Words: Simon Opie
The recent spate of end of decade lists got me thinking about the five best bands of the decade. From there I went on to consider whether the 5 best b®ands of the decade might be more interesting. This is of course the 5 best bands as brands - not at all the same list I was originally considering.
#5 - My favourite b®and - Clutch, the hardest working band in show business.
Relentless touring, true blue collar attitude, expert musicianship and a prodigious output have brought them both critical acclaim and a sturdy fanbase.
#4 - Sonic Youth.
The evergreens of the alternative resurrected their career in the noughties from the ashes of 9/11 with the release of 'Murray Street', and they finished just as strongly with 'The Eternal'. Can't wait for their inevitable Superbowl half-time show.
#3 - The Dandy Warhols. A band who prove (as the late Bill Hicks would say), if there's a war on drugs, then the people on drugs are winning it.
The Dandies led a genre - BRMC, Brian Jonestown Massacre etc. - combining all the hit records and some genuinely brilliant offbeat albums. That's a hard trick to pull off. And although I have total respect for anyone who can write a song called 'Bring Me The Head Of Paul McCartney On Heather Mills' Wooden Peg', it's clear Anton Newcombe has run out of ideas long before his nemesis Mr Courtney Taylor-Taylor.
#2 - "The last great american band standing", Wilco.
Jeff Tweedy's project has gone from strength to strength - despite the wreckage left in its wake - and also have the distinction of starring in the best rock n roll movie of the decade - 'I Am Trying To Break Your Heart' by Sam Jones.
#1 - Quintessentially a nineties band, and arguably one of the best, Radiohead are the biggest b®and of the noughties.
They pulled some great branding illusions these past 10 years. They got everyone to believe they had stopped playing guitars - leading people to proclaim their genius. They convinced everyone that they had given away 'In Rainbows' and, despite their enormous wealth, their gesture was perceived as revolutionary - elevating a tired, insipid album to legendary status. Finally, the release of their 'Greatest Hits' album was portrayed as an insult by their former label to their body of work. Stunning. Altogether now, bring me the head of Thom Yorke on Leo Fender's wooden peg....