Published on August 5th 2013 by Leon Shepherd

This top 10 list is based upon record sales, stage presence, top ten hits, Grammy Awards, longevity and the groups ability/talent to write songs, and play instruments. So, without further ado, here are the Top 10 Greatest Black Male R&B Groups of All Time. Let the top 10 debate begin!



10. The Ohio Players

The Ohio Players were a funk and R&B band, most popular in the 1970s. The band’s first big hit single was “Funky Worm”, which reached #1 on the Billboard R&B chart and made the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 in May 1973. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the R.I.A.A. in May 1973. The band signed with Mercury Records in 1974. By this time, their line-up had changed, adding keyboardist Billy Beck and Jimmy “Diamond” Williams on drums. On later album releases, they added second guitarist/vocalist Clarence ‘Chet’ Willis and conga player Robert “Rumba” Jones. The band had seven Top 40 hits between 1973 and 1976. These included “Fire” (#1 on both the R&B and pop chart for two weeks and one week respectively in February 1975 and another million seller) and “Love Rollercoaster” (#1 on both the R&B and pop charts for one week in January 1976; another gold disc recipient). The group’s last big hit was “Who’d She Coo?” a #1 R&B hit in August 1976.


9. War


War is a funk band from California,  Formed in 1969, War was a musical crossover band which fused elements of rock, funk, jazz, Latin American music, rhythm and blues, and reggae. The band also transcended racial and cultural barriers with a multi-ethnic line-up. Although War’s lyrics are often socio-political in nature, their music usually had a laid-back, California funk vibe. In 1971 War released All Day Music which included the singles “All Day Music” and “Slippin’ into Darkness”. The latter single sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the R.I.A.A. in June 1972. In 1972 they released The World Is a Ghetto which was even more successful. Its second single, “The Cisco Kid” shipped gold, and the album attained the number one spot on Billboard, and was Billboard magazine’s Album of the Year as the best-selling album of 1973. The next album, Deliver The Word (1973) contained the hits “Gypsy Man,” and a studio version of “Me And Baby Brother” (previously issued as a live recording), which peaked at number 8 and 15 respectively on the Billboard chart. The album went on to sell nearly two million copies. The next album, Why Can’t We Be Friends? was released in 1975. It included “Low Rider”, and the title track, which were among the band’s biggest hits. In 1976, War released a greatest hits record which contained one new song “Summer” which, as a single, went gold and peaked at number 7 on the Billboard chart. The group continued to attain success with their next album, Galaxy (1977) whose title single was inspired by Star Wars. A particular feature of War’s sound is the use of harmonica and saxophone playing melody lines in unison, sounding like a single instrument, for example in the melody of “Low Rider”. The music of War has been sampled and recorded by many singers and groups, ranging from R&B / pop singers such as Janet Jackson to hip hop groups like TLC.



8. The Spinners



The Spinners are a soul music vocal group, active under that name since 1961, and popular with a long run of pop and R&B hits during the 1970s. The group, originating from Detroit, still tours regularly as of 2010. The band is also listed occasionally as The Motown Spinners, or (after they left the Motown label) as Detroit Spinners. These were used in the UK to avoid confusion with a British group also called The Spinners. When The Spinners signed to Atlantic in 1972, they were a respected but commercially unremarkable singing group who had never had a top-ten pop hit—despite having been a recording act for over a decade. However, under the helm of producer and songwriter Thom Bell, The Spinners would chart five top 100 singles (and two top tens) from their first post-Motown album, Spinners (1972), and would go on to become one of the biggest soul groups of the 1970s


