(First published in the Manawatu Standard and Nelson Mail, September 7.)
There seems to be some sort of contest underway to determine the most significant year in the history of pop music. Over the past year or so, several music writers have submitted their nominations.
For Andrew Grant Jackson, it was 1965. The American writer’s book 1965: The Most Revolutionary Year in Music fastens onto the Beatles’ album Rubber Soul, the Rolling Stones’ hit (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction and the Dylan album Highway 61 Revisited, on which His Royal Bobness, realising that pop stars had much more fun than earnest folkies, re-invented himself.
British writer Jon Savage opts for the year that followed. In 1966: The Year the Decade Exploded, he examines the significance of the milestone Beach Boys’ album Pet Sounds, the emergence of New York proto-punk band the Velvet Underground and the powerful influence of drugs, notably LSD, on pop music.