Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Iconic Musicians?

  1. Sep 10, 2010 #1
    Which musicians do you think significantly changed or added to their genre of music? To start off Les Paul was a brilliant guitar player who contributed significantly to the electric guitar itself (the Gibson LP is named after him as was the SG originally).

    Wes Montgomery changed the way the guitar was used in Jazz, and if you're talking about Jazz, you have all the greats, John Coltraine, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, etc.

    Bands/Artists which significantly added to the blues would definately have Clapton, Led Zep, Pink Floyd (and David Gilmour especially), Muddy Waters, Howling Wolf, BB King, The Allman Brothers, to name a few.

    To round of the genres, metal also deserves a mention, and you need Black Sabbath, Tool, and at least the 3M's of metal, Metallica, Megadeath, and Maiden.

    What other bands/artists do you think changed the course of music history?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 10, 2010 #2

    Chi Meson

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    [PLAIN]http://www.popmatters.com/images/news_art/i/iggy-pop.jpg [Broken]
    Mark E. Smith
    [PLAIN]http://www.urbanimage.tv/highlight_images/punk-peopl.mark_e_smith_dp.jpg [Broken]

    Not everything they have done is great; in fact, each has on at least one occasion created dog poo on a platter, but these guys have spawned hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of bands.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  4. Sep 10, 2010 #3
    Have to add the rolling stones and deep purple, and i almost forgot jimi hendrix. I would add a long list of other bands/musicians but this will quickly turn into a thread of favourite musicians rather than ones that have actually changed music.
  5. Sep 10, 2010 #4
    How did i forget KISS! Masters of the key change.
  6. Sep 10, 2010 #5

    Ok, Lou Reed - YES.

    But how on earth do you even consider John Lydon?

    I mean, you are correct a lot of bands took their influences from the Sex Pistols - but Johnny Rotten did not do that. In fact if you can give any credit for the influence the pistols ever had it would be to Malcolm Mclaren - even he was deliberately trying to create his own version of what the Ramones had started back in NYC - of course the Ramones wouldn't be there without Lou Reed at all.

    The Sex Pistols were, while at the time seemingly punk rock and they influenced a lot of music - they do not have the long standing impact of even The Clash. While The Clash may not exist without the Pistols that is pretty hard to nail down perfectly since the precursor for The Clash was there with or without the Pistols ever existing; the Pistols being around simply opened the door for Punk Rock as we know it the UK - and it could have gone any direction - but the music, the generation and the culture was well and there and in full motion before the Pistols were even conceived - by almost a decade in fact.

    For my list I will say:

    Lou Reed

    Johnny Ramone (since he was the driving force behind the Ramones, with a bit of deedee and then Joey in later years - but Johnny was the boss)

    Malcolm McLaren

    Iggy Pop

    The MC5


    Leonard Cohen

    Thats a pretty short list though; it leaves a lot to be argued! But I don't think you can deny the impact any of those artists have had on western culture as a whole.

    EDIT: I'll agree with Mark E. Smith too, however :)
  7. Sep 10, 2010 #6

    Chi Meson

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    You said it. (in bold).

    As one who was infused in the punk scene from 1980, and on, I can consider this in retrospect: it was the Pistols that caused more people to feel "hey, I can form a band." I spent the 80s reading local scene "fanzines," where time after time, American hardcore punk bands listed "Bollocks" as one of their highest influences. The Clash was never mentioned. This is probably due to the fact that The Clash persisted after their first album, and became too popular. That was the way to get rejected by the "alternative" crowd.

    I think that the first and Third Clash albums are among the best vinyl recordings ever, but if we are talking "iconic" moments of music, for the punk scene worldwide, Johnny Rotten IS that icon. Oddly enough it was the unknown Pistol, Glen Matlock, who, as a real musician actually established the musical foundation for the Pistols. Maclaren did the packaging and took the money, but he had little to do with the music or the stage performances.
  8. Sep 10, 2010 #7
    Awesome; great post. I can agree there actually.

