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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 August, 2005, 11:01 GMT 12:01 UK
Which single changed your world?
Elvis Presley
Bob Dylan's hit single Like a Rolling Stone has topped a poll of 100 music, movies, TV shows and books that changed the world.

It beat songs by Elvis Presley, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones to the top spot in the survey, carried out by the magazine, Uncut.

The magazine's editor Allan Jones said, "What we have been left with is Dylan as the most seminal artistic statement of the last five decades - but I'm sure others will disagree."

Do you agree with the poll? Which song has changed your world and why?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

God Save the Queen by the Sex Pistols did it for me
Ed, London
God Save the Queen by the Sex Pistols did it for me. Whilst I remain an ardent royalist, it introduced me to a whole new world of political thought and social conscience. RIP Sid!
Ed, London

Coldplay, Coldplay, Coldplay. Without this band we would not have such artists as Keane, Razorlight or the Kaiser Chiefs. Coldplay completely revitalised the Indie Rock scene, and although their latest offering is not all that great, it's difficult not to sit back and enjoy their first two albums Parachutes and A Rush Of Blood To The Head. With songs such as Amsterdam and Yellow on these albums, it really is difficult no to.
Nayan, London, UK

She bangs the drum by Stone Roses. It got me out of my depressing Goth stage.
Sarah, UK

I Am the Law, by Anthrax. A classmate gave me this on tape, knowing I was into the Judge Dredd comic. It opened my eyes to the amazing world of thrash metal, which has been a staple part of my musical diet ever since. It also set me a very, very high standard to aspire to, as a musician myself.
Andrew, Bristol, UK

It's not really a song as such but a piece of music. Pomp and Circumstance. Whenever I hear that it puts me in a great mood, all problems fade away for the time that music flows into my ears.
Pete, Surrey

It has to be Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush
Sally Marshall, UK
It has to be Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush. Strange, weird, melodramatic and fantastic.
KJM, Cambs

Angie by the Rolling Stones. My parents hated it but by buying it against their wishes I made my first steps into true independence.
Sally Marshall, UK

The song "Doing the Unstuck" by The Cure (a very underrated band, btw) changed my world one day last summer. After having yet another awful day at work, at a job I hated with a passion, I got in the car, turned on the radio and the words: "It's a perfect day to throw back your head and kiss it all goodbye" came out of my speakers. I quit my job the next day and have been happy as a clam since then.
Lisa, Amarillo, TX USA

Are 'Friends' Electric by Tubeway Army. The Top Of The Pops performance changed my outlook on music forever and allowed me at age 11 to break free from just listening to whatever my parents were listening to. Numan changed the music scene as much as Bowie before him, and for a while the synthesiser ruled the world.
Si Wooldridge, Darlington, County Durham

Don't forget "Space Odyssey" by David Bowie.
Wendy Roy, Colorado Springs, USA
I definitely agree about Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone". It stands the test of time. The fact that Paul McCartney chose an Elvis song is rather ironic considering Elvis felt his demise was due to the Beatles. Also, don't forget "Space Odyssey" by David Bowie. Now there is an phenomenal example of time and place. Released in 1969, the year man touched foot on the moon.
Wendy Roy, Colorado Springs, USA

Artists like Bob Dylan are more popular with people who like to intellectualise or write about music. If you stopped someone at random walking down the street and asked them to sing a couple of bars of 'Like A Rolling Stone' - you'd be greeted with blank you what?! expressions. Ask them to sing a couple of bars of Heartbreak Hotel or Love Me Do on the other hand and they'll know what you're talking about. I'm a big Elvis fan but whilst 'Heartbreak Hotel' was culturally significant and was important landmark in his career it wasn't the song that changed my world. The single that rocked me was 'Its Now or Never' - that was like nothing I'd ever heard before pop mixed with opera and that voice! Elvis was an amazing vocalist a rock n roll singer who'd developed his instrument and his craft, an artist who continued to fuse musical styles long after 'That's Alright'. Elvis didn't die when he joined the army - he grew up.
Jason Barrymore, London, England

