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avalmez's avatar

What band do you think was the best f***ing rock band so far?

Asked by avalmez (1614points) June 24th, 2009

i’m watching the movie The Doors on cable right now and am wondering what the rest of you think is the best rock band in history so far. the beatles were great. the doors were certainly great. pink floyd ranks up there. and when it comes to american versus british groups, many challengers. who do you vote for when it comes to usa bands versus the rest of the world? who got rock and roll the best?

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92 Answers

DeanV's avatar

The Who. Defined power trio. Or Queen. Or Pink Floyd. Or Joy Division. Or The Beatles. Or The Eagles. Or The Clash.

Well, shit. I really don’t know. My opinion is the Who, just because all of them are incredibly talented musicians. Although they kinda sucked without Keith Moon… That complicates things.

Maybe Pink Floyd.

Fuck, this is why these questions never get anywhere…

I personally think the Beatles have them all beat, but this will just lead to controversy.

applesaucemanny's avatar

I don’t know man, the beatles are the best hands down

avalmez's avatar

what about a band the rest of us might not think as being a really great rock band that you think made a great difference?

DeanV's avatar

@avalmez Dire Straights. They have a great and unique sound.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

The Who, without a doubt. As for American bands, none really come to mind. There are some I really like, but they can’t hold a candle to the British Invasion. Maybe the Eagles. Greatest American musician is Frank Zappa. Greatest American drummer is Kenny Aronoff. Might as well ask who is the best jazz musician.

Tink's avatar

The Beatles Damn jellies, again I am slow!!

avalmez's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra your response is really interesting in that rock was born in the usa. ccr doesnt even come to mind?

tinyfaery's avatar

For straight-up rock & roll I’d say Led Zeppelin. I just prefer rock, in all of it’s forms, from across the pond.

Bluefreedom's avatar

This is such a hard question to answer because there is and was such a large bunch of excellent rock bands with so many diverse styles and sounds.

A few that immediately spring to mind:

Pink Floyd
Fleetwood Mac
Doobie Brothers
Electric Light Orchestra
The Eagles
The Rolling Stones
The Who
Steely Dan
The Beatles
The Doors
Van Halen
CCR (thanks @avalmez)
ZZ Top

avalmez's avatar

@tinyfaery led zep is really derivative music…good as it may have been (and i burned many a brain cell listening to led zep), not at all original

whatthefluther's avatar

@dverhey…A great list , as usual, kid. I’d also put the Animals, the Rolling Stones and the Kinks and Led Zeppelin on your list of UK bands. But only one American band, the Eagles? In comparison to the UK bands, the USA falls way short. The Doors are up there but were on the scene very briefly compared to all the others. Journey, Van Halen, don’t compare. Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden fall short. Overall however, its the Beatles without a doubt.

whatthefluther's avatar

How about R.E.M. for an American band? Or maybe RHCP?

aprilsimnel's avatar

I was just coming here to say The Kinks! The Beatles are my favourite, but The Kinks got that hard sound out there first.

Then I’d have to say, in terms of influence, The Velvet Underground and The Byrds. Not everyone listened to VU, but, yes, the ones who did all went and started bands. And not one alt-country band today would be what they are without The Byrds (and to a smaller extent Mike Nesmith)

avalmez's avatar

@whatthefluther when it comes to pop, i’d agree with you…on both sides of the pond. but when it comes to the original sound and rhythm of rock…pure american…pure down south blues…everything after is derivative.

whatthefluther's avatar

@avalmez….Pure down south blues, you’re talking? Like Allman Bros or Lynyrd Skynyrd?

avalmez's avatar

@whatthefluther no no bro…gotta go to the 5th ward in houston…the quarter in new orleans…kansas city…u know?

lillycoyote's avatar

I really won’t say who’s the best but since no one’s mentioned them yet I put in a vote for both The Band and for Little Feat (edit: Little Feat with Lowell George). And while I’m at it, The Neville Brothers (that includes The Meters)

avalmez's avatar

@lillycoyote good suggestions

whatthefluther's avatar

@avalmez….The genres are wide and varied here, if you prescribe to such definitions. I’m not sure what you have in mind. Stevie Ray Vaughn, perhaps (my choice, best guitarist, ever)?.

