ROCK HISTORY: MAY 1966

the-beach-boys

Incredibly, this past week 50 years ago, saw the release of two landmark pop albums that changed the face of rock music viz. The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds and Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde.

Both have stood the test of time, with their influence spreading way beyond the times they were made in.

Pet Sounds

Pet Sounds – though initially not a hit album (peaking at #10) – has had its reputation enhanced in later years, to be recognised as one of the top pop albums of all time. It’s melancholy tone and lush orchestration was akin to a teenage symphony to God, and arguably has never been surpassed. Famously, the late George Martin has attributed the making of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band to the inspiration of Pet Sounds. Listen …

BOB

Blonde on Blonde – completed a trilogy of rock albums that electrified the music world, by which Dylan gained new fans and alienated old ones – bringing a folkie sensibility to rock ’n’ roll that has remained vital in the years following. Frequently, cited as the #1 rock album of all time, commercially the album was marginally successful, topping at #9 on the Billboard Album Charts. However, there is no denying it’s powerful legacy.

SmallFaces66

A week before these unforgettable LPs, the Small Faces released its debut eponymous album. The album was successful in the UK and is notable for the band’s hybrid rock + R&B sound and lead singer Steve Marriott’s soulful vocals. “You Need Loving” – a thinly veiled cover of Willie Dixon’s “You Need Love” would inspire Led Zeppelin’s raison d’être in the early 70s. The band would release stronger albums in the years ahead but this is where it began.

… still there’s more …