What decades of music are the best?


Collage of the greatest albums of all time [Via Deviantart.com]

Every person has his or her musical preference. Often times, one’s musical interest correlates with his or her age, but that’s not always the case. Obviously, music has changed over the course of history, but which decades of music are the best and why?

Number 1: 1980’s

This was an easy choice at number one; the music created in the 1980’s was both brilliant and abundant. 1980’s artists are highlighted by Bon Jovi, Billy Joel, AC/DC, Queen, Whitney Houston, Prince, and the King of Pop: Michael Jackson. 1980’s music features countless of timeless classics including but certainly not limited to “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey, “Livin’ On A Prayer” by Bon Jovi, “Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield, “Your Love” by The Outfield, and “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston. In addition, in 1982, Michael Jackson released arguably the greatest album of all time: Thriller. 

The 1980’s was especially strong in the Pop and Rock genres, but the 80’s also featured a the Disco hit “Celebration” by Kool & The Gang and a Pop-Rock hit in “Walking On Sunshine” by Katrina & The Waves.

Honestly, it would take me several pages just to name all of the awesome songs released in the 1980’s, so here’s a link that provides you with the top 100 songs of the 1980’s. Perhaps what makes the 1980’s so special is its timelessness. I consistently here songs from 40 years ago on the radio, and frankly, I really enjoy them.

To put it simply, the music from the 80’s is far and away the best music created in any decade.

Certainly, the 1980’s was the golden age of music, and it will remain the greatest decade in the history of music for the foreseeable future.

Number 2: 1960’s

Although not as great from top to bottom as the 1980’s, the 1960’s featured a some of the greatest bands ever assembled, most notably The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.  Other popular bands and artists in the 60’s included Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Bee Gees, and Fleetwood Mac. the 60’s, however, also have its fair share of classics such as “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison,  “Twist And Shout” by the Beetles, “Stayin Alive” by the Bee Gees, and the most popular wedding song ever: “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond.

Although the 60’s has a couple immortal bands like The Beetles and The Rolling Stones as well as the seemly inevitable playing of “Sweet Caroline” at any gathering, the 60’s just has fewer great songs than the 80’s. In addition, the 60’s is a little top heavy, and it doesn’t have the same abundance of artists as other decades. Nonetheless, here is a link to the 100 best songs from the 1960’s.

60’s music isn’t necessarily universally enjoyed, and the average kid usually can’t stand listening to his or her grandparent’s music, but that’s just how time changes, and 60’s music is better than most of the music that has ever been created.

In all fairness, the 60’s was nearly 60 years ago, and for music from that long ago to still be relevant today is a testament to just how good of a decade in terms of music the 1960’s really was.

Number 3: 2000’s 

For the sake of variety (and probably nostalgia, I’m not going to lie), the 2000’s comes in as the 3rd greatest decade of music. The 2000’s is famous for its insanely popular dances, such as the “Cupid Shuffle” and the “Cha-Cha Slide”. Aside from the artists who created these contagious dances, the 2000’s featured artists like Kanye West, Linkin Park, Beyonce, Rascal Flatts, The Killers, Coldplay, Eminem, and Justin Timberlake.

Some of the top songs from this decade include “All The Single Ladies” by Beyonce, “I Gotta Feeling” by The Black Eyed Peas, “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay, and “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes. Perhaps the most prolific artists from this decade, Kanye West, released five albums from 2004-2010 including The College Dropout and Graduation.

Obviously, this is somewhat of a a drop-off from the music from the 80’s and 60’s, but the 2000’s is certainly better than the 2010’s, and the 70’s and 90’s have too much overlap with the 80’s and 60’s.

The 2000’s was a bright year in Hip Hop and Pop music, and rightfully claims this number three spot on this list. For your enjoyment, here is a list of the top 100 songs from the 2000’s.

2000’s music has maintained some relevance, but it was only a decade or so ago that this music was released. Will the 2000’s stand the test of time as resiliently as the 80’s and 60’s? Maybe not, but the 2000’s was still a great era in music.