Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Artists of All Time

Last updated

"The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time" is a special issue published by the American magazine Rolling Stone in two parts in 2004 and 2005 and updated in 2011. [1] The list presented was compiled based on input from musicians, writers, and industry figures and is focused on the rock & roll era. [1]


The publication features comments written by musicians about their favorite colleagues (e.g., Elvis Costello on The Beatles, Janet Jackson on Tina Turner, etc.). Since its publication, the list has been frequently cited by many specialized and generalist publications. [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]


The list, published in two issues in 2004 and 2005 and updated in 2011, was based on the choices of a panel of 55 musicians, writers, and industry figures. [1] As the editors explain, the artists were selected by "their peers", and the list aims to be "a broad survey of rock history", encompassing rock and roll, blues, hard rock, heavy metal, indie rock, rap and contemporary pop.

List statistics

In both versions of the list, the top three positions are held by The Beatles , Bob Dylan, and Elvis Presley; rounding out the top ten (in descending order) are The Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry, Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, Little Richard, Aretha Franklin, and Ray Charles.

In 2011, Rolling Stone published a revised edition of the list, with changes from the 27th position onward. The updated list features artists not present in the original (including Queen, Metallica, Pink Floyd, Talking Heads, R.E.M., Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and Jay-Z), while removing a number of other artists (including Etta James, Miles Davis, Roxy Music, N.W.A., and Martha & The Vandellas).

The list consists primarily of American or British artists, with the following exceptions: AC/DC (Australia), The Band (Canada/US), Bob Marley (Jamaica), Joni Mitchell (Canada), Lee "Scratch" Perry (Jamaica; only in the 2005 list), Carlos Santana (Mexico), U2 (Ireland), Van Morrison (Ireland/UK) and Neil Young (Canada).[ citation needed ]

Most artists on the list were active in the 1960s and 1970s.


#2004 / 2005 List2011 List
1 The Beatles
2 Bob Dylan
3 Elvis Presley
4 The Rolling Stones
5 Chuck Berry
6 Jimi Hendrix
7 James Brown
8 Little Richard
9 Aretha Franklin
10 Ray Charles
11 Bob Marley
12 The Beach Boys
13 Buddy Holly
14 Led Zeppelin
15 Stevie Wonder
16 Sam Cooke
17 Muddy Waters
18 Marvin Gaye
19 The Velvet Underground
20 Bo Diddley
21 Otis Redding
22 U2
23 Bruce Springsteen
24 Jerry Lee Lewis
25 Fats Domino
26 The Ramones
27 Nirvana Prince
28 Prince The Clash
29 The Who
30 The Clash Nirvana
31 Johnny Cash
32 Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
33 The Everly Brothers
34 Neil Young
35 Michael Jackson
36 Madonna
37 Roy Orbison
38 John Lennon
39 David Bowie
40 Simon & Garfunkel
41 The Doors
42 Van Morrison
43 Sly & the Family Stone
44 Public Enemy
45 The Byrds
46 Janis Joplin
47 Patti Smith
48 Run-D.M.C.
49 Elton John
50 The Band
51 Howlin' Wolf Pink Floyd
52 The Allman Brothers Band Queen
53 Eric Clapton The Allman Brothers Band
54 Dr. Dre Howlin' Wolf
55 Grateful Dead Eric Clapton
56 Parliament-Funkadelic Dr. Dre
57 Aerosmith Grateful Dead
58 Sex Pistols Parliament-Funkadelic
59 Louis Jordan Aerosmith
60 Joni Mitchell Sex Pistols
61 Tina Turner Metallica
62 Etta James Joni Mitchell
63 Phil Spector Tina Turner
64 The Kinks Phil Spector
65 Al Green The Kinks
66 Cream Al Green
67 The Temptations Cream
68 Jackie Wilson The Temptations
69 Carl Perkins Jackie Wilson
70 The Police
71 Frank Zappa
72 AC/DC
73 Radiohead
74 Hank Williams
75 Eagles
76 The Shirelles
77 Beastie Boys
78 The Stooges
79 The Four Tops
80 Elvis Costello
81 The Drifters
82 Eminem Creedence Clearwater Revival
83 N.W.A. Eminem
84 James Taylor
85 Black Sabbath
86 Tupac
87 Gram Parsons
88 Miles Davis Jay-Z
89 The Yardbirds
90 Carlos Santana
91 Ricky Nelson Tom Petty
92 Guns N' Roses
93 Booker T. & the M.G.'s
94 Nine Inch Nails
95 Lynyrd Skynyrd
96 Martha & The Vandellas Diana Ross and the Supremes
97 Diana Ross and the Supremes R.E.M.
98 Roxy Music Curtis Mayfield
99 Curtis Mayfield Carl Perkins
100 Lee "Scratch" Perry Talking Heads

