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Lucky

Most Influential Artists of the Decades

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Nope this isn't a list. I hijacked this idea from another message board. ;)

Which artists do you feel were the most influential, over the past 50 years or so? Whether it be rock, pop, or disco, the most important influences from each decade of music. Some may be obvious, some, not so much. It's all subjective anyway. Pick 3 artists, the 50's through the 90's. Just 3. List them, discuss them, or just throw up a :rockon: . Take them individually, or as a whole. This is a broad enough subject, hopefully it will provoke discussion, from everybody! ;)

The 1950's:

1.

2.

3.

The 1960's:

1.

2.

3.

The 1970's:

1.

2.

3.

The 1980's:

1.

2.

3.

The 1990's:

1.

2.

3.

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The 1950's:

1. :elvis:

2. Buddy Holly

3. Ray Charles

The 1960's:

1. The Beatles

2. The Rolling Stones

3. The Doors

The 1970's:

1. Led Zeppelin

2. The Bee Gees

3. The Eagles

The 1980's:

1. Phil Collins

2. Whitney Houston

3. INXS

The 1990's:

1. Aerosmith

2. Nirvana

3. Red Hot Chili Peppers

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I'll take the 50's first, just because they are. They're easy too, for me. :)

1.Elvis Presley.

This is an obvious choice. Elvis was the King. The first artist with mass appeal, at times, downright crazy mass appeal. He was a talent, an icon, and a true star. The natural magnetism of the man will never be equaled. Rock n' Roll took root with Elvis, and moved forward from that point.

2. Chuck Berry.

The same can be said of Berry, but in reverse. The man always took a backseat to the music. While he obviously enjoyed himself, it was the guitar, and the music that really counted. That and the performance. His songs, and his style were copied and mimicked in the 50's and still are today.

3. Hank Williams.

The man brought country music out of the country. Probably the first country artist to bring country music into the mainstream. Besides this, that early popularity opened the door for the later popularity of country rock and some of the other similar genres. He's the Elvis of Country Music.

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The 1950's:

1. Chuck Berry (The real king of rock and roll)

2. Elvis Presley (Awesome, but not Chuck Berry)

3. James Brown (Still has no dancing peer)

The 1960's:

1. The Beatles (Duh.)

2. The Velvet Underground (Probably the biggest influence in many of the modern bands worth listening to)

3. The Doors (Or the Stones or The Jimi Hendrix Experience. I know that's cheating, but the 60's were really when music exploded.)

The 1970's:

1. David Bowie (When you change styles as much as he did, you influence just about everyone)

2. Led Zeppelin (Heavy, man!)

3. Funkadelic (Who says a funk band can't play rock music? Probably the most sampled band of all time, except for possibly James Brown)

The 1980's:

1. Run-D.M.C. (Rap hit mainstream. These guys rocked. Unfortunately, it all went downhill from there.)

2. Pixies (Alternative also began to be noticed.)

3. Queen (Probably the second most beloved band of all time, after the Beatles)

The 1990's:

1. Nirvana (There's an entire thread devoted to arguing for and against this decision. Go look there.)

2. Dr. Dre (One of the best DJ's ever, but also started the movement that turned rap into a parody of itself. And so begins the dark age.)

3. Pearl Jam (Kept classicist rock alive and also retained their lineup and their dignity into the new millenium. One of the few from their era to do so and they should be thanked for it.)

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The 1960's

1. The Beatles (well yeah, duh) :P

Of course the Beatles. They were the Beatles! They started the engine that couldn't be stopped I've struggled, and had to come to the decision that I can't list The Stone's (dammit) or The Beach Boys seperately. They took the original idea and branched out with it into their own directions. The Stones, with the harder edge rock, the Beach boys with the more polished, pop/rock sound.

2. Bob Dylan

The most important of the singer/songwriters. First with folk and acoustic, then electric. Dylan made the words important, and opened the door wide for music to be used as social commentary.

3. Creedence Clearwater Revival

The number one All American Band. Though their style was their own, they were the platform that country rock, southern rock, and all those other "rocks" took off from.

Edited by Guest

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50s:

1- Elvis Presley. He was the first one. Youth was trendy as radio, tv and record companies would spread the new sound worldwide.

2- Chuck Berry. He was the main influence for the young bands.

3- Buddy Holly. Too bad he died so young.

60s:

1- Beatles. No need to explain

2- Dylan. No need to explain.

3- Rolling Stones . No need to explain.

I´ll carry on later. :)

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50's:

1. Buddy Holly

2. Chuck Berry

3. Elvis Presley

60's:

1. Beatles

2. Jimi Hendrix

3. The Doors

70's:

1. Led Zeppelin

2. Neil Young

3. Black Sabbath

80's:

1. U2

2. The Police

3. The Clash

90's:

1. Nirvana

2. R.E.M.

3. Metallica

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I don't know the 50's well at all, so I'm going to skip it.

