Thursday, February 7, 2008

Self Indulgent Post # 37a

Which was the best decade for Rock And Roll?

Let’s just take a few minutes and see if we can come up with an answer. It would take waaaay too much time and effort for a sick-o like me (damn head cold again) to list all of the best albums that came out during each decade, so I thought I’d just name the bands that released their debut album during each decade, and leave it at that. Most released their undisputed “masterpieces” during the decade of their inception anyway, so I think the logic is sound.

Shall we?

Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Fats Domino, Little Richard, Chuck Berry.

Although most artists released singles and not proper albums back in the 1950’s, each of the afore mentioned artists were formidable talents and were extremely influential.

The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Bob Dylan, James Brown, The Rolling Stones, The Byrds, The Who, Leonard Cohen, The Kinks, Frank Zappa, Simon and Garfunkel, The Yardbirds, Buffalo Springfield, Love, Moby Grape, Cream, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, The Velvet Underground, The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, CCR, Grateful Dead, Big Brother And The Holding Company, The Small Faces, The Band, Van Morrison, Neil Young, Crosby Stills Nash, Flying Burrito Brothers (Gram Parsons), Nick Drake, Led Zeppelin, MC5, The Stooges, The Temptations, Santana, Strevie Wonder, Fleetwood Mac, Sly And The Family Stone.

From folk to psycedelia to hard rock, this decade seemed to have it all. I think it's safe to say that this decade saw the greatest 'burst' of creativity, but did it release the best music? Read on...

Black Sabbath, John Lennon, George Harrison and Paul McCartney’s solo stuff, Soft Machine, Rod Stewart, James Taylor, Jim Croce, Jethro Tull, Marvin Gaye, The Bee Gees, YES, Carole King, Isaac Hayes, The Allman Brothers, Elton John, John Prine, Funkadelic/ Parliament, Flamin’ Groovies, T-Rex, David Bowie, Randy Newman, Big Star, Steely Dan, Lou Reed solo stuff, Iggy Pop, The Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Paul Simon solo stuff, Roxy Music, Alice Cooper, WAR, Bob Marley, The Clash, The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson, Genesis, ZZ Top, New York Dolls, The Stranglers, Kraftwerk, Queen, Supertramp, 10CC, NEU!, Bruce Springsteen, Prince, Tom Waits, Patti Smith, Tom Petty, The Modern Lovers, KISS, RUSH, Billy Joel, ELO, Wire, Talking Heads, Blondie, Television, The Jam, Buzzcocks, Van Halen, The Cars, Dire Straits, The Police, AC/DC, The B-52,s, Joy Division, Gang Of Four, Cheap Trick, The Specials, Motorhead, Nick Lowe.

A little self indulgent but loaded with great musicianship and flamboyant showmanship!

Adam Ant, Cramps, Dead Kennedys, The Cure, The Smiths, Echo and the Bunnymen, Simple Minds, Killing Joke, New Order, English Beat, The Pretenders, OMD, Psychedelic Furs, Black Flag, Bauhaus, ABC, Madness, Orange Juice, Violent Femmes, R.E.M., The The, The Blue Nile, U2, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Replacements, Lloyd Cole, Tears For Fears, The Fall, Mekons, The Pogues, Kate Bush, Jesus And Mary Chain, Beastie Boys, Metallica, Talk Talk, Billy Bragg, Sonic Youth, Bad Brains, XTC, Dinosaur Jr., The Cult, Dfepeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys, Sisters Of Mercy, Guns ‘n’Roses, Butthole Surfers, Husker Du, Waterboys, Fishbone, Mudhoney, Pop Will Eat Itself, Happy Mondays, Pixies, My Bloody Valentine, American Music Club, Janes Addiction, Public Enemy, Faith No More, Madonna, INXS, The Stone Roses, Primal Scream, Fugazi, N.W.A, Art Of Noise, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ministry, The Flaming Lips, Nick Cave, Housemartins, Love and Rockets, Prefab Sprout, Renegade Soundwave, Stephen Duffy.

Unfairly dismissed as a rotten and wasted decade for music. How can you say that about a decade that birthed the Smiths?

