Sticking with the Sixties and in honour of Are You Experienced?, the debut album by Jimi Hendrix, which was released in the UK on this day in 1967, let’s allow our wandering minds to go wafting back to the Summer of Love, of ‘Strange Days’ and ‘Nights in White Satin’.
Genesis and Jethro Tull formed. Pink Floyd’s debut album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, was released, as were the hit singles ‘Arnold Layne’ and ‘See Emily Play’, where Syd’s star shone most brightly. David Bowie put out a first album, as did The Doors, Traffic, Velvet Underground and Leonard Cohen (just about).
It had everything we’ve come to expect from a prominent year in music: a celebrated festival (Monterey), something nauseating hogging the charts for several months (The Sound of Music), lots of bands with ridiculous names, and more rock and pop variants than you could wave a white bicycle at. Yes, a lot of it sounds unforgivably fey now, but what a tremendous time to love music, to follow its progress through the charts and to catch it live and on air.
I have to pick ten songs. Anything less than ten would be silly.
- The Box Tops, ‘The Letter’
- Dave Davies, ‘Death of a Clown’
- Donovan, ‘Wear Your Love Like Heaven’
- Joni Mitchell, ‘Both Sides Now’
- The Move, ‘Flowers in the Rain’
- The Rolling Stones, ‘She’s a Rainbow’
- Small Faces, ‘Itchycoo Park’
- The Tremeloes, ‘Even the Bad Times are Good’
- Van Morrison, ‘ Brown-Eyed Girl’
- Jackie Wilson, ‘Higher and Higher’
Albums, also. How could you pick out a key song from, say, Sgt Pepper’s? (Oh, alright; of course it would be ‘A Day in the Life’ every time.)
Leaving out the most obvious and those already mentioned here, as well as Cream’s Disraeli Gears, Jefferson Airplane’s Surrealistic Pillow and A Hard Road by John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, because I’ve lavished praise on them in previous posts and it would be nice to pick out something less predictable, here are a few more from 1967 which I’m fond of:
- The Hobbits, Down to Middle Earth
- The Kinks, Something Else by…
- Magic Sam Blues Band, West Side Soul
- Moby Grape, Moby Grape
- Skip Bifferty, Skip Bifferty
Looking forward to seeing what you’ve chosen.
When you’re done, if you still can’t get enough of 1967, here’s a nice little quiz.