Music/Popular Culture

Tournament of Rock – Legends: the Final Four (and open thread)

First, the results: perhaps S&R voters are tired of conventional wisdom. Some would examine the results of ToR voting to date and reply that “conventional” isn’t the problem, they just lack wisdom, period. In any case, voters felt no reverence whatsoever for the seedings, as they have now evicted the last (and most prominent) of the #1s. The numbers: #3 The Who 53%; #1 The Beatles 47%. Isn’t that a fine kettle of fish?


On Monday morning the Final Four of our unpredictable challenge to name the greatest band of all time kicks off. Our matchups feature the #3 seed from the Hollywood Bowl region, The Who, vs. the Fillmore region’s #2, Pink Floyd. In the other contest, Budokan #2 The Rolling Stones meet the #5 seed from the Red Rocks region, Neil Young.

Until then, let’s hear from you. Specifically, tell us who your Final Four would be. Don’t worry about how we had bands seeded or bracketed – just tell us who you think the four greatest bands of all time are. (I’ll drop mine in the comment thread below.)

We’ll see you Monday.

32 replies »

  1. Since I’m probably most responsible for how this was seeded and bracketed, it might be of interest to know that MY Final Four isn’t the same as the ToR’s predicted F4 (that is, it’s not the same as the top four #1 seeds). If I didn’t care what all the other critics thought, my top four (and hence, Final Four) would be The Beatles, U2, Pink Floyd and Van Morrison.

  2. I can list off 3 of my top four pretty easy – The Beatles, Pink Floyd, and David Bowie. But after that it gets tricky for me. It’d be hard to choose between Springsteen, Metallica, Queen, Dire Straits, Elton John, Billy Joel, and a couple of others.

    Of course, that’s just me.

  3. Whatever Sam isn’t responsible for with seeding this tournament stops at my desk. While I find the willingness of voters to eliminate the Beatles beyond comprehension, I’ve found the willingness of voters to eliminate any number of great artists beyond comprehension….

    My final four would be the 4 #1’s that we had – which I realize now are my choices more than Sam’s:

    The Beatles – U2 – Led Zeppelin – Bob Dylan.

  4. Thanks for giving me another reason to follow the tourny Sam. Through no fault of your own, I bowed out a little while back when things went waaaaay off the deep end. Stupid Interweb.

    The Beatles, Queen and Nirvana are my quick and easy three, and I think I’ll give Bob Dylan the last spot over Bruce, Zep and The Allman Brothers.

  5. Wha … wha … wha … WHAT?!?!? That’s crazy! I voted for the Who as i think they are the better “rock” band, but i figured it’d be a pity vote.

  6. My fab four: Beatles, Stones, the Who and Pearl Jam. I’ve always thought of the Beatles as more a pop band than a rock band, so I can almost comprehend that they were beaten by the Who (although I voted for the Beatles). Intriguing final four … do I vote for the greatest performer (whatever that means) or the performer that’s most rocking (whatever that means)?

  7. Well, if the Beatles were going to lose to anyone, I’m glad it was The Who. So think of this as the final. Ridiculous, of course, but there it is. And being an old fart, my final would have been Dylan, The Beatles, The Who, and The Allman Bros. None of which I listen to with any regularity these days, frankly, except for the Allmans, although I’m always happy to hear the others when they come on.

    This gets back to what people voted for–the bands they thought were most important and influential, or the bands they liked the most (and presumably still listen to)? If my final four were the latter, it would be The Allmans, Family/Streetwalkers, Richard Thompson, and Focus/Jan Akkerman. So there’s no accounting for much of anything, is there?

    And a small sample so far, but the only common band is–The Beatles.

  8. beatles, zepplin, stones, queen. though, i wouldn’t have been too disappointed if bowie, pink floyd, the who were in there, too. so lets throw the police in there and call it my top 8.

  9. Beatles-Who-Floyd-Zep woulda been my final four.

    Floyd ought to win this tourney since the Beatles are out. Which of course means that somehow by a last minute recount involving hanging chads, U2 will win.

  10. Zep, Who, Hendrix, U2.

    I’m not sure how I feel about the Beatles losing. I’m kinda glad, but in another way, I’m really disappointed. I voted for The Who because I thought they have a stronger catalog, even though influence can’t compare with the Beatles. I know that’s not the popular view, but a lot of Beatles songs are unbearable; Magical Mystery Tour, Maxwell’s Silver Hammer, etc.

  11. I think Neil Young gets my vote the rest of the way. I mean, given results so far, that seems appropriate to me. 😉

  12. I’d like to be a fly on the wall when Sam checks the final vote and Neil Young wins, I think he will say something like “What a complete fucking waste of time!”

    Any ways my personal favorites would be Metallica, The Who, Queen, The Beatles. However if I’m going by the same formula I’ve been trying to use in this contest where I weigh influence and originality heavier then popularity and personal preference (something most people haven’t done), it would be Beatles, Floyd, Metallica, Nirvana, U2. Yes I know it’s 5.

  13. But Mike, Southern men are so notoriously broadminded, self-aware and receptive to honest criticism…

    Really, though, Ronnie and Neil were very good friends. And stayed that way. I’ve always thought that was kind of warm and fuzzy.

  14. Beatles, Floyd, Metallica, Nirvana, U2

    I’d replace Metallica with Zeppelin and Floyd with no one.

  15. I’ll vote in the final four. But, as for the greatest, I can’t go the politically correct route. I’m probably leaving someone out, but mine would be: Hendrix, Front Line Assembly, Wire, and Midnight Oil.

  16. “But Mike, Southern men are so notoriously broadminded, self-aware and receptive to honest criticism”


    “Really, though, Ronnie and Neil were very good friends. And stayed that way. I’ve always thought that was kind of warm and fuzzy.”

    Tis true. I just couldn’t pass up that lyrical ref.

  17. Dream Theater doesn’t have a soulful bone in its collective body. Great virtuosos undoubtedly, and once in a great while, Petrucci comes up with a lick from outer space. But to me, they’re all chops, no heart. FW is a much, much deeper band that rewards repeated listening. Plus they had the great fortune to have *two* brilliant singers in their history, namely John Arch and Ray Alder.