Name an act whose work best sums up a musical decade

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I don't know if this topic has any legs, but it may be a fun diversion.

Every time I hear '70s Chicago, it occurs to me that they're probably the band that best sums up that decade (to the extent that any single act could be said to do as much). They certainly don't cover all of the bases, and sure, they're pretty MOR, but their sound is broad enough that their work during the '70s feels like a more effective summary of what music in general sounded like during that decade than any other single '70s act that I can think of. And I'm hard-pressed to think of an act from another decade that pulls off quite the same trick (maybe like Beck for the '90s?).

Does it make sense, this amorphous question I'm posing?

Bobby Buttrock (Old Lunch), Friday, 5 January 2018 15:37 (four months ago) Permalink

britney

algorithm is a dancer (katherine), Friday, 5 January 2018 15:37 (four months ago) Permalink

I guess Prince has a body of work diverse enough to be an effective précis for the '80s. Kinda feel like something's missing from the stew, though (hair metal, super-square mid-decade middle-aged white dude pop).

Bobby Buttrock (Old Lunch), Friday, 5 January 2018 15:48 (four months ago) Permalink

Gloria Estefan, duh

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 5 January 2018 15:50 (four months ago) Permalink

Hildegard of Bingen

not raving but droning (Noodle Vague), Friday, 5 January 2018 15:51 (four months ago) Permalink

Except she didn't write any secular music as far as I can tell.

pomenitul, Friday, 5 January 2018 15:59 (four months ago) Permalink

I asked almost the same question as this a few years ago, funnily enough:

Bands that perfectly represent decades

the word dog doesn't bark (anagram), Friday, 5 January 2018 16:00 (four months ago) Permalink

When I think 'eighties music' I think of ABC or Human League

FREEZE! FYI! (dog latin), Friday, 5 January 2018 16:00 (four months ago) Permalink

Chicago's a good choice for the '70s, although I tuned out after about '74--did they pass through a disco phase? Any definitive '70s band should have a disco-sounding song or two towards the end of the decade, even if--Kiss, Pink Floyd--they would never have admitted as much. Obvious choice, but Rod Stewart works well: starts as a post-Dylan singer-songwriter, gets trashier, ends with disco.

clemenza, Friday, 5 January 2018 16:02 (four months ago) Permalink

This is kind of an 'instant association' thing, isn't it? Like, when I think of '2000s music' I think of Grizzly Bear (who I really don't like at all) . 60s music The Lovin' Spoonful. 70s music, Sly & the Family Stone. 90s music... uhh the KLF?

FREEZE! FYI! (dog latin), Friday, 5 January 2018 16:03 (four months ago) Permalink

And that's even though a lot of those acts had their biggest moments in the preceding or succeeding decade.

FREEZE! FYI! (dog latin), Friday, 5 January 2018 16:04 (four months ago) Permalink

Every time I hear '70s Chicago,

You wouldn't be American by any chance?

Whiney Houston (Tom D.), Friday, 5 January 2018 16:04 (four months ago) Permalink

Chicago's a good choice for the '70s, although I tuned out after about '74--did they pass through a disco phase? Any definitive '70s band should have a disco-sounding song or two towards the end of the decade

Street Player off Chicago 13 was their big disco tune and was obviously later sampled by the Bucketheads

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJMw8cUGjwI

faust apes (NickB), Friday, 5 January 2018 16:07 (four months ago) Permalink

Good thread, anagram, but not quite what I'm after. I'm thinking, like...if some whippersnapper who'd never heard any music from the '60s wanted to know what music from that decade sounded like, which artist's collective '60s work would best represent the broad spectrum of different sounds that were happening in the '60s?

Bobby Buttrock (Old Lunch), Friday, 5 January 2018 16:08 (four months ago) Permalink

The '60s are difficult because of the before-and-after benchmark of 1964. If you decide not to go with the Beatles (or Rolling Stones) themselves--'50s big beat to Top-40 heyday to psychedelic to "roots/back-to-basics/please give me a better term...", I don't know who you'd point to. The Supremes start in a different place but basically follow a similar path.

clemenza, Friday, 5 January 2018 16:22 (four months ago) Permalink

Same as the eighties. The difference between, I dunno, Bad Manners and NKOTB is huuuuge

FREEZE! FYI! (dog latin), Friday, 5 January 2018 16:27 (four months ago) Permalink

70s Bowie kinda covers a lot doesn't it

90s Beck is a good choice

frogbs, Friday, 5 January 2018 16:31 (four months ago) Permalink

Yes--forgot about Bowie. A few contenders, but definitely the best '70s choice. (And I'm not a huge fan.)

clemenza, Friday, 5 January 2018 16:35 (four months ago) Permalink

I guess an alternate (albeit surely controversial) response to the question posed itt is a later act which appropriated enough of a prior decade's tropes that they retroactively fit the bill.

Bobby Buttrock (Old Lunch), Friday, 5 January 2018 16:42 (four months ago) Permalink

90's: Blur. 00's: Animal Collective.

