The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time Bands/Musicians

The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time

32,711 votes 2,863 voters 228,406 views 152 items tags f p @

People may not realize this, but ska music originated in Jamaica in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Ska music's influence ranges beyond ska bands. Without ska music, genres like reggae and rocksteady may not have come to be. The ska beat is heavily influenced by American R&B music and has grown into one of the most popular standalone musical genres. It is also one of the most distinct - famous ska bands are rarely confused as being from another genre. The best ska bands are some of the most popular in the world due to the eclectic sound and the diverse instruments used in shaping the music. Ska bands had a surge in popularity in the 1990s with albums like Sell Out (Reel Big Fish) and Super Rad! (The Aquabats) taking over the radio waves. This is the era where some of the best ska bands emerged and haven't let up since.

So, what are the best ska bands? Any list of ska bands has to include names like Reel Big Fish, Streetlight Manifesto, The Specials, Less Than Jake, Goldfinger, the Aquabats and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. These bands are widely considered some of the best in the genre and with good reason. With some of the best ska songs, exciting live shows and a sound that encapsulates the best of what ska music has to offer, there's no doubt that these bands are rightfully considered at or near the top of the list of ska bands.

That said, it's up to to you to determine what are the best ska bands. If you notice that a ska band is missing from this list, feel free to add them. This list answers the questions "who are the best ska bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest ska musician ever?" If you know enough about the genre, please vote based on the quality of the band's music instead of just voting for the most popular ska bands that you might've heard of. 


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  1. 1
    + 819
    - 198

    the people's #1 & most listed
    Specials, Ghost Town, In the Studio

    ;
  2. 2
    + 544
    - 136


    Ball of Fire, Lucky Seven, In Orbit

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  3. 3
    + 592
    - 168


    Our House: the Original Songs, The Rise & Fall, One Step Beyond…

    ;
  4. 4
    + 625
    - 187


    Let's Face It, Question the Answers, Live From the Middle East

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  5. 5
    + 410
    - 146


    The Harder They Come, Israelites, This Is Desmond Dekkar

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  6. 6
    + 512
    - 140


    Lint Rides Again, Energy, Plea for Peace

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  7. 7
    + 437
    - 175


    Peculiar, Slackness, Close My Eyes

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  8. 8
    + 550
    - 268


    Somewhere in the Between, Everything Goes Numb, 99 Songs of Revolution: ...

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  9. 9
    + 432
    - 123

    ranked low on reranks & added by fatherrhyme
    Dub 56, Skaboom!, Don't Let the Bastards Grind You Down Ska, 2-Tone, Dub, 3rd wave ska

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  10. 10
    + 427
    - 178


    Oolooloo, Willis, All Day

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  11. 11
    + 672
    - 322


    Everything Sucks, Cheer Up!, Turn the Radio Off

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  12. 12
    + 363
    - 144


    Out of Nowhere, Right on Time, Scientific

    ;
  13. 13
    + 315
    - 104


    The Harder They Come, Jimmy Cliff, Many Rivers to Cross

    ;
  14. 14
    + 412
    - 172


    …and Out Come the Wolves, Let's Go, Indestructible

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  15. 15
    + 498
    - 253


    Hello Rockview, Pezcore, GNV FLA

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  16. 16
    + 114
    - 16


    The Harder They Come, Funky Kingston, Sweet and Dandy: the Best of Toots ...

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  17. 17
    + 364
    - 121


    Stupidity, Gosh It's... Bad Manners, Mental Notes

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  18. 18
    + 235
    - 61

    added by OneontaSka
    Dirty Reggae, The Aggrolites, IV

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  19. 19
    + 280
    - 174

    often listed & added by fatherrhyme
    Just One More, Quality Soft Core, Duck and Cover Ska, Ska Punk, Reggae, Punk Rock, Pop Punk

    ;
  20. 20
    + 282
    - 114

    added by WallyZialcita
    I Just Can't Stop It, What Is Beat?, Special Beat Service

    ;
  21. 21
    + 201
    - 76


    Seven Letters, I Am the Ruler, Moon Hop

    ;
  22. 22
    + 501
    - 319


    Sublime: 10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition, 40oz. to Freedom, Sublime ...

