T O P
tyweed

Gotta give James Brown and the JBs their due.


pomcq

Most underrated comment


monsteroftheweek13

Talking Heads and REM (specifically the Chronic Town to Document run) are the only American bands I have obsessed over anywhere near as much as the Dead but it’s still the Dead for me and not particularly close


Onanorthboundtrain

That Chronic Town to Document run - same here, and same that nothing is even close to the Dead


GratefulDawg73

Parliament-Funkadelic.


Grooveman94

Seen them twice live. George is the MANNN. Hell yeah! Love PFUNK


funkypete23

Funkadelic could put on a 5 hour set that would make you sweat!


Bokb3o

I only saw them one time. It was thoroughly exhausting. The Mothership landed at least five times. House lights came on and they still kept jamming for another half hour! The next day I had the worst job interview ever for what would have been the best job ever.


Grooveman94

Dude I know what exactly what you mean! Last concert I went too started at 7. And it was so packed I didn’t move from my spot. Concert ended at 12. My body was so happy to not stand lol


selecta79

Now this is what I want you all to do: If you got faults, defects or shortcomings You know, like arthritis, rheumatism or migraines Whatever part of your body it is I want you to lay it on your radio, let the vibes flow through. Funk not only moves, it can re-move, dig?


GratefulDawg73

The desired effect is what you get when you improve your interplanetary funksmanship.


drunkwhenimadethis

My man


Cannabrond

Make my funk the P-Funk. I wants to get funked up.


coffeeeggsandbacon

Actually though


DeadCoRocks

Came here to say this! They are amazing and there are some really good live shows out there for your listening pleasure


Jcmaine

The Allman Brothers Band


vverse23

John Coltrane, McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison and Elvin Jones were the greatest American band, period. Let's fight about it!


GratefulDawg73

Let's not forget Miles, Wayne Shorter, Herbie, Ron Carter and Tony Williams.


chuvaluv

This is the answer. Second great quintet.


BetterBend

I think everyone’s missing the point that this person is not naming them as individuals, but rather that this version of Coltrane’s quartet is the greatest American band.


36bhm

Miles Davis, Charlie parker, etc. Quite true. If we are including non-bands then how bout John Prine, Dylan, Willie, Weylon...


tyweed

Yeah, I was gonna mention these guys. Unparalleled.


GuallapagosHead

Wu-Tang Clan


socalfishman

It’s for the children 🤷‍♂️


jsknox

Raw like cocaine straight from Bolivia


n-doe

My hip-hop will rock and shock the nation


BiCentennial_Condor

Like the emancipation proclamation


xualzan

Ain’t nothing to fuck with


PatrickMaloney1

UNDERRATED COMMENT


DrGirth420

Not completely American but The Band sits in my #2 spot with Little Feat a close contender.


psychswamp

This was my first thought but Levon is the only American member.


DrGirth420

Well... technically Canada is in America And they are considered "Americana"


rexallconventioneers

If we’re going with that definition of América, then Os Mutantes would count.


cdn_backpacker

That's not what America means here and you know it lol Source: A Canadian


JordyVerrill

Go to Canada and tell people they are technically Americans and see what kind of responses you get.


CatsAss88

Greatest Canadian band for sure though!


Classiqueman

Uhhh…Rush? Kidding. The Band is the only answer.


No-Golf2937

Respect, Doctor


No-Golf2937

The Band is the greatest 1/5 American band.


BeaconRunner

Allmans - Bill Graham loved two bands. The Dead and the Brothers.


PureGuava86

If Duane and Barry hadn't passed so soon, ABB might be higher on my list than the Dead. I know that may be blasphemy around here, and I LOVE the Dead. But nobody played as good as original ABB.


StringFartet

After Jerry died Allman shows in the Bay Area were a lot like seeing the Dead. The crowd, the dancing.


Ya_Got_GOT

They never were near the same band without those two and it’s a damn shame.


RockingFlower

Warren Haynes & Allen Woody filled up some big shoes


Ya_Got_GOT

A good lineup. I think my second-favorite would be Warren, Derek, and Otiel though. Warren and Woody era Mule was really something else too.


