No art form defines its time period more dramatically than music. Our
favorite songs don't simply belong to us, they belong to our era: When we hear
them is just as important as how. The '80s reflected new media and old models,
seeking to ... morerevive, if not reinvent, rock, dance and R&B while tapping fresh
ground in hip-hop and rap . The '90s witnessed even more polarizing forces, from
grunge to hyperbolic pop, while reaching a commercial zenith propelled as much
by digital technology as the art form itself. And so on through to the present
day. But music is more than just a soundtrack -- it's something we have in
common with each other, a way of figuring out who we are and who we've been.
These galleries celebrate the artists who made the music that helped shape the
last six decades of popular music, examining how tastes have changed, and how
they haven't. A new decade will go live every week.
A note about selection: These aren't necessarily our personal favorites
(though some of them are). They are instead the definitive music icons of their
times, for good and ill. We know we can't please everyone, so we're very eager
to read your comments about who we left out. Tell us your favorite by e-mailing
us at firstname.lastname@example.org.