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The Greatest Dead Rock Stars Of All Time

February 04, 2011 | Other

The Rolling Stone website posted a list of "The Greatest Dead Rock Stars of All Time" on their website, based on feedback they collected from their readers (starting January 28, 2011). Rolling Stone wrote "Last week we gave our readers the slightly morbid task of voting for their favorite dead rock star. The feedback was overwhelming – and now we've compiled a top 10 based on your votes."

The number one spot, gained "by a fairly wide margin," went to John Lennon. The complete list is as follows, with Elvis coming in at number five:

01. John Lennon
02. Jimi Hendrix
03. Kurt Cobain
04. Jim Morrison
05. Elvis Presley
06. Freddie Mercury
07. Janis Joplin
08. George Harrison
09. John Bonham
10. Keith Moon

Rolling Stone wrote:

"Elvis Presley's final few tours were sad affairs where an increasingly bloated King huffed and puffed his way through limp versions of his hits. There were, however, moments of brilliance. One night in June of 1977 in Rapid City, Iowa he sat down at the piano and belted out a gorgeous rendition of "Unchained Melody." Knowing he'd die just two months later makes this video even more gut-wrenching to watch." 

Natha wrote on February 04, 2011
Did they write in the same style about the first four or are they just lashing and bashing the King again? As usual of course.
jimsayshello wrote on February 04, 2011
I don't know why I care, but I do... it just staggers me. Even if the other 9 formed a supergroup in heaven, they'd still only be the opening act for the King.
Michael.W. wrote on February 04, 2011
Rolling Stone sucks!
Jerome wrote on February 04, 2011
Elvis dead? C' mon everybody knows he is still alive and nowadays listens to the name Shwan Klush..
FLASHBOY wrote on February 04, 2011
I dont care i know Elvis is first right up on that list! Rolling Stone Staff you suck big time!
JLpResLey wrote on February 04, 2011
I don´t think that Elvis ever will be at the top at these kind of lists again. It does not bother me at all. What does bother me is all the negative comments about Elvis. It seems impossible to pay tribute to Elvis, without some negative comments. It is like they believe that every tour was like his last ones. The same thing happened a few years ago, with a list of the 50 top moments of popular music, or something like that. There was only one Elvis moment on that list, Unchained Melody in Rapid City! They really are looking for stuff that will make Elvis look bad.
Deano1 wrote on February 04, 2011
It is what is is...I don't know how many Rolling Stone readers are Elvis fans; but this list would seem to indicate there aren't a lot (they must not be fans of Michael Jackson either). If that is all Rolling Stone wrote concerning Elvis it is very short sighted and unfair. That said, I don't expect to much from that publication. Nothing to get upset about just one magazine and their readers. Elvis is still #1 with me.
Monster wrote on February 04, 2011
That's probably as complimentary as Rolling Stone ever gets about Elvis. The first four have the sort of street cred coolness readers of music magazines like to associate with which in my view is what pushes them above the king in this poll though John Lennon is at least a worthy contender I think. Great to see Freddie Mercury up there near Elvis where he belongs. Man he had it all and it's nice to see Queen getting back a lot of the kudos they lost in the eighties.
Brian Quinn wrote on February 04, 2011
Nothing unusual about this result from Rolling Stone Magazine. I don't think Elvis has ever topped one of their polls. They are heavily biased in favour of artists from the 60's onwards and the people they get to vote are usually rock musicians who have always put Elvis down for not being like them. The fact that he could sing them into the ground apparently counts for nothing.
vegaselvisfan wrote on February 04, 2011
i browsed thru the profiles; every commentary is about the star's last days and the video used is supposed to be their last live footage available. elvis at the end-- it was what it was... as for elvis being at #5, i'll be positive and say i am glad he ended up on the list considering i think they grudgingly give him 'any' respect.
GeoElvis wrote on February 04, 2011
Elvis is and always will be number ONE! We know it and they know it! Period! 34 years later and he's still The King! No one on there so called list will ever match his impact or magnitude! Rolling Stone caters to the hippie generation, so there polls don't matter a bit. To all the Elvis fans out there, TCB! Keep Rockin'!!
Steve B. wrote on February 04, 2011
Elvis earned $60 million this year and Lennon earned $30 million. The numbers speak for themselves.
theoldscudder wrote on February 04, 2011
Please note Elvis is the only 50's artist in the top 10. Actually I'm surprised he even made the top 10 not because he's undeserving but because this is RS. Their more into post 50's music.
Martin DJ wrote on February 04, 2011
For those believing Rolling Stone is an anti-Elvis publication consider this. After Elvis died, they devoted an entire edition to him. The first thorough Elvis biography was written by Rolling Stone editor Jerry Hopkins. There's also a good illustrated Elvis biography by Rolling Stone's David Marsh (who wrote the liner notes for the Seventies Masters box set). The Rolling Stone Album Guide (1983) rates a;most all of Elvis's albums high, giving even It Happened At The World's Fair four stars (out of five). And if you look at the current Rolling Stone web site they rate Elvis very high indeed.
circleG wrote on February 05, 2011
I'm a fan of pretty much all except john and kurt. The list order doesn't bother me but it does reveal something about RS's continuing degradation of the Elvis legacy. They like many so-called serious music magazines almost always focus on the end days. Never mind, we the fans are never put off. These writers must be ancient now. EPE/sony need to get their act together too.
Foresto wrote on February 05, 2011
I wonder if anyone of the other 9 would ever have become a star if it hadn`t been for Elvis! I simply don`t understand how anyone else but Elvis could be number 1. It`s funny, how can anyone be a greater rock star than the one who started the whole thing and was an inspiration and even an idol to so many others on this list? But as always in suich polls, it can never be representative of what people think...
MickeyN wrote on February 06, 2011
Fact: John "wide margin" Lennon said, "before Elvis there was nothing". None of the nine other "stars" comes close to the cultural phenomenon that was, is and always will be Elvis Presley.
burton wrote on February 06, 2011
Kurt Cobain at no. 3, Give me a break!
Deke Rivers 6 wrote on February 06, 2011
Who cares about polls anyway,did they ask you,did they ask me, NO
Jesse Garon Presley wrote on February 06, 2011
Polls like these one are best to be forgotten,not even the Media worldwide doesn't even pay any attention to these kind of polls,that says enough,polls like these are not relevant,non-important, not official and if the whole world would read the Rolling Stone magazine... then this whole Poll nonsense would have a whole different outcome,if you know what i mean.
everett001 wrote on February 06, 2011
Elvis was; and is still the best rock singer of all time; and forever will be.There are a lot of great rock singers who made their mark on rock history; but Elvis started it all; and he he will forever be " the king of rock & roll. Stamp that on your brain; if you haven't allready smoked it away.
dgirl wrote on February 06, 2011
Polls are silly even if Elvis was number one. I'm sure if he was, the folks saying this poll is ridiculous would then be praising it. Rolling Stone was born in 1967, in the dire Elvis years. For him to even show in this poll is saying something , especially since MJ just died and he isnt even listed. But what about about Buddy Holly? As oldschudder said Elvis is tne only 50's artist to appear. In years to come as other stars pass away, I'm sure Elvis will drop in the top 10 or be gone forever. Such is the way of polls & people's recall of who their favorites are.