Smoore7

The Lamar and Chuck years are equally as monstrous and rival the original lineup in everything but nostalgia


Ya_Got_GOT

Not IMO but glad you enjoy it as much


mpanning

no one else compares to these two


Blank_Generation123

The Velvet Underground and Wilco.


logitaunt

Wilco definitely belongs in this conversation. Their 5-album run of Summerteeth through Wilco (The Album) is untouchable imo


MikeVixDawgPound

Stevie Ray Vaughan with Tommy Shannon, Chris Layton, and eventually Reese Wynans as well. Growing up in Austin might have a little to do with that opinion.


likeheinz420

The only American band of the late 60s I love as much as The Grateful Dead is The Velvet Underground…people have to let that “hippie vs punk” thing go.


Moonpile

Both originally named The Warlocks, too. So weird.


HomersNotHereMan

Seriously! I have deadhead friends that won't even listen to 68 Dead because it's too aggressive and loud.


likeheinz420

To me, that was their absolute peak.


Weekly_Noodle

Shiny shiny, shiny boots of leather


MinneapolisKing25

Hippies and punks are the same group these days (at least in the DIY scene)


likeheinz420

Back when I turned 35 I realized it didn’t matter and it never had to.


xian

they were like six years apart 45 years ago


sbanjoman

Allmans, the Byrds, Dylan, and little feat


10fingers6strings

Tom Petty? Maybe REM. And I know they are polarizing, but I think the black crowes deserve some consideration for carrying the rock and roll torch through some lean ass years. Love the Allman Bros too…They wrote some fantastic stuff. The Dead are hands down best American rock band imho


adelaarvaren

**Hank Williams and the Drifting Cowboys**. You might think I'm kidding, but think of how many other bands cover them... Tracy Chapman, Madeline Peyroux, James Brown, Jeff Buckley, Norah Jones, Social Distortion, Ray Charles, Cowboy Junkies... I don't think the Dead actually did any Hank covers, but they did cover other classic country.


dranchovy2

The dead played hanks “you win again”


adelaarvaren

How could I forget! Thanks


BrothaRude

Hank Sr is a true American legend and all at such a young age. I agree completely.


PureGuava86

Ween. I mean, they influenced The Beatles


DZ_tank

smh, Ween releases White Pepper, and then the Beatles release the White Album.


oniononionorion

It took the Beatles 2 albums to do what Ween did in 1.


johnnymackk

Licking the palm for guavaaaaaaa


Mongolor

Hail Boognish


AltruisticPeanutHead

YES


bmeisler

Beach Boys. Velvet Underground. Alman Brothers. Jefferson Airplane. Ramones. Nirvana. Talking Heads.


36bhm

Good list. I'd maybe pull down Nirvana and put up sonic youth, but thats just me....or pixies.


TeaAndAche

Good call. Also agree that the list is mostly solid. And that the pixies are one of the greatest American rock bands.


JackBullet

Beach Boys, Allmans, and Talking Heads are all great calls. The others too, but those are big big big


dajadf

Younger fan born in the early 90s here. I've never heard a Talking Heads song I don't think. Where to begin?


MarshmellowBear29

Stop Making Sense is an incredible concert movie


Blonde0nBlonde

[It’s my all time favorite and it’s not even close. ](https://youtu.be/rTOqtMMalXk)


gehenom

If you like live music, there's a great live album from Japan https://aquariumdrunkard.com/2008/09/02/talking-heads-live-sun-palace-tokyo-1981/ Love it!


Ericmolzahn

Check out the albums remain in light and speaking in Tongues. Then the live album stop making sense.