7. The Ojay’s



The O’Jays are a Canton, Ohio based soul and R&B group, originally consisting of Walter Williams, Bill Isles, Bobby Massey, William Powell and Eddie Levert. They formed the group in Canton, Ohio in 1958 while attending Canton McKinley High School. Originally known as The Triumphs, and then The Mascots, the friends began recording with “Miracles” in 1961, which was a moderate hit in the Cleveland area. In 1963 they took the name “The O’Jays”, in tribute to Cleveland radio disc jockey Eddie O’Jay who was part of the powerful management team of “Frankie Crocker, Herb Hamlett & Eddie O’Jay,(Toop, 1991), and released “Lonely Drifter”, which charted nationally. Their debut LP was Comin’ Through. Throughout the 1960s, they continued to chart with songs such as “Lipstick Traces” (which they performed nationally on the ABC Television program, Shivaree), “Stand In For Love”,”Stand Tall”, “Let It All Out”, “I’ll Be Sweeter Tomorrow”, “Look Over Your Shoulder” , “Deeper In Love With You” and “One Night Affair”, along with several other regional and national Pop and R&B hits. In 1972, they finally scored with their first million-seller, “Back Stabbers”, from the album of the same name. By this time, original members Bill Isles and Bobby Massey had also departed, leaving the group a trio. This album produced several more hit singles, including “992 Arguments”, “Sunshine”, “Time To Get Down” and the #1 Pop smash, “Love Train”. During the remainder of the 1970s the O’Jays continued releasing chart-topping singles, including “Put Your Hands Together” (Pop #10), “For the Love of Money” (Pop #9), “Give the People What They Want”, “Let Me Make Love To You”, “I Love Music” (Pop #5), “Livin’ for the Weekend”, “Message in Our Music” and “Darlin’ Darlin’ Baby (Sweet Tender Love)”. Original member William Powell died of cancer in 1977 at age 35. The O’Jays were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004, and The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.


6. Kool & the Gang



Kool & the Gang is a jazz/R&B/soul/funk/disco group. They originally formed in Jersey City, New Jersey in 1964. They went through several musical phases during the course of their recording career, starting out with a purist jazz sound, then becoming practitioners of R&B and funk, progressing to a smooth pop-funk ensemble. They have sold over 90 million albums worldwide. The group’s main members over the years included brothers Robert Bell (known as “Kool”) on bass and Ronald Bell on tenor saxophone; lead vocalist James “J.T.” Taylor; George Brown on drums; Robert Mickens on trumpet; Dennis Thomas on alto saxophone; Claydes Charles Smith on guitar, and Rick Westfield on keyboards.


5. Smokey Robinson & the Miracles


Smokey Robinson & the Miracles) were an American rhythm and blues group from Detroit, Michigan, notable as the first successful group act for Berry Gordy’s Motown Records company. Their single “Shop Around” was Motown’s first million-selling hit record, and the group went on to become one of Motown’s signature acts of the 1960s. During the same period, the Miracles’ original lead singer and founding member Smokey Robinson became one of the most successful songwriters and record producers of all time. During their nineteen-year run on the American music charts, The Miracles charted over fifty hits and recorded in the genres of doo wop, soul, disco, and R&B. Twenty-six Miracles songs reached the Top Ten of the Billboard R&B singles chart, including four R&B number ones. Sixteen of the Miracles’ songs charted within the Top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100, with seven songs charting within the Top Ten and two – 1970′s “The Tears of a Clown” and 1975′s “Love Machine” (Part 1) – reaching number-one. Referred to by critics as Motown’s “soul supergroup” , The Miracles are multiple Grammy Hall of Fame inductees, Vocal Group Hall of Fame and Doo-Wop Hall of Fame inductees, and have a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame. In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked Smokey Robinson & the Miracles #32 on their list of “The Immortals: 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.”


4. The Temptations


The Temptations are a vocal group that achieved fame as one of the most successful acts to record for Motown Records. The group’s repertoire has included, at various times during its five-decade career, R&B, doo-wop, funk, disco, soul, and adult contemporary music. Formed in Detroit, Michigan, in 1960 as The Elgins, the Temptations have always featured at least five male vocalists/dancers. Known for its recognizable choreography, distinct harmonies, and flashy onstage suits, the Temptations have been said to be as influential to soul as The Beatles are to pop and rock. Having sold tens of millions of albums, the Temptations are one of the most successful groups in music history and were the definitive male vocal group of the 1960s.  As of 2010 the Temptations continue to perform and record for Universal Records with its one living original member, Otis Williams, still in its lineup. The original lineup included members of two local Detroit vocal groups: from The Distants, second tenor Otis Williams, first tenor Elbridge “Al” Bryant and bass Melvin Franklin; and from The Primes, first tenor/falsetto Eddie Kendricks and second tenor/baritone Paul Williams (no relation to Otis). Among the most notable future Temptations were lead singers David Ruffin and Dennis Edwards (both later solo artists), Richard Street, Damon Harris, Ron Tyson, Ali-Ollie Woodson, Theo Peoples, and G. C. Cameron. Like its “sister” female group, the Supremes, the Temptations’ lineup has changed frequently over the years. Over the course of their career, the Temptations have released four Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles and 14 Billboard R&B number-one singles. Their material has earned them three Grammy Awards, while two more awards were conferred upon the songwriters and producers who crafted their 1972 hit “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone”. The Temptations were the first Motown act to earn a Grammy Award. Six Temptations (Dennis Edwards, Melvin Franklin, Eddie Kendricks, David Ruffin, Otis Williams, and Paul Williams) were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. Three classic Temptations songs, “My Girl”, “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg”, and “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone”, are among The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.


