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Thread: The Top 50 American Rock Bands of All Time acording to Gibson.com

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    Work in Progress Ed Goist's Avatar
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    Default The Top 50 American Rock Bands of All Time acording to Gibson.com

    The Top 50 American Rock Bands of All Time according to Gibson.com. This should be controversial and fun to discuss.

    34 American rock bands better than Talking Heads and 29 better than ZZ Top? Really?

    MC: The Grateful Dead at 21...and I'm guessing REM is in the top 10, maybe top 5.
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    Default Re: The Top 50 American Rock Bands of All Time acording to Gibson

    I'm assuming the Black Keys are in the top 20 since they aren't on the list yet.

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    Registered User Jim Ferguson's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Top 50 American Rock Bands of All Time acording to Gibson

    I agree Ed.......29 U.S. Rock bands BETTER than ZZ Top???? Give me a break!!!!! I don't think so!!!!! The top 20 should be very interesting. No doubt there will be your Aerosmith, Van Halen, Fleetwood Mac, Kansas, plus the other usual suspects.
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    man about town Markus's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Top 50 American Rock Bands of All Time acording to Gibson

    These lists get interesting when you can confirm who was left off. When I saw Kings of Leon and Mountain on there ... I started to wonder about who they are bumping off the list.

    There are some good less over-hyped people on the list ... it certainly wasn't totally predictable, a good thing.

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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Top 50 American Rock Bands of All Time acording to Gibson

    Getting ahead of ourselves here ... These lists usually suck because they don't agree with my tastes. And their criteria always comes into question; they avoided that altogether here. And it always seems the issues of exclusion and inclusion are paramount. Also, the differing factors of recorded output and live performance, plus how much effect a band has on its peers and also later bands, plus longevity and legacy, should be considered.

    Ed is teasing us by sharing this before it is complete, so we can speculate about who is yet to make the list, above such stalwarts as Tom Petty and Grateful Dead. So far I am a little surprised at some of the bands on the list already. Despite an admitted ignorance about them, I am baffled that bands like Yo La Tengo, The Strokes, The Flaming Lips, Pixies, X, and Foo Fighters have made the list so far. That means there are an awful lot of bands not as good as them out there. I am not too surprised that Kings of Leon, The White Stripes, and Sonic Youth are on there - they are critics' darlings, and they aren't bad, from what I've heard, though perhaps a bit overrated. That said, I am scratching my head over Green Day making it to only 50 - I expected they would have been much higher. I am pleased that lesser-known or somewhat forgotten bands like The Loviní Spoonful, NRBQ, Buffalo Springfield, Big Star, and The Replacements have been included. (One of the joys of spending much of my adult life in Connecticut was getting to see NRBQ so many times; they really have the goods.)

    What's to come? I think you're right, Jim, except for Kansas. Surely we will see bands like The Byrds, The Band, The Allman Brothers Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd (but probably not Marshall Tucker Band), Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band, Neil Young And Crazy Horse, The Eagles, The Beach Boys, Boston, The Stray Cats, The Ramones, and maybe Jimmy Buffett And The Coral Reefer Band. We probably won't see, but should, The James Gang, The McCoys, and Todd Rundgren's Utopia (ha!).

    From the psychedelic era, which so far has produced only Grateful Dead, will we see Jefferson Airplane, Quicksiiver Messenger Service, Steve Miller Band, Big Brother And The Holding Company, Steppenwolf, Moby Grape, and The 13th Floor Elevators?

    Are blues-rock bands like Paul Butterfield Blues Band going to make the list, to join ZZ Top and J. Geils Band? Are country-rock bands like Poco, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Manassas, and Pure Prairie League? And are The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Pretenders, and Fleetwood Mac American or British?

    But hey - at least Grateful Dead are ranked ahead of The White Stripes.
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    Default Re: The Top 50 American Rock Bands of All Time acording to Gibson

    These lists are really a joke because they're totally subjective. I was in a Beatles tribute band and the band consisted of 5 Beatle Heads. We had a hard time getting the songlist down to 3 sets because we disagreed on our favorite songs by one band that we all agreed was the best rock band in history!!!

