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The Top Ten Greatest Rock Bands of all time

Hmm. Tricky question, and very subjective. In fact, this list has been quite hard to compile, simply because my choice in music is so varied and also tends to change a lot depending on what mood I'm in.

However, some music is just so great that it stands the test of time and always inspires emotion in me. I think the bands listed here are at the pinnacle of inspiration and emotion and have made a lasting contribution to 20th century music.

The top two should really be joint No.One I think as they're both far and away the greatest bands ever. However, I think the sheer emotional energy inspired by the Floyd puts them in the top spot.


1) Pink Floyd

Arguably the greatest rock band of all time. The fusion of David Gilmour and Roger Water's musical talents created an unmistakable and unique sound. I don't care what anyone says, Dave Gilmour is one of the world's greatest guitarists.

I think my personal favourite album is Wish You Were Here but A Momentary Lapse of Reason is another brilliant album, and who can forget the all-time classic Dark Side of the Moon. One of the greatest songs ever is Comfortably Numb.

However, I guess the song that will remind most people of Pink Floyd is probably their most famous song, Another Brick in the Wall.


2) The Moody Blues

Should really be joint first position because The Moody Blues are another band with a unique and special kind of music. Play any Moody Blues track and they're instantly recognisable. As Ray Thomas once said, when the four of them start playing, there's that unmistakably Moodies sound. I agree.

Their lyrics are profound, thought-provoking and highly emotional. And if you've never seen them live in concert then you've missed a truly memorable experience. They epitomised that 60s and 70s feeling.

My all-time favourite song is Forever Autumn, although technically this was a Justin Haywood solo track rather than a Moody Blues one. (my second all-time favourite is Comfortably Numb (see above)

Most people will probably remember Nights in White Satin and Question, two of their most famous songs.


After the top two it becomes a bit more difficult to put them in numeric order, because they're all good and, depending on mood, should all go at no.3. However, I'll try...

3) Fleetwood Mac

Brilliant! Another band I can listen to anytime, and what a range of talent through the years! I think Fleetwood Mac have excelled at more musical styles, ranging from Blues to Pop, than I've had hot dinners - and they're all brilliant.

From Peter Green's early blues stuff (sometimes I think this is my favourite era) to best seller classics like Tango in the Night, Fleetwood Mac span the generations and bring back all the emotions of a bygone era of freedom and inhibition.

Albatross is another of the greatest tracks of all-time, especially the extended live version.

4) The Who

Arguably the loudest rock band of all time. Again, one to sum up the feelings of a lost era (do watch Quadrophenia and Tommy if you get the chance). Pinball Wizard and Behind Blue Eyes demonstrate the range of their classic songs.

If you've not heard them before (where HAVE you been??) then get "Who's Last" which contains most of their classic tracks.

5) Yes

A classic mix of superb talent and composition. Virtually all their albums are essential listening, to say nothing of the cover art, each a masterpiece of Roger Dean's airbrush work. Yes have another unique and instantly recognisable sound. 90125 is another must-have album for any collection.

6) Journey

American supergroup of the 1980's (I'm a bit of a fan of those 'middle-of-the-road-80s-American-supergroup' type bands) but Journey are one of the best in my opinion. Trial By Fire is a must have for any serious collection, but all their albums are great air guitar stuff.

I've decided to include Journey more as representative of a whole genre which is important to include. Such other genre members would include bands such as Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Bon Jovi, Dio, The Eagles, Guns and Roses, REO Speedwagon and Supertramp etc - so perhaps this entry should be more 'American Symphonic Rock' than Journey per se.

7) Meat Loaf

I'm sure Meat Loaf (real name Marvin Lee Aday) is one of the fastest singers in the world. The speed and skill at which some of his songs are performed is enough to take the words right out of your mouth (excuse the pun).

Bat Out of Hell is yet another all-time classic album and all his songs just overflow with energy and emotion. Great videos too (must remember to add that woman in the I'll do anything for Love video to my list of beautiful women!)

8) Queen

Many people would argue that Queen should go higher in the list - and I'd probably agree, as it's difficult to categorise so many favourites. And Queen are easily the best group I have ever seen live (I was lucky enough to attend 'Knebworth in 85').

Everyone must remember Bohemian Rhapsody but they have so many classic hits it would be difficult to list them all here. Freddy Mercury was one of the greatest showmen and performers of rock, and his death (in 1991) was a sad loss to the world of music.

9) Genesis

Early stuff is perhaps more unique and certainly influential, but all excellent. Unfortunately in the later years they went a bit too commercial for my liking. Foxtrot is a favourite, but I bet Peter Gabriel would rather forget the marigold custume...

10) The Rolling Stones

Like Queen, The Rolling Stones should probably go higher in the list, but then someone would have to go lower and I'd spend all day re-jigging the list! Again, too many hits to list here, but the Hot Rocks 1964-1971 double-album might be a good introduction, as if Mick Jagger's mega-group needs an introduction!

Paint It Black, Ruby Tuesday and Satisfaction will probably be their most memorable tracks for many people.

Runners up

....Loads.... (in alphabetical order to avoid getting into the problem of trying to categorise them all again)

Special Mention

A special mention must go to Jeff Wayne's musical version of War of the Worlds which ranks amongst the best albums of all time. featuring Julie Covington, David Essex, Phil Lynott and Justin Haywood with a narration by Richard Burton, this album is an absolute must for all music collections, not least because it contains my favourite song of all time - Forever Autumn by Justin Haywood.

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Last edit: 10th Apr 2016 at 1:55pm
(440 days ago)

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