerous personnel and musical style changes, their 1977 Rumours album is still among the top ten best selling albums ever.

12. AC/DC

Essential Album: Back In Black

This pioneering hard rock/heavy metal group has sold an estimated 100-million albums worldwide.

13. Boston

Essential Album: Boston

When their first album was released in 1976, it was the highest grossing debut album ever seen up until that time.

14. Cream

Essential Album: Wheels Of Fire

The group existed for less than three years but staked its place as one of the first and most enduringly popular of rock's "power trios."

15. Def Leppard

Essential Album: Hysteria

Futuristic instrumentation and vocal harmonies have kept them near the top of the all-time best selling album lists for a quarter of a century.

16. The Byrds

Essential Album: The Byrds' Greatest Hits

Aomng the pioneers of Folk Rock, their popularity in the mid-60s rivaled that of the Beatles.

17. Aerosmith

Essential Album: Toys In The Attic

Originally written off as Rolling Stones imitators, the group has consistently produced multi-million-selling albums for 30+ years.

18. Santana

Essential Album: Abraxas

This groundbreaking Latin Rock group timed the release of its first album to coincide with a highly successful performance at Woodstock in 1969.

19. Blood Sweat & Tears

Essential Album: Blood Sweat & Tears

Virtually a small orchestra, this group established a milestone in rock history with its large horn section and jazz-blues orientation.

20. Van Halen

Essential Album: 1984

One of the most innovative and influential heavy metal groups of the late '70s, the group continues to perform some 30+ years after its inception.

21. ZZ Top

Essential Album: The Best Of ZZ Top

The self-proclaimed "little ol' band from Texas" was one of the earliest influences in Southern Rock, and continues so, three decades later.

22. U2

Essential Album: The Joshua Tree

Ireland's best known rockers have been a successful fixture on album charts and in concert venues since their formation in 1976.

23. Allman Brothers

Essential Album: Eat A Peach

The success of their unique fusion of hard rock, blues, jazz, and classical music has secured this group's immortality.

24. Journey

Essential Album: Greatest Hits

Its jazz-flavored progressive rock sound has been a fixture in the rock scene since 1973.

25. Traffic

Essential Album: John Barleycorn Must Die

This group had far greater success with albums than with singles, and thrived in spite of numerous personnel changes and long breaks.

Interesting list...

Here's my top ten.

1. The Marshall Tucker Band

2. Jethro Tull

3. Bob Dylan

4. Pink Floyd

5. The Outlaws

6. The Charlie Daniels Band

7. The Ozark Mountain Daredevils

8. Crosby, Stills, & Nash

9. Buffalo Springfield

10. Poco

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... 3. The Who

Essential Album: Who's Next

One of the first, most successful, and longest lasting "power trios," this group was innovative both musically and technically.

:rockon: :rockon: :rockon: :rockon: :rockon:

Yes yes yes!! I'll write a fan letter to about.com right now.

:rockon: :rockon: :rockon: :rockon: :rockon: :rockon:

I'm only a bit frustrated about the power trio.

Good list! Didn't expect to see Blood Sweat and Tears on there, though.

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This is a boring list. Who here hasn't heard these bands or even owns all their back-catalogue? There should be a published list out there of "The Best 25 Bands You Have Ignored Or Have Not Heard."

Hmph. Looks like I found something in vein to what I'm referring to:

http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/article/feature/36736/Top_100_Albums_of_the_1980s

If you can get past the indie dilettantes, there's some good stuff included in there.

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I don't know the source (about.com... are they a search engine or something?), so I don't know what to expect. This is actually more like "top 25 Rock Bands" and they didn't include anyone from the 90s... as if time stopped at 1982 (ironically, they did not include Elvis Presley, so the 50s are a total blank as well).

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Elvis Presley is not a band.

I don't think the source matters. This is your average Top whatever band list. Move some bands up and down a bit, but 90% of them will always be present, and more contemporary bands are seldom included. Which isn't a bad thing, in my eyes.