knitfroggy's avatar

Queen and The Doors

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

Led Zeppelin is the most over-rated band in the world. They stole most of their songs from blues musicians.

avalmez's avatar

@whatthefluther i would agree with stevie ray. the reason i posed the q however is because there has been much fan fare made lately about rock being an innovation from across the pond. musicians from across the world have advanced rock and jazz, but the origins and i believe best practitioners remain at the source.

whatthefluther's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra….The Rolling Stones and several others are similarly guilty, although not to the same extent as Led Zep.

whatthefluther's avatar

@avalmez…Chuck Berry and several others created the sound meshing a lot of blues with some country, and a lot of the UK bands list the early rockers as inspiration, but rock/pop exploded with the UK bands. They took it to the next step and you have to give them credit for it.

AstroChuck's avatar


applesaucemanny's avatar

@AstroChuck that’s what I said!
woop! Beatles FTW!

avalmez's avatar

@whatthefluther i do not deny the credit uk bands deserve. i’m a huge pink floyd fan. i enjoy eric clapton as much as anyone else. but recently, european bands do seem to be laying more claim to originality then they deserve.

avalmez's avatar

btw, the f-ing beatles and pink floyd both have very original, non-american rock sounds owing to their cultural background as post wwii musicians

Alleycat8782's avatar

I am shocked that nobody has mentioned the great Aerosmith!

rooeytoo's avatar

I vote Rolling STones and CCR! I love to listen to them when I run, their music ENERGIZES me.

dreamy_dave's avatar

I’ll tell you who’s not. Nickleback they suck big time. Always wanted to voice that opinion.

Lightlyseared's avatar

That I have seen live Queen (at live aid) and the Rolling Stones.

dalepetrie's avatar

Best is way too subjective of a term to ever come up with a definitive answer. The closest you will ever come to a consensus (or even a quorum) on this question will be the Beatles. The reason for that is, like them or not, they practically invented most everything in rock and roll as we know it today. Before them, bands didn’t even write their own material and the majority of rock and roll was formulaic, based solely on what had worked in the past. What the Beatles managed to do was to work collaboratively to create new approaches to songwriting and tunesmanship. They were able to figure out the basic “hook” of popular songwriting…that sound which just grabs a mass audience and won’t let go, but to take that hook an interpret it in a way that hadn’t really been thought of before, so that the sound had more of an edge to it, they gave rock and roll teeth essentially. And once they created one sound, they did not stick with the formula…with each album they branched out a little bit more and created this catalogue of brilliant pop music with a harder edge which utilized elements which had been around forever like melody and harmony, but gave it a unique polish which had really never been seen before. They became the band that everyone had to sound like, but as soon as someone would copy their sound, they would change it up. Then in the mid 60s, they began “opening their minds” with hallucinogenic drugs, eastern philosophy, and perhaps most importantly, via a meeting with Bob Dylan who told them that they were great and unique and irreplacable, but that they didn’t say a goddamn thing. After that, their music began to take on depths that no popular music had done before, it began to carry some importance, some gravity, and the experimentation with sounds went off the charts. Each album was not, as it had been in the early 60s, a slightly new take on their previous theme, but a complete reinvention, a milestone in musical evolution. Basically they paved the way for the hippie/love era, they paved the way for the bombastic metal, they paved the way for the alternative music of today. In just about any music that exists you can hear if not a direct Beatles influence, then an indirect influence, via a clear influence of someone who WAS influenced by the Beatles. If the Beatles hadn’t come along, rock and roll would NOT be anything like it is today. So, as I define “best”, I have to look towards “influential” as my criteria, and I have to say the Beatles is the only answer that actually makes any sense to this question.

Now, two more times in rock and roll history I feel a band has cast a shadow ALMOST as large as the Beatles, but neither quite managed to do what they did. First was Black Sabbath, who themselves wanted to BE the Beatles circa 1966. They essentially put the heavy in heavy metal…no band was as heavy, as dark, as bombastic as they were. Think about 1969, you usually think about hippie dippie Crosby Stills and Nash kind of folky c’mon people now, smile on your brother kinda music. But Sabbath was putting out music that sounded like Satan himself had written it…this music just came out of left field and defined the entire metal culture. Some mention Zeppelin as heavy metal pioneers, but really what Zeppelin contributed in the long run was three things…one was taking what was old and making it new…most of their early inspiration came from old school rhythm & blues, two was guitar virtuousity, and three was the falsetto that would a decade and a half later become the staple for hair metal, a really poppy offshoot of what Sabbath started.

