Top 10 Most Overrated Musicians of All Time

1. Sid Vicious
Will any argue that this non talented, drug addicted, pathetic human being doesn’t deserve to be on this list? Let break it down: he couldn’t play bass, he couldn’t sing, he murdered his girlfriend, and he was so fucked up most the time, he would wear swastika t-shirts as some sort of punk rock statement. For some reason, legions of fans of the Sex Pistols have glorified and deified this man into some Godfather of the Punk Movement while greats like Iggy Pop, Joe Strummer (who had more talent in his left ass cheek than Sid had in his entire body), and Joey Ramone, though get their dues, are no where near the legend that Sid is. The most he ever contributed to music was an attitude.

2. Jim Morrison
As a friend recently told me, “Jim Morrison is a drunk stripper who was somehow romanticized into the greatest rock poet of a generation”. No one is questioning his abilities as a front man (behind Mick Jagger and David Lee Roth, it doesn’t get much better than Morrison). But to have movies made about his life, and book after book written about his lyrical genius is absurd to me. I love the Doors and their music. But lets face it, he wasn’t even close to being the best lyricist of his generation (can anyone say “Dylan”?), and his voice was a drunken howl at best. Though The Doors influence can still be heard throughout modern music, and Morrison truly was one of the first rock-n-roll clichés, I cant help but think that if not for Rolling Stone magazine, classic rock radio, and Oliver Stone, Jim Morrison would be about as popular as John Densmore (don’t know who he is? Exactly)

3. Eric Clapton
Now before you get all up in arms about Slow Hand let me first say that Clapton is one of the greatest BLUES guitar players ever. The dude can flat out rip it up. But, to hear people say he is God or the “Greatest Guitar Player Ever” makes me want to make them sit down and listen to “Tears in Heaven” then “Voodoo Chile”. Now I realize that Clapton got bored of being the guitar god and ventured off into more songwriting excursions, but lets face it, the dude plays blues scales and that’s about it. As for songwriting, Jimmy Page and Townsend blow him away. Technical skill: Carlos Santana, John McLaughlin, Stevie Ray and Jeff Beck are much better. Creativity: Hendrix, Richards, Zappa, The Edge were far more groundbreaking with their styles. Clapton is a great blues guitar player. But he does not deserve to even me mentioned as one of the top 5 guitar players of all time. If for nothing else, because he simply wrote and recorded way too many wack pop songs.

4. The Beatles
Before you have a complete shit fit and start screaming at the screen about how insanely wrong I am with this one, let me try and justify it with a few points. The Beatles changed the face of modern music-there is no doubting that. The Beatles wrote some of the greatest songs ever, songs that will be good 50,100, 500 years from now. The Beatles changed the way music is recorded by being the first band to use the studio as an instrument. That all being said, I’m sick of the utter and total blind hype that critics, writers, musicians, and just about everyone else gives them. They were a horrible live band (when they actually did play, which was never or on top of roofs), their ratio of good to bad songs isn’t too high percentage wise, they lacked the soul, style, and grit of The Rolling Stones, the were very formulated when writing their songs, they didn’t utilize George Harrison enough throughout their careers, they had a robotic drummer, and their first few albums were nothing but bubble gum pop songs. I think there is a mass conspiracy to brainwash every up and coming musician that The Beatles are the be-all-end-all of modern music. Imagine this: The Beatles played Woodstock. What performance would have been more noted on musical terms (not the hype, just based on the music): Santana, the Who, Sly and Family Stone, shit, even CSNY or The Beatles? You can’t tell me that “Get By With Help From My Friends” would have beat out Santana’s “Soul Sacrifice”.