Millennium by Robbie Williams simply because it was 2000 and its title epitomised something new and dramatic was happening. I don't even know the lyrics just the title, simple and appropriate.
steve Todd, Brussels Belgium

I honestly can't remember any song having a profound impact on my life. Personally, I'm getting bored of all these lists people are always compiling these days. Perhaps it's all this millennial angst or something.
Dave, Durham, Northumberland

Jumpin Jack Flash by The Rolling Stones. It still stops me in my tracks when I hear the opening notes unexpectedly from a radio somewhere. The Stones will always cause a bar to suddenly become alive when played on the jukebox. Try it and see.
Bob G, New York City

To claim that Dylan has made the "most seminal artistic statement of the last five decades" is a fallacy. The Beatles most certainly claim this honor. They, more than any other pop artists, existed in a state of constant reinvention, and with that reinvention, repeatedly redefined rock and roll. The merit and influence of their art far outweighs that of any other pop artist. If the category were not confined to a single song, the seminal artistic statement of the past five decades would be, without question, "Sgt. Pepper" an album that permanently changed the musical landscape and redefined what an album can be.
Doug Von Korff, Seattle, WA

Got to be Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana. Turned me from a nice little public school boy into the pierced tattooed freak you see today!
Benji, Southampton, UK

There are many songs which fit into different categories and serve different purposes; each having their own incredible impact. Politically, it would have to be 'God Save the Queen'. No other song so directly expresses such 'in your face' disdain for authority as well as being a offensive parody on England's national anthem. For peace, there is Bob Marley's 'War (No More Troubles)' which offers a range of good advice to eliminate conflict arising from social inequality and government abuse. Spiritually, there are two by George Harrison; 'Within You and Without You' and 'My Sweet Lord'. Both refer to a higher existence and claim we humans have the potential to be more divine. 'Within You and Without You' even suggests a better world is achievable but sadly, we don't make that choice.
Peter Daignault, Hong Kong, China

Anarchy in the UK by the Sex Pistols definitely changed the world in terms of musical expression
Anon, Leicester, England
Whether you like the song or not - Anarchy in the UK by the Sex Pistols definitely changed the world in terms of musical expression from then to now.
Anon, Leicester, England

For me, its "Man in the mirror" (Michael Jackson). It's profoundly sensitive and meaningful.
Venkat Maruthamuthu, Urbana, IL, USA

Blue Monday started me down the track of alternative music, of what I liked rather than what DJs played, and I haven't stopped having my world changed since.
Mike Page, Folkestone

"I'd like to teach the world to sing" is a song for the ages. Call it folk. Call it pop. Call it whatever. It reminds me of the innocence of youth every time I hear it.
Amy, USA

John Lennon's first solo album did it for me. Songs like Working Class Hero, Mother, Love and God were just magical and showed how brilliant an artist he was.
Len Karp, Almonte Ontario

I'm surprised that Imagine wasn't on the list, but I have to say The Beatles' Hey Jude is my pick. I think it shows that we can do anything with a little bit of compassion and sympathy.
Katie, Canada

For me it would be either the album "Hysteria" by Def Leppard. It was this album which brought rock music into my world. Something which is still in force today and still a classic album. Or Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer". The video for that just blew my mind and it's still one of the top 5 videos of all time!
Liz, Yorkshire

"A love Supreme" by John Colrane. First hearing it back in 1965 when I was 17, I knew that it would always be a personal statement to me.
Philip, Schaffhausen, Switzerland

Heartbreak Hotel changed the world the most for me. Not only is it musically perfect, it's primordial, unlike any song before or since, being neither country, blues or rock 'n roll. No artist or band has ever been able to equal its unrefined originality. Add to this the fact that it launched the career of Elvis and sent a musical shockwave around the World, empowering others to be different and, no other song comes close.
Andy, Preston

Amused to Death Roger Waters (Pink Floyd). It's a must!
Vince, London

Elvis Presley who?
MB, Worcester, UK
The best single ever has to be Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin and the best album - Dark Side of the Moon. Yes they did it for me as did School's Out by Alice Cooper - now that was when I really started to realise there was life outside of the TV. Elvis Presley who?
MB, Worcester, UK

