What’s your favorite decade for music? (Generally speaking — including not just guitar but artists / songs / musical culture):
I grew up in the 80s so of course I was always biased towards that era. I find myself liking the music and guitar playing of the 70s more and more. Even the look or image of the times. I think the 70s were the best time for guitar and music in general. The number of iconic albums from the 70s is staggering.
I think both the 80s and 90s went to extremes. There was a somewhat unhealthy trend in the 80s towards relying on technique and as a result, overplaying. Everything was over the top. I see pictures of the glam bands from then and now I have to wonder what they were thinking.
The 90s were a backlash to all of that and it was worse because it got to the point where guitar players didn’t even want to play solos. There was an extreme reaction to the point to where technique had gotten. The players in the 80s had developed such phenomenal technique that the kids of the 90s wondered “How the hell are we supposed to top that”? So they didn’t play solos at all. They went to the opposite extreme in music and in image as well. In reaction to the overly stylized looks of the 80s, there was the grunge look which was what it sounds like.
It seems people have always persisted in doing this sort of thing though. It’s either feast or famine. They have trouble finding a reasonable middle ground.
At least those decades had their image or style, and of course their great music! If someone looked at pictures of the last two decades, say 30 years from now, would anyone be able to say “That was the 2000s”? Or “That was the 2010s” I think it would be difficult. They don’t have a strong identity of their own. Every decade I can think of had its own style. The 1940s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, all had that. I can look at pictures from any of those decades and identify which one it was. I could listen to music from any of those decades and usually know which decade it was. So far, the 21st century hasn’t had that strong identity of the different decades. Things have gotten very bland. I’m hoping that will change starting in 2020, or technically 2021.