Five tragically underrated pop artists from the 1960s

You should still be listening to these 1960s artists today.

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The Sonics

In many ways, this influential Tacoma, Washington band was better before they started making many studio records. Once they started getting a bit of notoriety, their record label may have implied to them to have a more polished sound. But the greatness of the Sonics was always rooted in the pre-punk ferociousness and their low-fi sound. In fact, Kurt Cobain said that the best drum sound he ever heard was from an early Sonics record because the drum had to be hit so hard to be heard on an album.

The Sonics were a garage band but were simply punk before there was such a subgenre. They played fast and aggressively. There is something about "The Witch" that resembles the Dead Kennedys' Frankenchrist album, for instance. Some music fans might recognize "Psycho," and for great reason; like many of the Sonics early tracks, the song is fantastic.

Mary Hopkin

Hopkin was one of the first musical artists signed to the Beatles' Apple label and during the early part of her career, Paul McCartney took a very active role in how her music was presented, including both the marketing of the songs and McCartney's writing and/or producing the tracks. Her initial release was "Those Were the Days" which eventually sold 8 million copies worldwide. The song went to the top of the charts in the UK and reached number two in the United States.

But Hopkin was not simply a product of the Beatles factory. She eventually stopped having McCartney being so involved in her career as she did not like the way she was being packaged. Instead of being a pop diva, she preferred to be a folk singer. She stopped recording for a bit in the early 1970s to pursue an acting career and later performed concerts with the Chieftains. Her lyrical voice was stunning in the late 1960s and remains as pure now.