Reggae The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time  

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108.2k votes 9.5k voters 356.3k views 207 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. 
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list ordered by
1
2,254 651
The Specials is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
New Wave, 2 Tone, Ska punk
2
1,676 613
The Skatalites is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Ska, Reggae, Rocksteady
3
1,728 650
Madness is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
New Wave, 2 Tone, Pop music
4
1,065 308
Toots & the Maytals is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Ska, Reggae, Rocksteady
5
1,262 507
Desmond Dekker is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Ska, Reggae, Rocksteady
6
1,695 758
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Noise rock, Ska punk, Third-wave of ska
7
1,328 703
Operation Ivy is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Ska punk, Punk rock, Hardcore punk
8
1,873 1,051
Reel Big Fish is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Ska punk, Third-wave of ska, Ska
9
1,168 536
The Slackers is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
10
922 385
The Beat is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
WallyZialcita added New Wave, 2 Tone, Pop music
11
982 424
The Selecter is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
OneontaSka added New Wave, Ska
12
949 398
Jimmy Cliff is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Ska, Reggae
13
1,214 468
Hepcat is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Ska, Rocksteady
14
1,070 409
Bad Manners is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
2 Tone, Ska
15
1,163 458
The Toasters is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
fatherrhyme added 2 Tone, Pop music, Ska punk
Ska, 2-Tone, Dub, 3rd wave ska
16
1,501 812
Streetlight Manifesto is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Ska punk, Third-wave of ska, Ska
17
1,407 749
Less Than Jake is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Pop punk, Ska punk, Third-wave of ska
18
795 306
The Aggrolites is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
OneontaSka added Ska, Reggae, Soul music
19
638 153
Prince Buster is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
JeffreyBryson added Blue Beat, Ska, Reggae
20
846 643
Mad Caddies is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
fatherrhyme added Ska punk, Punk rock
Ska, Ska Punk, Reggae, Punk Rock, Pop Punk
21
788 329
Laurel Aitken is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Jean-marieGerard added Ska, Reggae, Rocksteady
22
668 285
Derrick Morgan is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Blue Beat, Ska, Reggae
23
1,217 664
Rancid is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Pop punk, Ska punk, Street punk
24
1,362 837
Sublime is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Rock music
25
820 489
The Pietasters is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Ska punk, Ska, Rocksteady