Generational Gems: Five Albums Your Parents Were Right About

Between outdated jokes and pointed critiques about all your life choices, who knew your parents could share something worth listening to?

Story by Henry Youtt

Some days, I reminisce about the many times growing up I sat in the backseat of my mom’s sedan, hearing her and my dad criticize just about every song on the radio.

Between clenching my teeth down on my seatbelt and banging my head against the window, I wonder, “how many Grammy nominations will it take for my parents to correctly pronounce Ariana Grande’s name?” Yet, my calculations are cut short by my dad once again listing the many artists of his day who could apparently out-do today’s pop stars.  

Recently, I chose to remove my hands that were pressed firmly against my ears to take note of the recommended artists and obscure titles. Perhaps parents know what they're talking about. In the sea of seemingly dismal suggestions, I’ve found some albums that indeed stand the test of time. Here are a few of those diamonds in the rough.

 

"Violent Femmes" - Violent Femmes (1983)

Though not quite necessarily violent or femme by today’s standards, this folk-punk threesome certainly brings the spirited spunk in instant classics “Blister In The Sun” and “Kiss Off.”

  Photo courtesy of TheQuietus.com

Photo courtesy of TheQuietus.com

 

"3 Years, 5 Months, and 2 Days In The Life Of…" - Arrested Development (1992)

With socially-conscious material and catchy lyricism, you might overlook that the rap group’s music is completely clean. No wonder “Rolling Stone” called the album, rather ironically, “rap your parents could listen to.”

  Photo courtesy of AlbumOfTheYear.org

Photo courtesy of AlbumOfTheYear.org

 

"Young Americans" - David Bowie (1975)

Titled after one of the late icon’s most popular tunes, “Young Americans,” is a time capsule of some of the 1970s most anthemic pop sound. More so now than ever, this record’s worth returning to.

  Photo courtesy of EscapistMagazine.com

Photo courtesy of EscapistMagazine.com

 

"Eat a Peach" - The Allman Brothers Band (1972)

Considering the amount of country rock suggestions I’ve dodged over the years, it’s impressive at the very least that this one actually stuck. A healthy mix of soul and serendipity put the south in southern charm.

  Photo courtesy of UDiscoverMusic.com

Photo courtesy of UDiscoverMusic.com

 

"Songs In The Key of Life" - Stevie Wonder (1976)

With immeasurable musical impact and name-recognition rivaling the greats of today,  there’s no question of the charisma of this remarkably vivacious LP. Dare I say, it’s truly wonderful.

  Photo courtesy of AllMusic.com

Photo courtesy of AllMusic.com