What is the Most Influential Song of All Time?


(via The Almanac)

Clive Davis, chief creative officer, Sony Music

Who will ever forget Joan Baez’s leading a crowd of 300,000 singing “We Shall Overcome” during the March on Washington, or Martin Luther King Jr.’s reciting the lyrics in his final sermon? Whether fighting for civil rights in South Africa or in Ireland or in the U.S., can any song be more inspiring?

Alex Ross, music critic, The New Yorker; author, Listen to This

Claudio Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, first performed in Mantua in 1607, was the first opera to endure. The Italian master used a dazzling array of styles—fanfares, dances, arias, laments—to retell the story of Orpheus and Eurydice. Four centuries later, it still holds audiences transfixed.

Marin Alsop, music director, Baltimore and São Paulo Symphony Orchestras

In 1967, Aretha Franklin made the Otis Redding song “Respect” thoroughly her own. It not only became her personal anthem, winning her two Grammy Awards, but also came to represent the feminist movement. She added the refrain “R-E-S-P-E-C-T.” What more needs to be said?

Read more: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/06/what-is-the-most-influential-song-of-all-time/361632/

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