Not until Nirvana did we have another band that really shook the very foundations of rock and roll, and just like everyone before them, they did it by taking old ideas and making them new, building upon them. From the late 70s until the late 80s, rock music branched off in a number of different directions, and much of what was put out there really had no pop connection, there was no hook, nothing to connect to a mass audience, and that music went underground. Kurt Cobain was an afficianado of so much of this music which really was groundbreaking and extraordinarily unique, the culmination of years of people thinking outside the box, and he took those ideas and crafted them with a real songwriter’s sensibility, making them (much of which was considered “punk”) far more accessible to a casual listener. Their legacy could have possibly ended up being greater than that of the Beatles had they lasted more than 4 albums, but each album was a sea change from the last, much like what the Beatles accomplished (and really no one else of any import) in the 2nd half of THEIR career. Nirvana expanded creativity to the mainstream which was stuck in the doldrums, listening to the same recycled music they’d been listening to forever.

Each of those three bands changed the collective musical sensibilities of the youth culture and cast a shadow that will be felt no matter how long rock and roll lives. But the Beatles were the first, the longest lived, the most widely varied and cast the greatest and longest lasting influence.

Now, if you want to use a different criteria for best rock and roll band ever, I have one other I can suggest. Rock and roll music is essentially at it’s core about sex, about animalistic rhythms, driving beats, just balls out good times, party music that makes you feel like beating up midgets. what do you mean, that’s just me? Seriously though, it’s just about an unrelenting assault on your senses that is simultaneously energizing, familiar and with which one is compelled to sing/dance along. It’s about partying hard and feeling alive. For my money, no one has as consistently for as long been true to that definition of rock and roll as AC/DC. They are an unapologetic rock and roll band…they’re songs don’t say anything and they don’t give a shit. You put on Back in Black and it’s impossible to sit still.

There’s my 2 cents (or in my case, buck fifty).

mrwhoopie's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra Rock and roll itself is born from blues and country. True Zepplin reworked old blues songs as did the Stones and Cream but in doing that they introduced alot of blues to the little white kids that had never heard it.They also along with Black Sabbath CREATED Heavy Metal.

mrwhoopie's avatar

Altho some might say they were a little “soft” The Beach Boys are a true Americana Band that created a lot of classic songs even being an inspiration on the Beatles ( Who by the way are by far the best)

Jack79's avatar

Personally if I had to pick just one, I’d go for the Dire Straits.

But I’ll concede that this is just my personal opinion, and, depending on taste, others have every right to insist on Deep Purple, Queen or the Rolling Stones. There’s maybe 10 bands or so (Doors included) that are simply enormous, and it’s so hard to compare them.

and personally I wouldn’t inlcude Pink Floyd in those 10, ok maybe 10th due to their popularity

Bobbydavid's avatar

Define rock band? A lot of answers are just bands in general which then means too many genres making the question nonsensical to me. Of it’s rock then led zep maybe or even the stones

sandystrachan's avatar

Anal Cunt and Alestorm.

pezz's avatar

The term “Rock” needs to be defined. Queen started as rock but sadly progressed to pop. CCR are/were awesome, however are they “Rock”? What about the Rolling Stones?

cookieman's avatar

Noting how subjective this is:

5) Pearl Jam
4) Van Halen
3) Queen
2) Led Zepplin
1) The Who

And in a class by themselves…
The Beatles

Bobbilynn's avatar

Tool! I love em’

nayeight's avatar

I don’t know as much about rock or anything else but I’ve always loved RHCP. I kinda grew up to them so they have a special place in my heart, haha.

RareDenver's avatar

Can’t believe this band has only had one mention and that this band hasn’t even been mentioned!

