The Isolation Generation Playlist – Introduction

About ten years ago, I wrote a book called The isolation Generation. It was a pop culture critique that sought to, if not sum up the experience of a previously undefined group I labeled “Space-Agers,” at least try to make people think and remember their experiences of childhood and young adulthood.

I suggested a series of songs related to this material and I actually created it and gave it out to some of my friends (on the requisite audio cassette tapes!) and it was well received back then. And I wrote liner notes! So, I present you with both the links to the songs and the text I crafted to explain the 175 songs I handpicked to define this group. Sorry I don’t have cassettes to give you, but then again, you probably wouldn’t have anything to play those on anyhow. Better to mp3 it!


In my book, “The Isolation Generation,” I put forth a provocative theory: Each generation is ‘born’ after a very special, and usually emotionally charged happening, which I dubbed a “Magna-Event.” For the Baby Boomers, that event was the Atomic Bomb at Hiroshima – August 6, 1945.

If you are an aficionado of astrology, then you know that this would make the Baby Boomers a group of collective Leos. If behavioral patterns are any indication, how can you not agree? The entire generation radiates all of the traits of a typical Leo personality: strength, desire, regality, power / selfishness, vanity, egoism, pettiness.

There were a lot of demands of “I want my way!” by this group of people. And, they got it. Their stories are reflected in the music of the day.

The generation that followed the Boomers came into being on the launch date of Sputnik I – October 4, 1957. Continuing the comparison, that would make the Space-Agers a group of Libras. Again, the stars seem to support the theory. We examined the generations before us, indecisively. Should we be rebellious or please our parents? In many cases, we decided to wait for an answer to become clear. In most of those cases, one never did.

We looked for assistance, advice, aid. We sought direction. We got little or none. Instead, everyone’s focus was on our big siblings, the Boomers, who were putting on an amazing show, all over the world.

In the accompanying soundtrack, we will explore the pop music of the time, and how it both reflected on and related to our lives.

The first three tapes in the series are from the 1960’s. They deal with the “Manic/Depressive” nature of that decade and with the selling of both culture and counterculture using “Commercials and Psychedelics.”

The final three tapes in the series focus on 1970 and beyond: The dramatic shift in popular music, creating the “Sugar Sweet Seventies,” and the less meaningful music of the disco era and soft rock during our “Coming of Age.”

Please note: none of this is intended to be a criticism against any group, person or movement. Rather, it’s more of a rummage through the attic of our past, looking at what is there, straightening things up, making some sense of it, and, in fact, fondly remembering most of it.

I would never presume to say that this is the definitive explanation for what happened to our lives. But, I ask you to have a look at these observations, then, hold them up, like a template, to your own life’s experiences and decide for yourself. How much of this is true for you?


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