Beloved Baby Boomer Albums Most Millennials Don’t Know

Laura Martin | October 2, 2019 4:48 pm

Although there are a fair amount of Millennials who claim that they prefer “old school” music or are patrons of “classic rock,” most of them actually know very little about the music from the baby boomer generation. Yes, bands like Led Zeppelin and the Beatles were extremely popular during that time, but there was so much other great music being produced. So, take a look at these popular albums that Baby Boomers love, but most Millennials haven’t even heard of.

Jefferson Airplane: Crown of Creation

Crown of Creation album cover
RCA Victor
RCA Victor

Released by RCA Victor in September 1968, Crown of Creation was the psychedelic rock group Jefferson Airplane’s fourth studio album. Although it wasn’t as commercially successful as other albums such as Surrealistic Pillow, it didn’t fail by any means. The album peaked at No.5 on the Billboard Pop Charts, becoming certified gold by the RIAA.

The tracks “Greasy Heart” and “Lather” also made brief appearances on the Hot 100 chart. The album took longer to record than some others because they had so many commitments regarding concerts and TV appearances.

The Guess Who: American Woman

American Woman cover art
RCA Victor
RCA Victor

The sixth album by the Canadian rock group, American Woman was released in January 1970. Upon its release, the album landed the No.9 spot on the Billboard Pop Albums chart where it stayed for 55 weeks. The album is known for its blend of psychedelic and hard rock, making it popular among listeners.

American Woman was The Guess Who’s most successful album, selling over 20 million copies. It was also the last to feature lead guitarist Randy Bachman until he returned to the group in 1983.

Jackson Browne: For Everyman

For Everyman cover

Jackson Browne’s second album, For Everyman was released in 1937. The album peaked at No. 43 on the Billboard Hot 200 with the album’s single, “Redneck Friend,” landing the No. 85 spot on the Hot 100.

No. 450 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, the record also had features from artists including David Crosby, Glenn Frey, Elton John, Joni Mitchell, Bonnie Rat, and David Lindley. The album received an average score of a B from most critics with some liking it more than others.

Phil Collins: No Jacket Required

No Jacket Required cover
Atlantic
Atlantic

Released on February 18, 1985, No Jacket Required is drummer/singer-songwriter Phil Collins’ third solo studio album. The album featured artists such as Helen Terry, Sting, and Peter Gabriel, with some of the songs based around improvisation.

The record was well-received upon its release, winning three Grammy Awards including Album of the Year. Collin’s most successful album, it landed the No.1 spot in numerous countries, remaining at the top for seven weeks in the United States. Worldwide, it sold over 25 million copies, making it one of the best-selling albums of all time.

Arlo Guthrie: Alice’s Restaurant

Alice's Restaurant cover
Warner Bros
Warner Bros

Released by Reprise Records in September 1967, Alice’s Restaurant is Arlo Guthrie’s debut album. The most popular song on the album was “Alice’s Restaurant Massacre,” which did extremely well. The song was a lengthy 18 minutes and thirty-four seconds long that was an anti-war satire although told a story about Guthrie’s real life.

The album peaked at No. 29 on the Billboard Hot 200 and was a favorite of many. In 1996, Guthrie recorded the same songs for a live album titled Alice’s Restaurant: The Massacre Revisited.

Rick Wakeman: Journey To The Centre Of The Earth

Centre Of the Earth cover
A&M
A&M

Released on A&M Records on May 3, 1974, Journey to the Centre of the Earth is English keyboarder Rick Wakeman’s third album. The songs are a series of recordings of the second of his first two shows at the Royal Festival Hall on January 18, 1974. Based on Jules Verne’s science fiction novel of the same name, it tells the story of a group of men who follow a passage that leads to the Earth’s center.

Actor David Hemmings narrates the story whole Wakeman is joined by the English Chamber Choir. The album had mixed reviews with some critics calling it “appalling” and other genuinely appreciated it.

Earth, Wind & Fire: That’s The Way Of The World

That's the Way of the World cover art
Columbia
Columbia

The soundtrack for the film of the same name, That’s the Way of the World was released under Columbia Records on March 15, 1975. After its release, the album topped the Billboard Hot 200 for three weeks and as No.1 on the Billboard Top Soul Albums chart for five weeks.

Billboard reviewed the album, calling it “a very tightly produced and performed package.” Some critics even went so far as to call it “one of the strongest albums of the 1970s.” It later was nominated in 1975 and 1976 for an American Music Award for Favorite Soul/R&B Album.

The Isley Brothers: The Heat Is On

The band posing
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Incredibly, The Heat is One by the funk/rock group Isley Brothers’ is the group’s thirteenth studio album. Released on June 7, 1975, it covers a range of genres utilizing electric and acoustic instruments such as piano, guitar, and synthesizer.

Within the first month of its release, the album sold more than 500,000 copies and spent 40 weeks on the Billboard Pop Albums chart, growing to become the Isley Brothers’ first No. 1 album in the United States. The album went on to become double platinum by the RIAA and is widely considered to be one of their best works.

War: Why Can’t We Be Friends?

Why Can't We Be Friends cover
United Artists
United Artists

Released by the funk group War, Why Can’t We Be Friends is their seventh studio album, released on June 16, 1975, under United Artists Records. The two singles, “In Mazatlan” and “Low Rider” were both nominated for Grammys in 1976. The title track has been covered several times.

Although the album is best known for a few particular songs, as a whole it worked well and every track helped it rise to the top of the R&B chart.

Steve Miller band: Fly Like An Eagle

Fly Like An Eagle cover
Capitol Records
Capitol Records

The ninth studio album by Steve Miller band, Fly Like An Eagle was released in May 1976 in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Japan.

