Popular opinion is that a lot of popular bands suck. Now obviously this is opinion, after all, these are popular bands so someone is listening, buying and enjoying this music. Still, let’s face it; there are a lot of very overrated bands out there.
For example, Boston is a band that a lot of people feel are overrated. To me Boston is the Taco Bell of classic rock and you know what, I like Taco Bell, so they didn’t make this list. Another potentially overrated artist is Britney Spears. Unfortunately there are too many of her songs that unwillingly get stuck in my head making her not entirely overrated in my book.
Other dishonorable mentions include Pearl Jam, Nirvana and just about any eighties metal band, but the way I see it they have their place, maybe not for everyone, but certain groups of music lovers so they don’t make this list.
You might be thinking “Jeez, did this guy include anyone I think is overrated?” Don’t worry; we have plenty of terribly overrated bands. Trust me, I take this very seriously. What are my criteria? Well, I look at popularity, but also longevity as well as whether it was the music or “other noise” that made a band famous. Who just missed the cut? The Grateful Dead for one; I just don’t get that phenomenon, but they didn’t make the top fifteen. Don’t stress, their weird cousins did (looking at you Phish!).
Come join me and take a look at bands that made terrible music, were all about their look or fizzled too quick to be considered classic. Here are the 15 most overrated bands of all time.
I know controversy to start off this list, but please, here me out. Let’s start off with an easy one, Oasis was NOT the Beatles, not even close. They had similar accents, that’s as far as that comparison goes. Did they create some nice pop-rock? Yes, their first two albums created a couple good songs, but they were not as big as they thought or the media initially made them out to be. Pretentious melody rock while pretending to be badass dudes isn’t enough to label you as the next big thing.
Oasis was a moment band; they lasted a couple years and then it became more interesting to figure out which brother was a bigger jerk. Did one of them have a cocaine problem? Did one of them refuse to go on stage? Was there a fight? The answer is yes and it doesn’t matter. Being on the front cover of rag magazines doesn’t make you an amazing band. You had a couple hits and fizzled, you got more than 15 minutes of fame, just appreciate that and leave us alone regarding the history of what really happened. News flash, we don’t care!
Street credit in the stoner community only goes so far. Hey, I like the Grateful Dead so I must like Phish, right? Wrong… you only think you do because somehow they rode the coattails of the Dead. They songs are boring, the lyrics ridiculous and there are a million better alternative bands better. Correction, there are two million better bands.
So we’ve established this band is overrated and sucks now let’s take a step further and talk about their fans. First, you like weed, that is a given and is not a crime, at least not in the social sense. Fans love the old-school VW buses, essentially “you live in the past.” You have dread lock hair and are white. Now I’m not saying all, but most. You think you see the world as a philosopher does and are vegan. Neither bad things mind you, but chances are your views on philosophy are overrated as well.
13. Pussycat Dolls
I’m picking on the Pussycat Dolls, but they represent a much bigger overrated and bands that suck problem, that being manufactured boy and girl bands. We know the drill by now, someone carefully curates a lineup of girls or boys, making sure they have a cute one, bad one and “diverse” one. Oh, and hopefully they can sing or at least make a harmony with each other. For boy bands they portray what girls want while girl bands, like Pussycat Dolls are essentially barely legal strippers. This is not good on a number of levels.
12. Hootie & The Blowfish
The nineties were a strange time for rock and pop music. On one side you had the grunge movement peaking and then you had Hootie & The Blowfish, definitely not mistaken for being part of the grunge movement. Hootie and company blasted the radio with bland hits. Did it have something to do with his voice sounding like Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder? Maybe, probably not, but clearly the message wasn’t the same. Here is one way to know if a band sucks – listen to their music twenty years later. Guess what? It doesn’t hold up, not even close.
Hootie & The Blowfish had a couple of big hits, but fizzled quickly. Nostalgia and a Burger King commercial have made people remember them bigger than they were. This band was boring then and still is boring. Look at the old videos; even they look like they are ready to fall asleep.
11. The Eagles
The backstory of the Eagles is far more interesting than their classic radio music. Essentially, I blame this band for bad radio rock pop. It’s like crack, it’s not good, but you can’t get it out of your head. Are they a huge band? Yes, they are, but listen to the lyrics. Each time I have a couple beers and hear one of their songs I believe I could write a better song. Is it the beer talking? Yes! However, I don’t feel this way with other bands as popular as them.
