May 5, 2009
1960s Bands Whose Music Lives On
an article by: Marvin J Markus
I'm not interested in the many bands who come and go without much of a legacy left behind. What's truly fascinating to me are those bands whose music remains vital to new music lovers many years later.
It's with that kind of thinking that I'm writing this article on the bands from the '60s whose music is still reaching new listeners today. Using the listening statistics on online radio websites as a guide these are the bands from that time period that are still attracting new listeners.
I'm confident that most of the people listening to these bands on online radio stations now are not the original fans of these bands because most of those people are in their 50s and 60s (or older) and are not in the demographic of people who commonly use these. That's good because I don't want to know about what people are listening to for nostalgia reasons, I want to know what '60s music is still relevant enough to attract new listeners 40 years later.
#1 The Beatles: This is the most obvious choice of course. It's now been 45 years since they first "invaded" America with "I Want to Hold your Hand" and they still remain just as relevant today, if not more so.
#2 Pink Floyd: While Pink Floyd is on this list mostly for their '70s work like Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, and The Wall they did get their start in the '60s and I'm personally a huge fan of the Syd Barrett era Floyd.
#3 Led Zeppelin: Another band that was huge in the '70s too but again they got their start in the late '60s. Led Zeppelin's monstrous sound remains vital.
#4 The Rolling Stones: After all of these years the Stones are still going. In some ways that may have tarnished their image with younger people whose first perception of them is of the old dudes still on stage today. But despite that, their late '60s and early '70s albums like Beggar's Banquet and Exile on Main Street remain vital.
#5 The Doors: Even today, nearly 40 years since Jim Morrison's death, it seems that most young classic rock fans go through at least one stage where they are totally obsessed with The Doors. While it's become hip among some circles to dismiss The Doors, I think that's nothing but a fad. They will remain a popular '60s band for quite some time.
#6 The Who: The best live band of the '60s, their studio albums probably aren't quite as good as the other bands on this list but Live at Leeds definitely kicks butt.
#7 The Beach Boys: Pet Sounds is probably listened to more today than it was back when it was first released in 1966 (it didn't chart particularly well back then.) Head Beach Boy Brian Wilson is probably more revered today than he was back in the mid '60s when he was writing his biggest hits.