1966 in Music

1966 saw pop/rock stepping to the threshold of bigger and better things, spurred by the expanding artistry of England’s A-list (The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Yardbirds, The Who).

The beat boom settled with splinters into blues (John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, The Spencer Davis Group) and folk (Donovan, The Incredible String Band), while the mainframe shifted to the self-contained melodic rock unit (The Action, The Creation, Les Fleur de Lys, Small Faces).

The US responded with a new host of performers playing it formal (The Association, The Buckinghams, The Cyrkle, The Mamas & the Papas, The Monkees, The Outsiders) and frazzled (Count Five, The Del-Vetts, The Music Machine, The Remains, The Seeds, Syndicate of Sound). Some were starting to take their acts a bit more seriously (The Beach Boys, Simon & Garfunkle) while others took a turn for the strange (The 13th Floor Elevators, Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention).

Energies swelled to such a degree that acts throughout the commonwealth (The Allusions, The Easybeats, The Masters Apprentices, The Pleazers) and even from beyond the Anglosphere (The Boots, Los Bravos, Les Lutins, The Motions) were clamoring to join in the action.

All in all, the year can be summarized by a handful of landmark albums and a clutch of classic singles. 1966 cannot lay claim to any of rock’s finest moments, but it did ignite the vehicles that would ultimately take us there.

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