See also

Related Research Articles

<i>Rolling Stone</i> American magazine

Rolling Stone is an American monthly magazine that focuses on music, politics, and popular culture. It was founded in San Francisco, California, in 1967 by Jann Wenner, and the music critic Ralph J. Gleason. It was first known for its coverage of rock music and for political reporting by Hunter S. Thompson. In the 1990s, the magazine broadened and shifted its focus to a younger readership interested in youth-oriented television shows, film actors, and popular music. It has since returned to its traditional mix of content, including music, entertainment, and politics.

<i>A Hard Days Night</i> (album) 1964 studio album by the Beatles

A Hard Day's Night is the third studio album by the English rock band the Beatles, released on 10 July 1964 by Parlophone, with side one containing songs from the soundtrack to their film of the same name. The American version of the album was released two weeks earlier, on 26 June 1964 by United Artists Records, with a different track listing. In contrast to the Beatles' first two albums, all 13 tracks on A Hard Day's Night were written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, showcasing the development of their songwriting partnership.

<i>My Generation</i> (album) 1965 album by The Who

My Generation is the debut studio album by English rock band the Who, released on 3 December 1965 by Brunswick Records in the United Kingdom, and Festival Records in Australia. In the United States, it was released on 25 April 1966 by Decca Records as The Who Sings My Generation, with a different cover and a slightly altered track listing. Besides the members of the Who, being Roger Daltrey (vocals), Pete Townshend (guitar), John Entwistle (bass) and Keith Moon (drums), the album features contributions by session musicians Nicky Hopkins (piano) and Jimmy Page (guitar) and vocal group the Ivy League.

<i>The Sun Sessions</i> 1976 compilation album by Elvis Presley

The Sun Sessions is a compilation album by American singer Elvis Presley, containing songs he recorded at Sun Studios in 1954 and 1955. It was issued by RCA Records in 1976, and had been issued and charted as The Sun Collection in the UK the previous year. It features liner notes by Roy Carr of the New Musical Express. The Sun Sessions features most of the tracks Elvis recorded at Sun studio and were produced by Sam Phillips, the head of Sun Studios. Elvis began his singing career with Sun Records label in Memphis. The album reached number two on the Billboard Country Albums.

Jailhouse Rock (song) 1957 single by Elvis Presley

"Jailhouse Rock" is a song written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller that first became a hit for Elvis Presley. Presley performed it in the film of the same name and RCA Victor issued the song on a 45 rpm single on September 24, 1957, which reached the top of the charts in the U.S. and the Top 10 in several other countries. The song has been recognized by the Grammy Hall of Fame, the American Film Institute, and others.

Like a Rolling Stone 1965 single by Bob Dylan

"Like a Rolling Stone" is a song by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on July 20, 1965 by Columbia Records. Its confrontational lyrics originated in an extended piece of verse Dylan wrote in June 1965, when he returned exhausted from a grueling tour of England. Dylan distilled this draft into four verses and a chorus. "Like a Rolling Stone" was recorded a few weeks later as part of the sessions for the forthcoming album Highway 61 Revisited.

Rock and Roll Music

"Rock and Roll Music" is a song written and recorded by rock and roll pioneer Chuck Berry. It has been widely covered and is recognized as one of Berry's most popular and enduring compositions.

Thats All Right 1946 song written and composed by Arthur Crudup

"That's All Right Mama" is a song written and originally performed by blues singer Arthur Crudup and recorded in 1946. It "stands as a convincing front-runner for rock ‘n’ roll’s ground zero", according to one source. It is best known as the debut single recorded and released by Elvis Presley. Presley's version was recorded on July 5, 1954, and released on July 19, 1954 with "Blue Moon of Kentucky" as the B-side. It was ranked number 113 on the 2010 Rolling Stone magazine list of the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time".

