T Nation

Timeless Music


I thought it would be interesting to see what artists or songs others think are truly "timeless", in that their material could be released today and still see considerable airplay even though many years/decades have passed.

It doesn't matter whether these artists actually altered the path of music (or their genres) when originally released. I'm just looking for music that, while they may remind you of a certain period in your life, when you hear them you don't immediately think "80s music" (or 90s, 70s, etc).

A few off the top of my head (and this doesn't apply to their entire repertoire): Zeppelin, Stones, The Police, INXS. A TON of 90's groups come to mind but that sound is still very prevalent now (although Dr. Dre's "The Chronic" certainly comes to mind).

I'm having a hard time coming up with more (which is why I posted). Again, these aren't just "classics" (hell, you may not even like the song/artist), but music which sounds like it could be getting first-time play on the radio today.


Off the top of my head....

Inner City Blues - Marvin Gaye

Actually the whole "What's Going On" album is timeless.


I listen to a lot of stuff from early Motown, doesn't get much better then that.

The Temptations
Otis Redding (not an actual Motown artist)
Marvin Gaye
The Four Tops
The Jackson 5
The Miracles (later Smokey Robinson and the Miracles)


The Beatles.


Even Flow




This came to mind as soon as I read the thread title.

I hadn't listened to that album in ages, and when it comes up on pandora at work my cube and the one next are all head bobbing and typing to the beat.

Fallin' back on that ass with a hellified gangsta' lean
Gettin' funky on the mic like a' old batch o' collard greens
It's the capital S, oh yes, the fresh N double O P
D O double G Y D O double G ya' see
Showin' much flex when it's time to wreck a mic
pimpin' ho's and clockin' a grip like my name was Dolomite
Yeah, and it don't quit
I think they in a mood for some mothafuckin' G shit


A lot of songs from Pink Floyd and Metallica. I could see people listening to artists like them hundreds of years from now.


Manfred Mann - Blinded by the light

David Bowie - Under Pressure


It wasn't until I sat down and looked at the dates that I realized grunge came and went in the 90s. Same thing with Hardcore punk and the 80s.

The only thing more baffling than the idea that Spoonman came out in 94 is that Police Truck came out in 87.


Damn, how could I forget Marvin? Excellent choice. Actually, "What's Going On" is probably applicable to just about every year/time since it came out (except maybe the late 90s).


Two good choices. I thought about Floyd initially but after I started recalling some specific songs, I'm sure I would be hearing many on the radio today. However they didn't release "songs" they released brilliant albums which would definitely still be highly regarded regardless of when they were released.

In the same vein as Floyd, I think, is Steely Dan in that they really utilized the studio to create their sound. While it would probably be labeled "Adult Contemporary" now it would still have a following. These guys are a couple of my all time favorites.


True, their albums are classic masterpieces in their own right.


For the fucking win


I dare anyone to play these at a bar.


Excellent. As for the last one, fuck you.


Stevie ray vaughan, jimi hendrix.


Why? So I can have a bunch of drunk chicks pretending it's karaoke night?


Motherfucker, well played though, well played.



That album is bad ass.


I have to second Otis Redding, as well as:

Sam Cooke
Etta James
James Brown
Bo Diddley
Muddy Watters

I saw Hewie Lewis and the News at a county fair last week and those old songs are still great. He's got a really tight band still, and his new guitarist was really good. Maybe one of the best I've heard live in a long time. It was a really fun concert in the middle of a fairgrounds racetrack, people coupling up and dancing, people stomping the bleachers in time... They even did a few songs acapela which was pretty cool.

Timberlake songs are really good too. Love Stoned/Think that She Knows is a track I pull up on the iPod a lot lately.

Pearl Jam Ten
Nirvanna Nevermind
Stone Temple Pilots Core
Michael Jackson Bad

I'd also have to say various selections from bands like Smashing Pumpkins, Blind Melon, Green Day, and Weezer, Red Hot Chili Peppers (Higher Ground) would qualify as well.

Beastie Boys.

It's interesting how you guys mentioned The Chronic, since a lot of that album sampled old funk songs, slowed them down and made them heavier... Awesome album