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Welcome my friends to the thread with the results of our poll of the best 100 albums of the 1960s. Sit back, relax and enjoy the trip through the decade when pop music flew so high that kissed the sky and split in thousand of multicolored fragments.
I've chosen a picture from The Dirty Mac (a one-night-only supergroup that included musicians from The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Cream and The Jimi Hendrix Experience) because for me it's quite representative of the 1960s. First of all because it exemplifies the preponderance of British music during the decade (we shuffered a British invasion in our poll too, with one third of our list coming from the UK). Secondly because the loose feeling of a jam session defines quite well the sense of freedom that came with the counterculture revolution by the end of the decade. And thirdly because this kind of supergroups prove that the sixties were the time when pop artists became myths, when the cult of personality rose so much that it was going to show its dark side the next decade.
One more thing before begining the trip, this time I'm not going to add You Tube links to all the songs on the albums, and not (only) for the hard work it supposes to me but mainly because of the ban of the Dylan songs on You Tube. And a 60s list without Dylan songs it's not a list, isn't it?
Are you ready for tripping? Let's go then...
100. John Mayall - Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton
Biggest fans: Gillingham (#23), Listyguy (#28 ), Henry (#48 )
Position in AM 3000: #64 of the 1960s and #306 of all time
Position in 1966 poll: #15
Released on July 22, 1966 (Decca LK 4804)
Recorded on April 1966 at Decca Studios, West Hampstead, London
Producer: Mike Vernon
Style: Blues Rock
Comments: Bruce Eder for allmusic: "... And lest anyone forget the rest of the quartet: future pop/rock superstar John McVie and drummer Hughie Flint provide a rock-hard rhythm section, and Mayall's organ playing, vocalizing, and second guitar are all of a piece with Clapton's work. His guitar naturally dominates most of this record, and he can also be heard taking his first lead vocal, but McVie and Flint are just as intense and give the tracks an extra level of steel-strung tension and power, none of which have diminished across several decades."
99. Bob Dylan - Another Side of Bob Dylan
Biggest fans: Brad and Gillingham (#29), Miguel (#36)
Position in AM 3000: #178 of the 1960s and #1190 of all time
Position in 1964 poll: #2
Released on August 8, 1964 (Columbia CS 8993)
Recorded on June 9, 1964 at Columbia Studios, New York City
Producer: Tom Wilson
Comments: Stephen Thomas Erlewine for allmusic: "The other side of Bob Dylan referred to in the title is presumably his romantic, absurdist, and whimsical one - anything that wasn't featured on the staunchly folky, protest-heavy "The Times They Are a-Changin'", really. Because of this, "Another Side of Bob Dylan" is a more varied record and it's more successful, too, since it captures Dylan expanding his music, turning in imaginative, poetic performances on love songs and protest tunes alike."
98. Ray Charles - Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music
Biggest fans: Romain (#30), Listyguy (#46), Miguel (#49)
Position in AM 3000: #58 of the 1960s and #246 of all time
Position in 1962 poll: #2
Released on April 1962 (ABC-Paramount 410)
Recorded on February 5-7, 1962 at Capitol Studios, New York City and on February 15, 1962 at United Recording Studios in Hollywood, California
Producer: Ray Charles, Sid Feller
Style: Country Soul
Comments: Stephen Cook for allmusic: "In need of even more room to explore, Charles signed with ABC Paramount and eventually took full advantage of his contract's "full artistic freedom clause" with this collection of revamped country classics. (...) Above a mix of swinging big band charts by Gerald Wilson and strings and choir backdrops from Marty Paich, Charles' intones the sleepy-blue nuances of country crooners while still giving the songs a needed kick with his gospel outbursts. No pedal steel or fiddles here, just a fine store of inimitable interpretations."
97. Original Soundtrack - West Side Story
Biggest fans: Romain (#26), Mindrocker (#29), Gillingham (#41)
Position in AM 3000: #238 of the 1960s and #1632 of all time
Position in 1961 poll: #4
Released on October 1961 (Columbia Masterworks OS 2070)
Recorded in 1960-1961
Producer: Didier Deutsch
Comments: William Ruhlmann for allmusic: "This film version of the Leonard Bernstein/Stephen Sondheim score of a modern, urban Romeo and Juliet spent more weeks at #1 in the charts (54) than any other album in history. It is an effective rendition of the score, featuring Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, Rita Moreno and George Chakiris, and features all of the show's important songs, among them "Something's Coming," "Maria," "Tonight," and "Somewhere"."
96. Wes Montgomery - The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery
Biggest fans: Henrik (#28 ), Honorio (#54), nj (#56)
Position in AM 3000: #130 of the 1960s and #823 of all time
Position in 1960 poll: #4
Released on April 1960 (Riverside RLP 12-320)
Recorded on January 26-27, 1960 at Reeves Sound Studios, New York
Producer: Orrin Keepnews
Style: Hard Bop
Comments: Michael G. Nastos for allmusic: "Setting him apart from the rest, this recording established Montgomery as the most formidable modern guitarist of the era, and eventually its most influential. (...) Montgomery is clearly talented beyond convention, consistently brilliant, and indeed incredible in the company of his sidemen, and this recording - an essential addition to every jazz guitarist fan's collection - put him on the map."
95. Various - A Christmas Gift for You From Philles Records
Biggest fans: Mindrocker (#38 ), sonofsamiam (#39), nj (#43)
Position in AM 3000: #90 of the 1960s and #485 of all time
Position in 1963 poll: #5
Released on November 23, 1963 (Philles PHLP 4005)
Recorded in 1963 at Gold Star Studios, Los Angeles, California
Producer: Phil Spector
Comments: Dennis MacDonald for allmusic: "Spector believed he could produce a record for the holidays that would capture not only the essence of the Christmas spirit, but also be a pop masterpiece that would stand against any work these artists had already done. He succeeded on every level, with all four groups/singers recording some of their most memorable performances. This is the Christmas album by which all later holiday releases had to be judged, and it has inspired a host of imitators."
