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Waterman
04-05-2005, 10:59 PM
This is my first new thread, but here we go:

This year marks 50 years of Rock `N' Roll in our culture (give or take a year) and my question to fellow Doper's is simply this:

Who have been the most influential pop music acts (solo, duo, group, etc.) over the past 50 years. I'm not looking for record sales as a barometer of influence. My choices would be:


Everly Brothers
Velvet Underground
Beatles
Stevie Wonder
Donny Osmond (seeing if you're paying attention and just joking)
The Clash
Prince
Johnny Cash


So, what do the rest of you think?

Kolak of Twilo
04-05-2005, 11:05 PM
Not a bad start. I would have to add the following:

Eddie Cochran
Chuck Berry
The Stooges
The Ramones
The Rolling Stones

Of course, you realize, a thread like this will end up never ending.

Czarcasm
04-05-2005, 11:40 PM
Moving thread from Great Debates to Cafe Society.

ultrafilter
04-05-2005, 11:55 PM
If you're going by influence alone, it's pretty much the Beatles at number one. You could make an argument that Black Sabbath is pretty high up, and the Ramones too. And don't forget Elvis, either.

Eonwe
04-06-2005, 12:15 AM
Yeah, I'd add Elvis to the list, as well as Ray Charles.

In what way is Prince influential? I love him, but I don't really see his mark on the musical landscape.

Mightn't Led Zeppelin be on the list for pretty much creating hard guitar-driven rock?

Waterman
04-06-2005, 12:17 AM
I think that Elvis was a product of the influences before him (R&B, C&W, etc.) rather than him necessarily being an influence.

The difficult thing, of course, is to try to determine the influence of recent artists as opposed to older ones. The problem in my mind is that most artists in the last 10-15 years have been more content to imitate rather than innovate.

Waterman
04-06-2005, 12:22 AM
Yeah, I'd add Elvis to the list, as well as Ray Charles.

In what way is Prince influential? I love him, but I don't really see his mark on the musical landscape.

Mightn't Led Zeppelin be on the list for pretty much creating hard guitar-driven rock?
Elvis - see response above.

Ray: definitely, bridging the secular & gospel areas not to mention his groundbreaking use of C&W to further his success in the R&B arena.

To me (and I'm 50+) Prince took R&B to the post Stevie Wonder/Marvin Gaye era and added a little Miles Davis with some pure pop into the equation.

Charlie Tan
04-06-2005, 12:33 AM
Well,

Isn't there a difference 'tween pop and rock music. If we stick to pop, I think these are the most influential:

Beach Boys
Supremes (or rather mid 60's B Gordy productions)
Phil Spector
Beatles
Stax
Stevie Wonder (60's style)

Everything that came after is derived from those, in one way, or another.

NDP
04-06-2005, 12:48 AM
I'm surprised no one's mentioned Bob Dylan. There's no way anyone can underestimate how much his influence changed Pop and Rock since the 1960's.

Also, how about Jimi Hendrix? Hard Rock and Metal pretty much started with him.

Waterman
04-06-2005, 12:56 AM
In my mind pop and rock can't be separated over the last 50 years in much the same way that it would be difficult to separate R&B/Funk/Soul etc.

I would add a definitive yes to Dylan and Hendrix. Hendrix is the quintessential guitar god (should that be capitalized?) of the last 50 years.

It's also interesting to note the correlation between "pop" and "social context". One of the most popular songs of 1966 was the Barry Sadler song "Ballad of the Green Berets" followed in 1967 by Simon & Garfunkel's "Sounds of Silence". Can't say that pop music doesn't follow historical & political trends.

brickbacon
04-06-2005, 01:55 AM
How can people forget Michael Jackson. Sure he's a weirdo, but he made Thriller!

