Which single year has had the most great music? Why?

We often hear that new music today is merely a shadow of what came before. In your opinion, which single year has had the most great music? Why?

Which single year has had the most great music? Why?
That year was . . .
87% (34 votes)
They are all exactly the same
13% (5 votes)
Total votes: 39

anon.'s picture

Music is like fine wine, some years are better overall, but all years have their bright shining stars. The year Scarlatti wrote his madrigals, the year the Beatles wrote Revolver. There will always be a good year for some music.

Forrest Carter's picture

1968: Beatles, White Album; Quicksilver Messenger Service,Happy Trails; Jimi Hendrix,"Axis Bold as Lov AND Electric Ladyland—just to name a few!

Mike Molinaro's picture

I must pick two: 1958 & 1968. Both were eras of experimentation for artists and labels, new ground being broken, times of passion. When I listen to the music of those times, what I get is a sense that the artists and bands were having fun. There is joy, there is soul to the music.

Paul J.  Stiles, Mtn.  View, CA's picture

1969. I was not yet born (wink, wink). This is an excellent, not to mention provacative, question!

J Chisholm's picture

1964—the Beatles appear on the Ed Sullivan show?

Anonymous's picture


Al Marcy's picture

My head is biased toward the year 3876 ...

Theduke's picture

1965. Just take a look at the charts and you'll see that every genre was well represented. There was Brit rock, American rock. There was pop like Sinatra. Also, soundtracks, soul, folk. What a year!

Nodaker's picture

1971. Just because.

Len's picture

1977, because of "Hotel California" by the Eagles (arguably the best rock song ever written).

David L.  Wyatt jr.'s picture

1982. The Pretenders, U2, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Missing Persons, the Zappa Band, Robert Fripp reforms King Crimson, Allan Holdsworth—a lot of really vital music burst on the scene and signalled the end of the disco era. There are peaks and valleys in all human endeavours (notice that hip-hop sales are declining?) and '81 represented an upswing. But hey, what about 68? Tull, Hendrix, Allman Bros, Crimson Mk. 1, Yardbirds, James Gang. Music comes and goes, always has been, always will be.

mfeust's picture

No doubt it would be 1973! 1) Pink Floyd-DSOTM, the greatest ever; 2) Who-Quadrophenia; 3) Aerosmith-Aerosmith; 4) Led Zeppelin-Houses of the Holy; 5) Marvin Gaye-Let's Get It On; 6 Queen-Queen; 7) Eagles-Desperado; 8) Elton John-Goodbye Yellow Brick Road; 9) New York Dolls-New York Dolls. I could go on and on, but I really could have stopped with #1.

Batipepe's picture


Ken F's picture


EP's picture

Odd that this is the topic because I just read an article in Rolling Stone regarding 1967, "The Summer of Love". If not for the list of great albums released, I would not have considered any year more important than the next. In 1967, The Doors released their 1st Album, Jefferson Airplane released Surrealistic Pillow, Jimi Hendrix Experience released Are You Experienced?, Cream released Disraeli Gears, The Beatles released Sgt Pepper's and Magical Mystery Tour. There were so many others, including Procol Harum ,Janis Joplin, Grateful Dead, The Hollies, and The Beach Boys.

Anonymous's picture


James's picture


Chris Kantack's picture

1967 - It was the pinnacle of 60's Pop/Rock/Folk.

Frodo's picture

1967. Hands down.

Joel's picture

1967-Take a look at Rolling Stone's 40th Anniversary issue...

JMS's picture

2007 has the most great music. It has all the old recordings still around while it's making new ones, too (some of which will be classics in years to come). Now if you want to talk about years that had the most great music debut... years that come off the top of the head are (for the pop music idiom): 1969, 1970, 1980, 1991, 1998, and 2001.

Macksman's picture

Next year. Because your initial "...merely a shadow of..." construct is so flawed. These are still the good old days.

Mark R, NB Canada.'s picture

1972. Progressive, but still pre-disco.

g.c.  van winkle's picture

1967 - Sgt Pepper and psychedelic rock, the Summer of Love - so many great songs and albums from both sides of the Pond...

Mark D's picture

1977! Go through that year and just about every major artist can make claim that ther most famous and successful album was released that year or was still stilling strong that year. Just review every major recording artist/group in the modern era and you'll see what I mean!

TL's picture

One day in 1995, when I walked into the Tower record store near Harvard Square in Cambridge Massachusetts, someone handed me a copy of promotional cassette single, titled “Those Words We Said” from Kim Richey’s debut album. The next day around noon she gave a little concert at the little Park outside Tower. There, I found one of the most beautiful voices today. Her 2nd album Bitter Sweet was on the Stereophile Records2Die4 list. This week her 5th album Chinese Boxes came out. It’s recorded and produced by Giles Martin in London.

craig's picture

The '70s and early '80s Because of the variation. Today's music is all the same, so what's to like?

Dimitris Gogas's picture

All years are certainly not the same. Some of them have brought us great music, others not. My favourite is 1979 (The Clash, Joy Division, etc) Someone else however, with a different taste in music, might regard 1869 as the year with "the most great music". You can't have a definitive answer. PS: In Europe we got London Calling in 1979, in the US I believe it was in 1980. PPS: I hope your next question isn't about the month with the greatest music.

Steven Thompson's picture

1970. Just look at the range of superb records released that year listed in the book "1001 records to listen to before you die"

Carter's picture

1977 was the year punk and new wave saved rock and roll producing among others: Sex Pistols -Never Mind the Bollocks; Elvis Costello-My Aim is True; Television-Marquee Moon; The Clash-The Clash; Iggy Pop-Lust for Life; Ramones-Rocket to Russia; Talking Heads-Talking Heads '77; Richard Hell and the Voidoids -Blank Generation; Blondie-Blondie. It was also the year that Steely Dan released Aja, and we saw major hit albums from Kraftwerk,David Bowie, Ted Nugent, Billy Joel, AC/DC, Lynyrd Skynard, Pink Floyd, Eric Clapton, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Muddy Waters and Fleetwood Mac. We need another year like 1977. Even better perhaps would be another year like 1945 when Bird and Diz set the jazz world afire.