Rock had some growing up to do at the start of the '60s. After acts like Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly had laid the ground work for the rest of us to feed upon, it was time for the real titans of the genre to actually do something worthwhile with it. We had a lot of wiggle room, and these guys ran with the idea from the minute they started.
Then again, how do you classify albums from the decade that gave us some of the greatest rock of all time? Well, there tends to be a few little criteria that covers everything. First, you have to make sure what they have done stood out among the pack. Since everyone could have easily copied someone like Chuck Berry, it's better to have someone doing their own thing.
You also have to make sure this is the kind of thing that actually had an impact, whether it was influencing the public at large or musicians looking to expand their craft. If you really think about it though, it can normally just be paired down to one common trait: does it rock? When the answer's yes, you're more than worthy to fit on a list like this. Even though rock and roll had gone through its phase of being a fad, this is where the genre got its legendary boots.
10. The Village Green Preservation Society - The Kinks
The Kinks already have their legacy secure off of the grit and growl of something like You Really Got Me. Since Van Halen and every other garage rock band in the world have covered it, Ray Davies had already made the first proto punk song and showed how rock could get nasty. That's not who he was as a songwriter though. Ray wanted to paint a picture in your mind.
Coming off of songs like Waterloo Sunset, the Village Green Preservation Society is one of the most lush sounding albums that the Summer of Love ever produced. At a time when every band and their mother was trying to make an album with some Eastern influence or turning the amps up to 11, these were well thought out pop songs complete with string arrangements that harkened back to the time before rock and roll even existed.
When you look back at the kind of upbringing that Davies had grown up in though, it's a far cry from the lush soundscapes that he sings about on this record. And that's when it hits you. Ray wasn't trying to act as the snobby Brit in the middle of the hippy movement. These songs were meant to showcase the kind of Britain that he dreamed about and was slipping away right before his eyes.