The late 1960s were an explosive time for music. Rock and roll got past its awkward teenage years and truly found itself, with bands like The Doors, The Beatles, and Cream making albums that would help shape music for decades into the future. 1967 was a particularly exceptional year for music. Here are what I believe to be the five best albums of that year.
The Doors – The Doors
It was evident that 1967 would be a good year for music right from the start, with The Doors releasing their self-titled debut album, The Doors, in January. The album featured the single “Light My Fire” that was destined to become a classic hit. Along with “Break On Through (To the Other Side),” another single off the album, “Light My Fire” continues to receive heavy radio airtime in the Classic Rock market today.
Buffalo Springfield – Buffalo Springfield Again
On their second album of the year and also of their career, a followup to their self-titled debut, Buffalo Springfield rose as a harbinger of things to come. Buffalo Springfield Again, released in October 1967, featured both Neil Young and Steven Stills, who would later be band mates again in Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.
The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
Releasing their 8th album in June of 1967, The Beatles took a foray into the world of concept albums with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. With orchestral elements and influences from many genres of music, the English musical super power proved they were far more than just a pop band.
Cream – Disraeli Gears
Cream’s sophomore album, Disraeli Gears, hit the airwaves on November 1967. Among the tracks on the album were the songs “Strange Brew” and “Sunshine of Your Love,” both of which remain popular decades later. While die hard Eric Clapton fans are likely familiar with his work with The Yardbirds and John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, his work with Cream is the most recognizable of his early career.
The Who – The Who Sell Out
One of the more oddball albums of 1967, The Who’s The Who Sell Out (released in December of that year) was also one of the most creative. Poking fun at the over-commercialized nature of popular music, the group recorded a series of songs tied interspersed with fake product advertisements and public service announcements. With songs like the whimsical opening track “Armenia City in the Sky” and the catchy hit “I Can See for Miles,” the music and lyrics maintain a balance between humor and sophistication.