Who are the Greatest Of All Time? We're going on a G.O.A.T hunt...

(Image credit: Future)


We're going on a GOAT hunt.

Fusing cutting-edge science• and the ever-reliable power of democracy**, we aim to discover who you, the MusicRadar user, consider the best of the best players, definitively the Greatest Of All Time.

In the next few weeks you'll be asked to vote in a series of polls to find, first of all, the top players from the '60s/'70s, '80s/'90s and '00s/'10s. We'll then run the top names from each group off against each other before crowning your ultimate GOATs. 

Our primary targets will be singers, guitarists, drummers, bassists and keyboard players, but there will be a few other categories along the way, just to really fill out the sound. And at the end of it all, we aim to build the greatest band of all time, Frankenstein-style.

What could possibly go wrong?

We'll keep this page updated with the results as they come in. 

On guitar...

Who is the guitar GOAT? Vote now!

• The greatest guitarists pre-1980 revealed 

The greatest guitarists pre-2000 revealed

The greatest guitarists 2001-2021 revealed

On drums...

Drum GOAT crowned!

The 30 greatest drummers of all time - ranked

• The greatest pre-1980s drummers

• The greatest '80-'99 drummers

The greatest drummers of the 21st century

Neil Peart

(Image credit: Clayton Call / Getty)

On bass...

Bass GOAT crowned!

The 30 greatest bassists of all time - ranked

The greatest pre-1980s bassists

The greatest bassists 1980-'99

The greatest bassists of the 21st Century

On keys...

Keys GOAT crowned!

The greatest keyboard players of all time - ranked

The greatest pre-1980s keyboard players

The greatest keyboard players 1980-'99

The greatest keyboard players of the 21st Century

*Not science **It does work sometimes


What makes the best the best? 

While drawing up our shortlists, we've considered a mix of factors including, but not limited to, influence and innovation in their specific sphere, cultural impact and, yes, chops. In terms of dates when dividing the polls into years we've attempted to place artists at their creative and commercial peaks.

We also apologise in advance for leaning into the world of popular music since the '50s, broadly meaning the whole spectrum of rock, rhythm and blues, prog, soul and the rest. 

You will find jazz titans in the mix, but they're arguably under-represented, and your classical maestros will doubtless feel aggrieved. Sorry about that.


Please file this GOAT Hunt under the category A Bit Of Fun. We're here to celebrate the musicians that have inspired generations and continue to influence the very best music made today. 

While ranking them is - if you insist on being serious about it - reductive and stupid, we're going to do it anyway. Just for fun. And along the way, we're going to showcase the best of the best. 

Bring on the GOATs.


MusicRadar is the number one website for music-makers of all kinds, be they guitarists, drummers, keyboard players, DJs or producers...

  • GEAR: We help musicians find the best gear with top-ranking gear round-ups and high-quality, authoritative reviews by a wide team of highly experienced experts.
  • TIPS: We also provide tuition, from bite-sized tips to advanced work-outs and guidance from recognised musicians and stars.
  • STARS: We talk to musicians and stars about their creative processes, and the nuts and bolts of their gear and technique. We give fans an insight into the craft of music-making that no other music website can.