Every week HISTORY presents “Join or Die with Craig Ferguson”and a panel of various esteemed guests, historians and most likely a comedian or two, to pit the greatest and sometimes worst characters in history against each other to see who is the king of their particular domain. This week: HISTORY’S MOST INFLUENTIAL BAND.
This week Craig was joined by Alan Light, Tom Papa and Lars Ulrich to figure out once and for all who was history’s most influential band. It’s a topic that has been discussed by countless friends, but rather than hash out this incredibly important topic over a pint or five at a local bar they decided to do it sober in a television studio, which adds an aura of legitimacy to the whole thing.
So who was history’s most influential band? And not best, we’re talking influential. If it was best I think we can all agree it would be Matchbox 20. But influential?
The BeatlesOf course the lads from Liverpool are on this list. The pros: They shaped modern rock music and are widely known as the most prolific band of all time. The cons: Ringo.
Black SabbathBefore Ozzy influenced a generation of reality stars he inspired a generation of musicians. Black Sabbath created a genre with Heavy Metal, and also Ozzy once bit a bat’s head off on stage. So… that’s something.
The Rolling StonesAnother English band that formed around the same time as the Beatles and is still performing today. That’s an accomplishment in and of itself. But more impressive is that Keith Richards did more drugs than all the Beatles combined.
RamonesPunk music wouldn’t be the same without the Ramones. They defined Punk Rock sound and Punk Rock attitude, and every member changed their last name to Ramone. Which I’m sure made some people think they were a very odd Mormon family.
NirvanaNirvana inspired an entire decade’s music and fashion. Everywhere you went you’d see plaid shirts and torn jeans, which most American’s called ‘Grunge’ and Seattle residents called ‘Normal.’
Run-D.M.CA generation defining group, Run-D.M.C. defined what hip hop was and could be. The group was the first to make the D.J./M.C. relationship front and center, and also they made an Aerosmith song bearable.
It’s safe to say modern music wouldn’t be the same without these groups. And it’s also safe to say that they forgot about the Velvet Underground. REGARDLESS, let’s see what the panel has to say:
Let’s start with the most recent. Nirvana. They are certainly a huge band, but do they belong here? Who did they really influence?
The Rolling Stones? They defined confidence and breaking the rules. Also they lasted longer than any of the others up here, very surprisingly…
But what about the Beatles? They weren’t around for very long when all is said and done, and yet what they accomplished was incredible. They went from teen pop to an experimental renaissance.
It came down to Run-D.M.C. and The Beatles, who both should be going home with the award, but the audience has to vote for one and they chose…
Congratulations The Beatles! Let’s all celebrate by forgetting Ringo’s most recent album!
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Illustrations By Pat Barrett