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  23. 23
    + 308
    - 126

    ranked low on reranks
    Pray for Mojo, Big Daddy Multitude, Skapocalypse Now!

    ;
  24. 24
    + 272
    - 167


    Porch Life, Shot by Lammi, How It Goes

    ;
  25. 25
    + 248
    - 105


    The Potty Training Years, Symbolic, Baile de los Locos

    ;
  26. 26
    + 191
    - 70


    Mr Soul of Jamaica, Cry Tough, Sunday Coming

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  27. 27
    + 221
    - 125

    added by OneontaSka
    Out on the Streets, Celebrate the Bullet, Street Feeling

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  28. 28
    + 194
    - 94

    added by Jean-marieGerard
    The Pioneer of Jamaican Music, Godfather of Ska, Volume 3

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  29. 29
    + 246
    - 149


    Keasbey Nights, Alone in a Crowd, Washed Up and Through the Ringer!

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  30. 30
    + 236
    - 123


    Battle Hymns, War Profiteering Is Killing Us All, A Match and Some ...

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  31. 31
    + 285
    - 183


    Stomping Ground, Teen Beef, Open Your Eyes

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  32. 32
    + 212
    - 133


    Sing Along With Skankin' Pickle, Skankin' Pickle Fever, Skafunkrastapunk ...

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  33. 33
    + 265
    - 166


    It Means Everything, Introducing... Save Ferris, Modified

    ;
  34. 34
    + 163
    - 110

    added by OllieRocksteady
    Mighty, No Self Control, Life of the Party

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  35. 35
    + 120
    - 64


    Better Must Come - The Anthology, 20 Super Hits, Captivity

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  36. 36
    + 214
    - 145

    added by OneontaSka
    Dirty Jersey!, Blood, Sweat

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  37. 37
    + 207
    - 208

    Ranked High on Reranks
    Rump Shaker, Dance Like Nobody's Watching, Origin Edition

    ;
  38. 38
    + 185
    - 133


    Twenty-Eight Teeth, Songs in the Key of Bree, Sustain

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  39. 39
    + 314
    - 109

    ranked low on reranks
    Truth and Soul, The Reality of My Surroundings, It's a Wonderful Life

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  40. 40
    + 84
    - 105

    often listed & added by RightOn
    Go You!, The Allston Beat, Bottoms Up!

  41. 41
    + 229
    - 242

    often listed
    Tragic Kingdom, Rock Steady, Icon

    ;
  42. 42
    + 94
    - 94

    often listed & added by OneontaSka
    Family, Liberty, The Interrupters

    ;
  43. 43
    + 298
    - 133

    ranked low on reranks
    The Aquabats! vs. The Floating Eye of Death!, Punk Goes Metal, The Fury of ...

    ;
  44. 44
    + 116
    - 74

    added by OneontaSka
    Live! Volume 1, Ska in Hi-Fi, The Scofflaws

  45. 45
    + 160
    - 109

    added by OneontaSka
    ... The Infamous, Banished to Bogeyland

  46. 46
    + 211
    - 83

    ranked low on reranks & added by behessel
    God Bless Satan, Maximum Perversion, Might-Ay White-Ay

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  47. 47
    + 107
    - 109


    No Gods, No Managers, Crack Rock Steady / Squatta's Paradise

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  48. 48
    + 123
    - 166


    Soul Caddy, Ferociously Stoned, Kids on the Street

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  49. 49
    + 83
    - 87


    Destroy What Destroys You, All Fall Down, 24 Hour Roadside Resistance

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  50. 50
    + 67
    - 74


    Radiodread, Dubber Side of the Moon, Dub Side of the Moon

    ;
153 +

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