Thursday, July 7, 2011 Lists the 50 Greatest American Rock Bands of All-Time recently compiled their list of the Top 50 American Rock Bands of All Time. As some of you may know, I am a bit of a listoholic. Because the lists reflect the tastes of the people compiling them, I normally don't get too upset about inclusions/omissions. However, there are exceptions. Below is's top 50, followed by some of my thoughts on the the list. After that is the top 25 selected by readers. For more info on the artists who made the top 50, please visit  

01. Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band
02. Aerosmith
03. Nirvana
04. The Ramones
05. Metallica
06. Van Halen
07. The Byrds
08. R.E.M.
09. The Beach Boys
10. The Allman Brothers Band
11. Guns N' Roses
12. The Doors
13. Eagles
14. Creedence Clearwater Revival
15. The Stooges
16. Lynyrd Skynyrd
17. The Velvet Underground
18. Pearl Jam
19. Wilco
20. Buddy Holly and The Crickets
21. The Grateful Dead
22. The White Stripes
23. Sly and The Family Stone
24. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
25. The Replacements
26. KISS
27. Big Star
28. Red Hot Chili Peppers
29. Foo Fighters
30. ZZ Top
31. Sonic Youth
32. Los Lobos
33. X
34. Pixies
35. Talking Heads
36. Booker T. and The MG's
37. The Flaming Lips
38. Mountain
39. The J. Geils Band
40. Buffalo Springfield
41. NRBQ
42. Cheap Trick
43. The Strokes
44. Alice Cooper
45. The Lovin' Spoonful
46. Kings of Leon
47. Elvis Presley and The Blue Moon Boys
48. Yo La Tengo
49. Frank Zappa and The Mothers Of Invention
50. Green Day

  • Although I may have gone with Aerosmith or VH for my choice of numero uno, Gibson's #1 selection gets no argument from me.
  • I liked the fact that record sales didn't play a part in who Gibson decided to put on their list.
  • The list could have used a bit more estrogen and not just for diversity's sake. Heart, Fanny, and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts are among the all-female or female-led bands who I feel were worthy of making the list.
  • I was pleasantly surprised to see The Lovin' Spoonful (one of my favorite bands) get some much deserved love.
  • Where is Living Colour?! Readers Poll – Top 25 American Rock Bands

01. Van Halen
02. Guns N' Roses
03. Allman Brothers Band
04. Creedence Clearwater Revival
05. Aerosmith
06. Wilco
07. Mountain
08. Poco
09. The Replacements
10. The Byrds
11. ZZ Top
12. Grateful Dead
13. KISS
14. The Ramones
15. The Doors
16. The White Stripes
17. Metallica
18. Nirvana
19. Steppenwolf
20. Talking Heads
21. Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band
22. Buffalo Springfield
23. Alice In Chains
24. Cracker
25. Foo Fighters

What changes would you make to's top 50 list?


Jay said...

I definitely think that Joan Jett & The Blackhearts and Heart should be on that list. And maybe even The Pretenders.

Also, no Fleetwood Mac? Okay, maybe not top 50.

How 'bout Bill Haley and the Comets though?

And, I'm surprised that Bon Jovi didn't make the list. Not because I would put them up there, but because they have such a huge following.

LL Cool Joe said...

Nice to see Buddy Holly and the Crickets in the list. I would have liked to have seen Gene Vincent & the Bluecaps.

Malcolm said...

Jay: I think The Pretenders and Fleetwood Mac weren't considered because both of them had multiple members from the UK.

Good call on Bill Haley and his Comets. I'm ashamed I didn't think of them. Not only could they play, but they were showmen as well!

I feel the same way as you about Bon Jovi. Their absence from the list makes it more legit.

LL Cool Joe: It was nice to see some of the rock and roll pioneers such as Buddy Holly & the Crickets make the list. When I saw them on the list, Gene Vincent and his Blue Caps immediately came to mind. One of my favorite scenes in "The Girl Can't Help It" is when they do "Be Bop-A-Lula".

Barbara said...

Malcom! I love their number one pick. How dare you move Bruce to 21, you're joking right?!? :)

Malcolm said...

Barbara: It's great to hear from you! The 2nd list (which has Bruce at #21) was compiled by Gibson's readers. You should know I wouldn't put Bruce any lower than #20! :-)

Captain America said...


tim jones in Spokane said...

Yes I was looking for the Heart and STYX. Oh well, people do have different opinions. We differ in preferences when it comes to music that's why.

guitar picks said...

This is a very interesting list and I guess I will not argue about it since my choices are also in the list. These will include Aerosmith, Metallica, Green day and Foo Fighters. People just have different tastes when it comes to music and so it is really normal that some will not agree with this list. Anyway, thank you for sharing this post.

Malcolm Bondon said...

Capt. America and Tim from Spokane: Both Styx and Kansas are at the very least worthy of the conversation. Like Tim said, it's all about personal preferences.

Malcolm Bondon said...

Guitar Picks: You're welcome, thanks for visiting!

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