5. The Grateful Dead
I’ve said it all along, the Dead are the greatest cover band ever. Look at any given set list of theirs and tell me how many songs on that list are covers versus originals? At best, the Dead were a rock/country/jazz/ fusion band that could rock as hard as they could play. At worst, well, we all know what they were at their worst: doodling noise. Jerry is an unbelievable guitar player (which is why his solo stuff is far better than anything the Dead ever put out) and Phil Lesh plays bass like a cannonball being fired into your stomach, but with even more depth. The Dead were successful cause they created an anti-establishment counterculture that kids could escape to for a few weeks, take drugs, party, dance, and sell veggie burritos to pay for the fake tickets they were about to scalp. If you’re simply a casual Dead fan (do any of those exist?) then you can probably name no more than 4 Dead songs (“Truckin”, “Uncle John’s Band”, “Casey Jones” or “Touch of Grey”). The fact that to this day this band still sells millions of dollars worth of merchandise, bootlegs are still traded like stocks, and tour without Jerry (that’s like Crazy Horse touring without Neil) shows me that it’s all based upon the hype right now and has nothing to do with actual band. How many actual studio records does this band have? How many are good take American Beauty and Workingman’s Dead? Exactly.

6. Nirvana
Tell me, if MTV never played the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” video, would you know whom Nirvana is? Would frat boys be blasting “In Bloom” singing “He’s the one who likes all the pretty songs, but he don’t know what it means” without realizing the song is about them? Kurt Cobain was an amazing musician, and deserves a lot of the credit he gets for changing modern music from glam rock to good rock. But the never-ending hype around this band has got to end. They put out a few amazing albums that will stand the test of time. The constant barrage of Nirvana clone bands still saturates today’s market (can you say Puddle of Mudd?). But for writers (you know who you are Rolling Stone), and VH1 talking heads proclaiming Nirvana as the second coming of The Beatles is absurd. Alice in Chains was harder, Soundgarden was more talented (member for member) and Mudhoney was just simply put, cooler. Kurt owes a lot of his guitar style to Neil Young, J Mascis, Thurston Moore and Lee Renaldo. He would probably tell you that too, if he didn’t decide to off himself because of what? The over hyping of his band.

7. Billy Joel
I’ll be honest, I can’ think of one song of his that I actually like. If I want to hear great songs about New York City, then I’ll listen to Lou Reed. If I want to hear great singer songwriter piano work, Ill listen to Elton John (well, I actually wont listen, but you know what I mean). If I want to hear overly pretentious, purposefully poetic yet non-poetic lyrics, then ill listen to Billy Joel. No doubt the guy can handle the keys, and his voice isn’t too shabby either. But talk about someone really riding a career off one song, “Piano Man”. Does anyone under 30 like Billy Joel? Why does classic rock radio (which I’m starting to realize is basically responsible for ALL over hyping on this list) play his music to death? I’m starting to think that it wasn’t Robert Johnson that sold his soul at the crossroads, or even Ralph Machio (which by the way, there is NO WAY Steve Vai looses to the Karate Kid in a “guitar-off”) but it was actually Billy Joel who sold it. This guy deserves nothing, and what he gets is simply being taken away from who really deserves the credit: Elton John.

8. Billy Corgan
Whiney voice, arrogant attitude, ugly bald head, low ratio of good-to-bad songs, and an air of self importance makes Billy Corgan a much deserved member of this list. I had the chance to see the Smashing Pumpkins play once. They were ok, and I even liked some of their songs. But that dude needs to go. Never have I seen a front man insult the audience like him (someone threw a hackey sack on the stage to which Corgan replied “what is this? A Grateful Dead show? As if a Dead head couldn’t also like the Pumpkins?) and never have I seen a musician admit their inabilities. Going on after the Beastie Boys, Corgan asked the crowd “Wow, playing after them we must really sound bad. Do we suck?” What do you think the crowd said? After Kurt Cobain, I think many consider Corgan next in line as the defining musician of a generation. His gloomy, depressing songs, hard-edged metal-yet-not-metal riffs, and thought provoking lyrics are easy to catch on to. But people act like this guys’ shit don’t stink. I have one word for you: ZWAN.