94. Booker T. & the M.G.s - Green Onions
Biggest fans: Romain (#21), Listyguy (#30), Henry (#38 )
Position in AM 3000: #216 of the 1960s and #1434 of all time
Position in 1962 poll: #4
Released on October 1962 (Stax 701)
Recorded on June-August 1962 at Stax Studio, Memphis, Tennessee
Producer: Jim Stewart
Style: Rhythm & Blues
Comments: Dennis MacDonald for allmusic: "There's not a note or a nuance out of place anywhere on this record, which was 35 of the most exciting minutes of instrumental music in any category that one could purchase in 1962 (and it's no slouch four decades out, either). "I Got a Woman" is the single best indicator of how superb this record is and this band was - listening to this track, it's easy to forget that the song ever had lyrics or ever needed them, Booker T. Jones' organ and Steve Cropper's guitar serving as more-than-adequate substitutes for any singer."
93. Horace Silver Quintet - Song for My Father
Biggest fans: sonofsamiam (#21), Charlie Driggs (#43), nicolas (#49)
Position in AM 3000: #136 of the 1960s and #873 of all time
Position in 1965 poll: #14
Released in 1965 (Blue Note BLP 4185)
Recorded on October 31, 1963 and October 26, 1964 at Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
Producer: Rudy Van Gelder, Alfred Lion
Style: Hard Bop
Comments: Steve Huey for allmusic: "One of Blue Note's greatest mainstream hard bop dates, "Song for My Father" is Horace Silver's signature LP and the peak of a discography already studded with classics. Silver was always a master at balancing jumping rhythms with complex harmonies for a unique blend of earthiness and sophistication, and "Song for My Father" has perhaps the most sophisticated air of all his albums."
92. Bill Evans Trio - Waltz for Debby
Biggest fans: Gillingham (#24), Honorio (#27), sonofsamiam (#37)
Position in AM 3000: #105 of the 1960s and #595 of all time
Position in 1961 poll: #2
Released in 1961 (Riverside RLP-399)
Recorded on June 25, 1961 at Village Vanguard, New York City
Producer: Orrin Keepnews
Style: Modal Jazz
Comments: Thom Jurek for allmusic: "Evans chose the material here, and, possibly, in some unconscious way, revealed on these sessions (...) a different side of his musical personality that had never been displayed on his earlier solo recordings or during his tenures with Miles Davis and George Russell: Evans was an intensely romantic player, flagrantly emotional. (...) There is a kind of impressionistic construction to his harmonic architecture that plays off the middle registers and goes deeper into its sonances in order to set into motion numerous melodic fragments simultaneously."
91. The Byrds - Fifth Dimension
Biggest fans: Miguel (#26), Charlie Driggs and Honorio (#41)
Position in AM 3000: #125 of the 1960s and #789 of all time
Position in 1966 poll: #9
Released on July18, 1966 (Columbia CS 9349)
Recorded on January 25 - May 25, 1966 at Columbia Studios, Hollywood, California
Producer: Allen Stanton
Style: Psychedelic Rock
Comments: Richie Unterbergerfor allmusic: "Although The Byrds' "Fifth Dimension" was wildly uneven, its high points were as innovative as any rock music being recorded in 1966. Immaculate folk-rock was still present in their superb arrangements of the traditional songs "Wild Mountain Thyme" and "John Riley." For the originals, they devised some of the first and best psychedelic rock, often drawing from the influence of Indian raga in the guitar arrangements. "Eight Miles High," with its astral lyrics, pumping bassline, and fractured guitar solo, was a Top 20 hit, and one of the greatest singles of the '60s."
And the show begin....
It will be interesting to see how jazz does in this poll. So far, not too well, but I expect (and hope) A Love Supreme and The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady will have high finishes.
Why am I not surprised that the Clapton album finished dead last?
What are the chances of seeing Laura Nyro here?
Looking forward to all the rest!
Well, Jackson, I’m not going to reveal it but you know that pop in the sixties almost swept away other kinds of music. Our list is not an exception and jazz albums are mostly in the second half of the list, but anyway some albums got into the first half. The ones you pointed? Well, just you wait.
And yes, Listyguy, Mayall-Clapton-McVie-Flint album entered in the final Top 100 almost by chance (it was tied with Nina Simone's "Wild Is the Wind" for the #15 position on the 1966 list) and finally it came last. But it came there only after the last three lists were counted. Before that the dubious honor of being at #100 belonged at certain points to "Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music", "Waltz for Debby" and "If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears".
And sorry HRS but (undeservedly) there is no Laura Nyro on the final Top 100. Despite some strong support (especially from BillAdama, Charlie Driggs, Jackson, Fred, Mindrocker and nj) the Nyro albums stayed outside the gates: "Eli and the Thirteenth Confession" ended at #18 of 1968 and "New York Tendaberry" at #17 of 1969.
90. Jackson C. Frank - Jackson C. Frank
Biggest fans: Henrik (#17), Mindrocker (#41), nicolas (#46)
Position in AM 3000: bubbling under
Position in 1965 poll: #15
Released on December 1965 (Columbia-EMI 33SX 1788 )
Recorded on July 1965 at CBS Studios, London, England
Producer: Paul Simon
Comments: Bruce Eder for allmusic: "Jackson C. Frank's original 1965 album is a lost classic, daringly complex and honest, filled with virtuoso playing that is all the more impressive for the offhanded way that Frank makes it look so easy. (...) Rather ironically, it's the downbeat nature of those same songs that likely would have prevented "Jackson C. Frank" from being anything much more than a major cult favorite; even "Blues Run the Game," for all of its beauty, has an underlying sadness that makes it difficult to hear."
89. Françoise Hardy - Tous les garçons et les filles
Biggest fans: Charlie Driggs (#19), Miguel (#42), Henrik (#46)
Position in AM 3000: not listed
Position in 1962 poll: #5
Released on November 1962 (Disques Vogue LD 600-30)
Recorded in 1962 at Studio Vogue, Villetaneuse, Paris, France
Producer: Jaques Wolfsohn
Style: French Pop
Comments: Richie Unterberger for allmusic: "Immensely popular in her native France, the chanteuse first displayed her breathy, measured vocals in the early and mid-'60s. Her (mostly self-penned) recordings from that era draw from French pop traditions, lightweight '50s teen idol rock, girl groups, and sultry jazz and blues - sometimes in the same song. The material is perhaps too unreservedly sentimental for some (in the French tradition), but the songs are invariably catchy and the production, arrangements, and near-operatic backup harmonies excellent, at times almost Spector-esque."
