39 Pop Culture Songs You Need to Hear Now

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Pre-1960s Pop Culture Songs

Pre-1960s pop culture songs were vibrant, catchy, and often reflected the current social and political climate. The 1950s, for example, was a period of post-war optimism, reflected in several popular songs from the era. Many of these songs focused on the themes of love, longing, and the joys of youth. Elvis Presley is perhaps the most iconic figure of 1950s pop culture, and his songs such as “Heartbreak Hotel” and “Jailhouse Rock” are still beloved today. Other era artists, such as Chuck Berry and Little Richard, also left their mark on the genre with hits like “Johnny B. Goode” and “Tutti Frutti,” respectively.

The 1940s and the pre-war years of the 1930s also saw several memorable pop culture songs that are still popular today. For example, the Andrews Sisters “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” is still a classic of the era, as is Glenn Miller’s “In the Mood.” Other popular songs from the period include Benny Goodman’s “Sing, Sing, Sing” and The Andrews Sisters’ “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree.”

In the 1920s, music was often a reflection of the Jazz Age, and popular songs of the era included Duke Ellington’s “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” and George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.” Other popular songs of the era include Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” and Irving Berlin’s “Puttin’ on the Ritz.”

Pre-1960s pop culture songs were vibrant, catchy, and often reflected the current social and political climate. These songs are still beloved today and are still played at parties, weddings, and other events. The classic songs of the pre-1960s era are a testament to the enduring power of music and its ability to capture the spirit of an age.

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1960s Pop Culture Songs

The 1960s were a time of tremendous cultural upheaval and social change, and this was echoed in the pop culture music of the decade. The decade saw the emergence of a new genre of music, known as “psychedelic” or “flower-power” music, characterized by its drug-influenced lyrics, surrealistic imagery, and complex production techniques. This music, folk-rock, soul, and the British Invasion helped shape the decade’s sound.

The Beatles were the most influential band of the decade, and their iconic songs like “A Hard Day’s Night” and “Help!” helped to define the sound of the 1960s. The Rolling Stones, another iconic British band, also significantly impacted the decade’s music with their bluesy, hard-edged sound. Other British Invasion bands like The Kinks, The Who, and The Yardbirds also considerably influenced the direction of popular music.

The 1960s also saw the emergence of folk-rock, a genre that blended traditional folk music with rock and roll sounds. Artists like Bob Dylan, Bob Lind, and Peter, Paul & Mary helped shape this genre, characterized by its socially conscious lyrics and use of acoustic instruments.

Soul music also had a significant influence on the theme of the decade. Artists like Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, and James Brown revolutionized the genre with their powerful vocals and funky rhythms.

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The 1960s also saw the emergence of Motown Records, which was responsible for launching the careers of many artists like The Supremes, Smokey Robinson, and Marvin Gaye. Motown’s sound was characterized by its tight vocal harmonies and its use of catchy melodies.

Finally, psychedelic music became a significant force in the 1960s. Bands like The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and The Doors were at the forefront of this genre, characterized by its surrealistic lyrics and use of drug-influenced imagery.

In conclusion, the 1960s were a time of tremendous cultural and musical change. The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, folk-rock, soul, and psychedelic music significantly influenced the decade and helped shape the sound of popular music.

1970s Pop Culture Songs

The 1970s provided some of the most iconic and memorable pop culture songs. The decade was filled with songs that defined the era and remain popular today, from classic rock anthems to disco bangers. Some of the most iconic pop culture songs of the 1970s include timeless classics like “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen, “Staying Alive” by the Bee Gees, “YMCA” by the Village People, and “My Sharona” by The Knack.

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Rock bands like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and the Eagles crafted some of the decade’s most iconic songs, and the emergence of punk rock made a lasting impression on the music scene. Songs like “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen, “Free Bird” by Lynyrd Skynyrd, and “We Will Rock You” by Queen have become anthems for generations of fans.

The 70s also saw the rise of disco, as bands like the Bee Gees, Donna Summer, and K.C. and the Sunshine Band released some of the most popular dance music. Songs like “Staying Alive,” “Hot Stuff,” and “I Will Survive” have become staples of any 70s dance party and continue to be popular today.

The 70s also saw the emergence of funk, with artists like James Brown, George Clinton, and Bootsy Collins crafting some of the most influential songs of the decade. Songs like “Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine,” “Flashlight,” and “Super Freak” have become timeless classics and have had a lasting influence on music today.

The 1970s provided some of the most iconic and lasting pop culture songs, and their influence can still be felt today. From rock anthems to disco bangers, the decade was filled with diverse music that continues to be celebrated and enjoyed by fans worldwide.

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1980s Pop Culture Songs

The 1980s were a decade of innovation, creativity, and fun. The popular music of the time reflected this and brought us some of the most iconic songs in pop culture history. From synth-pop to hip-hop, punk to power ballads, the 1980s gave us a wide range of musical styles that still have an influence today. Here are some of the most memorable songs of the decade.

One of the most recognizable genres of the time was synth-pop. A-Ha’s classic song “Take On Me” is a prime example of this style. This song has a fantastic video featuring a pencil-sketch animation sequence that has become a classic. The song is also known for its catchy chorus, “Take on me, take me on.”

Another classic 1980s song is the power ballad “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” by Poison. This song has become a staple at weddings and proms, as it’s a romantic and heartfelt song about the problematic side of love. The song also features a memorable guitar solo.

The decade also featured the rise of hip-hop music. One of the most iconic hip-hop songs of the era is “Rapper’s Delight” by The Sugarhill Gang. This was the first rap song to become a mainstream hit and is still a classic. It features a catchy beat and some of the earliest examples of rap lyrics.

