LIFE Explores The Music of 1968

LIFE Explores The Music of 1968

For music lovers, 1968 was a singular year. Psychedelia ruled. So did protest, Motown, and Johnny Cash’s twang. The Rolling Stones blasted back onto the airwaves with Beggars Banquet. The lads from Liverpool, in spite of their problems, produced one of their most legendary albums, The Beatles, while Jimi Hendrix put the finishing touches on Electric Ladyland, and the supergroup Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young got together in Laurel Canyon. In this special issue of LIFE EXPLORES, we go behind the music of a seismic year to uncover how its most iconic songs, albums, and bands came to be. With amazing vintage photos and deep reporting, LIFE EXPLORES looks at the relationships and events that produced Cream’s Wheel of Fire, Bookends by Simon & Garfunkel, the Doors’ Waiting for the Sun, Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks, and much more. These recordings captured the emotions and feelings of young and old across the globe. They vented against Vietnam and injustice but also rued love gone wrong and hoped for tomorrow. When Sly Stone appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, he opened by telling the audience, “Don’t hate the black, don’t hate the white. If you get bitten, simply hate the bite,” and concluded with a simple “Thank you for letting us be ourselves.” Rock and roll helped change the conversation in 1968. It also changed the world.

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