I feel bad for Generation X and The Millennial's

Us Baby boomers were grateful to have experienced the best era for rock/soul/pop/jazz/funk from 1964 thru 1974. We were there at the right age. Motown, Stax, Atlantic, Hi Records and then look at the talent we had. The Beatles, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Jimi Hendrix, Queen, James Brown, Rolling Stones, The Doors, Herbie Hancock, John Coltrane, Wes Montgomery,  T Rex etc. Such an amazing creative explosion in music, nothing can beat that era.

I feel bad for the younger crowd Generation X and Millennials who missed it and parents playing their records for you it isn't the same experience, seeing these artists live years after their prime also isn't the same.

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All the great music from that period is lucky if it gets chosen for a commercial, movie soundtrack or sampled for a pop/rap tune. Then, when the original cut is heard for the 1st time, they will say-Hey that group copied it !

Reality-all of this is an illusion..

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"is lucky if it gets chosen"

it gets chosen ALL the time. That's all I hear. We must be getting wildly different commercials

Kinda like how people my parents' age felt bad for me because I liked the Beatles and not Perry Como. 

Whatever.... more of the same old my generations music is/was better than your generations music. We all missed Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, etc. 

The younger generation can access more music in one hour than a baby boomer could sample between '64 and '74.

I'm generation x and not only have my tastes in music changed so has what I think actually sounds good. I prefer CDs but only well recorded and produced copies. 

I'll get into vinyl soon, starting to collect records from estate sales but have yet to get a player. 

What concerns me is the kids now are totally satisfied with the speaker on their phone playing music out loud or a tiny Bluetooth speaker. Expect a lot of really nice expensive systems ( and by then mostly vintage) to be for sale when we are all gone. 

I still don't like streaming as the quality isn't Newark it as good as a CD but I'll do it if that's the only way or maybe on a jobsite where there is other noise anyway. 

Genx and Millennials will have the last laugh when we are dead and be saying the same thing about HipHop and Rap… just like our parents said about Glenn Miller and Frank Sinatra.

Seeing someone live and appreciating music are not mutually exclusive.  I have a niece and great nephew who both appreciate Led Zeppelin and like classic rock and one's in high school and the other is a few years out of college.

Everything is relative...for example the golden age of the automobile may be now... I just hope none of the K-cars become collector cars for the Mopar or no car crowd.

Sorry but you are dead wrong and stop yelling at the kids for walking on your grass. Every era has great musicians and bands. I think the talent that is out now is the best ever. Go back to our old days and think about the 1000’s of bands and guitar players we never got to hear because the only medium was corporate controlled radio. The access we have to the massive amounts of music today is unprecedented. Yes there are still the bull heads out there that will only listen to vinyl and that is their choosing. They have no idea what they are missing out on. Wont add streaming because it “does not sound like my albums”. Too bad I don’t want my streaming end to sound like records I just want it to sound good and it does! Don’t claim that new music is not good just cause you don’t like it the same you would not want anyone to claim your old music is bad just because they don’t like it. Music is the one and only thing in life that can stand up to time like nothing else can. Like what you like respect what others like but most of all enjoy the music!

The people I feel sorry for are the ones that are unable to evolve and continue learning and exploring. Most of the time we are unable to fully appreciate the era we come of age in until we have the perspective of years and the context of history. I’ve been to a lot of shows, and yes, there can be something about that interaction with the crowd and the collective energy. But for the most part they’re all a blur. And just to be clear, there were only a very few shows that I attended “altered”, so that’s not the reason.

Having hundreds of years of music at your fingertips is amazing. Having it catalogued and annotated and cross referenced is even better. There’s new music coming out all the time too. This isn’t meant to be a static hobby. You’re only shortchanging yourself. I’m envious of the kids being born today and all the new music they’ll be able to hear long after we’re all dead. 

That's the problem with boomers...and that's why Gen X has to clean up all the damage they've done. And I love the 'greatest generation' moniker...classic narcism! 

All good though...no generation is without its flaws.