9. Phish
Now before you pseudo hippies get out your devil sticks and throw them in my face, remember this list is about overrated. I’m not at all saying I don’t like any of the artists. As a matter of fact, I like most if not all of them. My concern is the hype that people put on these musicians. Phish, I like to say, are almost TOO good. They make music for musicians (something I hear a lot of people say about Coltrane and Zappa). But let’s face it folks, if Jerry didn’t die Phish would still be the college playing, mid-level band they were before 1995. Their mix of humor and music (something I’m not really a fan of unless you ARE Zappa) and their long, extended “show off jams” even to a musician like myself, tend to be quite self indulgent. OK Trey, we know you can play guitar, now try writing ONE good song. I never blame a band for the hype around them, that’s for Publicists, MTV, Rolling Stone, and KROC. But none of those are hyping Phish, which lends me to believe its all their fans doing it. Like the Dead, can you name me a good Phish studio album? There is more to music than just showing off your playing abilities. There is something called songwriting. And believe it or not, there is a way to mix extreme musical skills, humor, and good songwriting and making it work. Its called Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention.

10. The Eagles
If you drive one hour in your car any day of the week, anywhere in America, and listen to any rock station, you will no doubt be hearing one, if not four Eagles songs. They have two greatest hits releases that are basically the same songs. They haven’t written a new song in 20 years yet still tour and charge $150/ticket. “Hotel California” needs to be banned from rock radio forever. The Eagles were a mediocre band at best. Their laid back California grooves struck a note with millions of fans yet even Lebowski knew that “the Eagles suck. Put on some Creedence”. Another band that fell prey to a low ratio of good-to-bad songs. For some reason, legions of rock critics have decided that the Eagles were a significant band from the 70’s. I suppose if you compare them to other 70’s acts like Journey, Supertramp, Boston, Kansas, ELO, etc. they were The Stones. But I’m not sure there has ever been another band that is strictly kept alive due to classic rock radio. At least kids today will buy Hendrix, Floyd, Zeppelin, and the Stones. Do you think some 16-year-old kid is running out to buy “Desperado”?



  1. Bob Dylan is also insanely overrated. He’s pretty much a turd sandwich. And for crying out loud just stop touring already.


    1. If Bob Dylan said it, it must be profound. There should be a guy with a microphone following him around day and night recording all that he says. There should be a brainwave monitor to catch all his fleeting thoughts.
      “All along the watchtower…” B. Dylan November 6, 1968
      “But a watchtower is a tower, not a wall.” Everyone else November 7, 1968
      “Excuse me, I have to hit the bathroom.” B. Dylan November 8, 1968
      “Zzzzzzz” B. Dylan, while sleeping, early AM November 9, 1968
      I wonder what he meant by that?


    2. right, dylan is the morrison that didnt die and with a far worst voice than morrison’s; he cant sing, he just chews up “cheap philosophic trash” over and over; listen to Travelling Wilburys and you’ll see that Orbison, Petty, Harrison and Lynne are the real artists; take mr zimmerman out of the equation and nothing is lost, on the contrary


  2. Disagree with what you said about the Dead. You know someone doesn’t really listen to them when the first thing they say to compliment is that “Jerry can really play lead guitar hur hur.”
    Lots of casual listeners I know listen to stuff like Terrapin Station, not just throwing stones, uncle john’s band or anything off of American Beauty.

    What I don’t understand is how you can in one breath say a musician is the ‘greatest’ or the ‘best’ at something and then say they are overrated. If they are as good as you make them out to be, don’t they deserve that praise.

    Also, what you were ripping on casual fans of the Dead for, you did yourself when talking about Eric Clapton. In YOUR words:

    “If you’re simply a casual [CLAPTON] fan (do any of those exist?) then you can probably name no more than [2] [CLAPTON] songs (“Tears in Heaven”, “Voodoo Chilli”…..)”


