The Playlist of the Future: Who Survives?

I watched an interesting thing the other day on YouTube: a dude who’d done a deep dive into Spotify to suss out the pop/rock artists he predicts will still be popular in 2100, about 75 years from now. The criteria? They haven’t released any new music in at least 30 years but are still tearing it up on the streaming side. He dug into numbers and settled on four bands that would likely still be popular at the start of the next century (Boomers, feel free to insert your Zager and Evans reference here).

His picks? The Beatles (no shocker), The Police, Nirvana, and Queen. The common ingredient? He cites their “youthful exuberance” as the secret to the staying power of their music.

For some context, 75 years ago it was 1949. At that time, artists topping the charts included Perry Como, the Andrews Sisters, and Doris Day.

So along those lines, I’d like to submit four bands/artists of our generation that I think will still get the people in silver jumpsuits smiling, dancing, and singing along.


One of the beauties of punk was its simplicity, and The Ramones fully embraced that. Listeners of the future can be as sophisticated, wired-in, or coolly connected as they want to be. But when they hear the opening of “I Wanna Be Sedated” or “Blitzkrieg Bop” their Lizard Brain will respond. Because even 75 years from now, Lizard Brain will make you want to pogo.


The Monkees began as a TV version of The Beatles, so the songs originally crafted for them were catchy as hell. The guys in the band were no slouches in writing and performing their own songs and had a very respectable music career sans other writers and studio producers. However, my guess is that their early chart hits like “I’m A Believer” (Neil Diamond),  “Pleasant Valley Sunday” (Gerry Goffin), and “Last Train to Clarksville” (Boyce and Hart) will forever remain ear candy. Even if ear candy comes in a futuristic capsule form.


Wonder has many tracks, like “Living for The City,” that originally appealed to the more thoughtful, socially conscious side of 20th-century listeners. But we can’t overlook the many sheerly exuberant songs he did back in the day, starting as far back as his time billed as “Little Stevie Wonder.” Joyful tracks like “Fingertips,” “I Wish,” “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” and “Isn’t She Lovely” will be playing through 22nd-century earbuds, guaranteed.


Even if the car is a flying one, the appeal of aimlessly driving it around the streets of a floating city on a Saturday night will remain eternal. Nobody captured Teen Culture quite like the Beach Boys. And as climate change continues to impact us in the future, memories of harmless days of sun, surf, and sand will prove even sweeter. At the bottom of it all are the genius melodies and arrangements of Brian Wilson; like Mozart, those will remain eternally pleasing to future ears.


Now, it’s your turn. Put on your space goggles, gaze into the future, and make your best guess: what pop/rock artist, band, or song(s) will still resonate with music lovers 75-plus years from now? (And sorry: if you say The Captain and Tennille, we can’t be friends).

-Cindy Grogan

Photo: Michelangelo Buonarroti (Pexels.com)

12 comments on “The Playlist of the Future: Who Survives?

  1. Mark Hudson

    If The Beatles survive (as I believe they will) then surely the eternal yin to their yang, The Stones, will too!

  2. Gregg P

    I bow to your wisdom in selecting The Monkees, Cindy. We are of the same tribe.

  3. Kevin O'Leary

    Excellent list, Cindy! The Beach Boys, especially, are timeless….

  4. CHOICE list, Cindy!

    I can hear my beautiful Dad to a teenage me now, “Ya know, that guy Beethoven has lasted “a couple” a years.”

  5. Scott R. McKinley

    I like the Ramones very much, but if you get down to catchy tracks that lead to generational ear candy (like The Beatles and yes, The Monkees – home run there), I don’t think ‘I Wanna Be Sedated’ has the staying power. Perhaps. Maybe if they did a cover of ‘Love Will Keep Us Together’? 😆

    More importantly: I think you overlooked Bob Dylan.

    • Good point; however, I was going for the same criteria as with the YouTube piece on what makes an artist still have appeal. His judgement was “youthful exuberance” as the secret sauce. Don’t think Dylan falls into that category, but his work is timeless nonetheless.

  6. Harry S.

    In 2100, are we talking as museum stuff or music Literature or still being played on some popular service?
    While I don’t disagree with a lot of the suggestions, and it’s fun to speculate, I think it’s going to be more than pop music that stands the test of time.
    The Who’s Tommy and Who’s Next are great music and lyrics. I think there will always be a market for hard rockers, so I would throw in Deep Purple’s Machine Head and Van Halen’s debut album as representative of the genera. And, perhaps Jethro Tull’s Aqualung and Black Sabbath’s first three albums. Lastly, Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run and Born In The USA will forever be appreciated and enjoyed by all.
    Just my $0.02.

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