Top 10 Greatest American Bands
July 3, 2010 by Charlie
In celebration of 4th of July, we’re going to a make a re-post to celebrate 10 of the greatest American rock bands of all time. As you all know, America is the foundation of rock and roll… so what better time to honor our legendary rock bands then on the 4th of July? Gibson.com have posted this top 10 American rock bands, while Gibson has done a respectable job, we don’t completely agree with order in which the bands are placed. So why not refute their pick? Please tell us ‘your picks’ of America’s top rock bands — post your comments in the comment section below.
1. Lynyrd Skynyrd
O’kay, I agree with Gibson on this number 1 pick. There is no band that sounds more American than these rugged survivors from Jacksonville, Fl. In excess of 30 years after fatality stole their voice and their heart & soul, they carried on to sell out shows to bandana-and-blue-jean crowds singing “Free Bird” like it was nationwide anthem. And perhaps, just maybe, it really was.
For forty years, these Boston rockers have charted their way to the fore-front of the American rock scene. Few shows can match the sheer power of these reformed rebels. “Walk This Way,” “Dream On” and “Sweet Emotion” are only a handful of the songs you’re guaranteed to hear this 4th of July weekend if you’re within arms reach of a stereo.
3. The Beach Boys
Back in the mid-’60s, there were really only 2 other bands that entered the discussion with The Beatles for Greatest Band in the Planet. Undoubtedly, The Rolling Stones were one. However at the time, the other band that garnered serious talk was The Beach Boys (even The Beatles agreed!). With unequaled harmonies and a sheer musical genius cranking out the music, The Beach Boys were America’s finest compared to the British Invasion, right up to the point where Brian Wilson dropped out of the race.
Essentially the most influential band of the last 20 years, Nirvana swept away the loopy gymnastics of ’90s electric guitar with a single riff. If “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was the only song the group ever recorded, they’d still garner a spot on this list. Yet Kurt Cobain’s soulful lyrics and deceptively musical strategy to songwriting ensured that the group’s short life would forever send ripples throughout the musical horizon.
5. The Allman Brothers
According to Gibson Guitars, this was number one on their fan poll for Best Guitarist of All Time, Duane Allman was the original fretted monster to his blues-style jam machine, together with co-guitarist Dickey Betts. Over time, the lineup has altered (with modern guitar geniuses Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks presently on-board), however the improvisational guitar-gods of the band has in no way faltered.
6. The Ramones
The modest album sales The Ramones produced through the years pales in comparison to their influence on decades of artists. All of the snotty-nosed punks who trash the department stores now can bow their heads to these zillas of punk music.
7. The Eagles
No question about it, these So. Cal rockers shaped a sound so distinctive and so completely tranquil on the ears, that nobody has ever been capable of duplicating it. With song-writing geniuses like Don Felder, Glenn Frey and Don Henley on board, each song tells its own personal story. And that “Hotel California” ending solo is pretty much as good as rock guitar gets.
The largest powerhouse in thrash for the past twenty five years, Metallica show no signs of slowin’ down. With the astounding wizardry of Kirk Hammett and the customarily-imitated-never-duplicated chunka-chunka of frontman, James Hetfield, these giants of metal continue to hammer ears all around the planet.
9. The Doors
Among America’s illustrious icons – up there with Marilyn, Elvis and James Dean – is the late, famous James Douglas Morrison. However the magic of The Doors was that they were not simply the backing band for an electric frontman. They had been an diverse and gifted band of artists whose sum was forever greater than the parts.
10. Guns N’ Roses
Rock and roll is always most at home when it’s sitting in a gutter, dirty and arrogantly menacing to all passersby. Rock and roll is – well, ought to be – risky. And not for the reason that Stones, or at least The Sex Pistols, has a group exuded bluster and stagger like Guns N’ Roses. Listen to “It’s So Easy” off the influential Appetite for Destruction and try not to flinch. Now check out Easy Songs To Play On Guitar