Highs in the Mid-Sixties seriesright The Highs in the Mid-Sixties series is a group of 23 compilation albums of garage rock and psychedelic rock recordings that were issued by AIP Records in the mid-1980s. This series is a companion to the Pebbles series of similar music; the title is technically preceded by "Pebbles Presents:". The title sounds like it might have come from a weather report, although "Highs" intends to mean "the best" (and is also an apparent drug reference), while the recordings on these albums were originally released in the mid-1960s.
Nature of the music
The individual albums in the Pebbles series include records from throughout the nation, along with a few from Canada and other countries. Additionally, the Pebbles, Volume 6 LP features British bands, while the recordings on The Continent Lashes Back sub-series within the Pebbles series are taken from continental Europe. By contrast, the recordings on the Highs in the Mid-Sixties series are strictly by American artists, and the individual albums showcase garage rock recordings by bands from particular cities, states and regions. As a result, many of the albums evidence a particular regional "sound" in the musical scene in that part of the country.
The first three albums concentrate on recordings that were released in the Los Angeles area; this is appropriate, since AIP Records is headquartered in southern California. However, the specific years are not actually correct, since the original years of release are not limited to the year shown on any of these three albums. Further information on the nature of the music is given in the article on the Pebbles series.
The areas that are documented in the Highs in the Mid-Sixties series cover a large portion of the nation, particularly between the Pacific Coast and the Mississippi River. However, the series is hardly comprehensive; among the notable omissions are New York, along with the rest of the Northeast, plus San Francisco (although the last album among the CDs in the Pebbles series, Pebbles, Volume 11 covers northern California). Areas that are particularly rich in excellent garage rock recordings are represented by several LPs; for example, five of the albums are devoted to Texas, which is probably the most widely anthologized state on compilation albums of this type of music. However, the only areas that are not represented on at least two of the albums are Highs in the Mid-Sixties, Volume 4 (Chicago) and Highs in the Mid-Sixties, Volume 18 (Colorado).
Unlike the Pebbles series – which has been released over an extended period of time by several record labels and in a variety of formats – the 23 albums in the Highs in the Mid-Sixties series were released only as LPs and in a short time span of 1983 to 1986 (in fact, the 23rd album is the only 1986 release). This is one of the fastest series of releases among garage rock compilation albums. By way of example, the 28 LPs in the Pebbles series were released between 1978 and 1988, and the 20 LPs in the Rubble series were released between 1984 and 2002.