Quartet Candidates For Mt. "Rockmore" Excludes Rush
Asia's Musical Success Was Even Bigger Than the Continent Itself
Thanks to President Trump's Independence Day speech at Mt. Rushmore, the idea of famous quartets comes to mind. The four faces carved into that famous monument, Abe Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, all of course served as President of the United States.
Arguments could be made for the inclusion or exclusion of other Commanders-in-Chief, or possibly for a new quartet altogether. Perhaps the 21st Century will someday be represented on a similar monument, but that decision should not be made until its last decade approaches.
What could be decided more quickly, however, is a list of deserving musical quartets to be memorialized, not necessarily on the side of a mountain. Here are twenty of the four-man bands who would deserve consideration for such a monument, omitting the trio Rush.
1. The Beatles
An obvious choice, considering John, Paul, George and Ringo are more well-known than the Presidents on the cliff side.
At one point in the late Seventies and early Eighties, Freddie Mercury and his pals were even more popular than the Fab Four.
3. The Who
Townshend, Daltrey, Moon and Entwistle could see for miles and miles on their magic bus, which soon drove them to Hollywood stardom with the Tommy rock opera.
4. Pink Floyd
Founding member Syd Barrett's tenure was short-lived, but guitarist David Gilmour joined bassist Roger Waters as the forces in Cron of Nick Mason and Richard Wright.
5. Led Zeppelin
Several times Robert Plant and Jimmy Page cracked the Top Forty, finally gaining immortality with "Stairway To Heaven."
6. The Kinks
Ray and David Davies did experience some brotherly squabbles, creating an energy that resulted in classics such as "All Day and All the Night" as well as as "Lola."
7. The Smiths
Its two songwriting partners Morrissey and Johnny Marr experienced an ugly split after five albums, the best of which are the debut and The Queen Is Dead.
8. Black Sabbath
When the Seventies arrived they brought with them this highly influential heavy metal band, whose debut War Pigs had to be changed to Paranoid.
Behind that makeup hid four excellent musicians, whose catalogue includes "Rock and Roll All Nite", "Shout It Out Loud" and "Detroit Rock City."
10. The Doors
Jim Morrison died at 27, so there is no telling how much more he and Ray Manzarek could have created had he survived to a ripe old age.
11. The Stranglers
Mostly forgotten since their late Seventies punk heyday, these Guilford rockers came back into view after the coronavirus claimed keyboardist David Greenfield.
When the duo of Kevin Godley and Lol Creme joined up with the tandem of Eric Stewart and Graham Gouldman, they would transform rock into a genre that spawned Queen.
13. Bad Company
Paul Rodgers was free of Free and Mick Ralphs had just left Mott the Hoople, so the two formed the supergroup that would give us "Feel Like Makin' Love" and "Can't Get Enough."
14. The Band
Backing Bob Dylan introduced Robbie Robertson, Levon Helm, Rick Danko, and Richard Manuel, who then went to record unforgettable hits like "The Weight" and "Up On Cripple Creek."
15. Fountains of Wayne
Debuting as the 20th century was expiring, Chris Collingwood and Adam Schlessinger went on to become on of the most critically acclaimed power pop band for the next twenty years.
Members of Yes and ELP helped propel this super group, whose debut included monster hits in "Heat of the Moment" and "Only Time Will Tell."
17. Van Halen
Sounding like a cross between the Kinks and the Stones, their debut was followed by the even more successful second album with "Dance the Night Away."
18. The Knack
Doug Feiger and Breton Averre hit gold on their first try, as Get the Knack gave us "My Sharona" and "Good Girls Don't." Even though they fell off the radar, their best music kept coming after the debut.
19. Cheap Trick
Rick Neilson's lyrics, combined with Robin Zander's fantastic vocal delivery, led to songs such as "Surrender" and the title track from Dream Police.
20. The Buzzcocks
"You Say You Don't Love Me" and "Ever Been In Love" are two of the best songs from the late Seventies punk era, which was given new attention after Pete Shelley's death last year.