Sunday, July 21, 2013

Influential Albums in Music

Howdy, Nation.

I know I still have some projects left open, like the Dream Theater discography, but there's something that I semi-announced in the last CKN video that will be happening within the next few months that I wanted to get you all psyched about, and I want to explain that a little more here, since doing so on a facebook post would be very, very TLDR (too long, didn't read). The project:


There are literally tons of albums that have made a HUGE impact to the music that we listen to and love today, and that's just within metal. Add in ALL MUSIC in general, and the number increases astronomically. Imagine, for example, where pop music would be without Thriller or Purple Rain. Imagine where pop will be in a few years after the full influence of Adele's 21 takes hold on the popular music production and writing subcultures. Imagine rock music without The Beatles, Rolling Stones, The Who, The Ramones, Sonic Youth, U2, just to name a few. Hell, imagine METAL without some of these artists. Imagine blues without Miles Davis, rap without Sugar Hill Gang, N.W.A., Public Enemy, LL Cool J, the Jungle Brothers, Run D.M.C., 2Pac, Biggie, Easy-E, etc. Imagine the modern indie scene without the first waves of folk and experimental rock. Imagine Dream Theater without Kansas, Genesis, Yes, etc. There wouldn't BE a Dream Theater, much like without prog rock oddities from the 70's, Steven Wilson and Opeth both may have opted to become drug dealers, dentists, or attorneys. 

That's what I'm talking about. Music that did more than touch a generation, it influenced and shaped the next. 

Not all of such albums are obvious choices. For example, not a lot of people may claim that Funkadelic's "Maggot Brain" influenced metal, but I think it did. Listen to the guitar work in the title track, or on Super Stupid, and you'll see that future metal shredders had a hero to look up to, Eddie Hazel. Funk and soul influenced the likes of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, and were sampled to death by hip-hop superstars. Supertramp were sampled by German happy-hardcore artist Scooter (The Logical Song) and paved the way for forward-thinking prog-rock today. Beardfish took inspiration from Emerson, Lake and Palmer, as did GHOST, on their new record. 

Hell, Portugal, The Man, has been compared to the Beatles, with the way they can stylistically shift seemingly by album. 

Imagine all the artists that exist because of Abbey Road, Led Zeppelin IV, Tommy, Close to the Edge, Paranoid, and others. 

Imagine what the next wave of bands could hold. What the next wave of pop or rap artists can use to craft even better music. Ignore the Lady Gaga's and Katy Perry's. Screw the Taylor Swifts and Lil Waynes. They may influence some, but they'll be basically Swift Lite, or Lite Wayne, not crafters of the next round of breathtaking classics. 

Kendrick Lamar sampled Beach House. The possibilities are endless.  

We complain a lot about how music today is suffering from a lacking of creativity and originality.We're wrong. There's a lot out there, but its not what we hear every single day. We have to dig and search, and get the ultimate reward of discovery. But all of these artists have been influenced by that which they've heard, much like if you opt to pick up and instrument, you'll be influenced by your favorites. 

So in the coming months, we're going to talk about a lot of classic and influential albums, and not all of them are going to be metal-based. I know it sort of furthers my drift away from being a metal-exclusive channel, but i'm not a metal-exclusive listener. I love music, period. I hope to do a few things with this project:

  • List some essential influential albums in videos, quickly. Whether it be in top 10 lists, or lists with no order. 
  • Focus on some albums specifically, hopefully with some guests via Skype.
  • Enjoy the absolute hell out of listening to just a ton of interesting stuff, and give you recommendations or suggestions so you can do the same. 

The nice part about a lot of classics is that they are inexpensive. Hopefully this series does more than just enhance your music palette, but also helps you add some new music to your collection. I'm looking forward to this. I hope you are as well. 


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