Frederik B, Friday, 5 January 2018 16:56 (four months ago) Permalink

roxy music for the 70's

sure they had elements that spilled in from the tail-end of the 60's (like eno's tape manipulation) but they also traversed everything from blues to noise rock to glam to disco (both ends burning). A band as forward thinking as backwards, one of their greatest feats was how they could open doors to the past just as much as the future (see grey gardens/amazonia).

kolakube (Ross), Friday, 5 January 2018 17:01 (four months ago) Permalink

Sparks may be even a better 70's answer than Bowie - they did power pop on their first two, moved to glam/prog for the next three, bounced off skinny tie Cars-style New Wave and AOR radio-friendly pop, then wound up collaborating with Moroder to make a disco album at the end of the decade.

frogbs, Friday, 5 January 2018 17:07 (four months ago) Permalink

'70s: Yes, Floyd, or Zeppelin

reggie (qualmsley), Friday, 5 January 2018 17:09 (four months ago) Permalink

I think Madonna covers the 90's pretty soundly too - house music, R&B, electronica, ballads. Too bad no grunge record

Vinnie, Friday, 5 January 2018 17:13 (four months ago) Permalink

I feel like any legit contender for the '70s needs to have figured out a way to shoehorn a little funk/soul/fusion/country rock into their sound, however weak the tea of their appropriation may be.

(NB, any act that fully embraced the criteria set forth itt would almost certainly be truly terrible and largely incoherent.)

Bobby Buttrock (Old Lunch), Friday, 5 January 2018 17:13 (four months ago) Permalink

Cornelius in the 90's, if you count that last Flipper's Guitar album

frogbs, Friday, 5 January 2018 17:17 (four months ago) Permalink

'We're kind of a disco/free jazz/glam ensemble, influenced in equal parts by Styx, Gong, Crass, and George McCrae.'

Wait, did I say terrible?

Bobby Buttrock (Old Lunch), Friday, 5 January 2018 17:18 (four months ago) Permalink

Decades are tough not just because of 1964, but because movements haven't looked at the calendar. And, oddly, I think it may help to exclude the major talents who are sui generis (Elvis / James Brown / Beatles / Hendrix / Stones / Zep / Who / Prince / Madonna / Nirvana). They mostly sounded like themselves, and everybody else either sounded like them or didn't. They show the peaks of achievement, not where the crowd was. IME.

Would half-decades work better? I might feel more comfortable taking a stab at 5-year periods like, I dunno:

1955-1960: Buddy Holly
1960-1965: Chubby Checker
1965-1970: Kinks
1970-1975: Allman Brothers
1975-1980: Bee Gees
1980-1985: Duran Duran
1985-1990: Whitney Houston
1990-1995: Pearl Jam

failsun ra (Ye Mad Puffin), Friday, 5 January 2018 17:23 (four months ago) Permalink

zep / floyd / yes are all neatly contained in the '70s, either pretty much breaking up or broken altogether before the next decade really gets going. (though starting with drama (1980) trevor horn arguably defined the '80s . . .)

reggie (qualmsley), Friday, 5 January 2018 17:27 (four months ago) Permalink

Bowie: singer-songwriter (more Anthony Newly than Jackson Browne...), glam (verging on metal? I'll let someone else make that call), Philly Soul, art/electronica/whatever, disco, new wave.

(I don't really get the Allman Brothers, YMP--weren't they as anchored in one genre, Southern Rock, as you could be? Unless Southern Rock chops up a few different ways.)

clemenza, Friday, 5 January 2018 17:32 (four months ago) Permalink

70s: George Clinton
80s: Prince

kornrulez6969, Friday, 5 January 2018 17:34 (four months ago) Permalink

'00s - girl talk, duh

fact checking cuz, Friday, 5 January 2018 17:35 (four months ago) Permalink

Caribou really encapsulates something about the 00s for me,

IF (Terrorist) Yes, Explain (man alive), Friday, 5 January 2018 17:43 (four months ago) Permalink

Okay, let's up the ante here: how about reducing it to a single song?

My '70s nomination:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPlSV5WmBfA

Bobby Buttrock (Old Lunch), Friday, 5 January 2018 18:03 (four months ago) Permalink

I think my possible answers for the 2000s are P!nk, solo Gwen Stefani, and The Black Eyed Peas.

MarkoP, Friday, 5 January 2018 18:25 (four months ago) Permalink

Jay-Z is another one I thought of for the 2000s since he worked with a lot of producers whose sounds really defined that decade like Neptunes, Timbaland, Kanye West, Just Blaze, Eminem, and even put out an album with Linkin Park.

