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The New Immortals

14 more artists who will stand the test of time, from Kanye West to Wilco

Back in 2004, Rolling Stone assembled an expert panel of musicians, industry figures and critics to pick the 50 greatest artists of all time. We called these artists "The Immortals." A year later, our panelists expanded the roster to 100 all-time great artists, which you can read right here. But time stands still for no list, and when we look around us today we see a whole galaxy of other stars who belong in the Immortals conversation. Click through for 14 currently active (or relatively recently defunct) artists who we think will stand the test of time – the kind of acts whose names we wouldn't be surprised to see on a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ballot at some point down the road when they become eligible. Meet the New Immortals.

Related:
The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time

phish trey Anastasio

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Phish

Phish spent the Eighties in Vermont honing their chops with some unconventional practice techniques: jamming for eight hours straight after drinking mushroom-laced hot chocolate, playing long stretches blindfolded or hitting a single note for an hour. The band let fans bootleg their actual shows freely, and by 1993 they were conquering amphitheaters around the country, even organizing their own gigantic camp-out music festivals. Phish's weirdness wouldn't work without tight songs ("Bouncing Around the Room," "You Enjoy Myself") and vast graduate-level improvisational skills: Trey Anastasio can mimic Bach, Jerry Garcia, King Crimson and John Coltrane on his guitar with ease, and the band can nail entire albums by Little Feat or the Beatles at their famous Halloween gigs. They can also get away with stunts like the Big Ball Jam. "We had huge exercise balls we threw into the audience," keyboardist Page McConnell told Rolling Stone in 2003. "You had to play rhythmically with the way your ball bounced around the room. That's how our whole career has been – stupid ideas that work."

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