An Influence Chain is a playlist that starts with any band. In this case we start with the band The Alarm. Select any song by the band to be first in the playlist. I have chosen The Alarm song, “The Stand“. For the next selection choose a song by a band that is known to have influenced the previous band. In this case I selected a song by The Clash who were a big influence on The Alarm. Continue with the playlist until you cannot come up with any more influences.
You can listen to the playlist here.
Create your own or expand on the following list in the comments.
Influence Chain Playlist: The Alarm To Guy Lombardo
The Stand – The Alarm – Declaration (1984)
The Alarm were directly influenced by The Clash, therefore The Clash will be the next selection in our influence chain playlist. The Alarm were formed after seeing the electric way that The Clash delivered their political messages on stage. During their heyday in the 1980′s, The Alarm were compared more to U2 than any other band, but I would say that besides the big hair and spiritual fuzziness they shared, U2 was more of a contemporary of The Alarm than an influence on them.
Rock The Casbah – The Clash – Combat Rock (1982)
The politically charged songwriting of Joe Strummer and Mick Jones combined with the in-your-face punk sensibility and mix of rock, reggae and rockabilly made The Clash one of the most influential and intelligent punk rock bands in history. Who inspired them? Well, Joe Strummer once told Musician magazine that the only influence the Clash ever had was Bo Diddley. So he would be a good choice for the next track. However, that choice would make for a short list since Bo Diddley is a large root in the Rock and Roll family tree. And even more than that, Bo Diddley surely could not have directly inspired the raw energy and destructive style of the Clash. However, The Who certainly would have. I have no doubt that Pete Townshend and company left an big impression and inspired many a Clash performance. Therefore, I have chosen The Who for our next selection in this influence chain.
Baba O’Riley – The Who – Who’s Next (1971)
Four star generals of the British invasion, pioneers of the “Rock Opera” and an unrecognized spark that helped start the inferno that would be the punk rock movement, The Who have contributed much to the history of popular music.
When selecting an artist as an influence on the Who, one man popped into my head quicker than any other. A man who also influenced the Beatles and The Rolling Stones. A man without whom Rock & Roll would not exist. Chuck Berry.
Johnny B. Goode – Chuck Berry – Chuck Berry Is on Top (1959)
At this point in the playlist is where things start getting tough. Many would say that Chuck Berry is the taproot of Rock & Roll. I would not argue that point. However, everyone is influenced by someone and in Chuck Berry’s case the big three are Nat King Cole, Louis Jordan, and Muddy Waters. If we go the Muddy Waters route we would end up at Robert Johnson and effectively reach the end of this playlist. Therefore, I am going to go with Nat King Cole, who Chuck Berry listened to during his informative years growing up in St. Louis.
Route 66 (Get Your Kicks On) – Nat King Cole – Straighten Up and Fly Right (1942)
When Nat King Cole was a child living in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago, he would sneak out of the house at night to listen to jazz bands by hanging outside some of the cities most famous jazz clubs. One of the artists he would listen to with ears wide open was Louis Armstrong. Nat’s Smooth crooning brought him much success and he influenced many, just as Satchmo inspired him.
What A Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong – What A Wonderful World (1968)
Louis Armstrong is arguably the most famous jazz musician of the 20th century. He gained notoriety as a virtuoso trumpeter first, then as a singer. He was an inspiration to thousands to come after him. Louis Armstrong enjoyed all types of music including blues, jazz, Latin folk songs and the arrangements of the final entry in out influence chain, Guy Lombardo.
Good Night Sweetheart – Guy Lombardo – All Time Favorites (1992)
Canadian bandleader Guy Lombardo’s version of Auld Lang Syne is still the official first song of the new year, played in Times Square, New York City. He sold millions of albums in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, which is a pretty impressive accomplishment considering that not a lot of people even had record players at the time.
And there you have it. Without Guy Lombardo, there would be no Rock & Roll.
Robert Burke spends much of his time lovingly crafting thematic music playlists at the Rhapsody Radish.