Also, don't forget Garth Brooks, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Billie Joel, Elton John, Grandmaster Flash, Notorious BIG, Tupac, and Jimi Hendrix.

mswas
04-06-2005, 06:00 AM
Well this is an overly broad thread but I'd say:

Beatles
Elvis
Pink Floyd
Led Zeppelin
The Doors
Janis Joplin
Jimi Hendrix
Black Sabbath
Metallica
Ray Charles
Miles Davis
P Funk
Grandmaster Flash
Public Enemy
Nine Inch Nails
Nirvana
Smashing Pumpkins
Digital Underground
Tupac
Notorious BIG
Aerosmith
Tom Petty
Bee Gees
Depeche Mode
Joy Division
The Stooges
Sex Pistols
Madonna
Prince
Garth Brooks
The Velvet Underground



Hell, we could go on for days, but that seems like a good list.

owlstretchingtime
04-06-2005, 06:52 AM
Well this is an overly broad thread but I'd say:

Beatles
Elvis
Pink Floyd
Led Zeppelin
The Doors
Janis Joplin
Jimi Hendrix
Black Sabbath
Metallica
Ray Charles
Miles Davis
P Funk
Grandmaster Flash
Public Enemy
Nine Inch Nails
Nirvana
Smashing Pumpkins
Digital Underground
Tupac
Notorious BIG
Aerosmith
Tom Petty
Bee Gees
Depeche Mode
Joy Division
The Stooges
Sex Pistols
Madonna
Prince
Garth Brooks
The Velvet Underground



Hell, we could go on for days, but that seems like a good list.

it's a good AMERICAN list, but some of those people couildn't get arrested outside of the US. All I know about the Smashing Pumpkins is that they were on the Simpsons ("Hello Billy Corrigan, smahing pumpkins"; Homer: "Hello, Homer Simpson, smiling politely").

Who are P Funk? Garth Brooks means nothing outside the US, Aerosmith are seen as Zep/Stones clones in Europe, Tom Petty is a minority interest (I quite like him, but he doesn't chart) Digital Underground? Who they?

From a british point of view people like:

Cliff Richard and the Shadows
The Who
Small Faces
Kinks
Deep Purple
Stock Aitken and Waterman
Joe Meek
Tom Jones

are more important.

GorillaMan
04-06-2005, 06:56 AM
My favourite overlooked influential group: Kraftwerk. Imagine a world without electronic pop music...

UnwrittenNocturne
04-06-2005, 07:43 AM
Allow me to add:

Wendy Carlos
Gary Numan
Joy Division
Bauhaus
The Misfits
The Sex Pistols

Dark Side of the Floyd
04-06-2005, 07:54 AM
it's a good AMERICAN list, but some of those people couildn't get arrested outside of the US. All I know about the Smashing Pumpkins is that they were on the Simpsons ("Hello Billy Corrigan, smahing pumpkins"; Homer: "Hello, Homer Simpson, smiling politely")...


Er... on that list, I counted at least five Brit/UK bands there. There are probably more, but I dont remember if the ones I haven't counted are.

Or am I mistaken and you meant influential to British people?

owlstretchingtime
04-06-2005, 08:07 AM
Er... on that list, I counted at least five Brit/UK bands there. There are probably more, but I dont remember if the ones I haven't counted are.

Or am I mistaken and you meant influential to British people?

Yup that's what I mean. No one in britain is influenced by the Smashing Pumpkins as they're not well known. Bands like Husker Du and the Pixies mean more over here than the Pumpkin people, not to mention New York Dolls, television, Velvet Underground etc.

So a band growing up in England would have some of the influences on that list but others would be as powerful. That band could go on to be influential in their own right - think Depeche Mode (who were never as big here as in the states).

P.s we theink the Doors are wankers and can't be doing with the Grateful Dead. Mind you, our number one at the moment is "Is this the way to amarillo?" (yes that one).

mswas
04-06-2005, 11:43 PM
The question is "Most influential", not "Most well known".

Billy Corgan worked out the guitar sound that ended up being Nirvana's trademark. He was working with the producer Butch Vig who produced Nevermind. The irony of it all was that Nirvana wasn't that happy with the way Nevermind sounded, and Billy Corgan scrapped that sound so as not to come off as a Nirvana clone. Then all the Nirvana clones over the next 15 years ripped off that guitar sound.

Billy Corgan has produced albums for Marilyn Manson and Hole, James Iha is in A Perfect Circle.