88. The Rolling Stones - Out of Our Heads
Biggest fans: Henry (#24), Brad and Listyguy (#34)
Position in AM 3000: #113 of the 1960s and #679 of all time
Position in 1965 poll: #11
Released on July 30, 1965 in US (London LL 3429) and on September 24, 1965 in UK (with different track listing and cover art, Decca LK 4733)
Recorded on November 2, 1964 to May 12, 1965 at RCA Studios, Los Angeles, California, on March 7, 1965 at Palace Theatre, Manchester, England and on May 10, 1965 at Chess Studios, Chicago, Illinois
Producer: Andrew Loog Oldham
Style: Blues Rock
Comments: Richie Unterberger for allmusic: "In 1965, the Stones finally proved themselves capable of writing classic rock singles that mined their R&B/blues roots, but updated them into a more guitar-based, thoroughly contemporary context. The first enduring Jagger- Richards classics are here - "The Last Time," its menacing, folky B-side "Play With Fire," and the riff-driven "Satisfaction," which made them superstars in the States and defined their sound and rebellious attitude better than any other single song."
87. The Sonics - Here Are the Sonics!!!
Biggest fans: nj (#19), Charlie Driggs (#31), Georgie (#43)
Position in AM 3000: #144 of the 1960s and #915 of all time
Position in 1965 poll: #10
Released on March 1965 (Etiquette ET-LPS-024)
Recorded on late 1964 to early 1965 at Audio Recording, Seattle, Washington
Producer: Buck Ormsby, Kent Morrill
Style: Garage Rock
Comments: Cub Koda for allmusic: "The Sonics that Wailers bassist Buck Ormsby took into a small studio and unleashed on the world show a live band at the peak of its power, ready to mow down the competition without even blinking twice. (...) The flame-throwing hits of "The Witch," "Psycho," "Boss Hoss," and "Strychnine" are aboard, along with versions of "Do You Love Me," "Dirty Robber," "Have Love Will Travel," and "Walkin' the Dog" that are no less potent."
86. The Mama's and the Papa's - If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears
Biggest fans: Miguel (#23), John (#26), Romain (#36)
Position in AM 3000: #140 of the 1960s and #892 of all time
Position in 1966 poll: #14
Released on February 1966 (Dunhill DS-50006)
Recorded on 1965-1966 at Western Studios, Los Angeles, California
Producer: Lou Adler
Comments: Bruce Eder for allmusic: "In the spring of 1966, "If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears" represented a genuinely new sound, as fresh to listeners as the songs on "Meet the Beatles" had seemed two years earlier. Released just as "California Dreaming" was ascending the charts by leaps and bounds, it was the product of months of rehearsal in the Virgin Islands and John Phillips' discovery of what one could do to build a polished recorded sound in the studio - it embraced folk-rock, pop/rock, pop, and soul, and also reflected the kind of care that acts like the Beatles were putting into their records at the time."
85. The Beatles - With the Beatles
Biggest fans: John (#21), Miguel (#25), Listyguy (#31)
Position in AM 3000: #62 of the 1960s and #286 of all time
Position in 1963 poll: #4
Released on November 22, 1963 in UK (Parlophone PMC 1206), the songs appeared on the US as part of the albums "Meet the Beatles!" (released on January 24, 1964) and "The Beatles' Second Album" (released on April 10, 1964)
Recorded on July 18 to October 23, 1963 at EMI Studios, London, England
Producer: George Martin
Comments: Stephen Thomas Erlewine for allmusic: " "With the Beatles" is a sequel of the highest order - one that betters the original by developing its own tone and adding depth. While it may share several similarities with its predecessor - there is an equal ratio of covers-to-originals, a familiar blend of girl group, Motown, R&B, pop, and rock, and a show tune that interrupts the flow of the album - "With the Beatles" is a better record that not only rocks harder, it's considerably more sophisticated."
84. Howlin' Wolf - Howlin' Wolf
Biggest fans: Henrik (#30), nj (#31), Mindrocker (#33)
Position in AM 3000: #86 of the 1960s and #446 of all time
Position in 1962 poll: #1
Released on January 11, 1962 (Chess LP-1469)
Recorded on 1960 to June 1961 at Chess Studios, Chicago, Illinois
Producer: Leonard Chess, Phil Chess, Willie Dixon
Style: Chicago Blues
Comments: Stephen Cook for allmusic: "Howlin' Wolf's second album brings together some of the blues great's best singles from the late '50s and early '60s. (...) Also featuring the fine work of Chess house producer and bassist Willie Dixon and guitarist Hubert Sumlin, Rockin' Chair qualifies as one of pinnacles of early electric blues, and is an essential album for any quality blues collection."
83. Kinks - Face to Face
Biggest fans: Miguel (#20), Charlie Driggs (#33), Jackson (#39)
Position in AM 3000: #99 of the 1960s and #553 of all time
Position in 1966 poll: #7
Released on October 28, 1966 (Pye NSPL.18149)
Recorded on October 26, 1965 to June 21, 1966 at Pye Studios, London, England
Producer: Shel Talmy
Comments: Stephen Cook for allmusic: " "The Kink Kontroversy" was a considerable leap forward in terms of quality, but it pales next to "Face to Face", one of the finest collections of pop songs released during the '60s. Conceived as a loose concept album, "Face to Face" sees Ray Davies' fascination with English class and social structures flourish, as he creates a number of vivid character portraits. Davies' growth as a lyricist has coincided with the Kinks' musical growth."
82. The Mothers of Invention - Freak Out!
Biggest fans: Mindrocker (#10), nj (#24), Charlie Driggs and Jackson (#42)
Position in AM 3000: #54 of the 1960s and #236 of all time
Position in 1966 poll: #6
Released on June 27, 1966 (Verve V-5005-2)
Recorded on March 9-12, 1966 at TTG Sunset-Highland Studios, Hollywood, California
Producer: Tom Wilson
Style: Experimental Rock
Comments: Steve Huey for allmusic: "One of the most ambitious debuts in rock history, "Freak Out!" was a seminal concept album that somehow foreshadowed both art rock and punk at the same time. Its four LP sides deconstruct rock conventions right and left, eventually pushing into territory inspired by avant-garde classical composers. Yet the album is sequenced in an accessibly logical progression; the first half is dedicated to catchy, satirical pop/rock songs that question assumptions about pop music, setting the tone for the radical new directions of the second half."
