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posted by: Alley Gator
04/20/12 11:43 am
THE BEST AMERICAN ROCK & ROLL BANDS
(31)
Here are 18 candidates for the crown. Which band is best of all and why do you think so?
To be fair to these groups, my list of candidates omits bands known primarily for their leader who often records as a solo act (e.g., Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band), bands that are not primarily rock bands (e.g., Public Enemy), and bands that are composed mainly of non-Americans (e.g., The Band). Of course, you may set different ground rules for yourself and/or prefer different bands!

The Beach Boys
The Byrds
The (Young) Rascals
The Doors
The Velvet Underground
Creedence Clearwater Revival
Santana
The Allman Brothers Band
The Eagles
Steely Dan
The Ramones
Talking Heads
R.E.M.
Los Lobos
The Replacements
Pearl Jam
Green Day
The White Stripes

My pick? I hope I'm never forced to choose between The Beach Boys and Creedence Clearwater Revival. As often as I listen to my playlists of their best songs, I never fail to be thrilled by either of them.
Tags:
Murgatroyd says:
04/20/12 4:45 pm
I like your criteria and found a lot of solid entries on your list. I'm going to begin my thought process by first listing the ones I think are not even in the running for me personally:

The Beach Boys
The Byrds
The (Young) Rascals
The Eagles
R.E.M.
Los Lobos
Pearl Jam
Green Day
The White Stripes

That leaves:
The Doors
The Velvet Underground
Creedence Clearwater Revival
Santana
The Allman Brothers Band
Steely Dan
The Ramones
Talking Heads
The Replacements

And I would also add for consideration:
Wilco
Spoon

Now I'm going to sleep on it...
MustangSal says:
04/21/12 3:11 am
You consider the Talking Heads to be rock and roll?

And of course the concept of "best" is subject to multiple interpretations. Most original? Most danceable? (I'm sorry, but in my view if you can't dance to it, it's not rock and roll!) Most accomplished musicians? Greatest influence? Greatest longevity?

I'll disagree with Murgatroyd, though. The Eagles and the Beach Boys both definitely belong on this list, imho.

cornercat says:
04/21/12 6:46 pm
Nice list. I like your restrictions as well, although how can you tell whether Santana is a band known primarily for its leader who often records as a solo act, or not? :-)

My reservation about the Beach Boys, as much as I love them, is that they didn't play on most of their famous recordings, and were primarily a combination of Brian's genius arrangements and songwriting along with the Wrecking Crew. I appreciate that it's a difficult distinction for some, but I have trouble calling a group a "greatest rock band" under those circumstances.

Finally, although they were dismissed by some as Allman Bros. lite, the albums and, more to the point, the early live concert recordings and videos that have surfaced show that Lynyrd Skynyrd was a great band, tight, hard rocking. Difficult to find a better definition of the rock and roll attitude. I think they belong on the list.
Alley Gator says:
04/22/12 9:18 pm
MustangSal said: You consider the Talking Heads to be rock and roll?
You betcha, MustangSal. Here are two Talking Heads clips from "Stop Making Sense," a great rock & roll concert film. Watch these clips fullscreen with volume cranked up and tell me you can't dance to Burning Down the House or Life During Wartime.

Now that you can dance to it, I'll show you my definition of "best" if you'll show me yours. Mine has been hiding in the FAQ Pantheon, but to save everyone the click:

My most important criteria are "artistry," "innovation," and "impact." Artistry is what's in the grooves, exemplary songs and performances, being blown away by musical excellence at all levels. Innovation is breaking the mold, creating something new and different. Impact is influence on others and the flow of music history. I don't consider popularity except as it affects influence.
Alley Gator says:
04/22/12 9:21 pm
cornercat said: how can you tell whether Santana is a band known primarily for its leader who often records as a solo act, or not? :-) My reservation about the Beach Boys, as much as I love them, is that they didn't play on most of their famous recordings, and were primarily a combination of Brian's genius arrangements and songwriting along with the Wrecking Crew...
So that's why I had that subliminal twitch over Santana. :-) And good point about the Wrecking Crew. As instrumental musicians, the Beach Boys were quite ordinary. You've solved my dilemma. I wouldn't necessarily trade my Beach Boys playlist for my Creedence playlist, but I can now vote unequivocally for Creedence as the best American R&R band.

