One of the biggest problems in comparing current music to classic rock is that classic rock stations only play the best songs from the best artists from a span of roughly 30 years. And yeah, its pretty good -because they can pick and choose from the best. And those songs or artists are not always the ones that were most popular back in their day, in fact they almost never are. But a modern rock station doesn't have that luxury. They have to play whatever is popular & current, not necessarily what is good. Thats where a lot of the generic post-grunge crap comes in. There is still lots of good stuff out there, and thankfully its easier than ever to find.
Further complicating things is that for nearly everyone, the best music (in their opinion) is the stuff that they grew up on. Some of the other stuff from before or since might be ok, but most of it just doesn't have it. Whatever qualities they are looking for in music, the best place they can find it is stuff from 'their' era. For someone like me, most classic rock is too weak and 80s hair/glam metal was simply embarassing. Most of my favourite albums came out right around the year 2000. Hybrid Theory, Hell Billy Deluxe, Break the Cycle, Lateralus, The Sickness. I know intellectually that as good as some of that is, its not the greatest music ever. But on a more basic level my gut tells me that, nothing from any other period can compare.
Note, if I've gotten any facts wrong in the above, just ignore any points I made with them
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