Reggae 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
2,160 614
The Specials is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
New Wave, 2 Tone, Ska punk

2
1,639 567
The Skatalites is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Ska, Reggae, Rocksteady

3
1,643 609
Madness is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
New Wave, 2 Tone, Pop music

4
1,024 274
Toots & the Maytals is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Ska, Reggae, Rocksteady

5
1,230 482
Desmond Dekker is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Ska, Reggae, Rocksteady

6
1,620 725
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
1,137 509
The Slackers is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time

8
1,278 679
Operation Ivy is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Ska punk, Punk rock, Hardcore punk

9
917 375
Jimmy Cliff is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Ska, Reggae

10
941 401
The Selecter is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
OneontaSka added New Wave, Ska

11
1,189 448
Hepcat is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Ska, Rocksteady

12
860 365
The Beat is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
WallyZialcita added New Wave, 2 Tone, Pop music

13
1,772 1,028
Reel Big Fish is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Ska punk, Third-wave of ska, Ska

14
1,124 442
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
1,028 393
Bad Manners is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
2 Tone, Ska

16
613 138
Prince Buster is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
JeffreyBryson added 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 Ska, Reggae, Soul music

18
1,427 799
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
1,332 736
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
812 629
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
770 319
Laurel Aitken is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Jean-marieGerard added Ska, Reggae, Rocksteady

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

23
1,159 649
Rancid is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Pop punk, Ska punk, Street punk

24
1,277 815
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
793 480
The Pietasters is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Ska punk, Ska, Rocksteady

26
753 464
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
614 263
Alton Ellis is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Ska, Reggae, Rocksteady

28
843 350
Fishbone is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Heavy metal, Reggae fusion, Hard rock

29
752 575
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
560 418
Skankin' Pickle is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Ska punk, Ska, Rock music

31
404 167
Lee Perry is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time

32
722 486
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
790 568
Goldfinger is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Pop punk, Ska punk, Alternative rock

34
632 460
The Suicide Machines is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Ska punk, Punk rock, Hardcore punk

35
457 379
The Interrupters is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
OneontaSka added

36
365 105
English Beat is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
tmcandrews3 added

37
711 537
Save Ferris is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Ska punk

38
635 489
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
895 425
The Aquabats is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Pop punk, Synthpop, New Wave

40
608 262
Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Ska, Japanese ska, Jazz

41
385 218
Delroy Wilson is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
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 Ska punk, Third-wave of ska, Punk rock

43
452 238
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 Ska punk, Ska

45
314 235
Dance Hall Crashers is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
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
Ska punk, Third-wave of ska, Ska

47
392 289
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
667 715
No Doubt is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
Pop punk, New Wave, Pop music

49
242 213
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
209 317
The Allstonians is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Ska Bands of All Time
RightOn added Ska, Reggae