MarkoP, Friday, 5 January 2018 18:30 (four months ago) Permalink

One song for the '70s: "Surrender."

clemenza, Friday, 5 January 2018 19:48 (four months ago) Permalink

One for the 90's: "Super Bon Bon"

frogbs, Friday, 5 January 2018 19:54 (four months ago) Permalink

peter gabriel covered some ground in the 80s

mookieproof, Friday, 5 January 2018 20:00 (four months ago) Permalink

a VERY small-scale mid-'90s one could be Madder Rose

algorithm is a dancer (katherine), Friday, 5 January 2018 20:01 (four months ago) Permalink

50s miles davis
60s miles davis
70s miles davis

marcos, Friday, 5 January 2018 20:05 (four months ago) Permalink

the man who sold the world to scary monsters is pretty amazing when you think about it. that's a whole lotta decade.

scott seward, Friday, 5 January 2018 20:06 (four months ago) Permalink

Is the question in this thread "which band had a sound most representative of that decade" or "or which band combined the most sounds of that decade in their output?" Because folks are doing both.

Buttery males (Dan Peterson), Friday, 5 January 2018 20:46 (four months ago) Permalink

The latter was my intention, but whatever, have a party.

Bobby Buttrock (Old Lunch), Friday, 5 January 2018 20:46 (four months ago) Permalink

post correction: grey lagoons not grey gardens

kolakube (Ross), Friday, 5 January 2018 21:32 (four months ago) Permalink

The Monkees are pretty representative of the '60s. they did both the mainstream tv bubblegum pop thing and the psychedelic garage thing, oftentimes on the same records.

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Friday, 5 January 2018 21:46 (four months ago) Permalink

i dunno, nothing sums up the 60's more than Revolver to me.

akm, Friday, 5 January 2018 21:52 (four months ago) Permalink

^ yup

kolakube (Ross), Friday, 5 January 2018 22:06 (four months ago) Permalink

idk james brown kinda summed up the 60s with a single song, "papa's got a brand new bag"

fact checking cuz, Friday, 5 January 2018 22:15 (four months ago) Permalink

robert palmer forecast/mirrored mid 70s to 90 as well as you could, but i don't know that he sums up?

y'know, LIBS! libertarians, libertines, even liberians and librarians (Hunt3r), Friday, 5 January 2018 22:25 (four months ago) Permalink

"papa's got a brand new bag"

i mean, i can hear the beatles and miles davis and the who and the four tops and the supremes and the shangri-las and bob dylan and so much more inside those two minutes.

fact checking cuz, Friday, 5 January 2018 22:26 (four months ago) Permalink

Also, the sixties were the decade where men started carrying handbags.

Frederik B, Friday, 5 January 2018 22:54 (four months ago) Permalink

håndtaske is danish for handbag

mookieproof, Friday, 5 January 2018 22:57 (four months ago) Permalink

håndtaske is danish for handbag

― mookieproof, 5. januar 2018 23:57 (yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Earlier today I couldn't log on ilx for some reason, and I seriously thought that joke had gotten me 51'd... I was a bit drunk yesterday.

Frederik B, Friday, 5 January 2018 23:17 (four months ago) Permalink

idk james brown kinda summed up the 60s with a single song, "papa's got a brand new bag"

― fact checking cuz, Friday, January 5, 2018 5:15 PM (yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

hell yes. would vote for JB.

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Saturday, 6 January 2018 23:55 (four months ago) Permalink

Alanis Morisette for the 90s.

MarkoP, Sunday, 7 January 2018 21:39 (four months ago) Permalink

That's a ____________ choice. (Fill in some word that never turns up in real conversation, just on an Alanis Morissette lyric sheet.)

clemenza, Sunday, 7 January 2018 21:45 (four months ago) Permalink

I still believe the eighties were never more distilled down into one song/video more than in this example

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIs5StN8J-0

Johnny Fever, Sunday, 7 January 2018 22:05 (four months ago) Permalink

The Cure

flappy bird, Sunday, 7 January 2018 22:37 (four months ago) Permalink

Kanye nails the second half of the 00s imo.

austinb, Sunday, 7 January 2018 23:38 (four months ago) Permalink

Honestly all of the aughts, especially if you include production work

austinb, Sunday, 7 January 2018 23:41 (four months ago) Permalink

That's a ____________ choice. (Fill in some word that never turns up in real conversation, just on an Alanis Morissette lyric sheet.)

― clemenza, Sunday, January 7, 2018 3:45 PM (one hour ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

mm i'm going to go with "cellularly"

budo jeru, Sunday, 7 January 2018 23:47 (four months ago) Permalink

xp Kanye absolutely defines all of the 00s

flappy bird, Monday, 8 January 2018 00:06 (four months ago) Permalink

Look at producers

flappy bird, Monday, 8 January 2018 00:07 (four months ago) Permalink

1990-1995: Spin Doctors

✖✖✖ (Moka), Monday, 8 January 2018 01:24 (four months ago) Permalink

The entire '90s are obviously contained within Hobo Humpin' Slobo Babe.

Haribo Hancock (sic), Monday, 8 January 2018 09:47 (four months ago) Permalink

20s: Louis Armstrong's Hot Five & Hot Seven

nicky lo-fi, Monday, 8 January 2018 16:07 (four months ago) Permalink

90s definitely some risible dance/heavy rock crossover like Apollo 440's 'Ain't Talking About Dub'.

chap, Monday, 8 January 2018 16:33 (four months ago) Permalink

Crap thread.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Monday, 8 January 2018 16:44 (four months ago) Permalink


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