Of course if you've got a list by a magazine like New Musical Express, they'll have Arctic Monkeys and the Strokes and such in their top ten, but that's something different again.

Edited by Guest

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This actually one of the better and I think more accurate lists that I have ever seen. Although I personally think the Beatles are not #1, but there is no denying their influence on rock. U2 should be higher, but I am glad that The Who and Pink Floyd are ahead of the Rolling Stones (who I dislike) and Led Zepplin (who just don't rank high on my list, even though I like them). This is also one of the first lists that give the Grateful Dead the credit they deserve, because they are normally ignored on most lists I've seen. I am also suprised (and glad) the Moody Blues show up on the list at all, especially that high. This is definentaly a pretty radical and unconventional list, but I like it.

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Yeah, that's what I think too. Some surprises, but good ones, and similar to what I would have said/written. I don't like that Led Zeppelin are so high on most lists (like some of their stuff, but they're very definitely overrated), so I'm happy about their rank.

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The source does matter. As you stated, "If it was this-or-that" music magazine, the list would be different. If it was pitchfork media, I'd expect to not have heard almost half the junk they list. If it was Rolling Stone magazine, I'd expect it to be about Rock. If it was Blender, they include some new bands and artists, etc. The fact this list omits artists just because they don't belong to a band makes the list even more boring: No Elvis, No Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Bryan Ferry, Billy Joel (i.e. artists who would certainly make a general top list of top 40 Pop Rock). And where are the womyns? No Blondie, Garbage, and The Pretenders? This is why it's a boring list.

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Well, as I said, this is your average list (mostly, I don't want to contradict myself and my earlier post, and let's forget about the source for a moment), so I'm not surprised that there are no women on there. I'm sorry to say that I don't think any womens' band would fit on that list either, but I guess that has to do with my taste in music.

I don't think you can say it's a boring list because there's no artists (solo) on it--it's a band's list.

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Their top five is the same as mine, except in a different order. :)

Also, I have to point something out. If a list like this doesn't contain any bands that you wouldn't expect, then it is supposedly "boring", whereas if it does contain a band that you wouldn't expect, it would be labelled "controversial" or "weird". You just can't please everyone.

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about.com has a section on their website dedicated to classic rock. The only problem with what they have to say is that they are very biased upon popularity and not making decisions according to what music is creative, or influential, or anything that didn't jive well with the corporate world even though it was highly accepted by the general public. They do try to take into account how a group made an impact to the musical scene, but other than that it's pretty much based on popularity. For instance, I feel Jethro Tull should be on that list and bands like ZZ Top and Def Leppard don't belong nearly as high as they are ranked (if you go no the website, you can actually see the top 50). But, it's not my opinion, and I just opened it up for discussion.

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Their top five is the same as mine, except in a different order. :)

Also, I have to point something out. If a list like this doesn't contain any bands that you wouldn't expect, then it is supposedly "boring", whereas if it does contain a band that you wouldn't expect, it would be labelled "controversial" or "weird". You just can't please everyone.

There are plenty of exciting and popular bands that should have made the "top 25": Guns 'N Roses instead of Def Leppard, for instance. Rush instead of something like Boston. Nirvana, even! Easy, easy pickin' there. I wouldn't think of choosing The Pretenders, Blondie, Heart, Garbage, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, et al. as "controversial" in the least - just giving credit where credit is due. It would show some good taste for the popular stuff. By looking at this top 25, it makes me think white noise has more sonic flavour since this list is 25 same flavours for "boring." This list is on cruise control and the speed setting is [boring]. If this list got any more boring it would be used as a general anesthetic. The only way I'd read another "top 25" from about.com would be in terms of the top 25 things I don't want about.com to make a "top 25" list out of.

