Musical Influences

Everybody interested in music grew up with a certain kind of music. The sources can be very different, from parents‘ records/mixtapes/cds, intensive radio listening, your (older) brother’s  or sister‘s preferences, friends, relatives or whoever. It can be classical, jazz, modern, comtemparary music – but undoubtedly it is somehow defining, destinctive, significant for your personal musical taste and sometimes even development.

Surely you experience other  music when you grow up. But, let’s say, the years between 12 and 25 are definitely those that give you a „mark“ or define your preferences. Think about your first song you can remember and were touched by (or the first record/cd) you bought. Are you still listening to it? Think about your favourite band, your first concert … No wonder, music directly accesses your emotion button.

Logically, these musical incidents have a stronger impact than you might consider. Especially when you become a musician yourself, you will find these „influences“ in your music, too. Very often you see young bands playing the songs of their heroes and it is definitely a good practise, too. The more you understand what they are doing, the more you will be able to derive and develop from that. And again, this ist he point, where it becomes rather interesting: the influences of different band members (might) become a musical melting pot the breeds new and different variations to even new musical styles (and I am not talking about the styles made up by the industry).

It’s amazing if you look at the names great musicians define as their influences, some of them are so  different you would never think there is any correlation.

Here is a short list, which a looked up, and I hope you find it interesting, too:


Alice Cooper named in an interview (and these are all British …)The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, The Who, The Kinks

Alex Clare named Stevie Wonder

Amy Winehouse named Etta James, Nene Cherry, Carol King

Bryan Ferry named Bob Dylan, Davis Bowie, The Velvet Underground

Kurt Cobain named John Lydon, Tommi Iommi, Iggy Pop

James Hetfield  named Black Sabbath, Aerosmith, Lynyrd Skynyrd

Madonna  named The Village People, Carpenters and  David Bowie amongst others

Pink named Joan Jett, Janet Jackson, Janis Joplin, Madonna

Prince named James Brown, Led Zeppelin, Joni Mitchell

Brian Eno named Miles Davis, John Cage, Markus Stockhausen



The list could go on. Even though this is not complete you can see by the names where they come from and if you compare with their works … Quite interesting.


If you want to comment, you are, as always cordially invited.

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