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USA Today Poll: Greatest American Rock Bands


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Heart is not actually Canadian. They lived in Vancouver but were from Seattle. Kudos to you Jeff for knowing Chilliwack. Here are some more:

1. Lighthouse ("Pretty Lady", "One Fine Morning", "Sunny Days")

2. Edward Bear ("Last Song")

3. Five Man Electrical Band ("Signs")

4. Stampeders ("Sweet City Woman")

Phil is Giselle Mckenzie the actress in the 1930's movies?


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If I had to voice an opinion as to the best Canadian group today, I'd say Blue Rodeo. They are huge in Canada, have been around for about 20 years, but have never made it in the U.S. Incredible vocals, and musical mix of R&B, Country, Pop, and Soul.

There is an indie band, The Arcade Fire (from Montreal), that is creating quite a buzz. They were recently on the cover of Time magazine.


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Giselle McKinzie was a very popular Canadian singer who I remember was on the "Hit Parade" in the late 50's. She also was on Ed Sullivan and all the variety shows. She was kind of like Rosemary Clooney in her time. Not sure if she was ever in films earlier.


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If we're talking about Canadian music, Michel Pagliaro is at the top of the list (well, my list anyway, and a few others too I would suspect). The hell w/ these 3rd-rate Canadian rock bands like Max Webster and the like (although April Wine was sublime in its day -- Myles Goodwin had one hell of a voice and they've got enuff 'power pop' tunes from the 'early days' to make a nice little road tape). Pagliaro 4ever.

PS - I want to run my hands thru Kevin Cronin's hair.

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My selections have nothing to do with record sales or popularity, and EVERYTHING to do with influence on popular music and lasting impressions. Here is an alphabetical listing:

1. Aerosmith - hard rock with a distinctive melodic touch.

2. Allman Brothers Band - I'm not a fan of their long jams, but it's hard to deny how ground-breaking their early 1970's albums such as "Fillmore" and "Peach" were

3. Beach Boys - you'd be hard-pressed to find a more prolific, more inventive, more adventureous band.

4. Byrds - the original lineup was the best, but latter versions with Clarence White and Gram Parsons helped define Country-Rock.

5. Chicago - very underated, and their blend of jazz/pop-rock was captured in an inticing commercial groove.

6. Creedence Clearwater Revival - it is mind-blowing to calculate the indredible number of great songs written in a very short span of time.

7. Crosby, Stills, Nash (& Young) - jazz-styled harmony singing that opened new doors, and whose influence is felt 30 years later.

8. Doobie Brothers - great musicianship and an incredible run of hits.

9. Eagles - not many groups can match their popularity or their drive for excellence in lyrics and musianship.

10. Earth, Wind & Fire - Chicago on funk.

11. Little Feat - not as well known, but undeniably one of the best 'musician's' bands ever.

12. Los Lobos - Jazz, pop, rock, funk, soul, country, you name it, LL can play it.

13. Neville Brothers - the spiritual and musical soul of New Orleans music.

14. Rascals - the original purveyors of blue-eyed soul. Later on a couple of the members formed Fotomaker.

15. Raspberries - don't give me Big Star. THESE are the masters of melodic rock. Nobody sang or played it better.

16. Sly & the Family Stone - Prince before there was Prince.

17. Steely Dan - Are they really a band or just a collection of musicians who play with Fagen and Becker? Either way, the musicians love them even though, no one else seems to understand them.

18. Toto - some question whether the sum is as great as the individual parts, but nevertheless, a fine collection of musicians.

19. War - music with a conscience.

By the way, are Simon & Garfunkel a band? How about the Everly Brothers, Hall & Oates...?


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Tom Petty does get points in my book for being one of the hardest working people in the business, solid songwriting, and longevity.

However, he is not innovative or unique...Byrds, Dylan, etc. were there first. And has he been an influence on other acts? Kiss and Nirvana usually come first....not to mention less-commerical acts, such as Tom Waits, Frank Zappa, Lou Reed---before Petty's name comes up.

Solid, too, as a songwriter......but does anyone record covers of Petty's songs?

Petty doesn't come first on anyone's list for technical ability, either--vocally, or instrumentally.

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I don't necessarily think Petty belongs on the list either, but War? :rolleyes:confused I wouldn't consider them as making a great mark in music or having any sort of influence that's far reaching. Just my opinion.

But of course, as far as "music with a conscience" goes, there ain't nothing better than "Spill the Wine."

I kid because I love. happy

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...and, just to throw in two more cents, ANY list of this nature that doesn't include seminal NYC punk rockers the Ramones makes my heart ache...

Oh, and Michel Pagliaro? I haven't cared for him ever since he stopped hitting home runs and made all those errors at third base for the Yankees.

Wait, that was Mike Pagliarulo.

Never mind.

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What really is a 'band'? Does everyone in the 'band' have to be a contributing songwriter for the 'band' to be a 'band'? One could argue that in Aerosmith there are for the most part two songwriters and the rest of the band are support musicians. Same applies to the Eagles or E,W,&F and many other groups in this survey. Using this as an arguement, Springsteen & the E Street Band could then also be classified as a 'band.' Bruce's influence, longevity, popularity, and success are undeniable, and in a live performance, without a doubt the E Street Band are probably the most cohesive and exciting unit out there.

So what does make a 'band'?


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I think what can be considered the greatest should be in terms of sonf-writing and performing, but that's just me.

I would give the trophies to:

Bryan Adams

Sarah McLachlan

The Guess Who

Claude Dubois ( the Quebecois Phil Collins)

Rush ( hate them, but their talent cannot be disputed)

April Wine

Neil Young ( not crazy horse about him, but what a song writer)

Paul Anka

Gordon Lightfoot



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it's a list of the Greatest American "ROCK" bands....

i would never consider the Beach Boys a "ROCK" band...

they are the GREATEST AMERICAN POP BAND, definitely.. although, it is true they started out as a surf-rock band and often covered Chuck Berry, but the main focus of the band's legacy is pop music...

and I always had problems with the "band" and always sided with the Wilson Brothers part of the equation... I think the band hindered Brian's work quite a bit....

a rock band is something cohesive and powerful and the ones who are GREAT are the ones who transcend and can provide mystery and an ongoing fascination with anyone who rediscovers them... (i.e. The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd)


too bad most of our sorry lot lack such things... Pearl Germ are a dreadful excuse for a number one choice... even The Eagles woulda made more sense.. the Fleetwood Mac inclsuion is indeed a major mistake... although, the inclusion of Ramones was nice....

the difference between my favorites & the best (or the best of a consenscus Poll taken by USA Today) will always be at odds...

rock bands that make sense are CCR, Ramones, MC5, Doors, Eagles, Byrds, The Band, Stooges, NY Dolls, Grateful Dead, Nirvana, Velvet Underground, REM, even Aerosmith-- because there's a sound & an identity as well as something important in the progress of the music...

Canada's best? Creamcheeze Goodtime Band & Octavian.. just kidding... April Wine are a fine band, however (1972-1977)

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