Rolling Stone: 100 Greatest Artists of All Time: The Immortals

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  • This is RS magazine's list of the 100 greatest artists of all time.
  • 1. The Beatles - Makes sense. Some of the most influential albums of all time are the works of these lads. What else can you say?
  • 2. Bob Dylan - I could argue with this one. He's a legend, but number 2?
  • 3. Elvis Presley - Very successful, the king of rock n roll of course, but he was very controlled by his manager.
  • 4. Rolling Stones - Often called 'Anti-Beatles', definitely top 5
  • 5. Chuck Berry - Probably invented Rock n Roll. Deserves to be here.
  • 6. Jimi Hendrix - First guitar god, I believe. Revolutionary player
  • 7. James Brown - Godfather of soul, is it? Great showman
  • 8. Little Richard - American Rock & Roll/R & B singer and pianist
  • 9. Aretha Franklin - I think she was the first woman to be inducted into the rock n roll hall of fame. I'll look that up later.
  • 10. Ray Charles - American R&B singer and pianist
  • 11. Bob Marley - Jamaican reggae singer
  • 12. The Beach Boys - Some of the catchiest songs I ever heard.
  • 13. Buddy Holly - Tragic death. One of the first to use a solid-body electric guitar.
  • 14. Led Zeppelin - Possibly the 'fathers of heavy metal', but some might argue that Black Sabbath is.
  • 15. Stevie Wonder - American soul singer. Plays many different instruments, and has won 22 grammy awards
  • 16. Sam Cooke - A founder of soul music.
  • 17. Muddy Waters - 'Father of Chicago Blues'
  • 18. Marvin Gaye - 'The Prince of Motown'.
  • 19. The Velvet Underground - American rock band, formed in 1965. Regarded as highly influencial in the rise to punk-rock, and alt-rock.
  • 20. Bo Diddley - Legendary R&B singer. Known as the 'Originator'
  • 21. Otis Redding - You might not know him, but you've probably heard 'Sittin' on the dock of a bay'.
  • 22. U2 - The Joshua Tree was one of my favourite albums
  • 23. Bruce Springsteen - Born in the USA was overplayed. Good to see him make music again.
  • 24. Jerry Lee Lewis - 'Great Balls of Fire' was his greatest hit, and one of my favs
  • 25. Fats Domino - Rock & Roll pianist
  • 26. The Ramones - Regarded as the first punk-rock group
  • 27. Nirvana - I swear, RS magazine has a hard-on for these guys. They put Kurt Cobain at #12 on their 'Greatest Guitarists of All Time' list, and now this.
  • 28. Prince - 'Purple Rain' is one of my favourite albums. He's also an icon in style
  • 29. The Who - Should be higher. Rock artists still try to sound like them
  • 30. The Clash - English punk-rock band from the 70's
  • 31. Johnny Cash - The 'Man in Black'. Should be higher, since he's the equivalent of Elvis, except country. The only country singer I like
  • 32. Smokey Robinson & The Miracles - American R&B group
  • 33. The Everly Brothers - Country/Rock Duo
  • 34. Neil Young - Candadian singer-songwriter. Influencial in grunge, though typically labeled folk/rock
  • 35. Michael Jackson - Would be higher if he wasn't wacko. Thriller remains the best-selling album of all time
  • 36. Madonna - I don't like her music, but she could still be higher. The 'Queen of Pop'
  • 37. Roy Orbison - American singer-songwriter. Sang 'Oh, Pretty Woman'
  • 38. John Lennon - Liked him in the Beatles, not as a solo artist. Imagine was a great song, however
  • 39. David Bowie - Icon in music, as well as style
  • 40. Simon and Garfunkel - Should be in the top twenty, in my opinion. If you haven't heard of them, you need to get some education
  • 41. The Doors - I'd put them top 30, but this is alright
  • 42. Van Morrison - 'Van the Man'. Sang 'Brown Eyed Girl'.
  • 43. Sly and the Family Stone - American funk band
  • 44. Public Enemy - Highly influential hip-hop group
  • 45. The Byrds - American rock group
  • 46. Janis Joplin - American singer-songwriter
  • 47. Patti Smith - The 'Godmother of Punk'
  • 48. Run-DMC - Biggest act in hip-hop throughout the 80's
  • 49. Elton John - Should be higher. Not a huge fan, but I can appreciate his talent
  • 50. The Band - Canadian rock band. They backed Ronnie Hawkins, and Bob Dylan
  • 51. Howlin' Wolf - Blues singer. Another attempt to cater to the R&B genre. Every prolific classic R&B singer made it onto this list in some random order. They put Muddy Waters ahead of Marvin Gaye. Come on
  • 52. Allman Brothers Band - Southern-rock band
  • 53. Eric Clapton - English blues-rock guitarist
  • 54. Dr. Dre - Has numerous Grammys for rapping and producing
  • 55. Grateful Dead - American rock band
  • 56. Parliament/Funkadelic - African-American soul band
  • 57. Aerosmith - American hard rock band
  • 58. Sex Pistols - One of the first punk bands. Definitely one of the most prolific
  • 59. Louis Jordan - Jazz musician. Not familiar with his works
  • 60. Joni Mitchell - Canadian singer-songwriter
  • 61. Tina Turner - American singer and entertainer
  • 62. Etta James - American R&B singer. Sang 'At Last'. Should be top 90s if anything at all
  • 63. Phil Spector - He's a producer. Why is he on here?
  • 64. The Kinks - English rock group
  • 65. Al Green - American gospel singer
  • 66. Cream - '60's British rock band. Considered to be the first 'supergroup'
  • 67. The Temptations - American R&B vocal group
  • 68. Jackie Wilson - R&B singer
  • 69. Carl Perkins - 'The King of Rockabilly'
  • 70. The Police - Sold over 50 million albums world-wide. Highest paid musical act of 2008. Biggest ego of a bassist frontman
  • 71. Frank Zappa - American composer. Phenomenal guitarist
  • 72. AC/DC - They've had countless hits, and are one of the most popular bands around. I'm surprised RS didn't place them higher-glad they didn't
  • 73. Radiohead - Glad to see them gettin' some love, but they were placed ahead of some great legends. Maybe a few years down the road I would put them here
  • 74. Hank Williams - Country singing legend
  • 75. The Eagles - Could be higher. Their greatest hits album was the 2nd greatest selling album of all time
  • 76. The Shirelles - Girl group in the 60's. The first to get a #1 single on the Billboard 100. I would exlude them based on their lack of longevity
  • 77. Beastie Boys - Jewish hiphop group. Never would have guessed they'd be successful, but they were
  • 78. The Stooges - Highly influencial in punk-rock
  • 79. The Four Tops - American R&B quartet. Are noted for having a baritone for a lead singer(stubbs)
  • 80. Elvis Costello - English musician, singer-songwriter
  • 81. The Drifters - American R&B vocal group
  • 82. Eminem - Has many awards, including an Academy award for 'best original song' for 2002's 'Lose Yourself'
  • 83. N.W.A. - Gangsta-rap group from the eighties. Dr. Dre and Ice Cube were in this group
  • 84. James Taylor - American singer/songwriter and guitarist from Boston
  • 85. Black Sabbath - RS never really liked Black Sabbath. If memory serves me correctly, their first review of Sabbath went something like 'Should they even exist?...'. I would place them in the top 40 at least
  • 86. Tupac Shakur - Rap artist. The first to have an album go to #1 while in jail.
  • 87. Gram Parsons - Country singer. Died at age 26
  • 88. Miles Davis - Jazz trumpet player
  • 89. The Yardbirds - English rock group. Introduced us to Clapton, Page, and Beck
  • 90. Carlos Santana - Solo guitar player. His band has consisted of about 40 people over the years
  • 91. Ricky Nelson - American singer with over 50 Hot 100 hits
  • 92. Guns n Roses - 'Appetite for Destruction' was the best thing they ever did. Too bad they weren't consistent
  • 93. Booker T. and the MG's - Instrumental soul band. One of the first inter-racial groups
  • 94. Nine Inch Nails - Trent Reznor is Nine Inch Nails. He's pretty much the only member
  • 95. Lynyrd Skynyrd - American southern rock band
  • 96. Martha and the Vandellas - Female R&B group
  • 97. Diana Ross and the Supremes - Popular female singing group of the 60's
  • 98. Roxy Music - English rock group from the 70's. Not top 100 material
  • 99. Curtis Mayfield - American soul singer
  • 100. Lee 'Scratch' Perry - Influencial figure in Reggae music
  • Artists That Deserved to Make The List (At Least More Than Some of The Ones That Actually Did)
  • Queen - Top 30 material, easily
  • Pink Floyd - Top 50
  • Metallica - I don't want to sound like another metalhead that doesn't shut up about metal groups, but Metallica deserves to be somewhere on the list. In the 90-100 range at least
  • Tom Waits - One of the most unique voices, and an amazing talent. Top 80, about
  • Pearl Jam - They have Nirvana at 27, and Pearl Jam isn't on the list? Where is the justice?
  • Willie Nelson - I'd put Willie on the list before I'd put Gram Parsons on, that's for sure
  • Van Halen - I'd say somewhere around 80
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • REM
  • Neil Diamond
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • Rod Stewart
  • Fleetwood Mac
  • Judas Priest
  • Wu Tang Clan
  • Notorious BIG
  • Waylon Jennings
  • B.B. King
  • Wilson Pickett
  • Frank Sinatra
  • The Cure
  • The Smiths
Author Comments: 

This list has so many flaws, I wouldn't know where to start. It's a good topic for argument, so I copied it down, and posted it. Please let me know your thoughts on the list.

Also, check out
100 Greatest Vocalists
100 Greatest Drummers
100 Greatest Pop Songs
100 Greatest Guitar Songs

For an objective list, this is pretty terrible. No Pink Floyd? No Queen? Yet there's Dr. Dre, Eminem, Radiohead, Martha & the Vandellas, Roxy Music, Lee Scratch Perry?

Hey man, I didn't make it...RollingStone magazine did. I definitely don't agree with it, and when I read it, I thought the same thing?"No Queen..No Pink Floyd?".

Haha, I know you didn't make it. RS are morons.

