music The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time  

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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. 
list ordered by

1
1,893 554
The Specials is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
The Specials New Wave, 2 Tone, Ska punk

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2
1,525 499
The Skatalites is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
The Skatalites Ska, Reggae, Rocksteady

3
1,484 562
Madness is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Madness New Wave, 2 Tone, Pop music

4
947 234
Toots & the Maytals is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Toots & the Maytals Ska, Reggae, Rocksteady

5
1,167 448
Desmond Dekker is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Desmond Dekker Ska, Reggae, Rocksteady

6
1,089 468
The Slackers is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time

7
862 338
Jimmy Cliff is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Jimmy Cliff Ska, Reggae

8
1,479 678
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones Noise rock, Ska punk, Third-wave of ska

9
1,210 647
Operation Ivy is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Operation Ivy Ska punk, Punk rock, Hardcore punk

10
1,158 421
Hepcat is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Hepcat Ska, Rocksteady

11
876 378
The Selecter is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
OneontaSka added The Selecter New Wave, Ska

12
1,608 986
Reel Big Fish is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Reel Big Fish Ska punk, Third-wave of ska, Ska

13
773 345
The Beat is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
WallyZialcita added The Beat New Wave, 2 Tone, Pop music

14
971 372
Bad Manners is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Bad Manners 2 Tone, Ska

15
1,067 423
The Toasters is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
fatherrhyme added The Toasters 2 Tone, Pop music, Ska punk - Ska, 2-Tone, Dub, 3rd wave ska

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16
750 269
The Aggrolites is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
OneontaSka added The Aggrolites Ska, Reggae, Soul music

17
570 120
Prince Buster is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
JeffreyBryson added Prince Buster Blue Beat, Ska, Reggae

18
772 599
Mad Caddies is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
fatherrhyme added Mad Caddies Ska punk, Punk rock - Ska, Ska Punk, Reggae, Punk Rock, Pop Punk

19
1,327 770
Streetlight Manifesto is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Streetlight Manifesto Ska punk, Third-wave of ska, Ska

20
1,218 711
Less Than Jake is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Less Than Jake Pop punk, Ska punk, Third-wave of ska

21
639 259
Derrick Morgan is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Derrick Morgan Blue Beat, Ska, Reggae

22
738 302
Laurel Aitken is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Jean-marieGerard added Laurel Aitken Ska, Reggae, Rocksteady

23
1,076 623
Rancid is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Rancid Pop punk, Ska punk, Street punk

24
768 461
The Pietasters is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
The Pietasters Ska punk, Ska, Rocksteady

25
721 447
Voodoo Glow Skulls is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Voodoo Glow Skulls Ska punk, Third-wave of ska, Ska

26
1,147 781
Sublime is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Sublime Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Rock music

27
596 252
Alton Ellis is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Alton Ellis Ska, Reggae, Rocksteady

28
723 553
Big D and the Kids Table is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Big D and the Kids Table Ska punk, Ska, Reggae

29
787 332
Fishbone is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Fishbone Heavy metal, Reggae fusion, Hard rock

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30
531 403
Skankin' Pickle is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Skankin' Pickle Ska punk, Ska, Rock music

31
683 465
Mustard Plug is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Mustard Plug Ska punk, Third-wave of ska, Ska

32
377 157
Lee Perry is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time

33
732 550
Goldfinger is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Goldfinger Pop punk, Ska punk, Alternative rock

34
607 442
The Suicide Machines is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
The Suicide Machines Ska punk, Punk rock, Hardcore punk

35
667 514
Save Ferris is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Save Ferris Ska punk

36
408 368
The Interrupters is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
OneontaSka added The Interrupters

37
596 475
Catch 22 is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Catch 22 Ska punk, Third-wave of ska, Ska

38
591 249
Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra Ska, Japanese ska, Jazz

39
847 410
The Aquabats is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
The Aquabats Pop punk, Synthpop, New Wave

40
299 97
English Beat is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
tmcandrews3 added English Beat

41
372 211
Delroy Wilson is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Delroy Wilson Ska, Reggae, Rocksteady

42
399 382
The Planet Smashers is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
OllieRocksteady added The Planet Smashers Ska punk, Third-wave of ska, Punk rock

43
440 229
New York Ska-Jazz Ensemble is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time

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44
459 322
Mephiskapheles is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
behessel added Mephiskapheles Ska punk, Ska

45
292 229
Dance Hall Crashers is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Dance Hall Crashers Pop punk, Ska punk

46
431 387
Buck-O-Nine is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Buck-O-Nine Ska punk, Third-wave of ska, Ska

47
374 281
Bim Skala Bim is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Bim Skala Bim Ska punk, Third-wave of ska, Ska

48
611 670
No Doubt is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
No Doubt Pop punk, New Wave, Pop music

49
200 308
The Allstonians is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
RightOn added The Allstonians Ska, Reggae

50
230 202
Los Fabulosos Cadillacs is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
rex-fett added Los Fabulosos Cadillacs Ska, Rock music, Folk music