December 16, 2017

Music Monday: Rock Music’s Most Formative Year

1966-albums

Note from CM: We are going to move our classic Michael Spencer posts back to Fridays for a while, and renew our “Music Monday” theme to start each week.

• • •

Fifty years ago. 1966. I was ten years old.

An article in The Guardian asks the question, “Was 1966 Pop Music’s Greatest Year?” 

I hesitate to say it was the best in my lifetime, but I would say that perhaps it was the most formative. In particular, it was in 1966 that the public was introduced to the concept of the album. That is, a record that was more than a mere compilation of songs, but rather a song set that equalled more than the sum of its parts, made to be listened to in one setting, inviting the listener to take a journey of sounds, thoughts, feelings, and imaginings that truly “took” him/her somewhere.

During that year I bought my first album (“The Best of the Kingston Trio”) and became a fan of one of the British Invasion groups (The Dave Clark Five) — HERE is a post about those days. I was too young to appreciate the Beatles fully. Dylan was a total mystery. The Beach Boys were all about fun in the sun, mediated through my little AM radio. But in 1966, these three acts put together albums for the ages.

May 16, 1966 may have been one of the most auspicious days in rock music history. The Beach Boys released Pet Sounds and Bob Dylan gave us Blonde on Blonde on the same day.

pet-sounds-coverPet Sounds. Brian Wilson, who stayed at home because of a panic attack he had suffered on a flight while the rest of the Beach Boys toured Japan, was inspired by the Beatles album, Rubber Soul, to compose his introspective masterpiece. Rubber Soul may be seen as the wellspring for all these albums, as Rolling Stone said, “We’re all living in the future this album invented.” Rubber Soul was released in December, 1965, and it represented a new day in studio recording. The Beatles grew up at that moment and began an incredible run of mature creative output in the second half of the decade. When Wilson heard Rubber Soul, it sparked something deep in his soul. As Charles J. Moss at Cuepoint writes:

When Brian Wilson first heard the Beatles’ 1965 album Rubber Soul, he was so astonished by the album that the next morning, he went straight to his piano and started writing “God Only Knows” with his songwriting partner Tony Asher.

Wilson knew that Rubber Soul — an album that contained the most mature songwriting from John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison yet, and exhibited the beginnings of a studio effects revolution — was a glimpse into the future of rock music, and that the Beatles were at the forefront. As cofounder of the Beach Boys, he knew that music was changing and for his group to stay on top in the industry, he would have to make something just as good, or better.

The result was Pet Sounds, released May 16, 1966. It was the Beach Boys’ greatest artistic achievement; one that would never be reached by the group again.

The studio history of Pet Sounds is the stuff of rock music mythology. Wilson called in the best unknown band in rock music history — a group of master studio musicians who became known as the Wrecking Crew — and worked as a composer, arranger, and producer with them, often spontaneously, until the “feel” of each arrangement was right. Sessions were long and costly and often frustrating, but the end result is one of the greatest albums of all time. The Rolling Stone review said, “With its vivid orchestration, lyrical ambition, elegant pacing and thematic coherence, Pet Sounds invented – and in some sense perfected – the idea that an album could be more than the sum of its parts.”

blondeonblonde-coverOn the same day, Bob Dylan released his masterpiece, Blonde on Blonde.

This album is also famous not only for its content, but for its recording sessions. Blonde on Blonde is the record that put Nashville, TN on the map as the place to record. Dylan assembled a great band that included guitarist Wayne Moss, guitarist/bassist Joe South and keyboardist Al Kooper, along with legendary blind pianist Hargus “Pig” Robbins. Dylan also brought in Robbie Robertson of The Band for some sessions. Once again, the recording procedure was strange to studio musicians who were used to getting full arrangements and finishing their work in an allotted time. Instead, they would often find themselves sitting around while Dylan was working on lyrics and ideas until he was ready, sometimes late into the evening or overnight. The schedule was always unpredictable. However, as per the musicians, the atmosphere was also fun and low pressure, which you can hear in the album’s buoyant spirit.

