Actually, Gen X Did Sell Out, Invent All Things Millennial, and Cause Everything Else That’s Great and Awful

U.C.L.A. students celebrating graduation in what we believe was 1990, which was an awesome year except for all the endless horrible bad things. (Joe Sohm/Visions of America/UIG, via Getty Images)

By Alex Williams

Gen X set the precedent for today’s social justice warriors and capitalist super-soldiers. Enjoy, and also, sorry!

…This generation is even smaller than it might appear

There is one thing people do get right about America’s Generation X: There aren’t that many of us — roughly 65 million, according to recent data from the Census Bureau. Sandwiched between the change-the-world boomers (around 75 million) and the we-won’t-wait-for-change millennials (approximately 83 million), we were doomed to suffer a shared case of middle-child syndrome, an eight-figure-strong army of Jan Bradys.

And our generation may be smaller than that. Only 41 percent of the people born during those years even consider themselves part of Generation X, according to one MetLife study.

Most people I know who ever copped to X-ness were born in the later ’60s or early ’70s, a window of maybe eight years. (My wife was born in 1979 and has no idea who Fonzie is. Case closed.)

Read more: The tech, music, style, books, rules, films and pills that scream Gen X.Larry Page and Sergey Brin at Google’s headquarters in 2000. (Randi Lynn Beach/Associated Press)

Our generation also showed a disturbing tendency to lose its leading lights due to untimely death. Boomers never got over losing Jimi, Janis, and Jim during a ten-month span of 1970 and 1971, but consider the Generation X icons who were snuffed out at an early age: Tupac Shakur, Jeff Buckley, Brandon Lee, Elliott Smith, Biggie Smalls, River Phoenix, Shannon Hoon, Aaliyah and a certain beloved flannel-clad rocker from Aberdeen, Wash., who has gotten enough ink in Generation X articles.

Read more here:

The definitive Top 25 albums for Generation X

While grunge may be the music most associated with Gen X, the Seattle sound wasn’t the only thing that made up the generation’s soundtrack.

To understand the music of 35- to 50-year-olds, here is a list of the 25 essential Generation X albums:

• Nirvana, “Nevermind”

• Pearl Jam, “Ten”

• Dr. Dre, “The Chronic”

• Radiohead, “OK Computer”

• Rage Against the Machine, “The Battle of Los Angeles”

• Sublime, “Sublime”

• Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Blood Sugar Sex Magik”

• De La Soul, “3 Feet High and Rising”

• No Doubt, “Tragic Kingdom”

• Smashing Pumpkins, “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness”

• REM, “Out of Time”

• The Notorious B.I.G., “Life After Death”

•Depeche Mode, “Violator”

• Jane’s Addiction, “Ritual de Lo Habitual”

• 2Pac, “All Eyez on Me”

• Alanis Morissette, “Jagged Little Pill”

• Fugees, “The Score”

• Soundgarden, “Superunknown”

• A Tribe Called Quest, ‘The Low End Theory”

• Green Day, “Dookie”

• Wu-Tang Clan, “Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)”

• Snoop Doggy Dogg, “Doggystyle”

• Beastie Boys, “Ill Communication”

• Lauryn Hill, “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill”

• U2, “Achtung Baby”

[ List originally published the article Grunge, rap music movements of the early 1990s became Gen X’s soundtrack – Press Telegram ]

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