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A rock music question to my American friends

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Recently I introduced a friend to the world of classic rock music. For someone who is born in the mid nineties, Hip-Hop naturally is what he has been listening to and is familiar with. Classic rock and it's artists are a new thing for him. Yesterday he asked me a question and honestly I didn't have any answer to it! He asked me why U.S., the birth place of Rock-n-Roll, failed to produce what can be called the biggest band in the world? The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Queen were/are British, AC/DC are from the land down-under and U2 are from Ireland.
There have been great bands from U.S. like The Allman Brothers band, Aerosmith, The Beach boys, The CCR, The Doors, The Eagles, The Jimi Hendrix experience, R.E.M and many many others. But apart from R.E.M in the early nineties (when they rivaled U2 for the title of biggest band in the world), none of the other American band could have claimed to be the biggest band in the world! Why is that?

Very interesting question and I think I might have an answer.. All the bands you listed, the very last thing that comes to mind for me is where they are from.. Of course in the back of my mind I know where they all originated from, but it is not a thought.. I believe it is because great music transcends geography, race, color, creed, religion etc etc... In the late 60's and 70's when a lot of those bands made their mark, the sales of most of their music was here in the USA and I think the concerts were bigger here.. It was how they were promoted ... so even though we got the best imported music ever, the US just loved the music man... :D

I can list several people (Elvis, Cash, Delta Blues legends, Memphis Blues legends) who brought all those bands you listed their early chops and showmanship.. so even though there may not be any great American Bands, I would say the genesis of most of Rock and Country and Rap all started here..

My son (35 and a 90's child) on the other hand would argue vehemently that the Foo Fighters are as good as anyone and looking at their output, sales, concerts and following, I would have to agree with him.. though I do not like them as much as he does...  And Aerosmith and Metallica also are humongous

Great thread hakerdefo.. I am looking forward to others thoughts


Lynard Skynard
The Eagles (IMO one of the top 3 of all time)
Fleetwood Mac
Jimi Hendrix
Pearl Jam

There is a LOT of great US bands

@VastOne Great answer there!
Personally I'm a huge huge fan of many great American bands. What made the question interesting was the fact that there came many many great bands from U.S. and as you rightly pointed out U.S. was the biggest market for the music, both recorded and live, yet not many American bands succeeded on the scales of Beatles, Stones, Zeppelins and Floyds!

--- Quote ---...great music transcends geography, race, color, creed, religion...

--- End quote ---
So very true!



--- Quote from: hakerdefo on June 09, 2017, 07:14:12 PM ---...none of the other American band could have claimed to be the biggest band in the world! Why is that?

--- End quote ---

Depends on how you want to define that. They probably can't compete in record sales and airplay, but I know a lot - and I mean a lot - of people that consider The Greatful Dead the greatest band ever, and although not a band, Bob Dylan the greatest songwriter ever. So the criteria is subjective and dependant on what's sound is trendy and who's handling the promotion.

Take a look at this lineup and you'll see a lot of US and British bands.

As vastone says, the music transcends geography etc ... Or, in other words:

And in 1978 these guys hit the scene - and pretty much changed the trajectory of Rock and Roll.


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