’60s Rock Essentials

’60s Rock Essentials

Rock ’n’ roll may have been born in the ’50s, but it was in the ’60s that it reached its zenith as the voice of youth culture. After all, the decade produced many of the music’s most iconic artists, beginning with The Beatles, who along with the rest of the British Invasion (The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Kinks) delivered refreshingly new sounds to a United States reeling from the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Yet rock in the ’60s wasn’t solely a pick-me-up; it also reflected the turmoil of a generation questioning war, racism, even consciousness itself. Bob Dylan, serving as a bridge between topical folk music and snarling rock ’n’ roll, delivered a string of fiery protest anthems; Jimi Hendrix unleashed a mind-bending soundtrack for hippies exploring psychedelia; and, at decade’s end, Led Zeppelin invented heavy metal with a crushing, blues-informed style as loud as bombs.

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