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In my opinion, the three bands or solo artists who have had the most impact in rock and roll history are The Beatles, Aero Smith, and Def Leppard. This opinion is based on their influence n later generations of artists. Without these artists, the music industry as we know it today would have been different.
The Beatles was an English rock band formed in 1960 in the city of Liverpool. The band was made up of four members, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Star. The band is considered as the most successful act of the rock and roll era. Initially, the bands style was based on the 1950s rock and roll. The band however experimented with other genres of music incorporating them into their work (Howlett, 10). These other genres included pop, Indian music and hard rock. The group was so successful in its experiments that it went on to re-define the genre of rock and roll. Although the group was short-lived (active for only a decade between 1960 and 1970), it produced some of the best-known articles of music to date. After the break-up of the group in 1970, all the artists went on to have successful solo acts. John Lennon was shot in 1980 while George Harrison died of lung cancer in 2001. The surviving members of the group, Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Star continue to be active in music (Davies, 56).
The group is the most successful band of all time. The band claims top spot as the best selling artist in the United States history while it also has the most number of number one hits in British history. Their rise to fame is an inspiration to many artists. The early days of the band were difficult with difficult residences in both Liverpool and Hamburg (Everett, 15). However, once they became mainstream, their popularity grew like wildfire. When they made their first live appearance in the United States, over 70 million people or roughly 34% of the United States population on live television interview on a popular talk show viewed them (Howlett, 23).
Among artists or bands that claim to have been influenced by the Beatles are Aero Smith who emerged shortly after the Beatles separated and went on to be very successful themselves. Modern day artists in various genres also credit the Beatles with influencing different genres of music.
Aero smith is an American rock band consisting of five members. The members of the band are Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Tom Hamilton, Joey Kramer, and Brad Whitford. The band was formed in Boston in 1970 and comprised of guitarist Ray Tobano who was later replaced by Brad Whitford. The bands’ style was hard rock based on rhythm and blues. The style later evolved to incorporate element s of pop, rhythm and blues, and heavy metal (Huxley, 5). The work of the band has influenced later generations of rock artists. Between the time the band was formed in 1970 and 1976, the band had released a number of gold and platinum selling albums, which ensured that they became rock superstars. During the 1970s, the band was one of the most successful acts, having released a total of twelve singles that broke into the billboard hot 100 tracks charts (Huxley, 25).
Although the band was successful, drug addictions led to internal problems and two members, Perry and Whitford left the group. Jimmy Crespo and Rick Dufay replaced them. The band was not as successful in the 1980s decades as it had been in the 1970s. Perry and Whitford returned in 1984 and the group signed a deal with Geffen records. Collaboration with the rap group Run-D.M.C resulted in multi-platinum sales returning the group to levels of popularity it had experienced in the 1970s. Their success continued into the 1990s with multi-platinum selling albums. This continued into the 2000 decade. The band has also toured every year since 2001 with the exception of 2008. Despite having been performing for over 45 years, the band still records and performs live tours. This is the reason Aero Smith is the best selling American rock band of all time (Huxley, 60).
Their lead singer, Steve Tyler is one of the most recognizable voices in music. Apart from the band, the artist has also appeared in other artists songs. Their style of music that incorporates many genres such as rap, rock, heavy metal, and rhythm and blues has been an influence to subsequent artists. Rock artists have said that the variety in style from the band has been an influence in their attempts to diversify their music. Their longevity in the industry has also been an influence on other artists, seeking to establish similarly long careers. Many artists also aim to equal the great heights achieved by Aero Smith in terms of successful albums and chart topping singles. Among rock artists and bands that claim to have been influenced by Aero Smith include Guns n’ Roses, Motley Crue, Ratt, Skid Row, Faster Pussycat among others (Davis, 10 – 35).
Def Leppard was a British rock band formed in 1977 and still active today. The band is made up of five members namely; Rick Savage, Joe Elliott, Rick Allen, Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell (Jeffrey, 35). Past members of the band include Tony Kenning, Pete Willis, and Steve Clark. The band concentrated on Hard rock, heavy metal, and Glam rock. The band was formed in Sheffield during the period of the new wave of British heavy metal partially influenced by the success of the Beatles earlier in the decade (Collins, Margaret, and Scott, 42). The decade between 1980 and 1990 was the most commercially successful period for the band. Although not as famous as the Beatles or Aero smith, this band is also one of the most successful in terms of influence on future generations (Collins, Margaret, and Scott, 42).
Just like the Beatles and Aero Smith, Def Leppard created a new genre of heavy metal, which was important in influencing subsequent artists (Jeffrey, 20). The band also had a dark history with well known incidences of drug abuse by members of the group. The band’s musical style incorporated a mixture of hard rock, heavy metal, and pop. The band was also associated with glam metal because of their mainstream success. Taylor Swift is a younger artist who credits the band as having had an influence on her style. Their commercial success is also an achievement that many artists aim to equal. They have two albums, which feature in the rolling stones list of 500 greatest albums of all time.
The three bands have in their own way influenced the current music landscape. Def Leppard experimented with the use of electronic sounds, which have become commonly used in the current music scene (Jeffrey, 20). The Beatles re-defined the genre of rock and roll while Aero Smith’s sampling of different genres is now common in today’s music industry with many artists incorporating different genres in their works.
Collins, Nick, Margaret Schedel, and Scott Wilson. Electronic Music. , 2013. Print.
Davies, Hunter. The Beatles. New York: W.W. Norton, 2010. Print.
Davis, Stephen. Walk This Way: The Autobiography of Aerosmith. , 2012. Print.
Everett, Walter. The Beatles as Musicians: The Quarry Men through Rubber Soul. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2001. Print.
Howlett, Kevin. The Beatles: The Bbc Archives, 1962-1970. , 2013. Print.
Huxley, Martin. Aerosmith: The Fall and the Rise of Rock's Greatest Band. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1995. Print.
Jeffrey, Laura S. Def Leppard: Arena Rock Band. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishers, 2011. Print.
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