Battle Of The Bands

After numerous moany tweets about Blur being “rubbish” at the Brits last night, it left me angry about the fact it seems people are forgetting about the bands who have shaped the way music is now.
Blur won the Outstanding Contribution to Music award last night and many people took to Twitter exclaiming that they were rubbish live and they did not deserve it. Excuse me… what do you know?
I am not the HUGEST Blur fan, but I like to think I recognise a band who I think have influenced other bands on how they write music and maybe contribute to their style. Yes, most bands now have a different sound and they are icons of other bands who want to make it big, but there are only a few bands or musicians I would name who have changed the world of music.

Rolling Stones magazine has listed the top 100 Greatest Musicians of all time. While scanning across the list, I realised that actually, a lot of these “Greats” are influential and they have changed the world of music by opening up new genres and styles. I am going to list ten of who I think are the most influential, and why.
(read the full article on:

number = My rating
number = Rolling Stone’s rating

1. 1. The Beatles.
They were the first British band to break America, and this influenced many other bands to follow suit, with the Americans going crazy over a good old British accent. The four-piece from Liverpool even had a craze named after them. “Beatlesmania” was affecting fans all-around the world by them screaming and waiting around for hours just to see them. It is always great for a band to not always stick with their original and traditional sound. They started off with nice songs about love usually, and it was candy-pop with guitars. They later on went through a stage when the drugs they were taking influenced them to write more catchy and “out-there” songs and somehow managed to produce the album, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. I believe that they are influential as I do not think there are many people in the world who have never heard of The Beatles, or never have heard at least one song of theirs. Many of the bands that followed went for the guitars and making women all over the world wanting to take them home to meet their mothers.

2. 39. David Bowie.
This zany musician is a personal favourite of mine, as I love the way he would swap from being David Bowie to Ziggy Stardust. Some would argue that he had schizophrenia, but the majority of us know that it was all purely down to talent, and a very good idea. His influence to the musicians of the world is to go with any ideas you have as they could pay off, as he wasn’t sure how we would react to his split-persona. But we loved it. Nowadays, musicians like Beyonce even have another personailty in the form of Sasha Fierce.

3. 52. Queen.
Probably the most influential rock band ever and on the list, and also probably the greatest performer in history in the form or Freddie Mercury. What more could we want? The guitar solo in Bohemian Rhapsody played brilliantly by Brian May was exhilarating and I am not saying that he “invented” the Guitar solos or even the air-guitar, but it was a great sound. As a band, they were well-liked, very popular and with countless number 1 singles and even a musical based on their songs, I think we can safely say that most bands would love to aspire to what they have achieved.

4. 6. Jimi Hendrix.
Even though their was such a tragic ending for this promising guitarist who famously set fire and trashed his own guitar at Woodstock, Jimi Hendrix is still such an influential figure in music. His fast-fingers made magic and produced many hits, and his voice was very soothing and the psychedelic tone to his songs was exactly the sound and the aura that the 60’s needed. Many guitarists envy his ability to play the guitar so well, but they see him as an icon.

5. 2. Bob Dylan.
Yes, he maybe be just another man on his guitar, but Mr Dylan is influential in another way. His song Hurricane was a protest song which caused controversy about the injustice of Rubin Carter, a boxer who was jailed for 19 years for a crime he did not commit. Dylan brought attention to Carter’s case, and even though when the case got re-trialed, he got sentenced again, they did not give up and eventually, Carter was set free. In the music world, his songs were very mellow and guitar-based which is a favourite among most musicians.

6. 3. Elvis Presley.
Seeing as he got the title, King of Rock and Roll, it is a sure sign to me that this guy was very influential. He starred in many films, and had many top hit singles, and was the one who could shake his hips and make women all over the world melt. Girls wanted to be with him, guys wanted to be him. His cleft lip, his black slick up hair and his persona just won everyone over. As for his music, well, how catchy are his songs? In Nowhere Boy, it showed that John Lennon went through a phase where he was obsessed with Elvis, and he whacked out many hits for The Beatles. I think I have said enough.

7. 4. The Rolling Stones.
They were the bad boys when all the pretty boys were running about in America trying to break it. The Rolling Stones with their cool persona just took a step back and let their music do the talking. Their songs were a lot more edgier than The Beatles who were around at the same time, and there image wasn’t as clean cut; this wasn’t a problem. It was a breath of fresh air, and it opened up the doors to other bands who did not want to follow in The Beatles footsteps, (because if you did, would you really be heard?) They did something new, and it has paid off with numerous hits, Mick Jagger dueting with David Bowie and getting a song after him – what more could a rocker want?

8. 9. Aretha Franklin.
Voice of Motown. Queen of Motown. The mother of Motown. Whatever we want to call her, Aretha Franklin IS Motown. Her powerful lungs let her belt out many hits and her range was unbelievable. She has such a strong voice, that it is really hard to try and pull it off, even after a few drinks. Her energy was always so uplifting and her music would get you on your feet. Motown did die out, but occasionally in songs now, you can hear a subtle hint of it.

9. 12. The Beach Boys.
We can thank these guys for bringing the Summer sun to our grey country with their music which makes you daydream about being near the sea and about to go and surf. They were also famous for their harmonies which ranged from very low, to very high, and attaching it to a very catchy backing track. Usually we hear this style now with younger bands or American bands, as they can talk about being near the sea and surfing and catching rays without sounding hypocritical as that is basically their life.

10. 36. Madonna.
I am not a huge fan of this lady, and I know I am going to upset a few people with that comment, but I cannot deny that she is a big influence to music. She broke tradition and opted to sing a song about God, (and sexing it up), she changed personas like they were going out fashion, and she was then named the Queen of Pop. No-one since then had followed in her footsteps, or they follow one particular style and run off with it. This was until Lady Gaga was born. She is THE new Madonna (even if Madonna doesn’t think so) and I prefer Lady Gaga to her anyday. So maybe soon I will be able to kick off Madonna and replace her with her mini-me.

To conclude, yes be excited and supportive to the new bands out there, but remember that they were most probably influenced by one of the greats, so don’t go hating a band because they are not One Direction or what not, just be bloody grateful.


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