OT: Singers or Bands That Define a Decade

Submitted by mGrowOld on January 25th, 2015 at 10:14 AM

Happy Sunday everyone.  Kinda of a slow morning what with Harbaugh not able to land any new commitments in the past several hours (slacker) and no new developments on the completely idiotic VERY IMPORTANT subject of air pressure in footballs so I thought I'd pose a question to the board.

If I was to play word association with you on which singer or band immediately comes to mind for a particular decade what would you say?  For me the 50's - 80's is pretty easy but then in the 90's and beyond it becomes a bit harder to just pick one.  Here is my list - what's yours look like?

1950's - Elvis

1960's - The Beatles

1970's - The Bee Gees

1980s -  Michael Jackson

1990's - Nirvana (small portfolio-big impact)

2000's - Eminem

2010's - Kanye West, Rihanna, Katy Perry?                                          (This decade has me stumped)




January 25th, 2015 at 10:43 AM ^

80s Michael Jackson

90s Some combination of Nirvana/2Pac/Biggie/Big L/RHCP/Nas

00s This is a tough one b/c hip-hop/pop started to mesh into one ugly mess at the end of this decade. It also feels like Rock popularity kinda fell off a cliff near the end too. 

Beginning 00s Dr. Dre/Nas/Eminem & combo of all the pop artists (ie Britney/Christina) b/c America was suddenly caught off guard with scantily clad women in music videos... can't forget that era lol

Mid 00s Killers/Gunit/Ye

Late 00s Lil Wayne 

10s Kendrick (or Drake unfortunately)

Sorry it's a tough question lol. It's hard to single out rappers b/c they usually tend to rise to fame in groups ie Shady/Aftermath/Gunit, Deathrow (2Pac, Dre, Outlawz, Snoop Dogg), Rockafella Records (Jay-Z n co), Cash Money (Birdman, Lil Wayne), or Bad Boyz (Biggie, Lil Kim)



January 25th, 2015 at 10:49 AM ^

I'd wait till Kendrick drops his second major record before he can get consideration for defining artist of the decade—although the way things are going I think he could definitely get that title when he's all said and done.  GKMC is an amazing album, and Section 80 is great as well (is lesser known), but I think if we're comparing apples to apples, Kanye has come out with a couple much stronger albums so far this decade.  Both MBDTF and Yeezus were amazing (although Yeezus can be super controversial amongst listeners), and his strong side projects (Cruel Summer and Watch the Throne) probably put him over the top for this decade so far.


January 26th, 2015 at 12:04 AM ^

Actually, I think the 00s are pretty easy.  The 00s were the decade of nobody.  Cause the 00s were the decade that saw the near complete domination by completely manufactured music.  The 00s saw hit after hit that was manufactured by upwards of 20 people doing the lyrics and music and then some figurehead getting on stage "performing" it. 

So if we have to pick 1 artist/group that perfectly symbolized the 00s, I think we can do no better than Milli Vanilli.  Sure they really weren't active in the 00s but they are the pure inpiration behind like 95% of the charting music out there: nothing real, all lipsink, figureheads on stage. 


January 25th, 2015 at 10:25 AM ^

Can we just stop at the 90's?
Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead, Weezer, STP, Rage Against the Machine, etc.

They were all on the radio at the same time! What a great time for 'alternative' radio. It will never happen again.

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January 25th, 2015 at 12:36 PM ^

IMO. Only band still genuinely kicking to this day, multiple sounds with each album, etc. One could argue they faded in the late 90s but it was their choice & the base for what they are now. In fact, their best albums were the ones that started their current way of going about the band (No Code/Yield). I can't imagine Nirvana surviving much longer as a band or making an album that wasn't "their sound". No offense but, IMO, Nirvana is seen no higher than the other bands of that era if Kurt doesn't die. In fact, I could see them becoming a somewhat sad affair. That said, I didn't dislike them and love most of the bands stupidly labeled as "grunge". I hate that general term so much.

rob f

January 25th, 2015 at 10:50 AM ^

MGrowOld's bubble.  He's been holding onto his double-knit polyester 3-piece leisure suits for decades waiting for disco to make a comeback while daily he spins his Saturday Night Fever soundtrack album.  I'd hate to see him cry once he comes to the realization that practicing his best John Travolta dance moves has been a fruitless waste of time.



Ahh, ahh, ahh, ahh, stayin' alive, stayin alive...


January 25th, 2015 at 10:36 AM ^

I could definitely make the case for Zep but I went with what I thought of first and Bee Gees (unfortunately) came to mind.  FWIW I saw LZ at the Silverdome back in the 70's - helll of a show.

FWIW Elton John, The Stones, Pink Floyd & freakin Abba all sold more records than Zepplin (they were #4 in albums sold in the 70's).  But I think either Zep or the Bee Gees would be the considered the seminal band of the decade.


