Three 1960s bands who everybody loved except music critics

Well, most of the critics at the time
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Very often, a great band or a solo artist is touted by music critics and reviewers, but the wider audience is very slow, or it never picks up on them. There could come a cult following or delayed success that usually stays quite moderate. Yet, there are examples of artists who had or have huge success with audiences, but the critics are either late to catch up or never do (who said Taylor Swift?).

Back in the 1960s, there were quite a number of those, with critics having media exposure and fans not exactly in a position to respond, except to go out and grab the music they like. Even when an artist the critics threw a lot of flak at presented music that deserved respect, most of the critics in the sixties and the coming decades stood at their initial positions, quite often making fools of themselves.

It could have been the fact that it was the time when music singles started to wane in the latter part of the sixties and music albums started to take over and the initial singles they didn’t like turned into something else on albums. Or, it could have been that some critics were simply stubborn enough to stick to their original position no matter what. In a number of such cases, the audience went on and out-trumped them.

These three 1960s were hated by critics and loved by fans

The Monkees

Ok, The Monkees did start out as an artificially constructed band with the main purpose of the members playing in a TV sitcom aimed at younger teenagers, hence the name for the band. Initially, the music was supposed to be a backdrop.

Yet, it seems that the team involved in creating the band and the series (including one Jack Nicholson) hit a jackpot in selecting the band members/series cast, and the team initially creating the music, as not only the series was a hit but single hits just kept on coming.

The songs turned out to be brilliant pop-rock that deserved respect, and the audiences realized that. Yet, the critics focused on the fact the band was constructed and that they hated the series, continuing to negate the quality not only of the singles but also of The Monkees albums, which as time passed, kept bringing up some excellent psych-pop. These days, a re-assessment of The Monkees' music is catching steam.

The Turtles

It took The Turtles a few years to pick up steam from their formation back in 1963. It was “It Ain’t Me Babe” that took them to the charts in 1965, and then the hits kept on coming until they hit a true jackpot in 1967 with the likes of “She'd Rather Be With Me" and “You Showed Me" also making it really big.

And while they were quite a hit with the audiences, they seemed to have fallen on deaf ears with the critics at the time, which was particularly the case with their albums.  Maybe it was the time when their form of sunshine pop dominated with vocal harmonies was falling out of grace with the critics or the management and label troubles that led to the band breaking up in 1970.

Yet, their rating with the critics started to build up when the band’s two key members, Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman joined Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention quickly after the band fell apart.

Creedence Clearwater Revival

If there ever was a band that proved the point many Michelin star cooks keep on repeating in those cooking shows that “keeping things simple is hardest to do,” then it was John Fogerty and his Creedence Clearwater Revival.

There was seemingly nothing complex in their form of rocking roots music, yet getting it right, and CCR got it right most of the time, hit the nerve with such a wide audience that rightfully made the band one of the largest musical attractions of the late sixties and early seventies.

Still, it was the time of the majority of rock music (particularly the one the critics liked at the time) tried (and not always succeeded ) to make it as complex as possible, leading to the era of prog rock. Quite a number of critics shunned CCR for their ‘simplicity’ fully missing the point, with the band, at one point, replying to the challenge and showing them that they can go ‘complex’ at the turn of a coin.

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