Millennials Recognize Songs From Past Decades Better Than Modern Music

A new study shows Millennials are better at knowing songs from previous decades than songs in recent history.

The study from New York University found the generation has three distinct phases in collective memory. 

The first phase showed a steep drop-off in recognition for music from recent years. Recognition steadily declined year by year from 2015 to 2000.

After that, there was a “stable plateau” from the 1960s to 1990s, before recognition dropped off during the 1950s and 1940s.

Researchers picked songs that topped the Billboard charts to quiz participants on. They found some hits, like “When A Man Loves A Woman” by Percy Sledge (1966), “Baby Come Back” by Player (1977), and “The Tide is High” by Blondie (1980), were all very recognized by Millennials.

However, some songs did not make it to the musical canon of the Millennial generation, like “Knock Three Times” by Dawn (1970), “I’m Sorry” by John Denver (1975), and “Truly” by Lionel Richie (1982).

The study surveyed 643 people from NYU and the greater New York metropolitan area. 

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