Songs like: When Will They ever learn; Where Have all the Flowers Gone; Eve of Destruction; etc. These songs help point out social concerns and are more relevant than ever.
Rick Loeffler, Waukesha, WI, USA

I grew up listening to Bob Dylan thanks to my parents. It wasn't until I went to school in Singapore and I took music when I really started to truly listen to music. My music teacher played Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. I realised there was much more to music than I thought. In my adult years, the song that grabbed me was Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash. I was working as a bar maid and when I heard the intro, I dropped everything I was doing and ran over to the jukebox to see who it was. I was blown away. It was the start of me discovering Johnny Cash. It was the high point of working that horrible job.
Erin, DC, USA

Two albums did it for me. "Godbluff" by Van Der Graaf Generator in 1975 and Salif Keita's "Soro" 12 years later. Worlds apart, you'd say, yes, but what dazzling inventiveness! My tastes have always been very eclectic but ever since those two listening experiences (and quite a few others to be honest) I consider the Top 40 an audio crime against humanity. Manufactured pop dulls the senses, robs people of that essential rush of anticipation, just before a Salif Keita performance or indeed, one of the never-expected Van Der Graaf reunion concerts. How refreshing, even after 20, 30 years! Madonna, now who was that again?
Bram, Amsterdam, Netherlands

50 Ways to Leave Your Lover by Paul Simon. When that song came out I had just been dumped by my first true love. All the radio stations played this song several times an hour while I licked my wounds. Never again have I let a song influence me so.
Tom, San Francisco, California

For me it was when I was 16 and heard "See Emily Play" by The Pink Floyd for the first time, on a crackling transistor radio in 1982. It blew everything else I'd heard to date - punk included - out of the water.
David Nelson, Edinburgh, Scotland

The Beatles "Tomorrow never Knows" and "Strawberry fields" are two songs that made me realize that anything is possible, and imagination is an infinite power
Mike, USA

"Rock around the Clock" by Bill Haley and the Comets who spawned numerous copy-cat groups. It was the first rock 'n roll song and predated Elvis by a year at least It was the very beginning of it all and this changed music for ever.
Jon Friend, Toronto, Canada

Comfortably Numb - Pink Floyd. The Winds that blow - Duncan Sheik
Aks, Glasgow, Scotland

It has to be "Heartbreak Hotel" - such rawness
Robert, Halifax, England
It all depends on one's age of course, but it has to be "Heartbreak Hotel" - such rawness, blowing away the Dickie Valentines, Frankie Laines and Rosemary Clooneys. It led this white boy into finding out about the whole world of black American music, from Little Richard to Chuck Berry to Muddy Waters to Robert Johnson.
Robert, Halifax, England

Well, for me it was The Beatles "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" that changed my life, but I agree basically that Bob Dylan's song changed the world.
Sandy Tripp, Berkeley, CA, USA

Ah, there are so many songs that are so important in my life, many mentioned already, but the song that changed my world? Peter Gabriel's Biko. After hearing that song I realized what the true power of music, and all art, could be. I also realized that I needed to be more involved in my world because there were just too many problems that needed to be addressed. Because of that song I am the man I am today, even though I may like some songs better, this is the one that really did change (expand?) my world.
Richard Meador, New York City, USA

I love Bob Dylan and Like a Rolling Stone is a great track, but it changed nothing. No, the song that did all this was That's all Right Mama by Elvis, because that gave us Elvis, and that changed the world. Moreover the list cannot be taken as anything more than silly fun with some nonsensical choices like the David Bowie movie which influenced what exactly?
J Stanley, London, England

Definitely 'I feel love' by Donna Summer. The precursor to dance/techno music as we know it today.
Anon, Lagos, Nigeria

It wasn't so much Jack Johnson's "Sexy Plexi" song that changed my life, it was more the line: "You're wasting your mind by killing the time that kills you". I was in a transitional stage of my life, and it motivated me to stop wondering what I should do, and just get up and do something!
Shannon, Montreal, Canada

