The Enduring Legacy of Rock and Roll

The upcoming Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary Celebration has got me to thinking. In the history of popular rock in the 20th century — let us say from 1950 to 2000 — what will our great-grandchildren still be listening to an 100 years? And of those musicians, how many emerged after 1975?

Am I being too provincial to suggest that the enduring legacy of Rock and Roll comes from 1950 to 1975?

Make your own list of musicians that you think we’ll still be listing to in a hundred years. Now, how many of those acts formed after 1975?

The first list is easy:

  • The Beatles
  • The Kinks
  • The Rolling Stones
  • The Who
  • Pink Floyd
  • Led Zeppelin
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Billy Joel (I think he is our generation’s Cole Porter)
  • The Talking Heads (forming just under the wire in 1974)

I could go on and on and on…

Now, name groups that came on the scene after 1975.

  • The B52s (1976)
  • U2 (1976)
  • REM (1980)
  • Dave Matthews Band (1991)

Any others?