1967: The Summer of Love

Scott McKenzie captured the aura of 1967 in his song “San Francisco (Flowers in Your Hair).”

Peace, love, happiness and groovy music. 1967 was a potent mix of cultural change, political questioning and personal liberation, resulting in a massive migration of young people to San Francisco. The city was a hub of psychedelic exploration, centering around the Haight-Ashbury district where bands like the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane and Janis Joplin called home. June’s Monterey Pop Festival was the pinnacle of the summer, bringing together tens of thousands of people for three days of music.

Across the country, New York had its own scene. The Velvet Underground were just beginning their career as a cohesive band with the release of The Velvet Underground & Nico, with manager Andy Warhol providing the iconic banana album art. Interestingly, both The Velvet Underground and the Grateful Dead operated under the moniker The Warlocks shortly before adopting their permanent names in 1967.

The music of 1967 is tied to the events and feelings of the time perhaps more closely than in any other year. But there was more than just psych-rock, though that was the primary vehicle for expression, as you’ll see below. Albert King released a revolutionary jazz record, Bobbie Gentry’s Ode to Billie Joe became a mysterious piece of  folk Americana, and Arlo Guthrie’s epic “Alice’s Restaurant” turned into a timeless classic.

Was 1967 the Greatest Year in Music? Let us know what you think in the comments or across social media with #XPNGreatestYear.


The Doors – The Doors
More of the Monkees – The Monkees
Between the Buttons – The Rolling Stones
Miles Smiles – Miles Davis
More Than a New Discovery – Laura Nyro
The Youngbloods – The Youngbloods
Younger Than Yesterday – The Byrds
Hello, I’m Dolly – Dolly Parton
Deliver – The Mamas & the Papas
Surrealistic Pillow – Jefferson Airplane
I’m a Lonesome Fugitive – Merle Haggard
I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You – Aretha Franklin
Matthew and Son – Cat Stevens
The Velvet Underground & Nico – The Velvet Underground and Nico
King & Queen – Otis Redding and Carla Thomas
The Grateful Dead – The Grateful Dead
Album 1700 – Peter, Paul and Mary
Mellow Yellow – Donovan
Happy Together – The Turtles
The Electric Prunes – The Electric Prunes
Electric Music for the Mind and Body – Country Joe & the Fish
Are You Experienced – The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Absolutely Free – The Mothers of Invention
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Beatles
Moby Grape – Moby Grape
There Are But Four Small Faces – Small Faces
Hip Hug-Her – Booker T. & the MG’s
Insight Out – The Association
The Temptations with a Lot o’ Soul – The Temptations
Little Games – The Yardbirds
Groovin’ – The Young Rascals
The 5000 Spirits or the Layers of the Onion – The Incredible String Band
Canned Heat – Canned Heat
Let’s Live for Today – The Grass Roots
Ode to Billie Joe – Bobbie Gentry
Reach Out – Four Tops
The Sound of Wilson Pickett – Wilson Pickett
The Piper at the Gates of Dawn – Pink Floyd
Lumpy Gravy – Frank Zappa
Make It Happen – Smokey Robinson & the Miracles
United – Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
The Windows of the World – Dionne Warwick
Big Brother and the Holding Company – Big Brother and the Holding Company
Born Under a Bad Sign – Albert King
Goodbye and Hello – Tim Buckley
Something Else by The Kinks – The Kinks
Scott – Scott Walker
Smiley Smile – The Beach Boys
Alice’s Restaurant – Arlo Guthrie
Blowin’ Your Mind! – Van Morrison
Procol Harum – Procol Harum
Safe as Milk – Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band
Soul Men – Sam & Dave
Buffalo Springfield Again – Buffalo Springfield Again
Chelsea Girl – Nico
Gorilla – Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band
Silk & Soul – Nina Simone
Disraeli Gears – Cream
Magical Mystery Tour – The Beatles
Days of Future Passed – The Moody Blues
Forever Changes – Love
Their Satanic Majesties Request – The Rolling Stones
The Who Sell Out – The Who
John Wesley Harding – Bob Dylan
Songs of Leonard Cohen – Leonard Cohen
A Gift from a Flower to a Garden – Donovan
Mr. Fantasy – Traffic
Song Cycle – Van Dyke Parks
Sorcerer – Miles Davis
I Think We’re Alone Now – Tommy James and the Shondells

Category: 60s


Article by: Julie Miller