Greatest American Rock Band?

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Greatest American Rock Band?

Post by AKKOLADE »

I was pondering this issue last night and realized that pretty much all of the rock bands considered in the running for the greatest of all time are British (Beatles, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, et al). I started wondering about the greatest American rock band and came up with the following nominees, in order of the one I support the most to the least:

Creedence Clearwater Revival
Nirvana
Metallica

Yeah, that's about it. I am precluding artists who are typically considered just as individuals (Joplin, Holly, Hendrix), regardless of Holding Companies, Crickets and Experiences.

Am I missing anyone? Is CCR really the best rock band ever from the USA? I love CCR and think they're vastly underrated, but I can't imaging that they're the greatest in American history. Right?

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Post by theMoMA »

Not a CCR fan. I'd put the Doors, Beach Boys and Allman Brothers up there. People seem to like the Eagles too.

REM, Grateful Dead, Guns N Roses, Aerosmith, Van Halen, Journey, Kansas, and Pearl Jam are probably up there, though I'm not particularly crazy about any of them.

But yeah, from Dylan to Prince most of the exemplary American artists have been soloists.

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Post by Tegan »

No love for the Beatles? You young whippersnappers have no appreciation.

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Post by Mike Bentley »

Tegan wrote:No love for the Beatles? You young whippersnappers have no appreciation.
Clear the Beatles are the greatest American rock band ever.

If we were going by personal tastes alone, I'd pick Bad Religion, but I don't see many people agreeing with me.
Last edited by Mike Bentley on Fri Aug 31, 2007 12:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by quizbowllee »

Aerosmith and Van Halen

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Post by Howard »

How 'bout Simon and Garfunkel?
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Post by quizbowllee »

Tegan wrote:No love for the Beatles? You young whippersnappers have no appreciation.
LOL!!!! HAHAHAHA! Oh, God!!! Damn, dude... Just damn!

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Post by yoda4554 »

I think it's clear that Steely Dan and (if we are to use a loose definition of the term "American") The Band take down everyone else so far mentioned in terms of sheer scope and quality of compositional and technical chops.

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Re: Greatest American Rock Band?

Post by grapesmoker »

leftsaidfred wrote:I love CCR and think they're vastly underrated
What's wrong with you?
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Post by Matthew D »

Hey I like CCR also... nothing like "Run through the Jungle"

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Post by DrakeRQB »

U2 is obviously not American, but a lot of their albums (especially The Unforgettable Fire, The Joshua Tree, and How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb) are all heavily shaped by American themes and influences. So I think they deserve a mention for that reason.

Now, back on topic... Fleetwood Mac is half American... I think they count. Metallica has to get a mention.
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Post by STPickrell »

Chicago (before they started to suck) and Styx need to be remembered here too.

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Post by quizbowllee »

CCR is good.

Metallica is good.

Steely Dan = Reelin' in Years = Gag me with a horse turd...

Here are some more to consider:

Bon Jovi
Boston
Stone Temple Pilots (way underrated)

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Post by vcuEvan »

The Band of Brothers because they shot so many Nazis.

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Post by pray for elves »

I don't think he's the absolute greatest ever, but someone should throw The Boss out there. Thus:

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN AND THE E STREET BAND

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Post by Matthew D »

I will agree with STP and the Mac was a good one but didn't they start out in England?
How about Grand Funk Railroad?
Kansas

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Post by grapesmoker »

this thread is an apocalypse of horrible taste
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Post by STPickrell »

I like hair metal too.

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Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh »

StPickrell wrote:Chicago (before they started to suck) and Styx need to be remembered here too.
Agreed. Chicago had some good brass-backed rock before they went all power ballad. I'm a huge fan of Styx (obviously), but I don't think, in terms of "all time," they deserve much more than a passing/honorable mention. I'd also lump REO Speedwagon, Journey, Foreigner, and Boston with Styx here.

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Post by quizbowllee »

Hell, yes to Journey. I can't believe I didn't think of them... Good call.

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Post by Matthew D »

Foreigner is only half America....

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Post by Trevkeeper »

I'm a big CCR fan. I like Nirvana and Stone Temple Pilots too.

I'm actually in then midst of compiling a list of great 90s music, we'll see how that goes.

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Post by No Sollositing On Premise »

Well, my *favorite* American rock bands are probably RHCP, Jane's Addiction, The Band, and Rage Against the Machine. However, if I had to pick an all-time best American rock spectacle, I'd have to say either Nirvana or Elvis. Seriously, where's the Elvis shout-out in this thread? Does he count as pop instead of rock?

