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Was 1967 The Greatest Year In Music?

The Beatles celebrate the completion of <em>Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band</em> at a press conference on May 19, 1967.
John Pratt
Courtesy of the artist
The Beatles celebrate the completion of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band at a press conference on May 19, 1967.

It's been 50 years since The Beatles released Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Perhaps the most influential rock album of all time, it was released in what many music lovers consider one of the greatest years in music.

1967 was a coast-to-coast (and worldwide) amalgam of cultural change, political questioning, personal liberation and psychedelic exploration. From Haight-Ashbury to New York and beyond, the year's touchstones included the Summer of Love, the Monterey Pop Festival and events tied closely to the music of the times — which has lived on persistently throughout the years. They don't call it classic rock for nothing.

From The Beatles, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix and The Moody Blues to hits like Bobbie Gentry's pre-Americana "Ode To Billie Joe," Arlo Guthrie's epic "Alice's Restaurant" and the psychedelic swirl of "Incense And Peppermints" by Strawberry Alarm Clock, 1967 reflected the changing times of popular culture. Below, listen to our Spotify playlist of some the most enduring and endearing music from that year.

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Bruce Warren is assistant general manager for programming of WXPN in Philadelphia. Besides serving as executive producer of World Café, Warren also contributes to Paste magazine and writes for two blogs: Some Velvet Blog and WXPN's All About The Music Blog.