The Decade: A Retrospective Introduction

Author and political scientist Francis Fukuyama proclaimed the "end of history" following the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1992. He predicted that a new era of global unity and mind boggling prosperity was upon mankind. Its hard to believe that there was a time when his predictions didn't seem so ridiculous.

Being a 12-year-old living in 1999, it seemed like we were living on the edge of history. I watched reruns of "The Wonder Years", wondering what it felt like to live in exciting times when history was actually being made. I was shocked my dad wasn't concerned about the Y2K "bug". I assumed that with the coming of the new millennium, my closet would be filled with silver clothes and I would watch 3D television.

Ten years later, my dad ended up being right about the Y2K "bug". I've watched the news knowing that the images I was seeing would end up in my children's history text books. I still wear polo shirts, none of them are silver, and television isn't 3D yet (but HD is quite an improvement, isn't it?).

This decade has been a tumultuous and exhilarating for music. In 1999, we didn't have any notions about the direction music would take in the following ten years. I don't think anyone could have possibly predicted the changes and trends that have come.

How was anyone to know in 1999, holding their clunky CD players, that an even smaller device than that would be able to hold and play all the music they owned?

How was anyone to know that owning music would transform from buying a CD at a record store for $15 to buying a song from the comfort of your bedroom for 99 cents?

How was anyone to know that buying music would eventually become unnecessary and getting any song you wanted for free would be as easy as it is today (and still illegal mind you)?

Despite the travails of the record industry, the 2000s have given birth to some of the most innovative, exciting music. Genres overlapped and collided as a generation refused to be classified in their musical tastes and told the world via social networking sites that they liked "everything".

Yet for all the eclecticism the youth of the 00s has displayed, music and culture in general has fragmented. We listen to what we want to listen to. There is no more Ed Sullivan to tell us which bands to follow. There is no more TRL to show us the hottest new music videos. In the place of the cultural funnel that force feeds music for the masses, there is YouTube, there are thousands of blogs, there are friends posting new finds onto their Facebook pages.
Join 17 Tracks in the closing days of the 00s as we look back on the decade.

11/30 - Timeline Part I
12/1 - Timeline Part II
12/2 - Top 25 Albums
12/3 - Top 100 Songs (100-86)
12/4 - Top 100 Songs (85-71)
12/5 - Top 100 Songs (70-56)
12/6 - Top 100 Songs (55-41)
12/7 - Top 100 Songs (40-26)
12/8 - Top 100 Songs (25-11)
12/9 - Top 100 Songs (10-1)
12/10 - Reader's Poll
12/11 - Epilogue

td:ar intro


mckay said...

I'm excited for the 17 Tracks decade wrap-up. Here's to instant nostalgia (another invention of the 2000s, I believe)!

hun*ter said...

I love instant nostalgia.

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