Question of the Day

Satan-ya asks:

“Who is the greatest band?”

This is a trick question and should be “Who is the second greatest band?” since The Beatles is the correct answer.

It’s not even close really. By 1964 they had mastered writing hit 3 minute pop songs and were bigger than Jesus. And they were just getting started. At the very top of their popularity they started expanding the entire format of pop music and left the safety of the adolescent love songs where there success stemmed from and evolved musically bringing the rest of the world with them. In three years, the band went from She Loves You to Tomorrow Never Knows. From bubble gum pop to psychedelic music based on the Tibetan book of the dead while still leading the industry in record sales. Add in that even George started writing songs that weren’t just filler but became iconic hits on their own.

67 Comments

  1. Chris you are terrible! Did we not agree on the Jimi Hendrix Experience at length??!! Ras I may as well as said Hall & Oates. The Method of Modern Love. STELLAR track. Cha.

    1. No, we decided that Jimi wasn’t a band. And The Jimi Hendrix Experience wasn’t even CLOSE to the best band ever…. Now if we’re asking who the best guitarist ever, then the answer is Justin Bieber.

  2. U2 is #2 (can’t argue about Beatles being #1 – I’m playing their music here at work right now).

    Good arguments can be made for the Rolling Stones, the Who, Springsteen & E-Street Band. I lean towards U2, but if forced to do research and listen again to each of the bands’ catalogs, I would do it. There are worse fates.

      1. Still though, “If you want to kiss the sky, you better learn how to get on your knees boy.”
        Clearly, this is a reference to how blind subservience leads to salvation.

        Or oral sex. Either way, it’s bad.

      2. Hey – I enjoy the music to Godspell and JC Superstar, too. Fiction can be a great basis for music. The basis for Yellow Submarine is anchored in reality as much as JC Superstar, but both are great.

        I favor U2’s relationship and music history tunes. “With or Without You” and “One” are tremendous “f-you” songs. “Angel of Harlem” and “When Love Comes to Town” (with BB King) entice me to grab some true golden oldies. And don’t forget their play on words with the title of “Original of the Species” (another one of my favs).

        But to your point, I do tune Bono out when he gets too preach (whether it be about his god or another subject).

  3. First, let me acknowledge the obvious futility of answering this. But for me the answer is:

    GUIDED BY VOICES

    No other band has created, seemingly by chance, so many improbably great songs. Yes, Robert Pollard releases some garbage, but if you only took the great songs that they released prior to 1997, you would still have more mindblowlingly monumental songs than any one band should be allowed.

    1. But Ringo still has Star Power today! He tours, directs produces and has many other interests and charities he supports. Ringo is the BEATLES!!!

  4. 506th PIR (Band of Brothers) were pretty kick ass, oh wait – music?

    I think genre needs to be considered as I don’t believe in one ‘greatest band’. Punk? Ramones. Early rock? Beatles. Metal? Tough call – Maiden, Sabbath, Priest, Slayer. Bluegrass? Bill Monroe. Western Swing? Bob Wills. Pan Flute? Zamfir.

  5. I’m with the Beatles. I may love other bands more, but consider this: Forty years after they broke up, and 30 years after one of their leaders died, they are on billboards with no label. It isn’t necessary, everyone knows who they are.

  6. You like stats? Billboard mag says from ’55 to ’95, Elvis had more top 40 records with 107, the Beatles had 49, Elvis had 36 top 10, Beatles 33, Elvis spent more weeks in the #1 position with 80, Beatles 59. But the Beatles had 20 #1 songs, Elvis- 18, Elvis wins for an individual star, the Beatles win for music group!

      1. No. by the time the Beatles came around it was acceptable to let talented writers record their own songs. Most of Elvis’ songs came from Tin Pan Alley.

  7. Ditto on Pink Floyd. Another band that had a huge impact on the evolution of rock music. Still fairly popular with the young crowd too.
    I do agree with you on the Beatles.

  8. Which band is the best? Who knows? That’s just a matter of individual taste. Which band had the greatest social impact? Beatles, hands down.

  9. *dons hipster glasses* Obviously the best band ever is a band no one’s ever heard of, not even the bandmembers. But if there aren’t any bandmembers, there isn’t any band: So, the best band ever can’t exist.

  10. after the beatles…..
    i always appreciated the musical stylings of genesis (before phil the pill went solo). and steely dan. and even supertramp if conditions were favorable…..

  11. I was hoping someone would say Nine Inch Nails so I could like it and not have to post it to get “disliked” XD

    I don’t really think it’s the #1 or #2 band ever, but I have a tremendous amount of respect for Trent Reznor. He’s not the only musician to do this, but he writes and records his albums solo with hired musician help, then hires a band to tour with him. His “lights in the sky” tour had amazing breakthrough visuals, he has two grammys and now he’s an oscar winning composer.

  12. The Beatles are no doubt the most popular band of all time, and they had a huge cultural impact. I’ve always liked them. As far as I can tell, they were/are genuinely good people. Great songwriting, even if they weren’t the most gifted musicians.

    IMHO, the greatest band is Pink Floyd. I love the Beatles, but they could never come up with something like say, Echoes. It’s on a different level.

  13. If we’re talking bands that were around at the same time, as The Beatles, then The Kinks need to be in the running. As a song writer, Ray Davies was as talented, and prolific, as L & M. I’ll take Waterloo Sunset over Yesterday, any time of the day. But I’ll take this over either:

  14. How about the three classical musicians at the end of Titanic? How many other artists are willing to die for what they love? 🙂

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