A SONG A YEAR: The UK in the 1960s (Part 2)

1965: The Yardbirds – For Your Love

If, as Andy Warhol once said, “Everything went young in 1964!” then everything went a little naughty in 65. The Yardbirds were a nest to three of the most important British guitarists, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page.
Started as blues band, like many at the time, the Yardbirds stated experimenting with different sounds, as well as different substances, giving birth to a movement that would later be called psychedelia. For Your Love is particular for its eastern feel, groundbreaking at the time, and for the fact that Eric Clapton hated it so much (it was pop in his eyes, not blues) and quit shortly after its release; only to form one of the most important hard rock psychedelic bands, Cream, a couple of years later.

1966: Donovan – Sunshine Superman

Donovan also started innovating the British music scene in the mid-60s when he went from his acoustic folk work to a more electrified, experimental and “far-out” sound. Having visited California in early ’66 where a whole new movement was starting to grow, from the Laurel Canyon bands in LA that performed on the Sunset Strip, to the more psychedelic Haight-Ashbury early hippies in San Franscisco performing at the Filmore West. At his return, and while in LA Donovan recorded what can be considered one of the very first psychedelic albums, Sunshine Superman, which ushered a generation into love, flower power and mysticism.

* i know it’s meant to be a song a year, but this song from 1966 must also be heard, by Wimple Winch, a band from Stockport that had a brief career, spawning this excellent freakbeat gem, best enjoyed played LOUD!

1967: The Deviants – Charlie

We all know that 1967 is one of the most important years in music, mainly because of The Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, which would spread the psychedelic movement across the world and let everyone know that it was ok to do whatever you wanted to. In London though, at the legendary UFO Club, where Pink Floyd moved their first lysergic  steps, a young band fronted by Mick Farren would take being outcasts to another level. The (Social) Deviants, were championed by guru DJ John Peel and have since been an inspiration for Punk, Metal and any sort of music that involves rebelling and being as loud as possible.

1968: The Pretty Things – Walking Through My Dreams

In 1967 at the Abbey Road studios in London, while The Beatles were recording the generation defining Sergeant Pepper’s, Pink Floyd were recording their glorious debut The Piper at the Gates of Dawn and the Pretty Things, a raw and aggressive R&B band whose founding members were in a band with Jagger and Richards in the early 60s, recorded the highly underrated S.F. Sorrow.
Poor Pretty Things, when they were playing R&B, Mick Jagger, intimidated by the Pretties’ rawer style, made a call to famous music showcasing TV program “Ready, Steady, Go!”  telling them to choose between “us or them”, needless to say the Stones were chosen. A couple of years later, after they had recorded S.F. Sorrow, a concept album telling the story of a man’ s life and death through songs (considered the first “rock opera”) Pete Townsend stole their idea and with the Who recorded Tommy, stealing the limelight from the excellent SF Sorrow.
Here is a great non-album track from those sessions, released in 1968.

1969: The Zombies: Time Of The Season

The Zombies were one of the most influential British Invasion bands of the 60s, inspiring millions of American teens in forming a band, they had sold-out stadium shows in the Philippines but when they broke up no-one seemed to care. Odessey and Oracle, their last album, released after the band had already split would be ignored at its time, the band didn’t tour and promote it as they had already broken up and the masses were listening to more acid-drenched heavy rock, such as the Grateful Dead, Cream, Led Zeppelin and the Jimi Hendrix Experience.
Quickly becoming a favourite amongst critics, O&O stands out for its baroque feel, unbarred emotions and fantastic execution. If you don’t already own and love Odessey and Oracle, well it’s the time of the season to get and fall in love with it!

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