The Greatest American Rock Band Bracket!
First Round, Punk/Hard Rock Division
The Ramones (1) vs. Bon Jovi (8)
New York punk progenitors versus arena rock chartbusters
"The Ramones may or may not have invented punk rock, but they were inarguably the most important band in punk history. They were informed by the thunder and flash of the Who and the MC5, the speed and primitivism of Iggy and the Stooges, and the alternately sullen and goofy musings of '60s garage rock, but the Ramones synthesized their influences into something raw and revolutionary, a fury of pounding rhythms and downstroked guitars married to rudimentary melodies and comically absurd lyrics that both mocked and celebrated popular culture and teenage life. The Ramones were tuneful, aggressive, and challenging in their embrace of minimalist fury, and it's impossible punk as we know it without the Ramones' guiding example. "
"Bon Jovi wound up transcending the big-haired '80s, withstanding changes in style and sound to become one of the biggest American rock bands of their time. Another way they differed from other MTV favorites of the late '80s lies in how Bon Jovi cannily and subtly changed their sound to fit the time. First, the group slowly lessened their reliance on arena rock guitars, emphasizing melody and ballads without rejecting hard rock. They incorporated elements of soft rock and country, moves that helped the band sustain their popularity into the 21st century. "