So we were chatting about The Golden Age of The Rolling Stones, which is commonly agreed to be that incredible four-album stretch that began with Beggars Banquet in 1968, followed by Let It Bleed in ’70, Sticky Fingers in ’71 and Exile on Main Street in ’72. Totally tectonic achievements in rock music.
This topic naturally led to a discussion about other Golden Ages in rock history. There are plenty.
Did The Beatles have one? You could make the argument that their entire recorded output, in a way, is one big G.A. You know, those early Beatlemania records are still pretty doggone great. But if we really wanna go for it, we can say that the stretch from ’65 to ’70, from Rubber Soul into Revolver into Sgt. Pepper into Magical Mystery Tour into The White Album into Abbey Road into Let It Be was one truly fabulous G.A. I mean, dayam. They were just a nifty and talented combo.
How about Bob Dylan? One of the very few artists to make a great record in the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and ’00s, there is one flaming G.A. on Bob’s scorecard, and that’s the amazing trio of records he unleashed in the mid-60s, beginning with Bringing It All Back Home in ’65, Highway 61 Revisited in ’66 and the mighty Blonde on Blonde double album in ’67. These were the “thin wild mercury” years, as Bob called them, which came to a literally crashing halt in the summer of ’67 when he dumped his motorcycle in the Woodstock area, bashed himself up and told everybody, “Do the Summer of Love without me while I’m on the mend.”
Pink Floyd’s G.A. began very obviously in ’73, when Dark Side of the Moon conquered planet Earth. That masterpiece was followed by the equally stunning Wish You Were Here, then Animals and then The Wall, giving Floyd the claim to All Time Laserium Band Forever.
How about Led Zep? Ya know, nothing less than that band’s first six albums could legitimately be called a Golden Age. From Led Zep 1 through Physical Graffitti, there is some wondrous stuff on each of those tremendously bodacious records.
I don’t have room here to delve into U2, Bowie and Prince, but these artists each had their own G.A.’s, for sure. Have a blast re-visiting them as you stay home and hide from the new plague. And don’t forget … your favorite cafes and restaurants need you now! Most have take out service! Support them in this way! Please! Do it tonight!