The period from the early 80’s to mid-90’s was an exceptional era in pop music. Coinciding with the broad penetration of cable and MTV in particular, suddenly there was a premium on how a song looked — style over substance, some complained. But also an unlimited palette provided to a generation of artists more varied than any seen before or since. The younger brothers and sisters of the 60’s generation took the liberties won by their siblings for granted and put them into practice. Powerful girls, perpetually angry and alienated boys and smoldering queers came out of the stylistically stagnant 70’s to face resurgent Conservatism, a culture of unbridled greed and AIDS. It was the end of a century and, like the fin de siècle period of the previous century, an opportunity to explore and exploit aesthetic excess. Punk, New Wave, New Romanticism, Hip Hop, Grunge all mixed together in an artistic abundance that cataloged the hope, despair and style of youth at the end of the 20th century. Here are 25 examples of the best of the lot.