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Biggest of them All?

I was getting ready to do a "What If...AC/DC" entry for today and as I started to write this sentence: "AC/DC is the biggest rock band in the world..." it dawned on me that this might not be true.

In fact, I guess I really don't know which rock band is *the* biggest of them all.

Do you?

I think AC/DC definitely has to be in the mix. I mean, their current sold-out world tour is testament enough to their longevity, massive record sales notwithstanding.

If I was looking for the biggest American rock band, the title would easily go to Aerosmith. The band has been around forever, still enjoys mass appeal and has huge name recognition. Of course, Van Halen is huge - but can we count them since it's not really the original lineup anymore? I think to win the distinction as "biggest of them all" the current lineup needs to be fairly true to the original.  I think the Rolling Stones definitely count, lineup changes and all because, well, they are the Rolling freaking Stones. Mick Jagger can just *think* the word "tour" and millions of dollars hit him over the head.

Who else?

The really big bands are fading I fear. I'm not sure we are living in an entertainment climate that can produce another rock act that will be around for 20, 30 or even 40 years. We've all got too many distractions and too many choices and it seems that cultivating the next "big" band isn't high on that many people's priority lists. We better choose the big one now - while they still exist.

So, I'll ask again: "Which rock band is the biggest of them all?"

___ is the Biggest Rock Band of them All

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Reader Comments (22)

The biggest grossing are The Eagles and the Stones, I thought. I think, though, the 'reunion' gig proved that Zeppelin are the most in demand rock band on the planet.

On the other hand, if you were to go to Eastern Europe, you could be forgiven for reaching the opinion that no band comes bigger than the Scorpions..

Voted for Rolling Stones btw. :-)
June 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPat
June 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterVince
I love when you do these type of posts! Always makes me think hard...

Aerosmith and the Stones are definitely in the running, as is AC/DC. Since it has to be true to the original, Kiss is out (as much as it pains me to say). You could toss Motley Crue's name in the mix. And you can't forget about Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band.

I'd have to say, right now, it's the Rolling Stones. They make millions on tour, everyone knows them, and most people want to see them when they announce a tour. Besides, seeing Keith Richards live is the experience of a lifetime.

However, in another 10 -15 years, Pearl Jam is going to be remembered as the biggest band in the world. With the exception of their drummer, they have kept their original lineup together for 19 years. They will be touring next year for their 20th anniversary. They sell out every show and have a HUGE fan base.

Ryo Vie
June 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRyo Vie
Metallica & U2 should definitely be included in that group as well.
June 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBryon
June 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterValentine
I think Coldplay is up there as well. For me its AC/DC because I hold them so dear, but this is a great debate with the amount of old and new talent out there.
June 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJB
Whoever said Motley is probably wrong, you can't compare them to the likes of AC/DC and the Stones. Here in Sweden it took Motley some weeks (not sure how long) to sell out an indoor arena with capacity of about 13000-15000 people. AC/DC sold out our biggest outdoor arena (50000+) on an hour.

Now I know Sweden is what dictates if a band is the biggest or not, but to be the biggest band you most be biggest almost everywhere.

I voted Stones but AC/DC and Bruce Springsteen is up there as well.
June 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMartin
"Now I know Sweden is what dictates if a band is the biggest or not"

Of course that should be that it isnt what dictates if a band is big or not.
June 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMartin
very tough...
i voted aerosmith because they just are great. motley is amazing and r my favoirite but i understand why people say no bout the biggest. its probably ac/dc cuz every kid i know has an ac/dc shirt
with 2nd being metallica
3rd being kiss
4th being led zeppelin
5th being aerosmith
6th being rolling stones
7th being nirvana (sadly)
and 8th being van halen
June 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMotleyCrue666
U2 for sure needs to be in the mix
June 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGene
I voted for the Rolling Stones.
June 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKenny Ozz
One huge band is missing from this list....sure they might not be together any more but Led Zeppelin should be on the list.
June 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRob Rockitt
no way are van halen or aerosmith up there. maybe in america yeh, but what about outside of that country?

ac/dc being australian (ish) and me living in australia, ac/dc would be the biggest band. regardless that almost every musician hates them.

the biggest band would have to be something like iron maiden, metallica or the rolling stones. because they sell out every place they go, and they play the BIGGEST venues.
June 19, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterpussies
June 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBluejayart
Elivis, The Beatles and Led Zeppelin are the main stage, without these bands Hard Rock would not exist.

Stones and AC/DC should be on the second stage for surviving through the decades

Kiss on the third stage.

Crue on the fourth stage.
June 20, 2009 | Unregistered Commenter???? ????
I cannot believe that no one has even mentioned Iron Maiden. That would be my pick. Great blog!
June 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLee in NYC
Oh so many KISS fans - nice to see that. It truly is hard to say who is the biggest since there are so many different scales on how to measure it. I mean KISS - they have achieved a lot, no doubt of that. Mötley - Well, you gotta love them. And all the likes of AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, The Stones... Without them there would have not been such great bands like mentioned higher above. So it's really hard to decide where to start. Is it The Beatles, Elvis and The Stones who started this madness? Does all the glory belong to them for being such pioneers? Well, someone has to be the first...

Anyway, I'm gonna go with one band that hasn't been mentioned here, yet. Yeah, okey, nowadays they don't have the original line-up but I guess that kind of makes sense in their case. But, they were together over two decades, never used studio musicians (which aroses my respect towards them), they totally ruled the world in their time and were pioneers. My favourite band to the end of the world - Queen.
June 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterShaddie_Shakewell
My vote is between AC/DC and Iron Maiden!
June 22, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkari
I agree with Lee. Maiden are the biggest in my book, and definately the biggest metal band in Britain.
June 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLucifer
"For two nights, in Boston and New York, AC/DC has invited the one and only Anvil to open for them. The veteran metal band is all the rage right now thanks to their critically-acclaimed documentary, Anvil! The Story of Anvil, which depicts the rough road the guys have traveled and the optimism they still sustain. For Anvil, sharing the stage with AC/DC is like a dream come true.

Now VH1 wants to make your hard rock fantasies come true. Check out the Anvil & AC/DC: Living The Rock ‘n’ Roll Dream Sweepstakes to win a pair of tickets to either the New York or Boston performance. Enter now! "
June 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCG13

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