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.

  • pvc
    • The most hated meme was yesterday’s QOD 🙂

      • pvc

        Hey, I would guess that it’s the most viewed music video of the 21st Century.

    • Mike K

      DAMN YOU PVC! Grrrr…

  • Tanya

    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.

    • 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.

      • magpie

        Or Pol Pot.

    • Mike K

      Oh my god that video is even more painful to watch than it is to listen to.

  • Rush.

    • Mike K

      Hell yes they are!

  • 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.

    • Fazue

      Really? U2? On an atheist’s website? Tell me you’re trolling…

      • Amos

        From Boy to Achtung Baby, they were pretty good.

      • Fazue

        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.

      • 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).

    • magpie

      There is no god, yet I like Mozart.

  • DCN

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


    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.

  • Rush. Oh, and King Crimson.

  • Beatles weakest link: Ringo. He was something goofy for the kids to latch on to, but he never really progressed like the others.

    • butch studley

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

  • FlamingAtheist

    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.

  • VanDykeBrown

    Led Zeppelin

    • Rampage_Rick

      Not with those religious overtones

      • Rampage_Rick

        Some people don’t grasp sarcasm!

  • DoctorJay

    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.

  • Circe

    With you on the Beatles. No other band in history has managed to be so consistently interesting, decent and varied.

  • Morbid_Swiss

    Pink Floyd.

    • EGAD!!! How did I miss Floyd in my list? DSotM is playing on my computer now… {I am so ashamed for that omission}

  • Whatever


  • The shaggs. They were gorgeous, they played like no on else and Frank Zappa said they were *better* than the beatles. And Frank really knew his music.

    • If you like the track I posted you’d be remiss not to hear this classic Shaggs tune:

    • Tanya

      Yes. the Shaggs.

  • damnedyankee

    The Sex Pistols. They were the first ones to come out and say “fuck the Beatles.”

  • Dale

    Beatles. After that, The Replacements.

  • jen

    The Doors

  • butch studley

    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!

    • Did Elvis even write one song?

      • butch studley

        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.

  • fwonk


  • jfahey

    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.

  • Rounhouse

    R.E.M. Followed by The Smiths. Oh, who am I kidding,

  • TDavis

    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.

  • yragentman

    Sun Ra Intergalactic Arkestra

    • Angry Sam

      See my comment about The Band below. Who hit dislike?! Sun Ra was INCREDIBLE!

  • Karl

    Four Canadians and an American from Arkansas, The Band.

    • Angry Sam

      Who the hell hits dislike on this? I mean, I disagree, but how can you hate on The Band? Jeebus, people!

  • Tanya

    I cannot believe I forgot the Shaggs “My Pal Foot Foot” is brill.

  • Sooperkev

    Statement of the day. The Who is the greatest band.

  • *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.

  • Chris

    Gang of Four, circa Entertainment LP

  • Fink

    The Hellacopters

  • Bleib

    Einsturzende Neubauten
    Depeche Mode
    Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

    • Morbid_Swiss

      Hell yeah! Nick Cave!

  • carolyn

    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…..

  • Danno

    Black Flag

  • Piri

    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.

  • DreamDevil


  • Angry Sam

    godspeed you! black emperor

    • Morbid_Swiss

      Thee Silver Mt.Zion Memorial Orchestra and Tra-La-La Band.

      Hell, anything with Efrim Menuck…

  • James

    Three words: Super. Furry. Animals.

  • Pinkerton

    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.

  • Greatest BAND: Rush.

    Greatest MUSICIAN: Frank Zappa. And Todd Rundgren.

  • Carolyn

    phineas gauge please

  • Van Halen

  • jim.buck

    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:

  • John

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

  • No love for Radiohead? Hmm.