81. Otis Redding - Complete & Unbelievable: The Otis Redding Dictionary of Soul
Biggest fans: Miguel (#22), Romain (#28 ), Listyguy and Stephan (#33)
Position in AM 3000: #122 of the 1960s and #780 of all time
Position in 1966 poll: #13
Released on October 15, 1966 (Volt 415)
Recorded on May to September 1966 at Stax Studios, Memphis, Tennessee
Producer: Jim Stewart, Booker T. & the M.G.s, Isaac Hayes, David Porter
Style: Southern Soul
Comments: Mark Deming for allmusic: " Recorded and released in 1966, Otis Redding's fifth album, "Complete and Unbelievable: The Otis Redding Dictionary of Soul" found the rugged-voiced deep soul singer continuing to expand the boundaries of his style while staying true to his rough and passionate signature sound. (...) While Redding's experiments with covers on this set were successful and satisfying, it was on his own material that he sounded most at home, and "My Lover's Prayer" and "Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song)" are deep Southern soul at its finest, with Redding's forceful but lovelorn voice delivering an Academy Award-worthy performance."
Thank you for your votes. I hope my album "Otis Blue / Otis Redding Sings Soul" has a place among the 10 best of the decade.
Looking at that dynamite row (for me) from 98-92, I should have voted in this. I'm one of the few people here who votes for jazz in big numbers.
80. Bobby Bland - Two Steps from the Blues
Biggest fans: nj (#28 ), Charlie Driggs and Henrik (#35)
Position in AM 3000: #87 of the 1960s and #458 of all time
Position in 1961 poll: #1
Released on May 1961 (Duke DLP-74)
Recorded on March 12, 1956 - November 12, 1960 in Houston, Texas
Producer: Joe Scott, Don Robey
Style: Soul Blues
Comments: Stephen Thomas Erlewine for allmusic: "Without a doubt, "Two Steps from the Blues" is the definitive Bobby "Blue" Bland album and one of the great records in electric blues and soul-blues. In fact, it's one of the key albums in modern blues, marking a turning point when juke joint blues were seamlessly blended with gospel and Southern soul, creating a distinctly Southern sound where all of these styles blended so thoroughly it was impossible to tell where one began and one ended. Given his Memphis background, Bobby "Blue" Bland was perfectly suited for this kind of amalgam as envisioned by producer/arranger Joe Scott, who crafted these wailing horn arrangements that sounded as impassioned as Bland's full-throated, anguished vocals."
79. Bill Evans Trio - Sunday at the Village Vanguard
Biggest fans: Gillingham (#9), Georgie (#14), John (#36)
Position in AM 3000: #93 of the 1960s and #496 of all time
Position in 1961 poll: #5
Released in 1961 (Riverside RLP-376)
Recorded on June 25, 1961 at Village Vanguard, New York City
Producer: Orrin Keepnews
Style: Modal Jazz
Comments: Thom Jurek for allmusic: " "Sunday at the Village Vanguard" is the initial volume of a mammoth recording session by the Bill Evans Trio, from June 25, 1961 at New York's Village Vanguard documenting Evans' first trio with bassist Scott LaFaro and drummer Paul Motian. Its companion volume is "Waltz for Debby". This trio is still widely regarded as his finest, largely because of the symbiotic interplay between its members. Tragically, LaFaro was killed in an automobile accident ten days after this session was recorded, and Evans assembled the two packages a few months afterward. While "Waltz for Debby" - in retrospect - is seemingly a showcase for Evans' brilliant, subtle, and wide-ranging pianism, this volume becomes an homage, largely, to the genius and contribution of LaFaro."
78. Bob Dylan - The Times They Are A-Changin'
Biggest fans: Honorio (#8 ), Gillingham (#26), Stephan (#35)
Position in AM 3000: #128 of the 1960s and #813 of all time
Position in 1964 poll: #5
Released on January 13, 1964 (Columbia CL 2105)
Recorded on August 6, 1963 - October 31, 1963 at Columbia Studios, New York City
Producer: Tom Wilson
Stephen Thomas Erlewine for allmusic: "If "The Times They Are A-Changin'" isn't a marked step forward from "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan", even if it is his first collection of all originals, it's nevertheless a fine collection all the same. It isn't as rich as Freewheelin', and Dylan has tempered his sense of humor considerably, choosing to concentrate on social protests in the style of "Blowin' in the Wind"."
Honorio for Acclaimed Music: "Living in a political world. An angry young Dylan (with a sullen look in the album cover) took no prisoners here, he charged against war lords, judges, government or racism. Not forgetting sublime lost-love songs ("Boots of Spanish Leather") or defiant attitude (the title song). The peak of the political Bob (and the swan song, soon he was going to move to "another side")."
77. Jefferson Airplane - Surrealistic Pillow
Biggest fans: Listyguy (#16), Gillingham (#25), Harold Wexler (#29)
Position in AM 3000: #41 of the 1960s and #173 of all time
Position in 1967 poll: #13
Released on February 1967 (RCA Victor LSP 3766)
Recorded on October 31, 1966 - November 22, 1966 at RCA Victor's Music Center, Hollywood, California
Producer: Rick Jarrard
Style: Psychedelic Rock
Comments: Bruce Eder for allmusic: "The second album by Jefferson Airplane, "Surrealistic Pillow" was a groundbreaking piece of folk-rock-based psychedelia, and it hit - literally - like a shot heard round the world (...) The songwriting was spread around between Marty Balin, Grace Slick, Paul Kantner and Jorma Kaukonen, and Slick and Balin (who never had a prettier song than "Today," which he'd actually written for Tony Bennett) shared the vocals; the whole album was resplendent in a happy balance of all of these creative elements, before excessive experimentation (musical and chemical) began affecting the band's ability to do a straightforward song. The group never made a better album, and few artists from the era ever did."
76. The 13th Floor Elevators - The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators
Biggest fans: Mindrocker (#2), nj (#23), Jackson (#40)
Position in AM 3000: #162 of the 1960s and #1021 of all time
Position in 1966 poll: #8
Released on November 1966 (International Artists IA-LP-1)
Recorded on March 1966 - October 10, 1966 at Sumet Sound Studios, Dallas, Texas
Producer: Lelan Rodgers, Gordon Bynum
Style: Acid Rock
Comments: Mark Deming for allmusic: "Did the 13th Floor Elevators invent psychedelic rock? Aficionados will be debating that point for decades, but if Roky Erickson and his fellow travelers into inner space weren't there first, they were certainly close to the front of the line, and there are few albums from the early stages of the psych movement that sound as distinctively trippy - and remain as pleasing - as the group's groundbreaking debut, "The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators"."
75. Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band - Safe as Milk
Biggest fans: Charlie Driggs (#12), Gillingham (#18 ), Mindrocker (#27)
Position in AM 3000: #85 of the 1960s and #442 of all time
Position in 1967 poll: #15
Released on September 1967 (Buddah BDM 1001)
Recorded on April 1967 at RCA Studios, Los Angeles, California
Producer: Richard Perry, Bob Krasnow
Style: Blues Rock
Mark Deming for allmusic: "Beefheart's first proper studio album is a much more accessible, pop-inflected brand of blues-rock than the efforts that followed in the late '60s - which isn't to say that it's exactly normal and straightforward. Featuring Ry Cooder on guitar, this is blues-rock gone slightly askew, with jagged, fractured rhythms, soulful, twisting vocals from Van Vliet, and more doo wop, soul, straight blues, and folk-rock influences than he would employ on his more avant-garde outings."
Rocky Raccoon for Acclaimed Music: "I'll take accessible Beefheart over the crazy-ass version anytime."
74. Simon & Garfunkel - Sounds of Silence
Biggest fans: Miguel (#11), Romain (#16), Henry (#25)
Position in AM 3000: #173 of the 1960s and #1102 of all time
Position in 1966 poll: #10
Released on January 17, 1966 (Columbia CL 2469)
Recorded on March 10, 1964 - June 15, 1965 at Columbia Studios in New York City and on December 13 - 22, 1965 at Columbia Studios in Memphis, Tennessee and Los Angeles, California
Producer: Tom Wilson, Bob Johnston
Style: Folk Rock
Comments: Bruce Eder for allmusic: "Simon & Garfunkel's second album, "Sounds of Silence", was recorded 18 months after their debut long-player, "Wednesday Morning, 3AM" - but even though the two albums shared one song (actually, one-and-a-half songs) in common, the sound here seemed a million miles away from the gentle harmonizing and unassuming acoustic accompaniment on the first record. In between, there had been a minor earthquake in the pop/rock world called "folk-rock," which resulted in the transformation of their acoustic rendition of "The Sound of Silence" into a classic of the new genre, complete with jangling electric guitars and an amplified beat that helped carry it to the top of the charts."
73. Oscar Brown Jr. - Sin & Soul
Biggest fans: Charlie Driggs (#13), nj (#22), Mindrocker (#25)
Position in AM 3000: not listed
Position in 1960 poll: #5
Released in 1960 (Columbia CL 1577)
Recorded on June 20, 1960 - October 23, 1960
Producer: Al Hamm
Style: Vocal Jazz
Comments: Scott Yanow for allmusic: "Oscar Brown, Jr. 's debut recording, "Sin & Soul", is a true classic. A brilliant lyricist, a dramatic singer, and a highly individual genius in his own way, Brown performed a dozen memorable selections for this album. His lyrics to "Work Song," "Watermelon Man," "Afro-Blue," and particularly "Dat Dere" are famous; "But I Was Cool" and "Signifyin' Money" are humorous; "Bid 'Em In" is a chilling depiction of a slave auction; and "Rags and Old Iron" is quite touching. Essential music from an underrated great."
72. The Beach Boys - Today!
Biggest fans: Miguel (#16), nj (#21), Georgie (#22)
Position in AM 3000: #121 of the 1960s and #774 of all time
Position in 1965 poll: #9
Released on March 1, 1965 (Capitol T-2269)
Recorded on June 8, 1964 - January 19, 1965 at Western Recording Studios, Hollywood, California
Producer: Brian Wilson
Style: Sunshine Pop
Comments: Richie Unterberger for allmusic: "Brian Wilson's retirement from performing to concentrate on studio recording and production reaped immediate dividends with "Today!", the first Beach Boys album that is strong almost from start to finish. "Dance, Dance, Dance" and "Do You Wanna Dance" were upbeat hits with Spector-influenced arrangements, but Wilson began to deal with more sophisticated themes on another smash 45, "When I Grow Up," on which these eternal teenagers looked forward to the advancing years with fear and uncertainty. Surf/hot rod/beach themes were permanently retired in favor of late-adolescent, early-adult romance on this album, which included such decent outings in this vein as "She Knows Me Too Well," "Kiss Me Baby," and "In the Back of My Mind"."
71. Eric Dolphy - Out to Lunch!
Biggest fans: nj (#3), sonofsamiam (#18 ), Jackson (#28 )
Position in AM 3000: #68 of the 1960s and #328 of all time
Position in 1964 poll: #4
Released in 1964 (Blue Note BLP 4163)
Recorded on February 25, 1964 at Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
Producer: Alfred Lion
Style: Avant-garde Jazz
Steve Huey for allmusic: "Much has been written about Dolphy's odd time signatures, wide-interval leaps, and flirtations with atonality. And those preoccupations reach their peak on "Out to Lunch!", which is less rooted in bop tradition than anything Dolphy had ever done. But that sort of analytical description simply doesn't do justice to the utterly alien effect of the album's jagged soundscapes. Dolphy uses those pet devices for their evocative power and unnerving hints of dementia, not some abstract intellectual exercise. His solos and themes aren't just angular and dissonant - they're hugely so, with a definite playfulness that becomes more apparent with every listen."
nj for Acclaimed Music: "I like the album cover. The sign says "Out to lunch" which at that time was a slang term for eating out saxophones and stuff because jazz musicians were poor and on junk all the time and couldn't afford real hookers L@LZ..."
For someone whose knowledge of music prior to the 80s is kinda shameful, this thread is already proving to be another astonishing resource (just like the threads for the 1900-1949 and 1950s results were). Thanks again Honorio for a fabulous presentation. Hopefully next time we do a 60s or 50s or all-time poll I would feel more comfortable participating (along with others checking out these threads).
70. Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band - Trout Mask Replica
Biggest fans: Georgie (#7), Jackson (#13), Harold Wexler (#15)
Position in AM 3000: #19 of the 1960s and #54 of all time
Position in 1969 poll: #12
Released on June 16, 1969 (Straight STS 1053)
Recorded on August 1968 at Sunset Sound Recorders and March 1969 at Whitney Studios, Los Angeles, California
Producer: Frank Zappa
Style: Experimental Rock
Steve Huey for allmusic: " "Trout Mask Replica" is Captain Beefheart's masterpiece, a fascinating, stunningly imaginative work that still sounds like little else in the rock & roll canon. (...) Atonal, sometimes singsong melodies; jagged, intricately constructed dual-guitar parts; stuttering, complicated rhythmic interaction - all of these elements float out seemingly at random, often without completely interlocking, while Beedheart groans his surrealist poetry in a throaty Howlin' Wolf growl."
