When it comes to popular music, you could argue that the 1960s are the most important and abundant decades, in terms of quality and invention. It was a time when listeners enjoyed an embarrassment of riches, from the Beatles to the Beach Boys, and from Bob Dylan to the debut albums of Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd.
It’s no wonder, then, that amid a sea of history-changing acts, there are plenty of ’60s-worthy outfits that remain underrated today. The reasons why each group on this list slips under the contemporary radar are diverse and manifold.
Some, although commercially and critically successful in their day, were simply overshadowed by the names of the verified big names above. Others never quite got the breaks, in terms of tag support, or were plagued by internal instability.
Again, a few of the bands featured here were simply ahead of their time and, unlike similar pioneers such as The Velvet Underground, the individuals involved did not enjoy notable solo careers, which would no doubt have prompted interest in their previous projects. .
However, each of the groups you will find below is well worth an investment of your time. Every band here has something important to offer, and every band here can be proud of their recorded heritage.
West Coast psychedelic rockers Clear Light released a single self-titled album, in 1967 on Elektra Records, before going their separate ways. A number of distinctive features set their sound apart, including the inclusion of two drummers, as well as imaginative elements of folk and classical music.
This single album, notably, was produced by Paul Rothchild, who is of course best remembered for his work capturing the dark adventures of the Doors, and was engineered by none other than Bruce Botnick, whose skills behind the desk helped shaping some of the biggest awe-inspiring acts of the era, including the aforementioned Doors, Love, The Beach Boys, Buffalo Springfield and Tim Buckley.
As for the band itself, the musicians were undeniably talented. Bassist Doug Lubahn marks another connection with the Doors, having played on the band’s early albums. Keyboardist Ralph Schuckett went on to chart a long and distinguished career, working with Carole King, Todd Rundgren, James Taylor and a host of others. Drummer Dallas Taylor would later wield drumsticks for supergroup Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. As Clear Light, they left behind an album of considerable artistry.