Well at least this poll was voted by musicians and producers. Another similiar poll the Vh1 100 Greatest Rock Artists poll was voted by musicians and producers and had the Beatles at number 1

You killed it for me. I was gonna watch vh1

Seconded. No Pink Floyd, no Queen? LOLOL
Miles Davis on the list? #88?
Where's Tom Waits? Is Art Tatum here?

Don't you think that the hip hop artists deserve to be on the list? There is much more to music than just rock n roll and its roots. You refer to Run DMC as "him" and that is just wrong. Run DMC is a group of three guys who could be solely responsible for bringing hip hop to urban and white cultures. They're mix of Walk This Way with Aerosmith is one of the most ground breaking contributions to music ever.
Also Eminem could probably be higher- did you know that voters rated Eminem as the best rapper alive in a poll taken by Vibe Magazine this past summer?

I agree that the classic rockers deserve their respect, but so do the hip hop artists. Dr. Dre pretty much ran most of the rap industry in the 90s and early 2000. Take this or leave it, but hip hop artists are a very important part of American culture and the music industry today. And I'm talking about real artists that write real music, not the gang bangers who write about bullshit.

Excellent point, I'll give you that one.
The problem I have is that they have RunDMC ahead of so many others, including Aerosmith. They also left out:NotoriousBIG, Wu Tang...who I think deserve to be on the list.

It's a very controversial list, and it's nearly impossible to please everyone. It's purely opinion, and I personally don't believe Dr. Dre should be as high as he is.
Thank you for the post, it's given me plenty to think about

Also, I'm not very familiar with the genre of hip-hop, so I might just be a little biased towards rock & roll. I need to learn more about it, I suppose.

I agree man, this list is sooooooo messed up. Nirvana at 27?!?!?! Look there were much better grunge groups in the 90's, with Alice in chains being my choice for number 1. And really, no pink Floyd? They could be top 10 with dark side of the moon alone. Now I'm gonna go out on a limb here......the Beatles shouldn't be number one. They're plain and simple the most overrated band of all time. They used sentimental lyrics and pretty hooks to win everyone over, and unfortunately it worked. There were so many better pop bands in the 60's (beach boys, monkeys, etc) Bands like led zeppelin, pink Floyd, queen, Neil young and crazy horse, Robert Johnson, etc. have had a bigger impact on all genres from rock to pop. Even if the artist doesn't admit it, their music shows it.

QUEEN? IN MY OPINION THEY WOULD BE MY NUMBER ONE OR TWO...AS I LOVE THEM AND THE BEATLES!
SERIOUSLY THERE LYRICS ARE PHENOMANAL, THEIR INSTRUMENT TALENT IS AMAZING, FREDDIE MERCURYS VOICE IS FANTASTIC, AND OF COURSE THEIR ALL ROUND TALENT TO ALSO ENTERTAIN THE CROWD IS PRICELESS. R.I.P FREDDIE! BY FAR THE BEST BAND EVER ALONG WITH THE BEATLES! XX

Why isnt Green Day on the list??? They definenly deserve it

I'll make a new list sometime: 100 Greatest Artists That Weren't On The Rolling Stone Version(or something along those lines). I'll remember to put them on.

This list is so way off I had to become a member just to voice my opinion..
Like someone said before, I almost don't know where to start, but i do know
two words.."Steely Dan" anyone remember them? they wrote some of the best recorded music of the 70's & early eighties, right along them how about their
peer/buddy group "The Doobie Bothers" how could these two great bands not be included? also not included that i feel is ridiculous are the following:
Chicago,Creedence Clearwater Revival,Journey,Grand Funk Railroad,Pink Floyd,Yes,
Deep Purple,Jackson 5,Jefferson Airplane/Starship,Van Halen,America,Robert Johnson,George Harrison,Heart,Neil Diamond???(top 3 biggest selling of all time,along w/ Streisand & Elton),The 4 Tops,The Mama's & the Pappa's,Fleetwood Mac (top 5 biggest lps /Rumours),Three Dog Night,btw: who is Lee Perry??lol
i'm sure there are more but i've made my point. it seems that some were included just for the sake of not offending some readers such as:nine inch nails,radiohead, Louis jordan??Dr Dre?? but no Crosby,Stills,Nash? how about
The Guess Who,The Hollies, Wings, Ricky Nelson,N.W.A ?
The bottom line this list is bogus, & also the greatest guitarists list is way off, Eddie Van Halen #70 lol just 1 poor example. they should have put Steve Miller #1, not Hendrix lol kidding.. I do like Duane Allman at #2 but to rate guitarists is very difficult, to me its who moves you..
keep on with these silly lists RS..

and where are BON JOVI?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Nirvana Overrated? Hmmm they started the whole grunge movement and are still influencing music today. KISW had a ton of their songs in their top 999 of 2008 which is based on requests.

Notorius BIG Underrated? Take away Puffy and what do you got? His lyrics sure aren't on par with 2Pac and his voice isn't as straight to the heart like NWA is. Oh and while 2Pac's records are still selling Notorius BIG has faded away.

Bon Jovi should be listed? Bon Jovi didn't bring on a movement on their own. They sold a lot of records and their music was good but hardly deserving of being on this kinda list. You put Bon Jovi on there you have to add every hair metal band who sold at least 10 million records and had catchy music.

Rolling Stone Magazine is based on who influenced music the most not who was the most popular or best selling. People who hate Rolling Stone Magazine ratings either know nothing about the influence of an artist, is biased and thinks all their favorite groups should be on here or thinks popularity and sales should determine everything. I don't agree with all of Rolling Stone but it's hardly a horrible list.

If it's about how people influenced I mean Michael Jackson is number 35 what the fuck is up with that huh?

So the Ramones definitly should be on there, for being the first punk rock band

I only sign up to say something about your comment. So what do you wanna say is that Pink Floyd and Queen didn' t influenced other artists. I agree that RS shouldn' t include some artists who are just doing something that others have already done, but they left out one of the most influential artists. I mean Dark Side of the Moon is one of the best selling albums and it has a reason. I know that being selled much doesn't always mean it's good too, but Beatles is best selling artist and nobody would say that they aren't one of the most important band. So I don't say that this list is full of shit but it aren't a very good list either.

BTW in my opinion 2Pac should be ranked the best Rapper of all time. He's a poetic rapper who's music has feeling and can make u feel what he's feeling. I think in time you will see him continue moving up that list and Notorius BIG continuing to lose popularity.

Eminem is really good to

Boys 2 Men????????? What's up with that??

Why are Fleetwood Mac and Dire Straits not on this list?!?!?

Are u fucking kidding me Michael Jackson is on this as number 35 who cares what he did doesn't change the way he changed music fuck rolling stone

Stumbled on this while killing time. While there are definitely many arguments to make for a number of bands not being on the list, and while the original poster added a solid group of bands that should have made but did not make the list, it was interesting to note that neither the RS list nor the individual who posted this remembered Tom Petty, one of America's greatest rockers. I would argue he ought to be in the top 10 of this list. Reasons: 1. The guy's written countless hits for over 40 years and counting; 2. The Heartbreakers are amazing as was his original band Mudcrutch, as is his solo work; 3. The guy worked with half a dozen artists on this list; 4. In fact, he and the Heartbreakers toured with Dylan as an opening act for over a year in the 1980s and they acted as his backup band with Tom singing harmony right along side Dylan; 5. Tom was a founding member of what was arguably the greatest super group of all time, the Travelling Wilbury's in which he played along side Harrison, Orbison, Dylan, and Lynne; 6. He was one of the pioneers of music video (from Don't come around here no more to Last Dance with Mary Jane and everything in between); 7. He and the Heartbreakers have sold over 60 million Records; 8. He still tours and is as amazing a live performer as a recording artist (not something you can say for everyone on this list); 9. The people who want to work with an artist, say something about the artist, so let an artist be judged by other artists--why would Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Jeff Lynne, George Harrison, Ringo Star, George Mcguinn, Stevie Nicks, Dave Groll, and Johnny Cash and producers like Rick Reuben, Dave Stewart, and Jimmy Levine work with Petty, if he wasn't THE MAN; 10. Petty and the Heartbreakers were inducted into the Rock n' Roll hall of fame in their first year of eligibility, not something often seen; 11. Finally, though I could list about 20 songs here that even an individual who has never owned a Petty album but just listens to the radio would recognize, I'll limit myself to two songs--American Girl and Free Falling. Pretty much everyone I know tells me that when they here one of those two songs, or any Petty song, that they instantly want to sell everything, by an old American car, saw the top off and drive it out west.

Sorry for the quite long argument in favor of putting Petty at the top of this list. Like I said above, it's not just shocking that he isn't on the list at all, but that he wasn't in the top 10. And this isn't the first such list I have noticed he was absent from. I hope I changed someone's mind.

You're seriously suggesting that Tom Petty deserves to be in the top 10??? Haha. Ok, here are some problems with your reasoning:
1.) I don't know what you count as 'hits', but his highest charting single on the Billboard 200 chart since his career began was 'Free Falling', which only got to Number 7, and was recorded 21 years ago. It also happens to be his only single from his entire career which reached the Billboard Top 10. Doesn't sound like much of a hitmaker. The Bee Gees had about 15 number 1 hits on the Billboard 200, but nobody would ever dream of putting them in the top 10.
2.) So you're saying that, just because you say both his bands were amazing, that he deserves to be in the top 10? I could say that about any artist; doesn't mean that they get to be in the top 10, let alone the top 100. 3.) So because he worked with people on this list, this means that he gets in the top 10?? Right.
4.) Why should he be on there just because he was an opening act for another artist on the list? Why not just chuck in all the opening acts for bands and artists like Led Zeppelin, The Who etc.?
5.) Yeah, no. The Travelling Wilburys were far from being the greatest supergroup of all time. USA For Africa, Band Aid and Cream are all light years better (even though USA For Africa and Band Aid were simply charity groups), plus they all had much more widely-known artists in them.
6.) What about Queen? They created several music videos in a period where music videos were still a fledgling act for a band. Their video for 'Bohemian Rhapsody' (possibly the greatest song ever made) is considered one of the greatest of all time.
7.) So because they've sold 60 million records, they deserve to be there? Why not chuck out all the people that aren't humongous on record sales, and put in everybody who has sold over 60 million?
8.) I'd list dozens of artists ahead of Petty in terms of live performances. Queen, The Who, James Brown, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Allman Brothers Band - All far better live acts than Petty ever will be. I know some are already on the list, but since Petty apparently deserves to be there for live performances, why not chuck all of these acts in the top 10?
9.) So because people worked with him in the studio, he's in the top 10 artists of all time? Alright, let's chuck all the session musicians that worked with Dylan, Orbison, Harrison etc. on there, shall we?
10.)They were actually inducted in their SECOND year of eligibility. And even so, why not put in everyone who's been inducted into the RARHOF?
11.)So because he made a couple of well known songs, he deserves to be in the top 10? Queen made three songs that are, arguably, among the most well-known pieces of music in all of history - We Are The Champions, We Will Rock You and Another One Bites The Dust. Most people know the lyrics, but are absolutely clueless about the performer of the song. When a band's songs get so popular people remember the song itself but not the performer who made it, you know they've made a truly great impact on music. 'that even an individual who has never owned a Petty album...would recognize'. Wrong again, I've never owned a Petty Album, yet the only song that is easily recognisable to me is 'Free Falling'.
So no, he doesn't belong anywhere near the top 10. Maybe in the top 100 in the 90-100 range, but he will never get anywhere close to Ray Charles, Bob Dylan etc.