Of the first Nashville session, Dylan has said: “The musicians played cards, I wrote out a song, we’d do it, they’d go back to their game and I’d write out another song.” Actually, the band was often woken up and summoned to the studio in the middle of the night. The musicians were arranged in a circle, so as to feed off one another. And most of the songs from those first sessions were indeed completed by a first or second take: Fourth Time Around, Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat and the record’s two haunting and haunted masterpieces: Visions of Johanna and Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands. (Ed Vulliamy)

Vulliamy also reminds us of the context in Bob Dylan’s career for this album: “Five months before recording began, Dylan had made arguably the most significant step in his career, and perhaps in all rock music, when on Sunday July 25, 1965, he played the Newport folk festival with a band that included Al Kooper and Mike Bloomfield and proceeded to rip the night apart with searing electric accounts of Maggie’s Farm, Like a Rolling Stone and It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry.”

This is Dylan the rebel, refusing to fit into people’s preconceived notions of who he was or should be. From the opening raucous strains of Rainy Day Women #12 and 35 (Dylan was enamored of obscure titles) to the remarkable Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands, which took up one entire side of an LP, Bobby the court jester thumbs his nose at conformity, saying essentially, “Do what you want. This generation is going to have its pipe and smoke it too.” Blonde on Blonde is one wild ride as we try to keep up with Dylan during the most productive and creative period of his youth.

revolver-coverOn August 5, 1966, The Beatles released Revolver, which many consider their finest album. George Harrison was quoted as saying he saw it as Rubber Soul, part two, a continuation and extension of the creativity and possibilities explored in the first record. It was also a further foray into psychedelia and spirituality, aided by the band’s experiments with LSD, that introduced an entire era in the 1960’s.

A rock song accompanied by a string quartet? Yes. Eleanor Rigby. Sitar and strains of Indian classical music? Yes. Love You To. Sweet and sentimental love song? Yes. Here, There, and Everywhere. Blistering social commentary? Yes. Taxman. A description of an LSD trip, complete with lyrics from Timothy Leary’s version of The Tibetan Book of the Dead? Sure, why not? Tomorrow Never Knows. Something, on the other hand, for the kiddies? Yes. Yellow Submarine.

Creative studio techniques? How about replaying McCartney’s guitar solo in Taxman backward in Tomorrow Never Knows? Multilayering of voices automatically rather than manually? It started on this record. Tape loops? Yep.

The album also saw the rise of George Harrison, who wrote several of the songs, and Ringo Starr, who sang Yellow Submarine, to new places of prominence within the group. Ringo said, “”Musically, I felt we were progressing in leaps and bounds. Some of the stuff on this and the Rubber Soul album was brilliant. There was nothing like it.”

And it all came together in a coherent, satisfying whole, preparing the way for the next album, the one everyone thinks of as the epitome of “the album” genre: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

• • •

How good are these three albums, and how do they hold up over time?

Well, if you take Rolling Stone’s voting committee seriously, Blonde on Blonde is #9 of their top 500 albums, Revolver is #3, and Pet Sounds is #2. In 1966, they all prepared the way for Sgt. Pepper, which RS ranks #1.

For those of us who grew up in the 1960’s, these are the formative sounds of our lives. Though some may ask how these “secular” influences could be healthy or make any contribution toward a Jesus-shaped spirituality, it seems a foolish question to me. For each of us is also more than the sum of the parts and influences that have shaped us. As a human being of a particular age, I find in this music the experiences and cries that my own generation has felt. These songs, these feelings, these thoughts, these pursuits of creativity and longing are mine. A part of the life God is in.

Comments

  1. For those of us who grew up in the ’70s, they’re still pretty formative. If you were a white kid, they’re the albums Mom and Dad bought when they were teenagers, and you could still spin ’em on the turntable when you wanted a change of pace from Led Zeppelin and Stevie Wonder. They’re the albums the grandparents were still irritated with.

    And if you went to a Fundamentalist church, as I did, they’re the albums you never, ever told your youth pastor you had. He still had his doubts about that Keith Green fella. The backbeat is inherently devilish and all that.

    • The backbeat is inherently devilish and all that.

      Stupid racist stupidity…

    • –> “…when you wanted a change of pace from Led Zeppelin and Stevie Wonder.”

      Oh, gosh…Yes! But for me, it was my SISTER who played those to death. (Along with the Allman Brothers.)

  2. Halcyon days indeed. These songs, I think, formed part of my current tastes in music…Hillsongs, Dylan, Eli, Third Day etc…. however I also have a wider set of preferences within this journey as part of the life God is in, for example, the contemplative Taize which reaches my soul and speaks to mein its simpleness.

  3. senecagriggs says:
  4. senecagriggs says:

    Did you ever have to make up your mind.

