I’m turning to you to weigh in on a debate I was having with my neighbors a couple nights ago.
My wife and I were having a barbecue with our neighbors and we decided to make a list of the top 5 most influential bands/musical artists of the last… well… we didn’t really clarify, but I guess we’re pretty much talking about the 5 most influential artists who have shaped rock/pop music today.
This doesn’t mean they’re necessarily our favorites, it just means they’re major “rocks” that changed the course of the stream. Here’s my list…
1. The Beatles
2. Led Zeppelin
3. Elvis Presley
4. The Sex Pistols/The Clash/The Ramones (3-way tie, depending on who you credit with the real birth of punk– which technically, would probably have to be The Sex Pistols, but I think the others are valid choices)
5. Bob Dylan (to be fair, my original list included a 2-way tie here between Nirvana and Black Sabbath, but then I got talked out of it– I think rightfully so– to put in Dylan)
Anyway, things got heated when some people felt The Rolling Stones should be included in the top five. Now, I like the Stones… but come on– they weren’t really all that influential. Or at least, not “top five” influential. I mean, anything they did, the Beatles did first: first hit, first album, first Ed Sullivan appearance. And while Keith was an incredible guitarist, I don’t know that he contributed more than Jimmy Page, Hendrix, or– perhaps most importantly– Chuck Berry. In fact, you could probably argue that the Stones’ biggest influence on music wasn’t music at all… it was their bad-boy/fight-the-establishment persona, which– honestly– may be more important than anything music-related anyway. (I’m not actually arguing that, I’m just saying you could. If you wanted to. Which I’m not. Yet.)
Anyway, things got pretty fiery around the grill, so I figured I’d open up the floor to you guys and the comment section.
So… whaddaya think, screenwriters? Who are your top 5 most influential bands/musical acts? And do the Stones deserve to be in the top five?