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

Well, I still think the Who is the best band ever, second only to the Beatles. Pete Townshed was more than a simple guitarist. He wrote 95% of all the songs they ever did, not counting the cover songs he did in the bands before TW. He was a music originator, doing things with synthesizers and other ‘new’ musical devices long efore anyone else. The man is a legend, and not even the foul sensationalist dogs in the press can take that away from him

Like Michael Jackson, he created things that other people soon copied. This is a very subjective question, I agree, because the definition of the rock music GENRE is hard to pin down. Once rap and hip hop became popular, the line blurred even more. A lot of what passes for rock nowadays I don’t consider rock music at all. Emo rock isn’t rock, it’s just lame. The song Epic by Faith No More is a rock song, but the rapping influence is clearly heard. I don’t define rap and hip hop as rock, even though the musical influence goes both ways.

Defining rock is like defining jazz. I love jazz music, but only certain artists. Most vocal jazz I can’t abide, but it’s still jazz. For me, instrumental jazz is best. That’s my opinion, and opinions are only worth so much. But this is a great question, and very telling about what people like and don’t like.

Bri_L's avatar

Led Zepplan

DeanV's avatar

Somebody above said Dire Straits too. I definitely agree with that. They brought a combination of Dylan-esque songwriting and Clapton-esque guitar to the table. Personally, I think that because they seemed to take both of those similar styles and do them so much better then the other 2, that seems to put them ahead in my book. They also brought their style out of the punk era and still sold it to the masses. They brought jazz, county, blues, and some prog-rock all into one sound.

And the people that said U2. I don’t know about that. I like U2 a lot, they are all excellent musicians, but I just don’t think you can put them on the same list as The Beatles and The Who. They are a great band, but I think they are also overrated.

The Beatles could still be considered on of the best bands ever just because of all of the separate members solo albums. Because each band member went on to have a fairly successful solo career after the Beatles, that says a lot about all of their combined ability to write songs. I mean, even Ringo Starr has a fairly successful album.

I think it’s more of a fight for second place.

Clair's avatar

Ahh, it appears we have the same taste in music.
Great movie by the way, but keep in mind, it’s a movie, not a biography.
I can’t pick one, but a tie of four will do.
The Doors, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones.
As for the best rocker, Jim Morrison, without a doubt. Even though he was a better poet than he was a rock star.
Everybody in the Stones has said many times that they were just in it for the money so that leaves them out. Led Zep…ehh. and The Beatles were fifty places at once to me. To win my heart, you have to put in all or nothing. Jim is my all time hero. I’ve never been so obsessed with music until him.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

first off I just want to say that U2 is hands down the most overrated band on the planet…

“oh a new album you say? sounds just like the other fucking 100 you pumped out? awesome…

as far as Rock and Roll Goes.
I’d have to say the Likes of Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Metallica, Pearl Jam, The Jimi Hendrix Experience(who if not for his early demise, probably would have had the most prolific career among all of them) Pink Floyd or perhaps the Doors.

DeanV's avatar

@ABoyNamedBoobs03 Funny, their new album doesn’t sound like much they’ve ever done and most people hate it…

aprilsimnel's avatar

Oh, wait, the best f****ing rock band? I don’t know. I haven’t slept with any. Ask Pamela Des Barres or Cynthia Plaster Caster!

Jude's avatar

The Beatles, Floyd, and The Who would be at the top, for sure It’s true, though, overall, US rock bands pale in comparison to Brit bands, IMO.

gooch's avatar

You guys forgot about the original, the king Elvis Prestley & Taking Care of Business Band

Clair's avatar

@gooch No I didn’t. Unfortunately.

Bri_L's avatar

U2’s albums don’t sound the same unless you happen not to like them. I think they probably do then.

Clair's avatar

@Bri_L I agree with the AC/DC. But come on, Pink Floyd and Metallica and sin of all sins, The Doors?! God will strike you down for that. The Doors have a pretty nice range.

DeanV's avatar

@Bri_L I like U2. Lots sound the same to me, though. They are an excellent band, I just don’t think they could be in the running for “Best F***ing Rock Band”. There are plenty of more accomplished bands out there. That’s just my opinion, though.

lloydbird's avatar

” f***ing rock band….” in what way?

cookieman's avatar

my brief and fleeting unofficial tally puts the Beatles and the Who out in front, by the by.

boffin's avatar

…the best f***ing rock band…
Yes and Porcupine Tree
to that list…

avalmez's avatar

@boffin Yes, our course. And Canned Heat?

filmfann's avatar

duh, The Beatles.