January 25th, 2015 at 11:51 AM ^

Are renowned for one soundtrack album and little else.  But that one album from the late 70s did, for many, define the decade.  

My first thought was also LZ, but I really enjoyed Chicago (although much of their 1970s music was from their work in 1969).  Pink Floyd, wow.  Aside from "The Wall" I hadn't really paid much attention to them until recently (last 10 years) and now that I've taken the time to listen to their body of work I'm fully impressed.  Had you asked me 30 years ago about the 1970s I probably would have said Kiss or Bob Seger.


Unfiltered Manball

January 25th, 2015 at 5:19 PM ^

who saw the mighty Led Zeppelin back in the day.  I was born about a decade too late to catch them.

Closest I got was Page & Plant on the "No Quarter" tour at The Palace and caught Plant at the Fox Theater in the mId 90's.

FWIW, the Fox Theater is an amaizing venue.  It was an incredible concert in an incredible setting.





January 25th, 2015 at 10:30 AM ^

I guess it depends on what perspective you're coming from, the wider cultural perspective or your own. I haven't listened to much of what would be considered "pop music" since probably the late '90s/very early '00s, so I can't say who would define the current decade or the previous one in terms of cultural impact. But I know who defines those times for me.


January 25th, 2015 at 10:28 AM ^

Well this is such a personal preference thread.


I mean outside of the beatles each era there many bands that could take the claim...


50's- Johnny Cash

60's- Beatles

70's- Rolling Stones, Led Zepplin, Pink FLoyd, The Doors, GrateFul Dead SOOOOO MANY

80's- Ending of Zep and the creationg of Nirvana/Red Hot CHilli Peppers/ Michael Jackson/ Maddonna, Run DMC, NWA, 

90's- Punk Rock era, Phish, Biggie, Tupac, SNoop

2000's-  The DECLINE OF MUSIC..... Mainstream music is unbearable these days...and Rap, is a whole bunch of thug wanna be talking shit about raping women and selling drugs...


January 25th, 2015 at 10:47 AM ^

I think what happened in the 2000s is that you had the rise of iTunes and other digital download services, and so people really stopped listening to the radio (except Pandora) or even buying music at stores. In response, "mainstream" music really became "music that appeals to people who don't just download what they like." But there really has been an explosion of GREAT music since the mid-2000s, you just have to know what to look for.

Some candidates for the 2000s and 2010s: Radiohead (obvs.), Thievery Corporation, The Strokes, Spoon, Arcade Fire, M83, Interpol, Gorillaz, Nouvelle Vague, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Cake, Yo La Tengo


January 25th, 2015 at 12:34 PM ^

Is that the file quality has really sucked.  I was just back home (with the 1980's records) and was blown away by how good they sounded.

Most of us have been listening to crap.  

Hopefully this is finally starting to change, but it has been a dark era.


January 26th, 2015 at 12:18 AM ^

That's mostly the result of the "Loudness Wars".  Only stupid producers could screw up something like a CD and make it sound worse than Vinyl.  Unfortunately, stupid producers/engineers make up like 99.99999% of producers/engineers.  Give them a recording medium with twice the dynamic range and significantly more fidelity and what do they do?  Produce recordings with half the dynamic range and a 1/4 of the fidelity of Vinyl.  Luckily the "Loudness Wars" are finally starting to subside somewhat with an actual ground swell pushing back against it among recording artists and engineers. 


January 25th, 2015 at 1:45 PM ^

Is that everyone went the easy route and started using computers. I know they used computers to blend in the other eras, but they would record real sounds from instruments and then use them digitally. Now they are just making up noises and singing about bullshit.

Today's music has very few people who feel what they sing. The soul and passion has died.


January 25th, 2015 at 10:53 AM ^

Early 00s to mid 00s was the pinnacle of music in my life (91 baby) 

Every genre had legit music mainstream or not

JayZ/Eminem/Nas/Ye/Ludacris/RHCP/3DD/Blink/Boy Bands/Beyonce/TLC/Britney/Christina etc etc

Mainstream rap did fall off a cliff starting wth Soulja Boy's nonsense and hopefully ending with Bobby Shmurda's crap...

Lyrical skill gave way to silly 1 2 step dances that anybody could do at a dance club... 

However there are still good rappers.... Lupe, Eminem/JayZ(kinda), Kendrick, Hopsin and even Drake (with all the stupid corny stuff he does)...

I wouldn't blame Rap for the decline of music when industry pushed pop (onto all the other genres) by rich old people is the reason for the watering down of musical tastes. 


January 26th, 2015 at 12:27 AM ^

JayZ was decent.  Eminem peaked very early in the 2002 range.  RHCP was a 90s band.  Boy Bands/Beyonce/TLC/Britney/Christina/et al are all manufactured crap with upwards of 20 people developing each song. 

The manufactured pop push was driven not by old people, but by young people that didn't know better.  The target market for all of it (including boy bands/TLC/Brit/Christina et al) is 10-18 year olds.