Each of the top American bands has at least one notable weakness (one reason there are many better bands from across the pond). John Fogerty's lead guitar parts work well for me in the context of CCR, but I never think of him as a great guitar player. Still, to me, none of the other groups beats their fusion of amazing songs with driving rhythm.
cornercat says:
04/22/12 11:17 pm
cornercat said: how can you tell whether Santana is a band known primarily for its leader who often records as a solo act, or not? :-) My reservation about the Beach Boys, as much as I love them, is that they didn't play on most of their famous recordings, and were primarily a combination of Brian's genius arrangements and songwriting along with the Wrecking Crew...
Alley Gator said: John Fogerty's lead guitar parts work well for me in the context of CCR, but I never think of him as a great guitar player.
Yeah, he's not a great guitar player by any stretch, but his strength is knowing how to come up with memorable guitar parts and riffs. Those riffs were hooks that helped make those songs great hits.
cornercat says:
04/22/12 11:20 pm
cornercat said: how can you tell whether Santana is a band known primarily for its leader who often records as a solo act, or not? :-) My reservation about the Beach Boys, as much as I love them, is that they didn't play on most of their famous recordings, and were primarily a combination of Brian's genius arrangements and songwriting along with the Wrecking Crew...
Alley Gator said: Each of the top American bands has at least one notable weakness
Ok, I'll bite on this one. Let's pick a couple at random from your list, say, the Byrds, and the Eagles, and ask what you would say their notable weakness(es) are/were?
Just curious.

Alley Gator says:
04/23/12 11:46 am
cornercat said: how can you tell whether Santana is a band known primarily for its leader who often records as a solo act, or not? :-) My reservation about the Beach Boys, as much as I love them, is that they didn't play on most of their famous recordings, and were primarily a combination of Brian's genius arrangements and songwriting along with the Wrecking Crew...
Alley Gator said: Each of the top American bands has at least one notable weakness
cornercat said: Ok, I'll bite on this one. Let's pick a couple at random from your list, say, the Byrds, and the Eagles, and ask what you would say their notable weakness(es) are/were? Just curious.
I did set myself up for this, didn't I?! I'm gonna backpeddle to "limitations" instead of "notable weaknesses." And emphasize that limitations are relative, because these are the best-ever American bands. I do really like these bands. That said,

The Byrds made transcendent folk rock and country rock music, and often conveyed the soulfulness that the best of this music abides. The Eagles were great storytellers and soft-rock musicians, perhaps the best we'll ever know of this craft. But both bands epitomize the limitations of their Los Angeles roots. Neither made music drawing more than a token from the African-American vein of rock & roll. Without taking away at all from what they did exceptionally well, that limits their appeal to me.
Linden Arden says:
04/23/12 3:50 pm
This is a comment on the original list and all additions/alternatives to the list.

Hard to believe that the conversation has proceeded without anyone mentioning the Grateful Dead. I am not a deadhead, but I think you can't have a discussion of the greatest American bands without including the Dead.

Limitations? Sure. No great vocalist and with 2 exceptions (American Beauty, Workingman's Dead) no great studio albums. So what? The Dead were a great performing band and their repertoire included the entire gamut of American rock and beyond. Only Los Lobos comes close to the Dead's longevity. And what other band was the center of an entire subculture?

I would also add one other band to these lists--Little Feat. Lowell George was a terrific singer, wrote great songs, and was one of the best slide guitar players ever.

(My slide guitarist list: Duane Allman, Ry Cooder, Lowell George, Bonnie Raitt, & Ron Wood.)
Magic Rat says:
04/24/12 11:59 am
The greatest American rock and roll band is Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Everyone else is playing for second place.

The rule that excludes bands “known primarily for their leader who often records as a solo act” clears E Street from the field, but not Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (Petty has done no more solo work than Fogerty, and nearly all of it has included significant contributions from Heartbreakers Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench). I love Creedence, but the Heartbreakers are the greatest American rock and roll band, hands down. Their music epitomizes the classic rock pioneered by Creedence/Fogerty, but their longevity, total body of work and live performances leave Creedence behind. I might prefer CCR’s best five or ten songs over the Heartbreakers’ but that’s just 30-40 minutes of listening. Consider what happens when your playlist hits two hours. Or how about four?

Now let’s go to a Heartbreakers concert – yes, they are still on the road after more than 35 years. And – there are lots of young people there, rocking, boogying, drinking, getting high . . . Creedence/Fogerty? Fogerty has zero charisma, has been repeating himself for decades, and his performances are snoozers. How many people under the age of 30 are listening to Creedence?