I was born in 1967. So this Gen Xer bought records. Gen X sees boomers as sell outs and kinda greedy. Parents that wanted to be their children's friends instead of their parents. 

My ex was in the punk scene...she said it was finally a place where boomers just couldn't tread. 

We'll probably be judged harshly by the Millennials. 

But this post is classic boomer sentimentalism. Love it.

Apologies for the cynicism and saltiness...classic Gen X nonsense.


It isn't that I feel for GenX-ers and millennials because they missed out on some golden age of music.  I feel for them because they can't or don't care to experience the wealth of live music that we boomers saw.  Because there was no Tidal or Spotify we boomers had no choice but to see bands live.  It's those real performances of yesterday that drives my current attempts to recreate those experiences in my living room.  That for me is the frisson of the audiophile experience.  I suspect as well it's those memories of living performers in real spaces that drive other audiophiles as well.


they can listen to anything they want on Tidal or Qobuz just like you can.

Listen, the live music scene is vital, you're just dated and perhaps a bit jaded. There are two new 3500 and 6000 capacity live event facilities in Boston to go with HOB and the many smaller clubs who are also shifting to at least a partial live schedule. How about the DJ who gets $500K to play for 60mins to a sold out club in Vegas or Red Rocks in CO. What about EDM and festival culture... Coachella, Ultra, EDC who's going to these two/three day sold out events? It's there, it's all around us. Live shows are back with a vengeance and at every level. Young people are buying LPS at a staggering pace and accounting for 70% of LPs sold. That demo is under 30yo. To say that only boomers experienced "all the great music" is total BS. Ever been to a Bruno Mars show. As entertaining as any show I've seen and I've been to hundreds. How about a U2 concert in '87... Gen X repping those shows, hard. How about Taylor Swift, she sold out an entire tour in what, an hour or something absurd. Who's buying all those tickets? Is she not talented? To say it all died with Hendrix, Joplin and Morrison is just narrow minded. What about Nirvana or Pearl Jam... no talent there? Foo Fighters, Adele... endless. 

I love how a Generation X person on this thread is sad for the next generation coming up and what they'll miss that he experienced. Hmmm, sounds like the Boomer being sad for everyone who came after them, and of course the Greatest Generation feeling sorry for the Boomers. So I agree with the sentiment that some folks are stuck thinking their music/generation is the only good one and refuse to listen/try new stuff. 

I would happily be a 20 year old again in this day and age. Yeah, I'd miss a lot of good stuff, it might be rough, but I also wouldn't have arthritis, thinning grey hair and ED......

Did I just share too much? 😗

I'm a millennial, and honestly there is a lot of truth to what you are saying. My friends and I listen heavily to records from the 60s to the 80s. I remember a lot of cool music growing up in the 90s, and post 2000 you really have to look hard for excellent music. But it still exists.

The difference is that while record companies probably aren't going to own an artist's soul in perpetuity anymore, the economics of music, particularly recorded music are such that few can make it a career. Artist development is not that much of a thing anymore, production budgets are tiny, audio quality is also in a pretty bad state with so many records relying on plugins. I feel more optimistic about electronic artists who can exist exclusively in the digital realm, and that is honestly where most new music that interests me comes from now. Bands tend to be so heavy fried in distortion that I just can't get into the recordings.

People will always defend their turf and get sensitive about generational stuff. I honestly think a lot of it is cope. The reality is that we don't produce true classics like we used to because we don't invest in artists or recordings. I think it also comes with the general decay of culture that happens as commodification and capital eat up everything leaving empty husks. I also wonder as younger people are less likely to own homes, or live in them, that also makes rehearsal a lot more difficult and you might as well become a DJ. This stuff comes in cycles, and I wouldn't be surprised if the next generation of great musicians come from Asia where culture and the economy isn't in such decline.

So yeah, I think you are right that we missed out, but it's always a mixed bag and some things are better now. Boomers had the post-war golden age age where the economy was growing at an enormous pace, a social safety net still existed, homes and education were affordable, and then you had an influx of new drugs etc that made for some inspiration. Our future pretty much sucks, and without that confidence and economic support it is hard to get far in music. But there will always be creative people doing something interesting, and once in a while you get a true genius.