What is this "Top 100 English artists"??

Where is Serge Gainsbourg?

Mmmm once again, this is more of a top 100 recognizeable showcase.

Pink Floyd?

I mean seriously PINK FLOYD??

Uhm.. I'm surprised it hasn't been mentioned... BUT WHERE IS RUSH?!

The Ramones DEFINITLY need to be on this list (30-60). They are widley credited for starting the punk rock genre! incredible dissapoinment. And korn/Slipknot should be in there, since they started the nu metal music. But I'm glad Dr. Dre is in there, as well as nwa, nirvana, eminem, and a couple others are in there...

This is the most ridiculous piece of shit
I have ever read in my entire life.

I have no arguments about The Beatles, that is
about the only thing they got right. Elvis Presley
at number 3? Are you kidding me? He hardly ever
wrote his own stuff. There's no denying he had
an amazing voice, but he was in no way a musician.

No Pink Floyd? I have never been so outraged in my
life. I would have been seriously pissed to see them
anywhere less than top 10, but to not be on there at all? I completely lost all respect for The Rolling Stone magazine when I read this list. They managed to single handedly flush all of their decades of prestige down the toilet with one single article. Pink Floyd revolutionized rock music. They created the "concept album" idea. I was bummed when I saw David Gilmour (Pink Floyd's guitarist) wasn't very high on their "greatest guitarists" list. But at least he was on there!

I agree that Pink Floyd should be on here, but they didn't revolutionise music on the scale of artists like James Brown, Stevie Wonder etc. And no, Pink Floyd did NOT create the concept album idea. They may have done a lot to develop the idea, but they did not invent it.

With all due respect, I pretty much agree with RS on that one.

It's pretty sad when the choices of You All make Rolling Stone's choices look good in comparison. And they have a pretty poor list. If you really think Nirvana is "not good," I don't know what to say to you. How about: Switch to jazz, you don't get this concept.

Let me tell you exactly how Kurt Cobain and Nirvana did save rock n roll at that point, though it's fairly obvious to people who aren't teenagers. The Eighties were absolutely the worst decade of rock n roll ever, virtually solid garbage, and Cobain saved it by writing a decent song, which thrilled those who hadn't heard one for a long time. After Cobain inexplicably killed himself, the garbage resumed and continues to this day.

Pink Floyd weren't that wonderful.

And their fanbase is annoying.

And another thing... while I'm in rant mode.
I am so sick and tired of hearing about Nirvana!
"OH MY GOD! THEY REVOLUTIONIZED MUSIC! THEY CREATED GRUNGE!" Let me ask you something... just where in the hell is grunge music? Huh? Started in mid 90s and gone by 2000. What a fucking run that was eh? Some revolution. All Kurt Cobain did was repeat the chorus 59 times for about 3 of the 4 minutes of every god damn song. They could have possibly been a good band if they were around for more than 5 years. Beastie Boys? Are you kidding me? They left out Pink Floyd (Dark Side of the Moon was, for a long time, the most selling record in history, until Thriller) and Queen (Bohemian Rhapsody is possibly the greatest song of all time, and near the top of most rocker's lists) but they had the Beastie Boys in there? What exactly did they revolutionize? How did they "change music forever"? They simply screamed simple rhymes as loud and high pitched as their tiny balls would allow them. I will never take Rolling Stone seriously ever again. Its a fucking joke. I am seriously surprised they didn't put Britney Spears or Lady GaGa on this list. If that list was made this year, I bet Hannah Montana and Lil' Wayne would be put on here as well. Hell, why don't we take every band off of here but the Beatles, and put in Hip Hop and Pop stars? Maybe even The Wiggles... just to see what people would fucking do. fuck this. 2nd and last post I ever make on this site. I just needed to voice my opinion on this sorry excuse for a list of greatest musicians. There are many on here that I agree with, but many of their choices were just to make all the little gangstas and emos happy.

I know there will always be disagreements with lists such as these, but this list really has no credibility. Before I nitpick some of the choices, the main reason the list has no credibility is it doesn't include these 4 artists anywhere on the list:

Ten Years After
Johnny Winter
Humble Pie
J. Geils Band

Others have pointed out that Queen, Pink Floyd, Jefferson Airplane, and CCR are also missing.

As far as nitpicking goes, I can see the Beatles being first, but Elvis should have been second. Someone erroneously commented that Elvis shouldn't have been 3 because he wasn't a musician. First, he did play guitar and second, the list is for top Artists, NOT top musicians.

The Doors, Zeppelin, the Who, and Cream all should have been in the top 10.

Finally, Deep Purple and Joplin also should have made the list.

That's the way I see it. ;)

One omission literally caused me to lose respect for Rolling Stone. To this day I cannot believe that Creedence Clearwater Revival did not make the top 100 greatest artists of all time. CCR was way before my time, but even though I'm no music expert, I know for damn sure that Creedence is one of the top 100 greatest musical acts of all time. Top 50 even.

I work with one of the Rolling Stone critics on the panel (at the same publication) and one day I finally asked him what was up with CCR's omission. Was it a mistake? Was the panel stacked with too many critics vying to be renegades? In short, what the hell happened? I mean, I was literally questioning whether I had misjudged just how great this band was. Did I miss something? His answer didn't satisfy me, but it basically told me a lot of critics are knuckleheads.

You can debate how high CCR should be on this list, but it is impossible to argue that they should not be on the list.

Totally. This list has marginal figures such as Carl Perkins and Curtis Mayfield, but leaves out the key ensemble of John Fogerty & Co. Lists inevitably disappoint many and annoy some. They are one way for editors to see if anyone is really paying attention out there.

Curtis Mayfield is a good bet for the top 100. What makes you think CCR is more deserving than Mayfield? Have they made an album as influential as Superfly? What about Mayfield's arrangements? his distinctive(and influential) voice? his guitar playing? What about songwriting? Have they been sampled in hip-hop constantly? I think CCR is deserving of the top 100, but don't be so quick to brush away Curtis Mayfield. Honestly, I think he's being shortchanged big time at down at 99.

No Van Halen? No Dragonforce? You RS bastards are sick.

There's 100 artists that didn't make this list that I would have readily placed on it before Dragonforce. If Throughthefireandflames never made GH, their fan base wouldn't have exploded like it did

A lot of these complaints here are based on these two ridiculous beliefs:

1) Hard Rock is inherently better than all other contemporary genres
2) Older artists are inherently superior to newer ones.

I imagine most people who are complaining about this list are either

1) Older people who haven't bothered giving new music a chance within the last 2 decades
2) Teenagers who discovered Rock through Guitar Hero and think they're authentic because they wear a Dark Side of the Moon T-shirt to school.

I don't see anybody complaining about Radiohead being placed higher than the Stooges, who are far more important to Rock music than a group like Pink Floyd or Queen. Most people complaining about Nirvana are just citing Kurt's technical ability, which is the most shallow way possible to view music. Nine Inch Nails, Radiohead, and Nirvana are the 3 most influential nineties groups. Great to see them being represented accordingly. I have problems with the list, sure, but most of these complaints are being lodged by people whose taste in music is as expansive as the local classic rock radio station.

Hmmm you make a good point-'technical ability, which is the most shallow way possible to view music.' Same with your #2 point at the beginning regarding people believing older acts are inherently superior. It's refreshing when somebody has a couple good points to make, rather than bitching about the other generic '80s rock group whose concert they were conceived at not making the list. Kudos

John Lennon is given an individual listing, but not the man most responsible for the Beatles staying at the top throughout their career, and who had the most successful career of any ex-Beatle. What sort of warped snobbism is it that ignores Paul?

True dat.

Too true.

Omg Paul McCartney is better than John Lennon! Why isn't he on here? The beatles deserves to be #1. at least they got that right

Rolling Stone is obviously paying more attention to politics than it is to music. I get it that the list is subjective, but to leave off Pink Floyd and Van Halen makes no sense.

Dark Side of the Moon was on the Billboard Top 200 for 741 weeks! That's over 14 YEARS! Then there's The Wall.

Eddie Van Halen changed the way rock guitar is played. His tapping, pinch harmonics, etc., have been copied by most popular guitarists since. In the Rolling Stone Top 500 Album list, Van Halen came in at 400 something. An album that changed rock.

Like most others here, I agree with Beatles at #1. After that, the drugs must have kicked in, because the rest is crazy.

WHERE THE FUCK IS BB.KING AND RUSH ~?!?!?!

WHY IS AC/DC 72 ? ? ? ?should be top 20 AT LEAST !

Come on people. There's been enough of those types of 'where the fuck is...' comments about RS lists. If you have a point to make, go about it intelligently and make a valid argument. Any uneducated halfwit can look at this list and say 'NO PINK FLOYD!?!? What the hell they should be TOP TEN! WHAT?! Where's CCR?!'. I think we've well established that the list is missing a few key ingredients-replaced by rather insignificant ones

Nirvana under 30;
No "Pearl Jam".

"The Pixies"
nowhere to be seen; even after all these comments.

Now thats credibility.

I'm surprised no one even mentioned them!

Seriously disappointed with this list.
Nirvana at 27?? Rolling Stone needs to take their lips off of Nirvana's ass and take a look at the wider grunge picture. Some of the accolades Nirvana have recieved since Kurt's death (from rolling stone): Kurt as the 12th greatest guitarist, Smells Like Teen Spirit as the 9th greatest song ever, Nevermind as the 17th greatest album ever, and Nirvana as the 27th greatest artist there ever was. I know Nirvana were the band that bought grunge into the mainstream, but an excellent point was made earlier on - 'Started in mid 90s and gone by 2000. What a fucking run that was eh? Some revolution'. That quote says it all .And what about Pearl Jam? They are the best-selling grunge band of all time, and have lasted a good 20 or so years, far longer than Nirvana, and during that time, they have continued to be one of the most influential grunge bands in the world. Where's the justice? Seriously.
I seriously agree with most of the artist you put. Queen, Pink Floyd, CCR, B.B. King all deserve to be there. They have Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, and no other blues artists? What about Robert Johnson? Without him, about 90% of the artists on here would never have even come to reality. Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton of Cream and Brian Jones, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones have all acknowledged Johnson's importance, with Plant going so far as to say 'Robert Johnson, to whom we all owed our existence, in some way.'

Beatles should be #1 but what people are missing is OASIS! They were one of the last real rock groups out there. They had an awesome style of music! Another thing John Lennon is way better than Paul!!!!!

Seconded! There is indeed a severe lack of oasis on this list!

Hey g8Or:

John Lennon started out as a basic rock and roll guy, then became an avant-garde artiste (Norwegian Wood, I Am the Walrus, etc.), and finally a politically committed cultural spokesman. He deserves much credit for all of these aspects of his art. Paul McCartney gravitated to a more consistently widely appealing pop idiom (Yesterday, Penny Lane, etc.). McCartney's music kept growing in melodic subtlety and harmonic effect. McCartney developed into the more accomplished musician, as well as the more consistent hit-maker, for which I think he deserves recognition from pundits and fans alike.

Most of the people commenting on here really don't know what they're talking about. Yes Pink Floyd and CCR and a couple other popular bands are missing but for the most part Rolling Stone put together a far better list than any other I've seen (VH1 claims Jay Z at around 50 and Michael Jackson at 3 above most of the artists here).
Also to suggest that ACDC, Queen, Metallica, Dragon Force(haha) or Van Halen are better than Chuck Berry, Jimi Hendrix, Aretha Franklin, Bob Marley, Muddy Waters, The Velvet Underground, The Doors, Van Morrison, The Band, The Allman Brothers, The Grateful Dead, Frank Zappa, Miles Davis and/or many others is ridiculous. They need to turn off the local 70's/80's Classic Rock station and take a guitar hero break to get to know some more music. Most of these people have probably never listened to The Everly Brothers, Hank Williams, Miles Davis or Frank Zappa but they all are still quite certain that Queen is better.
I don't agree with everything on this list and they certainly favor popular rock music over jazz, country, blues and other genres but it's impossible to make a list everyone agrees with and this is a more carefully considered list than most others you'll see.
And lastly just because Kurt Cobain died young, Nirvana broke up early and grunge didn't last long; it doesn't mean Nirvana wasn't good and that grunge wasn't heavily infuental on later music. If Eddie Veder had died in 1995 too, Pearl Jam would have been forgotten much faster than Nirvana. Just because the Beatles didn't last nearly as long as The Rolling Stones doesn't mean the Stones are better.

Queen could easily be a top 20 artist, and nobody would bother to post "What? Queen shouldn't be top 20 they should be like 60 or 70". I wouldn't be so bold as to say they were 'better' than Miles Davis, Everly Brothers, etc.(The term 'better' shouldn't be used with artists that aren't even comparable due to vast difference in style/genre), but Queen is the most notable absence on the list.

I like your point that longevity shouldn't necessarily be a deciding factor for a band's greatness. However, I will stand by my belief that Nirvana is grossly over-rated. Though I suppose there is greatness even in that.

I agree with your first comment, this is the best greatest artists list I've seen so far. Sure, it has it's flaws, but it's much better than VH1 (It has COLDPLAY in the top 100, ffs).
Nobody suggested that AC/DC, Queen, Metallica, Dragonforce and Van Halen were 'better' than the artists you mentioned. I agree, Dragonforce doesn't deserve to be on this list, and never will deserve to be on this list. Van Halen is also questionable, but Queen is a notable omission, and AC/DC deserve to be higher than someone like, say, Carl Perkins. Nobody said they were 'better' than anyone else.
Rolling Stone does have a huge pop and rock bias in the list. They try to remedy it by chucking in a couple of blues and jazz artists here and there, but it's too obvious. And if they have Louis Jordan and Miles Davis on here, then they need to have Louis Armstrong, John Coltrane, Duke Ellington etc. Also for blues, they need B.B. King, Robert Johnson, Little Walter, etc. And if this is a true 'greatest artists of ALL TIME' list, then they REALLY need to put on figures like Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and the classical composers like Beethoven, Bach, Brahms and Mozart (it's the greatest of ALL TIME, right?)
While it's true that longevity isn't a real deciding factor on a band's greatness, Nirvana was listed above some artists who have had a FAR greater influence than Nirvana ever did. Also, Pearl Jam has been around for 20 years now, and has proved themselves the better band, with deeper lyrics, greater technical abilities, more album sales and higher popularity. Rolling Stone practically proves that they are praising Nirvana because of Kurt's death by their high listing: When 'Nevermind' was first released, it was only given three stars by Rolling Stone, yet they rated it as the 17th greatest album of all time about a decade later.

If Nirvana is on here, Sublime should be also.

Okokokok, everyone hold on.

First off, FUCK whoever mentioned Dragonforce. I seriously wanted to bash your face in with a fucking brick when I read that.

Secondly, Queen deserves top 10, no doubt in my God damn mind. At least in front of Hendrix...I'm not really sure what Hendrix influenced, but I guarantee you Queen is better. No offense, but it's pretty infuriating that NIN made the list and Queen didn't (and I like NIN, they just aren't Queen). And don't get me started on fucking Eminiem. Jesus fucking Christ. HE FUCKING SUCKS. HIS VOICE SOUNDS LIKE A WHINY BITCH. WHO THE FUCK VOTED HIM BEST RAPPER, I FUCKING HATE WHITE PEOPLE AND IM WHITE. Who the fuck did Eminem influence?

And sstevo, Sublime? Really? Nirvana is fucking leagues ahead of Sublime. Some of you idiots have to realize this isn't about your favorite band or artist. My favorite is Radiohead and I actually think their spot is good on this list. They owned the last 10 years, which is a lot considering rock is like 60 or so years old.

I love AC/DC, but they don't deserve a spot on this list. Same with Beastie Boys, Aerosmith and Public Enemy.

Dr. Dre's spot is deserved...he's the greatest rap-producer ever.

Come on, there's enough of those 'what the FUCK where is ______ they should be fucking TOP 10!!! FUCK WHOEVER MENTIONED _________ THEY'RE SHIT!! FUCK!' comments. I know Dragonforce is only popular because of Guitar Hero, but is there any need to say 'I srsly wanted to bash your face in with a fucking brick'?

I liked Hendrix as a guitarist, and he has some pretty good songs, but I agree, I don't see how he is more influential than people like Ray Charles, James Brown etc. It's true about NIN and Queen, considering how Trent Reznor listed Queen as one of his influences, as did Kurt Cobain, Michael Jackson, Radiohead and Axl Rose. I think Rolling Stone has always hated Queen, for some childish reason.

Hate him as you may, but the fact is he is one of the most influential rappers ever. It doesn't matter what your personal opinion on him means, he is HUGELY influential, and still continues to release records to critical acclaim.

Yes, but they are placed in front of some artists that have had a far bigger influence and have sold much more records, like The Eagles. And also, it's ironic how you say 'this isn't about your favourite band or artist' and then go on to state your favourite artist, and say their spot on the list is good.

Yes, they do. They are one of the most successful artists ever, and have written countless hits, as well as having the best-selling alum by any band ever. Aerosmith is probably the biggest American rock band ever, and has been around for decades, influencing countless artists in that time. Public Enemy, while not deserving of spot number 44, were one of the biggest hip-hop acts of the 80's and 90's, so yes they do deserve to be on this list. Not gonna argue about Beastie Boys. Don't see why they were picked.

Once again. You criticize Eminem, and say AC/DC, Beastie Boys, Aerosmith and Public Enemy don't deserve their spots on the list, then you go on to glorify Dr. Dre and his position. What the hell?

Personal biase. It's a recurring issue with lists like this, and never will cease to be. The good thing about this list is that it is a great topic for discussion/argument. There really is no point criticizing people for there posts, as I'm sure they are adamant in their beliefs. That being said, feel free to criticize people anyways. It makes for an interesting read. Cheers =)

What I dislike about your argument is that you're picking artists to vouch for, and dismiss others. You think Beastie Boys weren't influential, or popular? If it weren't for Beastie Boys, there very well might not be an Eminem. And yet, you ignore their importance while vouching for Em.

"Once again. You criticize Eminem, and say AC/DC, Beastie Boys, Aerosmith and Public Enemy don't deserve their spots on the list, then you go on to glorify Dr. Dre and his position. What the hell?"

You glorify Eminem and his position, and ignore that the Beastie Boys are important. What the hell?

Okokokok, everyone hold on.

First off, FUCK whoever mentioned Dragonforce. I seriously wanted to bash your face in with a fucking brick when I read that.

Secondly, Queen deserves top 10, no doubt in my God damn mind. At least in front of Hendrix...I'm not really sure what Hendrix influenced, but I guarantee you Queen is better. No offense, but it's pretty infuriating that NIN made the list and Queen didn't (and I like NIN, they just aren't Queen). And don't get me started on fucking Eminiem. Jesus fucking Christ. HE FUCKING SUCKS. HIS VOICE SOUNDS LIKE A WHINY BITCH. WHO THE FUCK VOTED HIM BEST RAPPER, I FUCKING HATE WHITE PEOPLE AND IM WHITE. Who the fuck did Eminem influence?

