Music is the thread that weaves together your life- Dance to music when happy, sing along it in celebration, cry to it when you have a broken heart, or simply plug it in to forget the humdrum of the chaotic world into oblivion. The way music has been an integral to people’s life since it came to life is something so mesmerizing that needs to be brought out to all of you. So here we are with ten eras and the kind of music genres that rocked those!
10) Jazz 40s
40s was the era following the World War and the music that ensued was to lightly show the pain while showing the promise the future would bring. Swing, Big band, Jazz, Latin and Country music dominated and defined the decade’s music that artists like Rosemary Clooney, Count Basie, and Artie Shaw helped to define with their unique brand of entertaining crowds through their music. After World War II, the big band sounds of the earlier part of the decade has been gradually replaced by crooners and vocal pop, giving rise to Frank Sinatra, whose vast appeal to the “Bobby soxers” revealed a whole new audience for popular music, which had generally appealed mainly to adults up to that time, making Sinatra the first teen idol in music. Jazz saw the rise of Nat King Cole while in 1942 Bing Crosby recorded and released the single “White Christmas”, which became the best-selling single of all time, with estimated sales in excess of 50 million copies worldwide.
9) The Rock and Roll 50s
50s mixed various black genres with Rock and roll, that dominated popular music in this era giving nirth to new genres including rhythm and blues and gospel music; with country and western and Pop being introduced too. In 1951, Cleveland, Ohio disc jockey Alan Freed began playing rhythm and blues music for a multi-racial audience, and is credited with first using the phrase “rock and roll” to describe the music he performed. Rockabilly, combining rock and roll with “hillbilly” country music, was usually played and recorded in the mid-1950s by many singers such as Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly and with the greatest commercial success, Elvis Presley, the King, who rose to fame with his billboard top 10 hitting song, “Heartbreak Hotel;” 50s saw the birth of rhythm-and-blues with hits like “Tutti Frutti” and “Long Tall Sally”,which would influence performers such as James Brown, and later on, Elvis Presley, who played a huge role in the music industry in this decade.
8) British Invasion Rock 60s
North America and Europe saw the evolution of rock, making this era one of the many important milestones in the history of music. The rock and roll of the decade before started to merge into a more international, eclectic variant known as rock. Gradually pop rock, beat, psychedelic rock, blues rock, and folk rock, overtook the music industry. Japan saw the rise in popularity of several Western popular music groups such as The Beatles, who were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960 (as we don’t know). With members John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, they became widely regarded as the foremost and most influential act of the rock era with their number Please please me, 196, topping all music charts. In mid-1962 came the Rolling Stones started as one of a number of groups increasingly showing blues influence with our originals Brian Jones, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts (drums). Their first international number 1 hit was “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”, recorded in May 1965 and the two bands weaved magic in music together in the 60s. This decade also witnessed the rise of Bob Marley, Jamaican singer-songwriter, musician and guitarist who achieved international fame and acclaim, blending mostly reggae, ska and rocksteady in his compositions, making this decade the one with music revolutions everyone needed.
7) Disco 70s
This decade saw the rise of disco, which became one of the biggest genres of the decade with other important genres being funk, smooth jazz, jazz fusion,punk rock, heavy metal and soul. Hip hop too, emerged during this decade, while Classical began losing a little momentum. Hard Rock saw the birth of many music sensations-Alice Cooper, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Queen, Nazareth, Black Sabbath and Blue Öyster Cult and in later 80s, AC/DC (Yes!), Kiss, Aerosmith, Van Halen and Ted Nugent. Music Gods, Pink Floyd, though formed in 1965, gained popularity in 1970s with their albums The Dark Side of the Moon (1973), Wish You Were Here (1975), Animals (1977), The Wall (1979) and The Final Cut (1983). The era wasn’t done with music superstars as Elton John became the decade’s biggest solo pop star, releasing diverse styles of music that ranged from ballads to arena rock; some his most popular songs included “Bennie and the Jets,” “Philadelphia Freedom and “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” ( we love that one).