The album’s three singles, “Space Intro,” “Take the Money and Run,” and “Rock’n Me” all received quadruple Platinum certifications from the RIAA with the album being ranked No. 445 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Rolling Stone also went on to vote it as the best album of 1976 although some other critics claimed it felt “outdated.”

Bonnie Raitt: Nick Of Time

Nick Of Time cover
Capitol Records
Capitol Records

After years of struggles in both her professional career and personal life, Nick of Time came at the perfect time for Bonnie Raitt, becoming a commercial breakthrough. Released on March 21, 1989, the album topped the Billboard Hot 200 chart, won three Grammys including Album of the Year, and sold 5 million copies.

In 2003, the album was ranked No. 230 on Rolling Stones 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, it was also featured in the book 1001 Albums You Must Listen To Before You Die.

Phil Ochs: Pleasures Of The Harbor

Pleasures of the Harbor cover
A&M Records
A&M Records

His fourth album for A&M Records, Pleasures of the Harbor was released in 1967, and is recognized as one of Ochs’ less vibrant albums compared to his previous three. The album is notable for its blending of genres such as classical, rock, folk, creating a folk-pop sound.

The most popular track, “Outside of a Small Circle of Friends,” had a reference to marijuana which was misinterpreted, and therefore banned from being played by numerous stations. This resulted in the song never making it onto the charts.

Blood, Sweat & Tears: Blood, Sweat & Tears

Blood Sweat and Tears album cover
Columbia
Columbia

A self-titled album, Blood, Sweat, and Tears, was the second album by the group of the same name, released in 1968. The song had five successful Top singles and went on to peak on the United States charts for an impressive seven weeks.

In 1970, the record won the Grammy Award for Album of the year and has been certified quadruple Platinum by the RIAA. Between the United States and Canada, the album sold more than four million copies.

Tracy Chapman: Tracy Chapman

Tracy Chapman cover
Elektra
Elektra

Released on April 5, 1988, under Elektra Records, Tracy Chapman isthe debut and self-titled album of singer/songwriter, Tracy Chapman. When trying to produce the album, many labels didn’t think that her music was would be popular.

Chapman even commented, “I never thought I would get a contract with a major record label […] All the time since I was a kid listening to records and the radio, I didn’t think there was any indication that record people would find the kind of music that I did marketable.” The record ended up becoming successful with Rolling Stone noting that “it caught everyone’s ear in the hair-metal late Eighties”

Dire Straits: Brothers In Arms

Brothers in Arms cover
Vertigo
Vertigo

Released by Vertigo Records on May 13, 1985, Brothers in Arms is the fifth studio album by the British rock group, Dire Straits. After its release, the album went on to become a No.1 worldwide, spending 14 non-consecutive weeks at No.1 on the UK Albums Chart and nine weeks at the No.1 spot on the Billboard Hot 200.

It is the eighth best-selling album in the history of the United Kingdom, certified nine-times platinum after selling over 30 million copies.

Robert Cray: Strong Persuader

Strong Persuader cover
Mercury
Mercury

The fifth studio album from Robert Cray, Strong Persuader, was released on November 17, 1986, by Mercury and Hightone Records. The album is considered to be Robert Cray’s breakthrough album, selling over 2 million copies and breaking into the mainstream.

Contemporary reviews of the album are glowing with John Pareles of Rolling Stone stating that the album is “a version of blues and soul that doesn’t come from any one region, building an idiom for songs that tell with conversational directness the stories of ordinary folks.” It was also ranked No.42on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Albums of the 80s.

Tina Turner: Private Dancer

Private Dancer
Capitol
Capitol

Released in May 1984, Tina Turner’s Private Dancer is Turner’s fifth solo studio album. The recording of the album took place in several different studios in England and was produced by Rupert Hine, Martyn Ware, and Ian Marsh. Recently divorcing from her husband, Ike, Private Dancer helped turn her into a successful solo star.

The album became popular worldwide, earning multi-platform certification in the United States, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Her best-selling album in North America, the record had seven singles which helped to promote the album.

ZZ TOP: Deguello

Deguello cover art

Released in November 1979, Deguello is the sixth studio album by the southern rock and roll band ZZ Top. “Deguello” means decapitated in Spanish, although “a deguello” can mean “no quarter” and a fight to the death.

The album was released under Warner Bros and was produced by Bill Ham, recorded by Terry Manning, and mixed by Bob Ludwig. The album landed the No.24 positions on the Pop Album chart and No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 200.

Supertramp: Breakfast In America

Breakfast In America album cover eakfast-in-America-Album-Photo
A&M
A&M

Released by English rock group Supertramp, Breakfast in America was released by A&M Records on March 29, 1979. “Gone Hollywood,” “The Logical Song,” “Goodbye Stranger,” and “Breakfast in America” all became US Billboard hits with the title track and the “Logical Song” making it into the Top 10 in the United Kingdom.

The album went on to win two Grammys in 1980 and was certified quadruple platinum, selling 4 million copies in the US, making it Supertramp’s best-selling album.

The Cars: The Cars

The cars album cover
Elektra
Elektra

The Cars was a self-titled debut album of the American new wave band of the same name. With singles such as “Just What I Needed,” “My Best Friend’s Girl,” and “Good Times Roll,” the album saw considerable success, remaining on the chart for 139 weeks.

The album was described by AllMusic as a “genuine rock masterpiece” and that all nine songs were “classics.” Being the Car’s debut album, it received even more attention and established the band as one of the biggest bands of their time.