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The 100 Most Influential Artists, according to NME

on August 08, 2014, 3:55pm

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