30 Key Moments in Music History – Video

30 Key Moments in Music History – Video

From Beethoven’s iconic Symphony No. 9 to Bob Dylan going electric at Newport, music history is filled with unforgettable moments that have shaped the industry as we know it today. This video from WatchMojo explores the top 30 most important moments in music history, ranging from classical to rock and everything in between. The countdown includes landmark events such as the invention of the electric guitar, the release of Napster and other P2P networks, and Queen’s legendary performance at Live Aid.

These moments shifted the music world on its axis, leaving a lasting impact on generations of musicians and music lovers. Whether it’s Elvis Presley’s controversial appearance on the Milton Burl Show or The Beatles’ iconic debut on The Ed Sullivan Show, each event played a crucial role in shaping the landscape of popular music.

As we look back on these historic moments, we’re reminded of the power of music to inspire, provoke, and unite audiences around the world. These events have cemented themselves in music history, reminding us of the enduring legacy of artists who dared to push the boundaries and break the mold.

What other major musical events do you recall? Share your thoughts in the comments and explore more captivating music videos on WatchMojo’s channel. Don’t forget to subscribe for more great content and stay tuned for future lists of top music moments that made history. Music is a universal language that continues to evolve and captivate audiences for generations to come.

Watch the video by WatchMojo.com

Video Transcript

Oh yeah tell you something I think you understand welcome to watch Mojo and today we’re looking at Landmark music moments that made history sing we won’t be including the deaths of prominent musicians on this list number 30 the invention of the electric guitar historians differ as to whom to

Officially attribute the invention of the electric guitar someone can come up with the greatest idea but if that culture or that Marketplace is not ready for that particular invention that it may not go somewhere what is certain however is how the instrument’s influence and relevance went on to shape

Popular music as we know it Today the electric guitars profile can be traced back to the 1930s where it was used by Jazz musicians playing playing in large big band ensembles the amplification used by these guitarists helped them stand out during solo sections but it wouldn’t be long before electric guitars were being used by

Other jazz blues and pop players around the world the electric guitars power would also go on to be a major factor in heavier genres of rock and roll and heavy metal throughout the 1960s 7s and Beyond number 29 Monsters of Rock in Moscow change was clearly being felt in the air by those who attended the Monsters of Rock Festival that was held in Moscow back in 1991 the days of the USSR were numbered and the former Soviet Union was poised to enter a new era of Freedom these freedoms were expressed musically with within Monsters of Rock via a ticket price that was you guessed it free this was despite efforts to postpone the show by the Soviet Army

Ultimately the likes of ACDC Metallica and panta provided fuel for the fire of societal upheaval that was taking place within the country it was a momentous occasion not only for the bands and fans but for Russia as a hole number 28 Livery stable Blues the first Jazz recording it’s nearly

Impossible to put into words the cross-cultural and international influence of Jazz this uniquely American music has been adapted within nearly every conceivable sub genre yet it was Livery stable Blues by the original Dixie Land jazz band that started it all back in 1917 this was the first Jazz recording to be released a humble 12 Bar Blues number that belies the genre’s

Reputation for musical dexterity and complexity Jazz has certainly come a long way since Dixie Land but Livery stable Blues helped start a revolutionary fire that still Burns bright today number 27 Taylor Swift releases Fearless Taylor’s version Taylor Swift wasn’t the first musician to become litigious or protective with regards to the

Publishing of her music however her dispute with former label big machine records and owner Scooter Braun helped shine a light on the complexities of this issue whatever they decided I couldn’t do is exactly what I did Swift released Fearless Taylor’s version in 2021 under a new label and with a

Re-recording in order to circumvent the fact that Braun held ownership of her original masterset the situation was similar to what happened to Paul McCartney back when Michael Jackson purchased the Beatles back catalog updated for a new pardon the pun era take my and drag me head first number 26 Les Paul and aex

Invent multi-track recording the studio recording process can be a wonderfully creative and magical experience and I want an army of digus 50,000 digus however it’s also hard work particularly during the days prior to multi-track recording it wouldn’t be until the aex electronics company’s collaboration with guitar legend Les Paul that the first

Eight track recording system helped further progress the industry this is the first a track uh created in 1953 Paul detailed the process in his 2008 biography Les Paul in his own words where he explains how The Innovation assisted in his recordings multirack recording on Magnetic Tape would continue to progress during future

Decades but Paul’s cell sync system assisted in allowing musicians to better map out their takes in the studio while also honing their instrument mental Skills number 25 the first Coachella It ultimately doesn’t matter how many hipsters lie about knowing which artists are playing Coachella every year one of my favorite bands this year is Dr slmo and the GI clinic yeah they’re amazing yeah they’re always amazing this influential Music Festival has been

Making Waves since first debuting back in 1999 and Coachella continues to have its fingers upon the collective pulse of what’s considered to be cool there really weren’t festivals at the time that were bringing in rock electronic hip-hop and mixing them all together this Collective of Arts and Music brings a wide variety of

Performers to the table and it’s this Cornucopia of styles that helps make Coachella an unmissable event for many young concert goers Coachella has certainly come a long way over the years but that first Festival helped set the standard for future installments to come every year that it’s grown I can’t

Believe that we’ve had room to grow number 24 the phonograph is invented everyone consumes their favorite styles of music in a different way analog cassette tapes and compact discs helped revolutionize how music lovers listen to their tunes on the go in a way it all sounds too good to be true but what

About home audio files who simply can’t live without the most up-to-date Hi-Fi systems in town those folks probably worship at the altar of the mighty phonograph or what’s known today as a turntable this invention made it possible to enjoy music in the comfort of Home effectively bringing the concert

Experience to one’s living room or parlor this invention created an entirely New Market record sales Additionally the photograph’s power of recording the human voice made it a perfect vessel with which to capture history for all [Applause] Time number 23 We Are the World 198 FES We are the world wasn’t the first charity single that would be George Harrison’s Bangladesh from 1971 but it’s arguably the most well-known there comes a time when we a certain call We are the world was simply a moment in time where

The charity group and organization USA for Africa made the pop culture Zeitgeist even the most casual of music fans stood up and took notice of the Charity’s cause of famine relief world we are the children this was thanks largely to the composition of We Are the World which was expertly helmed by songwriters

Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie elsewhere the level of talent involved with singing the actual song made We are the world not only a charity Mega hit but the standard by which all other charity singles are measured a weing our life number 22 the Freddy Mercury tribute concert for AIDS awareness Queen

Frontman Freddy Mercury is one of the most beloved performers in music history and the concert held after his passing in 1991 is one of Rock’s most fondly remembered spectacles we’re going to give him the biggest send off in history paying tribute to Mercury as well as raising awareness for AIDS the

Concert featured a number of the world’s biggest bands at the time and had an attendance of over 70,000 with tickets selling out in just 3 Hours the event was also broadcast live and over half a billion people watched it home footage from the concert is totally classic as each of the artists honoring Mercury gave the performances of a lifetime while proceeds from the concert were used to Launch the Mercury Phoenix trust number 21 Elton John’s double

Header at Dodger Stadium Billy Joel wasn’t the first musician to make history on a baseball field on October 25th and 26th 1975 Elton John played two soldout shows at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles being the first musical act to perform there since the Beatles 9 years Earlier while those are some pretty big shoes to fill it’s it’s safe to say that JN more than Rose to the occasion the combined concerts were attended by over 100,000 fans and at the time were the two largest single artist concerts ever Held it wasn’t widely known at the time but Jon had attempted to take his own life just days before the concert my stomach was pumped and here I was on delger Stadium two days later um because you know I have a very strong Constitution and The Show Must Go On

Thankfully he survived and the rocket man went on to give two of the greatest performances of his career number 20 Like a Virgin at the VMAs watching Madonna’s performance at the 1984 VMAs today you likely wouldn’t bad an eye at the singer suggestive Antics for audiences then however it was an entirely different

Story I made descending from a giant cake and dressed in a wedding gown Madonna decided to improvise a little during her performance of like a virgin halfway through the song Madonna started Cutting Loose sensually ring on the floor of the stage at one point exposing her Underwear the future Queen of Pop was still making a name for herself when she performed at the VMAs and her conduct outraged some more conservative Audiences however the controversy also brought new attention to Madonna and helped pave the way for women artists to talk about sex more openly in their music I had no idea that it was going to cause the uh well the Ruckus that it cost number 19 Altamont Speedway free

Festival the Rolling Stones concert at the Altamont Speedway in 1969 is Infamous for bringing a somber end to the Summer of Love anticipated as a sort of spiritual sequel to Woodstock the concert featured a number of popular bands and was attended by 300,000 fans as well as a group of Hell’s Angels who

Were unofficially hired to provide security the event became increasingly violent throughout the day and when the stones took to the stage things came to a head as one concertgoer whipped out a gun and was fatally stabbed by one of the Hell’s Angels before the night was over there would be two more deaths

Rolling Stone magazine later said it was quote Rock and roll’s all-time worst day number 18 The Jackson 5 debut on American Bandstand ladies and gentlemen would you greet the Jackson Fire it was February 21st 1970 when America was treated to its first taste of the music style and Swagger of the Jackson Family debuting their single ABC on Dick Clark’s American Band Stand The Jackson 5 comprised of Jackie Germaine Tito Marlon and Michael completely stole the show with her upbeat pop Funk sound their choreographed dancing and their youthful Exuberance it was Michael in particular of course who stood up the most and watching the performance today it’s incredible seeing just how captivating MJ was even at the beginning of his career come on come on come on let me show you what it’s all about the group’s appearance on the show made

Stars out of the family and with it the boy band formula was created number 17 Ebony and Ivory while the release of the song Ebony and Ivory was a huge deal it was the coming together of Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder as musical partners that was in and of itself truly Momentous The Beatles are often con considered the greatest pop group of all time and wonder the greatest R&B artist with Stevie it just arrived out the blue you know cuz that’s how Stevie is and he’s amazing two of music’s greatest Minds coming together from different countries and backgrounds to

Work together on a song about peace and Harmony was absolutely inspiring and back in the’80s it made a powerful statement live together it’s possible that we’ll never see as overpowered a collaboration in our lifetimes number 16 Bob Marley performs 2 days after being shot there are certain musicians whose

Impact is just as significant sociopolitical as it is musically Bob Marley is a shining example of this as the singer used his platform to spread his messages throughout Jamaica and the rest of the world Bob is a musician who wants to play for the people but these

Guys try to see if they can get their thing going and they not worried about how dangerous that is going to be for Bob being such a powerful figure Marley had enemies in high places and on December 3rd 1976 he was shot by seven gunmen who had alleged ties to a

Far-right political party the shooting took place 2 days before a concert that Marley was scheduled to Play remarkably Marley decided that he was still going to play the concert refusing to be intimidated and the reggae star performance a powerful 90minut set in front of 880,000 fans number 15 The Who on the Smothers Brothers comedy hour what’s your so what’s your name Pete Pete Town yeah

Pete and where you from Pete London by 1967 the British Invasion was in full swing throughout the US most Americans were accustomed to The Cheeky antics of The Beatles and the smarmy Swagger of The Rolling Stones but nobody was quite sure what to make of the who when they appeared on the Smothers Brothers TV show playing their literally Smash Hit My [Applause] Generation the band’s performance ended with smoke rising from their amplifiers smashed instruments and a bass drum explosion that went off with three times the Firepower than was originally intended the TV spot went down in infamy and some of the roots of punk rock can be traced back to this legendary

Performance is the back of my hair caught fire and in those days I had a good hair and and I was pretty keen on having good hair because it you know it it’s kind of it was what we did in those days number 14 the release of Napster and other P2P

Networks viewers of a certain age will likely remember that naughty feeling you first felt back in the early days of the internet it it was a wild west where P2P networks such as Napster first hit and we all went download Crazy with our music downloading music for free is

Awesome what the hell is that I don’t know let me check freeze FBI this wasn’t the first time bootlegging shocked the record industry since the phrase home taping is killing music took hold back when blank cassettes were first released to the market however the internet’s immediacy as well as the frequency with which

Music was changing hands led many to De cry Napster as a death nail for physical media this didn’t happen obviously but many high-profile artists including Metallica cried foul back when Napster debuted if we want to give our stuff away we’ll give our stuff away I mean that that’s a no-brainer but that should

Be our choice that choice was taken away number 13 Nirvana on MTV Unplugged the music industry owes a lot to MTV given the game-changing impact of its arrival but the channel should also be recognized for some incredible music moments perhaps the most powerful performance ever aired on the channel

Was Nirvana’s 1993 appearance on MTV Unplugged recorded in November of that year and aired a month later it was one of the last televised performances by Kurt Cobain before his death in April of 1994 [Applause] in the wake of his death the performance inherited immense weight with the funeral like set dressings and melancholic song Choices brought Cobain’s declining mental state into Focus number 12 Johnny Cash walks the line Johnny Cash was never one to play by the rules and that’s why the public loved the Men in Black An outlaw Spirit who had his fair share of brushes with the law cash sympathized with prison inmates he advocated for prison reform and as early as the late 50s started to visit and perform in prisons San Quinton you’ve been living hell to me the real moment of magic came

On February 24th 1969 when cash performed live at California San Quinton prison fueled in part by his annoyance with the British film crew filming the concert cash led a rowdy crowd of inmates with a rebellious energetic and career defining set I want to remind you we’re recording live here today so you

Can’t say hell or or anything like that number 11 the launch of MTV T-minus 1 minute Mark and counting it may be hard to imagine nowadays as it’s mostly known for trashy reality TV and award shows but MTV was once at the center of the American Music Consciousness when MTV first launched in 1981 it completely changed the musical landscape single-handedly pushing music videos to the Forefront of the music industry announcing the latest achievement in home entertainment the power of sight video The Power of sound MTV Music Television dedicated entirely to playing premiering videos as well as

Delivering music related news MTV quickly became a staple of 80s and ’90s youth culture we are all very excited here at MTV to be bringing you the best music all day every day both bands and record Executives became aware of the potential for success that could be

Garnered from music videos and to this day it’s pretty much a given that if an artist is going to drop a hot single they’ll also drop an accompanying music video that’s the way you do it you play the guitar on the m TV number 10 the wall meets the wall

Roger Waters Mastermind behind Pink Floyd’s groundbreaking album The Wall once said in an interview that after leaving Pink Floyd in 1985 he was reluctant to play songs from the wall on stage he did say however that there were certain circumstances under which he would be open to playing the songs say

For example if the Berlin Wall came down the atmosphere here with the you know with the uh East German border guards and the people that are involved with this site and have been s of keeping everybody off it for the last 40 years is very I don’t know if you’ve felt it

But they’re they’re so glad that this is happening thus it was decided that Waters would perform the album in Berlin’s former no man’s land8 months after the fall of the wall Waters was joined by an impressive lineup of heavyweight artists including sheno Connor Joanie Mitchell and Van Morrison

The concert was also released as an album and is regarded as one of the greatest live albums Ever number nine Michael Jackson’s Moonwalk he didn’t create the move but MJ sure as held popularized it the moonwalk has cropped up throughout pop culture since the 1930s such as James Brown and The Blues Brothers for example but there’s only one name synonymous with the move Michael Jackson he lit up the world when he first rocked the moonwalk at mtown 25 yesterday today and forever in March 1983 Jackson added his signature flare and gravitas to the move by spinning and posing in his sequins black jacket and white glove stopping the world for a moment and then dropping the moonwalk

Bomb in modern times it would have broken the internet but in the 1980s Jackson had to just settle for blowing Minds number eight the Sugar Hill Gang reaches the top 40 we’re sure you’ve jammed out to Rappers Delight once or twice but did you know it was recorded in a single

Take then think so that single take recorded by Anglewood natives Wonder Mike big Bank Hank and master G rocked the musical world when in January 1980 it cracked the Billboard Top 40 Landing the number 36 spot it was the first time A hip-hop track had ever accomplished such a feat

As it legitimized the hip-hop genre as a force to be reckoned with this moment paved the way for all future hip-hop acts from biggie to Kendrick Lamar who can all thank the Sugar Hill Gang one 2 number seven Bob Dylan goes electric at Newport a fan favorite of the Newport Folk Festival thanks to his appearances in 1963 and 64 Bob Dylan rattled the cage a little too hard in 1965 by 65 Dylan had been labeled the spokesman of a generation and had earned newport’s head lining

Bill who killed Davey mo why and what’s the reason for taking the stage with members from the Paul Butterfield blues band and armed with a Fender Stratocaster electric guitar Mr Zimmerman parted ways with his folk Brethren as booze and jeers erupted from the Pursuits of the festival including its

Organizers Dylan let loose with electric guitars and the energy of rock and roll it was a major turning point signaling the decline of folk and the rise of rock and roll how does it Feel does it feel number six Apple introduces iTunes The Evolution of Music as a form of purchased media will always be fluid just as the way we listen remains that way depending on our personal tastes the rise of digitalization however meant that we could safely rip and Store permanent

