Flowers, peaceful gatherings, and groovy music were some of the staples that defined the Summer of 1967. To celebrate the iconic Summer of Love, Rhino released 50th-anniversary reissues of albums that created a musical revolution that still lives today.
The Young Rascals, the Monkees, and the Grateful Dead were just some of the bands that created a cultural phenomenon then and now. You don’t need a time machine or hallucinogenics to take your eyes and ears on a trip with these colorful records. Go ahead, visit your local record store, and grab these psychedelic gems before they’re gone. As Timothy Leary said 50 summers ago, “Turn on, tune in, drop out.”
1) Groovin’, The Young Rascals
The album Groovin’ by the Young Rascals got an update as a translucent green vinyl. It includes the title track, the beloved hits “How Can I Be Sure” and “A Girl Like You,” as well as the jamming “Sueño,” the hand-clapping “A Place in the Sun,” and the perfect summer breakup track “I Don’t Love You Anymore.”
2) Triangle, The Beau Brummels
If the watercolor, flowering heads on the album cover don’t get your attention, then what will? Triangle was the second album from San Francisco’s Beau Brummels, but it was their first to have original material. Rhino’s repackaged the album on blue vinyl with the single “Magic Hollow,” ranked as one of the 100 Greatest Psychedelic Classics in 1997 by MOJO magazine. Sal Valentino’s vocals are lazy and sheep-like that sound like Sonny Bono and Stevie Nicks merged into one. Be sure to listen to “Old Kentucky Home,” “Only Dreaming Now,” “Nine Pound Hammer,” and “Triangle.”
3) Insight Out, The Association
The Association’s Insight Out peaked to #8 back in ’67 and featured “Windy,” their second hit song after “Cherish” the year before. “Never My Love” is included as well as the soothing “When Love Comes to Me” — think of it as the sunshine band’s spin on the Monkees’ “When Love Comes Knockin’ (At Your Door).” The 11 mono tracks are pressed on red vinyl this time around.
4) Vanilla Fudge, Vanilla Fudge
Vanilla Fudge included extended hard rock and psychedelic versions of hit songs like “Eleanor Rigby,” “She’s Not There,” “Ticket to Ride,” and “You Keep Me Hanging On” on their self-titled ’67 release. This Vanilla Fudge reissue is white to spin you into a creamy dream of tributes.
5) Summer of Love, The Monkees
Generations have listened to the band, watched their series, and become believers of the Monkees. It’s no surprise the four guys whose wild antics and pop rock songs have maintained popularity are one of Rhino’s best-selling bands. A Summer of Love playlist wouldn’t be complete without a groovy album with some of the band’s greatest hits. Pressed on pink-and-purple-splattered vinyl, this psychedelic compilation matches the cover art inspired by their trippy movie, Head. The 12-track album features “Porpoise Song,” “For Pete’s Sake,” “Tapioca Tundra,” “Birth of an Accidental Hipster” (from their latest effort, Good Times!), and “Randy Scouse Git.”
6) Getting Together: Groovy Sounds From the Summer of Love, Various
Getting Together: Groovy Sounds From the Summer of Love includes 16 hits from 1967, such as “Getting’ Together” by Tommy James and the Shondells, “You Keep Me Hanging On” by Vanilla Fudge, and the funky instrumental “Hip Hug-Her” by Booker T. & the MG’s.
7) The Best of Peter, Paul and Mary: Ten Years Together, Peter, Paul and Mary
If folk music is more of your preference, or you need an album that speaks about the counterculture of the times, Peter, Paul and Mary: Ten Years Together might be your slice of cake. The 13 stereo tracks include the trio’s hits, including “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “I’m Leaving on a Jet Plane,” “I Dig Rock and Roll Music,” and “Puff (The Magic Dragon).”
8) Astral Weeks, Van Morrison
Despite the Summer of Love’s particular prominence in California, Irish singer Van Morrison took part in the carefree movement with his album Astral Weeks. Pressed on 180-gram, clear vinyl, the folk sound streams through the title track and it sets the style for the entire collection. “The Way Young Lovers Do” gives off a jazz feel, while “Sweet Thing” fuses blues and folk.
9) Alice’s Restaurant, Arlo Guthrie
Alice’s Restaurant (mono version) by Arlo Guthrie is the “immortal album” featuring the famous “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree,” which extends to nearly 19 minutes of part song and part storytelling. It also includes the vaudevillian, fun style of “Ring A-Round-A-Rosy Rag.”
10) The Electric Prunes, The Electric Prunes
The Electric Prunes debuted their self-titled album half a decade ago, and it’s back on purple vinyl. The album kicks off with a classic on each side: Side one begins with “I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night,” and side two starts with “Get Me to The World on Time.”
11) Love, Love
Love’s self-titled debut album, a Summer-of-Love classic, has been rereleased on mono vinyl, which includes far out songs like “My Flash on You,” “Colored Balls Falling,” and “My Little Red Book” as part of its 14 tracks.
12) Smiling on a Cloudy Day, The Grateful Dead
The Grateful Dead were at the center of the Haight-Ashbury scene in San Francisco during the Summer of Love, so there’s no doubt their music landed on Rhino’s list for the 50th-anniversary reissues. A hippie van riding over a rainbow brightens the cover of Smiling on a Cloudy Day, a salute to Jerry Garcia’s participation with the Merry Pranksters and their LSD distribution. The violet vinyl features the songs “Cream Puff War,” “Morning Dew,” “Dark Star,” “Cosmic Charlie,” and six others.
For the full list of Rhino’s Summer of Love releases and reissues, click here.