What was the best time for rock music?
Well, I’m sure that there’s a hundred (or more) answers, depending on how you define “best”. I’d tend to say the span from the late 60’s through the early 70’s,.. But, speaking as an engineer, what’s a more “technical” answer?
Let’s look at the Rolling Stone list of 500 greatest albums. The original, 2003, edition. Now look at a sliding window of time, and count the number of recognized albums..... I chose a 7 year window, because that gives a pretty clear answer:
The blue dots are the number of albums from each year. The green line is the 7 year average, looking at the 7 years up to the noted year.
You can see a very dramatic peak in 1973. In other words, the 7 year window from 1967 through 1973. It's equally clear if you look at the individual years. Each year from 1967 through 1973 is solidly above all of the other years:
This time window provided 189 of the Top 500 albums, 37.8% of the list. I won't list all of them in this post (but look for a post per year over the next few weeks). Meanwhile, here's the top ranked album for each of the years:
- 1967 - Beatles – Sargent Pepper’s … - #1
- 1968 - Beatles – White Album - #10
- 1969 - Beatles – Abbey Road - - #14
- 1970 - John Lennon – Plastic Ono Band - # 23
- 1971 - Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On - #6
- 1972 - Rolling Stones – Exile On Main Street - #7
- 1973 - Stevie Wonder – Innervisions - #24
So, what do YOU say? What time frame to you think was the best? And what's your criteria?