ZombyHeadWoof

I think the album Little Creatures is a great place to start - IMHO. Just solid tunes.


hollyw00djames

Beach Boys changed music. The others didn’t really do that.


mperrotti76

The VU def did that. They basically invented punk rock.


esssential

VU and Ramones didn't change music?


themerinator12

I’d add The Eagles, Aerosmith, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Doors, and CCR to the conversation. Not that I think they would win, but just they earned the right to be in the conversation


sayitaintpete

Aaaahh man, not the Eagles!


afewskills

I had a hard fucking day, man…


Dak__Sunrider

Velvet underground, Fugazi, beach boys, the weavers, The stooges. I’d say the States have tons of bands that one could make the augment for the greatest


samudrin

Fugazi was so good. VU - incredible.


fritobugger

Zappa and the Mothers, Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys, The Beach Boys, Ween, REM, CCR, P-Funk, The Meat Puppets, The Miles Davis groups Kind of Blue period and Bitches Brew period


Slowclimberboi

The White Stripes. How has no one said Nirvana, Soundgarden, or Pearl Jam? Love them or hate them, they changed music for ever.


catbyte1027

Los Lobos


Nerditter

I would say Ramones, but I somewhat agree on Nirvana. The only reason I would discount Kurt's music is that it was so heavily influenced by Beatlemania. There's also R.E.M., who Rolling Stone deemed the best rock band in the world, for what it's worth. Talking Heads were genius when they were good, and pretty meh when they weren't. Blondie hasn't been mentioned. They do have the distinction of being the first New Wave band in history, beating out Talking Heads by a year. ("Psycho Killer" was released in '77, and "X Offender" was released in '76.) In terms of classic rock (or whatever they call it now) CCR is head-and-shoulders above other American bands. Of course no one has mentioned Frank Zappa, that I've seen. He was the only constant throughout his career, though.


samudrin

Was thinking REM as well. Huge in their day. Talking Heads - amazing.


ommanipadmehome

If we're going individual performers, and known world wide, I think Micheal Jackson might win.


najing_ftw

The replacements


music_user

Preservation hall jazz band


jrapp1

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers are the greatest American band.


HumCrab

Truly underated comment. Agree on greatest or not, it's definitely a reasonable argument.


The8Devils

Wildflowers is one of the greatest albums made.


catching_comets

It's a god damn shame I had to scroll this far down to see this GIANT among American music named


fd1Jeff

They consistently cranked out great albums. Not just songs, entire albums.


live4lax25

CCR has my vote I know I know. Put away your pitchforks


GratefulDawg73

I wouldn't hold out any hope for the tape deck. Or the Creedence.


Vanpocalypse-Now

As long as it isn't the Eagles. I had a rough night and I hate the fuckin Eagles man.


burner_ziegler

Paging r/lebowski


likeyouknowdannunzio

Oh man, lodged where?


PureGuava86

Found it in Van Nuys lodged against an embunkment


CrazyEyesKillah20

I hate the eagles man!


Vanpocalypse-Now

CCR! John Fogerty. Nuff said. Nothing but love for Creedence.


Fine_Ad_4364

Authentic Bay Area swamp rock!


Oistheonethatisreal

Are there are a lot of people who dislike CCR? For me the argument against them is longevity.


AdamClay2Klbs

I don't dislike them, but they don't have a lot of range. Gets old after a while.


live4lax25

Haha naw just a joke, as I imagine most people here have the Dead as their favorite American band


Soft_Assistant6046

I agree that they are contenders for sure. Of course my love goes to the GD first but I love me some creedence. M


CosmicCraig1970

Zappa had several great "bands" Allmans original lineup was pretty good, too. Phish still packs 'em in, as does Pearl Jam And then BRUUUUUUUCE, of course.


36bhm

Tribe called quest? Are we doing hip hop too?


halfaswake

Velvet Underground and Beach Boys


36bhm

Bob Seeger


deadinnirvana

Grateful Dead embodies the spirit of the west coast and Velvet underground, the east coast.


Onanorthboundtrain

Hmm. Interesting. And, unless I am mistaken, they were both The Warlocks.


GratefulDeacs

Parliament Funkadelic


Staggerme

Grateful Dead are the greatest American rock band period They are not the best at what they do they are the only ones who do it


Puzzleheaded-Trick38

Creedence Clearwater Revival. But I’m with u on the dead


StoneRiver

Gotta hand it to The Velvet Underground. As massively influential as the Dead, but in a completely different way. There’s some nice symmetry to it.


