I mean, seriously… May 16, 1966 – greatest day in the history of American popular music, or greatest day evah?
Once upon a time, there were things called “records”, which you played on “record players” and (eventually) on “stereos.” To find “records,” you could play on your “record player,” you went down to a place called a “record store.” And, if you consult Rolling Stone and Billboard, you will discover that May 16, 1966 was a helluva day at America’s record stores.
Fifty years ago, two magnificent pieces of art became available generally for the first time.
Pet Sounds is probably the more influential of the two a) because it lit a fire under The Beatles and inspired them to record Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and b) because Blonde on Blonde has to be seen as part of The Master’s Great Trilogy that also includes Bringing It All Back Home and Highway 61 Revisited, a nine-month explosion of creativity that never will cease to amaze me, and that nearly killed the musician.
Lawdy, mama. I’m not even going to try to rank those two against each other. I’m not worthy.
Geez, fifty years later, and “Caroline No” still rips me up every time I hear it.