When one speaks of the best bands ever, especially if one has lived a few decades and listed to all kinds of music in that life, some names will definitely stand out. Once those bands are mentioned, it is easy to evoke images of their songs and performances in mind. Some groups would be automatic and obvious items on any list of best bands ever, such as the Beatles (“Ed Sullivan Show” performances) or The Beach Boys (images of old-school surfing). One probably would not expect a South Korean boy band that only started in 2013. But there they are.
Esquire magazine has just released a list of the Ten Best Bands Ever as of January 30, 2021. While several of the entries were natural choices, the big bombshell was that K-Pop group BTS somehow managed to count towards their number. That must come out of nowhere, but Esquire has been a publication running 87 years, so they must know what they are talking about.
Their blurb entry for BTS among the Ten Best Bands Ever reads thus: “While K-pop as a genre has been around for decades, BTS is arguably one of the vanguard acts to pioneer K-pop’s immeasurable worldwide success.” The thing is, that is no exaggeration. Not only is BTS the all-time best-selling artist/s in South Korean music industry history, they are a hit with international audiences too, beyond anything PSY of “Gangnam Style” fame could have achieved. Not for nothing is their worldwide fandom called ARMY.
Among the boy band’s songs that are highlighted in their Best Band Ever entry are “Dynamite” and “Life Goes On,” which are of course part of their quickly-recalled library of hits that are not only head-bopping but thought-provoking at times with their interwoven social commentary.
BTS stands with the Ten Best Bands Ever alongside the aforementioned Beatles, Beach Boys, The Supremes and their sort-of spiritual successors Destiny’s Child, Fleetwood Mac, Sly and the Family Stone, The Temptations (“My Girl”), ABBA and Queen, which featured in 2018’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” from 20th Century Fox. Note that this is a list of Ten, but not a Top Ten ranking, so there should be no arguments over which is better. For BTS, this is the highest recognition thus far.
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