Go to the NEW FORUM
Only two artists have multiple albums in the top of a decade:
-Frank Sinatra (50's)
-The Beatles (60's)
Now for years:
-Elvis Presley (1956)
-Bob Dylan (1965)
It's been a while.
You're using exceptionally narrow parameters - out of all the tens of thousands of releases in a decade, the likelihood of one artist gaining enough acclaim to land two top 5 slots is almost farcical if not for the absolute top-level legends. Similarly, nowadays two releases in one year is very rare, let alone for both to be massively loved. I'd look at back to back years for a similar context. Thus, here are some close calls:
David Bowie claims #5 of 1976 and #5/#11 of 1977
Pixies #3 in 1988, then #2 1989
Prince has #2 and #8 of the 80s
Joy Division getting runner-up in 1979 and 1980
Panda Bear at #7 and Animal Collective #12 of 2007
Radiohead #1 of 2000 and #6 of 2001
Oasis both #12 and #14 of the 90s
Bob Dylan at #5 and #6 in the 60s
The White Stripes get #5 and #15 of the 00s
Elliott Smith #9 of 1997 and #10 of 1998
Sonic Youth in 1987 get fifth place but come second in 1988
Most telling, I feel is Radiohead holding both #2 and #11 of the 90s and #3 and #7 of the 00s. This is probably a strong sign that they are the most recent act to be as canonical as the heavyweights of the 60s/70s.
This is something I've noticed with a few artists. There are many bands/people who have multiple albums in a top 5 for the year. But how much have that level of sustained excellent to have successive albums reach the top 5? Only a few do (I'm using 3 in a row as my cutoff):
Sister - 1987 - 5
Daydream Nation - 1988 - 2
Goo - 1990 - 5
Licensed to Ill - 1986 - 5
Paul's Boutique - 1989 - 4
Check Your Head - 1992 - 5
The Bend - 1995 - 1
OK Computer - 1997 - 1
Kid A - 2000 - 1
Rubber Soul - 1965 - 2
Revolver - 1966 - 2
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - 1967 - 2
Bringing it all Back Home - 1965 - 5
Highway 61 Revisited - 1965 - 1
Blonde on Blonde - 1966 - 3
No one has 4 in a row, but there is one person with 5...
Born to Run - 1975 - 1
Darkness on the Edge of Town - 1978 - 2
The River - 1980 - 5
Nebraska - 1982 - 2
Born in the USA - 1984 - 2
If Amnesiac gets back into the top 5 then Radiohead would have 6 in a row. And all it takes is a few kicks up in the rankings for PJ Harvey and Bjork to make this list as well. LCD Soundsystem will join this list next year when This is Happening gets added to the database, and maybe TV on the Radio will add another quality release soon, but otherwise I don't see more bands being able to do this.
Dylan at one point in the updates had a string with Time Out of Mind/Love and Theft/Modern Times as well. Pretty impressive.
I do think the period from 1965-1971 has more good music than anything since, but I don't think it's as big a difference as you imply it is, and I think the late 70's are only slightly better on the whole than the 00's. The good newer music is just less well known, and less canonized.
And if you don't count The Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan, the difference is even tinier.
Is this thread about the AM list, or our own personal opinions?
And I'm saying, there are more great bands than you think, and you just have to dig a bit more to find them.
Personally, I think it's ludicrous to say with any authenticity that any decade is objectively better than another. In fact, by sheer number of artists alone, I'd say that an argument could definitely be made that there are more great artists today than at any time.