Mike Campbell, Benmont Tench, Stan Lynch, TP and a couple of other guys started out as Mudcrutch, a band and sound no doubt inspired by Creedence. The band had much more pure musical talent than Creedence. The Heartbreakers backed up Bob Dylan on tour back in the mid-80’s. Creedence? Never mind. You want rock and roll? Consider these song titles: Breakdown; American Girl; Refugee; Don’t Do Me Like That; Hard Promises; Runnin Down a Dream; Stop Dragging My Heart Around; Free Fallin; Here Comes My Girl; Crawling Back to You; Jammin Me; Even the Losers; Learning to Fly; I Won’t Back Down. Rock on, Heartbreakers!
Alley Gator says:
04/26/12 12:39 pm
Magic Rat said: The rule that excludes bands “known primarily for their leader who often records as a solo act” clears E Street from the field, but not Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (Petty has done no more solo work than Fogerty, and nearly all of it has included significant contributions from Heartbreakers Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench).
This rule is not about how much solo work Petty or Fogerty has done; it is about their bands. Fogerty did no solo work until after Creedence dissolved. Petty, like Springsteen and Neil Young, left to do solo projects and then returned to working with his band. The rule was crafted to exclude the E Street Band, the Heartbreakers, and Crazy Horse but not Creedence, Velvet Underground, Talking Heads, or the White Stripes, whose leaders did post-band solo work. Of course, you can use your own rule. The Heartbreakers don't qualify by mine.

Otherwise, why bring up the older John Fogerty? Creedence disbanded 40 years ago; Petty & The Heartbreakers are a current act. It's not fair to compare the two bands on appeal to today's youth. The Heartbreakers are still a popular and potent live act, but IMHO Tom Petty has been on cruise control as a songwriter since 1982. It's not putting down the 15 best songs by Petty & The Heartbreakers to say that they pale in comparison with Creedence's. I love "Breakdown," "American Girl," "The Waiting," and most everything on Damn the Torpedoes. I like a few of their later songs, too, but not the same way. Of course, your mileage may differ.
Magic Rat says:
04/26/12 3:29 pm
Magic Rat said: The rule that excludes bands “known primarily for their leader who often records as a solo act” clears E Street from the field, but not Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (Petty has done no more solo work than Fogerty, and nearly all of it has included significant contributions from Heartbreakers Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench).
Alley Gator said: This rule is not about how much solo work Petty or Fogerty has done; it is about their bands. Fogerty did no solo work until after Creedence dissolved. Petty, like Springsteen and Neil Young, left to do solo projects and then returned to working with his band. The rule was crafted to exclude the E Street Band, the Heartbreakers, and Crazy Horse but not Creedence, Velvet Underground, Talking Heads, or the White Stripes, whose leaders did post-band solo work. Of course, you can use your own rule. The Heartbreakers don't qualify by mine. Otherwise, why bring up the older John Fogerty? Creedence disbanded 40 years ago; Petty & The Heartbreakers are a current act. It's not fair to compare the two bands on appeal to today's youth. The Heartbreakers are still a popular and potent live act, but IMHO Tom Petty has been on cruise control as a songwriter since 1982. It's not putting down the 15 best songs by Petty & The Heartbreakers to say that they pale in comparison with Creedence's. I love "Breakdown," "American Girl," "The Waiting," and most everything on Damn the Torpedoes. I like a few of their later songs, too, but not the same way. Of course, your mileage may differ.
Well said. And so coming back to the list, here are my five favorite American rock n roll bands in order:

1. Creedence (for all the reasons stated in Featured Artist/Week & elsewhere)
2. Doors (for all the reasons stated in Pantheon discussion)
3. Allman Bros. Band (great soulful blues/southern rock)
4. Los Lobos (straight ahead rock w latino/soutwest roots)
5. R.E.M. (my favorite art/smart rock)


jere1911 says:
04/27/12 7:25 pm
I can't argue with Gator's list, and am pleased to see Green Day on it. I think their music will last, a testament to consistently good songwriting and genuine rock and roll spirit and drive.

Best American band? If I can't have the E Street Band as my #1, I vote for the Beach Boys, and maybe I would anyway. There may have been minor precedents for their 'surf' sound, but they took those elements, expanded on them immeasurably and created a sound and body of work that "will never die." They combine a magical body of work, with the unrivaled ability to play infectiously at any speed-- whether the driving rockers like "I Get Around" and "Fun, Fun, Fun," medium tempo sing-alongs like "California Girls," God Only Knows" and "Good Vibrations," or indelible ballads like "Surfer Girl" and "In My Room." I leave aside issues of personnel and think only of the results. This band crosses generations effortlessly, and has meant the sound of America to everyone everywhere for nearly 50 years. Always will.
barbara ann 1945 says:
05/11/12 10:22 pm
jere1911 said:
Just dropping in to say I really like jere1911's assessment and appreciation of The Beach Boys. My number one American Band also, Bruce notwithstanding no one ever conveyed the emotion of teenage life and romance like these guys both musically and lyrically. Even a song like "Be True to Your School" can put a lump in my throat today...not to mention "Don't Worry, Baby" and "I Get Around."
Emar says:
05/13/12 11:31 am
I wouldn't have included Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers until this comprehensive writeup. The discussion in general is a great one. My guess is that Alley Gator does not find the Dead high enough on the innovation factor, but I think there is no other band that was able to incorporate so many genres within their own signature sound. They often encompassed rock, rock&roll, country, blues, and jazz in a single concert. But their own sound was always apparent - and the dancing was non-stop except for the space-interludes.

I'm surprised that The Band hasn't been mentioned, especially as they've been in the news lately with the death of Levon Helm. (Were they all Canadian?) Also Lynrd Sknyrd is right up there for me. Are Crosby, Nash, Stills, and Young not eligible as an American band?

Grateful Dead
Allman Brothers
Santana
Credence Clearwater
The Band
Talking Heads
Steely Dan
Los Lobos
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Lynrd Skynrd
jere1911 says:
05/13/12 1:25 pm
jere1911 said:
barbara ann 1945 said: Just dropping in to say I really like jere1911's assessment and appreciation of The Beach Boys. My number one American Band also, Bruce notwithstanding no one ever conveyed the emotion of teenage life and romance like these guys both musically and lyrically. Even a song like "Be True to Your School" can put a lump in my throat today...not to mention "Don't Worry, Baby" and "I Get Around."
Great examples. And the thing is, for many of us, maybe most of us, those emotions stay forever, always playing their part in our reactions to songs, movies, places and people. Teenagers in any decade can relate to them ("In My Room" is my favorite example), if they allow the songs through, meaning if they don't reject the style in which the songs are delivered. In my experience, most don't reject it, fortunately.
Alley Gator says:
05/13/12 7:30 pm
What a great discussion! To paraphrase Stevie Wonder, "The Alley, just like I pictured it." Way to go, Cats! My antennae are picking up a couple of themes so far. Please weigh in with your own thoughts.

First, despite the decades-long indie adoration of the Pet Sounds album, I'll bet there's an age factor in how Cats value the Beach Boys relative to other bands. If you came of age in 1963-1966, their songs hit a lot of musical and cultural sweet spots at once. I'm with barbara ann 1945 and jere1911: many of their songs capture youthful emotions almost uniquely well. They also traded singles famously with the Beatles during these years. Plus, harmony vocals were really big then, and the Beach Boys ruled in that world. Coming of age even a few years later changed the whole context.

Second, opinions about the bands seem to depend on whether you come more from a "studio recordings" or a "concert experiences" perspective. Of course, we all have some of both. I'm a drooling Springsteen fan-boy mainly because of his concerts. But he's the exception for me; I generally come at Alley lists from the body of an artist's recorded work. I've been lucky enough to see most of the greatest artists in concert at least once. But for me that was only icing on the cake. Several cats either implicitly or explicitly place more weight on their concert experiences. Which makes more sense to you - to continue to debate from both perspectives or to make two separate lists?

Third, I suspect many of us prefer shorter songs to longer ones or vice versa. I imprinted on the two-to-three minute single (Elvis through Motown) and took a hit when average song length nearly doubled in the early 1970s (because U.S. record companies' costs depend on the number of tracks per album). Others clearly get off on jam bands more than I do.

