10 most influential albums that shaped today’s music scene

Pop music… love it, hate it, tolerate it, or always try and escape it. There truly is no getting away from it. But which albums, artists, composers or producers have had the most impact on today’s musical climate?

Join UNIfied’s Luke Chapman as he looks back over the past decades to try to unravel which bodies of work have had the biggest influence on the music we hear today.

10. Blondie – Parallel lines (1978)

Calling in at number ten is ‘Parallel lines‘ by Blondie. Formed in the 70s, the band continues to have impacts on the music industry today.

Released in 1978, Parallel lines is possibly their most notable piece of work, including iconic songs such as ‘One Way or Another’, ‘Heart of Glass’ and ‘Hanging on the Telephone’.

9. Beyoncé – Beyoncé (2014)


She gon’ slay, its Yoncé. The self-titled 2014 album by the Texas queen shaped the form of the industry in a way many might not realise.

Not only did it consistently feature a strong feminist movement, mostly prominent throughout ‘***Flawless’, but it was the first album dropped as a complete surprise, it was the first of its kind.

8. The xx – xx (2009)

Taking an alternative stance is The xx’s 2009 debut album xx. xx was one of the first bodies of work to incorporate electronica, alternative, punk and pop sounds into one.

Its notoriety was highlighted by the album’s Mercury Prize win in 2010, beating other nominees such as Biffy Clyro, Dizzee Rascal and Mumford and Sons.

7. Daft Punk – Homework (1997)

Daft Punk have drawn influence from, and further influenced most electronic genres in some way. The mysterious French duo released ‘Homework’ in 1997, and reached an instant audience with the smash ‘Around the world’.

Daft Punk’s influence has no bounds, their intricacy and knowledge has made them one of the biggest electronic names to grace music.

Drawing from the likes of Daft Punk is producer and engineer extraordinaire Alvinos Zavlis. The Cypriot born, and Canterbury-based powerhouse believes Kanye West’s ‘808s and Heartbreak’ has greatly inspired the music of today.

As for his own music, he cites Jon Hopkins’ album ‘ Insides‘ as his biggest influence, thanks to its combination of rhythmic patterns and distorted sounds.

If you want to check out some fresh new dance music, head over to Alvinos’ Facebook page.

6. Adele – 21 (2011)

There’s no voice that comes close to Adele’s, this is proven throughout the entirety of ‘21′. Although a late release compared to the others in this list, the 2011 work has still had innumerable impacts throughout the industry.

It broke ground for pop everywhere and rocketed her through the charts. Now one of the biggest names there’s ever been in music, I think we’re all aware of Adele’s influence.

Folk singer, Eviette, also believes ‘21′ deserves a spot on the top 10: “It was the first time I remember a normal looking woman in the charts. She told people that it was okay to be you and not have the perfect body”. Relating to the influences on her own music, Eviette chose Bon Iver’s self-titled album.

To check out Eviette in action, look for ‘The Game’ on Spotify or check out her page here.  

5. Amy Winehouse – Back to Black (2006)


The renowned songstress herself reaches number five with this album, full to the brim with songs everyone knows and loves such as ‘Back to Black’, ‘Rehab’ and ‘Tears dry on their own’.

Winehouse’s legacy has orchestrated the direction of pop from beyond the grave in many ways.

4. Madonna – Celebration (2009)

With over 10 albums released, it’s almost impossible to decipher which of Madonna’s has been the most influential.

‘Celebration‘ is a culmination of Madonna’s biggest hits proving how she’s led pop through all climates, altering its direction simply by a release of one album.

3. Coldplay – A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002)

‘In my place”, ‘Clocks’ and ‘The Scientist’ are all songs which have had overbearing impacts on music. Love or hate Coldplay, they’re undeniably one of the biggest bands to date.

The alternative, rock and pop worlds simply would not be the same without them.

2. Eminem – The Marshall Mathers EP (2000)


The real Slim Shady has released so many albums having influence on the music we hear today.

His second album ‘The Marshall Mathers EP’ featured “Stan” and “The real Slim Shady”. Both hits created space for rap music to top the charts, as well as starting a conversation about mental health, bridging the divide between pop and rap.

1. Kate Bush – Hounds of Love (1985)

Hailing from the 80s, Kate Bush has always had an enormous impact on music throughout the decades.

Countless stars have been influenced by Bush, and her copious hits have changed the face of the industry. She brought something new to pop, did not conform to the social norms, and was one of the first break out ‘weirdo’ acts to make waves within the pop music genre.

An everlasting dent has been made in pop by this one truly iconic artist.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment

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