6) Dance Wave 80s
1980s saw the introduction of dance music and new wave, pushing disco to a lesser popular zone. Rock introduced many genres like soft rock, glam metal, thrash metal, shred guitar characterized by heavy distortion, pinch harmonics and whammy bar abuse with the advent of Guns N’ Roses’ who, with their debut album, Appetite for Destruction (1987), reached number one on the Billboard 200 a year after its release, on the strength of “Sweet Child o’ Mine”. The 1980s are commonly characterized by an increase in the use of digital recording, associated with the usage of synthesizers, with synth-pop music and other electronic genres featuring non-traditional instruments increasing in popularity giving birth to major electronic genres, including electro, techno, house, freestyle and Eurodance, rising in prominence during the 1990s and beyond. But the dance and music sensation of the history, Michael Jackson, was the best thing that happened in this era. Madonna, Whitney Houston, Bon Jovi and Janet Jackson—who were all the most successful musicians during this time were introduced too, with Michael Jackson’s Thriller album from 1982 being the best-selling album of all time; it is cited as selling as many as 110 million copies worldwide, making him the best male artist of 80s. Madonna was the most successful female artist of the decade. Her third studio album, True Blue, became the best-selling female album of the 1980s. Bands such as AC/DC, Queen, Def Leppard, Kiss, Mötley Crüe, Bon Jovi also graced this era. But 80s weren’t done yet, as Metallica, the most sensational heavy metal band was formed in the 80s itself.
5) Pop 90s
Popular music in 90s was dance pop, teen pop, hip hop with rap, reggae, contemporary R&B and urban music being considerably popular and many fusion genres were introduced new jack swing, neo-soul, hip hop soul and g-funk which were popular. Grunge, Britpop, industrial rock and other alternative rock music emerged and took over as the most popular of the decad.. Electronic music grew popular with new electronic dance music genres such as trance, happy hardcore, drum and bass, intelligent dance and trip hop. Music Sensations Nirvana, Radiohead and the Red Hot Chili Peppers became important bands in the rise of alternative rock. Punk rock in the United States underwent a resurgence in the early to mid-1990s with the introduction of Green Day (swoon) in 1994. Michael Jackson was still the best artist with his debut single “You Are Not Alone” becoming the first single to debut at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You”, a song from the 1992 hit film The Bodyguard, spent 14 weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100 a record at the time, and sold over 40 million copies worldwide making her successful among the female artists, along with Mariah Carey.
4) Mixed 2000s (2000-2005)
Convergence of different styles was one of the more defining features of the decade with popularity of teen pop undiminished as sensations such as *NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears (yes, bi*ch), and Christina Aguilera dominated the charts in the early 2000s. Eminem is considered the biggest hip hop act of the 2000s, and was the best-selling overall music artist. Hip Hop was the genre that took the music industry with a storm- with hoard of music artists that are still famous for their art- our very own Slim Shady, Eminem, OutKast, The Black Eyed Peas, T.I., 50 Cent, Kanye West, Nelly, Nas, Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, Missy Elliott, M.I.A., Lil Kim, Gorillaz, Young Jeezy, Lil Wayne, The Game and Ludacris- you know them all, you worship them all! . After the release of his album Relapse, Eminem became the best selling rapper of all time and the top selling artist of the decade across all genres. Coldplay came into the picture and achieved worldwide fame with the release of the single “Yellow” in 2000. Kelly Clarkson was also a prominent female artist of this movement, rivaling the success of the quirky singer Avril Lavigne, whose lyrics we still chant along if played by someone. And let’s not forget, this is the decade when Enrique Iglesias crossed over to the English Market with the songs, “Escape” and ‘Bailamos”. Maroon 5, with our sweet heart Adam Levine also released its first album in the 2000s making their single, “Harder to breathe!”, increase their popularity. Thank god for 2000s!