BRUINSINSEVEN

WILCO


lemurdibbern

Wilco


TigerTownTerror

It's a little premature, but Goose is hitting on all cylinders right now. To me, they're much more reminiscent of the Dead, than Phish. Sky's the limit for these guys.


zeno_gias

The Beach Boys are my lifelong favorite band. I think the Dead, within a couple months, now occupy the second spot.


mpanning

lowell george is amazing. marshall tucker too


fatdiscokid

Primus


vegetablelomein

Little Feat.


PureGuava86

Literally playing Waiting for Columbus as I read this


Mikebock1953

CCR, The Band, Warren Zevon, Steely Dan, The Eagles, Chuck Berry, The Crickets. All contenders, but none change my agreement with your thesis.


ffauschma

The Band are 4/5 canadian


Smoore7

Levon makes up for the others


gratefulguitar57

Steely Dan definitely deserves a nod here. The were amazing gifted song writers and musicians.


MeatThatTalks

Steely Dan are my #2 to the Dead. They were their exact opposites: effectively just two guys who didn't even perform most of the music, methodical and exacting producers whose studio albums are the stars of their discography and who virtually never improvised. And like the Dead are the masters of one end of the craft of rock music, Steely Dan are the masters of the other.


gratefulguitar57

Same for me and I agree 100% with your analysis. However, when Fagan and Becker did start touring, the live shows were incredible. Of course, much different than a Dead show. They were well rehearsed, consistent and tight. Loved the full sound of a horn section and the background singers. Of course, the Dead shows were completely different because you never knew what you are going to get. But when they had a hot night, no one could touch the magic the Dead made on stage.


Mikebock1953

I expected moans over the eagles, not steely dan and the band! lmao


vguy72

Phish


Political_Lemming

This is the right answer. The quintessential American rock and roll band. Still the same guys. Still relevant. Still moving forward and breaking new ground. Longer life span than the Grateful Dead as well.


Bokb3o

R.E.M. is a true American band imo. I place them #2 in my musical world, with the Dead and Phish pretty much tied for #1.


IUpVoteIronically

Athens right?


Comprehensive-Work41

REM!!!!!


sdalporto

Original Lynyrd Skynyrd all the way.


MonroeMojo13

This is way too low


the_neighbor369

Came here to say this


Nonic789

Interesting question for sure. In my opinion, The Byrds are a large but certainly understated contender. Their entire lineup really adds to the texture of the music and their all such talented musicians, pioneering a genre that likely would have been much less influential without them being the band to lead. Long live the Byrds!


Vanpocalypse-Now

Phish. I'll die on this hill.


rpholmes4

It's the correct hill


rholland101951

They can urinate in my ears any time


prowlinacage

Well move over and make room for me! I love the Dead, obviously…but Phish is still going 38 years strong with their original members. And they’re not playing lounge shows at your local casino or state fair like so many washed up acts. No, they’re still making original music, still doing fun stuff at their shows (Halloween and NYE gags), and continue to reach new creative peaks in their late 50s while playing circles around musicians half their age. They took the torch from the Grateful Dead and leveled that shit up a few notches.


sarahpphire

Agreed.


vverse23

Let's all get shot down in flames together.


icd1222

Right there with you bud. You shan’t die alone


Drunkensteine

I’m up on this hill with you guys. Struggling with destiny up on the ledge. After seeing a bunch of shows this summer and fall, the dead sound out of tune and boring. Those fellas…just wow.


BigBallJam

My #2


DeadPhish_10

Should I reverse my name? I’m with you. However, will Phish have the cultural impact in 30 years like the Dead? The Dead is so timeless when you take lyrics and Jams into account. I have come to prefer Phish over the dead, but damn it’s hard to choose. It’s funny how they’re so linked to each other because they jam, but couldn’t be more different bands to seasoned ears.


