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Only 464 pages left on your journey to becoming a rock star!

Into the ’60s, I was still not of a frame of mind that we were not only making music, we were making HISTORY.
– Smokey Robinson

As mentioned numerous times already, the 1960s are the most critically acclaimed decade. Or, in other words:


This is the music you need to know if you want to become a great artist, no matter what genre you’re doing nowadays. This is the music you need to compare your own work to if you want to improve it:

  • About 40% of all of the greatest songs of all time originate from the 60s, which makes up about 50% of the best songs written in the Golden Age Of Popular Music.
  • More than 250 so-called “evergreens” – songs that everyone knows or should know – were written in that decade alone.
  • This again means that at least one incredibly great song we all still know today had been released every two weeks in that decade.

That’s just insane, and those numbers alone clearly show how far we have come with today’s music. Statistically, it can be said that music quality was at least 10 times higher in the sixties than it is today. This may not only explain many of the problems the music industry is facing today, but it also means that this is the music you need to get inspired by if you want to make great music.

It was the time of The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, The Beach Boys, Sam Cooke, The Who, The Velvet Underground, as well as an almost endless list of further great artists. Most of the greatest artists of all time were active in the 1960s.

But it was also a historically important decade – it was the time of Martin Luther King and the African-American Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War, the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the JFK assassination, Flower Power, the Woodstock Festival, and the Moon Landing.

Music played a major role in people’s lives, and it was driving social revolutions. The music of the 1960s MADE HISTORY. It was the time when music was more than just entertainment, when it was really meaningful.

Of course there was also crappy music in the 1960s, but the incredible amount of great stuff makes the difference and lets us forget about all of the bad stuff. If you take a closer look at so-called "best of” lists, then you’ll see that the top entries of those lists are generally dominated by 1960s music, no matter if we talk about the best artists, the best albums, or even the best songs.

It should also be noted that in the 1960s, great music played a very important role in the singles charts, which means that an important part of the population was listening to (respectively buying) a lot of good music back then. This was a quite unique situation that didn’t last very long.

The British Invasion

While rock ’n’ roll was born in the US in the 1950s, the revolution that should spark the greatest music decade ever started in the UK. From Wikipedia:

In the late 1950s, a flourishing culture of groups began to emerge, often out of the declining skiffle scene, in major urban centres in the UK like Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham and London. This was particularly true in Liverpool, where it has been estimated that there were around 350 different bands active, often playing ballrooms, concert halls and clubs. Beat bands were heavily influenced by American bands of the era, such as Buddy Holly and the Crickets, as well as earlier British groups such as the Shadows.

Bands such as the Beatles had become very successful in the early 1960s in the UK, creating increasingly complex musical ideas and a distinctive sound. In mid-1962 the Rolling Stones started as one of a number of groups increasingly showing blues influence, along with bands like the Animals and the Yardbirds. During 1963, the Beatles and other beat groups, such as the Searchers and the Hollies, achieved great popularity and commercial success in Britain itself.

British rock broke through to mainstream popularity in the US in January 1964 with the success of the Beatles. “I Want to Hold Your Hand” was the band’s first No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, starting the British Invasion of the American music charts. Their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show February 9 is considered a milestone in American pop culture.

The Beatles went on to become the biggest selling band of all time, they were followed by numerous British bands, and the British Invasion helped internationalize the popularity of rock ’n’ roll.

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Chapter 3.2   •   Page 1 of 19

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