Considered by many the absolute peak of 60’s (or any other decade for that matter) rock music, the year 1967 is truly fascinating when looking back. There were so many bands that burst out with creativity and successfully captured it all on those two-sided LPs, which, by the way, was just beginning to outsell the “single” format, that one has to be completely out of his mind to make himself choose nothing but 5 albums. However, due to any motivational hobby (nah, I actually love doing these sorts of lists), I decided to give it a go. You’re the one who decides whether it was worth it or not.
Note : I limited myself to a brief description of the albums mainly because they will be reviewed in the nearest future, and I don’t want to repeat myself. Off we go :
#5. Pink Floyd – The Piper at the Gates of Dawn
This is the first and the last Pink Floyd album which saw Syd Barrett as the main driving force : composing, singing, playing and leading the band into the crazy, spaced-out trip that this album is. It all comes straight from Syd’s LSD-pumped brain and goes directly to the listener’s ears, attacking them with absolute no hesitation.
#4. The Velvet Underground – Velvet Underground & Nico
“While the first Velvet Underground album may have sold only 30,000 copies in its early years, everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band.” This quote says it all. ‘Velvet Underground & Nico’ may have gone unnoticed at the time of its release, but as years passed, it surely gained its well-deserved reputation : that of a classic. While not as consistent as ‘Sgt. Pepper’, it definitely gives it a good run for its money when it comes to uniqueness, originality, and diversity.
#3. Love – Forever Changes
Love were kind of an obscure band whose reputation improved a lot once the critics started to praise ‘Forever Changes’ and to call it a true “lost classic”. For the most part, I agree with them. This is certainly an interesting album, with entertaining orchestrated psychedelic songs filled with mostly nonsense lyrics. It rocks at times, it manages to be funny on occasion, it’s bombastic on one hand and subtle on the other, it’s diverse and most of the songs are flat-out great.
#2. Jefferson Airplane – Surrealistic Pillow
In a way, by releasing this album, the band managed to make use of everything, and I mean literally everything, that they were good at. Compared to the rest of the band’s discography, ‘Surrealistic Pillow’ feels like the right temperature you try so hard to achieve while showering. It’s more acidified, more ambitious and unique than its predecessor, yet it’s not overbearing and pretentious just for the sake of pretentiousness like the albums that followed. It’s just an excellently balanced collection of well-written rock songs that find the ‘Airplane at their level-headed best.
#1.The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
Ah, the famous Beatles album. Lots of things have been said about it over the years, and its reputation varies from person to person. Some say it’s the best record of all-time, some say it’s the band’s absolute peak, while some ignorantly call it the most overrated album ever or even tear it apart by acknowledging it as The Beatles’ worst (yeah, there actually are people who think that). I agree with none of those. I certainly don’t think it’s an untouchable, perfect in every possible way, capable of no wrong album. No, I don’t even think it’s The Beatles’ best (that title belongs to ‘Abbey Road’). But at the same time, I love it, with absolute no regret. It is, in my eyes, the single most brilliant album that came out of ’67, the year in which music saw no boundaries.