–by Quincy Tejani, Music Connoisseur–
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There’s no doubt that the 1960’s offer some of the best music ever created. The only problem is that because some of the best bands of all time dominated this time period (The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, etc.) a lot of amazing tunes have been lost in the shuffle. We felt it was important to show some love to those lesser known tracks that should have been huge hits. Here’s our top ten list of “unknown” but fantastic cuts from the 60’s.
10. Gandalf | Golden Earrings | 1969
When Gandalf’s self titled LP was released it was shipped across the country with the wrong record in the sleeve. Talk about a way to immediately destroy a band’s career.
9. Fairport Convention | Come All Ye | 1969
Liege and Lief, the LP that included this track has got to be one of the greatest pieces of modern folk music. The band’s lead singer Sandy Denny is the clear-cut star of the group and puts on a marvellous performance on this, the albums opening song.
8. July | The Way | 1968
In my opinion this is one of the greatest lesser known psych-pop records to be released in the late 60’s. Initially hated by most music critics, it is now a cult record adored by modern psych freaks across the world.
7. Jefferson Airplane | The Ballad of You, Me & Pooneil | 1967
One of the better known artists on this list, Jefferson Airplane’s second LP After Bathing at Baxter’s established the band as a true force in the pop music scene. “The Ballad of You, Me & Pooneil” is one of the lesser known gems from that album.
6. 13th Floor Elevators | Baby Blue | 1967
The 13th Floor Elevators created one of the greatest Bob Dylan covers with “Baby Blue”. Although their second LP Easter Everywhere did reach no. 122 on the US charts, it still goes more or less unmentioned, and for that reason belongs on this list. Unfortunately, this record marked the last strong effort from the band.
5. Country Joe & The Fish | Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine | 1967
Country Joe & The Fish were one of the most influential groups in the California psych scene during the 1960’s. Their sound was original for the time and the lyrics were often pro-counterculture and anti-establishment in nature. This is one of the deeper cuts from their debut LP Electric Music for the Mind and Body.
4. Captain Beefheart | Zig Zag Wanderer | 1967
This guy was weird. Very weird. So much so that his later records make songs like this from his already strange sounding debut sound incredibly tame. Don’t believe that? Just try to sit through his epic double album Trout Mask Replica and get back to me.
3. Donovan | Three King Fishers | 1966
Although Donovan did garner a lot of popularity in his time he always seems to be left out of “Greatest (blank) of the 1960’s” discussions. For that reason I feel like he fits perfectly on this list. His track “Three King Fishers” from arguably his greatest LP Sunshine Superman will show you just how great this folk singer could be.
2. The Incredible String Band | No Sleep Blues | 1967
Unlike many of the bands listed here who were based in America, The Incredible String Band was famous for their influence on the British counterculture. They also helped to develop the ever growing popularity of Psychedelic Folk. This track comes from their most underrated album The 5000 Sprits or the Layers of the Onion. Wooh that’s a mouthful.
1. Alone Again Or | Love | 1967
Love are the poster boys for what it means to be underrated and under appreciated. If there was ever an album that got unfairly swept under the rug it was the brilliant third album by these guys entitled Forever Changes. “Alone Again Or” is the only track not written by primary songwriter Arthur Lee and it is probably the best track they ever made (Lee’s tracks are fantastic too, you need to listen to this whole thing).
Quincy Tejani has been writing fun and informative articles for over a year and he doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. When he isn’t writing or attending university he likes to spend time in record shops and at the gym. He also never turns down a nice, cold Pabst, ever…