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.
First up, drummers. Happy hunting!
The results so far
*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.