3. Isely Brothers


The Isley Brothers are a R&B, soul music and funk group. They have had notably long-running success on the Billboard charts, and are the only act to chart in the Top 40 in six separate decades. In 2006, their most recent release became their ninth album to reach the Top Ten of the Billboard 200. Over the years, the act has performed in a variety of genres, including doo-wop, R&B, rock ‘n’ roll, soul, funk, disco, urban adult contemporary and hip-hop soul. The group has gone through several lineups, ranging from a quartet to a trio to a sextet; they are currently a duo. Originally raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, the original group consisted of the three elder sons of O’Kelly Isley, Sr. and Sally Bell Isley: O’Kelly Jr., Rudolph and Ronald, who formed in 1954 and recorded with small labels singing doo-wop and rock ‘n’ roll. After modest success with singles such as “Shout”, “Twist and Shout” and the Motown single “This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You)”, and a brief tenure with Jimi Hendrix as a background guitar player, the group settled on a brand of gritty soul and funk defined by the Grammy-winning smash “It’s Your Thing” in 1969. After reforming the group as a six-member lineup in 1973, featuring younger brothers Ernie and Marvin and brother-in-law Chris Jasper, they became known to fans as 3 + 3 and charted gold and platinum success with albums such as 3 + 3, The Heat Is On, Go For Your Guns and Between the Sheets, while charting a succession of hit singles such as “That Lady”, “Fight the Power”, “For the Love of You”, “Don’t Say Goodnight (It’s Time For Love)” and “Between the Sheets”, between 1973 and 1983. After the younger brothers splintered from the group in 1984 the remaining trio continued recording until O’Kelly’s death from a cancer-related heart attack in 1986. Rudolph left the group for a career in the ministry in 1989. In 1991 Ron reformed the group with Ernie and Marvin returning to the lineup. Since 1997 after diabetes forced Marvin into retirement, the lineup has been Ron and Ernie. Much like James Brown, The JB’s, Parliament-Funkadelic, and Zapp, the Isleys are among one of the most-sampled groups in hip-hop history with their recordings sampled by the likes of 2Pac, The Notorious B.I.G., Outkast, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Ice Cube and Snoop Dogg, among others.


2. Earth, Wind & Fire


Earth, Wind & Fire is an African-American R&B and disco band formed in Chicago, Illinois, in 1969 and led by founder Maurice White. Also known as EWF, the Elements or the Elements of the Universe, the band has won six Grammy Awards and four American Music Awards. They have been inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame. Having sold over 90 million albums worldwide has earned them a place on the list of best-selling music artists, where they are ranked as the seventh best selling American band of all time.Rolling Stone has described them as “innovative, precise yet sensual, calculated yet galvanizing” and has also declared that the band “changed the sound of black pop”. In 1998, they were ranked at number 60 on VH1′s list of the 100 Greatest Artists of Rock N’ Roll. The band’s music contains elements of African, Latin American, funk, soul, pop and rock music, jazz and other genres, as well. The band is known for the dynamic sound of their horn section and the interplay between the contrasting vocals of Philip Bailey’s falsetto and Maurice White’s tenor. The kalimba (African thumb piano) is played on all of the band’s albums.


