Random Observations on WEXT-FM’s List of Best 500 Bands


WEXT: The 500 Best Bands of All-TimeYeah, WEXT-FM has been cranking out a lot of “Best of All-Time Lists” lately. Best Protest Songs, Best Bob Dylan Songs. Best Kinks Songs. Best Neil Young Songs. And on and on…

Of course, we realize that most of these lists are silly and totally subjective – basically just a premise to launch a good argument amongst listeners and to give us all something to bitch about. And that’s fine with us. But last week, our fave radio station aired its rankings of “The Best 500 Bands,” and – well, we just couldn’t hold our tongue any longer…

We don’t think that a spoiler alert is required if we reveal that the Beatles snagged the No. 1 top spot on the list, but as we looked down the rest of the list, we felt compelled to make a few random observations:

Kansas (#63) and Styx (#70) both ranked ahead of Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention (#83).

Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band ranked way down at #100? Really?

The Alan Parsons Project made the list (#134), but not the Blues Project.

Manfred Mann’s Earth Band (#159) outranked Manfred Mann (#214).

England Dan & John Ford Coley (#168) topped Little Feat (#185) and Prince & the Revolution (#195).

The Honeydrippers (who recorded a grand total of five songs in their entire career) logged in at #261 – well ahead of Los Lobos (#280) and Public Enemy (#332).

The Captain & Tennille (#265) ranked well above the Replacements (#307) and Sly & the Family Stone (#330).

Sugar lands at #291, but the Sugarcubes didn’t even make the list.

Creed (#357) edged out the Flying Burrito Brothers (#363) and Weather Report (#365).

Nice to see some homegrown talent, but Blotto (#368) is the only Local 518 band on list. What? No Phantogram? The Figgs?

Death Cab for Cutie snagged the #380 spot, but the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band didn’t make the cut.

ABBA way down the list at #454? That is just plain wrong. Oh, so wrong…

Live made the list (#466), but not Love?

And where are the Waterboys? Sigur Ros? Commander Cody & the Lost Planet Airmen? Mink DeVille? Chic? American Music Club? The Mavericks? The Paul Butterfield Blues Band? Gruppo Sportivo? Rufus? The Flamin’ Groovies? Hot Chocolate? Young Marble Giants? The Mahavishnu Orchestra? Faith No More?

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  1. Sandy McKnight says

    i was annoyed that the 4 seasons were at #155, yet the righteous brothers, who neither wrote their own songs or had more than a handful of hits, were around #70. doesn’t make sense. of course, having said that, the concept of comparing bands of different styles, genres, eras, etc. doesn’t really make sense either. in fact, commenting on it doesn’t really make sense. never mind.

  2. TL says

    OK… I don’t even know where to start here… The Replacements at 307, with like 299 bands before them that shouldn’t be.. What is the The Captain & Tennille even doing on this list.. really??? Skynyrd ahead of the Clash and the Kinks??? OK, Nippertown made the point on a few of these so I will stop.. but really???

  3. Bolan Navarro says

    Totally clueless..This has to be a joke/If it isn’t,these people have no business being near anything rock n roll related.

  4. Mike H says

    I tried to ignore this whole thing, but the link to list made me peruse – The Hooters, Fitz and the Tantrums and Band of Horses all above Public Enemy? Blasphemy.
    and Sly and the Family Stone only at 330? speechless….

  5. TL says

    OK, I’m not done, but I think we are looking at this all wrong. This list could actually be a fun-filled holiday parlor game; “Who Ranks Higher” in the “The WEXT 500 Best Bands” list? X, or Oingo Boingo? The Clash, or Red Hot Chilli Peppers? Styx, or Jefferson Airplane? Blotto, or Booker T & the MGs? The combinations are endless, the laughs non-stop and think about how many epic arguments will ensue! So, enjoy it for what it is… PS: for the record it should be the Alice Cooper ‘Group’, not ‘Band’.. but more importantly who ranked higher? Alice Cooper “Band”, or Twisted Sister?

  6. Bob Buckley says

    As much as I enjoy EXT, and the support they give to the local musicians, I am WAY over these countdowns. It’s the 977 best songs of all time, the 500 best bands of all time, the 200 women who rock, the BLAH BLAH BLAH. It’s all bullshit. They might as well become Rolling Stone or VH1. If you don’t care to play the Guess Who on a regular basis, then don’t tease it during some bullshit countdown.

    Earn your stripes and the dollars with what you play daily.
    From a loyal listener who begs you ro stop the nonsense with the constant lists.
    -Bob Buckley.

  7. Normando says

    Wait – English Dan and John Ford Coley at 168 . . . and no Sanford-Townsend Band?! Wow-just wow.

  8. J Hunter says

    Back in the day, EXT was what QBK used to be, and they did it damn well. This list is the kind of thing you get from some no-neck consultant in Iowa who has no idea of the station history or the multi-state fan base that built it. Another one bites the dust. The more I hear about today’s commercial rock radio, the more I love my iPod.

  9. Roger Green says

    No Butterfield Blues Band. (Shakes head.)

  10. Michael Eck says


    Your eyes have a mist from the smoke of a distant fire.

    I’ve always liked that about you.

    In fact, I would go so far as to say that that mist in your eyes feels like rain on the fire in my soul.

  11. Normando says

    I do what I can, Mike. Thanks for noticing.

  12. Richard Brody says

    No Moby Grape? Wow. And where are Dion & The Belmonts, the Miles Davis Quintet (Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, and Tony Williams). And as I recall when the band had members Ron Wood, Nicky Hopkins, Ron Waller and Rod Stewart it was called the Jeff Beck Group.

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