Music of The Sixties - More Than Just Personal Memories
The sixties produced the music that is a base for everything that went on afterward
It is the music that enters your ears when you are a teenager that usually sticks in your mind the longest. Being a teenager during a certain decade, or just a part of it and listening to the music of the day just seems to stick with you forever. No exception here, spending a part of teenage years in the sixties, has made the music of that decade a personal favorite that simply doesn't go away.
But then, is that the only deciding factor that should make the music of the sixties so important? Taking a hard long look, and trying to put all the personal emotions aside, a more serious conclusion comes along. The sixties have produced the music that represents the strongest and most solid base for the music that came after it.
No, the music of the sixties did not just drop out of the air as purely original thought. It was certainly built on the musical components that came before it. But, the musical combinations, ideas, even studio techniques seem to be repeating themselves and represent a constant spring and a jumping board for even the most modern musical ideas.
One of the most enduring genres from the era turns out to be psychedelic rock. Through the decades that followed psychedelia keeps on coming back in its 'original' sixties form or through its various modifications. While they may not be the first to put it on the musical map, it was The Beatles and their creative streak from 1965 on, that truly put psychedelia on the musical map. Whether it is The Rubber Soul or Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band or any album after it, makes no difference. The Beatles were and still remain one of the psychedelic masters. There, their probably most fully-formed set of psychedelic songs lies within the grooves of their Revolver album, and album that some say changed everything.
And then there's that sixties sound of the electric guitar that still dominates the genres like hard rock and heavy metal. No one else did more for that sound than the genius of Jimi Hendrix. It influenced the sound of practically every guitar player from then on, even some of his equally competent players like Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page. No wander that even today players are keeping the tradition of that sound alive.
What would punk and power pop be through the decades or even today if there wasn't for the bands like The Who and countless others that came at that time and through the Sixties? The Stooges, Velvet Underground and countless other names that are only being re-discovered, even today. But it was The Who whose sound and musical ideas probably covered most genres that came after them.
Traditional folk singers were there long before the sixties, but it was that era brought to the scene the fully-fledged category of the singer-songwriters as it is known until today. No one else did more for this musical concept than the genius of Bob Dylan. He almost single handedly brought brought folk into rock music and kept developing it from then on. He also brought poetry and art of the song lyrics to its rightful place. Whether he had a serious political or social message, or whether he was singing about something so 'simple' as love.
During the sixties you really had to be a creative genius to be able to make brilliant musical ideas to shine in the rudimentary studio conditions. What some of then most modern studios produced, these days can be easily produced on any solidly equipped home computer. But that didn't matter to somebody like Brian Wilson, the mastermind behind The Beach Boys' best musical period and a man that came up with some best harmony vocal music until this day.
There are a number of musical genres that had no real name or label during the sixties, but not only existed, but really came into its true shape and form during that period. One such genre is Americana, a combination of folk, country, rock, soul and practically all the other musical forms that took shape on the American continent. The true progenitors of the genre were The Band, whose first three albums stand out as true classics not only of that, but also of many other genres.
Still, with all of the above, there is one thing that characterizes the real musical classics of the sixties, with the above, including The Kinks, The Rolling Stones, The Byrds, Love and practically countless others. Most of the music they came up with has a timless quality, whether you were a teenager then or not.