The Immortals: Fifty Greatest Artists of All Time

Rolling Stone - The Immortals cover

The second he sang the opening lines — “Close your eyes, and I’ll kiss you” — the crowd’s reaction was so intense that it all but drowned the song out … I understood in that moment one of the reasons why the Beatles had to stop performing. The songs weren’t theirs anymore. They were everybody’s.

Elvis Costello on The Beatles

Celebrating the “fiftieth anniversary of rock” (so rock was “invented” in uh, 1957? duh!), Rolling Stone magazine is running a special issue listing the top 50 (rock and roll) artists of all time, with a write-up on each artist by a fellow artist who may have worked with them in the past.

Here’s that list:

1. The Beatles by Elvis Costello

2. Bob Dylan by Robbie Robertson

3. Elvis Presley by Bono

4. The Rolling Stones by Steven Van Zandt

5. Chuck Berry by Joe Perry

6. Jimi Hendrix by John Mayer

7. James Brown by Rick Rubin

8. Little Richard by Little Richard

9. Aretha Franklin by Jerry Wexler

10. Ray Charles by Van Morrison

11. Bob Marley by Wyclef Jean

12. The Beach Boys by Lindsey Buckingham

13. Buddy Holly by John Mellencamp

14. Led Zeppelin by Dave Grohl

15. Stevie Wonder by Elton John

16. Sam Cooke by Art Garfunkel

17. Muddy Watters by Billy Gibbons

18. Marvin Gaye by Smokey Robinson

19. The Velvet Underground by Julian Casablancas

20. Bo Diddley by Iggy Pop

21. Otis Redding by Steve Cropper

22. U2 by Chris Martin

23. Bruce Springsteen by Jackson Browne

24. Jerry Lee Lewis by Moby

25. Fats Domino by Dr. John

26. The Ramones by Lenny Kaye

27. Nirvana by Vernon Reid

28. Prince by Ahmir Thompson

29. The Who by Eddie Vedder

30. The Clash by The Edge

31. Johnny Cash by Kris Kristofferson

32. Smokey Robinson and the Miracles by Bob Seger

33. The Everly Brothers by Paul Simon

34. Neil Young by Flea

35. Michael Jackson by Antonio “LA” Reid

36. Madonna by Britney Spears

37. Roy Orbison by K.D. Lang

38. John Lennon by Lenny Kravitz

39. David Bowie by Lou Reed

40. Simon and Garfunkel by James Taylor

41. The Doors by Marilyn Manson

42. Van Morrison by Peter Wolf

43. Sly and the Family Stone by Don Was

44. Public Enemy by Adam Yauch

45. The Byrds by Tom Petty

46. Janis Joplin by Rosanne Cash

47. Patti Smith by Shirley Manson

48. Run-DMC by Chuck D

49. Elton John by Billy Joel

50. The Band by Lucinda Williams

The list goes beyond fifty though. If you’re curious, here’s 51-100:

51. Howlin’ Wolf by Buddy Guy

52. The Allman Brothers Band by Billy Gibbons

53. Eric Clapton by Little Steven

54. Dr. Dre by Kanye West

55. Grateful Dead by Warren Haynes

56. Parliament/Funkadelic by Ice Cube

57. Aerosmith by Slash

58. Sex Pistols by Billie Joe Armstrong

59. Louis Jordan by Ahmet Ertegun

60. Joni Mitchell by Jewel

61. Tina Turner by Janet Jackson

62. Etta James by Bonnie Raitt

63. Phil Spector by Jerry Wexler

64. The Kinks by Peter Buck

65. Al Green by Justin Timberlake

66. Cream by Roger Waters

67. The Temptations by Rod Stewart

68. Jackie Wilson by Peter Wolf

69. Carl Perkins by Tom Petty

70. The Police by Brandon Flowers

71. Frank Zappa by Trey Anastasio

72. AC/DC by Rick Rubin

73. Radiohead by Dave Matthews

74. Hank Williams by Beck

75. The Eagles by Sheryl Crow

76. The Shirelles by Paul Shaffer

77. Beastie Boys by Darryl “DMC” McDaniels

78. The Stooges by Thurston Moore

79. The Four Tops by Smokey Robinson

80. Elvis Costello by Liz Phair

81. The Drifters by Jerry Leiber and Mike

82. Eminem by Elton John

83. N.W.A. by Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson

84. James Taylor by Art Garfunkel

85. Black Sabbath by Dave Navarro

86. Tupac Shakur by 50 Cent

87. Gram Parsons by Keith Richards

88. Miles Davis by Mos Def

89. The Yardbirds by Steven Tyler

90. Carlos Santana by Henry Garza

91. Ricky Nelson by John Fogerty

92. Guns n’ Roses by Joe Perry

93. Booker T. and the MG’s by Isaac Hayes

94. Nine Inch Nails by David Bowie

95. Lynyrd Skynyrd by Al Kooper

96. Martha and the Vandellas by Fred Schneider

97. Diana Ross and the Supremes by Antonio “LA”

98. Roxy Music by John Taylor

99. Curtis Mayfield by Boz Scaggs

100. Lee “Scratch” Perry by Adam Horovitz

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