Best Decades for Music After 1900

LedSabbath
What is the best decade for music released in the 20th and 21 centuries?

The Top Ten

1 1980s

Michael Jackson, Aerosmith, Madonna, Pink Floyd, Prince, Metallica, Iron Maiden, U2, AC/DC, Guns N' Roses, Bruce Springsteen, The Police, Van Halen, Run-DMC, Billy Joel, Whitney Huston, definitely Leppard, Bon Jovi, Queen, Motley Crue, Kiss, Poison, George Michael, The Rolling Stones

The best music is was in 80's because then became the most great songs. In 80's started the music video clips and they were brilliant. So the songs and videos was with lot of positive energy and gave a lot of good emotions. Sounds was brilliant too, etc.

The last musical decade that mattered.

Like all decades, the 80s had its share of good and bad music. But overall, I consider it the best decade of music, across all genres. A lot of the great artists from the 70s had their best music in the 80s. The 80s was a time when the great music styles created in the 70s were perfected, and a lot of innovative new music styles came out as well. The best thing about 80s music, regardless of genre, was that the songs that were popular were extremely catchy! The fact that there are so many 80s songs still getting air play speaks for itself. Nowadays, most music is not catchy at all but rather quite bland and boring, whether it's pop music or underground music. I wonder how many songs of the 2010s will still be heard 30 years from now?

163 Comments
2 1970s

1960s laid the roots for some of the greatest music there is and spawned legends such as the Beatles and Bob Dylan. The 1980s created very refined and textured music that created new levels of stardom. But the 1970s, are by far unparalleled, in that it either greatly expanded upon or created every genre of music that is widely listened to today, while being simultaneously uncompromising in terms of quality. The augurs for the decade were laid quickly, as the late 70s saw the dissolution or death of some of the most famous stars and bands of the 60s. Most remaining ones either produced music of significantly lesser quality (McCartney and Dylan come to mind), reinvented their style (Fleetwood Mac and Jefferson Airplane/Starship), or pushed their sixties work to new heights (Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd), among many others. This change in musical style also allowed for new acts to shine in every genre. Bands such as Black Sabbath and Deep Purple created the dark, sludgy sound of hard ...more

Oh, number 4? No way. The 70's was the best, and it isn't close. Zeppelin, Floyd, Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, all did their best stuff during this era. In addition, you had the next tier of stuff, like Kansas, Wings, Jim Croce, Gordon Lightfoot, Queen, Steve Miller Band, STEVIE WONDER, The Who, and on and on and on. This music stands the test of time better than anything from the '80s for sure, and metal was born. Albums were projects that were meant to be enjoyed top to bottom, not just churned out for the sake of a dollar. Artists, not entertainers.

I would go '70's, '60's, 90's, then 80's.

My old answer would have definitely been 80's at the number 1 spot, and 70's at number 2 spot. But after really thinking about it, the number 1 spot belongs to the 70's. With Rock n' Roll taking over the world, the rise and fall of disco, and the end of the decade containing the growth of Punk. The History of the 70's and music is alone good enough to solidify its spot at number 1. The 70's also has the best list of artists for a decade. Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, The Who, Elton John, David Bowie, Queen, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Wings, Fleetwood Mac, Eagles, Pink Floyd, Lou Reed, The Clash, Sex Pistols, Ramones, Blondie, The Pretenders, The Police, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Talking Heads, Bee Gees, Earth Wind and Fire, ABBA, Steely Dan, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rush, Kiss, Journey, Supertramp, CCR, Grateful Dead, T-Rex, Television. The list is endless. It is also so easy to forget some of the great artists from this decade due to how many of ...more

My favorites are the 1970s and 1980s equally. My fave artists from these eras are as current today as they were then. The best top quality music never has an end date.

122 Comments
3 1960s

The Beatles, Dylan, Hendrix, The Who, The Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones, and a little bit of Led Zeppelin, what this decade lacks in quantity it makes up for in having the best artists - VeritusEro

" The 60s was the most innovative period of music that change the rest of the century. The Vietnam War was around along with civil rights movements and the music around the time truly represented the cultural ideas which helped unify our rebellious world. Even today the most iconic pioneers of music are all remembered from the 60s. Rap came from soul (James Brown), House originated from all the techniques bands did in the studios (Beatles, Who, Jimi Hendrix), and everyone knows The Rolling Stones contributed a whole lot to pop. There's no argument, the 70s and 80s were all continuations of the 60s. Finally, who could not forget the glorious beauty of psychedelia, our time has yet to bring that back."

The Beatles alone are enough to make this #1 in my opinion because of their style and there huge impact on music. There were also many other amazing artists like Beach Boys, Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, and Bob Dylan, all amazing artists and bands that had a huge impact on music.