Do any of these themes affect how you rank the bands?
MustangSal says:
05/14/12 1:57 am
Linden Arden said: This is a comment on the original list and all additions/alternatives to the list. Hard to believe that the conversation has proceeded without anyone mentioning the Grateful Dead. I am not a deadhead, but I think you can't have a discussion of the greatest American bands without including the Dead. Limitations? Sure. No great vocalist and with 2 exceptions (American Beauty, Workingman's Dead) no great studio albums. So what? The Dead were a great performing band and their repertoire included the entire gamut of American rock and beyond. Only Los Lobos comes close to the Dead's longevity. And what other band was the center of an entire subculture? I would also add one other band to these lists--Little Feat. Lowell George was a terrific singer, wrote great songs, and was one of the best slide guitar players ever. (My slide guitarist list: Duane Allman, Ry Cooder, Lowell George, Bonnie Raitt, & Ron Wood.)
Oh yes! To both the Dead and Little Feat. If you're talking about influence, it's hard to see how you could ignore the Dead.
MustangSal says:
05/14/12 2:06 am
cornercat said: how can you tell whether Santana is a band known primarily for its leader who often records as a solo act, or not? :-) My reservation about the Beach Boys, as much as I love them, is that they didn't play on most of their famous recordings, and were primarily a combination of Brian's genius arrangements and songwriting along with the Wrecking Crew...
Alley Gator said: Each of the top American bands has at least one notable weakness
cornercat said: Ok, I'll bite on this one. Let's pick a couple at random from your list, say, the Byrds, and the Eagles, and ask what you would say their notable weakness(es) are/were? Just curious.
Alley Gator said: The Eagles were great storytellers and soft-rock musicians, perhaps the best we'll ever know of this craft. But both bands epitomize the limitations of their Los Angeles roots.
Ooh! Do I detect a bit of northern California prejudice here? Los Angeles is responsible for Jim Morrison, Warren Zevon, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt (I believe), the Eagles ... To require that a great American band must draw on "the African-American vein of rock & roll" in order to be great seems a bit extreme. Of course you do qualify this as a personal opinion ;^) Still, I don't see much African-American influence in the music of Beach Boys - or Bruce, either.
MustangSal says:
05/14/12 2:07 am
And why has nobody mentioned Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship? Or am I the only one who thinks they qualify as rock and roll?
barbara ann 1945 says:
05/14/12 11:36 am
Emar said: The discussion in general is a great one. My guess is that Alley Gator does not find the Dead high enough on the innovation factor, but I think there is no other band that was able to incorporate so many genres within their own signature sound. They often encompassed rock, rock&roll, country, blues, and jazz in a single concert. But their own sound was always apparent - and the dancing was non-stop except for the space-interludes. I'm surprised that The Band hasn't been mentioned, especially as they've been in the news lately with the death of Levon Helm. (Were they all Canadian?) Also Lynrd Sknyrd is right up there for me. Are Crosby, Nash, Stills, and Young not eligible as an American band? Grateful Dead Allman Brothers Santana Credence Clearwater The Band Talking Heads Steely Dan Los Lobos Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Lynrd Skynrd
Who knows why I never became a Dead fan...but I didn't. But out of respect for a hundred or so friends over the years who were, I would now include them on an "objective" best American bands list....just not the "my favorites" version.

But, hey, CSN, with and without Y...oh wait, Neil is Canadian...so just CS&N.Thanks for reminding me, Emar! How about those harmonies?! I'm sticking them in under the Beach Boys and before The Byrds.
Emar says:
05/14/12 11:45 am
Thanks to MustangSal for bringing up Jefferson Airplane. (I'd forgotten.) Every tune on Surrealistic Pillow is a classic. What a great sound that integrated wonderful driving rhythms and great vocals.

We might also create a category for the British/U.S hybrids like CSN or Fleetwood Mac.
Murgatroyd says:
05/14/12 3:51 pm
Emar said: Thanks to MustangSal for bringing up Jefferson Airplane. (I'd forgotten.) Every tune on Surrealistic Pillow is a classic. What a great sound that integrated wonderful driving rhythms and great vocals. We might also create a category for the British/U.S hybrids like CSN or Fleetwood Mac.
No matter what you think of the Jefferson Airplane's first album or two (crap, IMHO), they certainly did not have a consistent body of work and many original members are responsible for heinous crimes against music (We Built This City, etc.). Disqualified.

