It was a little before my time, but I view 1967 through 1976 as the pinnacle of music production in the modern music era. Hippie, psychedelic rock ruled, along with soul and r&b, folk, blues, country and funk. Free love was in the air and people still cared about actually making music and it wasn't solely about money and fame - although it quickly took a turn for the worse. Enter drug overdoses, plane crashes and disco. True, heartfelt music remained triumphant however.
A taste of the best from each year?:
1967 The Beatles (Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band), The Doors (The Doors), The Jimi Hendrix Experience (Axis: Bold As Love), The Monkees (The Monkees), The Temptations (The Temptations in a Mellow Mood).
1968 Johnny Cash (At Folsom Prison), Aretha Franklin (Aretha Now), Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR), Otis Redding (The Dock Of The Bay), Simon & Garfunkel (The Graduate Soundtrack).
1969 The Kinks (Arthur Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire), Marvin Gaye (MPG/That's the Way Love Is), Bob Dylan (Nashville Skyline), Led Zeppelin (Led Zeppelin II), Joni Mitchell (Clouds).
1970 Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (Déjà Vu), Santana (Abraxas), The Jackson 5 (ABC), Grand Funk Railroad (Closer to Home), James Taylor (Sweet Baby James).
1971 Carol King (Tapestry), Janis Joplin (Pearl), Rod Stewart (Every Picture Tells a Story), Isaac Hays (Shaft Soundtrack), The Who (Who's Next).
1972 Don McLean (American Pie), Roberta Flack (First Take), Chicago (Chicago V), Neil Young (Harvest), The Rolling Stones (Exile On Main Street).
1973 Pink Floyd (Dark Side of the Moon), Elton John (Goodbye Yellow Brick Road), War (The World is a Ghetto), Carly Simon (No Secrets) The Allman Brothers Band (Brothers and Sisters).
1974 Jim Croce (You Don't Mess Around with Jim), Paul McCartney and Wings (Band on the Run), Barry White (Can't Get Enough), Eric Clapton (461 Ocean Blvd.), Gordon Lightfoot (Sundown).
1975 Earth, Wind and Fire (That's the way of the World), Bob Dylan (Blood on the Tracks), Linda Ronstadt (Heart Like a Wheel), Average White Band (AVB), Kiss (Alive!).
1976 The Eagles (Hotel California), Stevie Wonder (Songs in the Key of Life), Peter Frampton (Frampton Comes Alive), Fleetwood Mac (Fleetwood Mac), Parliament-Funkadelic (The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein).
?So much diversity, so much talent, so much drama. Gotta love it!