The Most Underrated Musicians

My personal perspective of the most underrated musicians of all time. Musicians who aren't given nearly enough credit for the amazing work they've done.

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It came to my attention recently that there are a lot of musicians throughout history that have been given not nearly enough credit. People have forgotten a lot of great musicians, or ridicule them, without realizing what they've done for music and without recognizing the talent they have or had. So I've decided to put up an article about who I think are the most underrated musicians of all time - musicians that truly are talented and deserve recognition. So turn up your music, relax, and start Google-ing! Capish?

01) Steve Clark is, in my opinion, one of the best guitarists of all time. He certainly was one of the most creative. Just listen to the album "Hysteria" by Def Leppard and tell me he wasn't. Not only did he play brilliantly, he was different and creative. Along with Phil Collen, they managed to intertwine a "twin guitar" sound into hard rock, and they own it to this day. Unfortunately, Steve Clark's life was cut short in 1991 when he died at just 30 years of age due to alcohol excess and prescription drugs. If you do not know who Steve Clark is, I strongly suggest you go to Youtube right now.

Key Tracks: "Switch 625", "Photograph", "Hysteria", "Die Hard The Hunter".

02) Chuck Berry must be one of the main reasons we got rock music in the first place. A key Blues and Rock 'N' Roll figure in the 50's, Chuck Berry revolutionized music along with Elvis, BB King and Muddy Waters. Yes, Chuck is mentioned quite a bit in Music History books and encyclopedias, but not nearly enough. Key musical figures throughout history including Slash, Keith Richards, Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin (just to name a few), have pointed their fingers to Chuck Berry as being a major influence in their music. So what are you waiting for? Go check him out!

Key Tracks: "Maybellene", "Johnny B. Goode"

03) Janis Joplin is not mentioned nearly enough as she should be. Yes, she's a household name. But recently I was talking to a guy who was 23 years of age and when I mentioned who influential Janis Jolpin was to me, his reply was "Oh yeah, I've heard of her. Wasn't she an athlete or something?" I was horrified. This guy had prided himself on being a muso and he didn't know who Janis was? She was only The reason that women started singing true rock and blues music. A true musician and a true pioneer.

Key Tracks: "Piece Of My Heart", "Me And Bobby McGee".

04) Rick Allen is the one-armed drummer for Def Leppard. Yes, you just read that right. There's a reason they call him the Thunder God. And you know what? There are no words to describe him. So go and take a look or listen somewhere on the Internet.

Key Tracks: "Rocket", "Undefeated".

05) Taylor Swift. I'm sure you've heard of her, and you're probably thinking "what is this girl on? Everyone's heard of Taylor Swift, she's not underrated." But she is. She is mainly underrated when it comes to being a songwriter, singer and guitarist. She makes up her own chords and comes up with some of the most catchy melodies of all time. She is an amazing songwriter. And her falsetto's are out of this world live. So why is she constantly ridiculed by haters, or underrated by society? If you don't think she's a major player in the music industry then you are an idiot. There, I said it. Now go and seriously listen to her music without any judgments and tell me she's not great. Go on, I dare you.

Key Tracks: "Better Than Revenge", "You're Not Sorry", "Innocent".

So that's all I had time for today, But if you enjoyed this and want to hear more, feel free to let me know by rating, commenting or message me. I'd love to hear from you, and I hope you liked it.