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The 1980s also gave us punk music, which was often seen as a reaction to the pop music of the time. One of the most iconic punk songs of the decade is “Anarchy in the U.K.” by the Sex Pistols. This song is known for its hard-hitting lyrics and its attitude.

The 1980s also featured some of the most memorable love songs. One of the most iconic is “(I Just) Died In Your Arms” by Cutting Crew. This song is a classic power ballad about the power of love and has become a staple of romantic movie soundtracks.

The 1980s were a decade of musical creativity and innovation. These are just a few memorable songs from the era that have become pop culture classics.

1990s Pop Culture Songs

The 1990s was an era of immense cultural change, and the decade’s music was no exception. The 1990s saw the rise of many different genres of music, but the most popular of them was pop. Pop music has always been a reflection of the times, and the 1990s was no exception. From boy bands and girl groups to hip-hop and R&B, the pop music of the 90s reflected the era’s changing social values, fashion, and lifestyle.

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One of the decade’s most popular and influential artists was Britney Spears. She burst onto the scene with her debut single “…Baby One More Time” in 1998 and quickly became a symbol of the teen pop genre. Her look and sound were both iconic of the era, and her single is still remembered as one of the defining pop songs of the 90s.

The boy band phenomenon of the 1990s was also a significant part of the pop culture landscape. Groups such as the Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, and The Spice Girls dominated the charts and the radio stations with their catchy lyrics and danceable beats. These boy bands were some of the most successful acts of the decade, and their music is still beloved today.

Hip-hop and R&B were also major forces in the music of the 90s. Artists like Tupac, Biggie Smalls, and Lauryn Hill helped to bring the genre to the mainstream with their cutting lyrics and infectious beats. Their music reflected the struggles and triumphs of African-Americans in the United States at the time, and their songs remain some of the most iconic of the decade.

The 1990s was also a time of experimentation in pop music. The emergence of electronica and rave culture saw the rise of artists like The Prodigy and The Chemical Brothers to the mainstream. These artists blended techno and house music elements with pop sensibilities and created a unique sound unlike anything else at the time.

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The music of the 1990s was a reflection of the changing times, and it still resonates with listeners today. From boy bands and girl groups to hip-hop and R&B icons, the pop culture songs of the 90s are still remembered fondly as some of the most influential and iconic songs of all time.

2000s Pop Culture Songs

The 2000s were an exciting time for pop culture, reflected in the era’s music. Pop music from the early 2000s was heavily influenced by the R&B and hip-hop movement, with artists such as Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Usher dominating the charts. However, many other pop music styles were also explored, and some of the decade’s most iconic songs were born. Here are some of the most famous pop culture songs of the 2000s:

1. “Umbrella” by Rihanna (2007): This record-breaking track is one of the decade’s most popular songs and has been streamed over 1 billion times. Its chorus is instantly recognizable, and its music video is iconic, featuring Rihanna and Jay-Z.

2. “Since U Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson (2004): This song was an anthem for heartache and was a massive hit for Clarkson. It was her first song to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart and has become one of her most recognized songs.

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3. “Crazy in Love” by Beyoncé ft. Jay-Z (2003): This song was the lead single from Beyoncé’s debut solo album and quickly became an international success. It was her first number-one single in the U.S. and won her two Grammy Awards.

4. “Poker Face” by Lady Gaga (2008): This was the lead single from Gaga’s debut album, The Fame. It quickly became a worldwide hit, topping the charts in 20 countries. It has been streamed over 1 billion times and was Gaga’s first number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart.

5. “Hey Ya!” by Outkast (2003): This song was a massive success for Outkast, and it was the group’s first number-one single in the U.S. It was one of the most popular songs of the decade, and it won a Grammy Award for Best Urban/Alternative Performance.

6. “Hey There Delilah” by Plain White T’s (2006): This song became an instant hit and was the band’s first single to reach the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. It has been streamed over 500 million times, and the music video has been viewed over 200 million times.

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7. “I Gotta Feeling” by The Black Eyed Peas (2009): This song was the lead single from the group’s fifth studio album and quickly became a worldwide hit. It was the first single to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart and has been streamed over 1 billion times.

The 2000s were a time of great musical exploration, and some of the most iconic pop songs of the decade were born. From the R&B and hip-hop-influenced hits of Beyoncé and Rihanna to the rock-influenced sounds of Outkast and the pop anthems of Lady Gaga, these songs reflected the times and are still beloved today.

2010s Pop Culture Songs

The 2010s saw the emergence of a new wave of pop culture songs that would become defining anthems for the decade. From the chart-topping hits of Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift to the conscious hip-hop of Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole, the 2010s was a decade of diverse and influential music that shaped pop culture.

Justin Bieber’s “Baby” was one of the decade’s biggest hits and a defining moment in the young singer’s career. With catchy melodies and relatable lyrics, it’s no wonder it became an instant classic. Similarly, Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” was an anthem for young people in the early 2010s, and its infectious chorus was an instant hit.

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Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble” was a call to arms for aspiring rappers, and the song’s conscious messages and intricate wordplay helped to catapult Lamar to the top of the rap game. Similarly, J. Cole’s “No Role Modelz” was an ode to his upbringing and a testament to his success despite his lack of positive role models.

The 2010s also saw the emergence of EDM and trap music as mainstream genres, with songs like Skrillex’s “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” and Future’s “Mask Off” becoming instant classics. These two genres have since become the defining sounds of the decade, and their influence can still be heard in today’s music.

The 2010s were a decade of diverse and influential music that shaped pop culture. From the chart-topping hits of Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift to the conscious hip-hop of Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole, the decade saw various defining anthems that will undoubtedly be remembered for years.

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