Greatest American Rock and Role Bands of ALL Time


I have run into several advertisements saying that Aerosmith was the greatest American R&R band. I have thought about this claim and asked around and realize it is not an easy choice. So many of the great rock bands are not American..i.e. Led Zeppelin, Beatles, Rolling Stones, Rush, etc.

But before going further, who should/should not be considered?

 I think “band” means not Elvis, Elton John, etc or other single acts, that is another thread. However I would count Ted Nugent since he really is a band but with his name as a title…same with Hendrix, since he usually played with a band.
 They need to write at least most of there own music (another thing that would preclude Elvis).
 “Rock” any thing from the 50s up to alternative (which I consider a derivative of rock). This would include pop rock, so the Monkey’s might be considered (if they were American).
 Heavy metal would be ok.
 they should sustain their appeal over a period of time even if they weren’t able to produce a lot of music…i.e. Buddy Hollie, Hendrix

Anyway, there is no perfect guide so if you have other ideas, no problem. But here are a few of the undisputed best…..(that is bait)

 Amerosmith
 Kiss
 Alice Cooper
 Ted Nugent
Journey
….hey, I don’t know, I really would have a hard time putting any of these in a top 10 list of all time worldwide so I need some help,

Who are the greatest American Rock Bands of All Time???????????? Who is THE Greatest of all time
bbtuna
Who else spawned a never ending culture like the Grateful Dead...hands down my #1 pick.
Is it just me, or is anyone else bothered by the profusion of "list" topics on Audiogon lately? Have we run out of things to talk about save to assign everything to best or worst categories? Feels like sitting around the dorm room mentally jerking off.

Perhaps as an alternative, we could . . . did you know that dog spelled backwards ...
The Blasters, NRBQ
CSN&Y
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
The Bodeans
The Traveling Wilburys
The Troggs
Jethro Tull
Santana
I don't know if he would qualify by your standards, but I nominate: Chuck Berry.
Grand Funk
Creedence Clearwater Revival might be a legitimate contender for inclusion in a best American bands list.
#1 Buffalo Springfield
#2 The Temptations
#3 The Beach Boys

Happy listening,
Patrick
It may be interesting to also consider the term "American" in the concept of uniqueley "American". The Beach Boys and Creedence have been mentioned, very american and specific to certain regions of the country. There is also the whole family of the Motown sound, Smokey Robinson, The 4 Tops, heck, even the Jackson 5. They would fall into the rock/roll definition by many. Myself, i would go for the Ramones as no. 1, Joey Ramone was truly a great american.
HENDRIX

did he qualify?

or maybe,

Allman Brothers
Little Feat
The Dead who else could it be ! 94 LIVE SHOWS all over the country nobody gets a crowd jumping like the Dead. the records were not that good but see em live a few times and you will never look at the world the same. The song writing of Bob Dylan and all the bands that do his music not real rock and roll a kind of folk but still a giant in music today and yesterday.
When I first read this post, I also thought of Motown. However, let me add Simon and Garfunkel and The Byrds to the list.
The only American bands that have survived my culling down to best of best are as follows:

The Doors
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
The Allman Brothers
Santana
Bob Dylan and "The Band"

My all time favorite American band (not single artist) is the Doors.
Hmm...Difficult, Yes?... Here is a broad ranging list of 10 for consideration (in no "real" order)
Chuck Berry
Jimi Hendrix Experience
Beachboys
Grateful Dead
Velvet Underground
Ramones
Allman Bros.
Santana
Frank Zappa & The Mothers
Creedence
This list made me realize that most of the rock (and role?) music I listen to is not American made. But, you can't beat The Ramones.

Brad Day
Atlanta, GA
Americans may have started Rock and Role but The Englishmen are continuing to finish it !Slim pick'ins in the USA.
Since when is Santana American?
Eagles
Durbin,
sorry but after reading threads for weeks, there aren't too many "original" threads are there? At least this is about music. What you do in your dorm room is your own business. happy listening :)

This is good, I have some new music I need to go out and buy.

How about Bruce Springstien and the E-Street band.

Just as a point of interest here are the most requested rock bands from allmusic.com...I understand that not all of these meet my own criteria however I thought it was interesting...

Artists
U2 ( 21192) The Beatles ( 18423) Bob Dylan ( 12601)
Jimi Hendrix ( 12397) The Who ( 9330) Korn ( 9215)
Neil Young ( 9187) Nirvana ( 9111) 'N Sync ( 8581)
Elton John ( 8563) Björk ( 8400) Moby ( 8252)
Eric Clapton ( 8157) Destiny's Child ( 8115) Radiohead ( 8026)
R. Kelly ( 7796) R.E.M. ( 7786) Yes ( 7653)
John Lennon ( 7651) Frank Zappa ( 7523) Paul Simon ( 7506)
Queen ( 7213) Trina [1] ( 7102) Genesis ( 6758)

