Reggae The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time  

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105.9k votes 9.1k voters 341.1k views 210 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. 
list ordered by

1
2,184 624
The Specials is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
New Wave, 2 Tone, Ska punk

2
1,650 581
The Skatalites is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Ska, Reggae, Rocksteady

3
1,667 615
Madness is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
New Wave, 2 Tone, Pop music

4
1,032 286
Toots & the Maytals is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Ska, Reggae, Rocksteady

5
1,239 490
Desmond Dekker is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Ska, Reggae, Rocksteady

6
1,643 734
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
1,145 516
The Slackers is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time

8
1,289 686
Operation Ivy is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Ska punk, Punk rock, Hardcore punk

9
922 381
Jimmy Cliff is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Ska, Reggae

10
951 409
The Selecter is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
OneontaSka added New Wave, Ska

11
878 370
The Beat is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
WallyZialcita added New Wave, 2 Tone, Pop music

12
1,799 1,030
Reel Big Fish is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Ska punk, Third-wave of ska, Ska

13
1,193 454
Hepcat is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Ska, Rocksteady

14
1,136 446
The Toasters is listed (or ranked) 14 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

15
1,039 397
Bad Manners is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
2 Tone, Ska

16
618 142
Prince Buster is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
JeffreyBryson added Blue Beat, Ska, Reggae

17
777 296
The Aggrolites is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
OneontaSka added Ska, Reggae, Soul music

18
1,452 802
Streetlight Manifesto is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Ska punk, Third-wave of ska, Ska

19
1,351 740
Less Than Jake is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Pop punk, Ska punk, Third-wave of ska

20
823 632
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
777 323
Laurel Aitken is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Jean-marieGerard added Ska, Reggae, Rocksteady

22
661 278
Derrick Morgan is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Blue Beat, Ska, Reggae

23
1,173 652
Rancid is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Pop punk, Ska punk, Street punk

24
1,298 819
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
800 482
The Pietasters is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Ska punk, Ska, Rocksteady

26
760 469
Voodoo Glow Skulls is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Ska punk, Third-wave of ska, Ska

27
617 267
Alton Ellis is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Ska, Reggae, Rocksteady

28
853 353
Fishbone is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Heavy metal, Reggae fusion, Hard rock

29
758 579
Big D and the Kids Table is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Ska punk, Ska, Reggae

30
565 421
Skankin' Pickle is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Ska punk, Ska, Rock music

31
406 171
Lee Perry is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time

32
732 489
Mustard Plug is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Ska punk, Third-wave of ska, Ska

33
800 570
Goldfinger is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Pop punk, Ska punk, Alternative rock

34
467 382
The Interrupters is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
OneontaSka added

35
382 108
English Beat is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
tmcandrews3 added

36
633 464
The Suicide Machines is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Ska punk, Punk rock, Hardcore punk

37
717 539
Save Ferris is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Ska punk

38
643 491
Catch 22 is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Ska punk, Third-wave of ska, Ska

39
899 427
The Aquabats is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Pop punk, Synthpop, New Wave

40
612 264
Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Ska, Japanese ska, Jazz

41
386 218
Delroy Wilson is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Ska, Reggae, Rocksteady

42
414 390
The Planet Smashers is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
OllieRocksteady added Ska punk, Third-wave of ska, Punk rock

43
453 239
New York Ska-Jazz Ensemble is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time

44
316 235
Dance Hall Crashers is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Pop punk, Ska punk

45
480 334
Mephiskapheles is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
behessel added Ska punk, Ska

46
458 400
Buck-O-Nine is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Ska punk, Third-wave of ska, Ska

47
395 289
Bim Skala Bim is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Ska punk, Third-wave of ska, Ska

48
672 721
No Doubt is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Pop punk, New Wave, Pop music

49
244 213
Los Fabulosos Cadillacs is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
rex-fett added Ska, Rock music, Folk music

50
303 253
The Scofflaws is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
OneontaSka added Ska