    I also love how you can rip on all these artists and SERIOUSLY talk about how Bob Dylan is better than them in this respect, that respect. Cause I’d say Dylan is probably possibly the most overrated musician I’ve heard. If I was writing like you, I’d put it like this:

    You really do sound that annoying and unlikeable. Especially because I agree with a decent lot of your choices, but still think you’re retarded. As much as I’m not a fan of this site, this page would be riiight up your alley; reddit .com/ r/ lewronggeneration


  3. Agree about Sid Vicious and agree about Jim Morrison.

    Completely disagree about Clapton. Like it or not, he was the FIRST guitar hero. It starts with him. Then came Hendrix (who deservedly is the greatest of all time), but if it wasn’t for Clapton starting it all… guitar music would probably have been a much different thing.
    So just for his pioneering alone, he deserves to be up there, – and I’m not even talking about how good he is or not: that’s completely subjective and irrelevant here – I’m talking about importance, influence and impact generated. He was the first guitar hero, plain and simple (yes, Chuck Berry came before him, but he wasn’t exactly a guitar hero – unfourtunately, there was no way a black dude could have become something like that in mid-to-late 50’s – and he didn’t really have the virtuosity required to be one, really).

    Agree with pretty much all the rest, except for The Beatles obviously (and I won’t even bother to give my reasons – there are way too many and everybody knows at least 1/10 of them – which is more than enough when we’re talking about such a band). The Beatles deserve every praise they get and 99.9% of the world population (including music critics) will agree. It can’t be just coincidence, can it?

    But I don’t understand what Billy Corgan and Phish are doing here – not because I think they are great – but because, In order to be overrated, shouldn’t you be rated first? I mean who the f*** are Billy Corgan and Phish?


    1. Clapton has god-level material (john mayall era, cream era) and totally rubish soft-rock era (mid 80s); and most of his slow paced soft songs sound like lullabies; his lyrics kinda suck too


  4. This is so heavily opinionated and ridiculous, especially the part about Billy Joel. Maybe you should sit down and listen to an album or two of his to find out that he didn’t make an entire career off of one song. Yes that one song is the more popular one but why? Because it’s pure genius and Billy Joel IS the Piano Man. But again it is your opinion so I can’t knock it, whatever. I feel like I need to stand up for the greatness that is Billy Joel and songs like The Stranger, Zanzibar and so many other songs. And all of this is not to say I don’t like or respect Elton John either because I do enjoy Tiny Dancer and Goodbye Yellowbrick Road but the lyrics don’t compare for me because Elton Johns lyrics create a fantasy land rather than something truly meaningful.They have two completely different styles of music and I prefer Billy Joel’s.To say he deserves nothing is stupid and by the I’m under 30 and loved Joel since I was 16.


    1. Zanzibar is a great song, but unfortunately anyone who can listen to it and not think “Hey! Steely Dan sure did that a lot better” is a total moron. Billy Joel’s lyrics appeal to you because you are a 12 year old intellect. His wording is completely nonsensical and strung together incoherent rhymes. By the way, Piano Man is a rip-off of Mr. Bojangles. EVERY Billy Joel song is derivative and, sadly, the original artists’ works were far better.


      1. Actually both Billy Joel and Steely Dan are among the best Hi-Fi digital material you can listen to; these true artists really benefit from the clarity of a properly mastered 24 bit 96 Khz FLAC file

  5. Bob Weir really never gets the credit he deserves for his contribution to the GD sound. Listen to his rhythm guitar playing. His chord structure is totally unique in RnR and really contributed to the unique sound that the Dead had as a band. Very much a virtuoso with his playing that gets totally overlooked when talking about the band. One of the most underrated guitar players ever.

    Also, he sang almost half their songs and wrote some of the most iconic songs the band played. Truckin’, Sugar Magnolia, The Other One, Estimated Prophet and Jack Straw just to name a few. These were all fan favorites.

    So I think your suggestion that the rest of the Dead was just like Crazy Horse backing Neil Young misses the mark in a big way.


  6. I think you’re getting “overrated” and “overplayed” mixed up. Getting fed up with some artists due to radio airplay oversaturation is your own fault, depends on whether you listen to radio or not. I agree with half of your list. Sid Vicious – check, awful. Corgan – ouch, earsore. Morrison – yup, superhype. Grateful Dead – audiences on LSD fueled the hypefest.

    Billy Joel – dunno, always felt he was somewhat under the radar… Phish? Only on US soil, pretty much a big question mark everywhere else. Actually, don’t think there’s much hype there, only very VERY devout (annoying) fans, that’s it. The rest on the list were defining genres, the hype is pretty much justified.

    And the Clapton paragraph… egads. Naming Richards (the one-single-riff-makes-twenty-songs guitarist) is one of the least creative guitarists on the planet. Open tuning, one riff played differently for every single Stones song and that’s it. Ouch, that was a huge miss. Jimmy Page – riffs, that’s about it. Same with Townsend. No lyrics there, just riffs. Santana and Beck can’t really come close to Clapton, his rhythm chops alone are far more diverse than those guys put together. And his soloing is on par with Santana – speed, dynamics, fluidity. Just a different flavour. I do severely dislike the newer Clapton stuff, generic and boring :( But his One More Car One More Rider Tour? Check it out, it’s an excellent dive into his repertoire. If you want overall better MUSICIANS, guitar technique and songwriting considered, I’d go with Hendrix and… that’s it if you consider the appropriate time frame (the 60’s). Actually, that’s what’s pretty much where the “miss” of this list resides – not considering the context (if the Beatles played a ROCK festival). Yeah, what if Elvis was the opening act for Black Sabbath?

    I actually think Zappa is SUPER overrated by his fans. Listened to most of his albums and, sure, he has a lot of “out there”, creative and genre-bending stuff, but man, he sure couldn’t make anything seriously great. No wonder he made fun of catchy tunes, he couldn’t really make one (unless you count the Kinks’ ‘Lola’/ Lionel Richie ‘Easy’ inspired “Bobby Brown Goes Down”). It’s a lot like mouldy cheese making fun of chocolate for being so damn tasty. In my personal opinion, Zappa is a genius in much the same manner as someone memorising a phone book and then writing it out in a funny, philosophically inspirational and sarcastic manner. But is it something I would want to learn, emulate and get inspired by musically? No, not really. Reminds me of Henry Kaiser a little bit (boy, that is one messed up guitarist).

    Holy crap this was a long rant. Be sure to check out Shawn Lane (Esperanto, Gray Pianos Flying, preferrably live), Tuck Andress (with Patti, in concert), Derek Trucks Band (Songlines Live) and Richie Kotzen (Faith, Remember, So Cold…). Just to wash out your ears from listening to too much radio ;)


  7. I want to thank everyone that comments on our blog no matter what their point of view is. One of the great things about blogs is that enables people to express themselves however they feel comfortable doing so.

    We mostly try to write “positive” leaning articles about the music we love. When we first launched this blog a few years back we needed some content to get us started. So we posted some older writings from our younger years. We chose certain, shall we say, debatable topics in order to help stir up some minor controversies (and let’s face it, get some people reading the blog!). Overrated Musicians, Neil Young vs. Bob Dlyan, etc. Sensationalism at it’s best (we also know that people enjoy lists).

    While I still stand by my writings, it is quite easy for me to re-read this blog post (10+ years after I initially wrote it) and think “what in the fuck was I thinking when I wrote that?” But we have a policy here at Bums Logic to not go back into older posts and re-write them, even if our opinions have changed with time.

    Overrated vs. Overhyped is very misleading in this post and I do agree that I should have been clearer with that, perhaps renaming the post more appropriately.

    I also want to point out that while I might think a musician is overrated or overhyped I am aware that it is not always the artist themselves causing it. I should also point out that while I might not like certain bands/artists, I respect anyone that has the talent, ability, and balls to write music, perform it in front of people, and essentially expose their souls to strangers. I might be a Miami Dolphins fan, and I might hate Tom Brady, but I respect the shit outta him.

    Anyhow, believe it or not, I enjoy reading everyone’s comments–even the ones that make personal insults towards my brain–and I want to encourage you to keep doing so. Dialogue, however anonymous and vague and heated, can only lead to expanding your mind more.