cd
pink floyd, eagles, rolling stones , ac/dc, fleetwood mac, the list goes on.
Sonic Youth
Velvet Underground
REM (early)
Yo La Tengo
Wilco
I think some of you guys should check your facts before you start posting--Jethro Tull-American?,surely not,Pink Floyd mmm there is a Cambridge or two in America-but,Fleetwood Mac-originally British and still features 2 Brits,AC/DC???
Rolling Stones-good grief!!!!!!!
CSN&Y-only two of those are American too......
Perhaps The Byrds should be given consideration, afterall they were the Beatles favorite band. George's,"If I Needed Someone," was inspired by the Byrds.
When Waylon Jennings died recently, I read a quote of his on why he refused to accept a Grammy once. His words were to the effect of, artists are not in competition with one another. 'Nuff said.
AC/DC is Australian.
kirk930, i assume you are joking? pink floyd is english. fleetwood mac is english. rolling stones are english. ac/dc is austrailian.
velvet underground
nirvana
beach boys
iggy and the stooges
wilco
Byrds, Velvet Underground, Allman Bros., Eagles, REM, The Ramones, The Replacements, Camper Van Beethoven, Talking Heads
I thought Carlos Santana was from Southern California.
RESIDENTS HE... HE... HE...
Devo!
B-52s!
Martini Ranch!
As noted, Jethro Tull, U2, AC/DC, A-Cooper, P-Floyd, etc, (Troggs? Aerosmith?) are not american... BUT Hendrix, Zappa, Velvet U/ground, Allman Bros, S-R Vaughan band, Doors, are/were (unfortunately for those in past tense).
Cheers!
Doors
Allman Bros
Grateful Dead
Los Lobos
The Band
I can't believe nobody's mentioned Los Lobos. The same goes for Booker T. & the MGs. Although not strictly rock 'n' roll, Muddy Water's late 50s band with Little Walter and Jimmy Rogers hasn't be duplicated.
Best rock show I've ever seen - few who've seen them live would disagree and isn't the live performance what makes the band rather than their studio creations? Nearly thirty years since they started, very little turnover and even better thean ever - lots of practice. I last saw him at the Staple Center in LA and he absolutely rocked the place. I've seen Zeppelin, The Who, Kiss, Def Leppard but none of them had the crowd into it like Bruce.

Oh yeah, Alice Cooper isn't American? He's from Arizona.
Best rock show I've ever seen - few who've seen them live would disagree and isn't the live performance what makes the band rather than their studio creations? Nearly thirty years since they started, very little turnover and even better thean ever - lots of practice. I last saw him at the Staple Center in LA and he absolutely rocked the place. I've seen Zeppelin, The Who, Kiss, Def Leppard but none of them had the crowd into it like Bruce.

Oh yeah, Alice Cooper isn't American? He's from Arizona.
That gig must have been in New York-so good,you posted it twice...........................

:-)

Ben
No votes for Chicago? By the way, since Canada is generally considered part of North America, CSN&Y is more than 50% American. Unless, of course, we are using Amrican in the US-centric sense of the word. :-)
There are also the various Jefferson iterations (J Airplane, J Starship). Maybe not "the greatest" but anything with Grace Slick in it was certainly interesting.
The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, w/Mike Bloomfield.
Ginger Baker's Airforce smokes the whole rock-n-roll
The Allman Brothers (original)
Talking Heads
Santana (San Francisco based band)
The Doors
Buffalo Springfield
Blood, Sweat and Tears (original band with Al Kooper)
The Grateful Dead (popular, but not great)
All American Rock and Roll bands?
1. CCR
2. George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers
3. ZZ Top
4. Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band
Cheers. Craig
Don't forget Boston and Supertramp.
Rock on.....Erik


After all the diverse and great responses I thought I would take a minute and tally the votes. This can serve as a shopping guide as well as a point of interest. I tried to add up all the times bands were selected and where possible keep it to American. Even though several were alternative, like Nirvana, I left them in.

The clear winner....Almond Brothers....ironically enough, Aerosmith ended up at the bottom when I did my sort...hmm, I wonder is it fate or....

I will save my file if more names are added and next week I will post the finals.

hope you find some new music to go buy

happy listening :)
cd
Allman Bros 7
Velvet Underground 5
Doors 5
Santana 4
Ramones 4
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young 4
Creedence Clearwater Revival 4
Beach Boys 4
Jimi Hendrix Experience 3
Eagles 3
Byrds 3
Wilco 2
Talking Heads 2
REM 2
Los Lobos 2
Grateful Dead 2
Frank Zappa & The Mothers 2
Chuck Berry 2
Buffalo Springfield 2
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band 2
Bob Dylan and "The Band" 2
Alice Cooper 2
ZZ Top 1
Yo La Tengo 1
Troggs 1
Traveling Wilburys 1
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers 1
Temptations 1
Ted Nugent 1
S-R Vaughan band 1
Sonic Youth 1
Smokey Robinson 1
Replacements 1
Paul Butterfield Blues Band, w/Mike Bloomfield 1
NRBQ 1
nirvana 1
Muddy Water's late 50s band with Little Walter and Jimmy Rogers 1
Martini Ranch 1
Little Feat 1
Kiss 1
Journey 1
Jackson 5 1
J Airplane, J Starship 1
iggy and the stooges 1
Grand Funk 1
Ginger Baker's Airforce 1
George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers 1
Garfunkel 1
Devo 1
Camper Van Beethoven 1
Booker T. & the MGs 1
Bodeans 1
Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band 1
Blood, Sweat and Tears (original band with Al Kooper) 1
Blasters 1
B-52s 1
Amerosmith 1
FYI Carlos Santana is an American Citizen.

Cheers,R.
got Boston and Supertramp so I might as well add Kansas and any other state bands but really, are you saying you think Boston or Supertramp are the best American R&R band of ALL time or are we just trying to name all the American bands we can think of?

Even with that said, isn't it Boston who holds the record for most albums sold an a debut album or am I thinking of someone else? But after the debut, then what...nothing or close to it.

cd
Although Jimi Hendrix is an American, the Jimi Hendrix Experience formed and gained notoriety in England. The Band of Gypsies were an American rock and roll band featuring Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Miles and Billy Cox. They were awesome!
Bbtuna,
Okay I was pushing it with Supertramp, I just like their stuff. With Boston you're correct. I'm only refering to their self titled debut album. They had such a unique sound, I thought I'd through them in. At least I'm not mentioning brits or aussies.