Also, I'm not sure how valid my opinion is on decades in which I wasn't alive in, but here it goes

The 1960's:

1. The Beatles (music snobs everywhere try to deny this but it's true. they basically reflected and then popularized all the main movements of the 60's)

2. Jimi Hendrix (huge bias here, but without him it's unlikely we'd have the concept of a guitar hero)

3. Bob Dylan (for popularizing thinking)

The 1970's:

1. Funkadelic (huge influence on dance, funk, and partying. hip hop may not exist without it. kind of a sweeping statement, i know, but whatever.)

2. Kraftwerk (basically invented modern day electronic music. although they lacked massive popularity, they were probably the first electronic group that wasn't abstract and unappreciated by everyone besides the artists themselves)

3. Bob Marley (mostly on this list because in my opinion, he is the closest thing there is to a universally loved artist. also for introducing the US to world music)

The 1980's:

1. Run DMC (brought rap into the mainstream, and it's stayed at the top of the charts ever since, so i'd say that's pretty big influence)

2. Madonna (it seems like top 40 pop ever since madonna has been based on her music and image)

3. Talking Heads (for making nerds popular and cool. this would prove to be the driving force behind the indie revolution of recent times that has taken place all over pop culture. plus, radiohead claims to have been influenced by them, and radiohead are god's greatest gift to the world)

The 1990's:

1. Nirvana (popularized alternative rock to the greatest extent it's ever been popular. they also destroyed the 80's with some help from other seattle bands.)

2. Dr. Dre (made it official that mainstream rap was no longer about having fun. i'd have put tupac on this list instead, but dre gets bonus points for his work with nwa and as a producer)

3. Garth Brooks (as much as i dislike him, it seems like most modern country is based on him)

I'd like to include the best band of all time in my 90's list, but I'm not sure who they influenced besides Muse.

This decade (which isn't yet complete, so we haven't had the time to truly look back on it's artists impacts, but whatever, I'm doing it anyway)

1. Death Cab for Cutie (maybe it's the high schooler in me, but it seems that for today's youth, this band is a main transition from mindless pop to actually good music. popularized the indie scene)

2. Darude (for creating "sandstorm," possibly this generation's anthem)

3. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (for proving that indie bands can be as successful as a signed band. once all the major labels have collapsed this band will be viewed as more influential)

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Good thread Lucky ! :)

It's a shame the 50s and 60s weren't in half-decades. The first half of the 50s were syrupy and innocent Pop - except for the so-called 'Black Music, which became the foundation of 'Rock And Roll' which is generally accepted as beginning in 1955.

Then if we look at the 60s, the pattern is much the same - first half innocuously innocent Pop; second half, loss of innocence, mostly drug - influenced Rock.

The 50s were my 'growing up with music days', so you're going to have to take my word for it that Bill Haley and The Comets were the major influence before The King. They didn't leave a legacy as performer/songwriters Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, and Fats Domino did, but they were the first to be recognized as performing Rock And Roll. I'm not suggesting they were in the class of Berry, Holly or Domino.

I've left out Les Paul and important Pop singers from earlier in the Decade, who all carried over from the 40s anyway Crosby, Sinatra, Como, Nat 'King' Cole, etc.

1. Elvis Presley (The King)

2. Bill Haley & His Comets (Rock Around The Clock introduced Rock And Roll)

3. Little Richard ("them white Kids got a copy of Pat Boone's Tutti Frutti where their Momma can see it, but they got my record under their bed").

Special Mention: Johnnie Ray. He had thousands of girls swooning in the aisles in the early 50s (like Frank Sinatra in the 40s). A phenomenon of his time.

And the 60s:

1. The Beatles

2. The Rolling Stones

3. Bob Dylan

ALL for their performing and songwriting abilities.

Special Mention:

Jimi Hendrix, who undoubtedly influenced many kids to take up the guitar.

:guitar:

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Tough.

For the 70's, I'd say

1. T.Rex

2. The Ramones

3. Led Zeppelin

I adore glam rock, and Marc Bolan really started something when he plugged in.

I like punk, but I love the Ramones. They were the originators for me.

I have to put Zep in there somewhere, so I did.

