1968 AND ALL THAT
From page 6 of Classic Rock Magazine September 2008
Please allow me to disagree that 1973 was the greatest year in rock. Surely, the year in question was 1968? Almost every artist that you write about in your excellent magazine is indebted to the music and cultural happenings of 1968.
Consider this: Cream and Jimi Hendrix had by 1968 set the standard that all classic rock has followed.
Also, many of rock's leading artists (among them Beatles, Dylan and Stones) went back to their roots and made records which revitalised their careers (and in the case of the Stones, saved them). Other bands went all the way into country and western, and laid the ground for 70s country rock (among them Gram Parsons, Gene Clark, Poco and Nitty Gritty Dirt Band). The year started with the release of Steppenwolf's Born To Be Wild (heavy metal thunder' no less) and ended with Graham Nash leaving The Hollies to team up with his new mates David Crosby and Stephen Stills. Also, Led Zeppelin's formation was in 1968. One might argue that that fact alone makes 1968 the greatest year in rock.
Debut albums from 1968 include Fleetwood Mac, The Move, Blood Sweat & Tears, Spirit, Fairport Convention, Family, The Nice, Spooky Tooth, Jethro Tull, Steve Miller Band, The Band, The Jeff Beck Group, Deep Purple, Steppenwolf, Free, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Neil Young and Status Quo (okay, they were a rather dodgy pop band in 1968, but nevertheless made their record debut). Other classic albums released in 1968 include The Notorious Byrd Brothers (The Byrds), Odessey And Oracle (Zombies), Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake (Small Faces), Cheap Thrills (Big Brother), Wheels Of I , ire (Cream), Electric Ladyland (Jimi Hendrix Experience), Super Session (Kooper, Bloomfield & Stills), Sailor (Steve Miller Band), S.F. Sorrow (Pretty Things), Beggars Banquet (Rolling Stones), Traffic and of course The Beatles' White Album.
There - might have been more classic albums released in 1973 (and other years) than in 1968, but that's not the point. The point is that most of the music of 1973 wouldn't have been made if it wasn't for the foundation laid in 1968. And that is why my vote for the greatest year in rock goes to 1968.
Bard Due of Bergen, Norway Yes, 1973 was a great year in rock — perhaps the last truly great year, but it surely must only rank 8th behind the prccccding years of 1966-1972. Any one of those years was greater than '73 Take '67, for instance. Off the top of my head I can name Are You Experienced?, Sgt Pepper, Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, The Doors, Younger Than Yesterday, The Velvet Underground F Nico — albums that are regarded among the greatest of all time! And what about all the great singles released during that year?
it was also the year of the Monterey Pop festival and the Summer Of Love. So it's got to be '67 for me with '68 and '69 giving it a close run.
Andrew Pollard, Huddersfield