    “Sometimes you really dig a girl, the moment you kiss her. And then you get distracted by her older sister. And in walks their father and takes you in line and say, [ deep voice ] ‘Better go home, son, and make up your mind.’ Then you know you’ve got to finally decide. To pick up on one and let the other one ride. It’s not always easy, it’s not always kind, did you ever have to make up your mind.”

  5. So it has come down to this, a long, long post about something I couldn’t care less about and fervently wish had never been invented, rock music of the sixties, and no spiritual tie-in whatsoever until the very last paragraph. It’s true that we are who we are (platitudes, anyone?) but I’m definitely not you and you’re definitely not me. I read somewhere a long time ago that what we are at 11 (and 10 is pretty close to 11) informs our whole adult life. If that is true, I have been shaped by General Eisenhower’s saying, “If I am elected, I shall go to Korea” and he was and he did. A man of courage, a man of his word. The Beach Boys and the Beatles and, yes, even Bob Dylan pale in comparison.

    Thus spake Zarathustra, the ancient, irrelevant curmudgeon.

    • Love ya, Bob. Interesting that in the link senecagriggs provided earlier in the comments, the #1 song of 1966 was “The Ballad of the Green Berets.” There was obviously a lot more going on than the counterculture and rock music.

      • Mike, the only person I knew who bought a copy of Green Berets was Warren next door, born about 1929. Independent Maine lobsterman, served in the US Navy, voted R. Reagan and all the Bushes, listened to Paul Harvey & Rush Limbaugh, liked his steak rare, and hated communists to death. Rock & Roll NOT part of his consciousness (Heck, Warren wouldn’t have admitted even HAVING a consciousness. Hippie notion). His kids, my age, say that Green Berets is the only 45 he ever bought. So, yeah, it had a following.

    • I like General Eisenhower’s albums too until he went reggae…

      Seriously dude if you don’t see the spiritual component of the 60s then you really have had blinders on.

    • Spiritual growth occurs in more places than just pews or between pages of a book. It often occurs alongside cultural or physical or mental growth. Music plays a big part of that. I wonder how big of an influence John Lennon had on the people who started the Jesus Movement.

      • The Beatles spoke strongly to many people.
        They sang All we need is Love – so true.

        Then they broke up!

        In my city it was incredible the number of people who became Christians out of the counter culture, myself included.
        We discovered that our prophets were right in their diagnosis, they just had no answers

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

          In my city it was incredible the number of people who became Christians out of the counter culture, myself included.

          i.e. the “Jesus Freaks” movement originating among the counterculture, which ended up with its own set of problems.

        • –> “We discovered that our prophets were right in their diagnosis, they just had no answers.”

          I think this is why I really, really still like secular music. You get to hear what everyone is going through, the struggles and the pain. And the joys, too. It makes me sympathetic/empathetic.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

            Chirstianese music & media is WAY too addicted to the Pat and Easy Answers (in Godspeak), which has the effect of belittling/dismissing the struggles and the pain of real life.

            Christianese bubble attitudes put all that struggle of life into Worldly/Fleshly/Heathen and handwave them off with Some Magic Words and/or End Times Escape/Revenge Fantasy.

            In this arena, the Jews have it over us hands-down with their emphasis on Living Your Life.

    • –> “Thus spake Zarathustra, the ancient, irrelevant curmudgeon.”

      LOL! That little aside was a wonderful addition to your post!

    • Clay Crouch says:

      Buzz, meet Kill.

  6. I was a little young for those times. I was born in 1960. I was a 70s kid. My first album purchase with my allowance was YES’s Close to the Edge which shows you where my head was at.

    Bob Dylan is a very great artist and has written some very great songs but his voice is an acquired taste and alas, I have never acquired it. (Which is strange actually because I’m a huge Neil Young and Patti Smith fan.) So my appreciation of Dylan has come largely through covers. Like this one…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-VIygLO4Is

    Magnificent!

    I have never really understood the hoopla over Sgt Pepper. Definitely a step down from the brilliance of Revolver and Rubber Soul. Those are the Beatles albums I go back to.

    • Love this.

    • “Close to the Edge.”

      I loved LOOKING at that album cover!

    • Ronald Avra says:

      I’m boycotting the Roll and Roll Hall of Fame until Yes is admitted. Definitely an underappreciated band.

    • I have a 4 disc set of Yes stuff on my ipod.
      Sitting here now listening to Revolver.

      Chaplain Mike, you should not have got me on this in a Monday morning!

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      Bob Dylan’s strength wasn’t in composing per se (and especially not in his singing voice); his strength and talent was poetic lyrics painting a word picture in your head.

