Revisiting 10 Classic Rock Album Flops Of The ’60s
Look Inside the Asylum Choir album - Rarity Music Great Hits '60 / Youtube
If there’s one takeaway in the music industry, it’s that it won’t always be rainbows and butterflies. Established acts suffered from it, and newer ones more so. Here are some of the worst commercial performances of classic rock albums from the ’60s compiled in a list of ten.
The Velvet Underground and Nico – The Velvet Underground and Nico (1967)
The Velvet Underground and Nico’s self-titled release of 1967 was something groundbreaking for something that came as early as it did. But before they were being celebrated and even gatekept by fans who didn’t want their material to go mainstream, the act had some difficulties in pitching the album initially, peaking at 195 on the charts and was even recalled due to an impending lawsuit against the record.
Love – Forever Changes (1967)
Forever Changes by Love was something that broke the stereotypical psychedelic doze that riddled some of the songs in the style back then. Love had something heavier, more guttural themes in store that one wouldn’t expect from the genre. Influences and internal conflicts made Forever Changes stand out from the rest, although appreciation was way overdue.
Beach Boys – Pet Sounds (1966)
Quite the abrupt change in direction for the Beach Boys who were enjoying popularity thanks to their carefree, salt-sprayed brand of surf rock was 1966’s Pet Sounds. Brian Wilson decided to go with pop-orchestral arrangements on the album which made it hard to ingest at first, but soon became a revolutionary force that didn’t only get the approval of everyone, but also became a great influence to other artists as well.
The Byrds – Sweetheart of The Rodeo (1968)
The Byrds didn’t really enjoy much success with the release of The Notorious Byrd Brothers, which placed in at 47th. It was followed with even lesser acclaim on Sweetheart of The Rodeo, garnering 77th place on the Billboard charts. Nonetheless, the album was pure country goodness thanks to Roger McGuinn’s Americana taste and Gram Parson’s strong country influences.
The Kinks – The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society (1968)
From punk to country – yes, The Kinks changed their sound drastically on the album The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society. Chief songwriter Ray Davies perfectly evokes the British pastoral atmosphere with the album, although it left many boggled at first.
The Stooges – The Stooges (1968)
Acid rock was never the same when The Stooges came up with their self-titled debut. Scratchy guitars, frenzied drums, and vocals that matched the frontman’s image – these were all reflected perfectly on the album. But it never caught on that fast upon release as it only peaked at 106 on the charts.
The Monkees – Head (1968)
This parody-ception of the Monkees’ own popular parody film was an ambitious project for the manufactured band. They blended in film audio with the movie’s intended soundtrack to end up with one of their most out of the box idea yet, but sadly, Peter Tork left before the album was ever released. It reached 45th place on the charts as well.
Autosalvage – Autosalvage (1968)
Autosalvage’s psychedelic sound was clearly the influence of artists and acts like Richard Pryor or the Mothers of Invention – both of which they had opened for in the past. Even Frank Zappa himself suggested the band name, which was quite reflective of the music they were doing at the time. Sadly, the group parted ways just after one album in their career.
Jerry Lee Lewis – Another Place, Another Time (1968)
When your favorite artists suddenly change perspective in their music, it’s always a tricky decision on what to feel. Jerry Lee Lewis established himself into a country star in Another Place, Another Time, a far cry from his rock and rollin’ background.
Asylum Choir – Look Inside the Asylum Choir (1968)
Duo Leon Russell and Marc Benno released Look Inside the Asylum Choir in 1968, becoming a stepping stone for the two in their quest for musical maturity. Funky and energetic, it’s a shame that Asylum Choir didn’t get the attention they deserved back in the day.