Quaco wrote:Thank you for those posts, moleskin (and everyone).
I just want to muse briefly on one of the paradoxes of '60s rock: The whole idea of experimentation and just doing what you want on a recording invariably leads to a return to the roots. It takes a lot of concentrated work to keep progressing and finding new things. "All You Need Is Love" -- an interesting mix of studio and televised-live tracks, and important in its codification of the '60s zeitgeist -- is a license to just hang around and not do that kind of work.
At some point, the '60s youth culture started to be more than just the clothes you wore or the records you bought; people started to really live it, looking (often with the guidance of drugs and gurus) for a new way to live. It's natural to shed the society around you in order to build up a new, more meaningful existence around you. This led people back to nature, to their own communes or at least to more urban versions of this (from outdoor festivals such as Woodstock to getting high on the grass at the university to sitting in your room fantasizing about a new, natural world free of the strictures of modern mechanized society). These ideas were all fed by recordings made in fluorescently lit professional studios.
Not the clearest post, but hopefully you know what I mean ...
Yes, this is crucial. The move to simpler, roots music certainly carried with it a "back to nature" idealogy (all that recording albums in the country which seemed mandatory from 68-72) which corrolated with the rustic communalism of the late hippie era. In the states, the move away from the cities bought with it a certain insularity and smug isolationism. In his excellent book on the LA music scene, Hoskyns points as key the moment when the major musicians moved out of the city to Laurel Canyon and so on. The accent then shifted from bands to singer/songwriters (itself another legacy of Dylan).
One other interesting development of post-psychedelia which hasn't been commented on is the schism between UK music and US music. Before then for most of the sixties (since '64 when The Beatles hit The States) the two countries had been developing along parallel lines, but from 68 onwards they seemed to diverge markedly.
I think this is due to any number of reasons; partly that by the end of the 60's the West Coast music industry was dominant and global (compare it to the mid-sixties when the US music biz was far more regionalized..or this is certainly my impression). Also I thinkthat after a few years of being highly influenced by UK music, there was a collective desire among US musicians to explore their own musical heritage.
In the UK a new band forming in 68 would have either been a progressive band or a heavy blues-rock band (Humble Pie, Spooky Tooth, Led Zep etc.). Neither style was that big, at least initially , in The States.
In my view both these directions had dire conscequences for UK music which wouldn't be rectified until the arrival of Bowie, Roxy et al in the early seventies.