Several regular readers have asked why I haven't yet used my Mt. Rushmore series to declare the four bands I'd enshrine. Music geek that I am, it's a very reasonable question. But one glaring problem prevents me from carving four bands - from any genre - into granite. Personnel changes.
Aside from the Beatles (who would clearly be on the mountain) and the Police (a solid contender), the few other bands that remained the same through their entire recording history don't meet my Mt. Rushmore standards. I realize that statement is apostasy to Led Zeppelin fans on the bell curve; oh well. If it's any consolation, I also discounted the Four Tops - possibly the all time record holder for an intact unit - albeit for a different reason than Zep; the Tops didn't play instruments. Call me a musical snob if you must; I've heard worse.
It's actually quite hard to build this particular iteration of the monument not allowing for personnel changes. Even the venerable Modern Jazz Quartet - who BTW would clearly supersede Zeppelin or the Four Tops on my mountain - changed drummers early in their history. If I allowed exceptions for the death of original members - which I'm not doing - the Who also would have had a slot before Jimmy, Robert, John & John - has any quartet in history ever had less interesting names than Zeppelin? At least the Beatles had Ringo, even if his given name is Richard - and Levi (now there's a name!) and his three pals.
My exacting standards aside, feel free to share your version of Rushmore with four bands you feel worthy. I'm still thinking.