Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The elusive question: Greatest Band Ever?

For the past few years, I have had many animated discussions with close friends in regards to this question: Who is the Greatest Band of All Time?

I'm determined to answer this question. Clearly, this is going to be based merely on opinion, so I can't state any of my opinions (although heaven knows many of my opinions SHOULD be facts).

I was going to list a bundle of statistics that prove my point, as well as countless quotes from musicians and artists that would all concede the same point I'm trying to make, but I'd rather take a more unconventional approach. I will simply complete this statement: Your band is the greatest band of all time when... (here you go)

1 - All 4 members of your band (including the drummer) are recognizable and regularly referred to by their first name only

2 - You walk into a bookstore (NOT a music store, but a BOOKstore) and see an entire stand devoted to your band

3 - Your band name is more recognizable to fans than their own mother's name

4 - There have been multiple full-length feature films done revolving around your music (despite the lack of anything more, including depth, plot, and character development) and people actually watch it

5 - Entire movies (Across the Universe, I Am Sam) are scored with covers based entirely on your music

6 - Entire movies (Nowhere Man) are based on the popularity of a member of your band

7 - Your band breaks up and each band member starts his own band with hits of his own (Band on the Run, Live and Let Die, Instant Karma, Imagine, My Sweet Lord, It Don't Come Easy, to name a few)

8 - In less than 10 years, your band records more hit songs than any band has ever had (I'll go toe to toe with you here if you wanna dispute this - they just have MORE HITS than anyone)

9 - When men's hair gets a little long, people often comment, saying such things as "Hey, Ringo!" or "You look like George Harrison!"

10 - Your band creates bands of its own (Sergeant Pepper)

Now, I will admit, this band I am talking about (I will continue to let it remain nameless) had some serious advantages. Bands came later in the 70s, 80s, and even the 90s had to deal with more competition than the Beatles (oops!) ever had. However, it's hard to imagine a time period in which the white noise surrounding the musical landscape could have possibly drowned out Let It Be, Ticket to Ride, and A Day in the Life (perhaps the greatest song of all time?).

I am very excited to hear feedback, along with how you could possibly dispute this claim.


  1. For the argument that the Bealtes didn't have as much competition, they were they're own competition. April 4,1964 The top 5 songs in America were all from The Beatles. The closest any band has ever come to that is 3 songs in the top 10. Indisputbale!

  2. Clearly you don't need to ask if I agree with you. There is no question in my mind that they are The Greatest Band of All Time. Which, I GUESS is our opinion. But their recording history is fact. They produced multiple albums in a year. And they were all good. That just doesn't happen.

  3. Your "unconventional" approach is an axiomatic one. It is used in economics. Your axioms are essentially that a band should receive acclaim and be popular in a number of ways. The Beatles are no doubt the most acclaimed and recognized band ever.

    I'll give my opinion: The Beatles are good, but there are plenty of bands who are just as talented, listenable, and creative.

    Anyway, Rolling Stone magazine beat you to this. Check out their 100 greatest artists of all time. They ranked the Beatles as 1, like you.

  4. Well I just want to say that the best band ever is not the Beatles but it is Pitbull. Come on Mole you should have done your research.....

  5. I agree, but of course you already knew that.
    I also think the Beatles came at a time that was so revolutionary for music that they were able to set some rock-and-roll milestones that can never be repeated. They were in a position to set the tone for future rock evolutions in a way that I think is impossible for any single band today. Like any influential figure, their place in history is part talent and part circumstance.

  6. Jason, I don't know you but I'm sure you are great. I just thought I would point out that your opinion is sacrilege. The end.