Meanwhile, the Beach Boys were competing head to head with the Beatles with the complex, carefully-arranged Today. Second-string British rockers made major advances, as the Rolling Stones topped the charts with "Satisfaction," Eric Clapton developed into a scorching blues guitarist with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, and Jeff Beck invented heavy rock guitar with the Yardbirds. And the Motown machine was improving: the Supremes came up with their best album ever while riding a wave of chart success, while Junior Walker and the Temptation also soared to their respective peaks. Stax/Volt had a stunning success with Otis Redding's Otis Blue.
There were some disappointments too: the Kinks still couldn't put together a decent LP despite single successes; Mary Wells ran into trouble after leaving Motown, while the Four Tops had trouble getting untracked. And the Beach Boys' frantic release schedule resulted in the uninteresting Party.
In jazz, John Coltrane's A Love Supreme was the best of a very strong field. (DBW)