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There are plenty of exciting and popular bands that should have made the "top 25": Guns 'N Roses instead of Def Leppard, for instance. Rush instead of something like Boston. Nirvana, even! Easy, easy pickin' there. I wouldn't think of choosing The Pretenders, Blondie, Heart, Garbage, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, et al. as "controversial" in the least - just giving credit where credit is due. It would show some good taste for the popular stuff. By looking at this top 25, it makes me think white noise has more sonic flavour since this list is 25 same flavours for "boring." This list is on cruise control and the speed setting is [boring]. If this list got any more boring it would be used as a general anesthetic. The only way I'd read another "top 25" from about.com would be in terms of the top 25 things I don't want about.com to make a "top 25" list out of.

Actually, I would agree with any of the Gunners, Nirvana or Rush being in that top 25. However, I don't personally think these bands are any more exciting than most of the ones in the list - but that's just my opinion.

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This actually one of the better and I think more accurate lists that I have ever seen.

Yes, I agree with you. Not my fave bands but to be fair, it´s not bad. I would add some bands and take away some others but that´s just me, so anyways, it´s a good one.

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This list has a pretty large basis in album sales and innovation. You may think Boston doesn't belong on that list, but their debut album is generally considered a turning point in the music industry. No one ever had a debut album that big before, and I mean that financially as well as sonically, they really pioneered arena rock anthems with that album.

Rush has always been a good band, they're musically talented, they make lots of good music, but honestly, they've never achieved that status of being "huge" like these other bands. Garbage? Please, they've NEVER been that big. They're a radio staple when they have a single, but that's it. Heart? Heart were never pioneers of anything. They had a few good Zeppelin sounding singles in the 70's, and turned into pop "we sound like everyone else now" in the 80's, they don't belong on any list of this kind. The Pretenders, Blondie, Joan Jett, sure, they all sell lots of albums (or did once upon a time) but never with great consistency, they all had their moments to shine, but otherwise were flashes in the pan.

Guns 'n Roses don't belong on that list either because of their own inconsistencies. The bands on this list all put out album after album of not only big selling albums, but also albums that were relevant to the time. Guns 'n Roses did that twice. Appetite and Use Your Illusion. Otherwise they put out dismal material, and were infamous for showing up hours and hours late to concerts, if they even showed, and generally made a mockery of their own careers.

The only band mentioned to not be on there that I can agree with so far in this whole thread is Nirvana. I'm not a huge Nirvana fan, I have Nevermind, and I'm content with that, but it's hard to disagree with the impact they had on music in their short time together.

You have to look at these lists with it in the back of your mind that these aren't necessarily the "greatest" bands, but that they are based on impressions garnered from album and single sales, stamina in the marketplace, influence on newer bands, that sort of thing.

You can say that Led Zeppelin's overrated all you want, but you poll 100 rock bands today and ask them who their influences are, and I guarantee you that 99 of them say Led Zeppelin within 30 seconds. They changed so many things about how rock and roll music was recorded, performed, packaged... Their influence is undeniable.

And now I've typed far too much and need to go read something else. :P

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I also noticed four of those bands have as an "essential album" a "best hits" compilation. That says little about the "consistency" of their actual albums. I'd definitely take out at least half of the bands in this list and place:

- Steely Dan (many times better than anything Santana could muster)

- Roxy Music

- The Velvet Underground

- Queen

- Bon Jovi

- T. Rex

- Metallica

- Rush

- Blondie

- The Cars (or Cheap Trick)

- The Ramones

Edited by Guest
delete Hanoi Rocks from the list

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I also noticed four of those bands have as an "essential album" a "best hits" compilation. That says little about the "consistency" of their actual albums.

I don't agree with that statement at all. I didn't look to see which bands you were referencing (which may be a key thing :)), but anybody could have a greatest hits album. The Beatles have tons, but you can't really argue against the consistency of any of their albums (especially Rubber Soul and those that followed). A band could have 10 great albums, but you could easily pick one or two highlights from each to make such a compilation.

Sure, little thought is put into making most of these compilations (other than the fact that the production is ridiculously cheap compared to a new album), but I'm just nitpicking. :)

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Yes, but in a top list of anything, if you want to refer to consistency of output the last thing you want to do is place a compilation of their work to say they're consistent. For all we know, the best hits compilation compiles the hit singles and leaves off the filler material they don't want to talk about.

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