Top 50 + 25

 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 15663
Registered: May-04
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http://www.gibson.com/en-us/Lifestyle/Features/top-50-full-1210/
 

Gold Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 1140
Registered: Jul-07
I figured Alice Cooper would be there somewhere.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 865
Registered: Dec-06
Thanks for posting this. It should make a great reference point when looking for something different to listen to. I'd love to begin tracking the different musical movements over time, from say the 50's onward.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1058
Registered: Oct-10
Those aee interesting lists. They certainly cover the genre spectrum. I can see where most of us would feel the need to replace some with others. For instance, I would add to the first list; Gene Krupa, Max Roach, Buddy Rich, The Who, Black Sabbath, Charles Mingus, Ornette Coleman and Judas Priest while removing; Madonna, Nirvana, Eddie Van Halen and a few others. It's all a matter of personal taste and what each individual considers innovative/influential.

Thanks for posting that Jan.
 

Silver Member
Username: Boulderdashcci

Canton, Massachusetts USA

Post Number: 201
Registered: Apr-07
The Melvins and a handful of other bands are far more deserving of Nirvana's spot than Nirvana.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 15666
Registered: May-04
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Keep the original poll site in mind, gibson.com. For the most part these are stringed instrument players - the vast majority are guitarists - who voted on Gibson's webpage and made the list what is is. Elvis is probably on that list not only for what he did but also what Scotty Moore and James Burton did for what was to become rock-a-billy. I doubt Charlie Christian is on most people's "most revolutionary" list unless you know some of the history of jazz and more specifically jazz guitar as it relates to the origins of the electric guitar.

Why Madonna is on the list? Go in any guitar shop and look at the predominant gender of the clientelle would be my best guess.


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Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 15667
Registered: May-04
.

The Melvins are "revolutionary"? Or, you just like The Melvins more than you do Nirvanna?
 

Silver Member
Username: Boulderdashcci

Canton, Massachusetts USA

Post Number: 202
Registered: Apr-07
Without the Melvins there would be no Nirvana, nor the grunge movement that "they" created. I think the Pixies and Sonic Youth also played a larger part than Nirvana, and while they're more credited than the Melvins, they still don't have the prominence than Nirvana has. Nirvana is the poster child for it, but there were a lot of bands doing it before and better than they did. I think there's actually a quote from Cobain about Smells Like Teen Spirit being his best effort to copy a Pixies song.

I would most definitely call the Melvins revolutionary. A lot of what they have done and still do over their 20 years goes against conventional rock structure, which in itself isn't all that original as many bands do it, but from it have come a lot of subgenres/musical styles, more important than what Nirvana had under their belt IMO which was a few MTV singles and credit for a lot that they weren't actually responsible for.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 15668
Registered: May-04
.

" I'd love to begin tracking the different musical movements over time, from say the 50's onward."

Dan, you'll probably have to go further back than that. You might start with W.C.Handy; http://www.nps.gov/history/delta/blues/people/wc_handy.htm and the Mississippi Delta region for the real beginings of modern music. Virtually anything we listen to in Western popular music is based upon the tenets of the blues music which came from the plantations of the late 1800's.

As Muddy Waters said, "The Blues had a baby and they named it rock and roll"; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyMeA8CfnGo

You might also read Peter Guralnick's trio; "Feel Like Going Home" (1971), "Lost Highway" (1979) and "Sweet Soul Music" (1986) then move to his biography of Elvis; http://www.amazon.com/Last-Train-Memphis-Elvis-Presley/dp/0316332259. That alone should give you a very good feel for the history of popular music through the first 70 years of the last century as everything that came after that came from those beginnings.

http://www.pbs.org/theblues/overview.html

http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?pid=7931252

http://www.goodsearch.com/search.aspx?keywords=the+roots+of+led+zeppelin%2fcd&pa ge=1&osmax=11
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1060
Registered: Oct-10
In addition to being mostly in the path strings/guitar/gibson players, a lot has to do with the influence these artists had and continue to have. Most people wouldn't consider Mose Allison revolutionary/influential, but The Who sure did. "Young Man Blues" on Live at Leeds and "Eyesight to the Blind" from Tommy were both originally by Mose. On the song "Music Must Change" Roger Daltry immitates Mose's voice.

Most members of metal bands would consider Live at Leeds a big influence along with early Black Sabbath albums. In my metal days, I listened to a band called Trouble. I thought by their fourth album, they'd developed a very unique playing style and lyrical content. Would I call them influential? No! How could they be? Who's ever heard of them.

Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane and a number of other jazz musicians were influential on jazz and rock. Yet, there were and are many that never got any real notice, but could've been influential if given the chance.

If a list of influential musicians was made that was not genre, instrument or brand specific and was composed by musicians in all genres, it would probably have to include at least 200 names and would give the reader a more accurate sense of who has had what impact. I'd say it's a safe bet that Buddy Rich would top the list of influential drummers. If you don't beleive me, just ask Neil Peart.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 13667
Registered: Feb-05
Kurt Cobain and friends pointed to Cheap Trick as one their primary influences.
 

Silver Member
Username: Boulderdashcci

Canton, Massachusetts USA

Post Number: 203
Registered: Apr-07
I wasn't exactly citing who was historically influential on these bands...That does indeed draw from a wide range of genres over a quite a large period of time. But the bands I mentioned were all from around the same time and part of the same movement that Nirvana almost solely gets credit for, which is what I take issue with. I don't deny that Nirvana played a part, either, because they most certainly did, but they weren't the first or only ones to be doing what they were doing, which is why I don't think they were revolutionary, or at least as much as they get credit for.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1061
Registered: Oct-10
Unfortunately Freddie, we must all come terms with the fact that life isn't fair. Nirvana got better exposure than the other grunge bands. Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday got better exposure than Sarah Vaughn. IMO, Sarah was better than both of them put together and I like Ella and Billie, but... In the 80s, a band called Ratt shot up the charts because one of the members is Milton Burl's grandson. Uncle Milty not only promoted the band, he also appeared in the video for "Round and Round". The list of unfair advantages goes on. We just have to grin & bear it.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 13669
Registered: Feb-05
I'm not sure what unfair advantages Ella and Billie had over Sarah. I love all three of them and they are all wildly different but they all came from a place of disadvantage. Billie could take poor compositions and make real music of them, Ella reinvinted standards and would forever make them hers and Sassy had a way with people and a voice that was incomparable. Were I given the choice to attend one of their concerts and meet with one of them afterward no doubt it would be Billie. She is, to me, the most interesting.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1063
Registered: Oct-10
Certainly being black and female in their time was a dissadvantage for all 3 as well as Lena Horn and many others. However, Sarah Vaughn, according to jazz historians got less exposure than many others. Even today, you don't hear about her as much as the others.

I like Sarah's voice and singing style better than those of the other ladies mentioned. Not that I would ever knock the others, but she just had one of those voices.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 871
Registered: Dec-06
Thanks for the tips Jan, I'll check out the links you provided.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 13670
Registered: Feb-05
Ella and Billie both came from disadvantage. You get more exposure when you make it. Ella singing with Chick Webb didn't hurt. Sarah had a magnificent voice and every bit as much opportunity. Billie didn't even have what we would define as a great voice however she had a "great voice", she was able to communicate and express emotion like few others. For me what makes a great singer is there ability to communicate...Shirley Horn for example.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1065
Registered: Oct-10
I don't agree that Sarah had the same opportunities as the others, but I suppose that's a matter of perception, point of view, etc. So, suffice to say life isn't fair and never will be. There will always be talented people being overlooked while less talented people make it.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 13675
Registered: Feb-05
I wonder who Sassy was overlooked by. My Dad loved her and talked about her, apparently he knew who she was. Then again he knew and bent elbows with Earl Hines and Count Basie. They knew her too.

Life ain't fair, that's true.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 1174
Registered: May-05
How do the Carpenters not make that list?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 13676
Registered: Feb-05
I'm just sayin'!
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 15671
Registered: May-04
.

" I'd say it's a safe bet that Buddy Rich would top the list of influential drummers. If you don't beleive me, just ask Neil Peart."

Early in his career, Peart's performance style was deeply rooted in hard rock. He drew most of his inspiration from drummers such as Keith Moon and John Bonham, players who were at the forefront of the British hard rock scene.[1] As time progressed, however, he began to emulate jazz and big band musicians Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich. In 1994, Peart became a friend and pupil of jazz instructor Freddie Gruber.

"Kurt Cobain and friends pointed to Cheap Trick as one their primary influences."



