Bob Dylan Named Most Revolutionary Artist

12/13/2010
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(Gibson) In the history of music, there have been many great artists who have created tunes and made recordings that have been cherished by millions of people. And then, there are those who transcended mere greatness to become something even bigger. These are the game-changers, the ground-breakers, the explorers, the visionaries. These are the artists who took a look at the state of music and wondered, "Why can't it be this way?" These are the people and the groups who revolutionized music.

Gibson.com decided that these musical revolutionaries deserved special recognition for their influential and legendary achievements. In tribute, we're counting down the Top 50 Most Revolutionary Artists of the Past 100 Years as voted on by Gibson's editorial team, writing staff and, most importantly, you, the readers.

Here is No 1) Bob Dylan: The so-called poet laureate of rock and roll sits atop this list, and rightfully so. It's unfathomable to imagine music without Dylan's game-changing approach to songwriting. It was a big enough deal in the folk community when the young performer opted not to play traditional songs, but wrote his own brilliant material about the imperfect universe we all call home. Dylan truly put music on its ear around the time when he went "electric," and simultaneously trained his artistic vision on the sort of things not typically discussed in pop singles. Some songs turned deeply personal, language became more colorful and structure crawled out the window, carried away amidst Bob's stream of consciousness. And everyone, everyone, took notice the ones who couldn't copy his approach opted to cover his songs. Even rock's most hallowed band, The Beatles, followed him down to a place where little love ditties got complicated, story songs became more interesting and rock and roll turned into more than just teenage rebellion. If Dylan's writing is his most revolutionary contribution to music, it's certainly not his only one. He altered how a pop singer's voice could sound, changed how a music star could act and practically invented the notion of a rock and roll chameleon (traveling the path from clever folkie to sneering rocker to country balladeer in a couple of years). In the wake of his first glimpse of popularity, modern music has taken on Dylan's artistic characteristics constantly restless, always changing, sometimes serious, sometimes goofy, and rarely dull, reflecting the world's worst tendencies and best aspirations, with the past in mind and the future in sight. He changed everything. Bryan Wawzenek Check out the full list here

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