Gibson, the famous guitar brand, published a list of names with the most revolutionary artists in music history. Elvis can be found on the 4th spot. It is remarkable to see that there are no names from the last 20 years in this list.
1. Bob Dylan 2. The Beatles 3. Jimi Hendrix 4. Elvis Presley 5. Les Paul 6. Miles Davis 7. Chuck Berry 8. John Coltrane 9. George Gershwin 10. Muddy Waters 11. Frank Zappa 12. Hank Williams 13. David Bowie 14. Brian Wilson 15. John Lennon 16. Frank Sinatra 17. Bill Monroe 18. Robert Johnson 19. John Cage 20. Buddy Holly 21. Bob Marley 22. Ray Charles 23. James Brown 24. Nirvana 25. Sex Pistols 26. Madonna 27. The Velvet Underground 28. Little Richard 29. Prince 30. Django Reinhardt 31. Cole Porter 32. Charlie Christian 33. Michael Jackson 34. Eddie Van Halen 35. Led Zeppelin 36. Radiohead 37. Brian Eno 38. The Carter Family 39. Run-DMC 40. Jimmy Page 41. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five 42. Eric Clapton 43. Johnny Cash 44. Charlie Patton 45. Louis Armstrong 46. Metallica 47. Stevie Wonder 48. Charlie Parker 49. Sam Cooke 50. The Stooges
Without Elvis breaking down social and cultural barriers in 1950's U.S.A. there would have been no Dylan or the Beatles.
I dont agree with Dylan # 1, but Im not sure Elvis should be #1 either. Since this was done by Gibson, I would have expected Les Paul to be #1. He pratically invented the electric guitar.
No Matt CARDLE on the list??!!
Brian Quinn : how right you are !!! Always El.
What a varied list. Nice to see Sam Cooke get some notice. As for 1,2,3 , every poll at anytime, you can toss Elvis, Dylan & The Beatles into a hat and whatever comes out , comes out. You have your pros & cons for each of them. What each did was very huge in their own way, although I think 1 & 2 should always be either Elvis or The Beatles such was their impact on pop culture.
Dyan #1, Beatles #2, Hendrix #3 - total BS; Most revolutionary artists in music history, not guitar players. Elvis Presley was greatest cultural force in the twentieth century, changing American popular cuture and world culture significantly. He was truly revolutionary, breaking down racial divides. Seriously the Beatles came out with I wanna hold your hand, Elvis arrived on the National and world scene with Heartbreak Hotel
"The most revolutionary artists in music history"...hmmm…Johann Sebastian Bach is widely considered one of the biggest and most influential composers in the entire history of (classical) music and is pretty much considered to be a genius. Same goes for Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Without these two guys music in general would’ve been completely different from what it is now. Their work is still being performed hundreds of years after their passing. I’d say that’s pretty revolutionary.
Brian Quinn, like Benny Scott I fully agree with you. Mark S., your remark is true in a way that it proves that true artists are renowned long after their passing. In classical music there are composers who were outstanding in their field of music (I cannot judge whether they were ground breaking). Hence they are never forgotten. In that sense Elvis is like them part of this type of historical impact. This list of course is based on the scene of popular music. Elvis' impact was like a shockwave going through the world, shaking up the foundation of music giving way to those after him, allowing them to escape through the (big and small) holes and cracks. I really wonder who of the produced list would have been able to do that. So historically he should be number one, if one can put aside personal preferential opinions. But maybe that is my preferential view (smile).
I agree with Brian Quinn. I was 11 when Elvis burst on to the scene in England in 1956 with Heartbreak Hotel. Ony Bill Haley had come before. In the UK we had never heard anything like it. Therefore as the Beatles, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page etc were influenced by Elvis and later Little Richard, Chuck Berry etc. it seems obvious that Elvis is the nost influential. It does annoy me to see history re-writen.
Why don't we ask Dylan and the surviving Beatles whom they consider the most revolutionary artist;-)? We also know that Hendrix,George and John all admired our man! But nevertheless a good list but i think it's a pity for a guitar factory not to put Eddie Cochran on that list!
It sounds like Gibson needs to stick to something they know about like guitars. Hendrix 3 give me a break! Revolutionary means breaking down the barriers like Mr. Quinn explained.
Side note: Many people don't realize that before Elvis burst on the scene, guitars were primarily a Country/Western instrument. After Elvis, sales of guitars skyrockted. 'nuff said !
I read Slim Whitman is actually number 51..
Another silly list that was published just to get people talking and debating...Any list for the rock era that does not have Elvis and The Beatles #1 and #2 (you can put which ever at #1 you want) and Michael Jackson 3rd is just trying to create controversy. If this was just a guitar list then dgirl is right, Les Paul should be #1 and I would also think Frank Sinatra and several others would not be on the list. If you are talking recorded music history, my top five would be Elvis, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra and then Bing Crosby. Mark S...Good point about Mozart and Bach...I think Gibson needs to be a little more precise in what era they are covering. Saying the most revolutionary artists in music history is just a tad presumptuous.
I'd like to know the criteria used for this. What did Van Halen revolutionize? Grandmaster Flash , that's a circus act is it not? None of this list makes sense. They never do.
Lists like this are just a matter of opinion and pretty pointless. All of these people played a part in giving the world great music, why try to put them in any order? As much as the Elvis fans think he should be number one, I expect Beatles fans think they should be there, Hendrix fans think that Jimi should be there, etc, etc.