The Year of Abundant Anniversaries

Adam Heymann

Music is one of those things that invoke feelings of youth and novelty to any listener regardless of a piece’s numerical age. In 2013, numerous monumental albums are celebrating anniversaries, from Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon in 1973 all the way down the rock-and-roll spectrum with Minor Threat’s hardcore punk staple Out of Step in ’83. Each one of these albums stemmed from a different branch of musical history and from each grew sub-movements with their own specific characteristics. At the time these musicians were beloved, but it wasn’t until now that we can really look back and see how far they’ve influenced music.

2013 also marks the anniversary of The Beatles’ first LP, Please Please Me. People always say The Beatles are the foundation of modern music… You can imagine what that means for the importance of this album. And being 50-years old, you might think this album is as lame as your parents, but if you listen for it, you will hear things in this album you’ve never heard in contemporary popular music. With an energetic fast pace, inventive vocal harmonies and the use of the rarely used harmonica in its title song, it’s hard not to find The Beatles worthy of such high remarks.

In 1973, only 10 years after The Beatles put a flame to the fuse of popular music, The Stooges came along and doused it in gasoline. Iggy Pop and his band of outlaws created a legendary album called Raw Power that brought punk mentality into the realm of popular music. Songs like “Search and Destroy” and “Raw Power” offer treatises on what it means to be a fun-loving, rowdy, in-your-face punk youth.

Just 10 short years later, Metallica, then just a band of American youths with sights set on emulating their British heavy metal heroes, ended up handily surpassing them in speed and aggression with their blood splattered in Kill ‘em All in 1983Along with this album came a movement that offered young men a place to indulge in their animalistic need to break things, imbibe copious amounts of alcohol and rage in the pit to their hearts content.

Looking back on the anniversaries of 2013 and the anniversaries that will come with the year 2014, it’s hard not to contemplate how we’ll look back on music in 50 years when Please Please Me is 100 years in the past. Maybe Bruno Mars, The Killers and Kendrick Lamar will each be figureheads of their own pop-culture movements.