But if the Blue Man Group somehow count as an American rock band, then they win. No one else comes close.
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Post by quizbowllee »

laszlow wrote:Well, my *favorite* American rock bands are probably RHCP, Jane's Addiction, The Band, and Rage Against the Machine. However, if I had to pick an all-time best American rock spectacle, I'd have to say either Nirvana or Elvis. Seriously, where's the Elvis shout-out in this thread? Does he count as pop instead of rock?

But if the Blue Man Group somehow count as an American rock band, then they win. No one else comes close.
I considered mentioning Elvis, but he's not really a "band".

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Post by AKKOLADE »

Other valid choices brought up: Doors, Beach Boys, Eagles, Allman Brothers, the Grateful Dead, Simon & Garfunkel, maybe R.E.M., maybe the Band. Of course, these are in addition to CCR, Nirvana & Metallica.

Everyone else, I think, is fairly easily ranked below these groups. Tighten up your belts before you nominate someone like freaking Kansas. We might as well start discussing Huey Lewis and the News.

U2 does not qualify because they are not from America. Fleetwood Mac formed in England, I believe, so that's a no go. Bruce Springsteen and Elvis do not qualify because they are each a single person.

The Band of Brothers is the best "comedy" option suggested.
Tegan wrote:No love for the Beatles? You young whippersnappers have no appreciation.
There is not a :lol: large enough.
grapesmoker wrote:
leftsaidfred wrote:I love CCR and think they're vastly underrated
What's wrong with you?
Dude, what's wrong with you? I'd really like to hear why you don't like them. I don't like the Doors, but I can deal with their position as a nominee.

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Post by Stained Diviner »

Fred's got taste.

I'd add Phish to the list, but that's just me.

If singing groups count, then we need some Supremes and Jackson 5, though the latter could be disqualified due to their contributions to the Victory album and everything they have done since.
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Post by AKKOLADE »

ReinsteinD wrote:Fred's got taste.

I'd add Phish to the list, but that's just me.

If singing groups count, then we need some Supremes and Jackson 5, though the latter could be disqualified due to their contributions to the Victory album and everything they have done since.
Thanks for the props on taste.

I wouldn't include Phish myself, but I do just consider them Grateful Dead wannabes.

I'm torn on singing groups. Motown-esque groups produced some great music of course, but I don't know if I'd count them as a band. I think instrumentalization is important.

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Post by quizbowllee »

Man, I was just about to nominate Huey Lewis and the News....

Just kidding.

Seriously though, all things considered, I've gotta pick Aerosmith.

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Post by Zip Zap Rap Pants »

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Post by Trevkeeper »

leftsaidfred wrote:maybe the Band.
Does the Band count since they had a Canadian?

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Post by David Riley »

I'll cast my vote for CCR. And you'll have to excuse Tegan, they get their bands mixed up on the South Side. . .

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Post by No Sollositing On Premise »

Trevkeeper wrote:
leftsaidfred wrote:maybe the Band.
Does the Band count since they had a Canadian?
I think Livon Helm's Canadian, but it's definitely an American band. I mean, he's just a drummer.
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Post by Matthew D »

Okay I just remember one that we have left out
ZZ Top..

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Post by AKKOLADE »

Matthew D wrote:Okay I just remember one that we have left out
ZZ Top..
For the love of God tell me that's some kind of joke.

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Post by Frater Taciturnus »

leftsaidfred wrote:
Matthew D wrote:Okay I just remember one that we have left out
ZZ Top..
For the love of God tell me that's some kind of joke.
QUEEN
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Post by Matthew D »

Let me guess you don't like ZZ Top...

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Post by quizbowllee »

dsfcaptains2005 wrote:
QUEEN
Queen is British.

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Post by yoda4554 »

The Band indeed had four Canadians, to one American. But the music's as all-USA as one can get.

Incidentally
quizbowllee wrote:
Steely Dan = Reelin' in Years = Gag me with a horse turd...
Indeed, you misspeak. To correctly expresses this mathematically:

Steely Dan c [properly contains] "Reelin' in the Years"

which is a much less general case. While we may or may not grant the proposition that:

"Reelin' in the Years"=Gag me with a horse turd (and indeed, sir, as "Reelin' in the Years" c fine Denny Dias guitar solo, that is not a self-evident proposition)

Steely Dan also properly contains a fine selection of other material, including the four-album run from Pretzel Logic to Aja that is both the best jazz-rock fusion ever made as well as the best-produced set of pop albums of the 70s (give or take P-Funk). And, as opposed to Aerosmith and just about everyone else here, their lyrics are intentionally funny when so, and their grasp of music theory goes beyond the blues scale.

