AVRev.com's Top 10 Rock Bands of All Time Print E-mail
Written by Charles Andrews, Howard Schilling, Jack Sonni and Ken Lopez   
Monday, 28 July 2008
Top 100 Bands of All Time
To celebrate the tenth anniversary of AVRev.com , AVRev.com has compiled its list of the top bands in rock history.

The Judges
The group of five judges included three Baby Boomers and two Generation Exers. The Boomers include former Dire Straits guitarist Jack Sonni, as well as University of Southern California Thornton School of Music professor Ken Lopez, Desktop speaker company XHi-Fi president Howard Schilling and AVRev.com’s music editor Charles Andrews to round out the group.

The Method and Categories
From a diverse list of 100 bands, judges ranked each band for each category. A perfect score is 550 points. Using the analytical tools that have become popular in high-powered fantasy sports, the AVRev.com judges rated bands based on a battery of criteria.

U.S. Sales: (100 points max) Sales numbers come from the RIAA’s website and are ranked from 100 to 1 (with the top score going to The Beatles). These numbers are based in fact and therefore were not voted on or changed in any way by any of the judges.

Songs and Songwriting: (100 points max) Songwriting is key to the legacy of any band. In addition to songwriting, judges were encouraged to judge a band on how they interpreted songs in performance. The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s version of “All Along the Watchtower” or Van Halen’s “You Really Got Me” reflect the respective band’s ability to remake a great song, written by someone else, as their own.

Technical Ability: (100 points max) All too often, music critics overlook a band’s ability to play their asses off (think reviews of Nirvana), but not at AVRev.com. Having chops is a fully ranked, 100-point category.

Innovation: (100 points max) The ability to define a genre or a sound or a technique, or to strongly influence bands that came after you, make up the parameters for the fully-weighted innovation category.

Live Performance: (50 points max) Some members of the panel of judges have actually played with or opened for a number of the bands on the list. Ken Lopez’s story of jamming with Jimi Hendrix at the Guild booth before the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival is an all-time classic rock story. Our team of judges look at how good a band is playing live based loosely on their draw, seeing the band live or watching them on video.

Consistency vs. Longevity: (50 points max) This is one of the most interesting categories, when you consider the role of the most critically acclaimed bands during the history of rock. Bands like The Eagles rank high in this category because they had a long run as a top rock band, yet knew when to hang up the spurs. The Jimi Hendrix Experience, despite their short run, also did well, considering their three studio records. Even when Jimi let Noel Redding (the bass player) sing – the song was good. The Rolling Stones have many a landmark record in their history, but they also have many a stiff. Consider your own grade for bands like Genesis and Van Halen, who tried to go for a third front man with disastrous results to an otherwise spectacular career.

Random Play: (50 points max) This category allows the judge to vote on a band based on how likely he is to listen to a band’s songs if they were to come up on an iPod. Many respected bands suffer in this category, whereas bands that are quietly a guilty pleasure (think The Bee Gees or The Carpenters) can get high grades.

Bands That Never Got Considered
It was a tough job to assemble the list of bands for consideration. It was essential that bands from the early days of the 1950s through today’s most popular acts were considered. We looked for diversity in genre and type. We included bands that were reggae, electronic, strong country/crossover and beyond. We did not consider individual artists such as Elvis or Michael Jackson, because this is an exercise in looking at the best bands. In the event an artist was associated with a stable band, judges were instructed to only consider his or her work with that band. An act like Prince and the Revolution was aided in that category, since “the artist formerly known as a vegan symbol record company slave” isn’t being judged.

In the process of ranking bands, we have thought of a few we would have liked to add and we are confident you will have some good suggestions, too, which we will list. Click here to voice your opinion about this article. Here is a start to the list:

ABBA, Chicago, Kiss and more to come....

Judge for Yourself.  Check out our Best Rock Albums of all Time as well!
 
 
 
