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Beatles or Stones? Where do you weigh in on rock’s great debate?

At least 50,000 rock music fans will flock to Ralph Wilson Stadium on Saturday night for the Rolling Stones, a group that has been killing audiences for more than 50 years. Many consider the Stones to be the greatest rock band of all time.

I’ll be there, too – my sixth time seeing the Stones. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and the boys are brilliant. And I can’t wait to see them play their unique blend of nasty, sardonic rock and classic blues.

But do I think the Stones are the best rock band ever?

Absolutely not.

In my book, that title belongs to the Beatles, a band that broke up 45 years ago and still sells millions of recordings each year.

Beatles or Stones; who is better?

It’s been the great debate among classic rock fans for decades, especially among those of us who grew up in the 1960s, when both bands were young. I’m sure that I am not the only Buffalo rock fan who will pick up the debate again on Saturday while knocking back a few beers at tailgate bashes before the big show.

I understand why some people favor the Stones. Their longevity and staying power are amazing, especially in comparison to the Beatles, a group that broke up after less than a decade together.

In the late ’60s and early ’70s, the Stones put together a string of four straight albums – Beggars Banquet, Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers and Exile On Main Street – that hasn’t been touched by any band.

But the Beatles were the greatest musical innovators of the 20th century, and perhaps any century. They completely changed the face of popular music. With the help of producer George Martin, they used orchestras, sitars, synthesizers and other instruments to turn rock albums into works of art. They influenced other bands, young people and popular culture in a positive way that no entertainer has ever surpassed. Forty-five years after their breakup, their unforgettable music is played every day on radio stations all over the world.

So long live the Stones, but they will never top the Beatles.

What do you think?

Who was the greatest band ever?


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