In spite of (or, perhaps, because of) the prevailing social and cultural upheaval, and the growing generational divide between the hippies and anybody over the age of 30, the summer of 1967 came to be known as the Summer of Love.
Rock music in the summer of ’67 reflected the growing conflict in Viet Nam, the drug experimentation of the counterculture, and the ongoing civil rights struggles. Anti-war protest songs were frequent and fervent.
The primary influence was the burgeoning West Coast “flower power” movement, centered in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury and Los Angeles’ Laurel Canyon rock music enclaves.
Groups like The Byrds, The Turtles and Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention were defining the Los Angeles rock scene. Representing the San Francisco Sound were artists like Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, and Jefferson Airplane.
The Doors broke on through to the other side with their self-titled debut album. The British sound was starting to mature, with the emergence of The Who and the shift of the The Beatles from purely commercial pop to concept albums and issue-oriented music.
All of these elements came together at the Monterey International Pop Festival in June 1967. The Who made their first U.S. appearance there. It was the first major gig for Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. It was the first major rock festival ever staged, and it served as the model for the genre.
Sounds of the Summer of ’67:
The Byrds – Byrds Greatest Hits - available on MP3, CD, LP, audio cassette
Jimi Hendrix Experience – Are You Experienced? - available on CD, LP
Moby Grape – Moby Grape - available on CD, LP
Mothers of Invention – Absolutely Free - available on CD, LP
Yardbirds – Little Games - available on CD, LP