Rocky Raccoon: "I can admire this one from a distance, but that's about it. A safe distance would be at least quarter of a mile."
Listyguy for Acclaimed Music: "Rest in Peace."
69. Stan Getz & João Gilberto (featuring Antônio Carlos Jobim) - Getz/Gilberto
Biggest fans: Honorio (#20), Gillingham and nicolas (#21)
Position in AM 3000: #73 of the 1960s and #366 of all time
Position in 1964 poll: #3
Released on March 1964 (Verve V-8545)
Recorded on March 18-19, 1963 at A&R Recording Studios, New York City
Producer: Creed Taylor
Style: Bossa Nova
Comments: Steve Huey for allmusic: " "Getz/Gilberto" made bossa nova a permanent part of the jazz landscape not just with its unassailable beauty, but with one of the biggest smash hit singles in jazz history - "The Girl From Ipanema," a Jobim classic sung by João's wife, Astrud Gilberto, who had never performed outside of her own home prior to the recording session. (...) The musicians all play with an effortless grace that's arguably the fullest expression of bossa nova's dreamy romanticism ever brought to American listeners. Getz himself has never been more lyrical, and Gilberto and Jobim pull off the harmonic and rhythmic sophistication of the songs with a warm, relaxed charm. This music has nearly universal appeal; it's one of those rare jazz records about which the purist elite and the buying public are in total agreement. Beyond essential."
68. Jacques Brel - Jacques Brel
Biggest fans: nicolas (#16), Romain (#22), Gillingham (#30)
Position in AM 3000: not listed
Position in 1962 poll: #3
Released in 1962 (Barclay 80.173)
Recorded on March 6-14, 1962 probably in Paris, France
Producer: François Rauber
Dave Thompson for allmusic: " "Jacques Brel" represents the first LP appearance for (...) the hometown homage of "Bruxelles" and "Les Paumes Du Petit Matin", the 1962 song from whose piano melody Serge Gainsbourg later conjured his "Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde". Brel's vocal contortions during the song's hook, meanwhile, are almost worth the price of admission on their own. Equally valuable is the inclusion of "Les Biches", a song which has been described among Brel's own favorite compositions but which is oddly lacking from the Barclay label's box set of his (otherwise) complete works."
nicolas for Acclaimed Music: "The first great Brel album, after his boy scout period. The title song is one of his best (can you imagine in 1962 a guy singing "bourgeois are just like pigs, the older they grow, the dumber they get"), Le Plat pays too, but there are also throwaway and dated songs on this album, as always with Brel, who didn't keep a close control on the arrangements except on his last one."
67. John Coltrane - Giant Steps
Biggest fans: sonofsamiam (#20), Stephan (#31), Mindrocker and nj (#32)
Position in AM 3000: #74 of the 1960s and #369 of all time
Position in 1960 poll: #2
Released in 1960 (Atlantic SD 1311)
Recorded on May 4-5, 1959 - December 2, 1959 in New York City
Producer: Nesuhi Ertegun
Style: Hard Bop
Comments: Lindsay Planer for allmusic: "He was, in essence, beginning to rewrite the jazz canon with material that would be centered on solos - the 180-degree antithesis of the art form up to that point. These arrangements would create a place for the solo to become infinitely more compelling. This would culminate in a frenetic performance style that noted jazz journalist Ira Gitler accurately dubbed "sheets of sound." Coltrane's polytonal torrents extricate the amicable and otherwise cordial solos that had begun decaying the very exigency of the genre - turning it into the equivalent of easy listening. He wastes no time as the disc's title track immediately indicates a progression from which there would be no looking back. Line upon line of highly cerebral improvisation snake between the melody and solos, practically fusing the two. The resolute intensity of "Countdown" does more to modernize jazz in 141 seconds than many artists do in their entire careers."
66. Georges Brassens - Nº 7
Biggest fans: nicolas (#2), Romain (#7), Stephan (#58 )
Position in AM 3000: not listed
Position in 1960 poll: #3
Released in March 1960 (Phillips B 76 488 R)
Recorded on February 1960 at Studio Blanqui in Paris, France
Producer: Jacques Canetti
John Storm Roberts for allmusic: "Georges Brassens was France's finest post-war singer/songwriter, a uniquely and unquantifiably Parisian phenomenon. Armed with an acoustic guitar (at most, late in his career, a string trio) and a deceptively simple baritone voice, he set people whistling in the street lovesongs (risqué and otherwise) of affable idiosyncracy and settings of poets from Villon to Aragon. Why is he unknown outside France? He spent a lifetime avoiding stardom, but also his brilliant lyrics are totally untranslatable, and though his best melodies are unforgettably beguiling and his voice guitar unequalled models of how to support a lyric, those lyrics are crucial."
nicolas: "Brassens is the first thing I remember, musically speaking. My grandfather played these 10-inch (30cm) LPs, I was 3 or 4 years old and soon I knew some songs by heart and sang them in my grandparents' garden. My father played these records too, singing along. I listened to them with my sisters, especially this one. And Brassens still rules : he's folk, and sometimes jazzy à la Django (always just a double bass and two accoustic guitars), he's the hell of a songwriter, he's an exquisite poet (much better than Brel to me, much more literate), he's fun, go to his biography on wiki or AMG if you don't know him. The songs ? about God (the hilarious Le Mécréant), death and murder (adaptation of XVth century poet François Villon's Le Verger du roi Louis), love (Pénélope, L'Orage, Le Bistrot, two of his very best songs)."
65. Johnny Cash - At Folsom Prison
Biggest fans: Stephan (#11), sonofsamiam (#15), nicolas (#28 )
Position in AM 3000: #39 of the 1960s and #169 of all time
Position in 1968 poll: #13
Released on May 1968 (Columbia CS 9639)
Recorded on January 13, 1968 live at Folsom State Prison in Folsom, California
Producer: Bob Johnston
Style: Outlaw Country
John Storm Roberts for allmusic: "Folsom Prison looms large in Johnny Cash's legacy, providing the setting for perhaps his definitive song and the location for his definitive album, "At Folsom Prison". The ideal blend of mythmaking and gritty reality, "At Folsom Prison" is the moment when Cash turned into the towering Man in Black, a haunted troubadour singing songs of crime, conflicted conscience, and jail. Surely, this dark outlaw stance wasn't a contrivance but it was an exaggeration, with Cash creating this image by tailoring his set list to his audience of prisoners, filling up the set with tales of murder and imprisonment - a bid for common ground with the convicts, but also a sly way to suggest that maybe Cash really did shoot a man in Reno just to watch him die."
nicolas: "With its twin brother "St Quentin", it's one of the most amazing live albums ever. Here the situation is as important as the music (nothing but a string of excellent Cash songs). You gotta picture (and you hear) what it would be to hear songs as caustic as "Cocaine Blues" or the stunning "25minutes" if you're an inmate. Cash jokes with the audience, makes fun of the wardens, and sing many excellent prison songs."