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The 1950's:

1. The King, who else?

2. Chuck Berry

3. Bill Haley

4. Buddy Holly

5. Fats Domino

The 1960's:

1. The Beatles

2. The Stones

3. The Kinks

4. Bob Dylan

5. The Who

The 1970's:

1. The Stones

2. Zeppelin, man

3. The Pink Floyds

4. Cream

5. Alice Cooper

The 1980's:

1. Talking Heads

2. Springsteen

3. Iron Maiden

4. Devo

5. The Cars

The 1990's:

1. Pearl Jam

2. Guns N' Roses

3. Metallica

4. Nirvana

5. RUN-DMC

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The 50's

1-Elvis

2-Chuck Berry

3-Buddy Holly

The 60's

1-The Beatles

2-The Doors

3-Jimi Hendrix

The 70's

1-Pink Floyd

2-Zeppelin

3-Bowie

Will have the rest soon, a little harder for me since pretty much past 1979 I wasn't into a lot of newer music.

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I give this a try:

1950's

Chuck Berry

Little Richard

Buddy Holly

Elvis

Jerry Lee Lewis

1960's

The Beatles

The Beach Boys

Jimi Hendrix

Iggy and the Stooges

The Velvet Underground

1970's

David Bowie

Queen

The Eagles

The Sex Pistols

Talking Heads

1980's

Van Halen

Pink Floyd

ZZ Top

Blondie

U2

1990's

Nirvana

Aerosmith

2000's

RHCP

Edited by Guest

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The 1950's:

1. Frank Sinatra

2. Elvis Presley

3. Miles Davis

The 1960's:

1. Dylan

2. Beatles

3. Stones

The 1970's:

1. Led Zep

2. Bob Marley / Wailers

3. Bee Gees

The 1980's:

1. Bruce Springsteen

2. Stevie Ray Vaughan

3. Pretenders

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The 1950's:

1. Elvis Presley

2. Chuck Berry

3. Buddy Holly

The 1960's:

1. The Beatles

2. Bob Dylan

3. The Jimi Hendrix Experience

The 1970's:

1. Led Zeppelin

2. David Bowie

3. T-Rex

The 1980's:

1. Talking Heads

2. Run DMC

3. Michael Jackson

The 1990's:

1. Nirvana

2. Metallica

3. Red Hot Chili Peppers

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I've still to come up with my 70s and 80s choices. They're tougher as we're supposed to be choosing 'Most Influential Artists' not just our favorites, right ?

:)

That's right Darryl. I've yet to do mine either. I'll do them today.

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80s:

- U2. I don´t like them but they were a big influence.

- The Pretenders.

- R.E.M.

I didn´t mention some very important bands. For instance, Velvet Underground or The Who in the 60s, or Pink Floyd in the 70s... I also think that The Rolling Stones have been more important in the late 60s/early seventies than other bands...

The 90s:

- Nirvana

- Pearl Jam

- RHCP

It´s hard to talk about the 90s, not only because I wasn´t really interested in new bands or artists but also as I need some perspective... it´s easier to see how things happened 15 years ago and what their real influence is.

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1. Bernard Herrmann for his use of theremins in the score for the film The Day The Earth Stood Still.

2. Kraftwerk and Brian Eno for bringing Electronic music into the foray in the 70s. There were many others experimenting with it before them, but those albums sucked for the most part.

3. Roxy Music and The Velvet Underground for paving the way to 80s New Romantic.

4. Sparks, The Ramones, The Stooges, and The New York Dolls for bringing about Punk and New Wave.

5. Ennio Morricone for kicking ass all-around.

7. Ray Conniff and his Elevator music :rockon:

8. Madonna for building a music empire based on image.

9. Prince for being a style cross-over machine.

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Well, definitely not one of the 'best' bands, but certainly one of the most influential bands of the 70's was KISS.

It's a dubious honor, though, because what they spawned was 80's big hair metal.

There's no denying it, though. Hundreds of teenage boys picked up guitars because they wanted to be Ace Frehley or Paul Stanley.

Those boys in the late 70's became the 80's Quiet Riots, Warrents, Poisons, Ratts, Motley Crues, Cinderellas, Skid Rows, etc, etc, etc.

Aside from a few pretty good guitarists, this genre provided absoluely nothing to the evolution of rock and roll.

Their songs were cheesy, let's drink a six pack and have a party, and destroy the Ozone with V0-5.

Undoubtedly, though, Kiss' fingerprints are all over this shameful era in music.*

It's kind of a full circle thing, though, because KISS' look was obviously influenced somewhat by the glam of T-Rex, the NY Dolls, Alice Cooper, and Bowie (to an extent). What the 80's hair metal genre did was somewhat of a replice of the glam 'look'. Only difference is, the glammers of the late 60's and early 70's were guys in drag. These 80's guys were actually trying to be prettier than the girls who swooned for them.

*Kiss isn't entirely to blame, though. MTV had a hand in making it fashionable to look good, rather than contribute something musically.

Another big influence of the 70's was Eddie Van Halen. He single handedly changed the guitar game in 92 seconds. Eruption set in motion a whole generation of guitartists.

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