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Which Band Made the Biggest Impact on Today's Rock Music?

Updated on February 5, 2019

I think it would be easy for someone to say that the Beatles had the most influence on today's modern music. But is that true? What does today's modern music sound like and what band from the past does it reflect the most?

The answer is going to be very subjective on who influenced modern music the most because there are so many different genres of music. We have pop, rock, grunge, rap, blues, jazz and really an endless list of variations. When asking a question like who has influenced music the most, one would have to consider all the different varieties of music out there and come up with a band that influenced the most categories. In the end it really becomes subjective, but all things considered I would have to believe that Led Zeppelin influenced today's music even more than the Beatles.

Some of the reasons I believe this, is because of the impact that was made by each band member, beginning with Jimmy Page, the guitarist for Led Zeppelin. Jimmy Page often makes the very top of greatest guitar players of all time lists. Jimmy Page was a session guitar player back in the mid 60's and also played for the Yardbirds about that time. The Yardbirds also had band members like Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck.

Out this mix there was a single made in 1966 called Beck's Bolero. It had Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Keith Moon (drummer of the group The Who), John Paul Jones (bass for Led Zeppelin) and and Nicky Hopkins on piano (who was a session player that quite literally played for everyone). I use that example because that's quite a lineup of players, that would make a huge impact on just about as many genres of music as there are. How much these players influenced each other is of course debatable, but keep in mind that Jimmy Page is there and John Paul Jones is there. In that one example you have two members of Led Zeppelin, you have Keith Moon of The Who and Nicky Hopkins who played for everyone.

As I noted before, in that Jimmy Page is considered one of the all time top guitarists, the same may be said that John Bonham is one of the greatest drummers of all time. Not very many bands can make the claim that they have one of the top two or three guitarist and one of the top two or three drummers of all time, all in the same band. Now Robert Plant and John Paul Jones (singer-bass) were very influential as well. Robert Plant in my opinion is archetype of what is called a frontman for a band. When taking these things and many more into consideration, I have to believe that Led Zeppelin had the most influence on today's music.

Led Zeppelin started making an impact from the 60's and are still playing today some 50 years later. They have so many achievements they're just too many to list and are often in the top e.g best selling albums worldwide, greatest albums of all time, greatest songs of all time as well as hall of fame's and lifetime achievement awards.Their songs can be technical, professional and elaborate, and this is still so today. Their songs are not simple ballads or pop songs that fade quickly from the radio. They stand the test of time. I think the band Led Zeppelin and Led Zeppelin's very popular songs have influenced the most varieties of today's modern music and each band member influenced the most individual musicians, in today's music.

An Argument

I guess an argument could be made that the Gibson guitar company had the most influence on modern music. It is difficult to define what the phrase "modern music" even means, because it has a pretty wide range or connotation.

The way I looked at it was or what defines it for me is, radio play and album sales. Another determining factor would be time itself. For instance, it wouldn't be logical to say Lady Gaga influenced modern music because she wasn't born until 1986. Just with these few criteria you can eliminate a lot of potential influences or claims of influence.

Also another criteria or aspect for me would be: is the band popular and everyone across the board likes them? Or are they the type of band that is popular and bands/people later will mimic them until they look like the bands we have today? Elvis is/was popular. To me he seems more "popular" than many, but did he influence modern music today or was it more that people loved to listen to him? I think the former than the latter.

I think it was out of these 1960's-late 1960s bands that influenced what one might think of as "today's modern music" the most. Later, when you look at the bands that have sold the most albums, you will start to see a lot of rock bands, some are soft rock like the Eagles and then harder rock, like the band AC/DC. These hugely successful bands are sprouting up like crazy in the early/mid-1970s and continued to grow in numbers up until today.

Does AC/DC or Van Halen remind you of the Beatles or Led Zeppelin? I can almost see the largest influence on modern music today from one album alone that came out of 1971, Led Zeppelin IV. A multi-platinum album that contains songs like- When The Levee Breaks, Rock and Roll and Stairway to Heaven.

Led Zeppelin was early enough to have been capable of influencing modern music beginning in 1968. They had the sales multi-platinum albums and radio play as the vehicles to initiate the influence to modern music. They were a band that were not only just popular to listen to, such as Elvis, but what influenced what we think of as actual bands. Bands that would also go on to greatness, such as AC/DC and Van Halen. Think of the commercial success of a band like Def Leppard, who's very name sounds like Led Zeppelin. Once again, does AC/DC and Van Halen look and sound like the Beatles or Led Zeppelin?

Who Had The Biggest Impact On Today's Rock Music?

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