Seven Seas of Rhye when Queen appeared on The Old Grey Whistle Test. Freddie was like a breath of fresh air.
Steve, Wirral

"Smells Like Teen Spirit". There was nothing like it at the time of its release. Music desperately needs to be shaken up like that again.
Paul Williams, Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Any Bob Marley song. He made me aware of oppression through mental slavery, which most of the world still deals with today.
Yogetta, Brooklyn, New York

"She Loves You (yeah, yeah, yeah)" by the Beatles. I saw them perform on the Ed Sullivan show. I was too young to participate except as an observer in the young adult culture-in-the-making, but I knew from the screaming audience and the fascinating new songs on the radio that big changes were happening and old rules were being thrown off. To think that some of those songs were composed in a few hours and they're still with us as unforgettable classics. Although the roots of rock-n-roll go back decades in blues and even gospel, the early 60s through the early 80s were the most creative and prolific time in the musical history of the world.
Jeremy, Atlanta, Georgia

I can't say any songs have genuinely changed the world. But, because he seems to have been ignored thus far, I must mention Jimmy Hendrix. His raw talent was unparalleled, and his live performances have never been matched
Jon, Canada

"Marching On" by The Alarm. It was the start of me thinking about my place in the world and where I wanted to go.
Brian, Kansas City, USA

"Carpet of the Sun" by Renaissance. The first time I heard it, I felt like I'd known it all my life. It still gives me chills just hearing it in my mind.
Jennifer Ethington, North Brunswick, NJ, USA

I would place Heartbreak Hotel in first place. That particular song not only changed my life but influenced a whole generation. It changed the way teenagers talked, dressed and it spearheaded the youth rebellion of the 50s. And by unleashing the sexual revolution and empowering women, the women's rights movement was born. The Rolling Stones (Satisfaction), Led Zep's Stairway to Heaven, Pink Floyd, Nirvana, The Sex Pistols, Blondie, The Ramones all have contributed to changing the world. Jack Kerouac's novel "On the Road" was a life-changing book. It was the birth of the "beat generation" preceding Elvis' "teen liberation and rebellion" against the establishment.
Gigi, Memphis, TN, USA

At 56 I'm afraid I have to admit that there are a lot of performers mentioned here that I have never heard of! Dylan's "Blowing in the Wind" would have to be the outstanding one for me, closely followed by "Borderline" by Chris De Burgh, who could fail to identify with the lyrics "I will never know how men can see the wisdom in a war"?
Terry, Epsom, Surrey, England

Poppa Joe by The Sweet does it for me. Who can forget the immortal lyrics - "Poppa rumbo rumbo Hey Poppa Joe coconut." I've never been the same since.
Les, London

'Heartbreak Hotel' changed the course of history
Joe Carnevale, Windsor, Canada
'Heartbreak Hotel' by Elvis. Not only did it change my world, it changed the course of history as we know.
Joe Carnevale, Windsor, Canada

The single that changed the world during my lifetime was "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana. It not only introduced the world to 'grunge,' but it showed that an artist could achieve popular success during the era of music videos without having to appeal to 13 year old girls.
Blake Fry, River Falls, Wisconsin, USA

Back in 1989, much to my parents' regret, "Anarchy in the UK" broke me into the lovely world of punk and rock and roll!
Geetha Mahadevan, Toronto, Ontario

New Model Army's '225' (in fact the whole 'Thunder & Consolation' album) was the soundtrack that introduced me to life in the 'real world' after college.
Mike, Surrey

We sat out on Cardiff's civic lawns eating ice creams and singing 'We are the Champions'
Megan, Cheshire
'Champions of the World' from Queen - landmarks a warm summer afternoon Friday 13 July 1980 - degree results were announced and we sat out on Cardiff's civic lawns eating ice creams and singing it!
Megan, Cheshire

I was an average child in the 70s - quiet, timid and unassuming. Then, one day, whilst watching Top of the Pops I saw Johnny Rotten sneering into the camera as the Sex Pistols performed Pretty Vacant. My life went downhill after that
John, Oxford

