Reggae The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time  

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104.4k votes 8.8k voters 328.6k views 211 items

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. 

1
2,130 605
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

2
1,626 556
The Skatalites is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
The Skatalites Ska, Reggae, Rocksteady

3
1,624 601
Madness is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Madness New Wave, 2 Tone, Pop music

4
1,013 269
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
1,224 479
Desmond Dekker is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Desmond Dekker Ska, Reggae, Rocksteady

6
1,602 719
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones Noise rock, Ska punk, Third-wave of ska

7
1,135 504
The Slackers is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time

8
911 370
Jimmy Cliff is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Jimmy Cliff Ska, Reggae

9
1,265 675
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
932 395
The Selecter is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
OneontaSka added The Selecter New Wave, Ska

11
1,183 444
Hepcat is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Hepcat Ska, Rocksteady

12
847 362
The Beat is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
WallyZialcita added The Beat New Wave, 2 Tone, Pop music

13
1,742 1,023
Reel Big Fish is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Reel Big Fish Ska punk, Third-wave of ska, Ska

14
1,118 439
The Toasters is listed (or ranked) 14 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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15
1,019 391
Bad Manners is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Bad Manners 2 Tone, Ska

16
610 136
Prince Buster is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
JeffreyBryson added Prince Buster Blue Beat, Ska, Reggae

17
772 290
The Aggrolites is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
OneontaSka added The Aggrolites Ska, Reggae, Soul music

18
1,417 795
Streetlight Manifesto is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Streetlight Manifesto Ska punk, Third-wave of ska, Ska

19
1,312 734
Less Than Jake is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Less Than Jake Pop punk, Ska punk, Third-wave of ska

20
807 625
Mad Caddies is listed (or ranked) 20 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

21
769 317
Laurel Aitken is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Jean-marieGerard added Laurel Aitken Ska, Reggae, Rocksteady

The Best Current Pop Groups/Singers

22
659 270
Derrick Morgan is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Derrick Morgan Blue Beat, Ska, Reggae

23
1,147 647
Rancid is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Rancid Pop punk, Ska punk, Street punk

24
789 477
The Pietasters is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
The Pietasters Ska punk, Ska, Rocksteady

25
1,257 811
Sublime is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Sublime Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Rock music

26
751 462
Voodoo Glow Skulls is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Voodoo Glow Skulls Ska punk, Third-wave of ska, Ska

27
613 261
Alton Ellis is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Alton Ellis Ska, Reggae, Rocksteady

28
838 347
Fishbone is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Fishbone Heavy metal, Reggae fusion, Hard rock

The Very Best Reggae Songs

29
749 572
Big D and the Kids Table is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Big D and the Kids Table Ska punk, Ska, Reggae

30
401 165
Lee Perry is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time

31
554 416
Skankin' Pickle is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Skankin' Pickle Ska punk, Ska, Rock music

32
715 484
Mustard Plug is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Mustard Plug Ska punk, Third-wave of ska, Ska

33
783 565
Goldfinger is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Goldfinger Pop punk, Ska punk, Alternative rock

34
628 458
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
444 377
The Interrupters is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
OneontaSka added The Interrupters

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36
707 533
Save Ferris is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Save Ferris Ska punk

37
356 104
English Beat is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
tmcandrews3 added English Beat

38
628 487
Catch 22 is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Catch 22 Ska punk, Third-wave of ska, Ska

39
888 424
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
602 261
Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra Ska, Japanese ska, Jazz

41
384 216
Delroy Wilson is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Delroy Wilson Ska, Reggae, Rocksteady

42
410 387
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

The Best Ska Punk Bands of All Time

43
450 236
New York Ska-Jazz Ensemble is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time

44
477 330
Mephiskapheles is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
behessel added Mephiskapheles Ska punk, Ska

45
313 233
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
449 397
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
389 287
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
659 706
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
241 211
Los Fabulosos Cadillacs is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
rex-fett added Los Fabulosos Cadillacs Ska, Rock music, Folk music

50
208 315
The Allstonians is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
RightOn added The Allstonians Ska, Reggae