Jul 112014

  1. Queen: I like maybe 4 songs by them, not including “Under Pressure,” which has the benefit of Bowie, and truly dislike everything else, including “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Freddie Mercury may be the greatest singer in rock despite using his voice for mostly terrible purposes. The production of those Queen albums is outstanding, perfectly highlighting everything I don’t like about the band.
  2. Boston: I like nothing more than bits and pieces of a couple of their first-album hits – not even an entire song – mostly for humorous reasons, but their first album is a stone-cold masterpiece of hard rock pop craft. As a comparison and to better illustrate how great I think Boston were, although I would gladly cop to basically “liking” the Raspberries and Cheap Trick on the strength of 2 or 3 songs each, I don’t think they’re anything near “great.” I think Boston did a much better job at fulfilling the promise of bands like that, despite not coming up with one sincerely great song.
  3. Van Halen (with David Lee Roth – NOT Van Hagar): I like only “Jump” and “Dance the Night Away” (inappropriate guitar-wank solos excluded), but they had an original, commanding (if “bad,” to my tastes) sound, one that also applied power pop sheen to stupid hard rock. David Lee Roth’s entire shtick is abhorrent to my tastes, but he pissed me off in masterful fashion. Perhaps even Eddie’s guitar sound and soloing approach also possess these evil qualities.
  4. Black Flag: Beside some chuckles I get out of their tongue-in-cheek (?) macho takes on Black Sabbath, I only deeply like the tongue-in-cheek, macho “Six-Pack” and a few other pre-Henry Rollins songs. Typically bad drumming, bass-playing, and guitar wanking aside, I think they had the most commanding take on hardcore punk and a great feel for teenage boy stupidity.
  5. Mahavishnu Orchestra: Not ever being a fusion or prog guy, I wanted to truly like this band because I so love John McLaughlin’s playing on Miles Davis’ Jack Johnson LP. I bought their first album about 10 years ago, and I listen to it a couple of times a year without actually liking the music. As with these other bands, I think they’re “great” because they have such an original and commanding approach to their craft.

How about your Top 3 to 5?


  18 Responses to “Greatest Bands I Don’t Actually Like”

  1. 1. Pearl Jam — I’ve tried, and tried, and failed to get into these guys. Several friends really like them and I sort of understand why, but they are just not for me. I would rather listen to Stone Temple Pilots.
    2. Grateful Dead — There are few songs I like, but I can’t think of the names of them. I have not ever been that interested to own one Dead CD or album.
    3. Pink Floyd — Ditto — I listened to everything Floyd and Floyd-related from my freshmen roommate. Even Rick Wright’s solo album. The greatest album I hate is The Wall. If I had to pick a song I like the most it would be “Wish You Were Here.”
    4. The Police — I do like their second album. But I don’t want to hear any of the rest ever again. I felt ripped off when I bought “Ghost In the Machine.” I like Duran Duran’s single “Ordinary World” more than anything The Police released in the 1980s.
    5. Radiohead — Sorry, another band that friends like, and I don’t get. Not anything I want to listen to by choice, sorry.

  2. 2000 Man

    I think my number one is definitely Led Zeppelin. So many people like them that they must be better than I think they are, but I just can’t stand them for more than a minute or two at a time.

    Eric Clapton. He did some great stuff in Cream, but they also have some really crappy songs on their albums. His solo career can just be represented by Layla if you ask me (I know that’s not a solo song, but bear with me). The first two minutes of that are pretty good and make me feel like it’s going to lead to something great, and then it’s like everything that EC did that rocked was used up in the first two minutes of that song, and then all that was left was some utterly dull piano thing that just goes on and on and on. Got no use for him whatsoever.

    John Lennon’s solo career. Sorry, I think after he left The Beatles he pretty much did nothing. Paul’s solo albums are way better. I’d rather listen to Band on the Run or Ram than even John’s Greatest Hits album. I can’t think of more than one or two songs by him that I’d even listen to all the way through.

    Bruce Springsteen. I don’t know why I just can’t get interested in him anymore. I liked him in High School, but I don’t think I’ve really cared for anything after Born to Run, and I only like half of that and The Wild the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle.

    And there you have it. I don’t know why I’m like that, but I am.

  3. If I didn’t despise them and all they stand for so deeply I would be a bigger man and include the Eagles on my list.

  4. This is what I like — bashing some real sacred cows.

    I used to call John Mellencamp a “poor man’s Springsteen” but I think Mellencamp has put out better music than Bruce since Born in the USA. My midwestern-ness shows here, but JCM is better than many people think — Whenever We Wanted and Human Wheels rock.

    I am in the tank for Clapton. I don’t like his 80s stuff, but his 70s middle period starting with 461 Ocean Blvd and through Backless — I know every song on those records. I’m a fanboy.