I can't quite work out how I survived before I bought Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness by the Smashing Pumpkins.
Alex, Leicester

"Will You?" from Breaking Glass, sung by Hazel O'Connor. The words are so beautiful and the saxophone solo incredibly haunting. Absolute class.
Liz, Lancs

The music was so overwhelming that I had to sit down
Rupa, New York, USA
My world changed forever one grey London day at the Proms, when I was literally knocked off my feet by Mahler's 2nd Symphony. The music was so overwhelming that I had to sit down, prompting my friends to ask if I was okay. Somehow it seemed as though I'd never really listened to anything before, and my relationship to Mahler - and music - has never been the same since.
Rupa, New York, USA

The single that did it for me was Tonight, Tonight by the Smashing Pumpkins. Before that my taste in music was limited and rather dodgy. That song opened my eyes to music by introducing me to the album which opened my eyes to music for the first time.
Graham Haywood, Sheffield

Hearing Laurie Anderson's "O Superman" at the age of 9 changed my world. It was so different to anything I'd heard before and opened my mind to the idea that 'other musics' could exist.
Mark, London

It's an album for me - August and Everything After by Counting Crows. It was my 16th summer when everything was changing inexplicably, a mixture of sadness, happiness, nostalgia and a rushing sense of the future - this album really captured this. Not forgetting the unrequited love which is a rite of passage at that age!
Melissa, Guildford, Surrey

2Pac's songs have inspirational messages to all types of people all over the world
Dean, Castleford
Any song by the late rapper 2Pac, he wasn't all guns and drugs at all. His songs have inspirational messages to all types of people all over the world. His music influenced me and makes me realise that through all the bad/evil and wrongdoings there's always hope.
Dean, Castleford

Black Box - Ride on Time - made me realise that electronic music could be as powerful as, or even more powerful, than guitar-based music.
Jen, Milano

Summer of 69 by Bryan Adams. Purely because, when this song was released, it did sound like 'coming straight from my heart'. Good old puppy love days.
Prabhat, UK

For us in Africa, Bob Marley is unbeaten musically. For me two songs "War" and "Get up, Stand up, Stand for your Rights" penetrated and stayed in my heart.
Daniel Maimbo, Lusaka

When I first heard the Beatles "Love me do" was a life defining moment for me. After hearing it I became absolutely certain that the culture I grew up in would never be the same again.
Dave, England

You're kidding, surely? None of these had much of an impact compared to songs such as Dylan's 'Blowing in the Wind', John Lennon's 'Imagine', and Michael Buerke's report on the famine in Ethiopia.
Jamie, UK

Billy Idol changed everything
Clay Cruise, Lex, KY, USA
How can you all leave Billy Idol out? He changed everything in the 80s with his music and MTV! And like the Stones, he's still touring. Rebel Yell!
Clay Cruise, Lex, KY, USA

Little Baby Nothing by Manic Street Preachers. It made me realise that men and magazines were wrong to promote their false images of women. At that moment I started fighting my anorexia.
Pauline, Ipswich, UK

Love Will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division, Fruit Tree by Nick Drake and Psycho Killer by Talking Heads are the singles that left the greatest impression. For TV it has to be Dr Who from the 70s.
Jonathan, UK

Come on, that's easy. Band Aid is the only song that has really changed the world.
MB, Nottingham, UK

Hearing Are Friends Electric by Tubeway Army on the radio sent me rushing down to Woolies to buy a copy. Still sounds good today, as I'm sure Richard X and the Sugababes would agree.
Rob, Norwich, UK

I wouldn't exactly say "changed my life", but a track that definitely helped me realise that I had a mind of my own at a fairly early age was Supertramp's School.
Joseph, UK

I am surprised not to see Pink Floyd's The Wall in this list of great music.
Biju George, Thiruvalla, South India

It's quite easy for members of my generation to cite Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit, but for me, it was in 1989, scanning the local college radio station, and coming across Where is My Mind by Pixies. It was then I realised how perfectly weird pop music could be.
Mike McKinnon, Austin, Texas, USA

