Various Artists

The '60s Rock Experience

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Designed as a companion piece to a PBS documentary of the '60s, Shout! Factory's triple-disc box set The '60s Rock Experience is a basic collection of 59 tracks from the most storied decade of the 20th century (what a shame they weren't able to make it 60 tracks, though!). Actually, the compilers bend the rules a little bit and add several songs from the '70s -- the Grass Roots' 1971 "Sooner or Later," Pacific Gas & Electric's 1970 "Are You Ready?," Five Man Electrical Band's 1971 "Signs," the Grateful Dead's 1970 "Casey Jones," Edwin Starr's 1970 "War," and the Temptations' 1970 "Ball of Confusion" -- but that doesn't really matter, since the sound and aesthetic of these tunes are tied to the late '60s. And make no mistake about it -- The '60s Rock Experience is all about the late '60s, with everything except the Kinks' 1964 "You Really Got Me" and the Bobby Fuller Four's 1964 "I Fought the Law" dating from 1965 or later. Since pop culture consciousness likes to think of the '60s as only those five years, this isn't a big deal, and the set does wind up providing a reasonably good soundtrack to the golden age of the hippies. Sure, it might be missing such heavy hitters as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, the Doors, and the Who, as well as some cult favorites like Love, but it does provide tracks from the Lovin' Spoonful, the Byrds, Donovan, the Turtles, the Zombies, and Van Morrison. In fact, the only negative thing to say about this set is that it's utterly predictable -- so predictable, it's hard to believe that there isn't a single baby boomer or child of a baby boomer who doesn't have at least 80 percent of these songs already. That said, for those rare '60s rock fans who don't have these tunes in their library, this is a quick, easy, affordable way to get good-sounding original versions of some of the best-known tunes from the late '60s.

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:58
2 2:57
3 3:04
4 2:55
5 2:27
6 2:48
7 2:17
8 2:47
9 2:28
10 2:35
11 3:16
12 3:29
13 2:57
14 1:58
15 3:08
16 3:18
17 4:01
18 2:52
19 2:28
20 4:47
blue highlight denotes track pick