66 comments sorted by best / new / date

    HowSoonisNow
    gooby, pls. Taylor Swift one of the most underrated musicians OF ALL TIME??? Are you 12? Ever heard of any musicians who weren't on a major label? And Janis Joplin? Shit son. That guy who didn't know who she was is a retard. He doesn't reflect everyone else.
    flyneye
    Oh I thought he meant underrated by the headline. Then I find a list of big names. Author must've grown up under a rock. Underrated:1. Carl Perkins,now semi famous, wrote the songs that made Elvis famous. 2. Studio Musicians, the guitarists you actually hear playing those wiped out solos in many cases instead of the artist named on the cover. He gets to learn this solo and take it on the road. Most studio jocks are too smart to be in any one band because there's no money to be made. Outstanding exception; the entire band Oingo Boingo, every single one a studio treasure. 3. Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine. Plays the studio like a psychologically twisted instrument. 4.Robert Fripp. Guitarist to the stars,the only modern guitarist to totally redifine guitar playing from picking to tuning, from posture to tone. Google Guitar Craft. These I came up with without even thinking about it.
    EpiExplorer
    Janis Joplin and Rick Allen I can agree with absolutely, Chuck Berry will forever be well known no matter what the general public think, Taylor Swift is completely ignorable, its Disney channel music at its finest and nearly 100 million combined hits on Youtube.. well, makes you look silly really. I haven't really got anything to say about Steve Clark other than died too young.
    DeathMetalHub
    I just find Taylor Swift whiney and annoying. I fully acknowledge she is a great musician and is brilliant and successful with her understanding of song writing, but when she keeps making songs about a handsome guy she dated, or a romance that didnt last, or having a crush on a guy and it turns out he had a crush on her, it just annoys me.
    Blacklizzy
    Come on dude. There are like hundres of metal, prog and jazz acts out there that are underrated. Why do you consider these five artists up thereto be so worthy of attracting more attentions?
    crazysam23_Atax
    Taylor Swift...yeah, I took this somewhat seriously until I saw that. Besides, why did you pick these 5 rather known musicians when there's a lot of other more deserving musicians. Frankly, this is why is opinion columns are garbage.
    DarkWolfXV
    You want to know what is underrated? Heavy metal. And from heavy metal guitarists, i'd say that Bill Steer is underrated, when it comes to Carcass everyone says Amott. And Kirk Hammett is overrated.
    xmdsx2
    Andy Timmons. He's easily one of the best guitar players ever and is highly underrated.
    Niamorg
    Devin Townsend. Most underrated artist of any music genres in my opinion.
    Emenius Sleepus
    Who are underrated are usually the underground musos that work concert halls or small clubs or garage-sized pub venues, who play instrument purely because they love music, and who often exhibit genuine feel and proficiency at their craft. That makes for a great portion of anyone playing music, and, incidentally, isn't anyone covered in your article. To begin with, "of all time" is generally a pointless and unattainable task. You have to know pretty much everything in every genre, - which I don't think anyone has ever achieved, because you'd be covering a span of thousands of years. Secondly, most music is contextual, and no matter how good an artist is, they won't be able to cater for every criteria needed. Thirdly, you've wasted some time promoting artists that are already well known and made their careers, without a good argument or lasting impact. I really wish these articles would stop, but sadly I suppose we are all doomed because so many are obsessed with "pouring the same body of water from one glass to another".
    Albarranator
    When it comes to underrated musicians in Thrash Metal, Jeff Waters comes to my mind immediately.
    say5ss2
    Def Leppard members NOT famous enough? Taylor ****ing Swift, underrated? I see they let just about anyone write an article now days.
    spiff-corgi
    She is an amazing songwriter.
    Her entire back catalogue is the same four ****ing chords.
    sn00ze
    JamesSheasgreen wrote: Theres so many talented groups out there that never see the light of day. Especially now that piracy has changed things so much.
    Oh please stop with this "piracy is killing music" nonsense.
    Sethis
    It's funny how an article talking about haters gets so much hate.
    rockgodman
    Ok Taylor Swift? Like really? Im not saying anything about the quality of entertainment she provides but there is absolutely nothing underrated about 12 grammy nominations and 6 actual wins. I'd say in 4 years having six grammy's is not underrated in the least bit not to mention her tons of other country music awards and other miscellaneous awards.
