Elvis Presley: everyone knows him as The King during his time in the ‘50s.
John Lennon: co-founder of The Beatles, the most popular band for pop and rock music in the ‘60s.
David Bowie: who brought colour, class and stardust to rock in the ‘70s.
Michael Jackson: crowned by the audience as the King of Pop during his reign in the ‘80s.
These artists, and many more, have made a legacy for themselves all thanks to their passion, dedication, and hard-work. It comes to no surprise that music has had an everlasting impact on society.
It’s because of these artists that we have an abundance of music-genres that are full with talent, raw emotions, and thoughtful lyrics. It’s important to acknowledge past artists and their work as it has paved the road for current artists today and shows what they have done for the music industry in general.
Most recently, The Spice Girls have announced they are doing a reunion tour. However, Victoria Beckham — known as Posh Spice — will not be joining since she is focusing on her family and fashion career. So why is it so important that a girl band is reuniting after 20 years? Because of their impact they had with their music.
What was most notable about The Spice Girls was “girl power.” According to MuchMusic, “the Spice Girls established themselves as iconic symbols of female empowerment, reinvigorating feminism and making ‘girl power’ mainstream in the late ‘90s.”
ABBA is another trademark band in the music industry that paved the way for pop music and also announced they are regrouping. Unlike The Spice Girls who’s statement was empowering a female audience, ABBA was known for bringing something new to pop.
In an article written for the BBC Why are Abba so popular? by Andrew Harrison, he said the “key to ABBA’s success was studio engineer Michael Tretow, who created a form of double-tracking which duplicated the instruments and made the band sound enormous. ABBA didn’t just have better songs. They sounded like nothing we’d heard before.”
Their songs not only had catchy beats, and sing-a-long lyrics, but they also had a powerful instrumental tune in their songs. It’s what makes the audience know they are listening to an ABBA song, even before the lyrics start.
One band I believe follows this is the British pop-rock band The 1975s. Their pop-electric tunes and grungier, underground alternative sound can be recognized anywhere. Similar to ABBA, they transformed their music into something so different from modern day that they stand out.
Even though The 1975s lead singer Matt Healy — during an interview with Teen Vogue in 2013— said his influence comes from Michael Jackson and Otis Redding, the band shares that same “never before heard” music that ABBA offered.
It might not have even been intentional, but ABBA paved a road for the next generation of musicians to follow in their footsteps.
Music is always evolving and growing. But without the history of past artists, there would never be an incline or demand for the art. We must take a moment to appreciate the work of these artists as they have forever changed the game for musicians to come.