O/T: Who do you think is the greatest musical artist of all time?
I think Jimi Hendrix may be the greatest musical artist of human history. He not only invented rock music, but completely changed and revolutionized music forever, and he reached some musical heights that have yet to be even closely rivaled (Electric Ladyland, Band of Gypsies ,et all). we can all only imagine what he could have done if he wouldn’t have died at 27, only a few years into his career.
A close second I’d think would be Bob Dylan for obvious reasons. Like a Rolling Stone is probably the greatest song ever written (or Lennon’s Imagine), and he was an obvious innovator in his field and even inspired people like the Beatles and Hendrix in terms of song writing and song structure.
Dylan is great, but I am not sure that I would put him at #2 all time, considering there was Wagner, Brahms, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Vivaldi….
Dylan is indeed the greatest lyricist ever, and for my money a far greater artist than Hendrix. I would put Dylan in the same class as Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, Django Reinhardt, and Chrlie Patton.
Hendrix is great, but this—“He not only invented rock music…”—goes too far.
^ But it’s a start, and I have listened to the three hundred unreleased tracks in Hendrix’s library along with his released albums which is what really draws me to this conclusion. His lyrics grew over time, and so did his song structures. The Electric Ladyland sessions has some of the best material (released and unreleased) heard, and some of his later work showed he was going farther and farther.
Things like Izabella showed an incredible lyrical subtext to his work. 1983.. a Merman Should turn to be (and it’s non-official versions) changed music structure. And of course, his playing of the guitar has been unrivaled by any.
Jimi Hendrix? Oh, please.
- . . . too far-
Way too far.
It’s difficult to compare across genres, across centuries, and it’s difficult to weight instrumental virtuosity against songwriter/composing, singing, etc.
Robert Johnson? John Coltrane? Charlie Parker? Charles Mingus? Gyorgy Cziffra? Chuck Berry? Hank Williams? John Dowland? Blind Lemon Jefferson? Buddy Bolden?
To the surprise of no one who has seen my profile picture – The Beatles!
The Beatles were made up of Ringo, Harrison, Lennon, MCartney, Not one artist.
Though I’d agree John Lennon is one of the higher echelon artists who ever lived.
Ahhh, with that caveat, I will change my answer to Bruce Springsteen.
Andres Calamaro, Bob Dylan, and Joe Budden
One single artist? Frank Zappa. Could do just about anything.
Hendrix definitely did not invent rock music. He may have taken it back from the white man, “reclaimed” might be a better term.
Irving Berlin was also quite talented. As were plenty of people.
And by “all time” you mean the past 100 years, right?
Without doubt – Don Van vliet!
Then the first guy who melodically hit two objects together.
Then the captain again.
Then Cecil Taylor.
But that’s just a personal opinion. :P
Hands down best music artist of all time
Chuck Berry laid the foundation, but Hendrix expanded the vocabulary beyond comprehension. There is no one who comes close to how innovative that guy was. Some of his music is still ahead of modern time, let alone its own. He is EASILY one of the greatest musical artists of all time, if not the greatest (though I don’t think there necessarily is a “greatest.”)
Pretty much any of the major jazz musicians, composers, and 50’s-60’s rock / blues / folk / soul / whatever icons (not to mention the leading proponents of the so-called “world” genres) collectively make up everything we know about modern music, so tip of the hat to all of them. Frankly I don’t think esoteric appeal mattered much back then so I lump The Beatles into the same category as the lesser known Fugs, or perhaps Karlheinz Stockhausen with LaMonte Young. Not only did the inspire countless followers, but often fed off each other during a time when people were only scratching the surface of what music could be. Hendrix definitely stands out among them in terms of influence however, which in my opinion would be the only real determining factor of who can be considered the greatest. Everything changed as soon as that man was heard for the first time.
But should I pick a personal favorite, you know I’m going with NEIL YOUNG motherfuckers. :o)
“It’s difficult to compare across genres, across centuries, and it’s difficult to weight instrumental virtuosity against songwriter/composing, singing, etc.”
It’s impossible to pick one… So many have brought on and expanded musical ideas beyond rock music. Rock is good and all, but there are so many other area’s to be explored. There is so much going on in my head when I think about good and interesting music, there’s no way I can write it all down… I can make a list though. SOME of the artists that have been progressing what can be done with sound over the years (mostly 1970 on):
Nurse With Wound
I’m sure I can list many more if I weren’t just going from the top of my head
The Holy Modal Rounders
Brian Eno (particularly his work with Robert Fripp)
There many other artists which I really enjoy, but I’m unsure as to how much they’ve pushed the limits when it comes to creating sound, music, all of that… I think that’s what really matters.
You should see this one woman play my skin flute. She’s unbelievable.
But on nights when she’s not working, I’d have to say Mozart, with Charlie Parker/John Coltrane/Charles Mingus/Thelonious Monk/Clifford Brown/Sarah Vaughan/Billie Holiday right behind him.
not a fan of transposing an organ piece for an orchestra.
And not a fan of orchestra’s that big.
Celia Cruz, Ornette Coleman, Abdel Halim Hafez, Fela Kuti, Led Zeppelin, Lena Platonos, Béla Bartók….
there isn’t just one greatest musical artist, there are MANY.
I couldnt find a good youtube video of the original, Jason.
still a good choice, might I offer this, in addtion:
possibly the most beautiful song ever written for a violin
the greatest? you’re forgetting this guy here: