Friday, February 02, 2007

Music That Defined a Decade

A look back at the evolution of popular music naturally invites a comparison of rock eras. I've always been of the opinion that the best music came out of the 60's and 70's, but having been a teenager in the 90's, I am partial to much of that music as well. The 80's is sort of a dark spot in music history. It was during the 80's that wuss rock was born and the synthesizer became vastly over used. However, one thing each decade has in common is that there is one artist or musical group that defines it—a group or individual that was not only widely popular, but that took music in a different direction. Below are my selections and I welcome disagreements. Also, help me decide which band/artist is the voice of the current decade.

1950's 1960's 1970's 1980's 1990's 2000's
Elvis Presley The Beatles Led Zeppelin Michael Jackson Nirvana


Eric said...

After reviewing what has happened in music for the past seven years or so, I've come to the conclusion that the artist of the decade is itunes. I think itunes and music downloading have shaped more lives than any individual artist. I also believe that my selection is a cop-out, and I must rely on giving the award to Guns n' Roses based on the hope that they will soon reunite and release their Chinese Democray album. I realize that this will probably not happen, but I have found no other deserving artist. Until then, listening to November Rain will have to suffice.

The band has also continued to maintain popularity in Brasil, where they are known as Guns e Hoses. 150 million+ Catholics can't be wrong.

Anonymous said...

For the 70's you should have picked the Bee Gees.

morty said...

I considered the Bee Gees, but in the end Disco turned out to just be a fad, while Led Zeppelin provided a more lasting influence.

Yes, iTunes is a cop-out and while its effect is undeniable, I'd argue that Napster did more to change the face of music than iTunes. Maybe one of those hip hop artists that the kids today seem to like could define this decade. Or Brittany Spears. What kind of commentary is that on the state of music today?

Eric said...

I kind of lumped all the online music things together, but I agree that Napster had a bigger influence, iTunes just did it legally. The problem with all of the artists today is that they only stick around for an album or two and have no staying power. I guess we should give it to Jay-Z, but even then I wouldn't know who he is if he wasn't part-owner of the New Jersey Nets.