Steven Hyden of Grantland attempts to anoint the American Band Champions from each of the last 50 years:
I tried to be as impartial as one can be when handing out a fictional prize on the basis of perceived artistic value. There are times when I chose groups that I personally don’t feel that strongly about, but whose résumés were indisputable. There were also times when personal favorites got the heave-ho. One of my favorite American bands of all time is the Replacements. The Replacements were not awarded an American Band Championship Belt. This enrages me, and yet it seems just.
I can’t argue with most of his selections. But Velvet Underground over The Doors in 1967-68? The Doors had way more influence and success. And I like Steely Dan, but not sure I’d go with them over Aerosmith in the 1974-76 time period (again, it was — and is — a much more influential band). To his credit, Hyden at least mentions these other bands.
I don’t even know the bands from 2004 through 2010, but maybe that says more about me than him. Still, I’d probably nominate Eminem or Dr. Dre in that time period over the bands he mentions. But no use quibbling over a fictional prize I suppose.