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The Greatest Ever
Posted by Brian Beerman on Thursday, Sep. 20th, 2012 at 2:15 AM

As my coworkers and family will attest, I am a huge Led Zeppelin fan.  I consider them the greatest rock n roll band...EVER!

I also like lists and polls, etc., so I thought it would be fun to see what the league thinks.  Please share your thoughts if you can.

Cheers!

Readers Comments

I cannot even come up with a clear cut #1.  The Beatles is the logical choice based upon influence but I do not know if that along with sales/popularity should make them #1 for being THE greatest.  I think the Yardbirds were an awesome group and that Jimmy Page built upon that success/innovation with Led Zeppelin.  Led Zeppelin's predecessors were able to evolve their sound from their blues beginnings without any emulation of the Beatles (that I can detect or heard of).  The Rolling Stones, I believe, started out as a "follow-up" to the Beatles being a cover band with blues influence (similar to Yardbirds) HOWEVER they also evolved - CONSTANTLY.  This band performed classic evolution as they did so to adapt, not to what was currently "the sound" but, to their own roster and playing rock & roll music.  I do not think they deserve the "in the shadow of the Beatles" treatment they seem to get.  

Beatles (1960-1970): Queen, U2     Led Zeppelin (1970-1980): The Who, Pink Floyd     Rolling Stones (1964-when will it end!?): Aerosmith

I am going to go with Yardbirds as they are from the same time frame as the Beatles and although NO ONE would ever say they were a better band than the Beatles.  I would dare say they were the greatest rock band of all time by virtually creating the genre that bands who had followed them played. The list above is how I think bands were influenced and I think I could put the Yardbirds above two of the three.

Rob Baptiste on Thursday, Sep. 20th, 2012 at 4:35 AM
 

When I think Led Zeppelin, I think Jimmy Page. Although Jimmy Page was a member of the Yardbirds at one time...  with whom he had develeopped great experience. His roots and start was with Zeppelin though.. Great guitar playing in songs like "The song remains the same" . I vote for Led Zeppelin as being the Greatest.

Abe Hamdali on Friday, Sep. 21st, 2012 at 12:17 AM
 

I would find it difficult to rebutt anyone that chose either The Beatles, Led Zeppelin or even The Rolling Stones.  I looked up a list that I felt may be a concensus Top NN list and found the following:

http://www.rockonthenet.com/archive/2000/vh1hardrock1.htm

At #1 is indeed Led Zeppelin - for Hard Rock Artist! (Black Sabbath is #2).  The Rolling Stones are at #67 just ahead of Husker Du and behind Joan Jett!  So even versus a peer of hard rock/metal bands, Led Zeppelin comes in at #1.  The Yardbirds incidently were able to grab #37 despite being chronologically challenged for such a subgenre.   As one might expect, this really isn't a category for The Beatles so not surprisingly they go unlisted.  How about just the Greatest 100 Artists period?  Well, that would be inclusive of all genres and solo artists.  That list can be found here:

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/lists/100-greatest-artists-of-all-time-19691231/talking-heads-19691231

The link gives away #100; I'm sure none of you thought Talkings Heads were #1 overall! The Yardbirds come in at #89 with Steven Tyler posting his thoughts on their place in history, his own life and this list. The Rolling Stones (favoritism via the magazine namesake?) ascended to #4 on the list.  Don't have time to read Elvis Costello's take on it but via skimming he went over some of what I commented in my last entry.  Led Zeppelin comes in at #14.  With all the "pop" (overall sense of that word, not meaning today's Top 40) artists (not just bands!) on the list, this is strong showing for the pioneers of heavy metal ALTHOUGH they were NOT a heavy metal band.  As mentioned above, the group evolved from The Yardbirds and perhaps I did not give enough credit to just how much evolution occurred.  While I do not think it was Neaderthal to modern-day man (I am not saying there is a lineage here), their evolution is probably close to 6th century common man to that whiz kid who completes college in 2 years at age 17.  Much like the last band, you can probably discuss intricacies of at least 25 of their songs and have 25 distinct conversations.  I'll let Brian say the rest about them.  The #1 artist of all time... The Beatles.  They beat the "The King", "The King of Pop" and heck they probably beat the "King of England" from any reign in history.  You want songs - they got them.  You want "the sound" - they provided it. 

With a top 15 showing in both lists, this sure does look like Led Zeppelin may be the "Kings of Rock".  I am not changing, nor lobbying to change, my vote.  In fact, my vote might be the same as bands are known to change rosters over ther years.  One could argue that it was the "same" band as the concensus if pretty much how Jimmy Page went is how the progress went.  Anyone voting for the Quarrymen??