Don’t get me wrong, these guys lived the life and got to make millions off their music. Good for them and yes, I’m very jealous. Still doesn’t mean their music doesn’t suck and that they aren’t terribly overrated. I realize this one is difficult to digest given they are to classic rock radio what Law & Order series are to cable television. All I can say is have a couple beers and have a listen…
10. Dave Matthews Band
I’ve never understood Dave Matthews with his band or a solo act, sorry, I just don’t get it. With “Dave” it’s two-fold, first the music and then the fans. Let’s start with the music and his voice. He mumbles and the lyrics are cross between eating breakfast and the world ending, with no in-between and no way to know where one thought ends and the other begin. Remember when he went solo and the single “Gravedigger?” It was dark and I liked that tune, but everyone, especially his core fans hated it. So there you go…
So let’s talk about his fans. Before hipsters were main stream they followed Dave Matthews. His band was cool with smoking weed and having a job. Sorry, I like my rock to not cater to the Abercrombie crowd. The fans believe they are intellectuals listening to Matthews incoherently sing about pancakes and the end of time. The fans are also very political. I have no problem with being passionate, but taking what a singer/songwriter says and using it as gospel in your late night dorm debates is ridiculous. Okay, enough ranting, did I mention I believe Dave Matthews Band sucks? Hopefully that point got across.
Scott Stapp and Creed are the one of the luckiest bands in the history of music. Their band came at a time when there was no mainstream rock music. Grunge had died (pretty much literally) and the pop punk movement led by Green Day, Offspring and Blink 182 was considered more alternative than rock. It was the perfect opportunity for a band that could play their instruments and sing big ballads to enter the picture. For about five years, Creed would release the same song, packaged a little bit differently and have another hit on their hands.
Part of the success was Stapp and his Jesus like aura coupled with the fact that they were a supposedly Christian band, but that was later debunked along with their success. Important to note though, Creed sold over 30 million albums. WOW! Good for them, but doesn’t mean they were any good. No, they were awful, but lucky on timing. Proves the point that sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.
8. Limp Bizkit
Okay, so this one is pretty easy, or at least a lot of people agree with me. Limp Bizkit hit hard, but weren’t really that hard. Naming your album Chocolate Starfish and the Hotdog Flavored Water is not hardcore. When I first saw this band I thought maybe it was a joke, but no, the joke was on me when I bought the album. Anyway, they went on to popularity based on a cover of a George Michael tune and a song titled “Nookie.” Yeah, maybe I shouldn’t had admitted to buying a Limp Bizkit album. To be clear, I was experimenting a lot back then, so let’s blame the drugs.
Many years later I went to a film festival. I saw a movie Durst directed and it was good, like really good! So maybe there was some talent there and I just didn’t want to admit it. Uh, no, I’ll stick with labeling Limp Bizkit and Durst as a band that sucks. They claim to start the nu-metal movement, but I believe they almost killed it.
7. Goo Goo Dolls
I really hate including this band because there are really two versions of the Goo Goo Dolls. There is pre ballad “Iris” Goo Goo Dolls and post ballad “Iris” Goo Goo Dolls. Pre “Iris” this band was a hard rocking crew that put together some good music with hooks. They were popular, but not huge. Then they found the formula for creating pop hits for the radio and have never looked back. Would I do the same? Hell, I’d cut off my left arm for the opportunity. That doesn’t mean the output is worthy of their acclaim.
The Goo Goo Dolls have made millions (many millions) on recreating their ballad “Iris.” Middle-age women eat it up and it’s safe to play anywhere! It’s genius in a way and damaging to music as well. I have no issue with ballads, but it’s been a long time since the Goo Goo Dolls have created anything original. Of course I’m extra bitter because I liked the old band, even if they weren’t making any money back then…
6. Rage Against The Machine
Another nu-metal or rap/metal group I just can’t get behind. Combine that with their political views and I have a problem. I don’t care if you are somewhat political, but music doesn’t always have to be about a cause, man! Loosen up and just play some music. You get to play on stage for thousands, why are you so angry man! I’ll take it a step further and say the music itself is okay and would be better as an instrumental without the politically charged lyrics and angry front man.
