1960s music is most memorable | NYU study finds

Taste in music is anything but scientific, but a survey proved that the 1960s has the most memorable music.

When it comes to music we’re all willing to defend our favourites with all that we’ve got because this was the music that was there for us in our lowest moments and gave us solace, was there to help us celebrate, helped us pick up people at PV or just was there throughout our lives.

Thus the question that can quickly lead to a brutal family feud is – “What’s the greatest era of music?” Well, thankfully science has the answer, but it doesn’t mean that everyone agrees with it.

A study from a team at New York University quizzed 643 subjects aged between 18 and 25 on their pop song knowledge throughout the last 50 years.

In a major victory for fans of the 1960s, it seems that chart toppers from that decade proved to be a whole lot more memorable. To be fair, the results make a lot of sense.

In 1969 alone, the year Woodstock took place, there were also:

  • The landmark releases from The Beatles, Rolling Stones, The Jackson 5, The Kinks, Bob Dylan, Neil Young (with Crazy Horse) and The Who.
  • Led Zeppelin released its first two albums after debuting in ’68.
  • Releases of In the Court of the Crimson King, possibly the greatest progressive rock album of its era, along with live albums from Johnny Cash, Grateful Dead and Elvis.
  • David Bowie’s Space Oddity came out in time for the Apollo 11 moon landing.
  • The Stooges and MC5 laid the groundwork for punk rock.
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival released three albums.

1967 and 1965 respectively also saw the releases of some of history’s greatest hits.

1967 featured The Summer of Love and The Beatles releases of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Magical Mystery Tour. The Jimi Hendrix Experience also released two classics and The Velvet Underground went proto-punk with The Velvet Underground & Nico.

1965 was also a prolific year for the Beatles and Dylan, while Motown landed No.1 hits with My Girl and Stop! In the Name of Love. The Rolling Stones create “Satisfaction.” and The Who released “My Generation.”

So yeah, there’s an abundance of evidence to support the findings of this study. Nonetheless, I’ll hold strong on my love for the 1970s with 1971 being the year where rock music exploded while still loving the ’90s with its mix of rock, pop and punk.


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