The Rock L.P. had been etching out its position as Rock’s chief artistic vehicle for over a year. The Beatles had stopped filling out their albums with covers once and for all when they released Rubber Soul in late 1965. That album directly inspired Brian Wilson to create an even more cohesive piece with Pet Sounds in 1966. The Beach Boys’ album would serve the same inspirational role when The Beatle’s got back in the studio at the end of that year to begin work on the album that would give the L.P. its ultimate foothold. From that point on, the album would be regarded as more than a souvenir for record buyers with money to burn. It would be Rock’s central mode of expression. Consequently, the albums released in the second half of 1967 were as different from the ones released in the first half as the albums of 1966 were from the ones of ’65. So, it makes a certain amount of sense to split the year in half when evaluating it, dividing the less-self conscious pre-Pepper albums from the grander statements of the post-Pepper works. Here are Psychobabble’s picks for the eleven greatest albums released during the five months before The Beatles changed the album forever.
(Release dates in parentheses were mostly pulled from Wikipedia, which means it may be wise to take them with a grain of salt.)
11. Emotions by The Pretty Things (4/18/67)
10. Mellow Yellow by Donovan (3/67)
9. Surrealistic Pillow by Jefferson Airplane (2/67)