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The Most Influential Records Of All Time?


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This is a thread I have started on music forums in the past. What I am looking for is the records that were (for those following the philosophy thread) a Gestalt Switch - after these records a flat Earth became a round Earth. They might not be the obscurity that was heard by four people but the tunes that revoltutionized or created a genre of music. I would love to know what tune gave birth to Punk or Metal or a significant sub-genre of a style of music. Not every genre will have it, some will have risen from several records or a club but some tunes or artists must have been so revolutionary that they changed the game. My examples will show they can have changed it for good or ill!


My reason for posting this now is that on Friday I watched a Kraftwerk concert on BBC4. Kraftwerk are widely acknowledges as the group that inspired the early 80s synth groups, Detroit techno and electro so they would be an obvious choice for this sort of honour.


I would love to know about other genres but from my hip hop background her are my shouts as truly influential records -



Rapper's Delight - The first mainstream rap record. Most rap historians would point to a Fatback B-side, King Tim (Personality Jock), as the first recognisable rap record but this was the one that one the world outside the Bronx's eyes to dropping rhymes on drums. Again I could get really anal and mention Last Poets or even certain James Brown records but this is the one. I always like pointing out to those who say that hip hop has lost its political roots that the first rap record had blatent misogeny (if your girl starts acting up...) and bling bling messages (more money than a sucker could ever spend) years before The Message.


Malcolm McLaren - Duck Rock - The World Famous Supreme Team scratching and Rock Steady breaking. The day after Buffalo Girls played on TOTP everybody at my school became a B Boy. If Rapper's Delight introduced us to rapping this track introduced the mainstream UK to the other elements, graf, DJing and breaking.


Herbie Hancock - RockIt - That bloke wikki-wikking a record could be as much a part of a band as any instrument player. Its influence can be seen in Scratch - The Movie as one turntablist after another states that Grandmixer DST's appearance at the Grammys was the moment they realised they could be part of something bigger.


Eric B & Rakim - Eric B Is President - "I came in the door, I said it before, I never knew the mic could magnitise me no more...." The concept of flow was introduced. I know I wasn't alone in realising the game done changed when Mike Allen dropped this. It wasn't just about lyrics, Rakim used syllables like Miles used notes.


NWA - Straight Outta Compton - There was gangster rap before - PSK and Ice T - but this was the one that hit home. Dre's beats and Ice Cube's lyrics brought that West Coast sound overground.


Method Man - You're All I Need - Rap and R&B had crossed over before - Alyson Williams being signed to Def Jam and all those New Jack Swing tracks - but for me the moment Puff Daddy remixed Meth was the moment that what, for better or (much much) worse, is now called R&B was born.


Armand Van Halden - Not sure what would have come first, maybe Prof Widow, maybe Spin Spin Sugar, but the first tune that crossed the basslines of jungle with the tempo of house. Gave birth to house from the likes of Matthew Roberts, "speed" garage and, more recently, bassline garage.


Wayne Smith - Under Me Sleng Teng - The first example of digital dancehall, the first time that a reggae track had been created using synths and drum machines rather than a band.

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I'll throw "Paranoid" by Black Sabbath into the mix.


As a metal fan, it's basically impossible for me not to recognise the influence this album had on the genre.


A timeless classic, and a stark reminder that Ozzy Osbourne wasn't always the bumbling butter-advertising buffoon we see being led around by the dick behind his wife Sharon.

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KISS' Alive album influenced most of the heavy metal bands and a few grunge bands (Kurt Cobain was a fan) from the 1980s and 1990s. Everyone was impressed with the Raw live sound and chemistry on stage ... until they found out it was a studio recording with a live crowd overdub, but still, great record.

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The Winstons - Amen, Brother: Contains one of many breaks that have been sampled to shit in hip hop, but this one also happens to pretty much be the basis for drum n bass and jungle.


Ties in with Straight Outta Compton of course as well as King Of The Beats before it was flipped to 45 RPM for the Junglists.


In terms of influential breaks the only two that might have been sampled more are -


Lyn Collins - Think

- Break at 1:24


James Brown - Funky Drummer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7T4v2l-PIg - Break at 5:22


And an honourable mention to Ashley's Roachclip for the Soul II Soul break that powered everything in 1990 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfymVPOdMwk - Break at 3:30

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Armand Van Halden - Not sure what would have come first, maybe Prof Widow, maybe Spin Spin Sugar, but the first tune that crossed the basslines of jungle with the tempo of house. Gave birth to house from the likes of Matthew Roberts, "speed" garage and, more recently, bassline garage.


Disagree here, I don't see a lot of garage inspiration in this one. It's just a house tune that came around the peak of house music, that happened to make it big.

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Darkthrone's unholy trinity (A Blaze In The Northern Sky, Under A Funeral Moon and Transilvanian Hunger)


Burzum - Hvis Lysett Tar Oss and Filosofem for being the inspiration for countless mid-paced, ambient black metal bands and also the Suicidal/Depressive Black metal scene


Bathory - the first few albums for being the epitome of raw, in your face black metal. Also Bathory - Hammerheart. The album which started Viking metal. Quorthon really was a huge loss to music, far more so than Dimebag in my opinion who seems to be fellated for little reason other than he died an eventful death, and was never actually that good.


Emperor - both Nightside and Anthems. Epic, incredibly atmospheric pieces of art imitated by many


Graveland and Nokturnal Mortum could probably be called influential bands for the sheer number worship bands now existing


Other bands such as Immortal and Enslaved have also released records I would call highly influential


Possessed - Seven Churches

Morbid Angel - Altars of Madness

The early Death albums

Autopsy- Severed Survival


The above are all quintessential death metal albums


Cryptopsy's None So Vile must be one of the first tech-death albums. Absolutely essential listening, made even better by Lord Worm's insane performance and utterly disturbing deranged vocals. Pity how they ended up in deathcore faggery...


At The Gates for giving birth to Melodeath and thousands of copiers. Early In Flames too, The Jester Race being the main example


Cannibal Corpse - Hammer Smashed Face - the album inspiring pretty much all of the brutal death metal bands on the scene today


Reign In Blood by Slayer. Despite being a mediocre album (one great song at the start and one at the end with lots of filler in between does not a good album make) it's been highly influential in the thrash scene.


My Dying Bride - Turn Loose The Swans. One of the finest albums ever made and the quintessential death/doom record. Haunting, beautiful and depressive music at its finest.


Tons more influential metal albums I could name but that's enough for now.

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