Sometimes, overcomplicating music is the wrong way to go. Of course, there’s value in relentless over-production and vast ensembles, just ask Brian Wilson. But more often than not, distilling music down to its base roots and expressions is the best way to get a raw and unfiltered sound. For these bands, the only way to go was with a three-piece.

Usually comprised of guitar, bass and drums, the simplest form of a band can often be the hardest hitting and judging by the list of 33 of music’s greatest trios, the reduction in numbers doesn’t mean a reduction in power. Everyone from Nirvana to Rush, three really is the magic number.

So we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of our favourite three-piece bands and are providing you with a possible list of new bands to check out. On the whole, we’ve avoided bands who have since become trios and instead focused on those we consider to be pure three-piece artists.

Expect some shock inclusions and, as ever, let us know in the comments who we’ve missed.

33 greatest trios of all time:

33. Them Crooked Vultures

Formed in 2009 when Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl, Queens of the Stone Age maestro Josh Homme and the talented John Paul Jones from Led Zeppelin decided to form a punk band, Them Crooked Vultures are one of the more surprising supergroups. That is, of course, because they’re actually pretty decent.

Their self-titled album is well worth a listen, especially if you can remove from your mind the humongous