The Popular Revival of Classic Rock Music


Old music that used to be played on 8-track tapes, Sony Walkmans, and CDs are becoming popular with younger generations.

Anjeli Webb, Photojournalist

Who would have thought that teenagers in the 2020s would be interested in videos depicting people lip syncing to the same kind of music their parents jammed to? Glam rock and folk rock bands from the 1970s and 80s are becoming popular with teens on Tiktok, and similar to the renewed public interest in grunge 1990s, Y2K and hippie 1970s clothing styles, the cyclical recognition is flourishing. It seems that zoomers and baby boomers are breaking the mutual distaste of each others’ music tastes expressed since the beginning of time. Old music connoisseurs and new pop consumers both can agree that there is a new wave of music revival, and that it is well-appreciated. 

One specific rock band that has been revived among Generation Z and Millenials is Queen, consisting of Freddie Mercury, Brain May, John Deacon, and Roger Taylor. London born, Queen has been one of the most popular music groups of all time, producing timeless tunes such as “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We Will Rock You.” Their main success was in arena rock, but they experimented with progressive rock and combined genres. With the 2018 film Bohemian Rhapsody, a new, unexpected fanbase instantly emerged. Teens and young adults went haywire for a band past its heyday almost as if they were there in the original, 1970/80s age of Queen fanaticism. Queen’s music is commonly featured at YLHS School Dances, most recently at Sadies (along with 1974 Lynyrd Skynyrd hit “Sweet Home Alabama” which often has its anti-segregation lyrics overlooked and is mislabeled as hateful). Although Mercury passed away in 1991 and Deacon retired in 1997, the charisma and pure music innovation of Queen that sparked inspiration in older generations continues to do so among younger people.

Another prominent 70s band now well known by young people is Fleetwood Mac. Legendary singer/songwriter Stevie Nicks and her infamous relationships with fellow band members Lindsey Buckingham and Mick Fleetwood have amazed the world, surpassed only by the enthralling folk ballads such as “Go Your Own Way” and “Gypsy.” YLHS Student Holden Mohler offers his own experience with old music. He says that he “started listening to Fleetwood Mac several years ago,” and “related to the music a lot more than modern music which is why [he] continues listening to it today” (Mohler’s favorite Fleetwood Mac song is “Landslide”). The band had another brief resurgence in popularity after a man drinking cranberry juice skateboarded to “Dreams.” Despite being British-American, Fleetwood Mac has found multiple waves of success due to its nostalgic “mystical traveler” undertones typical of the American midwest.

In essence, music is truly timeless and is an artistic way that the present mirrors the past. Whether one is an art rock fan, folksy hippie aesthete, or prefers to jam to bubblegum pop, it cannot be made more clear that familiar classics can hardly ever go wrong.