And sstevo, Sublime? Really? Nirvana is fucking leagues ahead of Sublime. Some of you idiots have to realize this isn't about your favorite band or artist. My favorite is Radiohead and I actually think their spot is good on this list. They owned the last 10 years, which is a lot considering rock is like 60 or so years old.

I love AC/DC, but they don't deserve a spot on this list. Same with Beastie Boys, Aerosmith and Public Enemy.

Dr. Dre's spot is deserved...he's the greatest rap-producer ever.

"At least in front of Hendrix...I'm not really sure what Hendrix influenced, but I guarantee you Queen is better."

I can guarantee you that Queen is not in the same league is Hendrix, Brown, Wonder, Charles, Zeppelin, or any other of the top 20 artists.

Excuse me, but where the fuck is ______?!?! ______'s first album alone is fucking legendary. LEGENDARY. Better than the Beatles, Dylan, Elvis, Jesus Christ, pizza, and true love COMBINED. And their lead singer, *******, has the most amazing voice in all of rock and roll. Their guitarist, $#@&@&$@$, is more influential than Hendrix. If ______ is excluded, this list is a big waste of your life. If you smeared feces all over your computer screen, you'd get a better list that this. I crave validation for my own opinions and Rolling Stone's failure to do so makes me ANGRY! God I hate Rolling Stone. I think I'm going to have a hooker with gonorrhea smear her lady juices all over Rolling Stone's computer keyboards. Long live ______!

I'm not too familiar with their work...what's the name of their first album?

That would be ????????.

Three Dollar Bills, Yall$. Lol

Couldn't agree more :D

The name of this list shouldn't even be "100 Greatest Artists of All-Time"!! It's too general!! If Rolling Stone is referring to the greatest artists, I think the best popular music artists would be at the bottom!!
Da Vinci, Beethoven, Van Gogh, etc.
Those are the guys who should be on top of a "greatest artists" list!!

Rolling Stone is a music magazine, so obviously it's meant to be the best musical artists. Come on now

If that's the case, it's still not right to just go on with "greatest artists"!! Music Magazine, eh? So Beethoven is not related to music? LOL

Where is Rage Against The Machine?
Tom Morello amazingly combined rock and hip-hop to create a unique ass-kicking way of playing the electric guitar!!
I think RATM pretty much pioneered the whole nu metal genre!!

What about Foo Fighters? They pretty much started post-grunge!!

Post-grunge is the derivative of one of the worst genres of rock. Now you're just being silly.

Foo Fighters? You're kidding right? And no, post-grunge is the music that occured AFTER grunge died out, hence the name 'post-grunge'. You're trying to tell me that the Foo Fighters started every single genre of music today? Pfft. And even if they did, that's not a great achievement, considering the state of mainstream and most of music today. There are a lot of artists I would pick before the Foo Fighters, like Queen, Pink Floyd, CCR, Fleetwood Mac, Dire Straits.. hell I'd pick Britney Spears before I picked the Foo Fighters.

Britney Spears? That girl of "fabricated music" fame? Not even close to Foo Fighters!!

Damn!! Britney Spears? Really? I just couldn't stand it!! (*laughs*) That's a damn insult you got there!! She pretty much started "Fabricated Pop", a.k.a. the worst genre of all-time!!

Interesting to see you did a double-reply. No, fabricated pop was around far before her (think of the Culture Club *shiver*), and there are worse genres, eg. Christian death metal (yes, there is such a genre, and it is AWFUL).
But in terms of impact and influence, she would make the list far before the Foo Fighters. Remember, this is the greatest artists of all time list, not the list of your favourite artists.

Hmm, I wonder if there is a list of the 'worst music genres'...I'd have to put Wizard Rock, or 'wrock' on there for sure.

I'll second your point about Spears as well. Kudos!

Oh come on, Harry and the Potters are good for a laugh. They're self-aware and not meant to be taken seriously. I do think it's funny that they basically have their own genre on iTunes (unless there are some other wizard rock bands I should - or shouldn't - know about.

And I'm pretty sure shitty pop music has been around as long as rock music has been around. Hell, there's probably some really shitty popular classical music too, and maybe it dates back to that eighth caveman to come along and hit stones together to please the masses. "This is SUCH a rip-off of Oog's first album. God, hitting stones together used to be cool before everyone sold out."

As a side note, why is there no Jewish death metal? "I got a great deal on this mattress and it feeds the FIRE IN MY SOOOUULL!"

Dare I make a list of Jewish Holocaust Jokes? I wonder what kind of comments I would get...bwahaha

Where are The Ventures?
Also, Black Sabbath should rank higher!!

Obviously not on the list? Look, stop listing your favourite artists and actually give the names of some deserving artists. Maybe then you'll have some credibility.

Rolling Stone really seems to contradict itself a lot. I mean, some of the artists that deserve to be on here (Queen, Pink Floyd, CCR) have greater achievements on Rolling Stone's other lists (greatest guitarists, songs, albums, singers) than some of the artists on this list. Nine Inch Nails, for example, has no songs on the greatest songs list. Trent isn't on either of the greatest singers or greatest guitarists lists, and NIN has only one album on the greatest albums chart, at number 200. I think that the artists here with low achievements, like NIN, Roxy Music, Gram Parsons, etc. are just there to fill in the blank spots left after RS excluded CCR, Queen, PF etc.

RS loves the buzz that their questionable lists create, bad press is better than no press I guess. everyone knows that they see themselves as more than a rock mag...throw in obscure and or controversial choices to appeal to the elite element. Zeppelin, a band the mag never gave good reviews to during their day, should be in the top 5 at least. Nirvana to high at 27, critical darlings and ironic at that b/c their fame (not greatness) was based on little more than the tabloid aspects of Kurt Cobain's life/death...volatile relationship Courtney Love, heroin addiction, suicide at height of fame.

Led Zeppelin in the top 5?? Putting them in the top 15 is pushing the boundaries a little, let alone the top 5. You're trying to tell me that Led Zeppelin are more influential than the creator, queen and godfather of soul, three of the pioneers of rock and roll, the most revered reggae performer ever, the biggest American band ever and the greatest guitarist ever? Nope.

Uh yeah, I'm pretty sure they're more influential than Bob Marley (just how influential do you think Reggae really is?) The creator... is that Chuck? The biggest American band ever... the beach boys probably. The greatest guitar player ever... that must be Hendrix. I'm pretty sure that Led Zeppelin is at least in the same league of influence as the ones you mentioned, and they're definitely more influential than Queen. Of the artists ahead of Led Zeppelin I'd say the only ones DEFINITELY more influential are Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, James Brown, and the Fab Four.

OK, have to comment, Nirvana a spot above Prince? I mean Nirvana had 3 albums of material before their demise and maybe as many good songs, (yes, Smells/Lithium and one or two others are good), Prince, even before Purple Rain, had six disks of unbelievable funk/rock/pop culminating in '1999' - Nirvana can't compare to what this guy has done.

While I do agree that Nirvana is overrated, and Prince is a musical genius, his work is spotty, at best. He had a few good songs from Purple Rain, Sign 'o' the times and 1999, and that was it. The rest was just filler. He's super influential, sure, but his work isn't as good as you make it out to be.

This list is just a travesty.

The list is quite bad, Pink Floyd, Queen, and The Ramones are all blaring omissions. But as far as the poster's commentary, i have a few problems, the only thing to say of Neil Young is "influenced grunge"? It is quite a stretch to even claim he did that, though some people these days say he did, i don't see it. but that isn't the point, the point is that he is a legend in and of himself, regardless of sub genras spouting up 30 years after his prime, and i'm a grunge fan. speaking of that, even i think Nirvana is a 100-80 band, i like some grunge for some harder music that has a bit of wits about it, but it just doesnt have influence or poetry in it to give it all to much credit. And you could argue Dylan at 2? Jesus, i think anyone would argue that he and the Beatles are dead locked for 1. And looking at some other groups that made the cut, i would have certainly hoped R.E.M. would have made it, but it isn't a shocker to see them missing

I know it isn't great, but it's certainly the best one I've ever seen. I'm a fan of Young, but I agree that he doesn't really deserve a super-detailed description, as I assume that the poster is trying to keep the list as concise as possible. And he is called the 'godfather of grunge' because Kurt Cobain and Eddie Vedder both listed him as a huge influence, plus he has dabbled in grunge himself, hence the nickname. Not really, in fact I was surprised that Dylan was above Presley, considering Dylan himself said the highlight of his entire career was Elvis covering one of his songs. And as for the poster: I know it isn't that important, but some of your bios are unbelievably brief and uninformative. I know you're not trying to tell viewers of the page the entire history of the artists, but seriously now, slightly more detailed descriptions, for EVERYONE, are in order now, don't ya think??

Absolutely! I just don't like it when the description overflows to the following line. ie #s 27, 31, 51, 72, 73, 85. Meh. I'll find the time one day to make a detailed description on each. Or maybe I'll just make separate articles for each number, and make a link. Idk

@REMslave
A couple points - The Ramones are at 26. Yes, Pink Floyd and Queen are blaring omissions-a point which has been covered about 20 times already.
You have a problem with my Neil Young commentary. You complained the 'only thing to say of Neil Young is "influenced grunge"?'. No, I could write a detailed essay on what I thought of Neil Young. However, not being a die-hard fan, I hardly felt inclined to write 500 words on every artist on the list. He has the nickname 'father of grunge' or something along those lines, so I assumed he was an influence on the genre. I'll change that commentary to something more appealing, if you'd like.
Anyone could argue that Bob Dylan is dead-locked w/ the Beatles at #1? You're the first person to mention that, so I doubt it, but w/e. I don't know. Being a Canadian, I suppose Dylan's influence might not have reached me quite as much as it could have. Call it a personal biase.

I'm sorry, but too many have complained about Nirvana and their position. True, they were not a band for very long and they didn't release THAT many albums, but the impact they have had on rock music can still be easily identified. A great number of the decent modern rock bands (or any that have released material post '94) have taken their sound from the Grunge movement. Now, Nirvana wasn't the only grunge band, and I think it's amazing that Pearl Jam isn't on the list, but that isn't Nirvana's fault. If you want a really easy example of the sound Cobain has passed down, just listen to most modern rock singers. Compare the singers from the 1980s, to those of the late 90s, to the current ones.

