1967’s Best Rock Albums
As this gallery of 1967's Best Rock Albums reminds us, no year in music has ever been so completely defined by its summer. As spring gave way to the year's warmest months, the Beatles released Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, heralding a period in which rock saw an outburst of color and vibrancy.
They were hardly alone in this psychedelic new age. Jefferson Airplane had already released Surrealistic Pillow; the Grateful Dead's self-titled debut was out too. Nevertheless, Sgt. Pepper came to define a period forever known as the Summer of Love, and a musical floodgate opened. The Rolling Stones followed with Their Satanic Majesties Request, then came Pink Floyd's The Piper at the Gates of Dawn and Jimi Hendrix Experience's Are You Experienced?, the Beach Boys' Smiley Smile and Love's Forever Changes. And so on.
Thing is, though, that summer – like all summers – came to a twilit end. As the colors of 1967 began to fade, the year continued to yield great music; it had from the very beginning. Early-year successes include the Doors' self-titled album, Donovan's Mellow Yellow and the Velvet Underground's edgy collaboration with Nico. Fall and winter would bring Something Else by the Kinks, Cream's Disraeli Gears and Buffalo Springfield Again, among many others.
To focus only on that summer, as magical as it no doubt was, is to forget Bob Dylan's turn toward Americana with John Wesley Harding, the Moody Blues's proto-prog triumph Days of Future Passed and one of the Who's very best albums.
Yes, there was always more to 1967 than the Summer of Love. Click through for a look back at every season in this tremendous year for rock.