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Required listening: Great music from before you were born



I must admit: I haven’t watched MTV in over a decade. I’m serious. I used to be the kid who keeps up with the charts when I was young1, all the way through the time I was studying in Singapore (circa 1994 to 2004). I felt that music has gone stale since the turn of the millennium, and I’m sure it isn’t just me. You see hits that top charts, but don’t quite stay there as long as the hits from the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s used to.

I also felt that there isn’t much newness to the current melody. You can basically replicate the pop 4-chord structure like an app to new releases and call yourself a musician. Don’t get me wrong – I still think great music exists today, just that it’s getting rare because pop music no longer win over hearts by their records alone, but also things like your personal fashion style, your fame outside of your professional field, and your overall reputation in the showbiz. For this (and many other reasons), I don’t keep up with the charts anymore and has gradually turned to alternative genres (trance, new age, jazz, chillout, etc). Bottom line, what’s now considered good music is just never going to be the same again.

Now I’m glad the latest Marvel tentpole Guardians of the Galaxy, which became the highest-grossing film out of all previous MCU movies (excluding The Avengers), has inspired Millennials to dig through the timeless vinyl records again – yes, the ones our parents keep somewhere in the garage.

Peter Quill’s Awesome Mix, Vol. 1 was a joy to listen to for me, and there were some favorites I want to continue listening to everywhere I go now.

That’ s why I came up with the playlist below. I consider these essential hits that my kids should listen to in the future if they’re ever going to listen to anything. While there’s no way I can stop Miley Cyrus or Nicki Minaj from twerking, the next best thing I figured best doing is to provide this handy list of top-charters that people actually still listen to today, then put it up right next to 21st century pop music for the kids to compare. We’ll see if the current chart-toppers are still going to ring in the public’s consciousness when they’ve grown up.

In the meantime, here’s ear porn for you.



Any favorites?


P.S. Marvin Gaye’s kids vs. ‘copycat’ Thicke. Hmm.



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via Monique Lhuillier on Pinterest


  1. Yes, I could tell what song is playing within a millisecond of the opening of a music video. []
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