Reggae The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time  

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104.9k votes 8.9k voters 332.4k 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
2,148 609
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
1,631 562
The Skatalites is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
The Skatalites Ska, Reggae, Rocksteady

3
1,631 607
Madness is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Madness New Wave, 2 Tone, Pop music

4
1,020 274
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
1,228 482
Desmond Dekker is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Desmond Dekker Ska, Reggae, Rocksteady

6
1,616 725
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
1,135 508
The Slackers is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time

8
1,277 678
Operation Ivy is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Operation Ivy Ska punk, Punk rock, Hardcore punk

9
914 375
Jimmy Cliff is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Jimmy Cliff Ska, Reggae

10
935 401
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
1,186 448
Hepcat is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Hepcat Ska, Rocksteady

12
853 365
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
1,763 1,028
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
1,121 442
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

15
1,023 393
Bad Manners is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Bad Manners 2 Tone, Ska

16
612 138
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
773 292
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
1,422 798
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
1,327 736
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
811 629
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
769 319
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

22
660 272
Derrick Morgan is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Derrick Morgan Blue Beat, Ska, Reggae

23
1,155 649
Rancid is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Rancid Pop punk, Ska punk, Street punk

24
1,270 815
Sublime is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Sublime Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Rock music

25
793 480
The Pietasters is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
The Pietasters Ska punk, Ska, Rocksteady

26
752 464
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
614 263
Alton Ellis is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Alton Ellis Ska, Reggae, Rocksteady

28
841 350
Fishbone is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Fishbone Heavy metal, Reggae fusion, Hard rock

29
751 575
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
559 418
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
403 167
Lee Perry is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time

32
719 486
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
788 568
Goldfinger is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Goldfinger Pop punk, Ska punk, Alternative rock

34
630 460
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
449 379
The Interrupters is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
OneontaSka added The Interrupters

36
362 105
English Beat is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
tmcandrews3 added English Beat

37
708 537
Save Ferris is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Save Ferris Ska punk

38
632 489
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
892 425
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
606 262
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
385 218
Delroy Wilson is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Delroy Wilson Ska, Reggae, Rocksteady

42
411 389
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
451 238
New York Ska-Jazz Ensemble is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time

44
479 333
Mephiskapheles is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
behessel added Mephiskapheles Ska punk, Ska

45
314 235
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
453 399
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
391 289
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
662 710
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
241 213
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
208 317
The Allstonians is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
RightOn added The Allstonians Ska, Reggae