The 10 Best Classic Rock Songs Turning 50 This Year

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When the Beatles first celebrated the founding of their Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club “20 Years Ago Today” Little did they know the world would still be celebrating this milestone half a century later. It’s still a little surprise. The year of the birth of this album, 1967, still resonates as one of the twelve most significant months in the history of music. In fact, it was a period of renaissance that still resonates today, as the innovation, invention, and exploration rock music experienced that year has rarely been replicated, before or since.

For many bands, including Cream, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Pink Floyd, Traffic, Buffalo Springfield and Jefferson Airplane, this meant the first breakthrough from the underground into the mainstream, with important songs that defined them and a new era dawned. changed rock from pop. to progressive. Psychedelic sounds came to the fore as new arrangements, instruments, and attitudes inspired shifts in underground radio, popular culture, and political opinion.

Indeed, 1967 was a year that changed everything and made rock an art in its own right. Here are the top 10 songs turning 50 this year.


Part of the opening salvo on sergeant. Pepper, this melodious number, written by Lennon and McCartney and sung by the always affable Ringo Starr, became the joyous invitation to a common embrace. Surely the question that said “What do I see when I turn off the light?” seemed like a somewhat odd investigation, but again, better to ask than to end up with a case of mistaken identity.


Inspired by the riots on Los Angeles’ Sunset Strip, when young people took to the streets in response to authorities’ crackdown on their late-night haunts, “For What It’s Worth” Springfield, became not only one of early rock anthems, but also a call to arms that announced both a “day in the field for the heat” and “a thousand people in the streets”. Stephen Stills’ gruff vocals provided an air of absolute urgency that made the question in the chorus, “Hey, what’s that sound?” too obvious and relevant, even today.


Given its gothic tones and seemingly incongruous lyrics, “Whiter Shade of Pale” became the first worldwide hit from a band able to blend a seemingly disparate mix of Bach, concerted croon, religious imagery and pitch-perfect poetry. which had their heads scratching their heads in wonder. . Despite a string of outstanding albums, the band’s fame was relatively fleeting when it came to singles success, but regardless, this song set a pattern that ensured their lasting immortality (particularly securing another boost with Annie Lennox’s cover on the soundtrack from 1995 to The Internet).


An often shunned singer from South Texas, Janis Joplin has become one of the most explosive voices of her generation. Although she was a troubled and ragged person, her voice became the symbol of the assertive position that defiantly emerged from San Francisco and then spread around the world. Joplin stunned the crowds in Monterrey and became a global superstar, but her utter loneliness and lingering drug addiction contributed to her untimely demise. Nonetheless, this song established her as a singer who embodies the needs and desires of those looking for love in a freewheeling new frontier.


Rarely has a stylistic transformation seemed so complete. The Moody Blues started life as a successful blues band, but with a lineup change they became the new sound of psychedelia, a dreamy blend of surrealism and fantasy that seemed to speak with the authority of the gods themselves. same. This song, taken from their flagship debut album, The days of the future have passed, set a high standard early on, a fusion of inventive rock and orchestration that resulted in a sound that was both heady and heavenly.


The Grateful Dead were the forerunners of hippiedom whose blend of lore and trippines manifested in extended jams with acidic accoutrements. In many ways, the band’s self-titled debut, from which this song was taken, provided the template for the remaining albums that would follow, helping to shape a combination of free noodles, psychedelic sojourns, and every other flight of fantasy that they’ve permeated by performing live before. their enthusiastic audience. “We’re not a band that makes big albums,” Jerry Garcia once told an interviewer. “It’s just an appearance that we adopt to get by in the studio… Our dynamic range goes far beyond what can be accurately achieved [sic] on vinyl. Nevertheless, “Golden Road” served as a starting point for the path they charted into the future.


With mad musical mastermind Syd Barrett at the helm, Pink Floyd started the space race with this cosmic cacophony all the way, and from there established an acid-soaked sound that would inspire generations of psychedelic ensembles. surreal to come. Taken from their groundbreaking debut album The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, he created a flood of distortion, improvisation and sound that turned heads and sent audiences spiraling upwards.


The drug references couldn’t have been more implicit. “A pill makes you bigger and a pill makes you smaller,” Grace Slick sang. Inspired by Lewis Carroll’s story of a girl who chases a mysterious rabbit and then finds herself in a strange new world, it has become the theme song for those seeking otherworldly exploration on their own- same. “Go ask Alice,” the group implored, though they were the tour guides, not just for San Francisco’s so-called Summer of Love, but for a path to new awareness and general insight. .


The year before the release of his seminal album, are you experienced, Jimi Hendrix was simply an expat musician looking for his big breakthrough. Discovered by Animals bassist Chas Chandler, he moved to the UK, assembled a likeable trio, then turned the world upside down with his first performances in star-studded London clubs. Her explosive performance at the famed Monterey Pop Festival garnered worldwide attention, but a subsequent US tour as opening act for The Monkees did nothing to further her efforts. Yet this song, overflowing with psychedelic suggestion, announced the arrival of an avant-garde artist whose influence still resonates today.


Written by bassist/vocalist Jack Bruce and lyricist Pete Brown, and performed by what is arguably rock’s first supergroup – Bruce, guitarist Eric Clapton and drummer Ginger Baker – “Sunshine of Your Love” kicked off with the immortal riff that still lives on its own. A staple of their set, as well as individual Bruce and Clapton repertoires for years to come, its vivid imagery and surreal set-up underscored the imagination, ability and authority that was drawn to the brilliant second set of the trio. Israeli gears. Rarely has a song or a group taken on such importance.


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