Amazing music from amazing bands and singers, loved it, lived it, still great music with great memories

75 Comments
4 1990s

I think that people are neglecting the fact that the massively influential indie scene that exploded in the 90s. Albums like ok computer, in the aeroplane over the sea, and entroducing were more than just great albums, they changed what music could be. The 90s was a generation sick of music staying stagnant and stale and because of that experimentation and the return of forgotten genres returned. The 80s was a horribly overrated period in music, filled with herds of extremely generic electronica dance musicians who have (thankfully) been forgotten, uninspired hair rockers who did not have a creative bone in their body, and quite possibly the worst of them all, Madonna, who would inspire bull musicians for decades to come.

This dissatisfaction with music (along with other cultural circumstances) is what inspired the angsty, anti-system philosophy fueling the musical era of the 90s and it also produced some of the greatest music ever. Sure corporatism was still extremely ...more

While it was a good decade for music it is however the most overrated, due to the fact that 2nd half of the 1990s is significantly inferior to the first half, plus almost nearly every single great artist from 1980s went downhill in this decade due to the rise grunge and alternative (which had a bad effect music with the rise of whining in songs) - christangrant

Easily. From a rock standpoint you still had hair metal, speed metal, industrial, alternative, plus the coming of grunge. The start of the best run of hip-hop ever (thru the early 2000's). Great electronic and dance music including the rise of house & techno to international success. Pop was still fun and danceable. You had Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw, Brooks & Dunn and some awesome country. Overall, the absolute BEST decade for ALL music.

Absolutely, hands down, the 90's is the best decade in music. The rise of grunge, the development of hip hop, and the polishing of pop all cement this decade as the best in history. Perhaps it was the sheer volume of music released, due to the enhanced availability of recording, that allowed quality music to be distributed. Perhaps it was due to the ability to edit and mix music using digital means, allowing errors to be corrected. Perhaps it was due to the relative economic prosperity in the nineties creating an environment for people to imagine and develope their abilities. Whatever the case may be, the 90's is the best decade in music based on the breadth, depth, and innovation of all musical genres.

82 Comments
5 2000s

Bands like "The Killers" and "Interpol" were fantastic. I also liked listening to "The Postal Service" which was a side project (or spin off) from the band "Death Cab For Cutie". Though the 2000s seemed to spook a lot of people in their 30s that enjoyed the sequential steps of the 70s, 80s, and 90s of both style & music. However even though I was in my 30s I rather enjoyed the 2000's in both style & music. I found the 2000's to be a refreshing change from the 1990s. I loved the 1980s but a lot of the 90s I actually hated. Not because it was too dark or grungy but I thought a lot of 90s music was "Corporate Generated" to seem or sound deep or dark. I like my music both Light & Dark, Happy & Sad, or if it's simply dark I like it to have more depth than just the cliche' screaming into a microphone because it is a stereotype of being deep or hurt. The 2000's had a lot of great music that was both spooky & enjoyable. Bands like "The ...more

Eminem.

The best boiz

The 2000's are sadly underrated, with some of the best pop music compared to the 2010's

31 Comments
6 1950s

Unacceptably dismissed decade in todays society. Without the 50s, you could might as well say goodbye to any decade afterwards. With artists such as Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, The Killer, Ritchie Valens, Little Richard, Eddie Cochran, Carl Perkins, The Big Bopper, Gene Vincent and many more, it doesn't make sense why this decade doesn't get the praise it deserves.
The 80s at #1 as well is an absolute disgrace, that was when Music became compressed and uninspiring. That decade is for wankers.

Everything else came after and because of the influence of the 50's. None better.

#1 decade for music.

Brilliant decade would have to tie it with 60's but it had that great mix and all the music was genuine. It actually required a lot of talent to make it.

17 Comments
7 2010s

Terrible shallow, hollow, pre-fab music. Auto tuned voices and cliche' lyrics about sex make it soulless. Even songs that are supposed to be "deep" actually come off as "shallow" in the 2010s. From Country Music to Pop, from Rap to Tech it is empty. It's like someone took all the elements of good music to make a fake copy with no soul. From the singers voice, the lyrics, the music, the stylings music of the 2010s seems like an Easy Bake Oven version of music. Formulated & Cold, soulless and without a life-force. I'm someone who disliked the 90s and 2000's but compared this this vacuous mess of the 2010's the 1990s and 2000's have more soul and depth in its metaphorical pinky finger than the 2000s ever could. And any soul or depth after the 2010's is so negligible it's scary. It's like all the real artists died off a long time ago and computers are writing the music for todays soulless zombies. But I can't say that all of todays people are soulless because a lot of younger folks are ...more

