Monday, 8 March 2010
The Year of 1969
If I was asked which was my preferred year in rock history I would probably go for 1971 but this is based entirely on personal discovery as 1971 was the year that I discovered ‘album’ music as opposed to singles and was also a time when my disposable income rose sufficiently for the purchase of albums. Not surprising then that this year means a lot to me.
However, from a more objective perspective, I have always marvelled at the year 1969. The end of the sixties was politically and socially a bit of a ‘messy’ time being a transition between the exuberant 60s and the dour 70s. Nevertheless, in musical terms it is a fascinating year reflecting the changes taking place around it. Just have a look at a small sample of the albums that were released that year:-
Captain Beefheart – Trout Mask Replica
Crosby Stills and Nash
Johnny Cash at San Quentin
Beatles – Abbey Road
The Who – Tommy
Rolling Stones – Let it Bleed
Dusty Springfield – Dusty in Memphis
Led Zeppelin & Led Zeppelin 2
The Temptations – Cloud Nine
Isaac Hayes – Hot Buttered Soul
King Crimson – In the Court of the Crimson King
Fairport Convention – Liege and Lief
Pink Floyd – Ummagumma
What a potent mixture this lot is. Some of them are masterclasses from established bands (Beatles, Stones, Who, Dusty), but many are from relative newcomers who point the way for all sorts of genres that would not blossom fully for many years (Led Zeppelin – Heavy Metal. Isaac Hayes, Temptations – Soul. King Crimson, Pink Floyd – Progressive. Stooges - Punk). There is also a massive diversity from the avant-garde (Captain Beefheart) to folk (Fairport Convention) and from bright shiny supergroups (Crosby Stills and Nash) to the dark underbelly of social conscience (Johnny Cash). It is an intriguing cocktail – and one that fizzed enticingly at ‘Woodstock’ and then bubbled over alarmingly at ‘Altamont’ as the decade closed.
All this and man walked on the moon using the processing power of a mobile phone. Amazing!