1968 - the best year ever?

  • Thu
    Nov 08
    8:00 pm -
    9:00 pm
  • Sun
    Nov 11
    8:00 am -
    9:00 am

what was the best musical year of all time? we're about to find out.

for the next few weeks, i'll review the contenders: those years that had surolling stonesch an explosion of new, creative, and influential music, that they are often spoken of as "the best year ever" for music...culminating shortly after the new year--or if you have mayan roots, after the end of the previous epoc--in my musical overview of the best year in music ever.

many people have already spoken and registered their votes. every listener and reader is invited to do the same. send me an email, a comment at the bottom of this or future blogs, or stop me on the street and let me know what you think. i'll tabulate all the votes, add my own, and then announce the results.

this week i explore the case for 1968. there was music that started spiritual awakenings, like the moody blues' "in search of the lost chord." classics like the beatles' "white album," the rolling stones' [pictured] hard-hitting "street fighting man," the song of the year from marvin gaye, fabulous motown/soul from aretha, james brown, and james brown; and the very concept of extended jams by cream, hendrix, quicksilver messenger service, and iron butterfly which ushered in underground (fm) radio, not to mention the jazz-rock fusion of artists like miles davis.

then there were unforgettable early melodies and compositions by nilsson, randy newman, leonard cohen, laura nyro, the kinks, and james taylor. 1968 heard the exploitation of blues by a new race and generation (canned heat, john mayall), the height of psychedelia and the san francisco sound, bob dylan leading a return to semi-country, the first progressive rock albums from deep purple and the moody blues, not to mention some early creative synthesizer sounds from george harrison and lothar and the hand people.

somehow i play most of these 40 tracks. listen well, but hold your vote...