P Funk is one of the originators of Funk, they have maintained a very powerful cult following for the past 30+ years, and are an influence for basically ALL Funk and Hip Hop that have come since. So you not hearing of them has little bearing on their influence. They had a much more deep and dirtier sound than James Brown or Rick James. They are like a darker Kool and the Gang. George Clinton is their front man.

Digital Underground is a rap group that's been around since the 80s.

Jim Morrison is one of the prototypical rock stars. His influence is more in his words and personality.

Aerosmith, I could care less about them, I just kind of threw them in.

As you have not heard of some on my list, I also have not heard of a couple from your list.

Erek

owlstretchingtime
04-07-2005, 06:07 AM
One's you may not know from my list (and why they matter)

Cliff Richard and the Shadows. Cliff is important as he was the first real british rock 'n roller. (he's since become a family entertainer in a Pat Boone sort of a way). The Beatles and the Stones (and every other Brit beat boom band) owe something to Cliff. His backing band were the Shadows who's guitarist was Hank Marvin who had a great big impact on the likes of Beck, Clapton, Page etc. Hank was the first british guitar hero.


I'm assuming you're au fait with the small faces, who and the kinks!

Joe Meek was a one-off producer who was basically the closest Britain had to a Phil Spector type (and was equally mad). He produced Telstar which was the first British record to get to number one in the USA opening up that market for the groups that followed. He killed his landlady and himself.

Stock Aitken and Waterman are the people behind Kylie and a load of other bubblegum pop from the 80s and 90s and are responsible for the whole infantilisation of the pop charts - not necessarily a god thing, but an important thing.

And I can't believe that no one has suggested Bob Marley!

Trunk
04-07-2005, 10:32 AM
And I can't believe that no one has suggested Bob Marley!

Why would they? Just how much pop do you hear that is influenced by Marley?

Are people here just naming their favorite bands, or really considering who is infuential?

Black Sabbath, while in most opinions, weren't as good (definitely not as popular) as Zeppelin, if you listen to anyone from ]Metallica to Soundgarden, their influence is much clearer. And the bands will tell you as much.

I don't see the great influence that Smashing Pumpkins has had or even Pink Floyd.

The amount of influence Dr. Dre has had on the pop scene for the last 15 years is incredible.

I think that you're really starting to see the influence of U2 on the scene, with bands like Oasis, Train, and Coldplay owing a lot to their sound.

Naming Garth Brooks completely misses the point. There were tons of people doing "neutered country" before Garth Brooks. He is one of the current generation influenced by lame-o's before him, like Hank Williams Jr. and Randy Travis. They're the ones who removed the balls from country. Garth just sold more.

Ike Witt
04-07-2005, 11:11 AM
Who are P Funk?

P Funk is good. Related to George Clinton and Parliament. This site (http://www.duke.edu/~tmc/pfunk.html) should fill you in nicely.

ultrafilter
04-07-2005, 11:28 AM
I don't see the great influence that Smashing Pumpkins has had or even Pink Floyd.

Can't speak for the Pumpkins, but Pink Floyd has been very influential, just not in the pop arena.

GorillaMan
04-07-2005, 11:34 AM
If 'influential' means 'recycling ideas', then yes, Pink Floyd qualify.

Trunk
04-07-2005, 12:31 PM
If 'influential' means 'recycling ideas', then yes, Pink Floyd qualify.
Early Floyd, I'd agree with. Most of what they did from DSOTM, or really Meddle, through The Wall, I thought was pretty original.

Maybe ultrafilter can expound on PF. PF does seem to get the credit for the being the first "acid rock", I guess.