Everyone wants a reunion, but why? The last thing we need is more angry people disguising their average music behind a message you can get anywhere. Okay, so maybe I just really don’t get their style of music. Regardless, I just can’t believe when this band shows up on “greatest of all time” lists or people screaming for a reunion. Let it go man!
Okay, now we are getting to the meat of this list. When I think of meat I picture a slap of meat and no band compares to a slab of meat more than Nickelback. This band somehow repackaged and sold every rock song as their own. Were the popular, yes, but I think that says more about the listeners than it does the band themselves. Every band has their place and Nickelback is the band for the fan that loves cover bands.
Hey, I don’t mind Nickelback in the background, assuming it’s far away and I can barely hear it. Personally, I would rather hear a cover band versus a band masquerading as the real deal. Another case of jealousy? Sure, but don’t even try to debate me that this is a good band, no they suck. They are the Starbucks of rock. Scratch that, I can drink Starbucks occasionally, I can’t listen to Nickelback.
4. Black Eyed Peas
There was a time when any song the Black Eyed Peas recorded turned to gold. The formula was pretty easy. First, take a good beat, add a phrase such “Let’s All Get High” and then add Fergie moaning throughout the chorus. Gold. Every. Time. Did the songs sound similar? Yes, but we didn’t care. Hear one of those songs and everyone hits the dance floor. Eventually the public caught on, but it was too late, cementing too many songs into the club scene and every wedding reception for the next thirty years.
Where it all ended is debatable (many like to say it was Fergie’s song “My Humps”), but for me it was the Super Bowl halftime show. Despite having party anthems there was no energy. Collectively, America watched and said “What exactly have we been listening to?” Yeah, as the saying goes sometimes it’s better late than never and identifying the Black Eyed Peas as a terrible band that sucks fits this saying.
In my opinion (have to say this to the hardcore fans before they blast me) Coldplay are a rip off of U2 and Radiohead. Their music is self-important and depressing. Yes, “Clocks” is an amazing song, but honestly I would rather have this as an instrumental over Chris Martin’s whining. It’s amazing he didn’t ruin this song, but think about how good it could have been…
The fans of Coldplay are entitled douche bags that only listen to U2 and sometimes need a break from Bono. Everything about this band looks fake including the arm bands and choreographed running (or should I say skipping) around the stage. I see a lot of critics put Coldplay in the group of U2, Oasis and other European bands, but Coldplay has no business being there. Outside of “Clocks”, Coldplay has not put out good music and are both overrated by critics and the radio play they receive.
2. Insane Clown Posse
Guys dressed up as clowns rapping over hard rock music. Enough said. Oh wait; again, there is a word count here. Where to start? The Insane Clown Posse would be nothing if they didn’t dress up as gang banging clowns. I believe this. No way they have a huge cult following (known as Juggalos) if they don’t wear make-up. Right there, that makes this band suck, no question. I mean, I’m willing to go as far as blaming the whole America “clowns showing up in cities” epidemic on this band. Note: I have nothing to base this one, but let’s go with it!
The fan base is pretty rough, made up mostly of white teenagers and (I’m assuming here) people with a clown fetish. It’s unbelievable that this band still makes headlines. I ask you to listen to their music. I guarantee you will not be comparing them to Linkin Park or any other nu-metal act. Instead you are left with, “so these guys still dress up as clowns?”
I’ve hit classic rock (and nu-rock) pretty hard here, but just to be clear, I actually like a lot of classic rock (and some nu-metal) acts. The problem with Foreigner was they didn’t create anything new, they were the original Nickelback. Sure, they churned out a lot of hits, but it was after Journey and bands of that genre had already created a market. Were they popular? Hell yes, still are, but a lot of people now think Foreigner was a great band, when they were an average band that hit at the right time. It was as if this band had a crystal ball and saw that the future would need a lot of music to fill the “classic rock” format. Whatever it was they were right. Does their music suck? Yes, but stupid, definitely not.
I’ll say it again: Foreigner was the original Nickelback. Hey, I think we can all agree that being called the original Nickelback is not a good thing.