Let's all go on the hate the new music bandwagon! But seriously, does this not sound familiar? Oh it's the exact same thing your grandparents did to your generation's music. I won't be the first to say that there has been horrible music this decade, but there has been some pretty good music as well. People are saying "It' doesn't bring anything new to music", but last time I checked electronic music wasn't very big until the early 2010's. I also here people saying there is too much autotune, but I think auto tune is far less recognisable now as it was in the 2000's. And lastly people say it is soulless and shallow, which I'd be the first to agree that Anaconda is soulless, but we can't really say that it's soulless when other decades can't really talk. Personally I don't think that Yellow Submarine, is a very deep, or Dancing Queen or ABC, but that's not the point. The point is there should not be a ranking of every decade of music. Music is very subjective and nearly everyone tends ...more

For the most part, I don't think the 2010s are THAT bad for music but it certainly does not have the charm that the 50s - 80s have brought and established on. Between the 90s, 2000s, and 2010s, they haven't been the best but I have to say that the 2010s so far have been my least favorite in terms of music but I still like it more than the Pre-40s. There's a couple songs I like and everyone has their own choice but I don't know. Hopefully, I'll open up more to this 2010s music in the 2020s but honestly, I prefer the 2000s music a bit more but that's just my taste.

My favorite to least favorite.

1 - 1980s

( I Love the retro feel. The only decade where I think music has aged the best. It puts me in the mood to dance.)

2 - 1970s

( I love the smooth disco scenes of the era. Very nice songs. I almost consider it tied with the 80s.)

3 - 1960s

( The most important, beautiful and meaningful decade in music but I put it under the 70s and 80s ...more

Actually 2010s is the worst of all the musical decades. Nowadays, anybody can sing a random song. With the help of auto-tune, a bad singer can become famous. In the past, singers needed talent in order to get the fame. In 1975, we had Bohemian Rhapsody. In 2014, we got a song about taking selfies. Please get some talent people!

62 Comments
8 1940s

I'd rather vote this - LightningStrike

Sinatra, the Big Bands, the Pied Pipers, Jo Stafford

Are you kidding me? One guy said there was no music? Holy crap is he ignorant to the time period. There was so many artists like listed and even more like Glenn Miller Kay Kyser Bob Crosby, Bings brother etc. And music took a lot more talent than it did today. No auto tune, and also people had to know how to read music as well as play the instrument AND do it all in coordination with the rest of the band. That's hard, but in my opinion it was worth it. The sheer passion and care to the music flows through it and all that effort makes a better more realistic sound than today's crap music. And even for the vocal parts, still were better. Music to boost moral for was coming out left and right during the Second World War.

The 40s had absolutely the best music. Sentimental, romantic, best dance music ever. Just what music should be.

14 Comments
9 1930s

This is a severely underrated period for music. So many classic songs were introduced in this decade like:
* "Puttin' on the Ritz"
* "Cheek to Cheek"
* "Top Hat, White Tie and Tails"
* "Easter Parade"
* "Anything Goes"
* "Begin the Beguine"
* "Summertime"
* "It Ain't Necessarily So"
* "I Got Rhythm"
* "My Funny Valentine"
* "Blue Moon"
* "The Lady Is a Tramp"
* "The Way You Look Tonight"
* "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes"
* "All the Things You Are"
* "Get Happy"
* "Happy Feet"

If you aren't familiar with the music from this decade, you should really check it out. Start with the songs listed above and work your way from there.

I would pick this decade, since I think it has one of the greatest selections of music. The 1940's comes extremely close, except it was a decline of the Big Bands by the mid-1940's. After that, I would pick the 1920's.

Benny Goodman... enough said

Jazz and blues

5 Comments
10 1920s

The only thing I can think of from this ear is We'll Meet Again, which is one of the best songs of all time, but that's one song - VeritusEro

Irving Berlin: Blue skies, Gershwin: Strike up the band, Rhapsody in Blue, Swanee, American in Paris, Girl Crazy (written in 20s, but published in 30s), Carmichael: Stardust, a lot of good songs created for the Great American Songbook in this Decade. An exciting time: economy booming, musicians playing.

Anyone who considers the 30s or 40s above the 20s, doesn't know music. The start of an era

Literally the single most underrated decade of all time.

6 Comments

The Contenders

11 1910s

Down by the Old Mill Stream, Beale Street Blues, and The Near Future are all great songs -

No. I guy called Harry Cooper. - lizard302

tenth

12 1900s

There wasn't any recorded music before 1900 so... - SammySpore

Exiting new era new genres of music really evolved

gramophone

seventh

BAdd New Item

Related Lists

Best Decades Since 1900 to Live In Top Ten Decades for Fashion Since 1900 Top Ten Historical Events of the 1900s (1900-1909) Best 1900s Horror Movie Franchises Biggest Events of the Year 1900

List Stats

5,000 votes
12 listings
9 years, 152 days old

Top Remixes (31)

1. 2000s
2. 1980s
3. 2010s
TheFourthWorld
1. 1970s
2. 1990s
3. 1980s
RobertWisdom
1. 1960s
2. 1970s
3. 1950s
yaakovopp

WRemix
View All 31

Error Reporting

See a factual error in these listings? Report it here.