by Jessica Lapidos on
Music is just about the ultimate sensory satisfaction. The songs that enliven your soul are created by gods of rock that don’t dare stop at the auditory; the sensation is full faceted. They may not call it fashion, but the greatest bands on the planet know in their blood that how they look helps drive the succes of the music itself. That way, when chicks like me are getting their groove on in the audience, we’re dancing with the pure sexiness on the stage before us – sound, body and soul. Here are the 10 bands* that do it best; fusing their sound to their clothes, dressed the way they rock.
*Bands. No solo acts were considered for this list. Or we all know Bowie would be up here.
#10 - NIRVANA
Kurt Cobain embodies the grunge revolution of the nineties. He synced the music to the laying low layered baggy flannel I-couldn’t-care-less look. It was an anti-fashion statement, a call to his own philosophy with reckless comfort, and thus it became fashion.
#9 – GUNS N ROSES
Of the glam metal hair bands that existed in thick of the eighties, Axel Rose and his lusciously locked bandmates were some of the most authentic in the genre. Their punk tinged solid rocker look made their shaggy manes manly. Power leather, head banging bandanas, faded shrunken graphic tees and hand cut effects complement their genuine rockstar songs.
#8 THE KILLERS
The intrinsic cool of Brandon Flowers emanates throughout The Killers. They create the kind of music that so easily sounds contrived when attempted by others, and the same goes for their look. Their polished quality with major statement, like feather shoulders or fur jackets, embodies both music and style in the best light.
#7 – OUTKAST
Big Boi keeps it hood. André 3000 blasts it into the future while tossing around a twenties vibe. He raised his waistline when no one else did and created mayhem with his look in “Hey Ya!” Their music is as smooth and superfast-paced as their appearance.
#6 – THE CLASH
As key players in the original wave of British punk, their shredded, zipped and right tight aesthetic weighed heavily in the formation of the genre. Their politically driven lyrics are backed by their F-you look and general badassery.
#5 – MGMT
This psych rock group from the here and now is a major reason that American Apparel stocked its shelves with blinding neon. Their exceptional style leads Andrew VanWyngarden and Benjamin Goldwasser to experimentation and wild inspiration. For instance, on their website a fan asks, “What inspired the fashion choice for Lolla[palooza] in Grant Park? You looked pretty hot in those jackets. (In every sense of the word.) Amazing.” Andrew’s answer? Quite amazing indeed.
#4 – LED ZEPPELIN
Gah, it’s effortless. The unbuttoned bare chested sexiness of Robert Plant is only upped by the fur collared leather trench of John Bohnam, complemented by the multi-tonal jacket on John Paul Jones and completed by Jimmy Page‘s slick tweed. Their ever present style had the same air as their music; the loudest, most soulful wails and riffs and rips always rode the chillest undercurrent.
#3 – JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE
Jimi Hendrix dressed like the psychedelic royalty he was. Purple and mind altering patterns enwrapped him as he lit guitars on fire, shredded it with his teeth, and as LSD dripped down from the scarf tied around his head (allegedly). The Experience was a spectacle; heady music enhanced tenfold by the showmanship of Hendrix.
#2 – THE ROLLING STONES
The Stones are the greatest vaudeville act of all time, never ceasing. Clothing slings on their rockstar bodies with ease, as does some of the greatest rock and roll ever performed pour out of them. They started out, much like The Beatles and every early British Invasion band thereafter in straight suits and matching haircuts. With time and money they evolved into wearing spectacle-worthy designer pieces like Mick Jagger’s Prada cock feather fedora or these pants. Keith Richards sparked the eyeliner earringed look that Johnny Depp so famously adopted for Captain Jack Sparrow. Undeniable sex appeal lies as much in their music as in style of larger than life, gender bending (yet deeply masculine) cool. And they’re still at it now.
#1 – THE BEATLES
The boys who brought rock and roll to the masses went through a series of evolutions in their seven years as a band. They began clean cut and mop topped, singing sweet yet earth shaking songs of holding hands, sharing secrets, twisting and shouting above the echoing shrieks and screams of crazed fans across the globe. Always the epitome of class, they experimented with the finest suiting in the world, and it was Pierre Cardin who introduced them to the Indian Nehru jacket. Once they receded from the touring spotlight, they blossomed further as style icons. Sgt. Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour brought psychedelia to the forefront with neon military regalia, wild paisleys, beads, thin chains, moustaches and acid. Onto The White Album, which they wrote most of while practicing transcendental meditation in an ashram, they developed further spiritually and grew into newer versions of themselves. John Lennon was looking more like Jesus every day, and solidifying his round spectacle staple. Paul McCartney kept charmingly classy, now paring back the brights. George Harrison grew ever more spiritual, keeping a relaxed finery about him. Ringo was actually the most fashionably daring of the four, hamming up the giant rings and divinely accessorizing. The Beatles were indisputable trendsetters as their image and sound transformed through time, transforming the world around them.