Every major artist learns from those artists who have developed a style which permitted lifting of ideas. Fitzgerald, Vaughn and Holiday all took their cues from Bessie Smith who in turn had learned from Ma Rainey a dozen years earlier. Musicians and artists in general commonly mingle together whether it be just by the libertine nature of the job or by the fact musicians at some time in their career often live in some degree of poverty which pushes them into a commonality with other people, races and cultures. As such artists absorb ideas from other artists and build their own style with elements of someone else's input or by a rejection of those things they see as outdated. Impressionists rejected Realism, Expresionists rejected Impressionism, Surrealists rejected Expressionism, Dadaists rejected Surrealism and Constructivists rejected Dada. One of the most striking images in "Elvis '56" is that of the competing TV network stars at work. One is Perry Como crooning a tune acceptable to the parents of those kids who were watching Elvis rip up "Flip Flop and Fly" on The Dorsey Brothers Show. Elvis sang in the style of the music he heard from his mother's phonograph; Jimmie Roger's ("TB Blues," "Waiting for a Train," "Travelin' Blues," "Train Whistle Blues," and his 13 blue yodels; http://www.cmt.com/artists/az/rodgers_jimmie/bio.jhtml) who turned "blue notes" into yodels and the white Gospel groups The Stamps and The Blackburn Brothers with the sound of the black churches he attended in his youth. Financial situations had placed the Presley family in the same housing districts with the blacks of Memphis and Elvis learned to sing in those churches. He heard Mario Lanza and tried to push his voice to those same heights.

Scotty Moore, (Elvis' guitarist) wanted to make his style that of Chet Atkins who had learned his style from Merle Travis who had emulated Jimmie Rogers, Bill Monroe and the Piedmont Blues guitarists he grew up hearing. Moore was a studio musician for Sam Phillips when he was introduced to Elvis and they first recorded Arthur Crudup's blues number "That's Alright Mama". Phillips had been recording "race artists" such as Howlin' Wolf, Junior Parker and a young Ike Turner which exposed Moore to their blues and Boogie/BeBop influences. Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison and Jerry Lee Lewis all came from Sun Studios and all heard the other performers and each performer watched what succeeded for the other. The "Chucka-chucka" sound in early Johhny Cash recordings is reminiscent of the washboards used in family settings to play the country music he grew up with. When the blues race records of the '20-40's hit the shores of England and were discovered by the likes of Clapton, Richards and Lennon they combined what they had been playing as "skiffle" with the sound of the early blues performers to create electric blues/rock. Skiffle; http://oldies.about.com/od/folksingers/g/skiffle.htm grew from a variety of styles which melded together elements of "country", folk, jazz and New Orleans Creole music with blues and was mostly played as a style indigenous to the lower classes. The Rolling Stones sat at the feet of Howlin' Wolf in a TV appearance. Clapton would not perform the London Howlin' Wolf Sessions had Hubert Sumlin not been there. Robert Johnson is to many of those younger players the Holy Grail of music. Johnson was inspired by Son House and Willie Brown. House gave lessons to Muddy Waters and both were influenced by Blind Lemmon Jefferson from the early '20's.

Wolf drove out of the Delta to make the journey North through Memphis to St. Louis and up to Chicago. Economics of the Depression and Post War US had made that a familiar path for many seeking employment away from the plantations of the Delta. They brought with them their knowledge of familiar music and much of it came together in the Beale Street district of Memphis where performers passed licks and songs amongst each other in a highly competitive market. Sumlin had learned from and had played with many of the Delta performers such as Robert Johnson, Robert Lockwood and Charlie Patton. In turn Sumlin influenced Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Jimmie Hendrix. Hendrix played his instrument very much in the performance style of T Bone Walker; http://search.yahoo.com/search?ei=utf-8&fr=slv8-hptb5&p=t-bone%20walker%20pictur es&type= who had played with his teeth or with the guitar slung over his back or between his legs thirty five years before Hendrix.

