The 100 Most Influential Artists, according to NME


    This week, NME released its list of the Top 100 Most Influential Artists, and like its recent list of the Top 500 Albums, it’s sure to elicit quite the reaction.

    From the very onset, NME eliminates acts such as The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, and The Who, because “they aren’t necessarily directly informing the music being made today… Influence is a fluid concept, so rather than simply tipping our caps to the legends (again), we set out to quantify which are the biggest influences on today’s music scene.”

    That doesn’t explain the omission of more recent acts such as Talking Heads, Pearl Jam, Wilco, Elliott Smith, or Daft Punk. Nor does it explain why David Bowie and The Velvet Underground, two acts who existed the same time as The Beatles, Dylan, and Rolling Stones are included.


    As for the actual list itself, there are quite a few interesting placements. The Cure come in at No. 99 behind of acts as Danish post-punk band Ice Age and Atlanta flower punks Black Lips. Black Flag and Nine Inch Nails place at No. 85 and 84, respectively, nearly 10 spots behind Best Coast and Vampire Weekend. Wu-Tang Clan comes in one spot behind Grimes at No 73. Meanwhile, Tame Impala ranks ahead of led Zeppelin, T. Rex, and Television. But perhaps my favorite placement: Hole at No. 20, which puts Courtney Love’s band ahead of such rock luminaries as Bruce Springsteen, Beck, Sonic Youth, Queens of the Stone Age, and — Nirvana.

    Scroll through the full list below, and read NME’s justification for each selection here.

    100. Deerhunter
    99. The Cure
    98. Yeah Yeah Yeahs
    97. Iceage
    96. Country Teasers
    95. Dirty Projectors
    94. Richard Hawley
    93. Black Lips
    92. St. Vincent
    91. Foals
    90. Flying Lotus
    89. Simple Minds
    88. Oneohtrix Point Never
    87. Billy Bragg
    86. The Triffids
    85. Black Flag
    84. Nine Inch Nails
    83. The Jesus and Mary Chain
    82. Massive Attack
    81. Animal Collective
    80. Dusty Springfield
    79. Suicide
    78. Stevie Wonder
    77. Best Coast
    76. Vampire Weekend
    75. The Wedding Present
    74. Slint
    73. Wu-Tang Clan
    72. Grimes
    71. Rilo Kiley
    70. Pharrell
    69. Nick Lowe
    68. The National
    67. Jay Z
    66. The Slits
    65. Diplo
    64. The Zombies
    63. Talk Talk
    62. The Stooges
    61. DJ Shadow
    60. DJ Rashad
    59. Chic
    58. Black Sabbath
    57. James Blake
    56. Happy Mondays
    55. The Chills
    54. Aphex Twin
    53. The Fall
    52. Nas
    51. Television
    50. Sufjan Stevens
    49. Death From Above 1979
    48. Bat For Lashes
    47. The Cars
    46. Wiley
    45. T Rex
    44. Bikini Kill
    43. New Order
    42. PJ Harvey
    41. Led Zeppelin
    40. Tame Impala
    39. Brian Jonestown Massacre
    38. Dr. Dre
    37. Kraftwerk
    36. My Bloody Valentine
    35. TV on the Radio
    34. Depeche Mode
    33. The Knife
    32. Pavement
    31. Bjork
    30. Bon Iver
    29. Bruce Springsteen
    28. Beck
    27. The Stone Roses
    26. Fleetwood Mac
    25. Nirvana
    24. Queens of the Stone Age
    23. Burial
    22. Sonic Youth
    21. Hole
    20. Prince
    19. Neutral Milk Hotel
    18. Aaliyah
    17. Blur
    16. The Velvet Underground
    15. Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers
    14. The Clash
    13. Joy Division
    12. The Breeders
    11. The Smiths
    10. The xx
    09. Nick Cave
    08. Kate Bush
    07. The Gun Gun Club
    06. The Flaming Lips
    05. The Strokes
    04. The White Stripes
    03. Kanye West
    02. David Bowie
    01. Radiohead

Personalized Stories

Around The Web