They were also a key player in the "theme album", I guess you'd say. I don't know if they were first in that regard, though, but still influential.

vl_mungo
04-07-2005, 12:45 PM
Big Star
Dick Dale
Link Wray
Bob Wills
Mother Love Bone
Green River
Cole Porter
The Runaways / Joan Jett
Bikini Kill
The Minutemen
The Fugs

ultrafilter
04-07-2005, 12:46 PM
Tool, Neurosis and Dream Theater were all hugely influenced by Pink Floyd (Neurosis possibly not directly, but the similarities are there), and they're all hugely influential within their own spheres.

mswas
04-07-2005, 02:30 PM
The entire Genres of Industrial and Goth were influenced by Pink Floyd. You can't listen to Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, Bauhaus, Sisters of Mercy, or Skinny Puppy without hearing the direct influence of Pink Floyd. Those bands in turn spawned thousands of pop bands that you may or may not have heard of depending upon what country you're in. For instance, one of the frontmen of KMFDM Raymond Watts has a solo project called "Pig" that was not as big as KMFDM, but was huge in Japan. Pink Floyd had a lot of dystopian themes that went on into what later developed, and their fanbase spans so many different subsequent subcultures that many different genres owe something to them. I think the fact that my parent's generation listened to floyd, as well as goths, ravers, punks, hippies, hip hoppers from my generation still listen to them. I've heard techno remixes of "Welcome to the Machine.", I've heard symphonic floyd, I've heard an industrial cover album that isn't just throw away bands, but is filled with names within that genre.

It's amazing to me that people would discount Floyd, when IMO they are more influential on modern pop music than anyone mentioned in this thread besides maybe the Beatles.

I also think David Bowie needs some mention.

Erek

ultrafilter
04-07-2005, 02:58 PM
It's amazing to me that people would discount Floyd, when IMO they are more influential on modern pop music than anyone mentioned in this thread besides maybe the Beatles.

Sabbath is up there too. Don't forget that the Ramones were Sabbath fans, and in the early 90s, everyone was aware of Metallica.

mswas
04-07-2005, 03:46 PM
I mentioned both Sabbath and Metallica in my post. ;)

Erek

jackelope
04-07-2005, 09:14 PM
The Pixies were massively influential in the late 80s/early 90s; much of what would become known as "alternative" (remember when they called it "college rock"?) first coalesced with them.

Waterman
04-08-2005, 02:24 AM
Well since I was the one who started this I should try to add some insight into my OP. As I said, and others pointed out, influential doesn't necessarily have anything to do with popular. I am not a metal fan and therefore you won't find me parising those in that genre but hey I'm willing to accept others opinions. Several additions to the list (pardon me if I repeat but I don't have instant access to previous posts as I compose this):

Alphonse `Bois Sec' & Lawrence `Black' Ardoin along with Beausoliel, Doucet, etc. who brought the cajun (and later zydeco) into the mainstream (or at least they tried).
Band - an awesome collection of talent that produced some of the best music of the 60's and 70's melding rock with simple "Americana" despite being mostly Canadian.
Jeff Buckley - aside from his frenzied guitar playing what other singer has ever possesed such an incredible voice
James Brown - a master of the soul genre who for a long time was the hardest working man in rock.
Byrds - redefined the line around rock and country and led first to Gram Parsons and later the Eagles (Oh God! I can't believe I actually used their name in this thread)
Yardbirds - the first and perhaps greatest British contribution to music and the stepping stone to the 60's.
The Blues Breakers, Rolling Stones, etc. - who initially added their own twist to American blues
Fairport Convention - who took British folk, a little humour and some awesome writing along with Sandy Denny's incredible voice.
Kris Kristofferson - he of the less than ideal voice who flat out has written some classic songs combining rock, C&W & folk.
Bob Marley (and Tosh and others) who influenced Clapton, Police and countless others with the entrancing rhythms of ska and reggae.
Mekons - who have singlehandedly reforged themselves so many times from a British rock band to a Chicago cooperative that still is capable of captivating with their lyrics.
Randy Newman - who has helped bridge the social and political issues through his music (I still remember hearing "Rednecks" and thinking about my 9 months spent living in "Red Stick")
Finally Wilco/Uncle Tupelo/etc. who again have bridged rock, country, western swing, folk and whatever into a roots music not beholding to the record labels.

