Thursday, October 06, 2005

Best Classic Rock Groups

My last list on hair metal albums was fun. A nice diversion. Good for a post while I'm writing in other venues. So, methinks, why not try another?

Others may disagree, but here are the top 25 classic rock groups of all time. Well, really the past forty years or so ... classic rock was not very well developed in 12th century China or ancient Greece.

Rating factors? Influence, skill, listenability, and endurance. (Which happen to be my character traits as well.)

25. Fleetwood Mac
24. Judas Priest
23. U2
22. The Eagles
21. Yes
20. AC/DC
19. Guns 'N Roses
18. Kiss
17. King Crimson
16. Queen
15. Deep Purple
14. Van Halen
13. Genesis
12. Pink Floyd
11. Cream
10. The Doors
9. Rush
8. Aerosmith
7. The Police
6. The Jimi Hendrix Experience
5. Black Sabbath
4. The Who
3. The Rolling Stones
2. Led Zeppelin
1. The Beatles


At October 06, 2005 11:53 PM, Blogger The 502 replied to my musings ...

Pink Floyd at #12?!? The Police and Cream are good, but in no way better than Floyd! I just thought I would let you know that your opinion is wrong. [grin]

1. Led Zeppelin
2. Pink Floyd
3+ everything else

At October 07, 2005 10:36 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Arguing rationally about what song or group is "better" than another, as Chuck Klosterman has said, is almost impossible. Taste is taste.

But, of course, you are wrong. [return grin]

I put Floyd behind The Police and Cream largely on influence.

The Police inspired most of the good acts of the 1980s in one way or another, and the band's influence is still felt in today's best music. Cream brought blues into hard rock better than few bands (Led Zeppelin, the Stones, and The Who would be in that small group), setting the stage for all hard rock and metal music that followed. It is hard to understate the influence of these two groups--if anything, they may be ranked too low based on this factor alone.

I put Floyd there not because of influence, where the band is big, but on listenability and (to a lesser extent) skill. I'm a huge fan, but some of the earliest stuff is like King Crimson with too much acid--and badly mixed--and you cannot reasonably knock the talents of the players in Cream or The Police to say that the Pinkies are demonstrably better abled.

I could be convinced that Pink Floyd belongs up a bit or Aerosmith down a bit, Queen up a ways or The Police down a ways--that's why these are so much fun. But I'll stdn behind my list for now.

Just my opinion, flame away ...

-- David A.

At October 09, 2005 1:10 PM, Blogger The 502 replied to my musings ...

If you were to make four separate lists based on influence, skill, listenability, and endurance, I think that three of those lists could be agreed upon easily. The one that would differ greatly would be listenability. That large contrast makes it the most fun to argue about.

However, I do agree that Queen could move up a bit and the Police down.

As for Floyd, you are right that their skill is inferior to Cream. It is obvious where most of their talent was. Once Waters left, they went downhill. I can't even listen to the Division Bell. When I think of who they were, I pretty much only look at what they did when Waters was around, minus the Syd Barrett years.

Have you forgotten to include innovation, or is that lumped in with influence? Waters did a lot for rock and roll in this category.

At October 09, 2005 5:26 PM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Great comments! Listenability does, in fact, appear to be a big factor. On an average day, I enjoy The Police more than Pink Floyd--which is often mood music for me, leading me to put them much higher on that score.

I think influence does include innovation, which helped Rush, for example, but hurt Kiss and AC/DC.

We agree more than not on Floyd. Some of Syd's stuff I like, but I have to be ready for it (like some King Crimson and Yes). Momentary Lapse of Reason had some gret moments--the intro to Sorrow, for example, is quite good--but the album is mostly the kind of schlock that leads critics to call some classic rock "dinosaur rock."

And the Divison Bell was simply embarrassing. Right on.

More on music later in the week, perhaps. Time now for some text, however ...

-- David A.

At October 09, 2005 8:05 PM, Blogger The 502 replied to my musings ...

Good point on Momentary Lapse of Reason. I think that album and the Final Cut both have greater meaning in their names than the obvious. The Final Cut can be considered Floyd's last great album.

At October 20, 2005 12:44 PM, Blogger The Pagan Temple replied to my musings ...


At October 20, 2005 12:45 PM, Blogger The Pagan Temple replied to my musings ...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At December 27, 2005 12:38 PM, Blogger DIVYANG replied to my musings ...

No,No,No.I disagree.(I guess that is the point,oh well,whatever,nevermind.)
The biggest disagreement is placing Pink Floyd at 12.I don't buy your "influence" factor.After all they kickstarted the pyschdelic movement,i mean really gave it a leg up.Apart from that,except for the Beatles who had a run like DSOTM,WYWH,Animals,THE Wall.Look at the quality of those albums.....and don't start me on Piper At The GAtes of Dawn,Meddle...I am not even talking about Echoes yet.. the best song,no way.They go to number 1.All right so Beatles were great..I love them and I have not heard all their albums time right now,but still I guess this is a personal bias of mine I suppose.
Rush at 9!!!!!!Who the heck have they influenced?Aerosmith at 8!!They have created Dream On,i know which alone gives them a place in my heart and in your list but what about some consistency?You tell me they were a better hard rock band than AC/DC?!!!!
And also,what about Motorhead and the Ramones and The Clash?!!London Calling alone makes them a contender!Not to mention Sardinista!The Eagles are in the top 25!I would give them a position somewhere around...150 is a nice round number,what?
Guns'N'Roses are no way better than Yes!!!No way better than Judas Priest for that matter. The best thing about your list is Black Sabbath,one of my favourite bands ,right up there!
I don't agree with most of it,but still i enjoyed the list.Thanks!
Keep it up!!


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