Music Through the Decades

From the jazz age starting in the 1920’s, to the present day where Taylor Swift is telling us she’s going to, “shake, shake, shake,” music has come a long way in telling stories and allowing artists to express themselves. Music impacts society. For example:

  • MC Hammer influenced the way we dressed and made “parachute pants” popular at one point in time
  • The music we listen to can also affect the way we talk. For instance, when we agree with someone’s statement we say “trueeee” instead of saying “I agree”.
  • Music helps with relationships like Taylor Swift giving advice on boy problems…because she knows how to keep a man.

Starting in the late 50’s The King of Rock, Elvis, shaking his pelvis on stage was scandalous, but the ladies loved it. A few years later The Beatles began the British Invasion in the mid-60’s bringing their rock-pop sound to the United States. In the 70’s, disco became popular, and out of the 70’s came the Jackson 5 who became a big pop-music phenomenon.

The 80’s was a big time for all genres. Michael Jackson’s Thriller caused him to be the biggest selling artist of the decade. Madonna rose to stardom with her albums True Blue and Like a Virgin. Slayer and Metallica broke thrash metal into the mainstream. Beastie Boys and N.W.A. became popular in Hip-hop.

Early in the 90’s, the grunge movement swept the nation, which was inspired by Nirvana and Pearl Jam. Michael Jackson was still popular in the 90’s and released his album Dangerous. Britney Spears, The New Kids on the Block, and Backstreet Boys were also pop icons of the 90’s. As for Hip-hop, there was the feud with East Coast rapper Biggie Smalls and West Coast rapper Tupac.

Eminem rose to fame in the 2000’s with his Slim Shady LP album. In the metal genre, the sub genres Rap Rock and Nu Metal became mainstream causing huge success for bands like Korn, System of a Down, Linkin Park, and Disturbed.

In the present, we are left with music that just isn’t as good as it used to be. Now we have a new era of pop artists like Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj and One Direction. Rock is still popular nowadays, but classic rock is still the standard for “adults.” Alternative and Indie rock has taken the stage with artists like Cage the Elephant, Lana Del Rey, Foster the People, and Imagine Dragons.