I think that its much easier to define influences in jazz than it is in rock or pop.

bclouse
04-08-2005, 05:38 AM
Well, for my 2 cents I'd have to include:

Brian Eno - his work with Roxy Music (glam rock), solo career with rock and ambience, producer (Talking Heads, David Bowie, U2), collaborations (Robert Fripp, David Byrne, Daniel Lanois) puts him near the top of my list. His and Byrne's My Life in the Bush of Ghosts is one of the forefathers of sampling that helped usher in that aspect of modern music.

La Monte Young - not well known but highly influential minimalist. His drone work made it's mark on a lot of scenes, including punk, ambience & Krautrock (Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream). Most noted followers were John Cale and the Velvet Underground.

Run-DMC - well, there would be no modern hip-hop without them.

jinty
04-08-2005, 07:59 AM
No one in britain is influenced by the Smashing Pumpkins as they're not well known.Erm, well I am, and many of my friends and relatives too. IMHO Mellon Collie is the best album of the last 20 years, full stop. Maybe you just run in a crowd that isn't influenced by the pumpkins, owl, but extrapolating that to 60 million people is a bit of a stretch (if you'll forgive the pun on yer name).
Bands like Husker Du and the Pixies mean more over herePixies? ...yeah, agree with you there (my favourite band too, can't believe they aren't everyone's favourite band :D )
However, I love Husker Du, but I seriously doubt they outdo the Pumpkins in the UK in the recognition stakes. YMMV

Dark Side of the Floyd
04-08-2005, 08:15 AM
The entire Genres of Industrial and Goth were influenced by Pink Floyd. You can't listen to Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, Bauhaus, Sisters of Mercy, or Skinny Puppy without hearing the direct influence of Pink Floyd. Those bands in turn spawned thousands of pop bands that you may or may not have heard of depending upon what country you're in. For instance, one of the frontmen of KMFDM Raymond Watts has a solo project called "Pig" that was not as big as KMFDM, but was huge in Japan. Pink Floyd had a lot of dystopian themes that went on into what later developed, and their fanbase spans so many different subsequent subcultures that many different genres owe something to them. I think the fact that my parent's generation listened to floyd, as well as goths, ravers, punks, hippies, hip hoppers from my generation still listen to them. I've heard techno remixes of "Welcome to the Machine.", I've heard symphonic floyd, I've heard an industrial cover album that isn't just throw away bands, but is filled with names within that genre.

It's amazing to me that people would discount Floyd, when IMO they are more influential on modern pop music than anyone mentioned in this thread besides maybe the Beatles.

I also think David Bowie needs some mention.

Erek


You! Get out of my head! ;)

omni-not
04-08-2005, 08:20 AM
Here's Rollingstone's take on it:



http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/_/id/7235505



Actually a pretty good list on the whole.


(There's also a link on that page to the first 50 most influential)

vl_mungo
04-08-2005, 06:41 PM
Here's Rollingstone's take on it:



http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/_/id/7235505



Actually a pretty good list on the whole.


(There's also a link on that page to the first 50 most influential)

Actually, that's their list of the "greatest artists of all time" not the most influential. I don't think they are necessarily the same thing.

Sam Stone
04-09-2005, 12:44 AM
This may be the best commentary on the Beatles I've read (http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/_/id/5939206). It's written by Elvis Costello, and he captures the sheer magnitude of their impact on rock in the 1960's and 1970's. I was very young at the time, but I can remember that even the DJ's in the 1970's spoke of the Beatles with absolute reverence when spinning their songs. I don't think we've ever seen artists since that stood so far above their peers.

And they didn't just influence rock. Their influence spanned across several genres like country and folk.

Waterman
04-09-2005, 01:47 AM
Sam - I agree with you but I believe in the case of the Beatles, their sheer success and selling power was the primary reason they influenced so many of their rock, pop, etc. contemporaries. I don't mean to detract from their music but most all of the other artists achieved their influence, not by success, but by their willingness to expand the boundaries of their music.

From 1965 to 1970 it seemed that everything the Beatles came out with was praised for its greatness and while they wrote/played a lot of good songs some of their stuff would have been thrown off the radio if it had been by anyone else.

owlstretchingtime
04-09-2005, 07:20 AM
With the Beatles it's quite simple:

Clean shaven Beatles = Genius.

Facial hair involved = Drug addled crap.

Owl - keepin' it real.

Chimpy
04-09-2005, 07:47 AM
Well I certainly second David Bowie, he took the music of his times and then took it a step further, perhaps he started little but he certainly advanced many forms. The Clash definitely need to be there as do the Ramones. Definitely another vote for Pink Floyd who influenced... everything. I think also a mention needs to be given to Buzzcocks, because although they were in Punk's second wave, I feel they influenced much that came after them.

erislover
04-09-2005, 10:36 AM
Heavy metal would not exist without Led Zeppelin, and if it did, it would suck.So very true. But frankly I'm surprised Madonna made the list. Don't get me wrong, I love Madonna to death, she's possibly my favorite musical artist of all time, but I don't see her as influential. I think she's been an amazing enabler, but there isn't much to take from Madonna, musically. I've rather considered her the culmination of talent rather than a leader of it. But if anyone thinks otherwise, by all means, instruct me.

omni-not
04-09-2005, 11:29 AM
Sam - I agree with you but I believe in the case of the Beatles, their sheer success and selling power was the primary reason they influenced so many of their rock, pop, etc. contemporaries. I don't mean to detract from their music but most all of the other artists achieved their influence, not by success, but by their willingness to expand the boundaries of their music.

From 1965 to 1970 it seemed that everything the Beatles came out with was praised for its greatness and while they wrote/played a lot of good songs some of their stuff would have been thrown off the radio if it had been by anyone else.

To paraphrase Sam Stone, this may be the best commentary on the Beatles I've read in a while. :D And I'm their Number One fan!

I think their reputed influence has been somewhat overblown at times and that, since their unfortunate demise, a number of performers have come along who matched if not surpassed their talent. At a certain time, it was kind of....'in'... to be able to quote The Beatles as musical influences. I'm just not sure, listening to the music that came out of the purported 'influencees' how genuine that comment was at the time it was made.

Having said that, there is no doubt that The Beatles did have a major influence on the culture of their time.

Waterman
04-09-2005, 12:27 PM
I too have reviewed Rolling Stones list and for the most part agree, except for the glaring error at position number 41.

Not to turn my original question around, BUT let me spend a few sentences venting on the most overrated group and individual in the history of rock/pop. This distinction belongs to Jim Morrison and the Doors. Morrison was nothing more than a drug addled vocalist in a band of average, at best, talent. Rolling Stone critics, in particular, spent most of the 70's and 80's drooling over the Doors (having them in their Top 5 or Top 10 lists). At least they are dropping down the list. Done for now. Thanks

Sam Stone
04-09-2005, 03:43 PM
Sam - I agree with you but I believe in the case of the Beatles, their sheer success and selling power was the primary reason they influenced so many of their rock, pop, etc. contemporaries. I don't mean to detract from their music but most all of the other artists achieved their influence, not by success, but by their willingness to expand the boundaries of their music.

From 1965 to 1970 it seemed that everything the Beatles came out with was praised for its greatness and while they wrote/played a lot of good songs some of their stuff would have been thrown off the radio if it had been by anyone else.

Are you saying that the Beatles didn't have a willingness to expand the boundaries of their music?? I'd say that the Beatles expanded their boundaries more than any other band. They went' from singing, "She loves you" to stuff like Helter Skelter. And they did it before anyone else.

The Beatles did heavy metal. They did pop. They did concept albums. They broke the rule that hit songs has to be 3 minute ditties. They worked classical orchestrations into their music, paving the way for Prog Rock. They started the trend toward 'world music' by incorporating sitars and other foeign influences into their songs. They were a huge influence on everyone in the 60's. Every time a Beatles album would come out, everyone in the music industry would rush out and listen to it over, and over, and over, trying to figure out what they were doing. Every new album was completely different than the last.

And I don't at all think their influence was because they were popular. I think they were popular because what they were doing at the time was astounding and simply blew everyone away. The influence came out of their talent and the boundaries they were breaking, and so did their success.

