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