The Shamen, The LA’s, The Black Crowes, Ride, Nirvana, Ice-T, Pearl Jam, The KLF, Massive Attack, Teenage Fan club, Pavement, Morrissey solo stuff, Rage Against The Machine, Lemonheads, Spiritualized, Alice In Chains, Suede, Blur, Oasis, Paul Weller solo stuff, Smashing Pumpkins, Grant Lee Buffalo, Jamiroquai, Bjork, The Orb, Boo Radleys, Sebadoh, Portishead, Jeff Buckley, Nine Inch Nails, Chemical Brothers, Green Day, Prodigy, Foo Fighters, Supergrass, Radiohead, The Verve, Leftfield, Super Furry Animals, Stereolab, Beck, Belle and Sebastian, Wilco, Eels, Son Volt, The Charlatans, Underworld, Daft Punk, Mercury Rev, Queens Of The Sone Age, AIR, Lambchop White Stripes, Kings Of Leon, The Beta Band, Ben Folds Five, Of Montreal, Grandaddy.

Starting to slow down a notch or two on the creativity, but the 90's still produced some excellent bands. If we were going by great albums the fate of this decade would be much different.

Ryan Adams, Goldfrapp, M Ward, Gorillaz, The Strokes, Gotan Project, Royksopp, Doves, The Hives, The Vines, Carbon/ Silicon, Iron and Wine, Mars Volta, Scissor Sisters, Arcade Fire, Franz Ferdinand, N.E.R.D., The Libertines, The Streets, A3, Aqueduct, Arctic Monkees, Band Of Horses, Broken Social Scene, The Clientelle, The Go Team, Trans Am, Golden Bear, Great Lake Swimmers, Handsome Furs, Hot Chip, Jack Johnson, Kasabian, LCD Soundsystem, Caribou, Midlake, Muse, My Morning Jacket, The National, New Pornographers, Panda Bear, Rooney, Secret Machines, Black Mountain, Shout Out Louds, Stars, Willowz.

A resurgence of sorts with many excellent, talented bands who have yet to reach their full potential.

So let me ask you again: “Which was the best decade for Rock And Roll?”

I think the answer is, “It depends who you ask.” After looking at this list again, I gotta tell ya, I haven’t a friggin’ clue.

I am partial to the 80’s stuff because that’s what was playing when I was a teenager/ young adult, and maybe that’s the answer. Whatever was playing when you were growing up is bound to be your favorite decade for music. It’s when you’re at your most susceptible and when you’re forging those lifelong friendships through the mutual appreciation of alcohol, girls/ boys and…music. Make sense?


Well then, screw it! I’m too tired, too sick to debate anymore. Even with myself.

Think I’ll go watch VH1...


Hal Johnson said...

"I think I'll go watch VH1."
I knew I was solidly into middle age when "Behind the Music" began profiling artists I'd never heard of.

Uncle E said...

I enjoy the "Classic Albums" bits, but that's about it. They will occasionally have a good rock movie on (Spinal Tap, The Last Waltz, etc), but it's fairly lame now...

Holly A Hughes said...

Hal's comment made me laugh out loud.

I've always maintained the 60s was the greatest period in music, because they were inventing the wheel (not really but you know what I mean). From then on, it was all reaction to the 60s. However, looking at your list I realize that my heart is totally in the 70s, and no doubt for the reasons you mention. Even my favorite Kinks stuff was mostly from the 70s, and much I loved the Beatles, I have more of a visceral reaction to their 70s solo releases (primarily McCartney's, whom I can now admit I deeply love because Phil has admitted it first).

Thank you, by the way, for adding Nick Lowe AT THE TAIL END of that 70s list, as if he were an afterthought and not the engine that drove the entire British music scene throughout the 1970s. HMMPH!!


Uncle E said...

No offence, Holly, on the Lowe-Meister being at the tail end of the list. He didn't really start his solo stuff until the late 70's, right?
You know how much I respect the man!

Phil Fountain said...

I agree with Holly that they 'invented the wheel' in the 60s, but the music matured in the 70s. Things got a little weird around 77,78 and when disco took over. But at least in fragmenting, new voices were being heard. Lots of great music in the 70s.