Jon Savage's 1968 - The Year The World Burned Various Artists (Jon Savage)


Ace Records
Catalogue Id:
CDTOP2 1536

Soul, funk, pop-psych, hard-edged rock and more from an inflammatory year.

Available on double CD, this is the fourth volume in Jon Savage’s in-depth look at the effect the fiery social and political landscape had on the music of the late 60s.

50 years ago, America was in turmoil. An ever-increasing public awareness of both the vast brutality and absolute futility of the Vietnam War stretched itself like a cinematic backdrop across all that was happening on home soil, with peace protests turning to riots, and riots to assassinations. In Europe, France was forever changed by nationwide general strikes and the May Paris student riots. The UK was in social conflict, playing uncomfortable host to Enoch Powell’s Rivers of Blood speech whilst younger generations campaigned for greater moral enlightenment. The bubble of hope had been burst worldwide and change was coming at a disturbing cost.

Jon Savage’s choices for 1968 include reactions to the rise of feminism: we see Martha Reeves singing “One day I’m gonna get stronger/ And I won’t need you no longer” on ‘Honey Chile’ and Janis Joplin positively screaming ‘I’m gonna show you baby that a woman can be tough” on ‘Piece Of My Heart’ whilst the 5th Dimension are worrying that “she walks all over you” on ‘Carpet Man’. We also see nods to the spectre of Otis Redding’s death in December of 1967, a source of worldwide grief over the following months as well as many posthumous singles, and Eddie Floyd’s ‘Big Bird’, written at the airport on his way to pay tribute at the funeral. We have the deceptively simple, upbeat rock steady smash of Desmond Dekker’s ‘Israelites’ entering the mainstream US Top 10 with its singsong nursery rhyme feel masking the bittersweet lyrics about extreme poverty and dissatisfaction. 

This was also the year of James Brown’s civil rights anthem, ‘Say It Loud! – I’m Black And I’m Proud’ and Sly & the Family Stone’s call for harmony with ‘Everyday People’ - coiner of the phrase “different strokes for different folks”. It’s hard to imagine the Crazy World of Arthur Brown’s ‘Fire!’ in any other year – as Jon puts it, “the madness and the glory of 1968”.

The year, and the album, finishes with the MC5’s ‘Kick Out The Jams’ – possibly the best version of it I’ve ever heard, and I only heard it when putting together this album with Jon. Given away as a free 7-inch at a gig in December 1968, it’s never been compiled before, and will leave you feeling fully ready for social change in 2019.




Track listing


Side 1

  • 01 Preview Honey Chile - Martha Reeves & The Vandellas

  • 02 Preview Sunshine Help Me - Spooky Tooth

  • 03 Preview How Does It Feel To Feel - The Creation

  • 04 Preview Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In) - The First Edition

  • 05 Preview Dear Delilah - Grapefruit

  • 06 Preview Carpet Man - The 5th Dimension

  • 07 Preview Big Bird - Eddie Floyd

  • 08 Preview Tighten Up - Archie Bell & The Drells

  • 09 Preview Changes (TYGSTL) - The Ceyleib People

  • 10 Preview Everydays - The Buffalo Springfield

  • 11 Preview Talkin' About The Good Times - The Pretty Things

  • 12 Preview Just For You - Dave Mason

  • 13 Preview Danse A La Musique - The French Fries

  • 14 Preview Israelites - Desmond Dekker & The Aces

  • 15 Preview Why Does It Feel So Right (Doing Wrong) - The Shades Of Jade

  • 16 Preview Wonderboy - The Kinks

  • 17 Preview Gotta See Jane - R Dean Taylor

  • 18 Preview Do You Know The Way To San Jose - Dionne Warwick

  • 19 Preview Classical Gas - Mason Williams

  • 20 Preview Your Mind And We Belong Together - Love

  • 21 Preview Dino's Song - Quicksilver Messenger Service

  • 22 Preview World In A Jug - Canned Heat

  • 23 Preview Lift Me - The Beau Brummels

  • 24 Preview The Snake - Al Wilson

Side 2

  • 01 Preview Fire! - The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown

  • 02 Preview Hard To Handle - Otis Redding

  • 03 Preview Eastern Organ - Brother Dan All Stars

  • 04 Preview People Got To Be Free - The Rascals

  • 05 Preview I Say A Little Prayer - Aretha Franklin

  • 06 Preview Piece Of My Heart - Big Brother & The Holding Company

  • 07 Preview Lord Of The Manor - The Everly Brothers

  • 08 Preview Lincoln County - Dave Davies

  • 09 Preview Omnibus - The Move

  • 10 Preview I'm In A Different World - Four Tops

  • 11 Preview Say It Loud! - I'm Black And I'm Proud (Pt 1) - James Brown

  • 12 Preview Rain - Kak

  • 13 Preview A Song For Jeffrey - Jethro Tull

  • 14 Preview Magic Carpet Ride - Steppenwolf

  • 15 Preview Freedom Train - James Carr

  • 16 Preview Smell Of Incense - The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band

  • 17 Preview Cloud Nine - The Temptations

  • 18 Preview Train To Nowhere - Savoy Brown

  • 19 Preview Everyday People - Sly & The Family Stone

  • 20 Preview I Got A Line On You - Spirit

  • 21 Preview Throwaway Street Puzzle - Fairport Convention

  • 22 Preview Crimson And Clover - Tommy James & The Shondells

  • 23 Preview Machines - Lothar & The Hand People

  • 24 Preview Kick Out The Jams (Preview Pressing) - MC5

Delivery & Returns


We offer free P&P to UK addresses. For all other territories packaging is free and postage is charged on a weight basis.

We use Royal Mail First Class for UK deliveries and standard Air Mail for all other territories, very large orders will usually be sent via parcelforce. You may cancel your order at any time prior to your order being dispatched by emailing us at ensuring that you quote your name, address and order reference number or by telephoning +44 (0) 208 453 1311 between 9am and 5pm GMT/BST, Monday to Friday. Please note: As music downloads are dispatched immediately after purchase, there is no possibility of cancelling these orders.

In the event that any products supplied to you by us are damaged or defective, we agree to replace or repair the damaged or defective products or refund the amount you paid for such goods (including postage & packaging) providing you notify us (either via post at or e-mail: ) and return the goods within 28 days of purchase. Physical goods should be sent back to us in the same condition you received them to: “Returns” Ace Records, Such Close, Letchworth Garden City SG6 1JF, United Kingdom. Music downloads should be returned to us via the e-mail address above including a copy of your notification.

You have the right to cancel your order within seven days of purchase, or seven days of receipt of the goods (whichever is the longer). If you choose to cancel your order, full payment will be returned to you. Returned items should be sent to: “Returns” c/o Ace Records, Such Close, Letchworth Garden City SG6 1JF, United Kingdom. Music downloads should be returned to us via the email address: including a copy of your notice of cancellation and order number.

Customer reviews


Related products

Customers who bought this item also bought