I can't think of any other band before or since that had the raw talent of the Beatles or changed music as much as they did. No one. Forty years after they first appeared, other musicians are still playing catch-up.

Waterman
04-09-2005, 04:44 PM
Are you saying that the Beatles didn't have a willingness to expand the boundaries of their music?? I'd say that the Beatles expanded their boundaries more than any other band. They went' from singing, "She loves you" to stuff like Helter Skelter. And they did it before anyone else.
I'm not saying that they didn't expand the boundaries of their music but there were others who had ventured forth into new areas that the Beatles later incorporated into their music. Music styles were changing very rapidly in the middle and late 60's

The Beatles did heavy metal. They did pop. They did concept albums. They broke the rule that hit songs has to be 3 minute ditties. They worked classical orchestrations into their music, paving the way for Prog Rock. They started the trend toward 'world music' by incorporating sitars and other foeign influences into their songs. They were a huge influence on everyone in the 60's. Every time a Beatles album would come out, everyone in the music industry would rush out and listen to it over, and over, and over, trying to figure out what they were doing. Every new album was completely different than the last.
Where or when did the Beatles do Heavy Metal? BTW, they started out doing pop. They were not the first to break the 3 minute barrier - that distinction, if I'm not mistaken, actually is credited to Phil Spector and specifically the Righteous Brother's release of (Youre My) Soul & Inspiration which actually clocked in at 3:45 and Spector had the labels printed with 3:00 as the running time and it still made it to Number #1. You could argue that the Moody Blues, as far as Brit bands, were the first to incorporate orchestral music in their 1967 album Days of Future Passed. I'm not entirely in agreement that every was completely different particularly if you look at their last album released (Let It Be) which was basically a throwback to their pop days of the mid 60's. And most of the white album was pure unadulterated crap that has not stood the test of time

And I don't at all think their influence was because they were popular. I think they were popular because what they were doing at the time was astounding and simply blew everyone away. The influence came out of their talent and the boundaries they were breaking, and so did their success.

I can't think of any other band before or since that had the raw talent of the Beatles or changed music as much as they did. No one. Forty years after they first appeared, other musicians are still playing catch-up.
Again, I don't argue that they didn't change music. But much of what you said could easily be reversed by saying that because they were popular everybody listened to them and in the process copied them. Raw talent - there are hundreds if not thousands of musicians out there with talent that you and I will never hear because of the lack of recording contracts, exposure, etc. It's not your talent it's who you know (and the Beatles had Brian Epstein).

GorillaMan
04-09-2005, 04:58 PM
They did concept albums.
They did them when everybody else was doing them. They didn't invent the idea.

They broke the rule that hit songs has to be 3 minute ditties.
They, and they alone, broke that rule?

They started the trend toward 'world music' by incorporating sitars and other foeign influences into their songs.
They were part of the trend towards world music. They didn't go it alone.

vl_mungo
04-09-2005, 05:12 PM
I just noticed that there has been no mention of Frank Zappa nor Captain Beefheart... what were we thinking?

John Carter of Mars
04-09-2005, 09:00 PM
I think that Elvis was a product of the influences before him (R&B, C&W, etc.) rather than him necessarily being an influence.


Elvis - see response above.

Ray(Charles): definitely, bridging the secular & gospel areas not to mention his groundbreaking use of C&W to further his success in the R&B arena.

So, Waterman, you dismiss Elvis as being a product of those before him, but praise Ray Charles for melding C&W, R&B and Gospel into one? What did Elvis do if not meld C&W, R&B and Gospel into one?

The pre-movie star Elvis influenced not only the music but also the culture of the times, changing it into a Rock 'n' Roll culture. Would Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly (to name just a few) have reached stardom and had songs on top 40 lists if Elvis hadn't overturned the apple cart and kicked the door open? There's no way to know for sure, but I don't think so.

We don't know what the last 50 years in music might have been without Elvis, but it's fairly certain that it would have been very different.

Waterman
04-09-2005, 09:37 PM
You make a logical and justifiable point. Elvis brought the swagger and "rock-n-roll" attitude to the whole show.

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