What do you think about the poll? Did Elvis change the course of popular music? Or was something else more important? This debate is now closed. Please see below for a selection of your comments.
I agree entirely - Elvis changed EVERYTHING! Absolutely no doubt about that. Thank Goodness Mojo Mag voters know what they are talking about. Nice to see "The King" where he belongs ... at the top!
Whilst Elvis Presley et al are undeniably influential they are not oringinators.They took what existed already and made it popular because the people who made the music were not allowed to reach a wider audience.As much as I like Elvis and even the Beatles I always bear this in mind.
For me the most influential recording session is either A kind of Blue (Miles Davies 1959) or perhaps some recordings of James Brown in 1966 (Papas got a brand new bag) or perhaps Bitches Brew by Miles Davis (1969).
The sessions that really changed music in the 20th century have been ignored.I believe that when the musical history of the 20th century is truthfully told perhaps Bob Dylan and the later Beatles (1967-1970) might survive but in truth names like Miles Davies,James Brown, and even Bob Marley will have an even greater stature.
It's about time this recording session was recognised for what it was. Even John Lennon said "they all had Elvis to thank"
Philip E. Woods,
How The Clash, a bunch of middle-class apologists and the 'acceptable' face of punk, can come higher than the Sex Pistols in any poll is beyond me.
Dont know what the rest of the charts show, but its funny how Blues, Jazz, Soul, Rap, Hip-Hop, Carribean, House, are unacknowledged in this article when it is obvious that rock n roll and rock music all have their roots stemming from black music. In my opinion music changes when a new creative invention is brought to life, not when opportunists take the music and produce their own variations.
Kiki Menes, Portugal
The most influential musical act of our time is unquestionably The Beatles - their performance on the Ed Sullivan Show changed music overnight and the course of popular music for generations to come. To put the release of a Clash album ahead of this event is ridiculous. On a worldwide scale, how many people actually know The Clash, let alone the title of any of their albums?
As far as Elvis is concerned - well I just don't get it - why so many people like that kitschy, corny stuff. Heck, he didn't even write his own music.
Bob Dylan goes electric? This is a pivotal moment? He did so because he was influenced by the innovative electric sounds of The Beatles.
Obviously, Mojo's editors made up this list with much anti-Beatles sentiment.
What about Bill Haley?
What about Buddy Holly?
Before anyone did anything, Elvis did everything. A great tag line, but also very very true. All of musics highs and lows would be different today if it were not for Elvis. He broke the stasis that 'popular' music was in and blazed a trail so fierce that others couldn't fail to follow.
Elvis had the voice, the style and most importantly that ever-elusive x-factor. I agree that first session was probably the most important moment in rock. After Elvis everything changed, Rock 'N' Roll happened, and teenagers finally had something to do. Long live the King.
Nico Versluys, England
I think your poll is accurate. I was fourteen when Elvis burst upon the music scene and his voice and presentation were so powerful that only the deaf could ignore his potential. Also, at around the same time the introduction of transistor radios and small portable record players made it a snap to spread his [and the many other great rock and rollers of the fifties] music around the world. Rock and roll radio stations popped up like mushrooms. The rest is history.
Roy M Birkett, Canada
While I can't dispute Elvis' debut single, the position of the Beatles on Ed Sullivan at #4 pretty much sums up why I think that these little lists and polls don't mean a great deal at all.
The Beatles appearance on Ed Sullivan should sit at #2. Not only was it a seismic event for the history of modern music, but one that left its indelible mark on the landscape of modern culture.
I believe it is absurd to limit the title of "World-Changing" to modern commercial music. This shows the bias that all music now has be commercial, and that before commercialism, music wasn't a focal point of culture. If all commercialism was removed, music would still exist as a focal point of our culture and individual lives, just as it did for uncounted thousands of years before.
Michael Nelson, California, USA
Of course, Elvis' Sun session changed the direction of music. Nothing else compares!
Absolutely, Elvis' Sun sessions in Memphis definitely opened up a new world in music. His early singles inspired me to learn a musical instrument (drums)in 1957, and rock n roll has been a part of me ever since. His later movies separated him from his musical roots, however.
Michael Clarke, Canada
Of course Elvis started and carried on rock and roll, where the likes of the Clash and Nirvana come into discussion when it comes to world greats is beyond me. Where are the Beatles?
Pink Floyd ? surely the Floyd were worthy of a mention, after all they did influence all decent modern music.
Dave Floyd, Scotland
Rock'n'Roll, as the synthesis of African-American music with Country and other pop forms, the emphasis on the beat, and guitars, was an inevitable American phenomenon. In a nation of immigrants, such cultural cross-over is inevitable, in at least a small degree. This is not to diminish the contribution of Elvis, Sam Phillips, Scotty Moore and their group, as their talent, foresight, and inspiration are probably responsible for many of the particulars of this inevitable synthesis.
Tom Noerper, USA
I am very surprised that Buddy Holly didn't feature in the top 10. His music has been a major influence for many latter day rock/pop artists. Both his guitar sound and vocal interpretation were unique in the fifties and still, all these years after his death, his style is instantly recognisable.
Trevor Jones, Braintree, England
Remembering the dawn of rock 'n' roll from personal memory, I believe the seminal event was the use of "Rock Around the Clock" in the movie Blackboard Jungle.
William Bell, USA
Rock and Roll was already being played and heard on the radio at the time that Presley was starting to cut records. Bill Haley, who seems to have been discarded as a seminal influence by latter-day rock historians, had Shake, Rattle and Roll plus Crazy, Man Crazy out at the time.
No doubt about it. Elvis music reached everyone everywhere!!
Archimedes Lee, Philippines
Absolutely. No doubt about it - and before the naysayers jump in, a full 18 months BEFORE Chuck Berry's "Maybelline" and Little Richard's "Tuitti Frutti". Elvis defined the look, the sound and the attitude.
Gillian Thomas, UK
Elvis certainly did change cultural attitudes and his '54 and '55 recordings with Sun marked the begining of this phenomenon. He singlehandedly created the generation gap.
Chris Donnelly, Ireland
Presley credited with inventing rock and roll? Who came up with that nonsense? I wonder if the story would be different if Chuck Berry had been white?
The pivotal moment was the release of Rock Around the Clock
Dave Challice, UK
True, Elvis started it as a point of change in the evolution of music.
The recent is all this species seems to comprehend, though. And as for the recent, I belive Tool's "Lateralus" to be another confluence in music.