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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Top 50 American Rock Bands of All Time acording to Gibson

    I know. They are always a hornets nest. And this one doesn't even bother to explain the criteria. It would be nice to know how bands were selected or rejected, and how rankings were determined. Oh well ...
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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    Default Re: The Top 50 American Rock Bands of All Time acording to Gibson

    The lists that come to mind are the lists by Rolling Stone, i.e., The 100 Greatest Rock Songs, The 100 Greatest Rock Guitar Solos, etc. When I look at the lists, it can be argued that some songs in the top 5 aren't even rock ...

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    Default Re: The Top 50 American Rock Bands of All Time acording to Gibson

    The folly of ranking in a lump "Rock" category (what, are we talking Bill Haley?)...but I would say Little Richard, Jerry Lee (and that cat who played the guitar just like a ringing bell).

    I've found that innovation is often considered strongly in such lists. Therefore, many blues-based rock acts won't make the cut. Without regard to subcategory, maybe regional then?...ZZ, Skynyrd, et al. will always "top" such lists...but Byrne's Talking Heads have urbane appeal--especially since they drew from widely diverse sources.

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    fretboard roamer Paul Merlo's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Top 50 American Rock Bands of All Time acording to Gibson

    Seeing as how Buffalo Springfield is already in... I'll put the line at 2.5 for bands that include Neil Young make the list. Any takers? just kidding ;-)

    These list, as right or dead wrong as they are, are always great for getting people all riled up, if for nothing else. Plus, they usually mention some music or band that's been off my radar for awhile and are worth a fresh listen.

    ps - ZZ Top probably wouldn't be in my top 50. Gov't Mule would be.
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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Top 50 American Rock Bands of All Time acording to Gibson

    I am assuming that some major acts are gong to be left out because they are considered solo acts. I was actually surprised they found a way to include Elvis, because even though he had a great, seminal band backing him, especially early on, the members were pretty anonymous; the focus was on him. So Penniman, Lewis, Berry, Vincent, Cochran, all the rockabilly greats are gonna get short shrift. I did what I could earlier in my guesses to merge stars' and bands' names, though that may be a futile gesture. These attempts to codify creative output tend to be lame - somehow it's the nature of the beast and inevitable - but do provoke discussion. I think contributors to magazines like Rolling Stone tend to have a pretty good idea of what's what; I don't know who is working on this list - another shortfall regarding criteria.

    I would like to believe that innovation has some merit in the selection process, but I think the higher up the ranking, the less innovative and more crowd-pleasing bands will hold sway. Even so, I am pleased that the bands I mentioned in paragraph #2 of my first post were included. I would have thought them a bit too off-the-beaten-path.

    ZZ Top probably wouldn't have been in my Top 50 either until I saw them live. So good live. I still don't know if they would make my FAVORITE 50, but I don't mind them making this list.
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    Default Re: The Top 50 American Rock Bands of All Time acording to Gibson

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    ...Green Day making it to only 50 - I expected they would have been much higher.
    I'm sure they are.

  13. #13

    Default Re: The Top 50 American Rock Bands of All Time acording to Gibson

    One of the seminal jazz criticism volumes (by englismanen May or Marsh or I forget who) associate "quality" inordinately with innovation (it's why Derek Bailey, Evan Parker, Peter Brotzmann, Alex Schilppenbach and a whole bunch of European free players consistently rank 5 stars). I can certainly see the efficacy of basing merit on concepts of innovation. But without stipulating a bunch of criteria, I think you just have to see it for what it is: that is, you have to understand the complex socio-politico and especially economic factors influencing such list making.

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    Default Re: The Top 50 American Rock Bands of All Time acording to Gibson

    Quote Originally Posted by catmandu2 View Post
    I'm sure they are.