Even the beginnings of the blues had come from W.C. Handy's travels and his associations ...
"While in Florence he belonged to a "shovel brigade" at the McNabb furnace, and described the music made by the workers as they beat shovels, altering the tone while thrusting and withdrawing the metal part against the iron buggies to pass the time while waiting for the overfilled furnace to digest its ore, "With a dozen men participating, the effect was sometimes remarkable...It was better to us than the music of a martial drum corps, and our rhythms were far more complicated."[2] He would note that "Southern Negroes sang about everything...They accompany themselves on anything from which they can extract a musical sound or rhythmical effect...". He would later reflect that, "In this way, and from these materials, they set the mood for what we now call blues".[3] also the guy made music

In 1903 while waiting for a train in Tutwiler, in the Mississippi Delta, Handy had the following experience. "A lean loose-jointed Negro had commenced plunking a guitar beside me while I slept... As he played, he pressed a knife on the strings of the guitar in a manner popularized by Hawaiian guitarists who used steel bars....The singer repeated the line three times, accompanying himself on the guitar with the weirdest music I had ever heard."[3][4]

... Partway through the evening, while playing a dance in Cleveland, Mississippi (circa 1905 [1]), Handy was given a note that asked for "our native music". After playing an old-time Southern melody, Handy was asked if he would object if a local colored band played a few numbers. Three young men with a battered guitar, mandolin, and a worn out bass took the stage.[5] (In recounting the same story to Dorthy Scarborough circa 1925, Handy remembered a banjo, guitar, and fiddle.[6]) "They struck up one of those over and over strains that seem to have no beginning and certainly no ending at all. The strumming attained a disturbing monotony, but on and on it went, a kind of stuff associated with cane rows and levee camps. Thump-thump-thump went their feet on the floor. It was not really annoying or unpleasant. Perhaps "haunting" is the better word."
; http://www.answers.com/topic/w-c-handy

Ma Rainey combined the two early forms of blues and jazz in her traveling show which eventually led to Bessie Smith's work which led to Holiday.

By the time Handy published his first blues recording Creole music from the New Orleans districts had also wandered up the Mississippi and was fusing those same flatted thirds and sevenths with their bent notes into what became the first instances of jazz. From there King Oliver influenced Louis Armstrong. Horn players were often the inspiration for vocalists such as Holiday who learned to phrase a song by listening to the horn players breath taking. Clapton's style is one of short bursts which sound as if he is taking breaths and then pausing to regain his strength.

Metal is influenced stylistically by the introduction of the Lydian and Phyrgian scale modes played against basic Power Chords. The Phrygian scale is common in Gypsy Jazz as heard by Django Rheinhardt in the 1920'-40's. Eddie Van Halen wanted to play electric guitar after hearing Clapton's "Crossroads" solo which was a song written by Robert Johnson. Power chords come from the early electric blues/rock groups such as The Cream who put together a blues player with two jazz musicians. B.B. King's pentatonic style of playing comes from Louis Jordan, a saxophonist who played in the style of Fats Waller a pianist and who, like Louis Armstrong, Waller and Walker, successfully crossed the white/black line of popularity, exactly what Sam Philips wanted to accomplish with Elvis - a white man who sings like a Negro. David Gilmour phrases his playing in the style of B.B. King. And so on ...

"Revolutionary" is a difficult title to assign as any of these artists brought with them the sounds they had heard in their youth then shifted and rearranged those sounds and added to those styles to create their own sound. Economic and cultural shifts are often the most common causes for "revolution". It's doubtful Elvis would have had the same impact had the aftermath of the War not allowed a freedom in the youth of America who experienced access to money, automobiles and communications unknown to earlier generations. But, in the end, Elvis was just trying to emulate the performers he had gown up hearing.



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Gold Member
Username: Stryvn

Wisconsin

Post Number: 1248
Registered: Dec-06
Good stuff, Vigne, as usual. Thanks.

I was just glad to see Zappa on both lists.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 13681
Registered: Feb-05
Billie Holiday often spoke of Bessie Smith as an influence. It appeared she was aware of her roots.

Anyone familiar with Ma Rainey's Black Bottom?

Not you, Jan. I know you are.

http://www.cduniverse.com/lyrics.asp?id=1980029

Ma Rainey performed in Minstrel shows and heard Ragtime when it was fresh. She heard work songs turning to blues while growing up. Her music was a stew made up of the music of her times and her experiences.

Good stuff.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Stamford, Connecticut USA

Post Number: 4242
Registered: May-05
"But, in the end, Elvis was just trying to emulate the performers he had gown up hearing."

Every musician has done the same. I'm pretty sure that's what you were alluding to.