    I still do though; have a hard time with the credit given to The Pistols as a whole - especially in retrospect given they way they (And ESPECIALLY Lydon) have Capitalized on The Pistols as a brand.

    Nothing to take away from Glen Matlock artistically; it's just hard to give credit to something that spawned a genre of music where the artists influenced by it hold dear to their hearts a cause that is the antithesis of something The Pistols themselves help perpetuate (Capitalism, and that whole discussion. lol)
  9. Sep 10, 2010 #8

    Chi Meson

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    It was about 10 years ago that the Pistols regrouped for their "Filthy Lucre" Tour. "We have found a common goal," said Lydon, "Your money." I lived from 1980 to about 1986 wishing like hell I could have seen the Pistols live. Then I saw PIL (awful). The Pistols brought their tour to Providence RI 45 minutes from here. I never considered going. I decided I was not a chump. So I have disliked Lydon for five times as long as I idolized Rotten, but I'm sticking with my original pick.
  10. Sep 10, 2010 #9
    I see your separation there perfectly.

    Actually it is pretty well documented, the differences between "Rotten" and Lydon himself. They really are two completely different individuals.
  11. Sep 10, 2010 #10


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    The Beatles - John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Geroge Harrison, Ringo Starr.

    And I'd add the Moody Blues - Justin Hayward, John Lodge, Mike Pinder (and his Pindertron), Ray Thomas and Graeme Edge.

    The Who - Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, John Entwistle and Keith Moon.

    Jethro Tull - Ian Anderson, Martin Barre and others.

    Emerson, Lake and Palmer

    The Greatful Dead - Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh and Mickey Hart

    Jefferson Airplane (with Grace Slick) had quite an influence.

    Bill Fransen and Frank, Norm, and Lesley Bradley of engineering company Bradmatic Ltd for the development of the Mellotron.

    Stevie Ray Vaughn was as great as Hendrix or Clapton in his time. Unfortunately, like Buddy Hollie, his career came to an untimely end.

    In country music, Merl Haggard and Willie Nelson were influential, as was Johnny Cash.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2010
  12. Sep 10, 2010 #11


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I'll have to echo most of Astronuc's picks. I would like to add John Mayall (not because he was a great musician, but because he spun off so many great British blues players) the Rolling Stones, Deep Purple, and Peter Green (founder of the REAL Fleetwood Mac).

    Let's dig back a bit, too, and add T-Bone Walker who took solo guitar to a whole new level, including playing it behind his back and in other improbable positions. It is worth mentioning that he was doing this at a time when guitar strings were REALLY heavy and hard on the fingers. When I learned how to play and started performing for money, I had to rely on heavy Black Diamond strings. It wasn't until I was in college that Slinky and Super-Slinky strings became commercially available. Until then, the depth of your bends were limited by your tolerance for pain.

    T-Bone's stage style was the basis for the flashy rock guitarists like Chuck Berry, and his musical style was the basis for the careers of a lot of more traditional blues artists like BB King. If you like the Allman Brothers, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, and Kid Ramos, you owe a LOT to T-Bone.
  13. Sep 11, 2010 #12
    Hands down to Jaco Pastorius!
  14. Sep 12, 2010 #13


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Nice lists.
    Adding, 'With their first single "(I'm) Stranded", in late 1976, they released a record ahead of better-known punk acts like the Sex Pistols and The Clash. Bob Geldof has been quoted as saying, "Rock music in the Seventies was changed by three bands — the Sex Pistols, the Ramones and The Saints". '- wiki
  15. Sep 12, 2010 #14
    David Seville who influenced the Bee Gees. And Dylan who influenced everybody else.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2010
  16. Sep 12, 2010 #15


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    As for Dylan, that goes a fair ways back.

    Then how about Woody Guthrie (This land is your land) and Pete Seeger, and Woody's son, Arlo?

    And Hoyt Axton?
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook