7 Classic Rock Albums From California In 1967
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Timeless Debut Albums
California spawned several legendary rock bands that at one point were at the proverbial top of rock ‘n roll. It had no shortage of talents when it came to music. From bubblegum pop to thrash metal and of course, classic rock – California is well-represented even today. And in 1967, the following debuts announced the bands’ arrival to the music scene and let’s just say, they truly made their mark.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane with these records.
7. Grateful Dead – “The Grateful Dead”
It wouldn’t be long before The Grateful Dead would achieve global fame. But everyone has to start somewhere and when they dropped their self-titled LP, it showed one of their weaknesses as a rock act – they were so much better in concert. The album didn’t capture the magic and energy of their live performances. Phil Lesh later wrote in his autobiography that “the whole process felt a bit rushed.”
6. Big Brother and the Holding Company – “Big Brother and the Holding Company”
While not her best album, the world got a glimpse of Janis Joplin’s massive talent with this self-titled debut album. It was released just two months after their much-talked about performance at the Monterey International Pop Music Festival. The LP itself only peaked at #60 on the charts and while it wasn’t that solid, the more important thing was that it introduced the soon-to-be Queen of Rock.
5. Country Joe and the Fish – “Electric Music for the Mind and Body”
Considered as one of the first psychedelic albums from California, it’s fun, diverse, and accessible. From political statements to a personal tribute to Jefferson Airplane’s Grace Slick, it covered enough grounds to establish them as a talented bunch. But even for all that, it’s uncompromising and the album reflected their folk roots.
4. Moby Grape – “Moby Grape”
Not everyone finds their sound and style from the get-go but Moby Grape did that and more. It was an absolutely stunning debut. Besides, Moby Grape was one of the few rock bands whose every member did singing and songwriting duties. They became the next big thing with this LP. Their songs were fresh and exciting and it quickly helped them stand out among their contemporaries. Other more popular rock acts of the decade didn’t even make anything of this caliber.
3. Nitty Gritty Dirt Band – “The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band”
It wasn’t a perfect record but it reflected the ’60s sound and it was a solid effort from the group as far as debut albums go. Not all the songs were serious and the band injected their humor on some of the tunes. They achieved minor success with this but the LP is filled with several musical gems.
2. Canned Heat – “Canned Heat”
We can only describe this as “authentic.” Canned Heat formed in 1965 but it was at the Monterey Pop Festival where they started to get quite a following. Shortly after their appearance, they released their debut album. They further cementer their spot as rock legends after their set at Woodstock.
1. Sly and the Family Stone – “A Whole New Thing”
They still held back for this LP which is why it’s not as innovative or funky as their other records. It’s soulful and punchy. And while it’s rather tame compared to their next efforts, it’s a tight and solid album that showed their chemistry.