1. The Jackson Five / The Jacksons


The Jackson 5 (also spelled The Jackson Five, or The Jackson 5ive), later known as The Jacksons, are an American popular music family group from Gary, Indiana. Founding group members Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael formed the group after performing in an early incarnation called The Jackson Brothers, which originally consisted of a trio of the three older brothers. Active from 1964 to 1989, the Jacksons played from a repertoire of R&B, soul, pop and later disco. During their six-and-a-half-year Motown tenure, The Jackson 5 were one of the biggest pop-music phenomena of the 1970s, and the band served as the launching pad for the solo careers of their lead singers Jermaine and Michael, the latter brother later transforming his early Motown solo fame into greater success as an adult artist. The Jackson 5 were the first act in recording history to have their first four major label singles (“I Want You Back”, “ABC”, “The Love You Save”, and “I’ll Be There”) reach the top of the Billboard Hot 100. Several later singles, among them “Mama’s Pearl”, “Never Can Say Goodbye” and “Dancing Machine”, were Top 5 pop hits and number-one hits on the R&B singles chart. Most of the early hits were written and produced by a specialized songwriting team known as “The Corporation”; later Jackson 5 hits were crafted chiefly by Hal Davis, while early Jacksons hits were compiled by the team of Gamble and Huff before The Jacksons began writing and producing themselves in the late 1970s. Significantly, they were the first black teen idols to appeal equally to white audiences thanks partially to the successful promotional relations skills of Motown Records CEO Berry Gordy. With their departure from Motown to CBS in 1976, The Jacksons were forced to change their name and Jermaine was replaced with younger brother Randy as Jermaine chose to stay at Motown. After two years under the Philadelphia International Records label, they signed with Epic Records and asserted control of their songwriting, production, and image, and their success continued into the 1980s with hits such as “Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)”, “Lovely One”, and “State of Shock”. Their 1989 album 2300 Jackson Street was recorded without Michael and Marlon. Michael and Marlon did appear, however, on the title track. The disappointing sales of the album led to the group being dropped by their record label at the end of the year. The group has never formally broken up, but has been dormant since then, although all six brothers performed together at two Michael Jackson tribute concerts in September 2001.

Music | Comments (51)

51 Responses to “Top 10 Greatest Male R&B Groups”

  1. T R M { Best Known As Throne Room Music } Says:

    The Jackson’s, Earth, Wind & Fire, The Isley Brothers, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson And The Miracles, Kool & THe Gang, The Mighty O’ Jays, The Spinner, The Ohio Players, War?

    Only If I Could Turn Back The Hands of Time I Would. The Decades
    Of A Life Time, I Thank God For All His Psalmists, And His Musicians. Thank You All, Apostle Johnny Jackson CEO.
    Resurrection Of The Begining Records. Com

  2. Straaw Says:

    U named some nice groups! But where’s Parliament/Funkadelic? HONORABLE MENTION to Cameo,Con funk Shun, Commodores, Raydio, Brick, Brass Construction, the Gap band. I’ll be posting soon my top 100 hip hop – and top 100 r&b singles alltime

  3. Roy Says:

    Leon, great list, don’t know if I agree with the listing. However, great detail on each group.

  4. rod moore Says:

    Nice list I know I love The Spinners but I think The Commodores should be there instead of them. Anybody with me on this? Also what about Maze?

  5. Verita Says:

    Where are the Four Tops? They certainly belong in the Top Ten. Maybe before the Spinners,War and the Ohio Players and I’m from Dayton, OH.

  6. Shack Says:

    My, My – You’re goint to start a revolution with this list. The following entails my initial reaction. First of all the J5 the Top Group Over the Temptations – Don’t think so. Please dont’ mix the Jacksons with the J5. The J5 had something like an 8 year run that ended around 77′ or so. The rest of the music should be divorced since as you stated there was no Jermaine. They may have started in 64′ but no one knew about them until “I Want You Back” in 69′

    Point #2 – No Parliment-Funkadelic or Commodores in the Top Ten-Surely you jest. You could make a case that P-F was the most successful male group of the 70′s.

    #3 – From historical Perspective what about groups like the Platters or the Drifters.

    #4 – My list would be as follows:
    1) Temptations (nudging EWF at the tape)
    3) Isleys
    4) Parliment-Funk..
    5) Commodores
    6) War
    7) Jackson 5
    8) Tie – O.Players/Kool & Gang
    9) Tie – O’Jay’s/Spinners
    10)Tie – F. Tops/Cameo/Gap Band

    Realize I’m cheating with the ties but I honestly cannot separate the greatness of these last 7 groups not to mention I couldn’t get a group like Maze in the TT. There are probably other groups that other bloggers will name that deserve consideration particularly over S.R. and the Miracles – No Way they belong in the TT!!

  7. rod moore Says:

    Hey brother my smarter half just brought up Boys 2 Men & I just remembered someone else The Four Tops. I think this will bring alot of debate. Have fun!

  8. Shack Says:

    Just though of this one – Sly & The Family Stone was major group of the 60′s and 70′s. They should know Smokey & Miracles out of the TT!