    I actually am probably most surprised about this than anything else about this list - so far. I could have worn they were one of the biggest bands for a couple of years there, with a couple of massive hit albums in a row and a hit Broadway show.


    Quote Originally Posted by catmandu2 View Post
    ... without stipulating a bunch of criteria, I think you just have to see it for what it is: that is, you have to understand the complex socio-politico and especially economic factors influencing such list making.
    Or dismiss it as the blathering of a bunch of wankers ...
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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    Default Re: The Top 50 American Rock Bands of All Time acording to Gibson

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post


    Or dismiss it as the blathering of a bunch of wankers ...
    No, don't dismiss us! (sub-wankers that we are)

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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Top 50 American Rock Bands of All Time acording to Gibson

    Oh, no, sir, I meant those who compiled the list. We are who we are ...
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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    Default Re: The Top 50 American Rock Bands of All Time acording to Gibson

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    Oh, no, sir, I meant those who compiled the list. We are who we are ...
    Among other things, we blathering cafeites are followers of lists...

    Should have put a wink-smiley on "No don't dismiss us"

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    Work in Progress Ed Goist's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Top 50 American Rock Bands of All Time acording to Gibson

    Quote Originally Posted by merlopj View Post
    ...snip...ZZ Top probably wouldn't be in my top 50. Gov't Mule would be.
    Gov't Mule is SO good...They probably will not even make the list, but, IMO, they would blow the doors off of the vast majority of the bands that will make the list. This is exactly the kind of example that shows the trouble with these lists. Non-commercial, jam-driven bands like Gov't Mule (and on the hard rock side Monster Magnet) are always slighted on lists like this.

    The one thing The Mule has going for them is that Warren Haynes has a signature Les Paul Standard in the Gibson line, and he's known for playing that '58 Les Paul, and this list is being put together by Gibson.

    Oh, and one band not yet mentioned that has to be in the top 10 is Pearl Jam, right?
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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Top 50 American Rock Bands of All Time acording to Gibson

    And Nirvana and Metallica. Not my choices, but you wait and see ...
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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    Default Re: The Top 50 American Rock Bands of All Time acording to Gibson

    Nirvana will score high--they saved rock from techno ()

    Pearl Jam is a Nirvana knock-off, but apparently a huge commercial success (sort of like U2 in the "prog" realm)

    Can't say that I've ever sat through a Metallica song (I quit when I was 16), but I'm told they are the "quality" metal act.

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    fretboard roamer Paul Merlo's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Top 50 American Rock Bands of All Time acording to Gibson

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    And Nirvana and Metallica. Not my choices, but you wait and see ...
    oh yeah - I was thinkin both are in top 10, and Metallica in the top 5. Nirvana just doesn't have the catalog to make top 5.
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    Default Re: The Top 50 American Rock Bands of All Time acording to Gibson

    as long as The Beatles, Stones and Zep make the top three all is fine with the world.

    For bands they set the beat!

    Rock On Alvin Lee and Ten Years After

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    Registered User Perry's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Top 50 American Rock Bands of All Time acording to Gibson

    Give me the Barenaked Ladies over Kings of Leon anyday Will BNL even make the list?
    The real question is who is number 1? Beatles or Stones?

    Can his "Bob-ness" be considered a band?

  24. #24

    Default Re: The Top 50 American Rock Bands of All Time acording to Gibson

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Schmidlin View Post
    as long as The Beatles, Stones and Zep make the top three all is fine with the world.

    For bands they set the beat!

    Rock On Alvin Lee and Ten Years After

    I wouldn't call any of those three bands "American" so I don't expect to see them on the list at all. They would certainly make the top 10 in any global list though.

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    Work in Progress Ed Goist's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Top 50 American Rock Bands of All Time acording to Gibson

    BNL is Canadian (as is Neil Young, actually).
    I believe Canadian bands aren't being considered for this list (so no BNL or Rush).
    Oh, and I just love BNL...Their on my personal 'all-time' Top 50 list for sure.
    Last edited by Ed Goist; Jun-29-2011 at 1:56pm.
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