						Band
			
			
1 to 100
1 to 50
1 to 550
 
U.S.
Sales
Songs
Technical
Ability
Innovation
Live
Performance
Consistency
Random
Play
Total
1. Led Zeppelin 99 95 98 93 48 48 47 528
2. The Beatles 100 98 78 99 45 47 47 514
3. Pink Floyd 97 91 92 96 48 43 39 506
4. The Jimi Hendrix Experience 68 95 99 99 49 46 47 503
5. Van Halen 91 87 97 93 44 42 42 496
6. Queen 84 91 91 91 45 46 45 493
7. The Eagles 98 95 84 68 42 47 45 479
8. Metallica 92 84 87 87 46 39 33 468
9. U2 90 84 73 78 48 46 36 455
10. Bob Marley and the Wailers 59 92 72 93 44 47 47 454
11. The Police 71 91 91 72 38 44 44 451
12. The Doors 82 87 75 88 39 43 36 450
13. Stone Temple Pilots 61 86 85 87 43 40 44 446
14. Rush 75 74 98 77 43 42 35 444
15. Genesis 67 84 83 81 41 42 38 436
16. Prince and the Revolution 58 87 84 79 45 40 42 435
17. Yes 52 75 94 89 46 38 40 434
18. Earth Wind and Fire 73 88 91 68 39 39 35 433
19. The Bee Gees 78 88 76 73 35 39 39 428
20. The Rolling Stones 94 89 66 68 41 32 28 418
21. The Beach Boys 66 81 73 89 34 33 38 414
22. Soundgarden 43 78 83 86 40 41 42 413
23. The Who 65 75 84 73 44 37 34 412
24. Steely Dan 49 84 85 87 29 37 40 411
25. James Brown and the JBs 9 89 89 93 44 42 42 408
26. AC/DC 96 73 68 50 40 37 36 400
27. Fleetwood Mac 89 79 75 54 37 36 28 398
28. Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young 62 79 81 63 39 38 34 396
29. The Allman Brothers 39 75 86 77 41 39 37 394
30. ZZ Top 76 71 75 48 42 41 39 392
31.
Aerosmith 95 78 72 47 37 35 27 391
32. Cream 28 77 87 84 47 32 35 390
33. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band 93 68 62 50 48 37 28 386
34. The Grateful Dead 60 62 69 85 46 33 30 385
35.
Guns 'N Roses 87 73 76 51 34 29 31 381
36. Pearl Jam 81 54 55 89 42 31 26 378
37. Boston 83 67 74 57 37 30 29 377
38. Dire Straits 57 73 78 53 36 35 31 363
39. King Crimson 7 60 96 84 44 35 36 362
40. Parliament Funkadelic 27 72 78 82 37 35 30 361
41. Red Hot Chili Peppers 63 68 68 59 41 29 28 356
42. Bon Jovi 85 74 73 31 39 29 24 355
43.
Dixie Chicks 80 53 59 85 26 33 17 353
44. Foreigner 86 70 66 45 33 29 23 352
45. David Bowie and The Spiders From Mars 30 71 73 75 38 33 31 351
46. The Talking Heads 37 71 69 66 38 34 33 348
47. Jethro Tull 50 61 71 75 36 26 28 347
48.
The Band 21 71 77 64 39 38 34 344
49. The Beastie Boys 69 53 40 88 36 30 27 343
50. Nirvana 77 53 45 88 37 25 17 342
51. Rage Against The Machine 45 60 82 67 26 34 26 340
52.
Sly and the Family Stone 42 74 67 85 20 23 27 338
53. The Clash 31 58 61 89 35 30 33 337
54. Tool 44 49 85 60 36 33 28 335
55. Journey 88 59 76 33 29 26 23 334
56. No Doubt 53 82 60 43 30 37 27 332
57. Creedence Clearwater Revival 70 66 57 40 31 32 32 328
58. Deep Purple 38 65 77 53 36 31 25 325
59. Alice In Chains 48 53 66 74 25 26 31 323
60. Orbital 8 53 64 88 36 41 32 322
61. Little Feat 22 66 77 56 40 31 29 321
62. Duran Duran 51 74 57 61 23 29 25 320
63. Living Colour 24 44 85 75 38 22 31 319
64. Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention 5 61 85 81 29 31 26 318
65. The Carpenters 74 61 52 54 19 28 29 317
66. Audioslave 29 71 77 52 30 26 31 316
67.
The Pretenders 26 62 61 72 39 31 24 315
68. Primus 23 45 88 66 38 27 27 314
69.
Blondie 34 65 57 65 32 31 29 313
70. Black Sabbath 54 55 60 62 33 26 19 309
71. Lynyrd Skynyrd 79 52 51 45 34 29 17 307
72. Sex Pistols 16 65 41 95 37 28 24 306
73. Isaac Hayes and the Movement 15 70 70 51 39 33 27 305
74. R.E.M. 64 54 47 55 29 35 20 304
75. Traffic 20 61 76 59 33 30 24 303
76. Buffalo Springfield 17 66 65 59 35 32 28 302
77. Derek and the Dominos 11 74 77 49 31 28 31 301
78. The Jackson Five 18 86 51 52 27 35 30 299
79. The O'Jays 33 66 62 43 31 32 31 298
80. Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes 25 68 62 41 32 30 29 287
81. Underworld 2 68 61 48 40 36 31 286
82.
Thievery Corporation 1 69 53 56 31 39 36 285
83. Motley Crue 72 55 56 29 23 24 25 284
84. Janis Joplin and Big Brother and the Holding Company 56 51 46 52 29 24 25 283
85. Blind Faith 19 59 66 55 26 24 28 277
86. The Animals 10 64 53 52 34 34 29 276
87. The Roots 12 41 79 76 24 28 11 271
88. The Velvet Underground 4 50 64 69 27 30 21 265
89. The Kinks 13 53 52 60 30 31 23 262
90. Radiohead 32 54 50 47 31 27 20 261
91. The Scorpions 47 46 56 35 27 24 25 260
92. Kansas 55 43 53 44 28 20 15 258
93. Iron Maiden 36 38 62 52 29 22 18 257
94. Motorhead 6 43 52 64 36 23 29 253
95. Judas Priest 40 31 65 46 26 22 21 251
96. The Orb 3 49 54 62 22 26 23 239
97. The Cure 41 42 28 58 20 31 10 230
98. Coldplay 46 43 41 37 27 19 16 229
99. Slayer 14 31 72 45 27 18 18 225
100. Black Eyed Peas 35 33 36 40 34 20 16

214


 




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