3) Alternative 2000s (2005-10)
The latter part of 2000s saw many genres growing in popularity- Alternative, Garage rock, post-punk and new wave revival, Pop, Indie Rock, Country, Latin Pop, Dance and what not. A fusion between hip hop and electronic dance similar to the Freestyle music of the late 1980s and early 1990s, known as Hip House also grew successful. Pop rock artist Pink rose to popularity with other additions like Justin Timberlake and the dancing sensation- Shakira whose success was solidified with her album Oral Fixation, Volume Two (2005), which spawned one of the best-selling songs of the 21st century, “Hips Don’t Lie” .In 2005, Rihanna (you go Riri!) rose to fame with the release of her debut studio album Music of the Sun and its follow-up A Girl like Me (2006), which charted on the top 10 of the US Billboard 200 and respectively produced the singles “Pon de Replay” and “SOS”. As this wasn’t enough, the world was introduced to the one and only music and dance goddess, Beyonce, who rose to fame in the late 1990s as lead singer of R&B girl-group Destiny’s Child, who disbanded in 2006, to make Beyonce, release her sensational numbers which contained the top-ten hits “Déjà Vu”, “Irreplaceable”, and “Beautiful Liar”. Artists such as Janet Jackson, Anastacia, Kylie Minogue, Mariah Carey, and Nelly Furtado experienced revived success. Lady Gaga took the later part of the decade by storm with her two singles- “Just Dance” and “Poker Face”. All in all 2000s were the perfect balance to the musical history we have had before the turn of the century.
2) Throbbing 2010-2015
Progressive and experimental rock, indie pop started this decade with a bang with electronic being the most popular around the world seeing the rise of stars- Britney Spears (“Blackout”), Kanye West(“Stronger”), Skrillex, Steve Aoki, Swedish House Mafia, Headhunterz, Wildstylez, Da Tweekaz, Clean Bandit, Major Lazer, Knife Party, Avicii, Alesso, Owl City, The Chainsmokers, Calvin Harris, Deadmau5, Eric Prydz, ShockOne, Drumsound & Bassline Smith, David Guetta, and Lights. And this was evident in the sudden increase of night-clubs’ popularity as the phrase “dance til you die” was taken more seriously than ever. Europop and electronica were used more extensively in the early 2010s as a result of the success of disk jockeys, like David Guetta and Calvin Harris. Teen Pop returned back to the top charts with popular teen artists like Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Nick Jonas, and Selena Gomez, who rose to popularity further with their own kids’ show (Binge-watch dual life of Hannah Montana, anyone?) Alternative Rock reached new heights with Imagine Dragons, Linkin Park, Kasabian, Muse, Coldplay, Foo Fighters, Thirty Seconds To Mars, Kongos, Evanescence, Metric, Nickelback, Arctic Monkeys, Panic! at the Disco, Fall Out Boy, Twenty One Pilots, Radiohead, Paramore, and Nothing But Thieves. All of these bands have had albums debut in the top 5. And well, whatever we left out, you know the rest as this era just chimed by.
1) 2015- Today!
Music has never been more “on the move” and dynamic as it is today, you will see people banging their heads to metal, people dancing to the beats of Dance/Pop numbers, singing along Jazz tunes and humming the classical tunes, or else, letting their minds run ahead of their bodies with the recently famed Trap, Dubstep, and Trance music. Electronic music has never been this successful and as if doing some poetic justice to music, neither has rock or metal or any other genre that was once popular before this century. Contemporary R&B has begun to influence hipster musicians, creating a new genre called alternative R&B. New players have emerged from this sub-genre, like The Weeknd, Frank Ocean, Kehlani, Tinashe, Tory Lanez, Justine Skyne, Partynextdoor, Jeremih, and Bryson Tiller. Taylor Swift, Drake, Skrillex and many more. You will one day find yourself screaming alone Linkin Park or the next day dancing to the club hits like Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You or Luis Fonsi’s Despacito or cry for that inconsiderate McD’s staff person calling you fat with Sia’s songs that will touch your soul, there is just no end to this (we don’t even want any).
This was a short summary of how music has been revolutionising our lives, wherever it touches it. The playlist we carry with us is so versatile that there is- indeed- a song for every mood, every occasion, every thought you have today, and well, if you don’t, there is always time to go back in the past and make a timeline of yourself, isn’t there?