The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time

34k votes 3.2k voters 250k views 153 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. 
Collection Photo:  via wikimedia
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  1. 1
    + 892
    - 220

    the people's #1 & most listed
    New Wave, 2 Tone, Ska punk

    ;
  2. 2
    + 576
    - 156


    Ska, Reggae, Rocksteady

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  3. 3
    + 671
    - 182


    New Wave, 2 Tone, Pop music

    ;
  4. 4
    + 673
    - 204


    Noise rock, Ska punk, Third-wave of ska

    ;
  5. 5
    + 557
    - 156


    Ska punk, Punk rock, Hardcore punk

    ;
  6. 6
    + 437
    - 161


    Ska, Reggae, Rocksteady

    ;
  7. 7
    + 620
    - 282


    Ska punk, Third-wave of ska, Ska

    ;
  8. 8
    + 464
    - 187


    Ska

    ;
  9. 9
    + 753
    - 341


    Ska punk, Third-wave of ska, Ska

    ;
  10. 10
    + 469
    - 139

    ranked low on reranks & added by fatherrhyme
    2 Tone, Pop music, Ska punk Ska, 2-Tone, Dub, 3rd wave ska

    ;
  11. 11
    + 444
    - 191


    Ska punk, Ska, Rocksteady

    ;
  12. 12
    + 543
    - 266


    Pop punk, Ska punk, Third-wave of ska

    ;
  13. 13
    + 459
    - 195


    Pop punk, Ska punk, Street punk

    ;
  14. 14
    + 344
    - 116


    Ska, Reggae

    ;
  15. 15
    + 383
    - 157


    Ska, Rocksteady

    ;
  16. 16
    + 305
    - 183

    often listed & added by fatherrhyme
    Ska punk, Punk rock Ska, Ska Punk, Reggae, Punk Rock, Pop Punk

    ;
  17. 17
    + 390
    - 132


    2 Tone, Ska

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  18. 18
    + 139
    - 26


    Ska, Reggae, Rocksteady

    ;
  19. 19
    + 340
    - 138


    Ska punk, Third-wave of ska, Ska

    ;
  20. 20
    + 254
    - 68

    added by OneontaSka
    Ska, Reggae, Soul music

    ;
  21. 21
    + 316
    - 117

    added by WallyZialcita
    New Wave, 2 Tone, Pop music

    ;
  22. 22
    + 554
    - 334


    Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Rock music

    ;
  23. 23
    + 207
    - 81


    Blue Beat, Ska, Reggae

    ;
  24. 24
    + 290
    - 178


    Ska punk, Ska, Reggae

    ;
  25. 25
    + 275
    - 113


    Ska punk, Third-wave of ska, Ska

    ;
  26. 26
    + 270
    - 155


    Ska punk, Third-wave of ska, Ska

    ;
  27. 27
    + 258
    - 131


    Ska punk, Punk rock, Hardcore punk

    ;
  28. 28
    + 315
    - 195


    Pop punk, Ska punk, Alternative rock

    ;
  29. 29
    + 250
    - 129

    added by OneontaSka
    New Wave, Ska

    ;
  30. 30
    + 228
    - 142


    Ska punk, Ska, Rock music

    ;
  31. 31
    + 293
    - 173


    Ska punk

    ;
  32. 32
    + 198
    - 74


    Ska, Reggae, Rocksteady

    ;
  33. 33
    + 203
    - 96

    added by Jean-marieGerard
    Ska, Reggae, Rocksteady

    ;
  34. 34
    + 173
    - 112

    added by OllieRocksteady
    Ska punk, Third-wave of ska, Punk rock

    ;
  35. 35
    + 201
    - 137


    Ska punk, Third-wave of ska, Ska

    ;
  36. 36
    + 225
    - 84

    ranked low on reranks & added by behessel
    Ska punk, Ska

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  37. 37
    + 125
    - 66


    Ska, Reggae, Rocksteady

    ;
  38. 38
    + 216
    - 146

    added by OneontaSka

    ;
  39. 39
    + 106
    - 96

    added by OneontaSka

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  40. 40
    + 334
    - 111

    ranked low on reranks
    Heavy metal, Reggae fusion, Hard rock

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  41. 41
    + 215
    - 210


    Disco, Pop music, Third-wave of ska

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  42. 42
    + 251
    - 252


    Pop punk, New Wave, Pop music

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  43. 43
    + 51
    - 17


    Pop punk, Ska punk

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  44. 44
    + 85
    - 107
    The Allstonians is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time

    added by RightOn
    Ska, Reggae

  45. 45
    + 319
    - 136

    ranked low on reranks
    Pop punk, Synthpop, New Wave

    ;
  46. 46
    + 88
    - 99

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Ska punk, Ska, Punk rock

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  47. 47
    + 136
    - 171

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Ska punk, Third-wave of ska, Ska

    ;
  48. 48
    + 154
    - 182

    often listed
    Christian punk, Ska punk, Third-wave of ska

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  49. 49
    + 119
    - 75
    The Scofflaws is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time

    added by OneontaSka
    Ska

  50. 50
    + 163
    - 109
    Inspecter 7 is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time

    ranked low on reranks & added by OneontaSka
    Ska

154 +

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