It makes sense that older folks would have a deep sentimentality towards the influences of their own generation. I suppose it’s human nature to make comparisons based on subjective familiarity. However when I look at Giacometti painting it would seem odd to believe it unenlightened just because it belonged to a period where practices differed from the age of Bernini or Donatello. Yes, music is a vastly different discipline and so this may seem like an apple to oranges comparison however I could say the same thing about Steve Reich and Monteverdi. So in this light, it really isn’t as much about music as it is about popular culture. I was born in 1962 so I am at the tail end of the Baby Boomer generation but I listen to very little music from my generation. I like Sly and the Family Stone, Grateful Dead, etc… but that in itself is extremely limited by comparison to the amount of art music written throughout the centuries. So if I am feeling deprived, than it’s really of my own making. 

Gen Xer here, I saw Pink Floyd in LA in the late 70s, David Bowie in Edmonton in the mid 80s, Beck in Geneva in the late 90s, and The Killers in Vegas in the late 2000s, however since then it's been hard to understand/appreciate and thus connect with hip-hop and rap, probably it's mostly me getting old and narrow minded - but then again the Brian Eno/Robert Fripp-inspired band Stars of the Lid from the 2000s sent me down the rabbit hole of 'eclectic' electronica/ambient "New Music". Every year lots of this stuff is produced but never finds a wide audience, nevertheless a LOT of it is fascinating and deeply immersive. My 21 year old daughter listens to Drake on her crappy Beats headphones etcetera and knows nothing about this genre, although kids her age are producing it. It does indeed seem the music scene has been atomized and siloed like so much else has via social media technologies. OTOH when I play her well-recorded "classic" Art Pepper-style jazz on my $$$$ hifi rig she is mesmerized and wants to share that with me, but is of course reluctant to risk sharing that newfound interest with her friends, so there is maybe something to the argument that new technologies and their subsequent market forces have decimated the incentives for music artists or even artists in general, and this has led to a dearth of quality artists/music/recordings.

@kairosman New technologies have given us life like recordings. DSD 128 is jaw dropping. Listening to music live has and will always be my first choice but my inability to travel as I once did makes it so that I’m dependent on audio playback. We are in a digital Renaissance and I have no regrets.

So sad, they never got to see Lawrence Welk while eating Swanson’s tv dinner with mom and dad. 

@goofyfoot agreed that streaming is fantastic and getting better SQ wise every day, so yes I am not a Luddite as many technologies are a blessing.

@oregon yup the 50s might not have been all about great jazz there was indeed a lot of shite on many levels, you're right that too much nostalgia is plain dumb.

The boomer sentiment of the OP aside, there´s one thought I keep having:

I actually pity the young generation for having everything instantly available. A sense of historicity is not part of experiencing music and the thrill of discovery is mostly gone.
On the other hand: The amount of people actually caring for these things has always been low.
Being into music and all that this entails changes. I´d also be disappointed if it always stayed the same.

Part of the valuation of music was having to pay for it.  I remember trying to decide how much money I wanted to spend from my after school jobs and having to make choices.  I was taken aback when file sharing started and kids were outraged at the suggestion that they should have to pay for music

I must be lucky being born in 1964. My playlist has music from the 60s 70s 80s 90s and 2000s! How could anyone just like a small window of music when so much great stuff is out there. One song will be Zepplin and the next one Gangnam style by Psy! 

Happy listening ! 

Top trolling.

Proof, if ever it were needed, that look-back bore Boomer audiophiles know nothing about music. 

The Beatles only became interesting once they retired and became a studio band. But do tell us how Help! is better in mono.

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"Boy the way Glen Miller played.....Songs that made the hit parade.... Guys like us we had it made...those were the days!"

Love those jazz giants and classic rock.  Some good recording and a lot of bad ones.  I like Led Zeplin, but their recording is really not very good.  I think today's music generally is much better recorded.

