Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Top 100 Groups/Duos of All Time

Recent posts on the best songs from Queen and Led Zeppelin (and an upcoming Pink Floyd list) have sparked a curiosity over what the best groups of all time are. Based on chart figures, sales data, airplay, awards, and appearances on best-of lists (and not just rock groups from the last 50 years, mind you), here are the results:

The Beatles

1. The Beatles
2. The Rollng Stones
3. The Beach Boys
4. U2
5. Led Zeppelin
6. Queen
7. The Andrews Sisters
8. The Bee Gees
9. Fleetwood Mac
10. Peerless Quartet/Columbia Male Quartet

The Rolling Stones

11. Pink Floyd
12. Eagles
13. The Who
14. Aerosmith
15. The Doors
16. The Temptations
17. R.E.M.
18. The Mills Brothers
19. The Supremes
20. AC/DC

The Beach Boys

21. Chicago
22. Haydn Quartet
23. Nirvana
24. The Everly Brothers
25. Simon & Garfunkel
26. American Quartet
27. The Jackson 5/The Jacksons
28. Pearl Jam
29. Abba
30. Van Halen


31. Four Tops
32. The Police
33. Creedence Clearwater Revival
34. Metallica
35. The Kinks
36. Velvet Underground
37. The Ink Spots
38. The Clash
39. Earth, Wind & Fire
40. Sly & the Family Stone

Led Zeppelin

41. Genesis
42. The Byrds
43. Black Sabbath
44. Bon Jovi
45. Kiss
46. Cream
47. Grateful Dead
48. Guns N’ Roses
49. Crosby, Stills & Nash/Young
50. The Drifters


51. Journey
52. Sex Pistols
53. Lynyrd Skynyrd
54. Carpenters
55. Radiohead
56. Alabama
57. The Band
58. The Isley Brothers
59. Ramones
60. Talking Heads

The Andrews Sisters

61. The Four Seasons
62. Deep Purple
63. The Allman Brothers Band
64. Blondie
65. Parliament/Funkadelic
66. Jefferson Airplane/Starship
67. Red Hot Chili Peppers
68. Daryl Hall & John Oates
69. The Miracles
70. The Pretenders

The Bee Gees

71. Steely Dan
72. Yes
73. The Cure
74. ZZ Top
75. Rush
76. Iron Maiden
77. Oasis
78. Dire Straits
79. The Carter Family
80. 5th Dimension

Fleetwood Mac

81. Beastie Boys
82. Boyz II Men
83. Duran Duran
84. The Platters
85. Def Leppard
86. Green Day
87. The Monkees
88. Foreigner
89. The Spinners
90. Brooks & Dunn

The Peerless Quartet

91. OutKast
92. Depeche Mode
93. The Stooges
94. The Impressions
95. Smashing Pumpkins
96. Jethro Tull
97. Roxy Music
98. Public Enemy
99. Backstreet Boys
100. The Smiths

Pink Floyd


  1. Hey, just a question: according to your stats, is there any 00s band poised to break through in this list? I was thinking that Coldplay probably could be here, and maybe the White Stripes as well. Cheers

    1. Excellent question, Alberto - and you are right on the money with your first guess. Coldplay would be the newest group to have a shot at breaking into the top 100, but they don't show up on the list until #144. Linkin Park shows up at #159, Rascal Flatts at #178, Evanescence at #203, Nickelback at #212, Black Eyed Peas at #223, Audioslave at #241, and The White Stripes don't surface until #244. Personally, out of that batch I'd rank White Stripes ahead of all of them, but this is what the number crunching tells me.

  2. Where is The Jimi Hendrix Experience? You CANNOT possibly exclude this legendary group! Backstreet Boys are better? C'mon...

    1. I didn't include the Experience, opting to compile all the work he did with and without the Experience under the banner of Hendrix as a solo artist. If I put him on this list (Experience + non-Experience material) he would rank #5, between U2 and Led Zeppelin.

    2. Thanks Dave. Definitely in my top handful of artists...

  3. Hi, Dave (yes still following this website!)
    One question : are you going to do an update on this list, eventually?

  4. Hey, Alberto. I'm not sure when this list will get a makeover, but I redo the lists often, so who knows. Glad you're still following!