<i>Elvis Presley</i> (album) 1956 studio album by Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley is the debut album by American rock and roll singer Elvis Presley. It was released on RCA Victor, catalog number LPM-1254, on March 13, 1956. The recording sessions took place on January 10 and January 11 at the RCA Victor recording studios in Nashville, Tennessee, and on January 30 and January 31 at the RCA Victor studios in New York. Additional material originated from sessions at Sun Studio in Memphis, Tennessee, on July 5, August 19 and September 10 of 1954, and on July 11, 1955.

<i>Let It Be</i> (The Replacements album) 1984 album by the Replacements

Let It Be is the third studio album by American rock band The Replacements. It was released on October 2, 1984 by Twin/Tone Records. A post-punk album with coming-of-age themes, Let It Be was recorded by the band after they had grown tired of playing loud and fast exclusively as on their 1983 Hootenanny album; the group decided to write songs that were, according to vocalist Paul Westerberg, "a little more sincere."

<i>Mojo</i> (magazine) Magazine

Mojo is a popular music magazine published initially by Emap, and since January 2008 by Bauer, monthly in the United Kingdom. Following the success of the magazine Q, publishers Emap were looking for a title that would cater for the burgeoning interest in classic rock music. The magazine was designed to appeal to the 30 to 45-plus age group, or the baby boomer generation. Mojo was first published on 15 October 1993. In keeping with its classic rock aesthetic, the first issue had Bob Dylan and John Lennon as its first cover stars. Noted for its in-depth coverage of both popular and cult acts, it acted as the inspiration for Blender and Uncut. Many noted music critics have written for it, including Charles Shaar Murray, Greil Marcus, Nick Kent, Jon Savage and Sylvie Simmons. The launch editor of Mojo was Paul Du Noyer and his successors have included Mat Snow, Paul Trynka and Pat Gilbert.

<i>Record Collector</i> Magazine

Record Collector is a British monthly music magazine. It was founded in 1980 and distributes worldwide.

"The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time" is a recurring opinion survey and music ranking of the finest albums in history, compiled by the American magazine Rolling Stone. It is based on weighted votes from selected musicians, critics, and industry figures. The first list was published in a special issue of the magazine in 2003 and a related book in 2005.

<i>Rolling Stone</i><span class="nowrap" style="padding-left:0.1em;">'</span>s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time List of greatest songs

"The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time" was the cover story of a special issue of Rolling Stone, issue number 963, published in December 2004, a year after the magazine published its list of "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time". The list was subsequently updated in 2010.

"Come Go With Me" is a song written by C. E. Quick, an original member of the American doo-wop vocal group The Del-Vikings. The song was originally recorded by The Del-Vikings in 1956 and was released on Fee Bee Records.

<i>Funky Kingston</i> 1973 studio album by Toots and the Maytals

Funky Kingston is the name of two albums by Jamaican reggae group Toots and the Maytals. The first was issued in Jamaica and the United Kingdom in 1973 on Dragon Records, a subsidiary label of Island Records, owned by Chris Blackwell. A different album, with the same cover and title, was issued in the United States in 1975 on Mango Records. That album peaked at #164 on the Billboard 200 and was voted the eleventh best album of 1975 in the annual Pazz & Jop poll. In 2003, the American version was placed at #378 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, and 380 in a 2012 revised list.

<i>Elvis at Sun</i> 2004 compilation album by Elvis Presley

Elvis at Sun is a compact disc compilation of Elvis Presley's studio recordings at Sun Studio from 1954 to 1955, released in June 2004, BMG Heritage 61205. This set features master recordings made by Presley and his accompanists, Scotty Moore and Bill Black, occasionally augmented by other musicians, prior to his arrival on RCA Records in early 1956.

"The 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time" is a feature published by the American magazine Rolling Stone in August 2015. The list presented was compiled based on the magazine's music critics, and unlike previous lists the votes came entirely from the magazine's staff. However, it predominantly features American and English songwriters solely of the rock era.