When asking ourselves what was the best era of music, it’s hard to come up with a very exact answer, but yes, taking into account all the songs that come to mind, we can find certain periods of general excellence that allow us to recommend specific years. For me, who am ultimately writing this blog, but also according to those who know, the best era of music spans from 1967 to 1987.
That is to say, 20 years of musical evolutions and revolutions that go from the British invasion to eighties pop, through psychedelia, punk, hard rock, or melodic song (if we talk about Spanish, Italian, and Latin music in general).
Since I don’t want to stick solely to the answer, and I believe it’s fair to provide some justification that defends said answer, I will leave below a Spotify playlist that includes all the songs that I have been able to gather (and that I like, of course) in various languages to show you why I believe this period represents the best era of music.
If with your question you were looking for songs in Spanish, think that 1967 starts with Celia Cruz and Guantanamera and ends in 1987 with Tino Casal and Eloise. If, on the contrary, in your question you were expecting answers with songs in English, you will find that 1967 begins with 13th Floor Elevators and Slip Inside This House and ends in 1987 with Whitney Houston – I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me).
From 1967 to 1987, the Best Era of Music in America and Europe
This two-decade period encapsulates an era of transformations and ungraspable sound revolutions in a single article; we would need a book or several pages at least. Therefore, from this chosen time span, in which music underwent notable metamorphoses, I have tried to summarize and display it well in this selection, albeit accompanied by the Spotify playlist so that you have the real experience of listening to 20 years of music in a few hours.
Since this analysis would not be complete without providing solid justifications to back up this claim, below you have some of the selected songs, each of which displays its own essence and contributes to the kaleidoscope of sounds that make this era a true musical treasure.
The Spencer Davis Group – Gimme Some Lovin’ (1967)
We begin this musical journey with the contagious rhythm of Gimme Some Lovin’, an iconic track by The Spencer Davis Group. This song is a testament to the power of the fusion of rock and soul, perfectly showcasing the vibrant spirit that characterized the end of the musical decade of the 60s.
Led Zeppelin – Whole Lotta Love (1969)
The roar of Whole Lotta Love by Led Zeppelin transports us to the exuberant seventies even though we are still in 1969, proving that this was a great step for rock to reach new heights of expression with the likes of Black Sabbath, for example. This song is a timeless anthem that distills the passion and strength of music in any era.
Marvin Gaye – Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) (1971)
The seventies were also a time of reflection and social awareness, as evidenced by Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) by Marvin Gaye. This song is not only remembered for its melodic beauty but also addresses the urgency to take care of our environment, continuing, like the rest of the album it’s part of, to confront the social struggle of the black community in the 70s in the United States.
Stevie Wonder – Higher Ground (1973)
Stevie Wonder‘s influence on music is undeniable, and Higher Ground personifies his musical mastery. With a rhythm that generates a very good vibe and a hopeful message, the song lifts us to new sonic horizons and confirms that we are in the presence of one of the best singers and most distinct personalities of all time.
Donna Summer – Love To Love You Baby (1975)
At the crossroads of disco and sensuality, Love To Love You Baby by Donna Summer encapsulates the fusion of rhythm and emotion that defined the latter half of the ’70s, when disco music filled all leisure spaces before the explosion of hip-hop, which was emerging in the most depressed neighborhoods of New York. Her unmistakable voice and the pulse of the song are a reminder of the musical diversity that thrived during that period.
Bob Marley & The Wailers – Jamming (1977)
Bob Marley & The Wailers transcend genres and borders with Jamming, an ode to the spirit of unity and joy through music. Marley’s reggae brings with it a message of positivity and harmony that universally resonates. It also reminds you of the Simpsons episode where Bart trades his dog for a blind man’s, and in the end, the dog discovers that the blind owner has marijuana in his pockets.
Fleetwood Mac – Tusk (1979)
Fleetwood Mac is one of the best bands in music history, as evidenced by their many hits and unforgettable songs over the decades. In this sense, Tusk follows the band’s route of musical exploration with its unique blend of pop and rock elements, a continuation of Dreams, the band’s most listened-to song on Spotify. This track confirms the sonic diversity that characterized the music of the late seventies.
Phil Collins – In The Air Tonight (1981)
This song, with its characteristic drum introduction and its emotional arrangements, stands as an icon of the era. Phil Collins, both as a vocalist and a drummer, injects a unique intensity into each note. In The Air Tonight transcends genres and becomes a window into human emotions, exploring the complexities of relationships and personal experiences.
The lyrics, shrouded in an enigmatic aura, have given rise to various interpretations over the years. With a sense of anticipation and an almost cinematic atmosphere, Collins takes us on an emotional journey through his distinctive voice. The song becomes a testament to Collins’ ability to fuse his musical skill with the depth of his lyrical expression.
David Bowie – Modern Love (1983)
David Bowie, a musical chameleon par excellence, and the main precursor to most of the genres that span all the decades we talk about (at least in the non-black music part), guides us into the ’80s and ’90s with Modern Love. The song captures the spirit of change and experimentation that dominated the era, resonating with unmistakable passion.
Unforgettable is its appearance in the scene of Frances Ha where Greta Gerwig runs through the streets of New York (I think) celebrating something that I no longer remember because what I remember is the song and the emotional high it gives to the viewer.
Baltimora – Tarzan Boy (1985)
Tarzan Boy by Baltimora immerses us in the nuances of new wave and Italo-Disco music of the eighties, ahead of Europop and Eurodance music by a few years. The song exudes a carefree charm and reminds us how music can evoke smiles and nostalgia in equal measure. Especially if you recorded the goals of the Mexico ’86 World Cup on video.
Guns N’ Roses – Welcome To The Jungle (1987)
We conclude our journey with the roar of Welcome To The Jungle by Guns N’ Roses, a song that encapsulates the attitude and rebellion of rock at its fullest expression. With this anthem, the eighties culminate in an explosion of energy and provocation.
In conclusion, these selected songs are emblematic of the various musical movements from 1967 to 1987. They are a vivid reflection of the diversity, creativity, and innovation that continues to inspire modern music.
(Madrid, 1987) Novelist by vocation, SEO specialist by profession. Music lover, cinephile and reading lover, but in “amateur” mode.