      Once again, the recording procedure was strange to studio musicians who were used to getting full arrangements and finishing their work in an allotted time. Instead, they would often find themselves sitting around while Dylan was working on lyrics and ideas until he was ready, sometimes late into the evening or overnight. The schedule was always unpredictable. However, as per the musicians, the atmosphere was also fun and low pressure, which you can hear in the album’s buoyant spirit.

      Of the first Nashville session, Dylan has said: “The musicians played cards, I wrote out a song, we’d do it, they’d go back to their game and I’d write out another song.” Actually, the band was often woken up and summoned to the studio in the middle of the night. The musicians were arranged in a circle, so as to feed off one another.

      Now THAT’s how artists jam together. The description & atmosphere would go equally well with “Sketchbook Sessions” at early Furry Cons (before entropy set in), when a bunch of artists at a room party would trade sketchbooks and draw away in each others’ — pencil, ink, markers, mixed media, you name it. Sometimes all doing a poster round-robin style, where each artist would do a pic and write a caption the next artist had to fit.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      To me, the high points of pop music were the Sixties and the Eighties.

      The Sixties were more than “Dope is Groovy!” and “Get Out of VIETNAAAAAM!”, they were a time of experimentation.

      The Seventies were the time when the Sixties experimentation ossified into Marketable Formula.

      And the Eighties (the much-derided “Reagan Years”) were a time more upbeat and optimistic than what you got since. I had a project of turning Millennials on to Eighties music, using the soundtrack CD from GTA: Vice City as a sampler. It went over pretty well.

  7. Aside from a few Dylan crumbs I found under the table, the world you describe is alien to me. In my parents’ home, if we played music at all, it was generally Irish folk and 60s Chinese love croons. Some country for a dash of Americana, I guess.

    I came of age on Broken Social Scene and Arcade Fire…but I think it wasn’t the music as much as it was the people and places the music accompanied. Specific songs from Patrick Watson or the Postal Service will recall like magic teenage memories.

    Someone once, astutely, described that era of indie-ish music as ‘preaching from outer space’.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      Aside from a few Dylan crumbs I found under the table, the world you describe is alien to me. In my parents’ home, if we played music at all, it was generally Irish folk and 60s Chinese love croons. Some country for a dash of Americana, I guess.

      As I once commented to the guy over on Homeschoolers Anonymous who was raised entirely on Mennonite Martyrdom Stories:

      “Dude, You Were DEPRIVED!”

  8. Related question: what was the most recent album that sounded like it was intended as an album?
    I grew up on rock, then on prog rock, back when an album was an ALBUM, sonny, complete with art and packaging.

    I feel like I went through an album “desert” for many years, then of all places, the album returned in CCM – via David Crowder. He went full “concept album on us, first with Illuminate, then with A Collision.
    Probably the most recent albumish-sounding compilation in the last few years n my collection was Audrey Assad’s “Fortunate Fall”.

    • Possibly the last album album was Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs. I’m sure there are newer examples but that sticks in my mind.

      • Good example.

        And yes…I’d say there are still a number of bands out there that are into the “album” concept (a collection of songs) and not just creating songs and putting them together. I can’t think of any right now, either. Maybe Muse’s “Black Holes and Revelations,” but that’s not necessarily “recent.”

        • Check out a guy name JT Bruce on Jamendo. His “Dreamer’s Paradox” is pretty amazing, no lyrics, and a true album.

    • Just about anything by Sufjan Stevens falls into the “album” category. His latest “Carrie and Lowell” most definitely does. I’d also say Blitzen Trapper’s “Destroyer of the Void”… But that’s a few years old now. If you’re into metal, Silent Planet & Zao both make albums that are intended to be listened to as a whole. In Hip-hop Kendrick Lamar’s albums (lot’s of swearing but also very honest about his spiritual wrestling too) are all built around themes and concieved as whole pieces not just singles.

      There’s lots of stuff out there… You just have to be willing to seek it out.

  9. Some days I prefer Abbey Road, some days I prefer Sgt Pepper.

    Is it weird that I prefer some of the Love arrangements to the originals?

    • I grew up loving the Beatles “Red” album (the best of their early years) and kinda disliked their “Blue” album (the best of their later years). I’ve since come to more enjoy the Blue album, with its complexities. Maybe it’s the same sorta thing with Abbey Road vs. Sgt. Pepper. (Sorta.)

