Did the 70s Dethrone the 60s as the Golden Age for Rock Music?

  What was the single greatest year in rock history?  As with most critical thought experiments, this is a question with no right answer, but one that’s fun and useful to argue about anyway. The way we respond to it probably says more about music’s present than its past. Do we revisit the primordial ooze of 1951, when  Ike Turner ’s Kings of Rhythm recorded “Rocket 88,” a top contender for first rock and roll song? What about 1956 or 1964, when  Elvis ’ and then the  Beatles ’ Ed Sullivan performances heralded successive tidal waves of youth culture? Or 1969, when that culture coalesced at Woodstock, a generation-defining event of the boomers’ own making? In his recent book  Never a Dull Moment: 1971—The Year That Rock Exploded , British music critic David Hepworth argues for a slightly later point on the timeline. In his mind, 1971 “saw the release of more influential albums than any year before or since.” (Hepworth happened to be 21 at the time, which either kills his credibility or

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