Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Artists of All Time

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"The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time" is a special issue published by the American magazine Rolling Stone in two parts in 2004 and 2005, and updated in 2011. [1] The list presented was compiled based on input from musicians, writers, and industry figures, and is focused on the rock & roll era. [1] It predominantly features American and British musicians.

<i>Rolling Stone</i> American magazine focusing on popular culture, based in New York City

Rolling Stone is an American monthly magazine that focuses on popular culture. It was founded in San Francisco, California in 1967 by Jann Wenner, who is still the magazine's publisher, and the music critic Ralph J. Gleason. It was first known for its musical coverage and for political reporting by Hunter S. Thompson. In the 1990s, the magazine shifted focus to a younger readership interested in youth-oriented television shows, film actors, and popular music. In recent years, it has resumed its traditional mix of content.

Rock and roll is a genre of popular music that originated and evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s from musical styles such as gospel, jump blues, jazz, boogie woogie, and rhythm and blues, along with country music. While elements of what was to become rock and roll can be heard in blues records from the 1920s and in country records of the 1930s, the genre did not acquire its name until 1954.

Contents

The publication also features comments written by musicians about their favorite colleagues (e.g., Elvis Costello on The Beatles, Janet Jackson on Tina Turner, etc.). Since its publication, the list has been frequently cited by many specialized and generalist publications. [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

Elvis Costello English singer-songwriter

Declan Patrick MacManus, better known by his stage name Elvis Costello, is an English musician, singer, songwriter, composer, record producer, author, television presenter, and occasional actor.

The Beatles English rock band

The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. With members John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, they became regarded as the foremost and most influential music band in history. Rooted in skiffle, beat and 1950s rock and roll, the group were integral to pop music's evolution into an art form and to the development of the counterculture of the 1960s. They often incorporated classical elements, older pop forms and unconventional recording techniques in innovative ways, and later experimented with several musical styles ranging from pop ballads and Indian music to psychedelia and hard rock. As the members continued to draw influences from a variety of cultural sources, their musical and lyrical sophistication grew, and they were seen as an embodiment of the era's sociocultural movements.

Janet Jackson American singer, songwriter, actress, and dancer.

Janet Damita Jo Jackson is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and dancer. A prominent figure in popular culture, she is known for sonically innovative, socially conscious and sexually provocative records, and elaborate stage shows.

Background

The list, published in two issues in 2004 and 2005 and updated in 2011, was based on the choices of a panel of 55 musicians, writers, and industry figures. [1] As the editors explain, the artists were selected by "their peers", and the list aims to be "a broad survey of rock history", spanning from rock and roll, blues, indie rock, rap music and contemporary pop music.

Blues is a music genre and musical form which was originated in the Deep South of the United States around the 1870s by African Americans from roots in African musical traditions, African-American work songs, spirituals, and the folk music of white Americans of European heritage. Blues incorporated spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts, chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads. The blues form, ubiquitous in jazz, rhythm and blues and rock and roll, is characterized by the call-and-response pattern, the blues scale and specific chord progressions, of which the twelve-bar blues is the most common. Blue notes, usually thirds or fifths flattened in pitch, are also an essential part of the sound. Blues shuffles or walking bass reinforce the trance-like rhythm and form a repetitive effect known as the groove.

Indie rock is a genre of rock music that originated in the United Kingdom in the 1970s. Originally used to describe independent record labels, the term became associated with the music they produced and was initially used interchangeably with alternative rock. As grunge and punk revival bands in the US and Britpop bands in the UK broke into the mainstream in the 1990s, it came to be used to identify those acts that retained an outsider and underground perspective. In the 2000s, as a result of changes in the music industry and the growing importance of the Internet, some indie rock acts began to enjoy commercial success, leading to questions about its meaningfulness as a term.

Hip hop music music genre consisting of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping

Hip hop music, also called hip-hop or rap music, is a music genre developed in the United States by inner-city African Americans in the late 1970s which consists of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping, a rhythmic and rhyming speech that is chanted. It developed as part of hip hop culture, a subculture defined by four key stylistic elements: MCing/rapping, DJing/scratching with turntables, break dancing, and graffiti writing. Other elements include sampling beats or bass lines from records, and rhythmic beatboxing. While often used to refer solely to rapping, "hip hop" more properly denotes the practice of the entire subculture. The term hip hop music is sometimes used synonymously with the term rap music, though rapping is not a required component of hip hop music; the genre may also incorporate other elements of hip hop culture, including DJing, turntablism, scratching, beatboxing, and instrumental tracks. The term Hip hop as used to define the music genre came later, nobody including the African American pioneers who invented the art, the music, the rhymes and the dances in the Bronx, New York in the beginning were calling it Hip hop, in the Bronx people used to call it B-Beat Music that depended also on where in the Bronx you lived.

List statistics

In both versions of the list, the top three positions are held by The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Elvis Presley; rounding out the top ten (in descending order) are The Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry, Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, Little Richard, Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles.