If you hadn't noticed, 80s ROCK music (not metal) were bands like The Police, R.E.M., The Cars, etc. Soft "pretty" voices, in front of glorified pop tracks. Now listen to the 90s post-grunge bands, like Bush, Staind, Creed, etc. You notice the agonized, gritty vocals, in front of a slow and distorted track? Fast forward to current rock bands, like Seether, Shinedown, Nickelback, Hinder, etc. Although the music has become more uptempo again, the vocals STILL mimic the gritty screams that Cobain unleashed.

17 years after Cobain died and rock music still is copying his voice.

As for the whole grunge movement, the music was about emotion. Much akin to old delta blues, the musicians were truly unhappy, and it showed in their work.

I also think that one could argue that grunge saved rock. After being raped mercilessly by the travesties of the 80s, grunge brought back the balls that stemmed from the late 60s-early 70s (Cream, Guess Who, Zep., The Who, etc). Don't get me wrong, the 80s brought metal onto the main screen, but metal and rock are not the same thing.

Anyways, that's all I have to say about that.

Nirvana don't DESERVE that position. They could get in the top 40 on a greatest ROCK artists list, but of all time? No fucking way.

'Decent' rock bands? If you call band a 'decent' and band b 'unlistenable crap', and someone says it the other way around, how do we decide who's right?

That asides, you're right in saying Nirvana isn't the only grunge band, and they aren't the most important (Soundgarden easily wins that honour).

You forget Iron Maiden, Slayer, Metallica, Anthrax, Megadeth, Black Sabbath and Pantera, bands with 'gritty' vocals that were around before grunge. And besides, you think it was COBAIN who unleashed the gritty screams? You really think that? Roger Daltrey was doing vocals as gritty twenty years before Nirvana and the whole grunge scene.

If you are talking about the singing styles of most post-grunge band singers, they take FAR more vocally from Chris Cornell and Eddie Vedder than Kurt. The vocals in the album 'Ten' basically became the blueprint for all post-grunge singers.

The music was not about emotion. If you think the blues and grunge are similar, you're deluded. The blues is a cry from the soul, a cry of loneliness, heartbreak and despair over lost love. Grunge is basically teens saying 'fuck you' to their parents trying to impose their musical tastes on them.

Grunge 'saved' rock? From WHAT? What big, bad music monster was stomping around threatening to trample rock into the ground? And as for the 'balls' thing: Metal bands in the 80's had far more balls than any grunge band ever did, the punk bands did it 12 years earlier, and they did it better. And if you don't think metal is rock, you need to learn yourself up. Metal is rock with tuned down instruments and a sped-up tempo. Whoop-de-fucking-do.

"Nirvana don't DESERVE that position. They could get in the top 40 on a greatest ROCK artists list, but of all time? No fucking way."

You do realize that this list consists primarily of rock artists with a few exceptions, (Louis Jordan, Miles Davis, Johnny Cash, a couple others). If it was really an ALL TIME LIST, whatever that means, there would be a lot more of those ALL TIME artists and less from the past 60 years of music/rock history. To say Nirvana isn't influential, or important, or culturally significant, is crazy IMO. I would have them no lower than 35.

Okay, Troll, I'll bite.
If you can't tell what a "decent band" is, (notice how general of a statement that is) then you've got a mental condition. A "decent band" is anything that enjoys a moderate amount of success. I won't go through and point out specific bands, because that is not the point. I'd go as far to say that any (rock) band you hear on the radio, or can buy a cd from in Best Buy is a "decent band."

Grunge was a four horse show, no doubt about that: Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, and Alice in Chains, but to deny the importance of Nirvana is asinine. The easy way to tell? Bush is always considered a post-grunge band, their first album was released in 1994, 8 months after Cobain died. When Cobain died, so did grunge.

On to gritty vocals:

Iron Maiden does not have gritty vocals. I'm listening to Hallowed Be Thy Name currently, it is an amazing track. Dickinson has a fantastic voice and power, but it isn't gritty. Perhaps you don't know the definition of the word? Black Sabbath, with Ozzy or Dio, are great bands, both of which are great vocalists, neither are gritty. Putting that aside, every band you mention there is a heavy metal band. It's funny that you can't tell the difference between metal and rock, considering virtually everyone else can. I'm not claiming that grunge invented those vocals, which had you actually understood my post, would have been evident (Note that I mentioned The Who in my post).

As far as mimicking vocal styles, I cannot name two bands that copied Vedder's style (Live/especially on Lightning Crashes comes to mind) but aside from them, if you could inform me of a few, I'd appreciate it.

You're next pseudo-paragraph contradicts itself so badly, I'm not even sure if it warrants a response.

Grunge "saved" rock from extinction. The pinnacle of it being the 1970s, with great bands like Zep, Queen, Pink Floyd, The Who, The Stones, (I could go on for a long time). After that period, a clear division was starting to take hold, heavy metal was separating off from rock. This is where the great metal bands of the 1980s come in (that you previously mentioned). If you honestly can't see the trend rock was enduring in the 80s, with bands like I already pointed out, such as The Police, The Cars, R.E.M., Prince -- there is a VERY thin line between these bands and people like Madonna and MJ -- also known as "pop" music. Pop's evolutionary chain started with acts Fats Domino, Sam Cooke, etc., continued into the Temptations, Smokey, Diana Ross, which continued evolved into Elton, Boy Wonder, Gaye, right into borderline disco bands, which then (in the 80s) transformed into huge acts like MJ and Madonna, continued on into our current variety of pop. A completely different music entity from rock music.

Rock, on the other hand, stemmed from Jerry Lee, Perkins, Cochran (all blues influenced), into the British Invasion bands, then to 70s (as I've already discussed), which by the mid-late 80s was wavering, with fringe rock bands, like the ones I've already pointed out, taking the lead. Had the grunge movement never occurred, there would currently be no rock music. We would have heavy metal and pop, with little-to-no middle ground. Heavy metal, by the way, has evolved far beyond Metallica and Priest, if you don't know where metal is right now, I'd suggest a listen to Killswitch or Lamb of God.

I'm a troll because I don't follow your deluded fantasies about Cobain/Nirvana? Lol
And what exactly do you mean by 'success'? Commercial, critical, what? And what would count as 'moderate'? A top 10 album, maybe two in the U.S.? Or 18 #1 singles like Elvis had?

People denying the importance of Nirvana isn't the problem here, it's people overstating their importance that's the problem. 'When Cobain died, so did grunge'. Yeah, Cobain's death signalled the end of grunge, along with Pearl Jam's touring problems, Soundgarden and Alice in Chain's disbandments and the rise of Britpop (Oasis, Blur, Pulp, Verve, etc.) and post-grunge (which is a silly term - not only were post-grunge and grunge bands around at the same time, it's illogical; post-grunge supposedly killed grunge, but how could the music style that supposedly came after grunge kill it off??)

You do realise Maiden has had vocalists besides Dickinson? And Sabbath has ones other than Dio and Ozzy?
Alright, if metal is such a distinct and original genre of music, can you please explain to me how it deserves it's own genre? Current-day metal has the same uptempo beat, doom/death-inspired lyrics, dark atmosphere and tuned-down instruments as it did when Black Sabbath released their debut album about 40 years ago. So suddenly, because you tune down your instruments and play the songs a little faster, you've created a whole new genre? Right.

And as for Eddie Vedder: Chad Kroeger, Chris Daughtry, Scott Stapp, Travis Meeks, Aaron Lewis, Brent Smith, Shaun Morgan... Anything else?

I love how you say it doesn't warrant a response yet you gave it one. Nice job on being retarded.

'Extinction'? Who the hell says rock was becoming 'extinct'? And Fats Domino, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and Madonna are all rock. They have several instances of rock songs. And this proves nothing about anything. Plus, U2, Guns 'N' Roses, Queen, etc. were all big in the 80's, and there's no way they wouldn't count as rock. And besides, you do realise there is rock outside of the mainstream stuff, right?

'had the grunge movement never occured, there would currently be no rock music'. I cannot begin to tell you how ridiculous this claim is. If grunge had never occured, there would never be any post-grunge bands. If you believe that without grunge, rock would've died, you're a moron. Rock exists OUTSIDE of the mainstream. It's called indie. Plus, there's all the metal bands (Avenged Sevenfold) and alternative bands (Radiohead, Coldplay, Arcade Fire) out there, plus pop-punk bands like Green Day, Paramore, Blink-182, etc. that are still active, not to mention all the bands from past decades still active, like the Who, the Stones, Queen, U2, AC/DC, etc.

'Evolved far beyond Metallica and Priest'. Hmmm... metal in the 70's had tuned-down instruments, dark atmosphere, death/doom centred lyrics, pounding guitar riffs and fast tempo. Metal today has tuned-down instruments, dark atmosphere, death/doom centred lyrics, pounding guitar riffs and fast tempo. Shit, man, that's progressed heaps! I was wrong to doubt you, man, I should've listened all along!

Hey, I'm sorry to budge but rock music in the 80s was far from pop and far far from dead. Acts like the Pixies, Big Black, Husker Du, Minutemen, Sonic Youth, The Replacements, The Fall, Nick Cave, Butthole Surfers etc. Read a book on music history dude. Some of these groups had a massive infuence on grunge (although it's safe to assume the creator of grunge was Neil Young), Kurt specifically. Just check out his favorite albums list. Nirvana didn't 'save' rock. Rock didn't need to be saved. Nirvana were just a good, decent band who became majorly famous.

^Yeah, what this guy said.

I won't have time to write a full response until tonight, but I do think that your "read a book on music history" comment is funny, considering I already have a PhD on the subject and teach it part time at a nationally recognized university.

Also, MJ's nickname is the King of Pop (although I remember when it was the Prince of Pop)

See you later, kiddos.

"If you honestly can't see the trend rock was enduring in the 80s, with bands like I already pointed out, such as The Police, The Cars, R.E.M., Prince -- there is a VERY thin line between these bands and people like Madonna and MJ -- also known as "pop" music."

A comment like that makes me seriously doubt your PHD. Firstly, The Police, The Cars, R.E.M & Prince are all very different groups. R.E.M musically was one of the founders of alternative rock (which went on to have a seminal influence on Kurt0, building on the innovations that The Feelies made, and the jangly style of The Byrds. The Police fusing reggae music with rock. Prince was a person fusing together R&B, funk, soul, rock & pop. They're all very different bands.

Madonna was an artist commercialising disco into a more acceptable sound rather than the transexual, androgynous, sexual music of original disco. MJ was like you said, the King of Pop who was incredibaly talented melodically.

And even so, this has nothing to do with Nirvana as being a great band. I really love Nirvana, In Utero & Unplugged are 2 of my favorite albums. But they didn't save rock. Far from it. Rock didn't need saving. Nirvana were just another band in an incredibly brilliant time for rock music. They just happened to become world famous through labels commercialising grunge music after they realised it could be a pretty big fad.

I seriously doubt that you are a teacher of and have a PhD on music history if you seriously believe Nirvana saved rock from extinction and that heavy metal is a separate genre from rock.

I love these discussions and well as these lists (which I would certainly make some changes to). BUT, arguing about opinions is futile at best as there is no right or wrong. As I understand it, this is a subjective list (meaning not based on ticket/record sales/hits, etc...) and thus, not quantitative.

As such, we are all experts in the said discussion as we are talking about art whose contribution is defined by the user, viewer, or listener.

So, while RUSH not being on there warrants a collective bitch-slap given to the list-creators, there is and never will be a perfect list..... and Hallelujah to that.

"this is a subjective list (meaning not based on ticket/record sales/hits, etc...) and thus, not quantitative"
Well yeah, that's a tad redundant, don't you think?

"As such, we are all experts in the said discussion as we are talking about art whose contribution is defined by the user, viewer, or listener"
Again, redundant? We are the experts...defined by the user, viewer, listener (again, us. So, you're saying we are the experts in a topic that is defined by us?

Were you talking like this for the sake of being pretentious, or just using an epistrophe for effect? Meh, whatever. Some days I debate whether or not I should disable the comments on these Rolling Stone lists.

While this list is subjective, it'd be stupid to judge artists based solely on ticket/record sales/hits, because then artists like AC/DC would probably get into the top 20, when they don't really deserve it, like at all. And besides, if we were going on ticket sales, Tina Turner would be #1, and I don't think anyone could seriously argue her for #1.

I think my using the word "thus" permits the redundancy. Just using the epistrophe for effect - looks like it worked. "Defined" may have been a poor choice; how about, measured?

Assuming you now understand, do you agree or not? There must be something you can posit to refute my submission or are you just the grammar monitor?

Do I agree? Haha yes; Wholeheartedly, in fact

Am I the grammar monitor? Meh. Just bored. Occasionally I challenge people just to see their response. It's not meant to be insulting, so don't take offense. I like to pick on the intelligent ones just to hear the response, and, more often than not, I end up learning something. I'm well aware that grammar is completely irrelevant to the topic of discussion

You said there will never be a perfect list? Well, an objective list maybe...or did you mean there will never be a perfect subjective list? I think it's safe for me to assume the latter, but could you please elaborate?

Where be epistrophe? Me no see.

Maybe epanadiplosis? I'm not even sure any more; I thought I had it right the first time :P Doesn't really matter

My goal was to be emphatic;

epistrophe - repetition of a word or expression at the end of successive phrases, clauses, sentences, or verses especially for rhetorical or poetic effect (as Lincoln's “of the people, by the people, for the people”)

Epanadiplosis is the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning and end of a phrase, clause or sentence: "Laugh with those that laugh, and weep with those that weep"

By perfect, I meant a subjective list that was universally deemed without error.

(I think the Grateful Dead had sold the most tickets)

I don't think there is such a thing as a list like that, since people will get upset that their favourite band isn't higher, etc.

And Tina's listed in the GWR book of records, so I'm guessing she wins in ticket sales.

Mmmm. Stating the definitions of those two figures of speech (which I suppose were copied from the first Google entries), underscores the fact that neither one of them is evident in the comment of 2/04/11 that blindsider replied to.

This pedantic vetting has nothing to do with the ongoing discussion about which artists deserve to be In or Out or Up or Down. But form of expression can relate to content.

And exactly what did your reply have to do with "which artists deserve to be In or Out or Up or Down"? Let me guess, your input criteria does not apply to you?

(The Grateful Dead should have been rated higher, btw)

@listereen
Lmao you're right. I actually Googled it after to see if I was far off, and the first result I got was the 'laugh with those that laugh, weep with those that weep' phrase on some English etymology website. Enough about that nonsense though.

I thought that using 'Us' at the beginning of a phrase, and using something synonomous at the end counted as an epistrophe, but I was wrong. But then again, I didn't have the magic of Google on my side

Grateful Dead could be higher yes. Now I'm craving Cherry Garcia ice cream

cnf_2258: read all the words in my comment. That would have obviated your response.

ok many of you are looking at this the wrong way .The order of the performers is messed up and some very important names are missing howeverthink about this : 85% of these artists have tunes that are 20+ years old and you can still find them on the radio on a classic station or whatever...The dude that whined abiout Green Day..really??? they have been around less time than my socks haha.Look a band might be great but until they have a tune 20 years old or so they havn't earned then tenure.Pearl Jam and Nirvana started the grunge movement.Hey soundgarden person lol Really? are you serious? lol They are ok but the members of that band have quit and formed 3 other bands since they got together and they didnt start shiit.MJ should be in the top 10 regardless.Sabbath started the split of Metal away from traditional Rock.Friggin ridiculous.RS sucks !!!..OH MAMAS AND PAPPAS? REALLY? WHOEVER SUGGESTED THAT LMAO They were ranked #10 all time of one hit wonders lol Geeezzz.Crazy people.ok last thing."Rock style music" has 3 sub-genres.Metal-Rock-Alternative Rock..Rock wasnt going extinct and Nirvana didnt save it. Metallica,Sabbath,Judas Priest,Slayer Pantera they are metal.AC/DC (the current reigning King of rock by the way,30 plus years !!) ,Alice in Chains ,Korn,Tool etc bands like that...Rock. All these bands like Linkin Park,3 Days Grace, fuel, trapt etc...Alternative Rock which that genre has become a real broad stroke of interpretation considering the styles in this catagory.

This post is a mess, but I'll try my hardest...

Why does a band need a tune 20 years old? What does age have to do with anything?

And my comments about Soundgarden were in relation to the fact that grunge wasn't created by Nirvana, as that guy claimed them to be.

And NO MICHAEL JACKSON SHOULDN'T BE TOP 10. Gosh, severely overrated since he died. I can think of about 50 artists who should be ahead of him.

And what's 'traditional rock'?

The Mama's and the Papa's weren't a 'one-hit wonder'. Whoever said that is out of their mind.

Rock music has WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY more sub-genres than 3. Plus Rock isn't a sub-genre of Rock. Wtf.

Tool, Korn and Alice in Chains are all more metal than plain rock as well. Plus the Stones are far more the reigning Kings of Rock than AC/DC (50 years going strong).

"And NO MICHAEL JACKSON SHOULDN'T BE TOP 10. Gosh, severely overrated since he died. I can think of about 50 artists who should be ahead of him."

The website that you reference and often structure entire arguments around is actually revising their greatest rock artists list and Michael Jackson does pretty well. As does Public Enemy, Nirvana, and a couple others that I recall you referring to as too high (on the rolling stone list). The first list you see is the one on the site, and if you scroll down, you'll see the edit.

Iron Maiden should most definately be on the list!

PJ should have been on here, and not because of Ten, but because of the fact that they are now one of the greatest bands of all time, and got better with age, seriously Ten is their worst album, I now see Binuaral, Riot Act, No Code, and Yield as their best work. But most people love their S/T album more than the previous four albums that came before that because they have more "hits."

I still can't believe Pink Floyd didn't make the list! I'm pretty sure Rolling Stone just hates them. The user who submitted this list obviously isn't familiar with their stuff...they're not top 50 material;Floyd should be directly behind The Beatles. There's some other artists absent. Most of them have already been mentioned:
Paul McCartney
Tom Waits
Creedence Clearwater Revival
Fleetwood Mac
John Coltrane
Robert Johnson
Willie Nelson

Also, I feel that artists like Led Zeppelin,The Who,Johnny Cash,Marvin Gaye,Neil Young,John Lennon,David Bowie,The Doors,The Kinks,Cream,Black Sabbath,Miles Davis,The Yardbirds,and Carlos Santana should be higher while artists like Nirvana,Madonna,The Sex Pistols,and all the Rap/Hip-Hop acts and producers should be removed or at least placed behind the artists previously mentioned.

Nah, they're top 50 material. 'Directly behind the Beatles'? Not in this lifetime. Thanks for the input. Cheers!

See, I was right, he isn't familiar with their stuff...

Why don't you reply after you've gotten more familiar with Roger Waters (3rd greatest lyricist of all time),David Gilmour (One of the greatest guitarists to ever grace this humble planet with his presence),Richard Wright (Floyd's Jazz influence),and Syd Barret (psychedelic genius). And after you've carefully studied Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall (2 of the greatest albums of all time) as I and many others have. I think that by the end, you'll agree with my opinion.

If anything, hip-hop is underrepresented on the list. No, Eric B. & Rakim? Jay Z? Outkast? Wu Tang?

i truly respect RS for putting otis redding so high up, he is truly an a amazing singer and song-writer, on the other hand no creedence clearwater revival? and the temptations 67? the doors down in the 40s? and although i don't enjoy mj's music too much, as the top selling artist of all time, i gotta say, i expected him a bit higher. but overall this is actually a pretty good list; i mean not everyone could have their favorite artists in the top 10.

Agreed about Otis. I think it's truly amazing how much great material he made, in just a few years. I also agree that the Temptations are getting short-changed big time. I mean, 67?! Really? 35-40 would be more suitable IMO. I think the doors are fine at 42. Personally, I wouldn't have put them above the likes of Elton John, Run DMC, Sly & the Family Stone, among others.

I agree about the beetles at no1 but that's about it.
Simon and Garfunkel could drfinately be in the top 20 and I think marvin Gaye should be top 15.