  9. Leon Says:

    Shack…keep in mind the criteria for the top ten list. For example, if you remember, Parliament-Funkadelic was and still one of my favorites of all time, but the list is not based on my fav’s, but on the criteria mentioned in the intro.
    Also, as stated in their write-up…
    The Miracles charted over fifty hits and recorded in the genres of doo wop, soul, disco, and R&B. Twenty-six Miracles songs reached the Top Ten of the Billboard R&B singles chart, including four R&B number ones. Sixteen of the Miracles’ songs charted within the Top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100, with seven songs charting within the Top Ten and two – 1970′s “The Tears of a Clown” and 1975′s “Love Machine” (Part 1) – reaching number-one. These are facts!
    Another fact, Maze, never had a top 40 hit on the pop chart. That fact alone keeps them out of the top 10. Parliament/Funk, again one of my personal fav’s, but didn’t have nearly as many top tens as the others mentioned on the list.
    Another fact, The Jackson 5, as of 2008, have sold over 100 million albums worldwide, an achievement bettered only by The Beatles.
    Sly was strongly considered, but didn’t have as many top 10′s as the other groups.
    The two groups you got right, “The Commodores”, and “The Four Tops.”A big oversight on my part.
    Once again, the list is not Leon’s personal fav’s, the list is based on the number of top 10 hits, records sold, as well as the criteria mentioned in the intro.

  10. Leon Says:

    Rod, Boyz To Men have sold over 60 million records, so they deserve to be on the list.

  11. Leon Says:

    Verita, you’re right!

  12. Lenora Dorsey Says:

    Wow Leon, I know this was a tough list to put together. Chi-Lites, Stylistics, Blue Notes,Commodores,Four Tops, So many more. Maybe should have been broken down by decade or something. You did do an excellent job, there’s just so many more to choose from. Thank you.

  13. Shack Says:

    I can yield to some of this but will not to two points.
    1) The Jackson 5 is NOT the same as The Jacksons. If the Jacksons added to the 100 million sales record, then it should have an asterisk by it.

    2) Parliment/F. has to be regarded as top ten group regardless of any criteria and most would choose them over Smokey/Miracles.

  14. grapevine Says:

    Leon are you drunk? You would actually put Kool & The Gang, Spinners , and even the Ohio Players ahead of the Commodores. This is an outrage!!

  15. grapevine Says:

    Take a look at Shack’s list, it is much more realistic.

  16. Shack Says:

    Again as I have stated before – There needs to be what I like to call Common Sense Concensus with some of these lists.

    As Black People, we have all know there have many inaccuracies and omissions regarding the contributions that many have made throughout history. Not that that has a bearing on current methods utilized by companies/entities like Billboard, Nielsen Rating Service or Box Office receipts but I refuse to automatically accept their rankings (so-called facts) when I KNOW FOR MYSELF what is and isn’t funny, what’s worth watching and what group or song I prefer listening to.

    This is why I maintain that movies such as “A Raisin In The Sun” or groups such as Parliment should be in the top ten of their respective categories REGARDLESS of what the numbers say!

  17. Shack II Says:

    My I’m getting old-Just remembered I had thought of doing a similar list a while back. But this is how that list would have been different…

    Leon you should separate the BANDS From the GROUPS. Bands like Earth Wind & Fire, War and the Isleys would comprise one category and the Temps., Spinners, Four Tops, Smokey & Miracles would make up the other. The ones that play musical instruments would be one list and the singing groups the other.

    That way, the Temps would not compete against EW&F. Note these were my top two groups and they should not compete against eachother. The main reason I selected the Temps overall was the greatness of D.Ruffin plus their exquisite dance routines but to have them match up against a band to me is unfair. Leon What do you think about that approach/logic?

  18. Leon Says:

    Grapevine, I agree. The Commodores should be ahead of the Ohio Players and others.
    It was an oversight that I didn’t realize until later.

  19. rod moore Says:

    My smarter half has perry masoned me on boys 2 men lol. Leon b2m has the 3 longest stays at #1 in history 13 wks 14 wks & 16 wks. Billboard says they are the biggest selling r&b group of all time & the biggest selling act of the 90s. They are one of 3 acts to replace themselves at # 1 the other 2 elvis & the beatles. Their total wks at # 1 is more than the combined wks of all the acts on the list. She claims Generational bias. With all this info b2m should be reconsidered

  20. rod moore Says:

    Wikipedia was wrong about only 3 acts replacing themselves. There have been others but the top 3 were the 3 I mentioned. Sorry about that you can only go with what pops up until something else shows up. B2M toal wks at # 1 is 50 by the way.