    The Coop
    I have to agree with the majority of posters here, a pretty shitty opinion list to say the least.
    SIEGE312
    You want underrated? Look up the Funk Brothers. They were behind an entire genre but were failed to be recognized in comparison to their vocal counterparts.
    andybeans
    did you seriously refer to a part of the female voice as falsetto? jesus christ. my head now hurts.
    CJSchecter96
    Mark Tremonti!!!!! better than eny of these people and very well known at least for his good stuff!!!!!
    DickHardwood
    How about Modest Mouse? And since you mentioned the blues,where is Buddy Guy?As good as any other of the classics but least heard of. And bitch please-Taylor Swift and Def Leppard?Yeah,way to pick underground acts.Admirable as it is for a drummer to keep rocking after losing an arm he's still in Def Leppard..not your average indie group and not the greatest listen as well..and Swift..come on,please.
    HowSoonisNow
    BrittXxMusic, ima let you finish, but Taylor Swift is not underrated by any stretch of the imagination. How about Neal Morse or Peter Steele? I think you just made a typo. Instead of "underrated", you meant to say "overrated". Please tell me I'm right.
    headbanger32594
    Mikael Akerfeldt should have been up there. He makes his own chords, has a superior fingerpicking style, has an amazing singing voice, and can also riff and do death metal growls. Truly dynamic musician.
    6-String_Madman
    corrda00 wrote: DarkWolfXV wrote: You want to know what is underrated? Heavy metal. And from heavy metal guitarists, i'd say that Bill Steer is underrated, when it comes to Carcass everyone says Amott. And Kirk Hammett is overrated. Heavy metal guitarists are underrated in the sense that no as many people know about them (though metal has a very large underground following) But they certainly aren't underrated. People (who don't even listen to metal) consider metal players to be the best musicians. Everyday you'll see a hundred fb posts mocking JB or Taylor Swift. You won't find a single post mocking Dream Theater.
    Kirk is under-appreciated. Mocking Dream Theater is a crime, a blasphemy.
    theogonia777
    Jimmy Bryant, Shawn Lane, John 5, Andy Timmons, Pat Flynn, Peter Rowan, Chris Impellitteri, Joe Stump, Danny Gatton, Mick Barr, etc. And that's just guitarists.
    jof1029
    corrda00 wrote: People (who don't even listen to metal) consider metal players to be the best musicians.
    Some of the most technically skilled, sure, we could say that. But to say that metal players are considered the best musicians by people who dont listen to metal is silly. A lot of those people find metal music to be lacking in the same level of composition and songwriting they find in other genres simply because it is less accessable to those who dont listen to it often.
    JamesSheasgreen
    Theres so many talented groups out there that never see the light of day. Especially now that piracy has changed things so much.
    SISO
    DarkWolfXV wrote: You want to know what is underrated? Heavy metal. And from heavy metal guitarists, i'd say that Bill Steer is underrated, when it comes to Carcass everyone says Amott. And Kirk Hammett is overrated.
    True. Bill Steer is amazing, so is His bluesrock band Firebird.
    zilosgodie
    Have you ever checked for artists that dont sing in english or come from USA or Britain? or arent well known?? Check this artist (a list for the gringos(latin mainstream(Gringo underground))): Cuarteto de Nos, Primitive Reason,Bideou ou Balde, Mercedes Sosa, Soda Stereo... The list goes on and i havent checked ASIA, OCEANIA or AFRICA yet! Music is everywhere...
    CJD7382
    Nuno Bettencourt is the most underrated musician of all time and that's that
    megaluisdeth
    I read a Magazine were taylor swift said that she doesn't write all the music by herself. Pretty much some guy does and she pays him/her for the song. So she was proud of her new record because she wrote a majority of the songs.
    blazingarpeggio
    sn00ze wrote: JamesSheasgreen wrote: Theres so many talented groups out there that never see the light of day. Especially now that piracy has changed things so much. Oh please stop with this "piracy is killing music" nonsense.
    I actually don't see it "killing", but changing the industry. I mean yeah, record labels suffer from loss of sales, but more people hear music (even through piracy), and more people would go to concerts/gigs/etc.
    RetroGunslinger
    benguitarguy wrote: GINGER WILDHEART!!!
    This, Ginger, and the Wildhearts band. They really should have been and continue to be one of the biggest bands in the world, they just combine so many great elements in their songs.