Help me catch up on rock music for the past 40 years

I’m still kind of stuck on 60s music, but as my kids are getting older I think I should learn a little more about what’s come out since the Beatles broke up. What should I listen to in order to catch up? Anything from the 70s, 80s, 90s, this past decade, whatever it’s called, any suggestions would be appreciated.

Not looking for any specific quantity - anything from one album or group to extensive top ten lists would be great.

Also, FWIW, I have somehow kept up with Springsteen so I guess there is hope for me.

Your best bet is to find streaming online radio stations, that play music from the 70s and 80s etc and listen for awhile.

Actually you can do this with iTunes and it’s free. I’m sure other websites have lists of online radio stations that play specific decades, but I found it easier to located specific types of online radio through iTunes.

Then just listen, obviously you need high speed internet for that.

Excellent suggestion. If you want to learn the music, you’ve got to hear the music. Surf around and you’ll find some online radio that meets your needs.

I’d also suggest just getting an overview of the major bands and genres that came and went, so you have some context in which you can understand what you’re listening to. Here, for example, is a wikipedia page that gives a very general overview of the various genres, major acts, and so on of the 1970s, with links if you want more specific information about a topic. In conjunction with the listening you’ll need to do, this page would seem to be a good place to start learning about 70s music (but only start; there is much more you could learn than can be contained on a wikipedia page). I would imagine that there are similar pages for other decades that would provide similar starting points.

XM Radio channels 7 and 8.

Just remembered–Rhino Records released a couple of box sets covering the 70s and 80s, and it turns out that their respective Wikipedia pages have track listings of what the box sets contain. Again, these tracks are starting points to learn about bands, genres, and themes; but I’d suggest that you couldn’t go wrong in learning the music of these decades by listening to the songs on the track lists.

Have a Nice Decade: The 70s Pop Culture Box

Like Omigod! The 80s Pop Culture Box (Totally)

Rock music disappeared quite suddenly in the late 90s. Aside from a few novelty acts like the White Stripes, it was displaced by Hip Hop on one end and bubblegum pop on the other. Keep moving, folks, nothing to see here.

Do you have one or more classic rock FM stations in your city? That would be a good place to start. Plenty of Eagles music, Van Halen, Aerosmith, Bob Seger, Led Zeppelin, bands of that nature. Also, try AOL Radio, Shoutcast, etc. On sites like Pandora, you can type a name of an artist, and it will create a station playing not only the selected artist, but bands that play similar music.

AVOID THIS SERIES! Any disk in Rhino’s original “Have a Nice Decade” series could double as an an entry in “The Worst Music of the Seventies.” It might be best if you skip the 70s entirely.

You are talking about 30-40 years of lost music… If I understand the OP, he is asking what he missed… rather than list sources to find music, here is the history, from my perspective (I am sure it is quite esoteric and full of holes and some errors):

70’s: Rock: The Beatles were now defunct, Stones continued, Aerosmith flourished, numerous other bands carried the torch of southern rock (e.g., Allman Bros, Lynyrd Skyner), CSN(Y) grew in fame, metal, punk, was around the corner… Springsteen and Dylan grew roots which were strong, art rock (Yes, Genesis, Jethro Tull, Kansas) emerged…

80’s: Rock, Metal, New Wave: Rock lived on, many of the same bands survived (Stones, Aerosmith), many others grew to fame as MTV reared its head… Clash, Smiths, Echo and the Bunnymen, XTC, Elvis Costello, Blondie defined New Wave music, while rock/pop/art-rock continued on… “hair bands” began to divide from metal bands, forming an utterly regrettable and forgettable lineage of frizzy-haired quasi-rockers… Guns and Roses perhaps owned the decade as rockers, Metallica as metal, while REM began to define an underground American college new wave/rock movement.

90’s: “grunge” emerged with some bands growing to fame only to split (Soundgarden, Mudhoney), lose members to death (Alice in Chains), or survive long-term (Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers)… hair bands died off, while others grew to define their genres (Metallica, Bon Jovi)… 90’s was somewhat without definitive personality as new pop was prolific in the later half of the decade as the internet changed methods of sharing/promoting/etc.

hope that makes sense… I am interested in others’ perspectives by decade…

Check out the Allman Brothers, 90s through current. They are as good as they have ever been. One of their guitarists, Warren Haynes has an awesome band, Gov’t Mule. The other guitarist, Derek Trucks has a great band as well.

The chili peppers go back to LA in 1983 and would more accurately be pigeonholed as punk rather than grunge.

Sorry, I do not mean to be rude–but this attitude always disturbs me. Sure, ninety percent of what you’ll hear on commercial radio is repititious or deviod of soul or both-that’s how mainstream media has worked for quite some time now. But if you just do a little looking around, there is-as there always has been-a vast number of worthy rock 'n roll artists that deserve your attention, and these days, what with the internet and all, they are more accessible than ever.
To the OP: since you dig the Beatles, I highly recommend checking out the late Elliot Smith (90’s, early 00’s).

Ditto this. I just looked over the track list for their 70s series. It looks like the playlist for a “cool oldies” station. There are some gems in those discs, but by in large it manages to miss every single one of the greatest and most important and most popular rock bands of the decade. Which is quite a feat, considering they have seven discs of material.

Also, much of Adrian Belew’s solo work shows his Beatles roots…

During the span of 40 years, there has been a veritable explosion of genres and musical evolutions. In some ways, there has been a parallell evolution with white and black music, where white music has for example seen folk rock, progressive rock, punk, postpunk, new wave, indie rock and grunge, and black music has seen for example soul, jazz, disco, hip hop, house and r’n’b. But these genres all influenced eachother and had prominent artists of any ethnicity of course.
Notable artists are too many to mention, it’s especially dependant on genre. I would suggest something like a “1001 records that you must listen to” that is presented in chronological order and you might see the overall trends. Then work yourself from there, artist wise.

Thanks for all the responses. I’ll try to get to as many as possible. I got a new ipod for Christmas with room for about a gazillion songs, and my project will be to load it with as much as possible from the above suggestions.

I tried listening to streaming rock stations with some success. After about four hours of 70s music, I realized that I already knew enough about that decade. Seems like about 25% of it is stuff that I’m familiar with - Elton John, Rod Stewart, Rolling Stones - and thought of as 60s music; and 75% of it is disco - nuff said.

I started listening to 80s music via itunes today and it’s a much different experience. I haven’t even heard of 90% of the groups I listened to, and none of it is grabbing me. That’s why I really appreciate the specific suggestions.

I don’t think their goal was to rehash the greatest hits of the biggest bands of the decade. Those are available from other commonly-available sources. Rather, I’d suggest their goal was to do just what they did–provide an overview of the music of the decade. Yes, the Stones and the Who and Aerosmith and Queen and Styx had a number of hits in the 70s; but there was other music as well. This is what I took the OP to mean: that he wanted to know more than just the bands we remember today. This is what the collections I mentioned do–prove that there as more to the decades than just megabands playing sold-out stadium concerts. There were also plenty of one- and two- or maybe three-hit wonders who helped shape and define the music of the decade.

If you want to know fine literature, you study Shakespeare and Dickens and maybe Mark Twain. But if you really want to know fine literature, then in addition to the above, you study Chaucer and Spenser and Marvell and Donne and Marlowe and Wordsworth and Swinburne and Shelley and Keats and Pound and Lowell and Auden and Hawthorne and Poe and Heller and Hilton and Stoppard and Atwood and Ondaatje and … In short, just as there is a lot more to literature than Shakespeare, there is a lot more to 70s music than many remember today. This is what I was trying to get across to the OP when I linked to the track lists.