A Guy called Gerald's Voodoo Ray is the major reason I did so badly in my exams
Stephen Flood, London, UK
A Guy called Gerald's Voodoo Ray. With my roots in Manchester this song is the major reason I did so badly in my exams. No one could get me out of the clubs.
Stephen Flood, London, UK

Oops I Did It Again by Britney Spears changed my world. It was after that song that I fully realised the horrific consequences of mass-marketing on the Western world.
Alex, St Louis, MO, USA

Dylan deserves top spot in a poll of music that has changed the world. But Like A Rolling Stone? Why that particular song? Yes, it came on the cusp of Dylan famously "going electric", but there are other songs which are just as seminal and also had more of a political, world-changing effect. Blowin' in the Wind or The Times They Are A-Changin', for example.
Nick Yates, Ormskirk, Lancashire, England

There is no one song, but a whole album, which is Pink Floyd's amazing Dark Side of the Moon. That album brought my attention away from manufactured pop, to classic rock and roll, and opened up many genres for me. It is truly a classic.
Christian H, North Wales

Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana surely changed my world, as well as many Pink Floyd songs, because they told me that I wasn't alone in feeling the way I was feeling.
Clara, Monza, Italy

REM's Losing My Religion. Although it never reached number one, what more do I need to say about a fantastic song?
Tricia, Grays, Essex, UK

Welcome to the Jungle by Guns N Roses inspired me to play guitar
Andy, Norfolk, UK
For me it has to be Welcome to the Jungle by Guns N Roses. It was an excellent single and a brilliant album opener and inspired me to play guitar.
Andy, Norfolk, UK

We are the World - in my opinion it was the song that brought the whole world together letting them understand the suffering going on in Africa. It was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, and was well produced by Quincy Jones. That song is the real Make Poverty History anthem.
Roland Shokunbi, London, England

I always thought Like a Rolling Stone was one of Dylan's more pretentious songs. It doesn't compare with Mr Tambourine Man which is so beautifully written and has striking imagery. The song that changed my world was Blowin' in the Wind - it made me aware of the Civil Rights struggle, something that was not covered in our local news here in Buffalo in the early 60s.
Dorothy S, Buffalo, NY, USA

Mad World performed by Gary Jules and Michael Andrews from the movie Donnie Darko is the single that hits home the crazy nature of the 21st century to me. Added to that, it's a fantastic song.
Jason Robinson, Dublin, Ireland

No Bob Marley, no Motown music, no John Lennon! This does not say very much about the judges.
Austin Amadasun, Lagos, Nigeria

I left my partner of more than seven years after hearing a song from the musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Anna, UK
This might sound stupid, but the song that most affected me came from the musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It was a song called Going Through the Motions and contained the line "will I stay this way forever, sleepwalk through my life's endeavour?" I realised I was existing in an emotional vacuum and left my partner of more than seven years.
Anna, UK

Boys didn't buy singles when I was young, they listened to albums, and the key album was Dark Side of the Moon. Thirty years on and (unlike me) it hasn't aged at all. Maybe you have to be even older than me for Bob Dylan songs to speak directly to you like that.
Roger, UK

With or Without You by U2. Most people have loved someone they can't be with for what ever inexplicable reason. And this song nails that confused heartfelt feeling every time.
Victoria, London, UK

One could pick any number of Dylan songs. Definitely Dylan should be considered for a Nobel Prize. The Rolling Stones certainly rank as well. I know some people will scoff, but I also have to nominate American Pie, the full versions by Don Mclean. It paid homage to an age, caught an age and set a tone for a future age.
James, Epsom, UK

James from Epsom, you are not alone. American Pie is the only record I can sing along to from start to finish, and that is the full length version too. Great record. My favourite Bob Dylan record has to be Subterranian Home Sick Blues. I do not understand a word of it, which makes it all the better.
Peter, Sussex, UK

For me it has to be Blitzkrieg Bop by the Ramones. I heard it first on John Peel and was absolutely speechless. I knew that my life would be very different from that moment on.
Andrew M, Walsall, UK




SEE ALSO:
Dylan single 'changed the world'
05 Aug 05 |  Entertainment


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