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29 July 2005 @ 04:10 pm
As Influential as the Beatles.  
Lily and I were having a talk about this in the car...

I'd say the most influential music of the 20th Century was the Beatles. Or the most noteworthy. Or the most popular. Or something. Basically, it's the band with the biggest name recognition and basically everyone likes at least some of their stuff.

What would be second runner-up? And is there anything of this age (3 decades later) that even compares?

I threw out a few names like Nirvana, Radiohead, Aphex Twin, and Lily said Green Day or ACDC... but none of them were or have been around for as long as the Beatles, nor do I really see them being recognized as so important in, say, 30 years.

We were also talking about how in an MTV era, it's almost impossible to gauge something like influential music. Throw charts, MTV, radio, whatever into the equation and you've got skewed results from the majority of people (read: SHEEP) who will listen to what's popular. This isn't to say that the Beatles' popularity wasn't skewed by stuff like this... but back then when music was under less attack by corporations and IP debate, it was quite a lot harder to become an "overnight sensation," or something like that.
Starline Xiomara Hodgestarline on July 29th, 2005 11:17 pm (UTC)
madonna maybe? I dunno.
Jeffrey Carl Fadenjeffreyatw on July 29th, 2005 11:19 pm (UTC)
Oh yeah, that's a big one.
Alex Davisjoevual on July 29th, 2005 11:24 pm (UTC)
Greatfull Dead
mingster on July 29th, 2005 11:34 pm (UTC)
Elvis is the obvious answer. Others you could make an argument for include Miles Davis, David Bowie, Michael Jackson, The Rolling Stones, Iggy and the Stooges, and Kraftwerk. Frankly though, who gives a shit? I think the best band of the 20th century is the Talking Heads, and there's absolutely no way they were anywhere close to the Beatles in terms of influence. The whole thing just drips of wankery: of course you can't know what current bands are going to be considered influential in the future, unless you think you can project what direction important bands in the future are going to take, which I doubt. Even then, how exactly are you judging this, since influence over the masses (i.e. chart success) is absolutely not equal to influence on the state of music as a whole. If it was, the most important band of the 20th century would be The Eagles: the most successful corporate created band ever.
beauseizure on July 29th, 2005 11:53 pm (UTC)
Nirvana was an excellent group but I think their musical influence is pretty regularly over-estimated. Culturally, though, their impact was huge. I think ACDC and Green Day are pretty fucking totally unimportant in the grand scheme of things. The recent "rock revival" or whatever is much more about the Rolling Stones than any ACDC stuff, and Green Day is like a fuzzy-ass photocopy of a photocopy of a ditto'd mimeograph sheet that some kid at CBGB's wiped his ass with and vomited on. Fuck them. As far as groups that have influenced the punk/indie rock world... Drive Like Jehu maybe? But that's a small niche.

I think artists like Aphex Twin and Brian Eno will be remembered in 30 years and have been hugely influential, and not just inside their niches. Everyone from Timbaland to BT to The Neptunes have been biting Aphex Twin's shit for years, and he's equally indebted to Eno... but they're not really popular among anyone but electronic music dorks and academia. The Beatles have the popularity to back up their influence.

Radiohead is a pretty serious contender. See also Jimi Hendrix. Bob Marley is also really big, and his influence is pretty fucking international.

As P-Funk derivative as he is, Dr. Dre might also be one of the most influential composers ever. His work brought rap out of its extremely small ghetto and in to the world of the mainstream, and since then popular music is pretty much entirely either hip-hop based or bears a serious hip-hop influence, even bands like Korn bite hip-hop beats and have Ice Cube get up on stage and scream shit. In fact, yeah, put me down for Dr. Dre.
mingster on July 29th, 2005 11:59 pm (UTC)
"but they're not really popular among anyone but electronic music dorks and academia"