_oscar_goldman_

> However, will Phish have the cultural impact in 30 years like the Dead? If not, I don't believe that would be a + to the Dead or a - to Phish; that would be a function of the internet giving rise to more, more fragmented, and more focused subcultures. No one will ever have the massive cultural impact that the Dead or the Beatles or anyone back then did; that shit just isn't going happen anymore, for better or for worse.


darylofsuburbia

Phish's cultural impact will go far beyond 30 years. They're break-up period from 04-09 basically spawned the modern Jam scene which has evolved into a multi-million dollar event driven industry


DeadPhish_10

Agreed! And I hope you’re right. The music never stops right!?


darylofsuburbia

NFA 😎...Honestly I don't think Phish has even begun to be appreciated on a broader cultural level, and probably won't til they're long gone. They have a catalog of ballads with simple, poignant lyrics that can be covered and repackaged a thousand different ways by a thousand different artists. 100 years from now musicians won't even understand how polarizing they were because the talent and content speaks for itself


Inthect

Jerry Garcia Band?


hakube

Didn't see any Widespread Panic fans here? Just getting into them but hooooooooootttdamn they know how to jam. Not like the boys, but pretty good.


CatfishWasHere

There's only one band that's written not just a song, but an entire album dedicated to being an American band...with the wild, shirtless lyrics of Mark Farner...the bong-rattling bass of Mel Schacher...the competent drum work of Don Brewer? Oh, Man! I mean, who am I to argue with Homer Simpson?


dkrainman

The E Street Band


entityorion

Van Halen


AutumnAvenue

Took long enough to see this. How is this not higher up in consideration?


entityorion

I imagine the overlap between dead heads and van halen fans isnt huge


peppaduu

Phish


Patchewski

Steely Dan


axylotyl

Silver jews


surleyboy

The bad brains


makemasa

Guided By Voices! C’mon guys—GBV…GBV…GBV!! (Also Zappa/Mothers:))


likeheinz420

Finally! Bee Thousand changed my life back in ‘94. Best live band I have ever seen. Hundreds of great songs.


makemasa

I got deep into the Dead earlier in my life but I have never been as obsessed with any band as much as GBV. Different energy at their shows, but got dern I’ve had a criminal amount of fun at both. …For the dream of the Weed King, we all sing!!


spoobles

Robert Pollard is a genius


makemasa

Hard to disagree with that!


axylotyl

Phish


Ya_Got_GOT

I’ll throw ZZ Top into the mix. REM, CSN too. Agree with Talking Heads, The Doors, and the Heartbreakers being up there.


SavingsInevitable

Pearl Jam


TrainViewing

Allman Brothers Band. Period, full stop.


minnow145

Hard to compare with the Grateful Dead’s legacy which included 2300+ shows and a 30 year run. There won’t ever be a band ever again that will last that long with that many shows., not to mention a following of fans like we have. That alone is enough is call them the greatest band ever. Although not American, the only other band that comes close to that run is the Stones.


Figgywithit

Doobie Brothers


aleosaur

tedeschi trucks band? prince and the revolution?


zonker666

Beach Boys


SixPieceTaye

The Miles Davis Quintet.


GC_Reppin

MAX CREEK


HumCrab

You have a point. Looooove them


wekklr333

Say what you will, but the Smashing Pumpkins were easily the best band of the 90's. Billy Corgan is an asshole, but he's also one of those songwriters that come around once in a generation. Not too many others could single handedly write a 2+ hour long double album without a single dull moment, directly after writing one of the most influential and groundbreaking rock albums ever made. In my opinion he's up there with Brian Wilson, Zappa, McCartney, and Roger Waters as rock's greatest songwriters


buddah802

Anyone that doubts this should watch their performance of cherub rock on snl in 93. It’s a wall of sound in its own right. It’s loud, melodic, grooves, and fucking hits like a freight train.


baseballzombies

The Doors


the_neighbor369

Was wondering if anyone was going to say this!


daehffulF

Phish


6L6aglow

Grateful Dead #1 but but Holy Hot Fuc*ingTuna! Jack and Jorma are national treasures.


ccalhoun247

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers or Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band


NarwhalAttack

My morning jacket!


Atoning_Unifex

Tool. Foo Fighters. Steely Dan. REM. CSNY. Nirvana. Ramones. Not saying those are definitively better and I love the Dead a lot. But there's some darn good ones.


squintsyjones

The Band, The Allman Brothers, Steely Dan, Talking Heads, Phish, Wilco. Edit: adding Ween in the mix.