As for the Eagles, they have (so far as I know) exactly two songs that they rewrote many many times over ("Oh woman I love you despite our moderately complex relationship," in blues-inflected B-flat, and "Oh woman, it's been fun but I'm leaving," in sunny C Major), and this does not a great band make. Neither does aimless stoned jam noodling (Grateful Dead). Combining these propositions two leaves anyone guilty of both (the Allmans) proverbially Right Out.

Oh, and also the Mothers of Invention should be here (edit: and, for the love of God, the freakin' Magic Band too), unless they go the way of the E Street Band and such other front-man-centric groups.

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Post by AKKOLADE »

My bad on not catching the Band. I knew they were Canadian, but for some reason the song "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" threw off my memory.

And hey, it's pretty much the 51st state amirite amirite
Matthew D wrote:Let me guess you don't like ZZ Top...
They're okay, but far from being the greatest American band ever.

As for Steely Dan, they write good songs, but when Marvelous 3 makes Reelin' In the Years the song it should be, there's something wrong with this. Or Smash mouth with "Do It Again". I'm completely serious with these statements.
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Post by Frater Taciturnus »

quizbowllee wrote:
dsfcaptains2005 wrote:
QUEEN
Queen is British.
As I am well aware. In fact, Farrokh Bulsara was from Zanzibar. But we outsource our music industry so much, that really, aren't all the "big" bands to some extent American?
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Post by AKKOLADE »

I guess all "popular" groups to us would be American in popularity. It's not like a lot of people are rocking out to Air in the U.S. of A.

For the purpose of this discussion, though, let's keep it to American natives.

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Post by Tegan »

ReinsteinD wrote: I'd add Phish to the list, but that's just me.

Is there anyway to put the :w-hat: icon in 12,500 point font in triple bold?
ReinsteinD wrote:If singing groups count, then we need some Supremes and Jackson 5, though the latter could be disqualified due to their contributions to the Victory album and everything they have done since.


The Jackson 5? The Jackson FIVE?

:shock:

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Post by AKKOLADE »

The Jackson Five was a tremendous group in their prime, and Michael Jackson still ranks as one of the greatest pop solo singers in history. Don't let the fact that they're all greatly screwed up in the head keep you from seeing that.
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Post by No Sollositing On Premise »

I still have no idea why we're considering CCR without considering Rage. But whatever, Fred's pretty much the queen of the off-topic boards around here.
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Post by naturalistic phallacy »

DeisEvan wrote:I don't think he's the absolute greatest ever, but someone should throw The Boss out there. Thus:

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN AND THE E STREET BAND
Springsteen is really one of the best out there.

And I've got to echo the Simon and Garfunkel sentiment. They were amazing together.
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Post by evilmonkey »

yoda4554 wrote:As for the Eagles, they have (so far as I know) exactly two songs that they rewrote many many times over ("Oh woman I love you despite our moderately complex relationship," in blues-inflected B-flat, and "Oh woman, it's been fun but I'm leaving," in sunny C Major), and this does not a great band make.
Actually, I'm pretty sure that Hotel California is one of the Eagles best songs.

And I'd have to go with Metallica or Nirvana... probably Nirvana.

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Post by First Chairman »

Why has no one brought up The Temptations? Any other R&B group out there perhaps of interest? I'm certainly more a nouveau swing person, so Cherry Poppin' Daddies gets some cred for me.

I definitely say that Chicago is quite underrated, though I think they had their own "sound" that didn't quite meet a lot of definitions here of good hard rock bands. But if you like Chicago, you have to love the Eagles, even if Chicago has had more longevity. Then again, so have the Temptations (cycling people in and out over the years as well).

Quiet Riot... even it if was a one-hit wonder.

Do Beastie Boys really count as a band? :neutral:

And there's Peter Paul and Mary... okay, can we agree that anyone less than 4 members does not constitute a band?

Also are Pussycat Dolls American? hee hee hee
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Post by Bigfoot isn't the pr »

This post made me quickly realize that all my favorite bands are British.

So I am gonna say, Aerosmith
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Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh »

E.T. Chuck wrote:And there's Peter Paul and Mary... okay, can we agree that anyone less than 4 members does not constitute a band?
Tell that to Rush.

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Post by No Sollositing On Premise »

styxman wrote:
E.T. Chuck wrote:And there's Peter Paul and Mary... okay, can we agree that anyone less than 4 members does not constitute a band?
Tell that to Rush.
Or to Green Day. Or to Simon and Garfunkel. Or to Steely Dan.
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