Maybe Today’s Music ISN’T As Good As It Used to Be

A very wise person–I wish I remembered who so I could give the appropriate credit–once wrote “Every generation has the biological right to believe that the music of their youth is the best music ever made.”

In other words, the music that was near and dear to you as you came of age musically–usually between the ages of 13 and 23 or so–is the stuff that will stick with you for the rest of your life, no matter what else might come along.

Keep that in mind as you look at this analysis of Rolling Stone’s “Greatest Albums of All Time” list via Digital Music News.  Note that the vast majority of their picks are from the 1970s with almost nothing coming from the 21st century.

Is this graph indicative of a Baby Boomer mindset? Or is there some truth to the feeling that today’s music isn’t as good as it used to be?  There’s no right answer, but the topic is good for starting fights.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

2 thoughts on “Maybe Today’s Music ISN’T As Good As It Used to Be

  • December 4, 2013 at 3:26 pm
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    The argument is also flawed because of the focus on albums. Before "Rubber Soul" and "Revolver", albums were just a collection of songs. Until then artists didn't think of the album as an art form. The emergence of FM radio at the same time also created an album friendly listening environment. The punk movement in the late 70s ripped through the rock establishment and the concept album was seen as bloated and uncool. The emergence of MTV started to swing the emphasis back towards singles and the CD helped further kill the album because it allowed for too many songs which few artists were capable of pulling off (many of the great albums clock between 30 and 40 minutes).

    A more balanced question would be when was the greatest music created, not the greatest albums. Personally I'll go back to the late 70s any day… not surprisingly when I was in my teens.

    Reply

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