60s’ Classic Rock Album Missteps: 10 Flops to Remember

60s’ Classic Rock Album Missteps: 10 Flops to Remember | Society Of Rock Videos

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Navigating the dynamic music industry reveals a disconnection between popularity and artistic merit. The metrics of sales and chart success wield significant influence, dictating the fate of albums as record labels make decisions based on financial considerations. Unfortunately, this commercial-centric approach has led to the overshadowing and undervaluing of several exceptional 60s classic rock albums. In the following exploration, we will unravel a collection of these brilliant musical works that, despite their inherent excellence, fell short of achieving commercial recognition.

S.F. Sorrow – The Pretty Things (1968)

In the vibrant musical landscape of 1968, The Pretty Things released “S.F. Sorrow,” a groundbreaking album that sadly didn’t receive the commercial success it deserved. Venturing into psychedelic and hard rock, the band showcased their creativity. However, the album faced challenges, from personnel changes to poor promotion. The complex narrative, revolving around Sebastian F. Sorrow’s tragic journey, might have been too heavy for a world grappling with the turbulence of 1968.

Odessey and Oracle – The Zombies (1968)

Despite containing the hit single “Time of the Season,” “Odessey and Oracle” faced a commercial downfall upon its release. The Zombies, dropped by their label before the album, experienced internal conflicts during recording. Even after the success of “Time of the Season,” the band’s lack of touring contributed to their obscurity. Fortunately, the album has since gained the recognition it deserves, marking The Zombies’ resurgence.

Forever Changes – Love (1967)

Love’s “Forever Changes,” an experimental masterpiece, struggled commercially in 1967. Arthur Lee’s desire for experimentation led to a unique sound, but internal conflicts and the band’s aversion to touring hindered its success. Despite Arthur Lee’s aspiration for social change through music, the album failed to break into the Billboard top 100 initially. Over time, “Forever Changes” has rightfully claimed its place as a timeless classic.

River Deep-Mountain High – Tina Turner (1966)

Tina Turner’s powerful rendition of “River Deep-Mountain High” faced commercial disappointment, peaking at a modest #88 on the Billboard charts. The song’s orchestral arrangements and Phil Spector’s iconic “Wall of Sound” couldn’t propel it to the expected heights. Speculations about racism influencing its reception highlight the challenges artists faced in a segregated music industry during the 1960s.

The Remains – The Remains (1966)

Heralded as “America’s lost band,” The Remains, despite opening for The Beatles, never achieved chart success. Their debut album, filled with energetic garage rock, failed to produce any top 40 hits. However, the inclusion of “Don’t Look Back” in later compilations revitalized interest in the band, showcasing the impact of digital platforms on reviving obscure gems.

All The News That’s Fit To Sing – Phil Ochs (1964)

Phil Ochs, the socialist troubadour, delivered topical songs on “All The News That’s Fit To Sing.” While none of his albums achieved gold status, Ochs’ commitment to political activism resonated through his music. This singing journalist, capturing the spirit of the ’60s, may not have been commercially successful, but his impact on folk and protest music remains profound.

Wednesday Morning, 3 AM – Simon and Garfunkel (1964)

Simon and Garfunkel’s debut album faced initial commercial failure, selling only 3,000 copies upon release. The duo’s brief separation and the remix of “The Sound of Silence” with electric guitars breathed new life into their career. The album’s acoustic charm laid the foundation for their folk rock success, proving that perseverance could turn missteps into triumphs.

The Velvet Underground and Nico – The Velvet Underground (1967)

The Velvet Underground’s self-titled debut, adorned with Andy Warhol’s iconic cover, sold a mere 30,000 copies in its first five years. Its taboo lyrics and lack of radio-friendly tracks contributed to its commercial struggles. However, the album’s influence on punk, goth, and experimental music became evident in subsequent decades, solidifying its status as a groundbreaking work of art.

The Village Green Preservation Society – The Kinks (1968)

Released on the same day as The Beatles’ White Album, The Kinks’ “The Village Green Preservation Society” faced fierce competition. The album, a nostalgic ode to Britishness, failed to chart in the UK or US. Despite its commercial setback, the album’s themes and unapologetic individuality resonated with critics and later generations of music enthusiasts.

Astral Weeks – Van Morrison (1968)

Van Morrison’s “Astral Weeks,” released in a crowded field alongside iconic albums, faced both poor promotion and critical indifference. The record label’s limitations and disputes with Van Morrison led to its initial commercial failure. However, the album’s folk, blues, and jazz influences, coupled with poetic lyrics, eventually earned it recognition as a classic and an inspiration for future musicians.

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