Skip to main content

Rock Band

June 2024
1min read

Most Overrated Rock Band:

The Beatles. Lennon and McCartney cowrote one joyous and overwhelming rock song, “She Loves You.” Lennon was responsible for another, “Revolution.” McCartney was responsible for a third, “Oh Darling.” The great rave-up tunes of the Beatles’ early days all are covers. The great Lennon-McCartney tunes of their middle and later periods are ballads, music-hall spoofs, or jumped-up skiffle tunes. Furthermore, although they looked pretty good in the rooftop sequence in Let It Be, they were by all accounts a mediocre live band compared with many other British and American bands of 1963-70, most notably the Rolling Stones.

Most Underrated Rock Band:

Creedence Clearwater Revival. Dismissed as “just a singles band” and “’Hee-Haw’ meets Dale Hawkins” at the time they were playing together, Creedence, driven mostly by John Fogarty, created a series of raw and unforgettable rock songs. Some, like “Lookin’ Out My Back Door,” were indeed country-tinged. Others, like “Fortunate Son,” were flat-out protest songs. Almost all the stuff Creedence created between 1967 and 1970 was hot. In an era of psychedelic imagery and increasing long-windedness, this band preserved the basic rock philosophy: Keep it short, keep it loud, and make sure the audience can dance to it.

Enjoy our work? Help us keep going.

Now in its 75th year, American Heritage relies on contributions from readers like you to survive. You can support this magazine of trusted historical writing and the volunteers that sustain it by donating today.