The music that we listen to today has come a long way. It has transformed in numerous ways and has been inspired by many creative artists who changed how the songs are recorded and performed. Music was not as easy to listen to in the previous years as it is now. With Spotify and several other options, music reaches the audience the moment it is released.
There was a time in history before all these social media platforms when fans were obsessed over their favorite bands like crazy and waited all night to get a record of their favorite band or singer. The concert tickets sold in a jiffy as such events were rare and very sought-after ones.
If you want to know about the incredibly talented artists who changed the music industry with their songs and performance, you are at the right place. So, let us take you down memory lane and talk about artists who have contributed to transforming music over the past years.
1. Elvis Presley
Any list of influential artists in the music industry is incomplete without mentioning the King. Elvis Presley probably tops any such list that talks about revolutionary music artists. He was the founder of rockabilly or rock ‘n’ roll. He brought music to the common people and demolished all the color or race boundaries that separated the fans of his music.
He is known as the integrator, as he integrated black music and artists into the mainstream music industry by paying tribute to their numbers and even basing his songs on their tones. Moreover, Presley transformed the whole concept of music artists performing at concerts. His dance moves on the stage, including the shaking of his hips and pelvic thrusts, gave a completely new definition to stage performance.
In the ’50s, when Presley made popular music and had an electrifying impact on his audience, such performances were unheard of. His songs stirred numerous controversies among religious and political groups. He gave true meaning to the term youth rebellion as his young fans were ready to do anything for him.
2. The Beatles
Beatlemania is undoubtedly the second most influential thing that happened to the music industry. The Beatles were the most famous rock band of all time. Their music was a hit among youngsters whose elder generation had listened to Presley. The Beatles is one of the most renowned bands in the United States that holds a record for producing the most consecutive top hits in history.
The Beatles changed the course of the music industry by introducing a new aspect to rock music in the US. Their songs changed the definition of creative lyrics coupled with heartfelt composition. In simple words, they were the best example of creativity in the industry. Their songs conveyed various social issues and fueled several movements.
3. Bob Dylan
If music innovation had a name, it would definitely be Bob Dylan. Bob never restricted his music or composition to one genre only. He began his career as a folk singer, but with his top hit song, “Like a Rolling Stone,” everything changed. It was 6 minutes long, and fans loved every minute of it.
In this career-changing song of Bob Dylan, he experimented with a combination of electric instruments with folk music. He brought on what the other artists were probably hesitant to do: blending up the genres and getting surprisingly beautiful results. He experimented with mixing jazz, Irish folk music, and even pop. Besides being a great singer, Dylan was an exceptional songwriter. His songs brought focus on several political, social, and philosophical issues.
4. James Brown
James Brown was most notably credited for bringing the funk genre to life. He practically invented the genre and was famous for blending several genres to develop an unmatched melody. He was nicknamed “The Godfather of Soul,” and rightfully so as his music was soul-touching and heart-melting.
His songs were revolutionary as he mostly portrayed the experiences of a black musician in times of racial segregation. He was an intense performer on stage who became a cultural icon for black artists and musicians.
5. Jimi Hendrix
If the world associates electric guitars with rock music, it is because of this music icon. Although Jimi’s career did not last very long, his impact on shaping rock music as it is now is everlasting. Jimi was an unbeaten beast when it came to playing electric guitars. He was a born musician, and that reflected in the way he played instrumental songs.
Hendrix was also the one who introduced and mastered the art of amplifier feedback. The technique is very famous in concerts and is still used to create the best sound output in music shows. One of his famous songs includes The Star-Spangled Banner. The moment he used to play this song on his electric guitar, the fans went crazy.
6. Sex Pistols
The Sex Pistols was one of the most iconic punk rock bands in the UK. They are responsible for introducing this genre in the UK, and their short career was enough for changing the whole music industry. They inspired several musicians who were into punk music but could not get a breakthrough.
Their concerts were usually fraught with controversies over the lyrics of their songs. Their songs mostly challenged the social conformity standards in the UK. They also openly wrote and sang songs directed at the English Crown, which is why their concerts were always termed disturbing to the status quo.
If this list could not start by ignoring the King, Elvis Presley, it surely cannot end without talking about Madonna! She was one of those lucky artists who had the space to discover and experiment with her talent while also never losing her fan base. She grew personally and professionally through her music and became an icon.
Madonna’s songs revolutionized the definition of pop music, and her song videos pushed every boundary. Her lyrics were so touching, and her melodies were so moving that you could not listen to her songs without moving. She is rightfully known as “The Queen of Pop” as she is still the best-selling female music artist of all time.
If you think today’s vast range of music genres came out of nowhere, you could not be more wrong. These gifted artists worked through a lot and shaped the music industry to evolve. Had it not been for them, the music industry would be boring and monotonous. They changed the course of songwriting, composing, video making, live acts, and much more just by being true to their talent. They challenged the status quo and then emerged as music icons.
We owe today’s revolutionary form of music to them and their relentless struggles to be the musicians they were.