    JB, July 17, 2014


  8. I agree with almost all, but The Eagles. The Eagles have awesome music, it jut seems to be that it’s not your style.


  9. Sid V. – I guess you’re right.
    Morrison – Always liked the Doors. Morrison was not his generation’s best singer-songwriter. Agree there is too much hype about him, but supposedly he was great when he was (rarely) sober.
    Clapton – Love Cream. But Clapton’s solo stuff bores me to tears. Soft seventies muck, horrible eighties synth rock with Phil Collins, followed by 90s schmaltz – a complete mess. Talented guitarist, but I would rather listen to scores of other players rip a solo.
    Beatles – Silly argument. You are just trying to provoke, no? Poor ratio of good to bad songs – really? I agree that their first few releases were not great, but the rest of the material is pretty boffo. They never had a chance to hone their live chops after the Shea Stadium era debacles, so slagging them for their live showmanship seems a bit unfair. They are properly rated, like it or not.
    Grateful Dead – Hardly a cover band. Hunter and Garcia wrote some excellent songs. Had they not put two albums worth or great original material on SkullFuck and Europe 72, they would have had two other great studio pieces to complement Workingman’s Dead and American Beauty. There were other gems along the way afterwards, but unfortunately they were fewer and farther between. Garcia’s drug problems derailed what could have been an interesting musical contribution.
    Nirvana – Never a huge fan. The early death of Cobain is inevitably tied to perceptions of their overhype (see Morrison, Jim).
    Billy Joel – Seems like a-too-easy-pinata to whack. I’ve never heard people overrate him. If anything, I have heard people make fun of him and his fans. I thought Turnstiles was an okay early record. He seemed to go for the commercial sell-out as he aged, which I think is slightly different than being overrated.
    Billy Corgan – Never liked him or his group. Seems too obscure to really take to task.
    Phish – I am from Vermont and tried to like these guys. But they can’t write a decent lyric to save themselves. I’ve heard countless stories of how brilliant their jams are; I’ve seen Phish jam, and I gotta say, I’ve heard much better.
    Eagles – Yep, overrated. But you could also plug in a bunch of 70s bands here: Toto, Journey, Boston, even CSNY. 80s Genesis. Madonna – she’s in the rock and roll hall of fame for god’s sake, how did that happen?
    Now, what about the big white elephant in the room? I mean U2. When I think of overrated, these guys jump to the top of the list. And I saw them at their supposed pinnacle on the Joshua Tree tour. Yet B.B. King, the opener, blew them off the stage. They are a nice, but limited band – how have they dominated rock for almost two decades now? Maybe rock is dead, after all.


    1. With you right up to U2. Great band, intense talent, original to the point they could have retired after New Years Day and made the Hall of Fame. There is a list of dozens of overrated idiots masquerading as musical talent, but they’re not on the list.


  10. Wow, dont even know where to begin. Clapton, so lets just say you want to compare “Tears in Heaven” to Hendrix’s “Voodo Chile”. Ill say lets compare something from the 60’s of Clapton to “Vodoo Chile” HMMMM “White Room” and “Tales of Brave Ulysess” etc…. Hendrix was awesome but dont compare a 90’s song with a 60’s song. Was/Is Hendrix better than Clapton? I don’t know. But we dont know what Hendrix would of eventually turned into. Clapton had some great 70’s albums as well as 80’s that weren’t Tears in Heaven.


  11. What a fucking idiot. The Beatles overrated? The total dickness of that concept defies any rebuttal because the individual uttering it should have had an exploding head the instant the thought formed.


  12. Ok you have too much time on your hands. I can name quite a few good phish and dead albums. Lawnboy is genius. Jerry is genius. Trey is genius. You my friend suck. And so does frank Zappa he should be on your list but he sucks so bad how could he be classified as overrated. I hate reading articles like this and tend to stay in my lane and let u buffoons post your shit without me chiming in but you really fucking pissed me off. Also give the man who stepped into yesterday a listen. It’s not a released phish album but it’s a studio album and one of my favorites. Do your fuckin homework you bashed a bunch of great musicians I agree with vicious but he sucked so bad how is he overrated no one speaks of him.