The reason young people, my kids included, still listen to the great music of the 60s and 70s ("classic rock", singer songwriters, Motown/soul, blues, folk rock, etc., is that nothing has come along to replace it.  Look what's most popular- disposable pop music and rap.  There was a golden age of broadway musicals, and a golden age of jazz, and those are now past- why couldn't this happen to rock?  After the Beatles, everyone wanted to play guitar and start a band; there are not a lot of young Tom Pettys, and Gibson and Fender struggle financially.  Most often if you want to play music now, you do it like Billie Eilish- in your bedroom by yourself with a computer (OK, I know she plays with her brother).  Yes, there are young artists scattered far and wide, (like young Americana artists), but not a mainstream of music in the style we are used to.

My teenage kid watched Squid Game on Netflix and heard "Fly Me to the Moon" and liked it. I played him the original by Frank and now he is a huge Sinatra fan. We watch the Sinatra concerts on blueray and now he is branching out in the genre to other singers and even movies from that era (The Music Man, Guys and Dolls, On the Town, etc). All started because some insane show put a cover version in the soundtrack.

As for any "best era" of anything that just means you are stuck in that era. Nothing wrong with that but fresh stuff is good too. 


Oh man...the drug called nostalgia is running high. It’s pretty telling that the window of "greatest music ever" is limited to one decade of their life. It’s as if Boomers are ashamed of all the great music they grew up listening to as kids and teens. And then decided to fossilize their listening catalog in vinyl amber. That decade had a lot of throw-away pop and rock music and was just as disposable as any other. I’m trying to imagine the Beatles and Stones never bothering to listen to any new music. Imagine they just sat at home and only listened to BBC broadcasts instead of discovering Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Robert Johnson, Elmore James, the lyrical disposability of Leib and Stoller, Charlie Parker, Louis Armstrong, Sam Cooke, etc, etc.

I’m a Gen-Xer and I absolutely don’t think that decade was the greatest ever. It was top notch but not the greatest as it implies that nothing great existed before or since. My parents ran a record store in the 70s and 80s and I grew up listening to all genres and time frames of music. I grew up listening to jazz greats from the 40s, 50s and 60s, Delta blues, R&B and rockabilly from the 50s (an era of music for which the artists the OP lists drew all their inspiration from), 60s R&B, 70s progrock and album rock, and then on to influential genres of the late 70s punk, garage, krautrock, funk, disco, industrial and electronic music, reggae, dub, early DJ culture. 80s power pop, new wave, synthpop, 90s industrial, grunge, rap, EDM, etc., etc.

GenX has 40+ years of great music and influential artists that sadly you may never know the aural pleasures of because you stop listening to music made after 1974. I feel bad for anyone who never opens up their listening ears to new genres and artists. The beauty of music is discovering the new. Sure I can put the Drifters or the Cadillacs box set I have on or replay Let It Bleed or Rubber Soul for the 10,000 time and enjoy music from my childhood but I can also put on some New Pornographers, Calexico, Depeche Mode, Broken Social Scene, Radiohead, Winton Marsalis, Anders Osborne, Bjork, or Richard H. Kirk and further my listening experiences.

I agree. We lived thru the glory days of rock, fm radio, vinyl etc. Those were the days for music!

GenX has 40+ years of great music and influential artists 

Radio before the internet was a push system, you only heard what the broadcasters pushed through the airwaves, like it or lump it.

Today Spotify, internet radio, youtube, etc is a pull system. You can pull any track you want from any period of history, locale, or genre into your playlist instantly. Gen whatever will likely be exposed to more music, not less.

I'm a boomer but I'm SURE every generation says this about other generations. 

digitalization - everything is depreciating, everything is very fast, there is too much of everything ...
soon the owners of big money at the touch of a button on the computer will be able to destroy huge masses of people who do not need or interfere with them ... (this must be stopped)

@kota1 …”As for any "best era" of anything that just means you are stuck in that era. Nothing wrong with that but fresh stuff is good too.”



Growing up through your twenties is a time of maximum hormones and emotional experience / development. Music pairs with the emotional experiences / people and  gets deeply ingrained in your psychology. It brings back memories… which are usually beter in retrospect.

