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10 Essential Boomer Albums

Music critic Nelson George shares his list

'Highway 61 Revisited' (1965)

Artist: Bob Dylan

Dylan rankled folk fans by going electric, but he also expanded his audience and influenced a generation with songs that have been analyzed (and lionized) ever since.

Archives/Getty Images

'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' (1967)

Artist: The Beatles

The culmination of years of artistic maturation and bold experimentation. The original rock concept LP.


'What's Going On' (1971)

Artist: Marvin Gaye

The sexy love man took on civil rights, the environment and inner-city turmoil, changing the tone of R & B, both lyrically and musically.

Jan Sandvik Editorial/Alamy

'Tapestry' (1971)

Artist: Carole King

King's songs of love lost, found and wasted spoke to the Me Generation's turn toward introspection.


'Led Zeppelin IV' (1971)

Artist: Led Zeppelin

Mystical and bombastic, acoustic and brash, Zeppelin defined '70s rock (and FM radio).


'Exile on Main St.' (1972)

Artist: The Rolling Stones

Incorporating blues, soul, country and gospel, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards dug deep into the era's spiritual malaise and made the Stones' most emotional album.

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

'Innervisions' (1973)

 Artist: Stevie Wonder

The best of a series of innovative, hit-filled albums Wonder made in a 1970s creative surge, Innervisions changed the sound of popular music.


'Eagles: Their Greatest Hits 1971–1975' (1976)

Artist: Eagles

The Southern California rock band was both romantic and cynical, diluting any sweetness with a bitter edge that reflected the compromises of adulthood.

DWD-Media / Alamy

'Exodus' (1977)

Artist: Bob Marley & the Wailers

The sensual, spiritual album that helped make reggae one of the most popular musical genres in the world.

Ted Morrison

'Saturday Night Fever: The Original Movie Sound Track' (1977)

Artist: Various

The percolating rhythms of disco captured the zest, decadence and hustling of the dance boom.


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