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Thursday Discussion: The Biggest Bands To Cross...

Posted by: Jason Tate (01/10/13)
I started a good debate yesterday on Twitter when I began talking about if fun., with their Grammy nominations and success, had crossed them into the top 5 of bands that have ever come from this "scene." This got me (and others) thinking about what the top bands that have broken through into the mainstream have been ... and well, with that ... I decided it would make a damn good Thursday discussion. So, here's my list of the biggest mainstream bands that have a connection to our music scene (the existence of which we could debate by itself), and a few notes about why. I tried to stay away from just using a pure "album sales" metric, since the music buying habits have obviously changed, and tried to take as many variables as I could into account. I'd love to hear your lists in the replies, where they differ, and even what you think the next band to make the cross over will be.

01) Green Day
NoteI don't think there can be much debate about this one. The band remains one of the biggest in the entire world.

02) Blink 182
NoteThe numbers speak for themselves. Arguably the barometer for all pop-punk since.

03) Fall Out Boy
NoteIf (when) they return ... they are the one band that has a shot to make it even further up this chart by the end of their career.

04) Fun.
NoteI'm saying it ... they're here in the top 5. This band is huge in a way a band hasn't been in years.

05) Paramore
NoteTheir new album will be a huge test for their staying power.

06) Jimmy Eat World
NoteI still can't believe Green Day, Blink, and Jimmy Eat World all toured together. That was one of the best concerts I've ever seen.

07) My Chemical Romance
NoteThe only band on this list that when I heard their first album didn't immediately know they'd be huge. It took me until the second album to know that.

08) All American Rejects
NpteThey've seen continued success over a string of albums ... their latest album may be their best yet, but it hasn't had that stand out single like the last three.

09) Gym Class Heroes
NoteWhen I look at this list, a part of me wants to move these guys even higher ... they've seen a lot of success with virtually every album they've released, but honestly I can't really gauge where they fit.

10) Panic! at the Disco
NoteIf they would have released a sophomore album more in vein with their debut - they would have been giant. Even still, they're one of the most successful acts in recent memory. Damn FBR has a lot on this list, and ties to quite a few others.

Flirting with the last three spots and I could make an argument in my head they should be there but don't have enough space to put them: Yellowcard, Sum 41, New Found Glory, Good Charlotte.

Note: I'm not saying any of this even really matters. I, personally, think success should be judged by if you put out the music you love and your art can stand the test of time ... mainstream popularity or continued popularity really doesn't mean that much. Most of the time the masses have shitty taste. However, it is kinda cool to watch bands and artists that we've known about for years get extremely popular. This is more of just a discussion about the bands that have seen that happen, not a commentary on it being the end goal or not.

So ... what's your list?
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 371
10:48 AM on 01/10/13
Jack Appleby
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Pretty much agree.
I'd say every band's rank in this list is likely set, with the exception of Fun. and Paramore.
I'm betting Fun. has the power to be Top 3, if not #1, by the end of this all.
And like you said, new Paramore is a huge test for them and will define their longevity.

I have a hard time with Gym Class Heroes above Panic!, and while they came from our scene (or some version of it), the generational gap between Green Day and the others listed makes them an oddball. I think I'd personally rank Blink first.
10:48 AM on 01/10/13
Next Show: MotionCitySoundtrack @NY
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ACA's Avatar
AFI should make this discussion.

Yellowcard isn't top ten, but they're a contender on a larger list. Same with Dashboard Confessional. Taking Back Sunday to some degree.

fun. may not even be in the running for to ten a few years later, they haven't been a "big" band for even 12 months yet so it's projection to an extent.

Anberlin and Dropkick Murphys had some huge singles.

Death Cab for Cutie plays big venues. Bright Eyes.

Just throwing out names to consider for a various lists of this type.
10:49 AM on 01/10/13
Keagan Ilvonen
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Glad you agree with me about fun.
10:49 AM on 01/10/13
Tell it like a comeback story
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f00te's Avatar
I'd say death cab got pretty close
10:49 AM on 01/10/13
At Full Speed
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j-dogg_69's Avatar
Looks pretty much the same as I would make it. Blink 182 would probably be at number 1 had they not taken the hiatus. But that's not a bad thing (in my opinion) as Green Day went downhill after American Idiot (21st century breakdown I thought was awful) although Uno has a lot of elements from the older GD albums
10:49 AM on 01/10/13
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~Sixx~'s Avatar
I would have found a way to put NFG on the list. Been rocking for what, 20 years(?) and they still have yet to put out a bad album, IMO. And they have had a few mainstream hits too.
10:49 AM on 01/10/13
An Uneducated Opinion
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I think I largely agree with your list, but I would trade Gym Class Heroes for Yellowcard. I'm sure I'm biased toward YC, but I think the success of Ocean Avenue tops GCH's success.
10:50 AM on 01/10/13
All that wander are not lost
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irthesteve's Avatar
5 / 10 Fueled by Ramen (6 if you count Jimmy Eat World)... wow
10:50 AM on 01/10/13
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I dont know if Taking Back Sunday is considered mainstream by you standards, but their was a point where "Louder Now" was huge and "MakeDamnSure" was everywhere. I think they should be in the top 10 especially if Panic at The Disco is on this list.
10:50 AM on 01/10/13
Dustin Harkins
Go support Kony 2012 some more
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Dustin Harkins's Avatar
AFI should make this discussion.

Yellowcard isn't top ten, but they're a contender on a larger list.
I agree about this.

I would contribute more to this discussion but I can't think about anything but Destiny's Child and Justin Timberlake right now, so have fun everyone.
10:50 AM on 01/10/13
A pretty neat dude
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heyimnic's Avatar
I love this discussion, but I don't really get what the grouping is. This "scene" is basically like anything we like. How do we define the list?
10:51 AM on 01/10/13
Keagan Ilvonen
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I think I largely agree with your list, but I would trade Gym Class Heroes for Yellowcard. I'm sure I'm biased toward YC, but I think the success of Ocean Avenue tops GCH's success.
Mainstream success? Not a chance.
10:51 AM on 01/10/13
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DandonTRJ's Avatar
I'd say death cab got pretty close
Death Cab's not really from this scene, IMO - strictly indie.

Anberlin made a decent mark on the mainstream around New Surrender's release.
10:51 AM on 01/10/13
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Wisher's Avatar
No denying that Fun. has been the biggest crossover in years. They're on top of the world right now. Really solid list. Maybe Rise Against if you'd count their beginnings as closely tied with the 'scene'.
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