I remember seeing a YouTube video where Metallica was talking about cover songs they play. One of the guys said 'We've covered pretty much every Diamondhead song there is. All that's left to do is get that band back together so we can cover more of their songs.' Kirk Hammett (lead guitar) followed up with 'We've been writing our own Diamondhaed songs since we started.'

Sorry if I bring the discussion back a few steps, but just because Diamondhead influenced Metallica, doesn't make Diamondhead more influential than Metallica. Not even close IMO. Metallica is a houshold name that tons of current bands list as a major influence. How many of you have heard of Diamondhead? I never heard of them until Metallica mentioned them. I'm sure most of you didn't hear of them until right now.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1066
Registered: Oct-10
Yes, Neal Peart's early influences include Keith Moon and John Bonham, but Keith Moon's include Gene Krupa and Sonny Rollins. I'd imagine Neal checked to see who influenced his favs. Neal later organized the recording of "Burning for Buddy" 1 & 2, tributes to Buddy Rich.

I remember hearing the name Diamond Head before Metallica's "Kill 'Em All" was released, but never got to hear any of their stuff, at least not knowingly. James Hetfield sites Bach (yes, Johann Sebbastian Bach, the classical composer) as an influence in his writing style.

Just as Eric Clapton and B.B. King influenced each other, Miles Davis and Jimi Hendrix did the same Miles & Jimi were supposed to make an album together too, unfortunately, Jimi's drug habit killed him before that could happen.

I wonder who in here is aware that Black Sabbath started out as a blues band that went by the name, Earth.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Stamford, Connecticut USA

Post Number: 4244
Registered: May-05
I'm aware of Sabbath's history. Didn't know it until I bought their Black Box box set though.

The Black Crowes started out as a punk band with a different name. Uncle someone's garden. Someone wasn't the name, just can't remember it right now.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1068
Registered: Oct-10
Kiss was originally Wicked Lester. Twisted Sister guitarist, Jay Jay French was a memeber of Wicked Lester, but left before the name change. The Who started out as The Who, but a producer tried to turn them into a mod band and the name was changed to The High Numbers. Mod was an off shoot of rock popular in England in the late 60s. The High Numbers changed their name back to The Who and went back to rock as mod just wasn't their thing. Cliff Burton was not Metallica's original bassist. I forget the guy's name, but James and Lars hired another bassist before Cliff. They recorded the original version of "Hit the Lights" for Metal Blade Records compilation with him and Dave Mustain. This bassist's playing style was better suited to pop/hair metal. They re-recorded it with Cliff & Dave for "Kill.....". The only song by the band to have no published studio version with Kirk Hammet. The bassist who played with Ratt, at least as far as I followed them in the 80s, was with Dokken before them. He played on Dokken's debut, "Breaking the Chains", but left because he got fed up with the ego war between Don Dokken and George Lynch.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 15693
Registered: May-04
.

For Stryvn; http://www.gibson.com/en-us/Lifestyle/Features/frank-zappa-1227/
 

Gold Member
Username: Stryvn

Wisconsin

Post Number: 1250
Registered: Dec-06
Thanks, Jan.

I just saw Dweezil's Zappa Plays Zappa gig (again) here a couple of weeks ago. The kid can play and certainly learned a few things from Dad.
Frank's style and attention certainly were different and I always wondered what made his sound so unique. He definitely was an inventor and influential to a LOT of musicians. And he worked hard at his craft, admitting that playing guitar never came easy to him and required his full attention while playing. So much so that he said he had to look at the neck while playing to keep up. It's ok with me...I love his sound.

Having said that, his use of overdubbing in live record production, piecing together great performances on one song from many shows which produced pleasing-to-the-ear pieces, never really made sense to me. I prefer the performance to speak for itself. Frank's constant desire for perfection takes away some of the "ambiance" of a live gig when put to vinyl, if you ask me. For instance, I enjoy all of the You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore lp's, but the overdubbing takes something away. I want the whole performance.

The guy could play a guitar and the guitar solos are phenominal though. He had a sound and a mind all his own.

Side note- for any Zappa fans out there, if you see a band called Project Object come thru your town, do yourself a favor- GO SEE THIS BAND. It's Ike Willis and Ray White from Zappa's band. They usually have a couple other members from the band with them and it is a GREAT show. All Zappa tunes and a guitar mind freak with excellent Zappa material played with Zappa's soul in tow.

Happy New Year everyone.
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