      • That’s not to say Abbey Road doesn’t have it’s complexities. Frankly, the Sun King medley is one of the most fascinating pieces of music ever produced.

  10. For those of us who grew up in the 1960’s, these are the formative sounds of our lives. Though some may ask how these “secular” influences could be healthy or make any contribution toward a Jesus-shaped spirituality, it seems a foolish question to me.

    Be IN the world…

  11. In 1966 I was on a three-and-a-half year stint in Chicago listening to E.Rodney Jones on WVON, the Voice of the Negro. You can find some of those tunes scattered thru that top 100. Unlike CM and probably most folks here who look on 1966 as the beginning, I see it as the end of the Golden Age of Music, the culmination of twenty years of underground gritty sophistication, not only in R&B but in jazz. Didn’t happen in a day but you could feel it back then and it’s just as true for me today. Music lost its soul and gained some kind of vapid hybrid intellectual angst and anger. This is perhaps more understandable if you can remember what music was like in the previous era of the Hit Parade, which is what most of my contemporaries were raised on. Fortunately R&B and jazz and blues live on thru my internet radio, not just oldies but goodies, but contemporary work from folks who still get it.

    In 1966 when these haircuts down over the ears were still causing consternation, I had caused my own consternation five years earlier with hair halfway down my back and a ring in my ear, unheard of at the time except maybe in professional wrestling. In 1966 I was covering riots clean-shaven in a suit and tie for the original Mayor Daley. I regarded white folks as a most peculiar people, still do, but came to see black folks losing it too on their way to hip hop and rap. In 1966 Janis Joplin was just getting started. I only recently gained a real appreciation for who she was and what she was doing. She was still learning in 1970 when she died, and I believe if she had lived and overcome her demons, she might have changed the face of music up until today, perhaps on the level of Billie Holiday. Oh well.

    In other news, members of the Crow nation have joined with their traditional bitter enemies, the Standing Rock Sioux, in opposition to the Federally enforced pipeline. This is momentous. This could become our Tiananmen Square. If I were younger and unencumbered, I might be heading out there myself. It’s a good day to die.

    • –> “I believe if she (Janis Joplin) had lived and overcome her demons, she might have changed the face of music up until today, perhaps on the level of Billie Holiday.”

      I often wonder what kinds of sounds and music Jimi Hendrix would be creating today if he was still alive. Makes me kinda sad to think about. I’m hoping God and Jesus have given him some freedom to noodle around.

      • I never did understand Jimi Hendrix until recent years, when I discovered that underneath the cacophony, he was a blues musician. So was Janis.

        • SenecaGriggs says:

          I didn’t grow up attending many concerts but I was at the Hollywood Bowl August 18th, 1967 to hear the Mamas and the Papas. Opening act was a guy I’d never heard of, Jimmy Hendrix.

          Oh my! He was amazing.

          He was the third headliner; the second was Scott McKenzie of the “If you’re going to San Francisco” fame.

          I’m sure there’s a spiritual note in here somewhere – smile

          I think that was my last date with Nancy – [ my bad ]

  12. Since it’s Music Monday, here’s a good post on the importance of U2’s 40 to one listener.

    http://www.atu2.com/news/like-a-song-40.html

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      Now THAT is the effect of genuine creative arts with passion and power behind it.

      Something that’s completely lost in the “Jesus-Is-My-Boyfriend” bubblegum, “Only Near Future Persecution Dystopias with End Times Tie-Ins”, and “Four Spiritual Laws Altar Call Endings” that are mandatory/compulsory in what passes for Christianese creative arts.

    • LOVE that essay!!!

      In it: “I listened to Pop every day for two years and it embedded itself in my DNA. I have become that crazy person who will never stop trying to convince you how great this album is. Because it is really that good.”

      Yep. As I’ve shared with you recently, Stuart, I’ve come to discover that as one of their top 5 albums, after me having put it at the bottom since its release.

  13. I also was 10 in 1966.

    Where I lived growing up, the only radio station I could get was AM and played the Top 40. Of course, many of what we now call the classics of the ’60s also were among the Top 40. But while growing up, surrounded by all that creativity, I took it for granted and didn’t really understand what a watershed that time was until I was in my 40s and began coming out of a certain kind of fog (church-induced mixed with my own co-dependence and immaturity) and began to think for myself again for the first time… Of course, it helped that I was listening to what my kids were listening to and wanted and needed to be able to understand that; that all made me look again at the ’60s stuff.

    During my 40s, a friend introduced me to Yes. Wow!

