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Subject: Most Quintessential Music Album By Decade (1960s-2010s)

Written By: SeaCaptainMan97 on 06/29/18 at 6:56 pm

What 6 albums would you consider to be the most quintessential music albums of the last 6 decades respectively?
What albums came out in a certain decade (preferably in years ending in "4"-"6"), were commercially successful, had musical vibes that were coherent in some way or another for most of their respective decade or replicated the common musical vibe of the decade very well, and overall are albums you'd consider to be the most emblematic of their respective decades?
Here's my list;

"Pet Sounds" - The Beach Boys (1966)
Pet Sounds was a very revolutionary album when it was released. As Rolling Stone magazine puts it, with its vivid orchestration, lyrical ambition, elegant pacing and thematic coherence, Pet Sounds invented – and in some sense perfected – the idea that an album could be more than the sum of its parts. This album was a huge inspiration for art rock albums to come afterward such as Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Dark Side of the Moon, and OK Computer, although the album itself also did take a lot of inspiration from Rubber Soul as well. The reason I ranked it the most quintessential for the '60s is because it still has a bit of a classic bubblegum-y Beach Boys vibe that was popular in the early-mid '60s, but also played a huge inspiration into the music scene that would dominate the late '60s.

"A Night at the Opera" - Queen (1975)
This is the album that made Queen megastars in the music industry, largely in part thanks to the success of the megahit "Bohemian Rhapsody". The '70s was the decade when rock music peaked, as it was after the '60s when it was maturing, but before the '80s when it became watered down and commercialized due to the advent of MTV, and the '70s was also the decade in which glam culture became popular in the mainstream. Queen was a hard rock band, Freddie Mercury was a flamboyant guy who harnessed the glam scene, and the album itself was very experimental, like many rock albums in the '70s were, with the bands' unique use of opera vocals, and it's considered a pop, prog rock, hard rock, and heavy metal album all at once.

"Thriller" - Michael Jackson (1982)
Initially, I didn't want to use Thriller, as I wanted to use an album released in 1984-1986 so it would be closer to the middle of the decade. However, there's just no album that I feel encompasses the '80s better than Thriller, plus the album stayed relevant throughout most of the decade, in fact, the self-titled single from this album was released as a single in the US in 1984, and the album played major inspiration into the careers of Prince and George Michael as well. By infusing post-disco, funk, R&B, and even rock influences, as well as being the album that skyrocketed MTV into the stratosphere with the "Billie Jean" music video in 1983, it doesn't matter how early in the decade this album was released, no other album could replicate the '80s better than Thriller.

"Jagged Little Pill" - Alanis Morisette (1995)
This album marked a big shift in female-vocal pop rock, as it was far more sophisticated and serious-toned than the likes of Mariah Carey and Ace of Base, and many female singers soon to come in the late '90s and afterward would take major inspiration from Morisette. While this album was a pop rock album, it also had post-grunge and alt-rock elements in it as well, with a sound I would describe as like a mix between Ace of Base and The Cranberries. The album was very much a part of the alt-rock scene that dominated the '90s, and would also play a major influence in music acts to come in the late '90s, some may even consider this album to be the beginning of a transition into Millennial culture, although Generation X culture was still dominant at that point.

"American Idiot" - Green Day (2004)
This is the album that really brought Green Day back into the mainstream, and many consider this to be the album that exploded the goth emo subculture. This album certainly has a strong goth emo vibe to it, especially with the cover art, overall change of image in the band, and with the emo album "Wake Me Up When September Ends", but the album also still has a bit of a skater vibe to it, which is representative of the popular counterculture of the earlier part of the '00s. Overall, the album is an alt-rock and pop-punk album, both pop-punk and alt-rock dominated the '00s, the last decade in which rock music was mainstream.

"1989" - Taylor Swift (2014)
This album fully cemented Taylor Swift's shift from country to pop that she was already routed towards for a while by this point. Its breakout hit "Shake It Off" very well encompassed the dance-pop vibe that was coherent throughout most of the decade, and the decade was also heavily synth-based as well. To top it all off, the album's title is "1989", and the '10s are a decade that glorifies nostalgia. This album was also hugely successful in this decade, especially during the 2014-2015 season, and popped out hit after hit, with the music videos from this album garnering over 1 billion views.

So whjat do you all think? Do you agree or disagree with me on this list? Let me know.

Subject: Re: Most Quintessential Music Album By Decade (1960s-2010s)

Written By: Dundee on 06/30/18 at 1:40 pm


A hallmark of soul music, very influential.

A hallmark for the alternative rock scene in its early stages.

You can't go wrong with this electronica-experimental pop gem, didn't age a single bit!

In my mind, indie rock will have a hard time to ever peak this masterpiece.

Devastating and thoughtful, hip hop taking introspectiveness to new limits.

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