Don't forget this is a lat off the 100 greatest Artists off all time NOT 100 greatest ROCK ARTISTS/BANDS of all time many of you above are only arguing about rock ect when there are other genres out thereand you cannot deny what certain people did for there genres. Look at 2pac just because he was a rapper he doesn't deserve to be higher? For what he did and how he influenced his genre of music he could easily be to 20/30.
Many believe him to be a genius of his genre and so much more than a rapper. He's considered a poet and a martyr and has memorials in Germany Spain the Bronx and Atlanta. He is also one of the most succesful post humerous artist off all time even though all eyes on me his most sucesfull album was befor his death.
He even had the song 'dear mama' added to the National Recording Registry at library of congress.

That is surely proof of someone who is 'immortal' in the music industry no matter what genre it's from
After all rock isn't EVERYTHING

If Marvin Gaye were to be higher, it would probably be a few spots up. Either way, calling him the 18th greatest of ALL TIME is hardly an insult. What makes you think Tupac is deserving of a 20/30 spot on the list? I'm not saying that you're wrong, but the top 30 is rarified air, and he's up against some heavyweights.

OH MY F*CKING GAWD!!!!!!!!! MICHAEL JACKSON ON 36TH...I MEAN SERIOUSLY!! AND WHAT MORE!?? IT SAYS 'WOULD BE HIGHER IF WASN'T WACKO' WTF IS THIS BULLSHIT??? HOLY CRAP! GROW UP..HE DIDN'T ONLY INFLUENCE THE WEST AS ELVIS ADN BEATLES DID,....HIS MUSIC AND DANCE REACHED EVERY CORNER OF THIS PLANET EARTH!!!...AS AN ARTIST, HE WAS INSANELY TALENTED AND WAS A VERY VERSATILE ARTIST...HE HAD MUCH MORE TALENT THAN THESE OTHER 99 ARTISTS PUT TOGETHER...MOST IMP THING..?? WTF?? ARE U RANKING ARTISTS USING WHICH CRITERIA?? HOW WEIRD ARE THEY?? THATS HOW YOU RANK 'EM HUH JERK!? U LITTLE CRAPPY CUNT..WHY WOULD ECCENTRICITY MATTER WHEN RANKING ARTISTS USING CRITERIA 'GREATNESS'!! ARE U MENTALLY RETARDED?? FUCK YOURSELF DUMBASS!

and yeah....dont u know english grammar properly??? 'thriller was the best selling album of all time' aint that self-contradicting...when its best selling 'of all time' how come u use 'was' then?? it still remains the best selling, selling over 110 million..*whew* i am honestly not going to be on this ignorant stupid ass website again..it sucks especially this author! go join a school where it teaches u to hv some manners, being logical and reasonable and that teaches u english right way!

Thanks for the correction :) I didn't notice that typo before, so I appreciate it. I know what it means to be self-contradicting; I merely made a small error (quite small, considering nobody has bothered to correct me on it yet). Your message is riddled with them, so you hardly seem the type to pontificate the English language, with all due respect.

Please note this is not my list. It is RollingStone's. All I did was essentially copy and paste everything here because I thought it would be a great topic of discussion for this website, which has numerous musical experts as members.

p.s.
Also, when I stated 'would be higher if he wasn't wacko' I was commenting on the obvious biase that RS might have against him. It's glaringly obvious, so I won't comment on that particular topic any further

You think Public Enemy is too high? Why do you say that? They're just as important as (say) The Doors or the Clash. They're probably one of the most influential hip-hop groups of all time (if not the most influential) and you not knowing jack shit about them is NOT a valid reason for them to drop down to... 80?!

A lot of my opinions at the time I created this list are a little out-of-date. I have since looked much further into some of the artists that I had originally thought undeserving of their position. I still wouldn't put Public Enemy in the top 50 of all time, but maybe just shy of it.
Regardless, what do numbers mean, really. Is Curtis Mayfield any less 'great' than Little Richard? Or vice versa? These ranking systems are fickle, and it's impossible to please everyone. You've made some valid points, though

Yeah, I guess these lists are just kind of bogus in general. What makes an artist great? Whatever... glad to see you at least have an open mind.

I come from the 70s "classic" rock era - it is the music of my youth and thus has been (for the most part) my music of choice for most of my life. I have, however, chosen to open my mind, and thus my world, to other music genres. I urge others to do the same. After all, how many times can a person listen to the same old crap over and over?

If this silly RS list is seriously talking about the 100 greatest [music] artists of all time, then I would have to dump a lot of crap off of that list in order to include: Ludwig van Beethoven (1), Johann Sebastian Bach (2), Rudy Vallee, Bing Crosby (3), Frank Sinatra (Top 25), Robert Johnson (Top 25), Irving Berlin (Top 25), Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Lawrence Welk, Nat King Cole, Andy Williams (Top 50), Pat Boone, Dave Brubeck (Top 50), Louis Armstrong (Top 25), John Coltrane (Top 25), Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, The Platters, Little Anthony and the Imperials, The Skyliners, Smoky Robinson, Simon and Garfunkel (Top 50), Pink Floyd (Top 50), The Eagles (Top 50), Chicago, The Doobie Brothers, ABBA, Queen, Tom Waits (Top 50), Leonard Cohen (Top 50), Burl Ives, Woody Guthrie (Top 50), Pete Seeger (Top 25), The Carters, Bill Monroe, Earl Scruggs, Patsy Cline (Top 50), Willie Nelson (Top 50), Buck Owens (Top 25), Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton, Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams Jr., Garth Brooks, et al. I am certain I missed some gems.

Leave it to the RS morons to have a worthless, vaguely titled "Top Whatever" list. That ragmag is following the rock genre into mediocrity and oblivion.

Thanks to blindsider for posting this RS list, though. It has been fun thinking about music again. We have all been privileged to hear all the music that has been created by so many talented people in so many genres.

Have fun and take care.

1. Nirvana changed music in 1991 by flushing all the glam metal down the toilet. They deserve every sloppy kiss RS gives them.

2. I don't like Janis Joplin or Patti Smith in the least. Highly over-rated.

3. The Sex Pistols and The Ramones should be higher. They influenced sooo many bands.

4. The Four Tops, The Shirelles, etc. All of the Mo-Town stuff I love, but this much credit is crazy. They have about a dozen groups on the list. Too many.

5. Joni Mitchell should be much much higher. She wrote many hits in the 60's for other groups. Many hits. And then she creates Tapestry. Incredible talent.

6. Radiohead doesn't do a thing for me. In 5 years people will rate them much lower.

7. More groups from the 90's should be on the list. Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, etc.

Meant to say Carole King above.

Why BILLY IDOL is not on this list????

This is always what happen to all the list of the greatest whatever out there in the world. Everybody has his own opinion, for me I totally agree with the Beatles and some other artist on the list. Some should be higher, some should be lower and some should just be out of the list. If it was my list I would put Hendrix higher and never leave out BB King and Stevie Ray Vaughan and many other blue guitarist out there, hey but that just me. no need to argue. RS can't please everyone. Overall the list cover many kind of genre in music and although I don't like Rap music but I can't say that it shouldn't be there or that BB King is better than Eminem (Well to me he is) but you just can't compare apples to oranges. I think to make the 100 greatest artist list you just have to have many kind of genre and not just rock and roll otherwise it should just be call the 100 greatest rock and roll band of all time. And to the guy who said everyone who appreciate older music better than today music is just 1) old people or 2) weird teenagers well that just wrong coz I'm neither of those, I'm a 24 year old asian woman who never play a guitar hero once in my life but just appreciate older music coz I simply like it that's all PS If it were me, I would put Oasis in the list and take Nirvana out lol

this is a out rage. where is pink floyd, electric light orchestra, moody blues, supertramp,billy joel. lets be honest elvis presley rolling stones are very overrated so is bob dylan. i would love to see the beatles, the beach boys, simon and garfunkel, chuck berry and the who. my top five.

This world is too big for all your stupid, very very common opinions!
according to my fucking stupid opinion, RS has and will always favour the fucking popular artists,and consider artists who sell more records than the other as 'better' or 'great' (ofcourse these factors play a key role). But what they ought to fucking consider is what the artists truly represent, new ideas and styles of music that they have introduced.
Everybody keeps on blabbering about why pink floyd, queen, ccr, etc.. Arent included in the fucking lists, while yall ought to look on the wider picture.
Fuck!! In fact Here's mine:
1)50% of the artist in this swine flu liked lists suck at live performances, including the most fucking commented band 'nirvana' (in a bad way,ofcourse)
2)who can forget the ever increasing anti-metal revolution that has been goin on amongst the media since it first appeared on steppenwolf's born to be wild. And because of this,bands who rate 99.99% higer then 50% of those in this list at performing in sold out concerts like Iron Maiden, KISS, Judas Priest, Big Four of thrash excluding Metallica who fuckingly suck. And who can fucking forget Venom.
3) It has occured to me that the extreme genre of music like death and black metal are never participants in any kind of polls in music. Its as if they have no part in music at all. The media tends to exclude them because lets face, they are fucking scared!! And also because of some 'moral reasons'
4) speaking of black and death metal, why arent bands like Celtic Frost, Bathory, Venom, Mayhem, Emperor, Burzum etc.. Included in the list. If it soley depens on 'influence' why arent they given their rightful place among the greatest of all time. The bands mentioned above are the pioneers of nu,melodic,goth, industrial and new wave of american metal.
At least one band from the extreme genre must be fucking included.
5) why arent BB.King and Buddy Guy not included,while all the blues artists in the list are inspired by these two 'gods'.
6) and where the fuck is blue cheer? Metal would not exist if it wasn't for them
7)lastly, the lists seems to be occupied by american, canadian and british artists. Thats not fucking 'greatest of all time'. I consider the artists of india, norway, japan, germany, sweden and africa to be far influential then the guys in the lists. They are the true artists who shaped classic and modern music. But then again, they are striped off of their rightful place because of the fucking media!

95% of the bands you mention suck...

lets get started on this list. first of all how the hell is boby dylan number 2 but townes van zandt or lenoard cohen is nowhere to be found on the list. why is rolling stones at number 4 they are so overrated. i would rather see the who get that spot cause they are way better then the rolling stones i would put the rolling stones at 29. chuck berry should be number 3 instead of elvis sorry. neil young and simon and garfunkel should be top 15. where is other artist on this list like the moody blues, thin lizzy, jethro tull, donovan, billy joel, supertramp, yes, king crimson, willie nelson, pink floyd, queen, van halen,