64. The Who - My Generation
Biggest fans: Henry (#19), Rocky Raccoon (#21), Stephan (#22)
Position in AM 3000: #59 of the 1960s and #251 of all time
Position in 1965 poll: #7
Released on December 27, 1965 (Brunswick LAT 8616) and on April 25, 1966 in the US as "The Who Sings My Generation" (Decca US DL 74664) with a different cover art and minor changes on the track listing ("Instant Party" for "I'm a Man")
Recorded on April and October 11-15, 1965 at IBC Studios in London, England
Producer: Shel Talmy
Comments: Richie Unterberger for allmusic: "An explosive debut, and the hardest mod pop recorded by anyone. At the time of its release, it also had the most ferociously powerful guitars and drums yet captured on a rock record. Pete Townsgend's exhilarating chord crunches and guitar distortions threaten to leap off the grooves on "My Generation" and "Out in the Street"; Keith Moon attacks the drums with a lightning, ruthless finesse throughout. (...) While the execution was sometimes crude, and the songwriting not as sophisticated as it would shortly become, the Who never surpassed the pure energy level of this record."
63. Bob Dylan - John Wesley Harding
Biggest fans: Gillingham (#6), Stephan (#13), Listyguy (#24)
Position in AM 3000: #82 of the 1960s and #417 of all time
Position in 1967 poll: #12
Released on December 27, 1967 (Columbia CS 9604)
Recorded on October 17 - November 29, 1967 at Columbia Recording Studios in Nashville, Tennessee
Producer: Bob Johnston
Style: Country Rock
Comments: Stephen Thomas Erlewine for allmusic: "Bob Dylan returned from exile with "John Wesley Harding", a quiet, country-tinged album that split dramatically from his previous three. A calm, reflective album, "John Wesley Harding" strips away all of the wilder tendencies of Dylan's rock albums - even the then-unreleased "Basement Tapes" he made the previous year - but it isn't a return to his folk roots. If anything, the album is his first serious foray into country, but only a handful of songs, such as "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight," are straight country songs. (...) Although the lyrics are somewhat enigmatic, the music is simple, direct, and melodic, providing a touchstone for the country-rock revolution that swept through rock in the late '60s."
62. The Band - Music From Big Pink
Biggest fans: Stephan (#14), Henry (#18 ), Chris (#21)
Position in AM 3000: #24 of the 1960s and #80 of all time
Position in 1968 poll: #14
Released on July 1, 1968 (Capitol SKAO-2955)
Recorded on January 1968 at A&R Studios, New York City and on February 1968 at Capitol Studios, Los Angeles, California
Producer: John Simon
Style: Roots Rock
Comments: William Ruhlmann for allmusic: "None of the Band's previous work gave much of a clue about how they would sound when they released their first album in July 1968. As it was, "Music From Big Pink" came as a surprise. At first blush, the group seemed to affect the sound of a loose jam session, alternating emphasis on different instruments, while the lead and harmony vocals passed back and forth as if the singers were making up their blend on the spot. In retrospect, especially as the lyrics sank in, the arrangements seemed far more considered and crafted to support a group of songs that took family, faith, and rural life as their subjects and proceeded to imbue their values with uncertainty. Some songs took on the theme of declining institutions less clearly than others, but the points were made musically as much as lyrically."
61. The Monks - Black Monk Time
Biggest fans: nj (#3), Charlie Driggs (#7), sonofsamiam (#31)
Position in AM 3000: #189 of the 1960s and #1264 of all time
Position in 1966 poll: #11
Released on May 1966 (International Polydor Production 249 900)
Recorded on March 1966 at Polydor Studio in Cologne, Germany
Producer: Jimmy Bowien
Style: Garage Rock
Mark Deming for allmusic: "The story of the Monks is one of those rock & roll tales that seems too good to be true - five Americans soldiers stationed in Germany form a rock band to blow off steam, and after starting out playing solid but ordinary R&B-influenced beat music, their songs evolve into something that bear practically no relation to anything happening in pop in 1966. If anything, the Monks were far wilder than their story would suggest; they may have looked bizarre in their matching black outfits, rope ties, and tonsures, but it was their music that was truly radical (...) The closest thing the Monks had to a musical counterpart in 1966 were the Velvet Underground, but existing on separate continents they never heard one another at the time, and while Lour Reed and John Cale were schooled in free jazz and contemporary classical that influenced their work, the Monks were creating a new species of rock & roll pretty much out of their heads."
Rocky Raccoon: "These guys were ahead of their time, and maybe still are. Too bad they didn't stick around longer. One of this poll's discoveries for me."
nj: "It's Monk Time! It's Monk Time! It's Monk Time! It's Monk Time! It's Monk Time! It's Monk Time! It's Monk Time! It's Monk Time! It's Monk Time! It's Monk Time! It's Monk Time! It's Monk Time! It's Monk Time! It's Monk Time! It's Monk Time! It's Monk Time! It's Monk Time! It's Monk Time! It's Monk Time! It's Monk Time! It's Monk Time! It's Monk Time! It's Monk Time! It's Monk Time! It's Monk Time! It's Monk Time! It's Monk Time! It's Monk Time! It's Monk Time! It's Monk Time! It's Monk Time! It's Monk Time! It's Monk Time! It's Monk Time! It's Monk Time! It's Monk Time! It's Monk Time! It's Monk Time! It's Monk Time! It's Monk Time! It's Monk Time! It's Monk Time! It's Monk Time! It's Monk Time! It's Monk Time! It's Monk Time! It's Monk Time! It's Monk Time!"
To learn more about The Monks, see the excellent documentary "The Transatlantic Freedback", here is the trailer.
Hot damn, those are some awesome albums. I would argue that some of them are way too low, but I know what's still coming so it's really hard to argue. Man, I love the '60s.
