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The Four-Piece Rock Band

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Many of my favorite rock bands have four members, that is, a vocalist, a guitarist, a bassist, and a drummer. A lot of newer bands don't follow this formula strictly, but regardless the essential tools of rock-and-roll will always be vocals, guitar, bass, and drums. This thread is for discussion regarding four-piece rock bands (specifically ones with a lead vocalist who doesn't play an instrument, although I will not complain if such bands are brought up). From the Who to Led Zeppelin (as if I even had to bring them up) to Queen to Van Halen, there are plenty of notable bands in this form. There are plenty more worth mentioning that don't use this form, but that's not the point of my thread. There are a couple points I'd like to bring up as discussion topics here.

History of the four-piece rock band. Were there any notable bands with this form (vocalist/guitarist/bassist/drummer) before the Who? Also, it'd be cool to trace the band form and its stylistic evolution. The general impact, importance, and influence of these bands. Not every band that was influenced by Led Zeppelin was a four-piece (e.g. Aerosmith), but just look at the band's significance.

Catalogue of four-piece rock bands. This is more of a vanity thing, I dig lists... If you remember, I made the "Rank of Electric Guitarists" thread that I gave up on awhile back. I won't make it a point to catalogue every suitable band that is mentioned, but I'll do what I can when I have the time. Just to get it started (and I'll take care of it), here's the many-times-aforementioned home band:

1. Led Zeppelin.

* Robert Plant - vocalist.

* Jimmy Page - guitarist.

* John Paul Jones - bassist.

* John Bonham - drummer.

Recommendation of newer four-piece rock bands. Like I said, there aren't a whole lot of more recent bands that I can think of that fit in this (a lot of them are close, like vocalist + rhythm guitarist, lead guitarist, bassist, and drummer, or vocalist, rhythm guitarist, lead guitarist, bassist, and drummer), but I'll take a chance and recommend one excellent (albeit not really "new") band that fits the bill: Alice in Chains. Great heavy/hard sort of grunge style. If you haven't heard of them, check them out, and if you have heard of them but still haven't checked them out, then shame on you. I'm hoping most of you are already familiar with them though.

Four-piece lineups you'd like to see? Any four musicians that you'd like to see tour as a band come to mind? I, for one, would be intrigued to see a sort-of revamped King Crimson with Adrian Belew on vocals, Robert Fripp on guitar, Tony Levin on bass, and Bill Bruford on drums. Too many problems there, clearly: it would probably limit their range as a progressive entity to just stick to that format. Also, it would be up to Fripp and Belew really. Also, Belew plays lead guitar (which would contradict what I said about the vocalist not playing an instrument), Levin employs the Chapman Stick in addition to bass, and Bruford is retired. A bad example, really, but hopefully you'll get the point.

And remember, the point is the music, feel free to say anything as long as it has some sort of relation to the thread.

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