What's Your Favorite Decade for Music? (Poll)

What’s your favorite decade for music? (Generally speaking — including not just guitar but artists / songs / musical culture):

  • 1960s
  • 1970s
  • 1980s
  • 1990s
  • 2000s
  • 2010s

0 voters

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.

Don’t underestimate the 90s onwards, some really great stuff came out!

Dream Theater, Opeth, Pantera, Meshuggah etc etc!

My favourite decade is now, because we can listen to all the music of the previous ones :slight_smile:

I saw Pantera live! I’m so glad I did. It as on their Great Southern Trendkill tour, named that because of how they felt about the then current trends in music.

I own several Opeth albums. I like their Damnation album the best by far. I love that 1970s vibe the album has.

In terms of creativity in guitar music, everything interesting surfaced in the 1980’s from what I can tell. I am not aware of any new technique(s) that came out after that, and I suspect that there aren’t any, so in this sense the 1980’s are the correct answer.

Now, there are great songs from every year, but most of them don’t have guitar these days, and it could be that guitar has been replaced as an instrument with a much more powerful one, the sampler.

Is the sampler an instrument? Who do you consider a sampler virtuoso?

Not true, you need to check out the late 60s and 70s. Jimi Hendrix. John McLaughlin, Al DiMeola, Led Zeppelin, Cream, Pink Floyd, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Deep Purple, Rush, Black Sabbath and Van Halen! I’d put that list and its guitar creativity up against anything the 80s had to offer, though I did like the 80s a lot.

IIRC sweep arpeggios were already used by Barney Kessel and Chet Atkins among others, fast picking by Django, Tapping by some dude in the 60s on a nylon string (look for it on yt, and check out his incredible arrangement of All of me).

In terms of raw technique, I think the 80s just added gain :smiley:

1 Like

If you want guitar creativity, this man did more to innovate rock guitar playing than anyone in history.

Have you heard The Mahavishnu Orchestra? Talk about creativity! Along with that they also had shred before anyone called it “shred” and It was used in the context of the song to enhance the song rather than distract from it.

1 Like

For the most part, yes, along with technique for the sake of technique used to cover up a lack of musical creativity.

Sorry for nitpicking, but I would say it was more about “speed for the sake of speed” - not necessarily executed with good technique, i.e., sounding fast but bad.

As a consequence a lot of the 80s metal solos have not aged well in my opinion. At the same time, some of the best guitar work ever came from that time.

In any case, here’s the “early tapping” dude (although it seems tapping existed well before that):

Yes, that is nitpicking, heh heh

I’ve seen that video of the tapping guy from the 60s. There were a number of people who did a little tapping, Billy Gibbons is one, but Eddie Van Halen MASTERED IT! The proof is the reaction to Eruption when it was released on Van Halen in 1978.

1 Like

Yes! The “build poll” option is a bit hidden in the gear menu on the right of the composer toolbar. I just edited the OP with the poll for this.

To clarify, is this “favorite decade” specifically for guitar? Music in general? From a holistic cultural perspective? (Might change the answer distribution a bit :slight_smile: I can edit the title to specify this as well)

Oh, thank you!

Primarily for the music in general, not just the guitar playing but the the bands, the songs, etc. If people want to include the music culture of the time, the look, the lifestyle, that’s fine too. I’ll leave it up to them.

1 Like

Great, updated OP / title to reflect that.

Interesting to consider musical cycles, in terms of what goes in / out of style in music and pop culture generally, as well as with the evolution of specific genres.

Agree it feels that way but I’m not sure we can really answer this while we’re living in it…I suspect that identifying the larger stylistic trends of a decade / era might only become clear with the distance of hindsight.

But also I think true that things like the internet, globalization of culture, etc. have led to an explosion of possibility both of creativity (democratization of tools making it easier to experiment and create music in niche genres) and discovery (easier to seek out and listen to music in these new experimental styles).

Even given that proliferation / fragmentation, it may be that a few decades from now, much of the music and culture of say the 2010s will fade away and the imprint of a few specific stylistic features will more clearly leave their imprint. Hard to say!

(My perspective re: hip-hop…I’m partial to both the 90s and the current era. 80s are foundational for the genre but feel like before it came into its own; 2000s have some fun stuff but kind of peak homogenous commercialization imo)

1 Like

Hi Acecrusher, I haven’t seen you posting in a while.

My favourite is the 1990s. Maybe it’s because I was a teenager in the 90s and was really into grunge and British bands and that time holds a sentimental value for me. Some great metal albums came out during that era too, like Rust In Peace, Painkiller, Heartwork… it was a great time for music in general.

1 Like

The 80’s where great for the guitar playing like EVH, Bratta, Nuno, SRV, Lynch, Vai, Satch etc, But the 90’s had great singers like Cornell, Staley. It did bring us the game changer Eric Johnson though. I’m going with the 80’s.

Hii alien dough! I still post some here and there, just not on a regular basis like I did before.

I think a lot of people are partial to the era when they were high school and college age. That’s the era I liked for music for a long, long time. I still like the 80s very much but more recently I’ve gotten more into 70s style rock. I love the bands they had then, the songs, the albums that were released then. I’ve had albums from the 70s ever since I started buying records but I appreciate them more now than ever. I like everything from Black Sabbath and Judas Priest to Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles.

1 Like

80’s into early 90’s. As a death metal fan, 1991 is the golden year for that genre.