Some thoughts on 1968
Just some random thoughts that occurred as a result of a gig I played last week.
It was a 40th birthday party. I’d played a 40th late last year and the birthday boy had asked me to play some songs from the year of his birth. I agreed to do so, but was horrified when I checked the net and found the top song of the year was Snoopy versus the Red Baron, with To Sir To Love and The Last Waltz not far behind..
Ultimately I was able to cobble a set together including Gimme Some Loving, Brown Eyed Girl, Happy Together, I’m A Believer, Whiter Shade of Pale, Paper Sun, Gimme Little Sign, Friday On My Mind, River Deep Mountain High, I’m A Man and some others.
Now I’m not saying that the music in 1967 was crap. Clearly there was a lot of good music about. But it seemed to be surrounded by a fair amount of schlock.
For last weeks gig I had an embarrassment of choice. I did one keyboard bracket which included, for example, Hey Jude, Hole in My Shoe, Dock of the Bay, Daydream Believer (okay some schlock in 1968) , Baby Now That I’ve Found You, Midnight Confessions, Heard It Through the Grapevine, Lady Madonna, and then follow it up with a guitar bracket that included Jumping Jack Flash, Sunshine of Your Love, White Room, All Along the Watchtower, Elevator Driver, Itchycoo Park, Mighty Quinn, Lazy Sunday Afternoon, Piece of My Heart , Baby Come Back, Hold On I’m Coming, Fire, On The Road Again.
All in all, it occurred to me that in the space of 12 months things had got a lot heavier and rockier. Obviously the release by Bobby Golsboro of “Honey” militates against my argument. And as I’m in Australia and music hits us months after it’s hit the States and Europe some of those that I’ve included in the 1968 list were probably hits elsewhere in 1967.
But I just found it curious that between the two years there seem to be so many more tracks from 1968 that I consider to be classics than the year before. And 1968 was also a very torrid year in political terms with student riots in Paris, the Democratic Convention etc.
Just some random thoughts that I thought I would share.