  21. greg Says:

    I love the Jackson 5!

  22. Shack Says:

    All – Although he did not directly respond in writing to the suggestion (to separate the Music Bands from the Singing Groups) The Great Leon has verbally agreed that approach would have been better!

    Rod – So that means Boyz-To-Men would compete against like groups such as the Temps, Spinners, O’Jays etc. and not The Commodores or Parliment/F. (which I still maintain is a Top Ten Music Band)! I agree they (B2M)should/would be listed in the Top Ten Singing Groups of All Time. As a matter of fact, I believe they are the ONLY group from the 90′s that should be included as their contemporaries such as Mint Condition, LeVert, Color Me Badd and others fizzled over time.

  23. Shack Says:

    Not to “Beat a Dead Horse” but I just re-read all of the points made for THE NUMBER 5 MALE GROUP OF ALL TIME – Smokey R. & The Miracles.

    But here is an interesting FACT…Smokey himself didn’t even sing on the hit Love Machine. By then (in 75′) he had gone solo and they were The Miracles. That kinda de-legitimizes that NUMBER 1 hit to me sorta like the Jackson 5 and the Jacksons = Its Not The Same Group!!!

  24. rod moore Says:

    Whats up Poohbah! Just wanted to touch base on a couple of items. First I thought Sly was left off the list because of a technicality-his sister was in the group-which doesnt make it a “male” group but after I saw Leons reason it makes no sense.Sly was the 1st Black supergroup. They were big enough to sell out arenas just like The Stones & Zeppelin.He (they) should be on the list. Talked to leon 2wks before this list about the period from 74-83 when bands not groups ruled. I agree that its hard to compare them because the dynamics are differnt. About J5-Jacksons or the Miracles with/without smokey. If youre the face/voice of the group & leave thats different than a spare part leaving. As long as Mike was there me you roy & grady couldve backed him & noone would care but smokey was the miracles & thats the difference to me.

  25. Shack Says:

    Rod – Thank you sir…couldn’t agree more. What a great period (74-83) after that everything changed (beat street, rap hip-hop etc).

    Pity…also think that the period 64-73 was also great with the Motown peak and pre-disco is worth mentioning!

  26. rod moore Says:

    Thanks Juddy. Just a few things about Sly that I found out that should make him (them) part of this list. 2 # 1 records one of the first acts to have an album debut at # 1 that was “theres a riot going on”. Thankyou for lettin me be myself & dance to the music are on the list of 500 songs that shaped rock & roll & they were 43 on the list of greatest artists of all time EW&F were 60 & are in the rock & roll hall of fame. Sly was my first fav group if they can be on all these lists for their accomplishments why cant they be on this one.

  27. Shack Says:

    Rod-Again we agree…if you look at the initial responses, I was the first to list S&TFS and had them knocking Smokey and the Miracles out of the TT. I still agree with that contention!

  28. rod moore Says:

    So do I Shack. Slys personal demons was what cut short a brilliant career. Heres another point remember when everryone made a big deal about Prince writing producing arranging his albums & playing all the instruments? Sly did all of that on the riot album & wrote arranged & produced all the songs for the group. He was ahead of his time.

  29. tim burritt Says:

    Well, there’s only one way to settle this–top 20 of all time. Add The Stylistics and The Four Tops etc and you really have the soundtrack to my life. Great list

  30. josh Says:

    dont for get about jodeci

  31. Tandra Says:

    Please don’t leave out the George Duke & the Barkays and Tower of Power, I love all the 60′s & 70′s R & B and it’s still sounds good. The R&B hip-hop today is no comparison :-D

  32. Tandra Says:

    I forgot to mention Stevie Wonder,Sly & the family stone,Graham Central Station, Harold Melvin & the Blue notes and so many more :-D

  33. Leon Says:

    Tandra, thanks for sharing.
    But keep in mind, that the list is “Top 10 Greatest Male R&B Groups.
    So Stevie Wonder & George Duke would not qualify.

