Here are some short and sweet thoughts on these early years of pop/rock: I love the short and sweet. I have always appreciated, no matter the decade, a song that clocks in at under two and a half minutes (and often, in those decades, less than that). Chorus, verse, chorus, out ... awesome. Plus, in a blitz, it's great to just flip through songs that quickly.
One song in particular stood out for me as it relates to something I've thought about before: that Axl Rose's really sounds like that of a rocking woman. Listen to Mockingbird by Inez and Charlie Foxx and just picture Rose on vocals. It's right there.
I was also struck by the seeming sudden emergence of truly standout sounds and songs. Motown music, for one, when heard in the context of being surrounded by pop boppers and jumping out through the speaker, makes me wonder what it was like to hear it happening on the radio at the time and if it made an immediate impact or slowly burned its path.
One other thing: Rolling Stones versus Beatles? I don't get the argument. I can see how the Stones are a classic contrarian option, but for me there's no comparison between their catalogues.