I love Santana (esp. the 3 first albums and Lotus) but there's something stopping me from thinking of them as a "band" - gotta think about that.
Alley Gator says:
05/15/12 12:46 pm
cornercat said: how can you tell whether Santana is a band known primarily for its leader who often records as a solo act, or not? :-) My reservation about the Beach Boys, as much as I love them, is that they didn't play on most of their famous recordings, and were primarily a combination of Brian's genius arrangements and songwriting along with the Wrecking Crew...
Alley Gator said: Each of the top American bands has at least one notable weakness
cornercat said: Ok, I'll bite on this one. Let's pick a couple at random from your list, say, the Byrds, and the Eagles, and ask what you would say their notable weakness(es) are/were? Just curious.
Alley Gator said: The Eagles were great storytellers and soft-rock musicians, perhaps the best we'll ever know of this craft. But both bands epitomize the limitations of their Los Angeles roots.
MustangSal said: I don't see much African-American influence in the music of Beach Boys - or Bruce, either.
I'll give it a try: The Beach Boys very effectively incorporate Chuck Berry (most obviously in Surfin' U.S.A and Fun, Fun, Fun) and doo-wop (in all Mike Love's bass parts, and in their cover of Why Do Fools Fall in Love) into their sound. And Bruce - are you kidding? In tandem with all his other influences, he's famous for being a "soul man," from the whole way he stages his shows to his covers of Eddie Floyd and Wilson Pickett songs, originals like Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out, and the gospel flavor and arrangements of songs like The Rising, My City of Ruins, and, most recently, Rocky Ground.
cornercat says:
05/17/12 1:55 pm
cornercat said: how can you tell whether Santana is a band known primarily for its leader who often records as a solo act, or not? :-) My reservation about the Beach Boys, as much as I love them, is that they didn't play on most of their famous recordings, and were primarily a combination of Brian's genius arrangements and songwriting along with the Wrecking Crew...
Alley Gator said: Each of the top American bands has at least one notable weakness
cornercat said: Ok, I'll bite on this one. Let's pick a couple at random from your list, say, the Byrds, and the Eagles, and ask what you would say their notable weakness(es) are/were? Just curious.
Alley Gator said: The Eagles were great storytellers and soft-rock musicians, perhaps the best we'll ever know of this craft. But both bands epitomize the limitations of their Los Angeles roots.
MustangSal said: I don't see much African-American influence in the music of Beach Boys - or Bruce, either.
Alley Gator said: And Bruce - are you kidding? In tandem with all his other influences, he's famous for being a "soul man,"
and there's that sax...
cornercat says:
05/17/12 2:03 pm
didn't mean to include all the previous posts in my reply
Murgatroyd says:
05/18/12 2:47 pm
So am I to believe that I'm the only one who thinks Wilco should be under consideration here?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilco_discography

That's a pretty great body of work...
Alley Gator says:
05/25/12 4:59 pm
Murgatroyd said: So am I to believe that I'm the only one who thinks Wilco should be under consideration here?
I'm with you on Wilco, Murgatroyd. In the Pantheon I've got them ranked in the same tier as The Doors, The Replacements, Green Day (not a favorite of yours), and X - and above The Grateful Dead and Lynyrd Skynyrd. I also agree that Santana isn't a band in the sense used here (cornercat and I discussed this point near the beginning of the thread).

We all are having at least two conversations: Which groups belong on a list of nominees? and Which groups are the best? My initial list of candidates was casually plucked from the Pantheon, mainly to clarify focus rather than to be inclusive. From a list of candidates, how do you decide which groups are the best?
bad habitat says:
07/02/12 4:27 am
All right here goes; let me make a kind of leftfield contribution then, focusing mainly on non-pantheonic bands and observing the rule of not including an individual's name as heading the band name. In no particular order (although Rage did come first to mind):

Rage Against the Machine
The MC5
The Gun Club
Nirvana
Blondie
Little Feat
The Black Keys
The Pixies
The Blue Oyster Cult
The New York Dolls
Steppenwolf
The Red Hot Chili Peppers
Mink DeVille
The Boxtops
The Shangri-Las
Funkadelic / Parliament
The Stooges
Hole
The Meters
The Cars
ZZ Top
War

What do these all have in common? IMO they are all better rock acts than the Eagles!
tedemore says:
08/03/12 5:55 pm
MC5 without question--if ony for "American Ruse".
I'm an erstwhile Airplane fan #1, but what about moe., to keep up with the times?
Santana moves the crowd to dance like few others.
The old SF scene produced some great meteoric (not mediocre!) bands, at the top of which must be:
MOBY GRAPE!
Beyond this, I can't really disagree with any on the list. They all are our source and do their hard work for us as much as for themselves.
Praise be! Long live rock and roll!


Alley Gator says:
08/10/12 2:08 pm
tedemore said: MC5 without question--if only for "American Ruse"... Praise be! Long live rock and roll!
Thanks for turning me on to "American Ruse." For others who may also have missed the boat so far, click here to see why tedemore identified this amazing track.