  34. KJ Says:

    Agree with most of the list. But would replace,Ohio Players and War with the Commodores and Four Tops.Jackson 5 /Jacksons is the same group. The name change was forced on them.The Temptations hits all go together with dozens of member changes, but J5 has one and it’s a different group? Nonsense.J5 also produced four multi platinum albums as adults and played the largest venues.The Miracles also wrote many of the Tempts hits.Great list and topic.

  35. Leon Says:

    Thanks for sharing, KJ!

  36. Andy Phoenix Says:

    No way can the Jackson brothers in whatever guise top EWF even if one is a vocal group and one is a band. 21 studio albums to date and a new one being released next month means longevity wise, they cannot be beaten. Grammies, stunning live performances (a world tour this year I hasten to add) and record sales worldwide surley give them the edge over ANY mobo?
    As far as P-Funk is concerned, George Clintons influence cannot be underestimated but lack of sales sadly mean they fall short but they’d be in my top ten all day long!
    No mention of Rose Royce or Chic?

  37. Leon Says:

    Andy, you made several great points regarding EWF.
    And I agree with all of them.
    The only reason I placed The Jackson’s / The Jackson Five number one, was based on record sales.
    The Jackson’s have sold over 100 million, EWF has sold over 90 million.

    Rose Royce and Chic were great groups, but not great enough to make the top 10. They may be in my top 20.

  38. Milton Wallace Says:

    Before I saw the list I already knew who you would have in the top spot and I sorta agree with you but giving the Jackson5 a run for their money would be the Spinners. Not as many #1 hits but their music was well done. I agree with the rest of your list.

  39. Leon Says:

    Thanks for sharing Milton!

  40. gsdulin Says:

    what about Lakeside,Bootsy’s Rubber Band,Heatwave,The Brother’s Johnson,Brick, there’s really too many to name. because that’s when music was music and not this crap of today.

  41. Leon Says:

    You’re right George, today’s music doesn’t even come close to the great music of the past.

  42. Apostle Shon Simpson Says:

    You must have forgotten about Brothers Johnson, LTD, The Whispers, and not to mention Parliament/Funkadelic

  43. Leon Says:

    Apostle Shon, Parliament/Funkadelic could possibly squeeze into the top 10. The others that you mentioned are top 20 candidates.

  44. Shack Says:

    I stand by my original comments THREE YEARS AGO

    Technically The J5 and EWF were both bands (but The J5 had “The Corporation” while EWF did mostly All their own music.

    The 100 million “Jackson” sales is somewhat bogus in the the Jacksons in no way compare the Great Jackson 5 (No Michael & Jermaine-No Greatness)

  45. Big Mel Mo Says:

    Groups and Bands are two different musicians, but the Chi-lites, Delfonics, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, Comordores, Dramatics, The Time deserve some PropS.

  46. Big Mel Mo Says:

    But I agree The Jackson 5, is best Group or band EVER!!!!

  47. bjware Says:

    Wow I found this extremely interesting I understand you know you left off the Commodores, going down the list I figured they were like number 5 or so, then found them missing, Whoa! not possible. The Whispers, Heatwave and LTD were others I would have considered over the Ohio Players, War and SR & M, and I tell you what the billboard charts may not be respectful and their best friend but, I dare you to have any type of black family reunion, picnic or backyard party without the one group you have to have before any on this list Maze f/Frankie Beverly, I dare you!!!

  48. romantic19 Says:

    EWF, Spinners, Isleys, ohio players, Funkadelic/Parliment, Kool and the gang. Too many to list. But, 60′s and 70′s had some of the best bands out there. we listened to REAL music back in the day. Oh, and don’t forget Tower of Power. One of the baddest horn sections.

  49. Leon Says:

    I agree, Tower of Power had a great horn section.
    But I don’t think the group is a candidate for the to 10.

  50. Shack Says:

    To My “Brother in Belief” Andy Phx. Tongue-In-Cheek I agree with your sentiments wholeheartedly!
    However, I’d like to think I am a consistent thinker on most things and must bring up a point.

    EWF without Maurice White is NOT really EWF…Just Like the J5 is NOT the J5 without Michael & Jermaine. Phillip B. has done an admirable job filling in for the very ill Maurice but without their great combined vocals (like Michael & Jermaine) their greatness is diminshed significantly in my opinion! Maurice was the FIRE of EWF – To me they are now just Earth & Wind!!!

  51. Rich Says:

    Where’s the stylistics?!?