    I did always know that Abbey Road was some sort of zenith.

    I can’t bash “Christianity Today” too much; it was because of an ad therein and a small article in their Arts section that I found out about, respectively, Willard’s “Divine Conspiracy” and the band Iona, my favorite ever.

    Dana

    • –> “I can’t bash “Christianity Today” too much…”

      On a whim, I got a subscription to CT a few years back. I’ve actually found it quite balanced and not as “cringe-worthy” as I was afraid of. The testimonies at the back have all been worth the money. Fascinating stories!!

      • I don’t regret having subscribed for more than a decade. Still look at whatever’s free on the web site from time to time. It’s just that I’m not a Protestant anymore, don’t feel like I fit; miss a few things, but not important enough things to go back…

        D.

    • I always loved the first months of the Beatles’ fame, when they had TEN songs at the top of the charts in THIS country ……. and they came to the US and were on the Ed Sullivan Show ………. we went crazy. We all tried to take photos of the TV screen, and them compare them at school. Mine flubbed but one of our school mates scored some really good pics. Long time gone. Good memories!

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        I was just a young kid at the time, but I remember those were some Wild And Crazy times.

  14. This music arrived when I was14 in 1966.

    This was Puberty Music for me. That means it left a permanent mark.

    There was a lot of great music being made in 1966

    Parsley Sage Rosemary Thyme – Simon and Garfunkel
    A Quick One – The Who
    Fresh Cream – Cream
    Fifth Dimension – The Byrds
    Face To Face – The Kinks
    Buffalo Springfield
    The Young Rascals, later, just the Rascals

    I got to hear Dusty Springfield shatter my cheap little transistor radio singing “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me”.

    Being a 14 year old boy in Western Michigan in 1966, as an added bonus from a benevolent cosmos, you got to hear great local-breaking bands, especially frat-rock bands from Chicago like the New Colony Six, The Cryan’ Shames, and the Buckinghams, and the best garage rock ever made from people like ? and the Mysterians, the Shadows of Knight, and Mike and Suzi Quatro (sigh).

    I never had a church-inspired blackout of secular music except for a brief period in 1973-1974 when I was deeply into Larry Norman, Randy Stonehill, Paul Clark, and Phil Keaggy. By 1975, CCM was in full swing and I was back listening to Kiln House and <The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway. I think the only band I missed that mattered was Poco.

    • You’re a few years ahead of me, Mule, but I know what you mean about Simon & Garfunkel. Their Bookends album was the one that lit me up, at the mature age of 12 in 1968, right after it came out. My sister had acquired the Beatles’ Revolver album a little earlier, and aside from the boring old folks’ music that our parents had, and our kiddie albums, those two were formative.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      And Larry Norman wasn’t bad. He wrote and sang to compete with mainstream Rock & Pop, not against the others in the Christianese CCM bubble (which didn’t exist at the time).

    • Phil Keaggy was a good, balanced Christian artist in those years.

      D.

  15. And here I sit so patiently,
    waiting to find out what price
    you have to pay to get out of
    going through all these things twice.
    Oh, mama, can this really be the end?
    To be stuck inside of Mobile
    with the Memphis blues again.

    • Robert, that’s just begging to be turned into a Haiku.

      Grandpa died last week,
      Now he’s buried in the rocks.
      Everybody still talks ab…

      Needs some work.

  16. Didn’t any of you guys listen to Aretha, James Brown, Memphis soul, Motown, etc.? That, along with people like Dylan, Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the Beatles (prior to Abbey Road), Leon Russell, some prog rock snd singer-songwriters from Joni Mitchell to Laura Nyro to Bill Withers, was all part of my “soundtrack.”

    Per Blonde on Blonde, some of it is amazing, but “Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands” does not exactly live up to the hype. 😉

    I also loved some California vocal groups, like The Fifth Dimension and the Mamas and the Papas.

  17. Speaking of 1968…. Respect (and pretty much every other song on “Lady Soul”).

  18. Gah! I meant “Chain of Fools.” (Getting older, I am…)

  19. Formative years in rock music? Well, it came a few year later, but no rock music has ever been more formative for me than the the Velvet Underground’s album Loaded: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4avM0qzEF5I

    • Burro [Mule] says:

      All music post-Nirvana comes straight from VU.

      Nobody bought their albums though.

      I didn’t. I’d never have heard them in their heyday if that stringy-haired theater girl hadn’t forced me to listen to “Venus In Furs” . I hated Lou Reed’s voice.