Thirty greatest sibling acts in rock and roll history

There have been a lot of rock bands that have had siblings as part of the group.
Van Halen in concert
Van Halen in concert / Lynn Goldsmith/GettyImages
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Sly and the Family Stone are not on the following list. I’m telling you that upfront because if you saw the headline and opened the article expressly to read about them, I don’t want to waste your time. Why, you may ask. Well, I’ll tell you.

As any experienced listicle auteur knows, lists are all about parameters. How do you define your subject? I’m calling this a “siblings in rock and roll” countdown, and even though Sly is in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, we all know the Family Stone was primarily a funk band. Maybe the greatest funk band of all time. They crossed over into rock and they were comprised of multiple Stone siblings. But I have to draw the line somewhere, and I’m drawing it at Sly.

Or at the Bee Gees, who also aren’t here. They may have an even stronger case to be considered on a rock & roll list. Prior to disco, that’s what they were. But I lived through that disco period, and sorry, I just can’t.

The 30 best sibling acts in rock and roll history

There is only one nominally country act on here, and they aren’t really country at all. I’m going to do another list of the greatest siblings in country music, so for you fans of the Chicks and the Osbornes and the Avetts and the Perrys, stay tuned. The Timmins family will get their due on that list, but for today, sorry, no Junkies – Cowboy or other.

The Jackson 5 aren’t here. Neither is the double set of siblings that made up the Shangri-Las. Or the Andrews Sisters. Maybe one more thing about sibling vocal groups is coming down the road.

OK – as I’m fond of saying, that’s who’s not here. But we’ve still got a pretty damn exalted list of bands who are. I’m ranking them, because, well, I usually don’t, and today I’m in the mood to have lots of people yelling at me over something. What better topic than why I have your personal favorite eight spots lower than a band you think is an opiate for the dumb-asses.

Fair question. I’ll try to explain my logic as we go along, but I won’t belabor the point. We’ve got thirty bands to crank through. Let’s get started.


If frontman Dan and his brother Warren had gotten along better, the Del Fuegos may have gone a lot farther than a few mid-‘80s albums. (NOTE: sibling rivalry will be a recurring theme in this piece.) Just give a listen seminal garage revival like “Nervous and Shaky” from their major label debut.

A couple of years later, their third release, Stand Up, moved into a bluesier, swampier sound that turned off fans and essentially ended their run. More than thirty years later, Stand Up, sounds a lot better than we all thought it did back in the day.


You’re forgiven if you didn’t know that Per and Niklas were brothers. After all, their stage names were Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist and Nicholaus Arson. Their second album, Veni Vidi Vicious, released in 2000, is about as much fun as a couple of Swedish boys can have playing punk rock. “Hate to Say I Told You So” is their only song that has charted in the US, but they crank out plenty of similar, high-energy tunes.