Rob Baptiste on Friday, Sep. 21st, 2012 at 7:20 AM
 

Nickelback.

John Holden on Thursday, Sep. 27th, 2012 at 6:47 PM
 

I always get very confused when discussing musical topics such as this one. Having grown up in the 60`s when all was "rock`n`roll"...then being a teenager/young man in the 70`s, when a lot of the mentioned groups became "rock" groups ?

My personal feeling are that groups such as the Beatles and yardbirds are more "pop"..whereas the Who,Stones and led Zep are true "rock", but thats just my view.

i also think that trying to compare groups from different musical ages and even generations is almost impossible. If the vote is purely personal favorite ? then thats far simpler...Bruce and the E. Street band, but even then, the influences of preceding rock groups can be seen through each decade and generation right up to today..i guess i`m talking about "my generation"..??...LOL

Great subject and great memories. I would also have to add the ANIMALS to the above list.

Bill Bushby on Friday, Sep. 28th, 2012 at 5:02 AM
 

I'm with BIll B.  Broooooooooce!

Mike Cabral on Friday, Sep. 28th, 2012 at 2:17 PM
 

Is John's response grounds enough to kick him out of MSWL? =)

Rob Peterson on Saturday, Sep. 29th, 2012 at 10:13 AM
 

Nickelback is such a good band, they can keep writing the same song over and over and sell records. Case in point. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2pXfAK8r1k

John Holden on Saturday, Sep. 29th, 2012 at 12:20 PM
 

For once (and only once), I agree with Mr Holden.  Nickelback sux.

Brian Beerman on Wednesday, Oct. 3rd, 2012 at 5:33 AM
 

I would only consider bands I have seen live

THE BEATLES: were not a great live band, most of their best stuff was studio produced & not even rock

THE ROLLING STONES : were indisputably a great live band but Jagger was never the greatest singer in the world

QUEEN : were again Pop & a better studio band & their performances depended on the mood of Freddie

PINK FLOYD : If they spent as much time playing their instruments as they did bitching with each other they would have been awesome

THE WHO : For me are the best 'Rock' Band Ever, I've seen them in the 60's,70's,80's,90's, 00's & at the Olympic closing ceremony & once again they Rocked everybody else off the stage. Keith Moon was the craziest man to sit behind a drum kit & probably the best drummer ever. Townsend is a guitar genious & Daltreys vocals are astounding even now in his retirement years!

Best Album track of all time : Baba O'Riley

Dave Dowson on Saturday, Oct. 6th, 2012 at 11:29 PM
 

Love the Dave Dowson follow-up on this thread.  :-)

The Who are pretty high on my list as well and am envious that Budvar Dave has seen them in every decade.  

Allan Sellers on Sunday, Oct. 7th, 2012 at 11:33 PM
 

If longevity were also a factor, one would be faced with selecting either The Rolling Stones or The Who. I do not have any facts (NO DATA whatsoever) to back this up but I sense that The Rolling Stones were given additional hype here in the U.S. while The Who not nearly enough.  Always seemed like The Beatles were the foremost mentioned "British Invasion" band with The Rolling Stones being the hard rock step-cousin to them with the remainder of the aforementioned bands from all the posts above being part of the "second wave" or beyond.  Since "Dr. Death" (welcome to Div. 1 by the way) has seen almost all of those listed (Dave, have you seen Nickelback live yet?), I would have to say his assessment of those musical groups appear to be a [1st hand] observation rather than just a "preference" so I will assume that The Who was technically superior (my opinion agrees with Dowson's take on Jagger's vocals).  However, I am not taking longevity into account so I will stand by my backdoor vote of Led Zeppelin which I posted as "Other/Yardbirds" ("For Your Love" was a pop hit but I would think listening to the other "non-hits" you would see a real forerunner of a hard rock band here).  The Who, as decorated, admired and revered as they are and have been, are probably still underappreciated.  I am going to say all those Queen (yes, Mercury can be considered the greatest vocalist and I know May is a genius*) votes are evidence.  *Look it up!  Brian May is REALLY a genius; he is an astrophysicist!

Rob Baptiste on Tuesday, Oct. 9th, 2012 at 4:29 AM
 

Royal Guardsmen.

Phil McIntosh on Saturday, Oct. 13th, 2012 at 7:32 AM
 

Bruce Springsteen doesn't belong in this conversation.  Now that we've cleared that up...

