What Makes A Band Legendary?

Ryan Hamner got me thinking: What makes a band legendary beyond just “knowing” they are legendary.  I believe it to be a mix of talent, influence, popularity, moment definement, and are themselves a story that transcends music.

Example of metrics would be:

  • “Was this band ever the BIGGEST band in the world?”
  • “Did they define a moment in time?
  • “Did something happen to them (a death, a huge story, etc) that makes them stand out in memory?
  • “Did they start or popularize a movement?”
  • “Did they have staying power?”

Here is my (incomplete) list of legendary bands.

1st Tier:

  • The Beatles
  • Rolling Stones
  • The Who
  • Led Zeppelin
  • Black Sabbath
  • Pink Floyd
  • Queen
  • Ramones
  • Michael Jackson
  • Madonna
  • U2
  • Nirvana

2nd Tier:

  • Metallica
  • The Doors
  • Jimi Hendrix
  • Pearl Jam
  • Soundgarden
  • Van Halen
  • Guns ‘n’ Roses
  • Fleetwood Mac
  • Grateful Dead
  • N.W.A.
  • Dr. Dre
  • Snoop Dogg
  • Eminem

I’m sure there are more, so let me know in the comments who you would add.

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