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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.

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  • '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.

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  • '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.

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  • 'Tapestry' (1971)

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

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  • 'Led Zeppelin IV' (1971)

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

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  • '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.

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  • '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.

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  • '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.

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  • '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.

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  • '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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As the last of the Baby Boomer Generation turns 50 and more baby boomers are retiring, AARP celebrates the generation that changed the world.

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