They changed music. They created and mastered many forms of music. Many bands refuse to cover their songs, because it’s impossible to do them better.

I could go on and on, but then I would just look like dalepetrie.

mrwhoopie's avatar

@filmfann short answer but right on! Those that didn’t live thru that period in music have no idea of the influence they had on EVERYTHING to us yougsters at the time.

dalepetrie's avatar

@filmfann – and who the FUCK would want that?

no offense taken by the way, I’m proud of my prolific verbal proclivities

And besides, there’s enough ACTUAL me to go around.

Bri_L's avatar

@Clair – I agree with you actually. It was more a point I was making. I think there is a difference that needs to be made between genre and style and churning out duplicate albums.

And I am sorry. The Doors should not be any where on this list.

Clair's avatar

@Bri_L I totally agree with all the other bands. And The Doors thing is a personal preference. I think although I put The Doors on my list, The Beatles or The Stones should win best rock band ever. The Doors is just my favorite, doesn’t necessarily mean best. I was being overzealous. Ok, you got me.
That being said, I think everyone should stop and consider that…what ever band may be your favorite may not be deserving of this title…
The Beatles have been so influencial to music all over the world. Everyone has heard at least one of their songs and know something about them.
The Stones…wtf…The Stones…They are the ugliest people next to Steven Tyler and rock with leather suits on while sweating like pigs. And they’re in it for the money..Which if you think about it is very American and where did rock start?..America!

Bri_L's avatar

@Clair – Good points. And by them I concede that U2 is to new to really have had a historic effect the way the others have.

filmfann's avatar

I love the Doors. They are great through speakers, but you’d be amazed how bad they sound on headphones.

lloydbird's avatar

Did anyone mention RUSH!!!!!!!

lloydbird's avatar

@Clair Well at least you just did.

fathippo's avatar

er for me, the best are nirvana and korn
but i guess that doesnt count for anything based on stuff other than just what i love kinda thing

Aethelwine's avatar

Bo Diddley known as “The Originator” because of his key role in the transition from blues music to rock & roll, influencing a host of legendary acts including Buddy Holly, Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton

lloydbird's avatar

Boston,Simple Minds, Thin Lizzy, Yes, ZZ Top, Marillion, Genesis, Talking Heads, Bauhaus, Japan, Santana, Bill Haley and the Comets, Weezer, Queens of the Stone Age…....................

RareDenver's avatar


I’ll give you Talking Heads, Queens of the Stone Age and maybe Weezer and Bill Haley but the rest? Oh dear.

lloydbird's avatar

@RareDenver What,even Thin Lizzy???

tiffyandthewall's avatar

questions like this make me feel obligated to scoff at all music made post-1970.
adhering to those standards, viva la beatles!

filmfann's avatar

viva la Beatles!

RareDenver's avatar


I was never a big fan but I did love the work that Phil Lynott did in Jeff Wayne’s musical version of War of the Worlds

lloydbird's avatar

@RareDenver I’m proud to be able to say that I saw them live on two occasions and they were awesome! Their ‘Live and Dangerous” album is a classic and well worth a listen.

SABOTEUR's avatar

Hard to beat the Rolling Stones catalogue.

I’ll listen to them all day, everyday.

Irishmar's avatar

I’d have to go with the Who. Having seen them many times in concert, in the late 60’s through the 2006, they do put on one hell o f a show. Grateful Dead close second.

filmfann's avatar

I enjoyed watching the Who doing the Superbowl Halftime show, performing selections from their album “Who’s Left?”

dalepetrie's avatar

@filmfann – I hear that if Roger Daltrey ever leaves the band, Pete Townshend’s just gonna change the name to “What?”

Greatest thing about a Who concert these days is when Pete screams, “I can’t hear you,” you really believe him.

novemberrain's avatar


filmfann's avatar

Guns n roses sucks the sweat off a dead man’s balls. They’re heinous.

novemberrain's avatar

WHAT? Oh well, everyone is entitled to their own opinion…. I guess :P

jazmina88's avatar

music is such a congregation of the past and of different genres.It’s so hard to narrow it down. so many listed here. u2, heads, led, beatles, the dead, phish, blues

Music is an emotional expression of the soul. It hard to put it down.

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