"Revolution 1"
Beatles. The Beatles [White Album]. CDP 7 46443 2. Parlophone, 1989 [Original Release Date 1968]. CD 3136 disc 9

You Say You Want a Revolution (2)

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

The Beatles. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. LP. EMI; Capitol, 1967.

Gift of Peter J. Levinson.

Arguably Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band stands as the Beatles' most historically important album. Here the Fab Four reached out to the collective consciousness of youth, singing of desperation, alienation, and loneliness. John Lennon's drug-inspired "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" achieved a high point in 1960s psychedelia. In spite of its drug-cult status, Lennon, nonetheless, claimed that the mnemonic in the title (LSD) was purely coincidental.

Surrealistic Pillow

Jefferson Airplane. Surrealistic Pillow. LP. RCA Victor, 1967.

Gift of Peter J. Levinson.

From San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district, heart of hippiedom, Jefferson Airplane rocketed to national attention with Surrealistic Pillow, their second album. The song "White Rabbit" echoes the advice of Timothy Leary, an early promoter of LSD: "Tune in, turn on, drop out." Although the cover gives a nod to the folk music revival with the band members holding a banjo, flute, and fiddle, none of these instruments can be heard on the album.

Are You Experienced?

The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Are You Experienced? LP. Reprise, [1967].

Gift of Peter J. Levinson.

This debut album began Jimi Hendrix's tragically brief reign as superstar. Although he is best remembered for his virtuoso guitar work, which explored previously uncharted territory of distortion and pure volume, songs like "Foxy Lady," "Purple Haze," and "The Wind Cries Mary" testify to his superior songwriting skills.

Cheap Thrills

Big Brother and the Holding Company. Cheap Thrills. LP. Columbia, [1968].

Gift of Peter J. Levinson.

Janis Joplin's roots reached back to the early blues divas like Bessie Smith. Cheap Thrills, her second and final album with Haight-Ashbury-based Big Brother and the Holding Company, contains her emotionally wrenching renditions of "Ball and Chain" and "Piece of My Heart." Today collectors also prize this album for its cover art, Robert Crumb's only contribution to the genre.

Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical

MacDermot, Galt. Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical. LP. RCA Victor, 1968.

Gift of Peter J. Levinson.

In this quintessential piece of 1960s counterculture, a "pro-love, pro-drugs, pro-sex and anti-establishment tribe ... attend be-ins, scare tourists, protest at induction centers, re-create a war or two, smoke pot, take off their clothes, sing in the streets, make love, and otherwise amuse themselves." In other words, this rock musical set out to shock the theatre establishment of the day.

Gibson SG Special. 1961.

Gibson SG Special. 1961.

On loan.

Though not immortalized in the annals of electric guitar playing like the Gibson Les Paul and Fender Stratocaster, the SG (or "Standard Guitar") has graced the stages of the rock-and-roll world over the years. Artists who have played this style guitar include Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Duane Allman, Frank Zappa, Angus Young, and, most notoriously, Pete Townshend. Film footage of the Who's 1969 performance at Woodstock shows Townshend's penchant for roughly handling his guitars when, after an energetic performance, the guitarist casually tosses his SG Special into the audience.