The Biggest Bands of All Time!

Rhcp_lMy friend Sarah was in town over Memorial Day, and we spent the weekend in the car, driving around and taking pictures of all kinds of offbeat L.A. landmarks (those Watts Towers are really short, up close). We  thusly also spent a lot of time listening to the car radio, and as we flipped around, avoiding commercials, we kept coming across KROQ’s countdown of the 106.7 Biggest Bands of All Time.

Oh, how I love me a good list! This one was voted on by KROQ listeners, and when we first encountered the station, they were in the middle of a four-song block from the No. 8 band, U2. We sang along with a live version of "Bad" until we reached our destination, then got back in the car in time for the No. 5 band, Rage Against the Machine. The sound of me hollering "A BULLET IN YOUR HEAD!" provided a perfect soundtrack for our (unsuccessful) quest to find someplace where we could sneak down into the L.A. River. But Band No. 3, Sublime, was incredibly questionable. Really? Sublime as the third-biggest band of all time, KROQ listeners? Especially considering that, once the countdown whipped back around to the end, we learned that the Pixies were way down at No. 104, a full three slots below freakin’ Wolfmother (or, as the display on my digital car stereo read, "Wolfmoth")?

addCredit(“Red Hot Chili Peppers: Anthony Saint James/Retna”)

Yeah, we started to smell something fishy. But we kept driving, andkept listening, and eventually learned that Nirvana were at No. 2,which left open the huge question, Who in the world would be No. 1?The Clash? Radiohead? Metallica? On Monday, we stopped for a drink atthe fabulous Chez Jay before I drove Sarah to the airport. As we pulled into the parking lot, the radiowas blasting Pearl Jam’s "Dissident," and we figured this was perfect — any countdown that’s willing to put Sublime at No. 3 could certainlyvote Pearl Jam No. 1, right? I love Pearl Jam! I would have no problemswith that choice whatsoever…

But no! Pearl Jam was way down at No. 16!  SIXTEEN!  Beneath theKillers and Linkin Park! Oh God, PopWatchers, this could mean only onething. Only one band could rise to the top in that sort of environment,and they are pictured above: your No. 1 Biggest Band of All Time, According to the Fine Folk of the Los Angeles Area. I shall withholdcomment, except to say that I continue to like that "Snow (Hey Oh)"song, even though Sarah screamed at me to change the station when itcame on.

Here’s the complete list.Feel free to yell at it in the comments. Please. It thinks Panic! atthe Disco is a better band than Talking Heads! This is just notokay.


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  • paige

    another stupid list. how they think that offsprings is a better band than metallica is beyond me…

  • aramis

    Indeed. The Red Hot Chili Peppers have been around for a LONG time. And look, they’re still making relevent, creative, and catchy music (and even picking up a Grammy or two…or three or four). Not only that, but their music is crossing and closing the ages gaps between the crusties like my brother and myself who’ve been fans for a long time, and the twinkietwits in high school who think they’re cool just because they like a RHCP song when they wouldn’t even KNOW that some of the best stuff wasn’t even commericially released. Still…I’m inclined to agree with this list-topping choice.

  • Jasmine

    When did Billy Idol, Marilyn Manson, Jack Johnson and David Bowie become bands?

  • aramis

    the rest of the list however is a bit strange…i mean….Beastie Boys, Velvet Underground, The Clash, Garbage, Fleetwood Mac, AEROSMITH!!!!!, these are not on the list…interesting. And very curious…

  • Anna

    Red Hot Chili Peppers, no. 1? No way. Sure, they were great in the 90’s…when “Under The Bridge” came out it was an instant classic; something we’d never heard before… original & inspired. But they haven’t grown as artists over the past decade…all their songs sound the same, and they’re still singing about California! (FYI-I’m from CA) I find myself changing the station anytime one of their songs come on the radio. Sure they should be on the list, but no. 1? Puh-leaze.

  • aramis

    oh, wait, my bad…garbage did make the list…WAY at the bottom at 90. still…very sad to be so low.

  • jen o.

    Sara: What did you have in mind?
    Harris: Well, I was thinking of taking you on a cultural tour of L.A.
    Sara: That’s the first ten minutes, then what?

  • Victor

    Hey aramis..
    Fleetwood Mac?! Aerosmith?!.. Dude, this list is supposed to be bands THAT YOU HEAR ON THIS PARTICULAR RADIO STATION.. Fleetwood Mac and Aerosmith are NOT KROQ bands..

  • Ron Mexico

    Well, it’s obvious that the list was created based on input from Generation-X.
    That explains why the majority of the top bands are either grunge or grunge-era. Metallica and GNR are the only 80’s metal represented – and only because they transcended.
    Since it is KROQ, and since everyone in SoCal has this thing for Sublime, that explains their high placement. I don’t agree with it, but whatever.
    The omission of Counting Crows is criminal. Where is Live? And personally, I think RHCP peaked at “Knock Me Down”. Sorry, Pepperheads. That’s just one man’s opinion.

  • krikky

    That list is a KROQ of sh*t. Fall Out Boy higher than David Bowie?!?! Are you kidding? Maybe his skin-tight satin pants in Labyrinth worked against him…

  • Jasmine

    The fact that Good Charlotte made it onto the list shows the irrelavancy of it.

  • Ellipsian

    Ahhh, Depeche Mode at #6. It continually amazes me that they’ve never been bigger (although they’ve had their moments). I’ll put Martin Gore’s songwriting talents up against literally anyone’s.

  • Nose

    Ron Mexico: as a Gen-Xer, I take exception to that. I would put the average age of the listeners somewhere in “Emo” territory.

  • aramis

    Victor – I wouldn’t know. I don’t listen to station all the way out here in Mississippi. But when I see a “Best Bands of All Time” moniker, names like Aerosmith (which is a band comparable to the Chili Peppers, and why it’s not by this radio station is questionable) and Fleetwood Mac are names that pop into my head right off the bat.

  • Alex

    Oingo Boingo? Come on. This isn’t a list, it’s a publicity stunt.

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