Detroit is home to many of the greatest recording artists ever, so the question as to who is the best rock band from the region creates a fun controversy. Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band and The White Stripes, each as bands, have sold millions of albums and filled large concert venues. Which one is the best? It depends whether you like old or new school better.
Why Seger is Best
The band is summed up by the name Seger, giving him familiarity as a singer/songwriter. His songs are easy to understand and sing along with, especially the dance classic “Old Time Rock and Roll.” Seger has had many top ten hits, making him a well-known artist.
His songs such as “Still the Same” and “Shakedown” are sung regularly at karaoke bars. Some of his ballads have been first dance songs at weddings, such as “We’ve Got Tonite.” His signature song “Night Moves” was used in the animated film American Pop. One of his most familiar songs, “Like a Rock” was used in a Chevrolet TV commercial.
Overall, Seger’s catalog offers a broad mix of rock variety. As a prolific artist, he’s given musicians who make their living off cover songs plenty to work with. From familiar party songs like “Rock and Roll Never Forgets” to deeper reflection songs such as “Mainstreet,” Seger has given the music world a large volume of high-quality music.
Why White Stripes are Best
Jack White was the creative force behind White Stripes and continues to explore musical innovation through solo projects and his other band the Raconteurs. Although the White Stripes only had one minor entry on Billboard’s top 40 chart called “Icky Thump” in 2007, the band made a much bigger impact at the alternative and rock radio formats. The lifespan of the band was from 1997 until Jack and Meg split in 2011.
During its run the White Stripes became associated with several movies and TV shows. Jack and Meg appeared together in the 2003 film Coffee and Cigarettes. The following year the band released its own 8mm film called Under Blackpool Lights. The group was heard during the opening scenes of the 2010 film called The Social Network with the track “Ball and Biscuit.” The film won an Academy Award.
The White Stripes were featured on the TV series The Simpsons in 2006 on an episode called “Jazzy and the Pussycats.” Their music has been used in multiple episodes of the TV series Peaky Blinders. White appeared in the 2008 rock documentary It Might Get Loud with Jimmy Page and The Edge.
Visually, Jack White and the White Stripes are incredibly captivating. From a sonic perspective, the White Stripes helped take garage music to its most innovative level to date with hits like “Fell In Love With a Girl” and “Seven Nation Army.”
Judging which rock band from Detroit is the best comes down to multiple factors, whether you are deciding for your individual taste or taking a survey for a cultural history project. Both Bob Seger and the White Stripes can be argued as the best from Detroit if you view data objectively, as both have influenced national music in a big way.