Bob Dylan American singer-songwriter, musician, author, and artist

Robert Dylan, known professionally as Bob Dylan, is an American singer-songwriter, author, and visual artist who has been a major figure in popular culture for six decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s, when songs such as "Blowin' in the Wind" (1963) and "The Times They Are a-Changin'" (1964) became anthems for the Civil Rights Movement and anti-war movement. His lyrics incorporated a wide range of political, social, philosophical, and literary influences, defied existing conventions of popular music, and appealed to the burgeoning counterculture, such as on the six-minute single "Like a Rolling Stone" (1965).

Elvis Presley American singer and actor

Elvis Aaron Presley was an American singer and actor. Regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century, he is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King".

The Rolling Stones English rock band

The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in London in 1962. The first stable line-up consisted of Brian Jones, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Bill Wyman (bass), Charlie Watts (drums), and Ian Stewart (piano). Stewart was removed from the official line-up in 1963 but continued as a touring member until his death in 1985. Brian Jones was the original leader of the group. The band's primary songwriters, Jagger and Richards, assumed leadership after Andrew Loog Oldham became the group's manager. Their musical focus shifted from covering blues songs to writing original material, a decision with which Jones did not agree. Jones left the band less than a month before his death in 1969, having already been replaced by Mick Taylor, who remained until 1974. After Taylor left the band, Ronnie Wood took his place in 1975 and continues on guitar in tandem with Richards. Following Wyman's departure in 1993, Darryl Jones joined as their touring bassist. The Stones' touring keyboardists have included Nicky Hopkins (1967–1982), Ian McLagan (1978–1981), Billy Preston and Chuck Leavell (1982–present).

In 2011, Rolling Stone published a revised edition of the list, with changes from 27th position onwards. The updated list features artists not present in the original (including Queen, Metallica, Pink Floyd, Talking Heads, R.E.M., Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and Jay-Z), removing a number of other artists (including Etta James, Miles Davis, Roxy Music, N.W.A., and Martha & The Vandellas).

Queen (band) British rock band

Queen are a British rock band formed in London in 1970. Their classic line-up was Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon. Their earliest works were influenced by progressive rock, hard rock and heavy metal, but the band gradually ventured into more conventional and radio-friendly works by incorporating further styles, such as arena rock and pop rock.

Metallica American heavy metal band

Metallica is an American heavy metal band. The band was formed in 1981 in Los Angeles, California by drummer Lars Ulrich and vocalist/guitarist James Hetfield, and has been based in San Francisco, California for most of its career. The group's fast tempos, instrumentals and aggressive musicianship made them one of the founding "big four" bands of thrash metal, alongside Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer. Metallica's current lineup comprises founding members Hetfield and Ulrich, longtime lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo. Guitarist Dave Mustaine and bassists Ron McGovney, Cliff Burton and Jason Newsted are former members of the band.

Pink Floyd English rock band

Pink Floyd were an English rock band formed in London in 1965. They achieved international acclaim with their progressive and psychedelic music. Distinguished by their philosophical lyrics, sonic experimentation, extended compositions, and elaborate live shows, they are one of the most commercially successful and influential groups in popular music history.

The list consists primarily of American or British artists, with following exceptions: AC/DC (Australia), The Band (Canada/US), Bob Marley (Jamaica), Joni Mitchell (Canada), Lee "Scratch" Perry (Jamaica; only in the 2005 list), Carlos Santana (Mexico/US), U2 (Ireland), and Neil Young (Canada).[ citation needed ] Tina Turner, who relinquished her American citizenship after obtaining Swiss citizenship in 2013, was still an American citizen when included in the list.

AC/DC Australian hard rock band formed in Sydney in 1973

AC/DC are an Australian rock band formed in Sydney in 1973 by Scottish-born brothers Malcolm and Angus Young. Their music has been described as hard rock, blues rock, and heavy metal. The group themselves tend to reject genre labels and have described themselves as "a rock and roll band, nothing more, nothing less".

The Band rock band from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The Band was a Canadian-American roots rock group including Rick Danko, Garth Hudson, Richard Manuel, Robbie Robertson, and Levon Helm. The members of the Band first came together as rockabilly singer Ronnie Hawkins's Toronto, Ontario-based backing group, The Hawks, which they joined one by one between 1958 and 1963.

Bob Marley Jamaican singer, songwriter, musician

Robert Nesta Marley, OM was a Jamaican singer-songwriter who became an international musical and cultural icon, blending mostly reggae, ska, and rocksteady in his compositions. He started in 1963 with the group the Wailers and forged a distinctive songwriting and vocal style that became popular with audiences worldwide. The Wailers released some of the earliest reggae records with producer Lee "Scratch" Perry.

Most artists on the list were active in the 1960s and 1970s.

See also

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<i>A Hard Days Night</i> (album) 1964 studio album by the Beatles

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References