Friday, January 8, 2016

"The History of Rock: 1966" by the Editors of UNCUT Magazine

"The History Of Rock: 1966" by the Editors of Uncut Magazine

For sure something happened in 1964, and maybe it was the year when I turned 10, and really became aware of music pop culture around me.  To my ears, '64 was full of bouncy music made by people with odd accents.  It was the first time in my life that I realized that there was music being made that appealed to me, and not only that, and perhaps even more important, it came from another culture.  By 1966, I was introduced to the word and aesthetic of "sophistication." 

"The History of Rock" is a monthly publication published and edited by Uncut Magazine, where they use the archives of New Musical Express and Melody Maker regarding contemporary music at that time.   It started off with "1965," and now I just finished reading the entire issue of "1966."   I have read so many books and articles dealing with the British invasion, that in this late stage of my life, it is totally refreshing to read archival material as when things were happening or in proper english, as it happened. 

The Rolling Stones and The Beatles were at their dizzy heights of making incredible recordings as well as being the prince (Stones) and King (Beatles) of the pop world at the time.  The beauty of this magazine is obtaining the role of the journalist at this time.  Most I think were mostly press relations, and not only worked for the music papers, but also for the artists as well.  So, one does not get critical attacks, but mostly acknowledgment and of course, praises.   It is ironic that at this moment in time in the U.K. great music was being produced by all sorts of bands and artists:  Donovan was making great recordings with Mickie Most, The Small Faces were getting more sophisticated as they entered the Andrew Loog Oldham world, and the Fab Four was spending more time in the recording studio, where one gets the amazing "Revolver" album.   Due to the times, Brian Jones was adding more exotic instrumentation to the Stones recordings, which made their masterpiece "Aftermath" such a classic and brilliant album.   Even shit records produced in England were at the very least, good constructed pop.  

Also UK readers and listeners were fully accepting the genius of Roy Orbison, early Simon & Garfunkel, and the beautiful Beach Boys.  It seemed for once, that the UK and the U.S. were in-tuned at the same time and place.   A pop utopia taking place, and ears was stretched out to the West Coast to India.    "The History of Rock" 1966" captures that series of moments as it happened.   Also great photographs and this is a perfectly designed magazine. 

- Tosh Berman

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