by Alex Cosper (12/27/12)
The mid sixites was clearly a more adventurous time period compared with the early part of the decade when a lot of hits fell into certain molds. The rising popularity of three key entities changed the entire landscape of music: The British Invasion, Motown and the Folk Movement. British acts, such as The Beatles, electrified pop with rich harmonies. The Motowon sound helped make R&B more mass appeal. Folk artists like Bob Dylan influenced other artists to be more expressive in their lyrics.
The Byrds were a band inspired by The Beatles, who had an enormous impact on the entire music scene. "Mr. Tambourine Man" was originally written and recorded by Bob Dylan then popularized by a more harmonic, melodic and electrified version by The Byrds. The song was like the introduction to a musical adventure. It featured electric 12 string guitar, which because one of the "far out" new sounds of the era. Around this time, The Moody Blues were experimented with early electronic music. Meanwhile, The Beatles and The Beach Boys were challenging each other to put out the most creative album possible.
The mid sixties marked a period when the war in Vietnam escalated, which paralleled the increasing number of anti-war protest songs that came from the Folk Movement. It also marked a period when FM radio became more experimental, encouraging artists to be more experimental. "Freeform" radio stations began to appear in the mid sixties. Artists like Bob Dylan and The Animals began recording songs longer that 3 minutes.
Storyteller songs from The Mamas & The Papas to Johnny Cash became an interesting direction for pop music. Blues and jazz began to mix more with rock, especially with psychedelic bands. The Rolling Stones began to define blues-based rock, along with The Kinks and The Yardbirds. By 1966 rock had become an experimental playground as The Beatles and The Beach Boys added sound effects to the music scene. Some landmark recordings of the era were "Tomorrow Never Knows" by The Beatles and "Good Vibrations" by The Beach Boys.
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