|AVRev.com's Top 10 Rock Bands of All Time|
|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 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!