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Most everyday situations you can look at and know, definitively, that there will be an appropriate GIF for that situation. But what about years, or years in music? Is it really possible to sum up any year in a single moving image?

A musician called Joshua Carrafa seems to think so, and he’s been doing a pretty good job so far on his Tumblr page, Music History In GIFs. He’s been cataloguing musical history year by year with retro videogame-style 8-bit animations, and providing captions to give an insight into his process. Starting in 1964 and so far working all the way up to 2012, he sometimes creates more than one GIF for a year to give a little more context, but it’s surprising how much just one big story or artist can sum up a big year. We've selected a GIF for each year from 1964-2012 – take a look below to see how well he encapsulates each era.

1964


1964. the beatles play the ed sullivan show.... - music history in gifs

1965


1965. bob dylan plays his first electric set at... - music history in gifs

1966


1966. the rolling stones release paint it, black.... - music history in gifs

1967


1967. The Who play The Smothers Brothers Comedy... - music history in gifs

1968


1968. Johnny Cash says hello to a bunch of... - music history in gifs

1969


1969. Four dudes hang out in St John's Wood,... - music history in gifs

1970


1970. Black Sabbath releases Paranoid. It's so... - music history in gifs

1971


1971. Led Zeppelin releases their fourth album,... - music history in gifs

1972


1972. T. Rex plays Empire Pool in Wembley. Ringo... - music history in gifs

1973


1973. David Bowie releases Aladdin Sane, his... - music history in gifs

1974


1974. Ramones play their first show. Oldie... - music history in gifs

1975


1975. Kiss comes alive by releasing their... - music history in gifs

1976


1976. Thin Lizzy has to cancel their american... - music history in gifs

1977


1977. Pink Floyd releases Animals,. They sang... - music history in gifs

1978


1978. Devo releases their debut album, Are We Not... - music history in gifs

1979


1979. Frank Zappa releases Sheik Yerbouti. He... - music history in gifs

1980


1980. The Cure releases their US Debut, Boys... - music history in gifs

1981


1981. MTV is launched. At first, it's cool. But... - music history in gifs

1982


1982. The first album ever to be released on CD... - music history in gifs

1983


1983. Michael Jackson debuts the moonwalk on Mo... - music history in gifs

1984


1984. Talking Heads release the concert... - music history in gifs

1985


1985. Marty McFly travels back in time to 1955 to... - music history in gifs

1986


1986. Jello Biafra and Alternative Tentacles are... - music history in gifs

1987


1987. Rick Astley pulls the biggest prank in the... - music history in gifs

1988


1988. Sonic Youth releases Daydream Nation. It... - music history in gifs

1989


1989. Madonna releases Like a Prayer and plays... - music history in gifs

1990


1990. MC Hammer Scores a ridiculously popular... - music history in gifs

1991


1991. Nirvana releases Nevermind. Grunge is in... - music history in gifs

1992


1992. Guns N' Roses releases their sweeping... - music history in gifs

1993


1993. Prince changes his name to... - music history in gifs

1994


1994. Weezer releases their debut album. They... - music history in gifs

1995


1995. Tupac releases his most sensitive... - music history in gifs

1996


1996. Beck releases his fifth album, Odelay.... - music history in gifs

1997


1997. Radiohead releases OK Computer, and it goes... - music history in gifs

1998


1998. Neutral Milk Hotel releases In the... - music history in gifs

1999


1999. Napster is launched. Vast amounts of music... - music history in gifs

2000


2000. Modest Mouse releases their masterpiece The... - music history in gifs

2001


2001. The Strokes release their debut, Is This... - music history in gifs

2002


2002. Interpol releases their debut album Turn on... - music history in gifs

2003


2003. The White Stripes release their fourth... - music history in gifs

2004


2004. The Flaming Lips officially become the... - music history in gifs

2005


2005. LCD Soundsystem releases their debut album.... - music history in gifs

2006


2006. Mastodon releases Blood Mountain. An epic... - music history in gifs

2007


2007. Radiohead releases In Rainbows as a digital... - music history in gifs

2008


2008. Vampire Weekend asks everyone about their... - music history in gifs

2009


2009. Grizzly Bear releases a sweet collection of... - music history in gifs

2010


2010. Kanye West releases My Beautiful Dark... - music history in gifs

2011


2011. St Vincent releases Strange Mercy and plays... - music history in gifs

2012


2012. Psy releases his music video for Gangnam... - music history in gifs

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