Into the ’60s, I was still not of a frame of mind that we were not only making music, we were making history. But I did recognize the impact because acts were going all over the world at that time.
– Smokey Robinson
As mentioned numerous times already, the 1960s are the most critically acclaimed decade.
Or, in other words:
The sixties are the Holy Grail in terms of music quality.
This is the music you need to know if you want to become a great artist, no matter what genre you’re doing today.
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.
People today are still living off the table scraps of the sixties. They are still being passed around — the music and the ideas.
–Bob Dylan (1992)
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, as 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.