I'm not sure i'd agree with this when it comes to Eno. His solo stuff like Here Come the Warm Jets, sure. However, when you include his production work with U2, Bowie's Berlin albums, Devo, that fucking Windows startup sound, and the Talking Heads, I think there's little doubt that he's crossed into "legend" territory, or whatever we're calling this.
- beauseizure on July 30th, 2005 04:15 am (UTC) (Expand)
- franceattack on July 30th, 2005 02:42 am (UTC) (Expand)
- mingster on July 30th, 2005 02:53 am (UTC) (Expand)
- jeffreyatw on July 30th, 2005 03:03 am (UTC) (Expand)
- paradoxx181 on July 30th, 2005 04:43 am (UTC) (Expand)
- jeffreyatw on July 30th, 2005 04:46 am (UTC) (Expand)
- paradoxx181 on July 30th, 2005 04:51 am (UTC) (Expand)
- mingster on July 30th, 2005 05:20 am (UTC) (Expand)
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- mingster on July 30th, 2005 05:56 am (UTC) (Expand)
- paradoxx181 on July 30th, 2005 06:07 am (UTC) (Expand)
- jeffreyatw on July 30th, 2005 06:51 am (UTC) (Expand)
- mingster on July 30th, 2005 05:21 am (UTC) (Expand)
- paradoxx181 on July 30th, 2005 05:48 am (UTC) (Expand)
- mingster on July 30th, 2005 05:55 am (UTC) (Expand)
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- beauseizure on July 30th, 2005 04:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
- jeffreyatw on July 30th, 2005 05:10 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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- beauseizure on July 30th, 2005 11:00 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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- beauseizure on July 30th, 2005 11:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
- beauseizure on July 30th, 2005 04:18 am (UTC) (Expand)
chelseaisland_fae on July 30th, 2005 03:22 am (UTC)
my friend found a rolling stones magazine in our house and it listed the beatles as the number one musical artists of the 20th century or something.
mingster on July 30th, 2005 04:09 am (UTC)
rolling stone put gwen stefani's album in its yearly top 100
- jeffreyatw on July 30th, 2005 04:10 am (UTC) (Expand)
- paradoxx181 on July 30th, 2005 04:43 am (UTC) (Expand)
haleyhome_grownhalo on July 30th, 2005 04:29 am (UTC)
i was thinking elvis.
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mingster on July 30th, 2005 07:02 am (UTC)
this is the worst gimmick i've ever seen
Andyddrmallrat on July 30th, 2005 11:25 am (UTC)
Its hard to say who was the most influential when you don't look at the full scope. I would have to agree, Elvis and maybe the Beatles influenced a whole new genre to form, and from those branch off other genres, but don't forget about other genres, also. What about Gershwin? Stravinsky?Or some sort of an influential country singer (Garth Brooks?)
Some other bands to throw out there are Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Ray Charles.
One could even argue that Brittany Spears influenced a whole spew of bubble-gum-pop-boppers, like Christina Aguilara, and those other girls who paraded around like whores.
What about Queen? Led Zepplin for sure. And Pink Floyd. Bob Dylan.
In the world of jam-bands, Phish.
In reggae, undoubtably, Bob Marly.
In ska, maybe Reel Big Fish?
Punk, hands down, the Sex Pistols. And the Ramones.
Electronica, of course, Kraftwerk.
Metal, Black Sabbath.

I guess you have to look at it in perspective. Were they influential to music as a whole? Or are they a more proportionally larger influence in their genre?

Also, I found this: http://www.digitaldreamdoor.com/pages/best_influential.html
Solidifies the rock and roll names that have been listed for sure.
Ranagan_Labardinelabardine on July 30th, 2005 12:49 pm (UTC)
I don't know about influential... but ALOT of people cover Bob Dylan songs ... Knocking on Heaven's Door, Forever Young and of course, All along the Watchtower being the more famous covers.
If anything, the man's good to crib from... and you can probably sing better than him.

You can make arguments that the Police were influential too...

Johnny frickin Cash.

Diana Ross for the concept of how the diva should look, Aretha Franklin for how she should sing. Donna Summer for both reasons.

James Brown. Rick James. Marvin Gaye. Little Richard. Smokey Robinson. Ike/_TINA_ Turner. The Beach Boys. Elton John/Bernie Taupin. Bruce Springsteen.

Bone316 was right about the blues scene:Robert Johnson, Howlin Wolf, Willie Dixon, B.B. King, Muddy Waters and more... Especially in the british scene, the stones, the yardbirds, the Who, the Animals, the Beatles, Led Zep, Clapton... all of them can be in contendership for influence, themselves... acknowledge the blues as a big influence.

As for today... I dunno... Pharrell is responisble, tied into, dating or otherwise having dinner in the booth next to alot of the music today.

Chris Cornell was my favorite part of the Grunge scene.

And GNR.
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beauseizure on July 30th, 2005 04:31 pm (UTC)
*Not* George Clinton. F'real. He's kind of funny and shit, and I giggle a little when he says "vagina" because black people aren't supposed to say that, but Dre was not biting Clinton, he was biting Parliament, and the core of the interplanetaryfunksmachine was undoubtedly Boosty Collins and Bernie Worrell.
- beauseizure on July 30th, 2005 04:36 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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Jeffrey Carl Fadenjeffreyatw on July 30th, 2005 04:06 pm (UTC)
You're missing the point. We're talking about name recognition and influence DUE to that. Like I said, no one cares about the first caveman who sung and caused the rest of the world to follow suit.
- beauseizure on July 30th, 2005 05:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Sumezsumez on July 30th, 2005 02:52 pm (UTC)
Kraftwerk, Joy Division, Human League, David Bowie. There you go. All much better than The Beatles, too.

Screw Nirvana, they just rode the wave.
Jeffrey Carl Fadenjeffreyatw on July 30th, 2005 04:06 pm (UTC)
We're not talking about what's better.
- sumez on July 30th, 2005 04:08 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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- sumez on July 31st, 2005 06:54 am (UTC) (Expand)