Re: Who's Your Top Five Greatest Artists of All Time? (Music)
Redsmetz mnetioned Bing Crosby and a good argument can be made for Der Bingle, whose intimate style with a microphone was innovative. Benny Goodman was also justly mentioned by Redsmetz.
Chou En-Lai reportedly responded to a question in the 1970s by saying it was "too early to tell" what would be the effects of the French Revolution. I mention that because it probably is too early to tell what will be the lasting effects and legacy of more recent artists. I therefore did not mention any artist whose prime was more recent than 40 years ago.
I think Sinatra has to be on the list. Yes, he built on Crosby's innovations, but you don't hear much of Bing's music any more other than at Christmas, whereas I still hear contemporary artists covering Sinatra's songs. With the help of Nelson Riddle Sinatra also pioneered the concept of making an album with a theme rather than just a collection of songs.
Elvis Presley has to be on the list. He not only had a terrific and versatile voice and a charismatic stage presence, Elvis in the 1950s was a cultural earthquake still being felt.
The Beatles are the third clear member of this grouping, and should head the list. They had an even bigger cultural impact than did Elvis and were more innovative than Sinatra or Presley. Most importantly, while Sinatra and Presley interpreted songs, the Beatles composed and created theirs.
"Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."