One more the more dependable cycles in the music are the regular booms in nostalgia that pop up with stubborn regularity. Here are some examples:
- Late 1950s: Trad Jazz briefly threatens to become the most popular genre in the UK.
- Early 1970s: 50s music sweeps North America.
- Late 1970s/early 80s: Pining for the 60s really starts to take off.
- Early 90s: Classic rock becomes an established radio format. Thousands flock to see concerts by the Rolling Stones, Elton John, Pink Floyd and other giants of the 70s.
- Middle 90s: Retro 80s nights blow up in clubs across the world. I hosted a retro night at one club for seven consecutive years.
Things got a little weird in the 00’s as gorging on downloads distorted the nostalgia cycle. But now Millennials are driving the bus when it comes to 90s nostalgia.
A look at the musical landscape reveals plenty of 90s music: Blink-182 and the Red Hot Chili Peppers are riding high with new albums; not only is Guns ‘N Roses back, but so is Salt-N-Pepa and (ahem) Vanilla Ice; Pearl Jam is celebrating their 25th anniversary on the road; everyone is playing Pokemon GO. Need I go on?
How long will this current boom last? Hard to say when the Internet has such a big say over where musical trends go. A safe bet would be 3-4 years. And then what? We’ll see.
Billboard has a deeper look at the retro 90s phenomenon here.