I am grateful that I grew up in an era where "progressive rock" exploded and muscle cars ruled the streets. With the advent of 8-track you could bang through the gears with your Hurst shifter while simultaneously switching tracks on your Mitch Rider and the Detroit Wheels tape. So much fun.

But, I think it is a stretch to assume that later generations don’t seek out and find life experiences that are intellectually and emotional stimulating. They’re just not resonating with, or 100% engaged with the same things we were. It doesn’t mean that life is not offering them generous rewards, and their not pursuing them.

In my teenage years (1960’s) when you got out of school, you either a) did sports, b) had a job to get to, or c) hung out with your friends. The choices to occupy disposable time were pretty limited at the time and a lot of guys and gals grabbed their instruments and headed to someone’s garage. Someone’s parents kindly gave permission for a bunch of kids to make noise in the most acoustically isolated setting economically feasible -- the garage. And, they played and practiced for hours .. and. hours. and .hours. And, some of them got pretty good at it. Epic bands emerged that motivated us to tattoo their names on our skin, set the mood for romantic interludes, or got us so devoted to their craft that we would drive hundreds of miles to campout, and give several day’s pay to see them play. To me, the story is not about the greatest of the great, it’s the sheer number of GREAT bands that emerged from this time period. I particularly appreciate the "one hit wonders" where all the stars lined up on that fateful day and each and every member of the band reached deep inside and produced the best performance of their lifetimes. IMHO, I don’t think we’ll ever see the level of humanity and commitment to creating music as we did in the 60’s and 70’s.

But we can show our gratitude without taking anything away from those who follow. Just become it was important to us, don’t mean it is important to them. I thought the "right of passage to manhood" was to share the experience of a smoky burnout in my hot rod with my 10-year-old grandson. What I thought would be a bonding experience was absolutely terrifying for him. Yes, I did create a memory that will last a lifetime. Just not the one we wanted.

This reminds me of some of the discussions I have had recently with my 12 yr old son about music. He wonders why I don't care for his music and I have been honest in telling him that it is normal for older generations to not like the music of newer ones. However, in this case it isn't even about that for me. I actually do listen to rap (along with just about everything else). He listens to artists like Tech N9ne and Huice WRLD. I just happen to find much of their work to be choppy and crass. I like music that flows and often these songs stop and stutter or outright change tempo in the middle...and not in a way like Stairway to Heaven. To me it is jarring. And what they talk about in the songs, as a parent, I don't believe are the best. I acknowledge that for a long time songs have talked about drugs, sex, etc. but they used to use more metaphors or at least other wor for things. Some of this new stuff, is very direct about it. This includes artists that I do like such as Cardi B. I just wish they would tone that stuff down and I freely acknowledge that is my being an old fuddy duddy. We also need to accept there has always been what we consider good music produced and not so good. The good stuff stands the test of time and is popular 40 yrs later. The crap is mostly forgotten. 

As for the medium, I think we are in a golden age for access. You can still use cd's or LP's if you like them. Heck, vinyl has had a huge resurgence and many of these new artists are releasing new work in that format.  I have purchased several records for my son and some for myself from artists like Syml. And streaming is a complete game changer. Not only can I access amounts of music that I know depending on what strikes my fancy but have had opportunity to experience new artists like Dotan and Anette Askvik that I likely never would have before. This is great for the music business as well as us listeners.

Now, as for the hardware, that is just part of people's ages and what they had access to. My parents never had a hifi system really. So growing up I listened on clock radios, little transistor radios, and eventually little boom boxes. Eventually it transitioned to Walkmans and Discmans. I now have a fairly decent setup with preamp/dac, amp, and so forth.  It has continued to get better through the years as my understanding of the music, and my expectations of it, have evolved. I have also gotten to a point where I can afford nicer equipment.  Let's not come down on the 16 yr old listening to music on their phone or Echo device. They are using what they have. Instead, let's celebrate the fact they are listening to music. We should be helping cultivate that interest and open doors to them for what is possible.