The Sound of a Generation

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Every generation has its own soundtrack. The Silent Generation (people born in the '20s and '30s) had big band and swing. Baby Boomers (born in the '40s and '50s) had rock and soul. Generation X (born in the '60s and '70s) had grunge and hip-hop. On this edition of All Songs Considered, we look back at the defining music of those generations and ask what the soundtrack is for the current generation, Generation Y (or Millennials). Bob Boilen talks with Carrie Brownstein (Monitor Mix blogger and former guitarist for Sleater-Kinney), Stephen Thompson (editor for NPR's Song of the Day), and Amy Phillips (senior editor with Pitchforkmedia.com) about the most memorable music of the past 40 years.

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The Sound of a Generation

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Nirvana

  • Artist: Nirvana
  • Album: Nevermind
  • Song: Lithium
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  • "Lithium"
  • Album: Nevermind
  • Artist: Nirvana
  • Label: Universal
  • Released: 1991
 
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Beck

  • Artist: Beck
  • Album: Odelay
  • Song: Where It's At
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  • "Where It's At"
  • Album: Odelay
  • Artist: Beck
  • Label: DGC
  • Released: 2008
 
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Public Enemy

  • Artist: Public Enemy
  • Album: Fear of a Black Planet
  • Song: Fight the Power
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  • "Fight the Power"
  • Album: Fear of a Black Planet
  • Artist: Public Enemy
  • Label: Def Jam
  • Released: 1990
 
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Buzzcocks

  • Artist: Buzzcocks
  • Album: Operator's Manual
  • Song: Sixteen
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  • "Sixteen"
  • Album: Operator's Manual
  • Artist: Buzzcocks
  • Released: 2008
 
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The Byrds

  • Artist: The Byrds
  • Album: Sweetheart of the Rodeo [Bonus Tracks]
  • Song: You Ain't Going Nowhere
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  • "You Ain't Going Nowhere"
  • Album: Sweetheart of the Rodeo [Bonus Tracks]
  • Artist: The Byrds
  • Label: Sony/BMG
  • Released: 1968
 
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Soulja Boy Tell Em

  • Artist: Soulja Boy Tell Em
  • Album: Souljaboytellem.com
  • Song: Crank That (Soulja Boy)
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  • "Crank That (Soulja Boy)"
  • Album: Souljaboytellem.com
  • Artist: Soulja Boy Tell Em
  • Label: Geffen
  • Released: 2007
 
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M.I.A.

  • Artist: M.I.A.
  • Album: Arular
  • Song: Bucky Done Gun
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  • "Bucky Done Gun"
  • Album: Arular
  • Artist: M.I.A.
  • Label: Interscope
  • Released: 2005
 
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Kelly Clarkson

  • Artist: Kelly Clarkson
  • Album: Breakaway [Bonus CD]
  • Song: Since U Been Gone
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  • "Since U Been Gone"
  • Album: Breakaway [Bonus CD]
  • Artist: Kelly Clarkson
  • Label: Sony
  • Released: 2005
 
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Okkervil River

  • Artist: Okkervil River
  • Album: The Stage Names
  • Song: Plus Ones
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  • "Plus Ones"
  • Album: The Stage Names
  • Artist: Okkervil River
  • Label: Jagjaguwar
  • Released: 2008
 

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