Sorry to put a damper on your rating system Mr Dowson, but we can't restrict our nominations to only those bands we've personally seen live (needless to say I don't have to go to great lengths to illustrate how such a restriction would make a Greatest Classical Composer Ever poll rather dubious).  If that were the case, I'd say TOOL is the greatest. But I digress...

The Rolling Stones. Thoroughly enjoyed growing up in a home that listened to the Stones. The stuff they created in the 1970's demonstrated they were not just a Beatles immitation act (a realistic shortcoming of their 1960's catalog...and some might say 1980's, too). They explored much as the Beatles did, just they went in a completely different direction. When I became a Led Zeppelin addict, I looked back on the Stones and realized they were mostly a pop-rock band (despite Keith Richards' best efforts to die from heroin at a young age).

U2. Another band I enjoy live. What a terrific live show that has continually evolved over the last 25 years and still remained loyal to its roots (ok, maybe not Zooropa). Their music is fun whether you're listening in the car during your commute or amongst 20,000 other fans at a gig. As much as I trully treasure some of their music as priceless gifts (Achtung Baby, The Joshua Tree), I ultimately put them in a similar vain as the Stones.

I think Comrade Rob's selection was quite brilliant. And while I must admit Jimmy "God" Page took some later inspiration from cutting his teeth alongside Jeff Beck, The Yardbirds never had that focused dirty edge Led Zeppelin (but you're so close).

The Who. What's not to love about hearing Roger Daltry belt out Won't Get Fooled Again, or the maturity and complexity of Love, Reign O'er Me? Who's Next is, in my opinion, one of the ten best rock albums of all-time...no questions asked. Pete Townshend evolved into a spectacular composer and poured some serious emotions into pieces like Quadrophenia. And damn do they kick ass live. While I've never been to a show, I've heard several and seen video of others and have never been disappointed. How does The Who get only two votes (i.e. 8% of the 4/5 of the league that voted which wouldn't generate a lot of seats in Parliament I'm guessing)? Because somethings missing...

Queen. Pretty much read my thoughts on The Who and the same goes for Queen, only Queen were ambitiously more creative. Freddie Mercury is the single greatest rock singer I have ever heard, bar none. His range leaves all other singers in the dust. After Zeppelin, this is the act I wish I could have seen personally. They pulled at your emotions lyrically and musically.

Why do I believe Led Zeppelin's music surpasses all others? Zeppelin has a fierce, raw edge - the kind that's required for rock n' roll; Zeppelin takes your emotions on a cliffhanging roller coaster ride that predictably takes you out over the edge, but unpredictably lets you hang uncomfortablly low before snapping you back in a different direction; as popular and as often played on radio stations as their music was/is, Zeppelin was never designed for the radio - it was designed to hear live, or, barring that, on a record player (I miss those) as a whole piece of music (see Pink Floyd), and it's near impossible to argue Zeppelin sounds best when hearing an entire album; Zeppelin sounds like rock n' roll should sound, as if created to provide the Oxford Dictionary's version for all time and space; Zeppelin is a group of four equally creative and adept musicians who illustrate in their gifts to us how emotionally intertwined they have become with music and with one another - they were connected, and that's something not too easily found in a musical partnership or group; and perhaps most importanly, my favorite description of Zeppelin encapsulates this mega rock group that will always stand alone at the top: tight but loose.

 

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this blog entry are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of MSWL-United, it's employess, subsidiary holdings or affiliated OLMEC leagues. 

Brian Beerman on Saturday, Oct. 20th, 2012 at 12:01 AM
 

Just received my "deluxe" edition of Celebration Day yesterday...breaking it open tonight.  :-)

Allan Sellers on Thursday, Nov. 22nd, 2012 at 11:35 PM
 

#jealous

Andy Bate on Friday, Nov. 23rd, 2012 at 7:56 PM
 

green with envy.  I need to press the submit button on that order yesterday!

Brian Beerman on Saturday, Nov. 24th, 2012 at 3:00 PM
 

Al...How is Celebration Day (both audio and video)?

Brian Beerman on Tuesday, Nov. 27th, 2012 at 7:24 AM
 

Pretty good Brian.   DVD has a rehearsal, Blu Ray has the concert, and then 2 CDs for audio.   I like it a lot...the kids like it too.  The symphony they are in actually played Kashmir a couple weeks ago in their concert.  :-)

Allan Sellers on Saturday, Dec. 1st, 2012 at 3:19 PM
 
 
 
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