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Top 15 Power Trios

by BishopWhiteT
fact checked by dickensgirl

The power trio is a rock and roll band format popularized in the 1960s. The traditional power trio has a lineup of guitar, bass and drums, leaving out the rhythm guitar or keyboard often featured in other rock music. In more recent years, the term has become generally applied to any sort of three-person band [Wikipedia]. This is a list of the top 15 power trios!



Love ’em or hate ’em, it’s hard not to have a strong opinion of Primus and Les Claypool’s groundbreaking bass styles.


Violent Femmes

Formed in 1980, the Femmes’ self-titled album brought Folk-Punk to new heights.


The Presidents Of The United States Of America

Peaches! Ninjas! Life is good.


Blue Cheer

While not as widely known as many of the groups listed here, their influence can be felt throughout the world of Heavy Metal. Way before their time.



The tragic death of Lead singer/guitarist Bradley Nowell came just as Sublime started to break into mainstream radio. With an enduring hard-core fan base, one can only wonder how far Sublime could have gone, if Nowell hadn’t fallen victim to his frequent drug abuse.



One of the most recent additions to the power-trio family, this Australian trio has quickly made a name for themselves by blending styles ranging from Black Sabbath, The Who, David Bowie and The Doors among others. They also seem to be popping up on just about every 3rd TV commercial and movie soundtrack these days…



The “other” Rush. This Canadian power-trio had several hits during the 80’s, but perhaps is best-known for having the “most-recognized-as-underrated-best-guitarist”, Rik Emmet.


Green Day

Green Day achieved a marketing miracle by rising to the top of the charts during the 1990’s “grunge” era, and returning as a powerhouse in the early 2000’s, appealing to a whole new generation.



Lemmys gruff voice, thumping bass and “Fast” Eddie Clarke’s screaming guitar have influenced just about every metal band ever created since “Ace of Spades” was released in 1980.



While most of their songs were simple, power chord riffs with minimal leads, Kurt Cobain and Co. are credited with bringing Grunge to the masses.


ZZ Top

The boys from Texas have been at it for almost 40 years, putting out hit after hit while never straying too far from their blues-rock base camp.


The Police

From the first moment Sting belted out “Roooooxannne!” The Police were destined for superstardom. Thankfully, Mr. Sumner has awakend from his new-age induced tantric coma, and rumors of a new album are brewing.



Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, and Jack Bruce pretty much helped define what a power trio should be with a string of hits and an influence that still grabs young’uns by the naughty bits.


Jimi Hendrix Experience

No one can argue the influence Hedrix had on the electric guitar, but he accomplished his amazing guitar wizardry while simultneously singing and under the influence of some incredibly heavy drugs. Along with bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell, Hendrix turned the world of music upside down with his debut album “Are You Experienced?” in 1967. The world would never be the same.



Rush redefined the term Power Trio by making more music that anyone ever thought possible with just 3 people onstage. All musical virtuosi on their respective instruments, yet somehow still managing to get together and turn into a whole greater than the sum of it’s parts. Hands down, the Mac Daddy of all power trios.

Notable exclusions: King’s X, Blink-182, Meat Puppets, Minutemen, The Melvin’s

Contributor: BishopWhiteT

fact checked by dickensgirl