Three Decades of Music

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love Rap music, especially the Rap from the 90’s (c. 1992-98).  But what you might not know is that I also love 70’s Rock and 80’s Pop.  Now of course my musical tastes aren’t nearly so tidy, I can easily name a bunch of 80’s and 90’s Rock bands that I like and I can easily expand my list of interests to include genres such as classical (I’m thinking Vivaldi, Motzart, and Bach (who we can argue wasn’t technically a classical composer, but why bother?), Disco (it may be dead but the Bee Gees are timeless!), R & B (the older soulful kind (think Patti Labelle and Dionne Warwick before she met her psychic friends), not the modern ‘rubbish & bull***t’ variety).  But anyway…

With regard to 70’s rock, this is the decade that birthed Aerosmith, perhaps the single greatest rock band ever!  Their longevity and success speaks for itself (even if they did need rappers Run DMC to resurrect their carreer in ’86).  The 70’s also gave us groups like Journey, Foreigner (who doesn’t love “Cold as Ice”?), Blue Öyster Cult (“Don’t Fear the Reaper”, what’s more comforting than that?), Queen (Freddy Mercury’s death proved that “Another One Bites the Dust”), and AC/DC (electrifying to say the least).  The 70’s saw groups that formed in the 60’s really come into their own, like Chicago, Pink Floyd, Led Zeplin, and Black Sabbath (an ecclectic mix to say the least).  Sadly, the rock from the 80’s was dominated by Glam Rock hair bands like Poison, Warrant, Ratt, Cinderella, et. al.  This isn’t to say that they didn’t produce some hits (they clearly did), but they took Rock music in a direction that it would have been better off not going (but there were some highlights with Metallica, Guns N’ Roses).  The 90’s saw the rise of Grunge Rock which was dominated by a bunch of guys from Seattle, WA.  The 90’s introduced me to some of my favorite rock bands like Nirvana, Sound Garden, Pearl Jam, and more.  I think that the new millennium has produced a few decent groups like Linkin Park, but as with everything else musical, I see a decline over time.

Now the 80’s while slacking in the rock category absolutely rocked in the Pop category (for the record “Pop” is a broad category referring to “popular” music and includes a variety of genres).  Michael Jackson was at his best, telling people to beat it while denying that Billy Jean was his lover.  Whitney Houston wanted to know if he really loved her (which we later found out that he didn’t since he [Bobby Brown] got her hooked on crack!).  Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam were all cried out while Depeche Mode told us that our mothers had been lying to us for years about sticks and stone breaking our bones while words couldn’t hurt us when they sang, “words are very, uncecessary, they can only do harm.”  Pat Benetar was invincible, while we all screamed “fair is fair” when watching The Legend of Billy Jean.  We learned to fly again with Mr. Mister and the Eurythmics gave us Sweet Dreams. Cindi Lauper saw our true colors shining through and Huey Lewis gave us the News.  I could go on and on about Robert Palmer, Peter Gabriel, Aha, Dead or Alive, and Rockwell, plus a ton of others, but I won’t.  When I think of the music of the 80’s it seems like there was an endless string of hits and I again have to lament that popular music isn’t what it once was.

And for some of my favorite albums from the 90’s see the above linked post.  One thing’s for sure… I love music, indeed all music as long as it’s good music.  Country Music and German Industrial Metal doesn’t qualify under any circumstances, as that is not good music, it’s just whining and noise.



2 thoughts on “Three Decades of Music

  1. Now it’s time for you to immerse yourself in the only truly American music (at least for white folks) – hillbilly and bluegrass.

    For a hillbilly, I suggest you start with Hank Williams (Sr., of course).

    You might then allow the soundtrack to “O Brother, Where Art Thou” give you a taste of both classic and modern bluegrass.

    Believe me, you can’t fully understand the spiritual dimensions of humanity until you listen to the music of folks shaped by the peaks of the Appalachians and the depths of the coal mines.

    Listen and be enlightened.

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