  13. I agree with lushington. Your out of line man. The Dead are amazing and not at all a cover band. You could have said that about phish if your knew what you were talking about but they aren’t. Currently phish is my favorite band and the doors are great too. I don’t care for Clapton or the Eagles but respect them musically. Freakin U2 or some kings of Leon need to be on your list man. You can’t bash legends in the game. The dead will continue to sell millions because their music speaks to us who truly know good music. And give ever phish album but farmhouse a shot. Yeah phish is better live but I enjoy studio works by them occasionally especially if I don’t want to here a long drowned out jam. Which is odd I like the jams. So I don’t lnow


  14. This is really dumb. The doors had dozens of outstanding hits which are now classics. Their songwriting is far superior to most of the the bands listed above. Billy Joel’s songwriting is far superior to Elton John and most of the bands on this list as well.


  15. Most of Dylans songs are full of great lyrics, but a majority of his songs themselves arent anything special. Most people cant even name too many Dylan tunes off the top of their head, you cant say the same about the Beatles who truly mastered melodic composition.


  16. You nailed it. Bill Joel.. tra la la, Clapton.. wank, Morrison.. drunk, Eagles..zzzzz, Beatles.. ???? I’d be embarrassed to own their records


  17. Damn! Sorry. I forgot – Sid Vicious was a sucky bass player…BUT…he IS the quintessential symbol of the punk rock movement for other reasons. BTW…He did NOT murder Nancy Spungen. There are existing friend, acquaintances, and witnesses that can attest to that…I can attest to being finally finished posting.


  18. I agree with you about Billy Joel. He wrote about 2 good songs (“You May Be Right” comes to mind) is definitely not a rocker!! Clapton is definitely a great guitar player but I personally think Stevie Ray Vaughan was better.


    1. Billy Joel wrote a ton of amazing songs with incredible arrangements and orchestration. Sorry he was successful. What a dick.

      And if any of you are truly interested in questioning you embarrassing level of ignorance, here is a list of songs that destroy just about every band on this list:

      Los Angelenos
      Summer, Highland Falls
      Prelude/Angry Young Man
      New York State of Mind
      Goodnight Saigon
      Big Shot
      Scenes from an Italian Restaurant
      Vienna… and that is just to name a few.

      And even though I have great respect for Elton John, when it comes to chops, Billy destroys him. And Billy is not a “Rocker”. He plays way too many styles for that.

      Seroiously. Get a clue. Listen the records. Try to cover his songs correctly. I dare you.


  19. Agree on Billy Joel! If I never heard another Billy Joel song for the rest of my life I’d be happy. Sadly, I can’t escape it as a working musician. He should have been a Broadway composer from day one and stayed there.


  20. Nauseating but unsurprising how many people leaving comments are taking this list so damn personally and making personal attacks. I actually agree with the whole list with most of the same caveats you were so careful to include (to no avail). My list would also include Zappa whose music often strikes me as obnoxiously self-satisfied and juvenile jazz-fusion horse-shit and Iggy Pop post Stooges although I am listening to American Caesar at the moment and it’s surprisingly solid but most of his solo stuff I just find unbearable with horribly clunky and just plain dumb lyrics. I love the Doors and believe Morrison was a great frontman and singer but his “poetry” divorced from a driving backbeat was all empty posturing. I don’t know about putting Vicious on the list. People love him for his anarchistic, self-destructive attitude of course but I don’t think too many think of him as a musician much less a musical visionary.


  21. How can u make a list of overrated rock groups and not put kiss at the top of the list…. They are quite possibly the worst rock group of all time. Lets face it, they are famous for wearing makeup. Most of their songs sound like a drunk horny 15 year old wrote them in his moms garage… come on,Rock and Roll all night, lick it up, detroit rock city… even their most famous songs sound amateur and have immature lyrics


    1. Kill lyrics are genius compared to Whitesnake. Rap bands don’t even bother with subtlety and just say “I wanna hump dat azz”. Devolution. There’s so little wit these days.


