1968: The Greatest Year of psych rock, the early days of prog rock

Highlights of 1968: The White Album, Electric Ladyland, psychedelic exploration and the roots of prog rock.

1968 is certainly a strong contender for Greatest Year in Music. The Beatles released the record colloquially known as The White Album, Fleetwood Mac and James Taylor debuted, The Delfonics released their now-classic debut La La Means I Love You, Jimi Hendrix Experience’s had its final effort Electric Ladyland, Simon & Garfunkel had continued success with  Bookends and the soundtrack to The Graduate and Tiny Tim’s version of “Tip Toe Through the Tulips” became a chart hit.

The country was still deep in the throws of psychedelic exploration with outings from The Association, The Incredible String Band, Big Brother and the Holding Company, The Amboy Dukes and Quicksilver Messenger Service.

Meanwhile, some bands were reaching out of their blues rock / psych rock days and beginning to plant the seeds of prog rock. Procol Harum’s Shine On Brightly, Iron Butterfly’s In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida and Cream’s Wheels of Fire were early instances of the style that grew prominent in the 70s.

Was 1968 the Greatest Year in Music? Let us know what you think in the comments below and across social media with #XPNGreatestYear

Electric Ladyland – Jimi Hendrix Experience
La La Means I Love You – The Delfonics
Astral Weeks – Van Morrison
Sing Me Back Home – Merle Haggard
Sweetheart of the Rodeo – The Byrds
Living the Blues – Canned Heat
Gris-Gris – Dr. John
The Marble Index – Nico
This Is My Country – The Impressions
Beggars Banquet – The Rolling Stones
James Taylor – James Taylor
Lady Soul – Aretha Franklin
The Beatles – The Beatles
The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society – The Kinks
Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins – John Lennon and Yoko Ono
White Light / White Heat – The Velvet Underground
Truth – Jeff Beck
Crown of Creation – Jefferson Airplane
Three Dog Night – Three Dog Night
The Natch’l Blues – Taj Mahal
Any Day Now – Joan Baez
Sailor – Steve Miller Band
Traffic – Traffic
Life – Sly and the Family Stone
Shine On Brightly – Procol Harum
Movin’ with Nancy – Nancy Sinatra
Steppenwolf – Steppenwolf
Fleetwood Mac – Fleetwood Mac
Eli and the Thirteenth Confession – Laura Nyro
We’re Only in It for the Money – The Mothers of Invention
Birthday – The Association
The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter – The Incredible String Band
Miles In the Sky – Miles Davis
Shades of Deep Purple – Deep Purple
Wheels of Fire – Cream
Cheap Thrills – Big Brother and the Holding Company
I Heard It Through the Grapevine – Marvin Gaye
Bookends – Simon & Garfunkel
Odessey and Oracle – The Zombies
The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees – The Monkees
God Bless Tiny Tim – Tiny Tim
Journey to the Center of the Mind – The Amboy Dukes
Just Because I’m a Woman – Dolly Parton
Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake – Small Faces
At Folsom Prison – Johnny Cash
Quicksilver Messenger Service – Quicksilver Messenger Service
In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida – Iron Butterfly
Os Mutantes – Os Mutantes
Waiting for the Sun – The Doors
Creedence Clearwater Revival – Creedence Clearwater Revival
Anthem of the Sun – Grateful Dead

Category: 60s


Article by: Julie Miller