    Lennon — I think that greatest hits album — Shaved Fish right? — is all you need.

  5. PJ without doubt.

  6. Talking Heads.

    Sonic Youth.



    Beach Boys (bar a few songs).

    Anything shoo-wop-bee-doo-wop rock and roll prior to about 1965.

  7. I’ll be brief: U2

  8. cliff sovinsanity

    Radiohead – Many have tried to convince me, but I don’t see the brilliance.

    ELO – Even on a goofy level I don’t get it.

    Steely Dan – Too slick

    Grateful Dead – I like some of their contemporaries Airplane, Moby Grape, Love but it doesn’t move me.

    Yes – No!

  9. 1. Talking Heads–Definitely unique, but I can’t say that I get excited by any song of theirs when it comes on the radio

    2. Sonic Youth–I get why the people that like them like them, but nothing I’ve heard makes me feel anything

    3. Bruce Springsteen–I have no objection to him being considered one of the all-time great rock stars, but the couple times I’ve had a chance to see him if I was willing to make a bit of a sacrifice and go through some discomfort, I haven’t been willing to do it. Love “Ties That Bind” off the “The River” and the duet he did with Graham Parker

    4. REM–Was really into them for a couple years in college, but now I have no urge to go back and listen to any of those old albums

    5. U2–Still like quite a bit of the first three albums, but even if I had a chance to see them play for free I don’t think I’d make the effort

  10. diskojoe

    1. Crowded House-I like “Don’t Dream It’s Over”, but I first got their 1st album & then a best of & I got rid of them both.

    2. Squeeze-I have 45s & Under, but for some reason I have no urge to get anything else by them.

    3. Elton John-I appreciate his talent & I heard great fanboy stories about him, but again, I’ve got no desire to have anything by him.

    4. Steely Dan-I don’t mind what I hear on the radio & I do have a urge to get a compilation sometimes, but it’s not urgent.

    5. Boston-There’s a certain hometown pride about the 1st album going mega & from what I heard, the late Brad Delp was a “good egg”, as Mr. Mod would say, but again, I’ll pass

  11. BigSteve

    1. The Beatles — I’ve been over them since about 1968, and I’d be ok with never having to hear about them ever again.

    2. Queen — Extravagance is not a quality I value. I do really love Under Pressure, but I have to assume that its brilliance comes mainly from Bowie.

    3. Led Zeppelin — The singer is too squealy, the drummer is too thuddy, and, as with Queen, the bigness grates. I used to despise them, but now I grudgingly respect them.

    4. Willie Nelson — I just don’t like his voice.

    5. Zappa — Too smart for his own good, should have stuck to instrumental music. A rare case of a musician who would have been better off without a sense of humor.

    I don’t consider Boston or Van Halen great enough to warrant inclusion in this category.

  12. misterioso

    “I think they’re great but I don’t like them.” Sorry, doesn’t compute. I even get “They’re not great but I like them” (e.g., Roth era VH). But if this actually means what some of the others seem to understand this to mean (“People think I am supposed to think they are great but I don’t like them”) then some good calls–Pearl Jam, Radiohead, Sonic Youth, Zappa. But I neither like them nor think they are great.

    But in an effort to play along, and in honor of the death of the last of the original Ramones, I guess there is a certain greatness to the early Ramones. But I don’t really like them.

  13. To make clear what I’m getting at, let me flip over all the cards and put out there possibly the most-offensive analogy: “Hitler was a great evil dictator, despite my despising all that he stood for.”

    I don’t necessarily despise all that Van Halen stood for, for instance, but I despise at least 99.8%. That said, I believe they were brilliant at creating the evil empire they created.

  14. mockcarr

    That still doesn’t make sense in terms of music.

  15. Suburban kid

    I also have a hard time with the concept. If I don’t like them, I think they suck, I certainly don’t agree that they’re great. No matter how much the rest of the world loves them.

    Maybe a better but different twist, which some have adopted here, would be “bands I don’t like but respect”.

  16. What doesn’t? I broke down specifics for each of the bands on my list, as some others have done.

  17. misterioso

    Mod, do you think Hitler was greater than Black Flag or only about the same?

  18. 2000 Man

    I think that respect is probably the correct way to go about it. Mod’s gotta come up with the headline to keep up with the Internets, but that’s how I looked at it. I can’t stand Led Zeppelin, and I never could, but far too many people that I know that I think know the difference between good and bad music think Zeppelin is great. So I gotta put them on my list. BigSteve’s got The Beatles on his, and I don’t think that in terms of Rock music they can be considered anything less than “great.”

    I don’t have The Beach Boys on my list, and I can’t stand them, but I can’t for the life of me understand why anyone thinks they’re “great.” So I can’t, in good conscience, put them on my list. I can keep hating them, though.


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