  22. Calling Ringo a “robotic drummer” was when I stopped reading (and I’d already put up with enough by then that I should’ve already.) You objectively don’t know much about music, and should not be writing about it.


  23. You say “The Beatles changed the face of modern music-there is no doubting that. The Beatles wrote some of the greatest songs ever, songs that will be good 50,100, 500 years from now. The Beatles changed the way music is recorded by being the first band to use the studio as an instrument.” So, maybe they deserve some of the hype? They were the biggest selling band of all time, most influential of all time, and even critics have to force mild critique on them (ie: imagine if they played Woodstock….?). The early stuff was about as simplistic as the other music of that era. Bands after Sgt. Pepper got more technically proficient. You’re really reaching to find fault. If you had to find one band that was worthy of the title “The Biggest Act of All Time”, why would it NOT be the Beatles?


  24. Given that everyone in the world says Sid Vicious sucked at bass, it is physically impossible for him to be an “overrated musician”.


  25. Hah. I hate Sid vicious. The rest of these bands and musicians I love. And I agree; there are no McLaughlin fans or Allan Holdsworth. Highway robbery


  26. I disagree with your overrated list too. Granted, everything known by me about the Beatles is known through the archives. I actually saw ‘Yellow Submarine’ played and sang with the Beatles as Muppets on ‘Sesame Street” Apparently a redo is needed on this list because someone stood under my window this morning playing “Hotel California” and singing to it on their smart phone, probably a Millennial. If you want to shoot something down, try Christina Aguillera’s 2001 release of Lady Marmalade. (Moulin Rouge! 2001) Patti Labell did it better. I have the song. The biggest problem with some of the performers nowadays is the lack of classical training. Whitney Houston had it, but none since then.


  27. I was hoping to see Prince on the list. Outside of ‘Purple Rain’ I haven’t found a single memorable or even above average song from him.


  28. The only one I agree with is Sid Vicious! The Beatles are you kidding me? All the others I respect as great musician/ songwriters. Because a guy like Jim Morrison wasn’t a musician he was a songwriter/ poet. Comparing him to Dylan? Look up An American prayer or celebration of the lizard just to name a few. He could write.There are a lot of fantastic musicians we never heard of as well. Underrated types would be Danny Gatton or Rory Gallagher.


  29. This list is ancient, but I think you did a great job on it. The Dead were a great band, but overrated by their fans at the time. My mom was a dead head, and in my childhood, she brought me along to numerous Dead shows. I always noticed that for most of these Dead Heads, they acted like the Dead were the only band in the world. On the way to the concert, they’d be playing an audience tape of a Dead concert, and on the way back, they’d play a tape they’d made of the show we had just attended. And the band was all they seemed to care about, musically, or otherwise. Even though I was like 8 years old, I often found myself thinking “there’s more great music, and there’s more to life than this band.” But, they did release a great studio album early in their career, “American Beauty.” Totally agree about Sid Vicious, Phish, Clapton, Beatles, Nirvana, and Jim Morrison. Really, the whole list, although I also think Elvis is insanely overrated, it’s a stretch to really say he was a musician, more a teen idol pretty face from his time, a la N Sync, so I understand him not being on the list.


  30. Totally with you on Sid Vicious and you can throw the rest of his band in with him….all attitude and posture, no talent.

    Clapton was the Pat Boone of blues guitar: he was the white guy who brought black styles to a broader, whiter audience. Noteworthy, but not enough to justify Clapton’s status as a guitar god.

    If you were to be in search of a Phish studio album that holds up as a coherent album and not a stream-of-conciousness series of jams, “Billy Breathes” would be that album. It’s good. Hardly anyone knows Phish so not so sure they’re overrated or overplayed.


  31. The Beatles weren’t the first to use the studio as an instrument. Brian Wilson was doing that before them. Brian Wilson made the Beatles look like cudlly little school lads. Billy Shears? That’s cute….


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