I thought this was an interesting article:
Feel free to skip the lower portion of the article, in which the author describes at length the process of his re-discovery of the Beatles. What I thought was most interesting was that the top-selling album of the "aughties" was from a band that broke up 40 years ago.
Well, it got me thinking. Because I have been spending the last month or so listening to new music and trying to come up with my top picks of 2009. Music I'd been told about and music I'd read about. And although I can come up with a few really good albums, I'm having trouble thinking of the last time I heard anything "classic." And when I say "classic," I don't mean something that I think is great, but rather something that I think will be listened to in 40 years and considered with the kind of reverence bestowed upon those classics that I just mentioned. By comparison, I think "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots" was great, but R.E.M.'s "Automatic For the People" is classic.
Forty years from now, what will be our "Abbey Road" or "Dark Side of the Moon" or even "Velvet Underground and Nico"?
My preference would be to say "Kid A" or Brian Wilson's "Smile," but realistically, those are far too eccentric to have the mass appeal that a classic really needs.
Incidentally, Rolling Stone has put out their Top 100 Best Albums of the Decade:
I'm sorry, but I just can't really put much stock in a list like this where the top 25 includes 3 raspy-voice Dylan albums; 2 each of past-his-prime Springsteen, U2, and Jay-Z; and one Coldplay. Call me biased (or maybe just hopeful), but wasn't there more interesting music in the last decade than these bands?