Who is the greatest American rock band of all time?

OK, here is the poll I’ve created from this thread:

I decided to leave it wide open and let the poll sort it out. Every band with at least 2 positive mentions in original thread linked above made the cut. I inluded all of North America- Canada and Mexico will eventually be annexed by the U.S. anyway, right? (I kid, Canada and Mexico, I kid).

I decided on the definition of an American Rock band as:
[li]At least two members, one playing drums, one playing guitar or other instrument, one or both singing.[/li][li]The band has to have a majority of North American members. So CSN(Y), with Brit Graham Nash is in, the Jimi Hendrix experience (formed in the U.K. with Hendrix and two Brits), sadly and reluctantly, is out. It was tough to leave Hendrix out, but this poll is for greatest American rock band, not greatest American rock musician. That would be a good topic for another thread and poll, since it was pointed out in the original thread that the US seems to mainly produce great individual musicians, and the U.K. great bands.[/li][/ul]
Keep in mind you’re voting for the greatest American rock band of all time, not your favorite band. Considerations to keep in mind when voting:

[li]Fame/Success/Longevity[/li][li]Their influence on other bands[/li][li]They rock [/li][li]The band and their songs have an “Americana” vibe[/li][/ul]

Treating Springsteen and the E Street Band as a band, rather than regarding Springsteen as a solo artist, makes it easy. Springsteen & Co. it is.

In the original thread I linked to here, I decided after discussion to include “[Name] and [backing band name]” groups if they played together as a reasonably cohesive unit over a period of time, like at least more than one album. And I was pretty generous with the definition, for example including “Neil Young and Crazy Horse”.

E Street Band and that Bruce fella, no question.

Judged by the standard of “Who have I seen live the most that can be called rock?” When the numbers hit double digits for a single tour, you have a winner.

For me, it was a toss up among The Beach Boys, The Band, and R.E.M.

I ultimately voted for R.E.M.

No, Who are a British band.

I have to go with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, just edging out Bruce and Creedence.

Who are a British band?


Guess who?


This poll just demonstrates that America doesn’t do bands. One might pick Bruce, but is he really a Band?

England has done bands, while America has done individuals. No American band would finish in the top ten of English bands, while no single Brit would finish in the top ten of individual acts.

It is a stark contrast when you look at it this way.

Ye gods! I can’t choose just one of those because several are tops in my book. But they’re very different. The Doors are not the same as REM. And different to the Grateful Dead, or RHCP, or The Ramones. Each band had its own sound and niche and influence.

[bolding mine]

David Bowie presumably discounted for being a celestial deity, not to be compared with human musicians.

I agree with you though it’s a very ordinary list when you see it laid out - some quality from recent decades, when innovation had dwindled, but the stuff in the pioneering years is second tier.

The Bangles. I will defend my position if I am forced to do so but I would like to think that all right-thinking people agree.

As much fun as the other thread was, this poll makes clear what an insane waste of time sorting apples, cadillacs, and existentialism into a ranked list is. For me, at least. Other people won’t think so. Which is also my point.

I completely see your point and would tend to agree with you. But if you read my OP in the other thread, this all came about because a Van Halen Concert radio commercial claimed they were the greatest American rock band of all time, and I could not let that stand.

Oh, and I’ve wasted my time in much more insane ways, believe me :smiley:

I get it. I hope lots of people vote. It’s just my own mind which has come undun.

!. Apples.
2. Cadillacs.
3.A philosophical theory that emphasizes the existence of the individual person as a free and responsible agent determining their own development through acts of the will. A catch-all term for those philosophers who consider the nature of the human condition as a key philosophical problem and who share the view that this problem is best addressed through ontology.
4. KISS.

The Who would be in first if they were American.

If Van Halen were British they wouldn’t be in the top 30. But then they are not in the US top 30 either. Never mind

In my not so humble opinion, Aerosmith is the U.S. equivalent of the Rolling Stones. Fame, success, longevity? You’ve got it. Influence? You’ve got it. Screams Americana? You’ve got it. They rock? No denying it. My vote goes to Aerosmith.