Top-selling musical artists from the 1960s: 4 and 3
No. 4 - Simon and Garfunkel (89,796,000)
This is the one that might surprise you a bit. Folk was a much bigger deal in the 1960s than people might realize now. The genre has been pushed to the side to make room for overproduced pop, for the most part. But the harmonies and melodies of folk, by artists such as Simon and Garfunkel and Bob Dylan, helped lead rock away from a more primitive sound and gave the genre a lot more freedom once acoustic folk was mixed with electric rock.
Between 1964 and 1968, Simon and Garfunkel released four studio albums and started with the astonishing Wednesday Morning 3 A.M. This was followed by two albums in 1966, Sounds of Silence and Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme. In the US, the latter charted highest with a peak at number 4. 1968's Bookends, though, would be the duo's first record to hit number 1 in the US and the UK. In 2012, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked Bookends as the 234th great album ever made.
No. 3 - The Rolling Stones (110,801,000)
As far as sales, the Rolling Stones make a big leap over number 4. Arguably one of the two most important bands of the 1960s, the Rolling Stones borrowed from many musical artists, especially blues from the southern United States, and remixed it with a London sound all their own. The Stones were one of the first main rock acts to bring a certain swagger. They changed the days of dressing in suits to wearing what they want so they affected the style of the 1960s as well.
While Simon and Garfunkel packed a lot of great tracks into just a handful of albums in the 1960s, the Rolling Stones were pushed hard by their record company to produce LPs. Between 1964 and 1969, the band were part of eight studio albums in the UK with different tracklistings on albums being released in the US. The band, in fact, has never released a studio album that didn't appear in the UK top ten. Since 1964, the same is true of the US.