Copies of our music to cloud-based systems such is iTunes this process marked a paradigm shift in the way consumers managed music they were becoming more comfortable with digital song files and listening to those songs on their MP3 players or iTunes just as the Walkman pioneered taking music on

The go so too did Apple’s iPod and iTunes made it easier for us to have our entire music libraries in our pockets just 3 and 1 half days after its release iTunes for Windows was downloaded over a million times and secured iTunes position as the number one digital music

Marketplace in the world ripping our CDs to services such as iTunes or the zoom music library for you star-lords out there felt powerful yet it was only a matter of time before cell phone technology would make this process feel even easier number five Elvis on the Milton Burl Show by the time he performed on the Milton Burl show on June 5th 1956 Elvis had already appeared on tele plenty of times including a previous appearance on Burl’s Show this time around however things were different guitarless and free to move around the stage Presley became a quivering mass of windmilling arms and gyrating hips while performing an overcharged version of hound dog you he may have been chastised by the press in conservative America but Elvis won over America’s youth who very

Promptly crowned him the king of rock and Roll number four Jimmy Hendrick plays The Star Spangled Banner at Woodstock Woodstock four days of peace and love rocked the world with many incredible performances from groups as diverse as the who to Jefferson Airplane none however had the cultural impact of Jimmy Hendrick due to the festival being horribly off schedule and following shaana Hendrick finally took the stage early Monday morning with a mere 30,000 of the 400,000 plus audience still in attendance the remaining few were stunned when Hendrick broke out a passionate rendition of the Star Spangled Banner with the full Jimmy

Hendrick treatment it was a performance that both channeled counterculture rebellion and anger towards the Vietnam War but also hendrix’s unbridled love for [Applause] America number three Queen at live a on July 13th 1985 the biggest bands in the world of rock and roll came together for Live Aid to support relief efforts for the Ethiopian famine on a day featuring a reunited lead Zeppelin The Who Black Sabbath and Crosby Stills Nash

And Young and you’s epic 14-minute rendition of bad it was Queen that stole the [Applause] Show in a mere 21-minute set they crammed in Bohemian rapity radio go Hammer to fall Crazy Little Thing Called Love and a finale of We Will Rock You And We Are the Champions the performance was incredible as Freddy Mercury commanded the stage and the 72,000 person crowd in what proved to be one of his last major performances yeah do it number two The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show The Ed Sullivan Show gave the world a collection of incredible and

Controversial music moments like the censored hip swinging of Alvis Presley but no moment compares to the debut performance of The Beatles on February 9th 1964 to an estim estimated us television record of 73 million viewers The Beatles took the stage and kicked off the British Invasion never another on that night John Paul George and Ringo bridged the gap between British and American Music globalizing the industry with a forged bond that

Would forever link the two the performance launched America into a craze unlike anything before it Beetle Mania had arrived and would eventually figuratively end with the Beatles iconic rooftop concert in 1969 and music would never be the same Again before we continue be sure to subscribe to our Channel and ring the bell to get notified about our latest videos you have the option to be notified for occasional videos or all of them if you’re on your phone make sure you go into your settings and switch on notifications number one Beethoven

Premieres the nth Symphony considered among his best Works Beethoven’s Symphony Number n premiered on May 7th 1824 at Vienna’s theater M caner tour to a packed audience matching the crowd Beethoven packed the stage with the largest Orchestra he had ever convened including many of Vienna’s Elite musici the premiere marked the first time

Beethoven had taken the stage in 12 years during that time he lost his hearing and as a result wrote the symphony off musical intuition alone all of this added to the crowd’s Anticipation sharing the stage with the theaters Capel Meister Michael uml Beethoven’s Symphony stunned the audience earning five standing ovations the ninth proved to be Beethoven’s last completed Symphony but it lives on as a Masterpiece can you recall any of these major musical events let us know in the comments for Better or For Worse the wild wild west of radio was over did you enjoy this video check out these other clips from watch Mojo and be sure to subscribe and ring the bell to be

Notified about our latest videos

Video “Top 30 Most Important Moments in Music History” was uploaded on 03/13/2024 to Youtube Channel WatchMojo.com