Best Ever Album Selections Broken Down By Decade

Was popular music better in the 60s and 70s? Speaking as someone who was a teenager in the 70s this is a silly non-question - of course it was!

Artists at or near their peak included (a small sample) : Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Doors, David Bowie, Aretha Franklin, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, Joni Mitchell, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, Fleetwood Mac, Curtis Mayfield, Lynyrd Skynrd, Cream, The Allman Brothers Band, Steve Miller Band, Doobie Brothers, Yes, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Barry White, Steely Dan, Santana, Moody Blues, Patti Smith, Simon and Garfunkel, Roxy Music, Burning Spear, Black Uhuru, John Martyn, Van Morrison, Lou Reed, The Who, Aerosmith, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, AC/DC, Talking Heads, Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, Nina Simone, Bob Marley etc. Sample 1960s list with details

But perhaps middle aged folk are prone to thinking things were better when they were young, so can we find evidence from music critics for or against this claim?

The pie charts below show % breakdown by decade for Rolling Stone Magazine's Best 500 Albums of All Time and the same for New Music Express (NME) (the lists were compiled sometime in the 2010s, hence the low figure for decade 2010).

The wise critics at Rolling Stone Magazine confirm my theory, with the 1970s being a clear winner.

The critics at New Music Express fail to confirm my theory - so perhaps they were trying to spread their selection across decades fairly evenly, or maybe they're fools, or maybe my theory is wrong - maybe it just depends what you happen to like?

However you interpret these charts the good news is the evidence suggests some great music is still being created (though, according to Rolling Stone Magazine, a decreasing amount).