If you have been fans of our site for a while you’ve probably noticed that we’ve made some major changes to what we offer here at Metronome Online that centers around content that celebrates the life of the musician and really musicianship in general. We’ve made these changes because we believe in the power of music and the impact it can make around the world. As a result we couldn’t think of a better way to kick off our new content platform than by sharing with you some of the artists that inspire us.
We believe in the impact that jazz has played in the world music community, and we aren’t afraid to admit it is a kind of music we as a staff love to listen to! On that note, it’s hard for anyone to write about jazz without mentioning the impact Miles Davis made to the genre. The easiest way to observe this impact is through Davis’s signature album “Kind of Blue” which is widely considered the best jazz album of all time and possibly one of the best albums in music history. If you’re new to jazz or you think that it’s only for the trips you take on the elevator, give “Kind of Blue” a listen as it’s easily the most accessible jazz album recorded.
Grunge rock acted as the perfect bridge from the 80’s punk rock movement into the 90’s, and Nirvana can easily be seen as the band that brought grunge to the mainstream and to the televisions of America with the music video for “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. That single was part of Nevermind, the album that championed grunge rock like no other and brought the anger and angst of punk rock to suburbia.
Perhaps no individual has made a greater impact on modern music than Bob Dylan. Dylan is also the most covered musician of all time and a countless number of music artists cite him as the primary influence in their careers. One of the reasons he has made such a significant impact is due to his ability to create language and poetry that resonates with people in popular music. In fact some people believe that Dylan was a pioneer in this regard. Before Dylan, rock and popular music didn’t investigate or question current events. When Dylan came on the scene, he used music as a poetic device to give a voice to a generation feeling the turbulence of the 1960’s. Simply said, Dylan has had a great impact on us as well!
Sticking with another 60’s era classic rock icon, Jimi Hendrix clearly paved the way for the style and showmanship of rock music that came after him. Specifically he is easily considered one of the pioneers of the electrical guitar and it’s role in rock music. Several of his most iconic songs like “Purple Haze” and “Fire” can be found on the album “The Jimi Hendrix Experience”, but our personal favorite from this record is the moody rock ballad “The Wind Cries Mary”.
There are few jazz musicians that did more for the genre than Louis Armstrong. Armstrong’s versatility as a trumpet player, singer, and actor acted as a bridge between jazz and mainstream popular music. The New Orleans native is probably best known for his recordings of “What a Wonderful World” and “Hello Dolly” which knocked The Beatles off the top spot of the Billboard Top 100 in 1964. Our favorite music from Armstrong however are the albums he recorded with the legendary Ella Fitzgerald. The magic and chemistry the duo create in all the holiday songs they recorded together resulted in cherished holiday classics that set the tone for the holiday season in a way few other musicians have over the years.
If Bob Dylan set the tone for lyrics and subject matter for modern music and Jimi Hendrix for the play and style of the guitar, then The Beatles set the tone for the heart, soul, and versatility of the music that came after them. You can argue that no band has been more celebrated or revered than the Beatles. What can be admired most though is their grace in the evolution of their band from the boys singing about holding hands to the mature rock stars who acted as icons for the ideas of the 60s. There is no one album that they recorded that defines them, but our favorite album from their catalog is Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Of course these are just a few of the many artists that inspire this platform and influence the content we create and present on the site. Shoot us an email and let us know who some of your favorite musicians are, or better yet head over to the contributors page and see if you may be interested in submitting a few pieces of content for consideration for the site!