I would have liked to see the Captain Beefheart albums place higher, but I guess I shouldn't have expected much given that those aren't exactly consensus-builders. Out to Lunch was another one of those jazz classics that should have been higher too.
Yes, Charlie Driggs, the Monks were a fascinating anomaly in the 60s scene (in fact it could have been an anomaly on any given decade).
And yes, Stephan, I got the same feeling, sometimes I think "no, this one can’t be that low" too but when I see the next ones I can do nothing but (mostly) agree.
And, Jackson, the albums you pointed are the typical polarizing ones. 5 out of 20 voters put "Trout Mask Replica" and "Out to Lunch! " in 91-100 positions. And (sorry) I was one of those five, although I can recognize its groundbreaking value.
I just can’t resist to post comments from some of the voters about "Trout Mask Replica" (not made for this specific poll, that’s why I didn’t include it previously):
Henrik for Rateyourmusic: "I have tried to love this album, but failed every time. It has its funny pieces, but a double LP of this weird music has been too much for me. But still, I do not dare saying the album is overrated. Somehow, I feel there might be an opening for this record in my brain. I just haven't found it."
nicolas for Acclaimed Music on an old thread (2007): "But listening to his album is like eating a plate of peppers. Peppers are good when added in small quantity to some food. But you wouldn't eat the whole jar."
With Brel and Morricone going out within this group there's only left one non-UK non-US album. But no complain at all, in fact it’s the opposite, this is one of the biggest differences between our own list and the "official" AM critics list. While they put a single "foreign" album in the Top 100 (Getz/Gilberto) we chose no less than 8 albums outside UK/US (two French, two Brazilian, two Belgian, one Italian and one German). Congratulations to all the participants for this feature.
And let's continue before getting myself a brief break to compile my own 2000 list.
60. Jacques Brel - Ces gens-là
Biggest fans: Henrik (#8 ), Romain (#12), nj (#30)
Position in AM 3000: not listed
Position in 1965 poll: #13
Released on December 1965 as a 6-songs 10" vinyl (Barclay 80 284), and in early 1966 as a 12" vinyl (Barclay 80.323) adding songs from the EPs "Jef" and "Mathilde"
Recorded on November 2-6, 1965 probably in Paris, France
Producer: François Rauber
Comments: Amy Hanson for allmusic: "... there are other songs that are equally, if not more so, as strong as the "hits." "Ces Gens-Lá" is a perfect example. Accompanied at first by the merest beat of keys on a piano, the song brings Brel's voice completely to the front as it starts a slow stroke before building to pure passion, backed by both strings and brass. It's a beautiful composition in which, in true style, the singer skewers both the family and the Church. And it's moments like these that only enforce the realization that there would only ever be one chansonnier of Brel's caliber. "Grand'mère" and "Fernand," meanwhile, bring a lighthearted touch to the proceedings."
59. Aretha Franklin - I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You
Biggest fans: Rocky Raccoon (#13), Listyguy (#26), Romain (#29)
Position in AM 3000: #25 of the 1960s and #81 of all time
Position in 1967 poll: #11
Released on March 10, 1967 (Atlantic SD 8139)
Recorded on January 24, 1967 at Fame Studios, Muscle Shoals, Alabama and February 8-15 at Atlantic Recording Studios, New York City
Producer: Jerry Wexler
Style: Deep Soul
Comments: Jason Ankeny for allmusic: "While the inclusion of "Respect" - one of the truly seminal singles in pop history - is in and of itself sufficient to earn "I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You" classic status, Aretha Franklin's Atlantic label debut is an indisputable masterpiece from start to finish. Much of the credit is due to producer Jerry Wexler, who finally unleashed the soulful intensity so long kept under wraps during her Columbia tenure; assembling a crack Muscle Shoals backing band along with an abundance of impeccable material, Wexler creates the ideal setting to allow Aretha to ascend to the throne of Queen of Soul, and she responds with the strongest performances of her career."
58. Miles Davis - Sketches of Spain
Biggest fans: nicolas (#25), Romain (#27), Henry (#28 )
Position in AM 3000: #78 of the 1960s and #393 of all time
Position in 1960 poll: #1
Released on July 18, 1960 (Atlantic SD 8139)
Recorded on November 20, 1959 - March 10, 1960 at Columbia 30th Street Studio, New York City
Producer: Gil Evans, Teo Macero and Irving Townsend
Style: Progressive Big Band Jazz
Jason Ankeny for allmusic: "Along with "Kind of Blue", "In a Silent Way" and "Round About Midnight", "Sketches of Spain" is one of Miles Davis' most enduring and innovative achievements. (...) Miles teamed with British arranger Gil Evans for the third time. Davis brought Evans the album's signature piece, "Concierto de Aranjuez," after hearing a classical version of it at bassist Joe Mondragon's house. Evans was as taken with it as Miles and set about to create an entire album of material around it. The result is a masterpiece of modern art. (...) "Sketches of Spain" is the most luxuriant and stridently romantic recording Davis ever made. To listen to it in the 21st century is still a spine-tingling experience as one encounters a multitude of timbres, tonalities, and harmonic structures seldom found in the music called jazz."
nicolas: "I only heard it once and was stunned. I always find Miles a big cold blooded, but here he's emotionally very present."
57. Ennio Morricone - Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo
Biggest fans: Romain (#5), Stephan (#15), Brad (#20)
Position in AM 3000: #436 of the 1960s and #2871 of all time
Position in 1966 poll: #12
Released on December 23, 1966 (Parade Eureka EPL 2690 S)
Recorded in 1966 with Unioni Musicisti di Roma conducted by Bruno Nicolai probably in Rome, Italy
Producer: Ennio Morricone
Style: Spaghetti Western Soundtrack
Comments: Steven McDonald for allmusic: "A major influence on Western scores right into the nineties, Morricone's music utilizes quite a remarkable array of musical tools. There's a traditional element of Western underscore, with a brassy feel to it, but this is joined throughout by thundering percussion that includes a lot of bells, various arrangements of voices, clanging acoustic and electric guitars, and even a prepared piano. Aside from the famous title track with its Shadows influences, there's a lot here to recommend this particular score - there are moments of intense drama and incredible beauty that are rarely heard in motion picture underscore, giving the work a classical feel."
56. Pharoah Sanders - Karma
Biggest fans: sonofsamiam (#8 ), Jackson (#11), nj (#12)
Position in AM 3000: #274 of the 1960s and #1880 of all time
Position in 1969 poll: #11
Released on May 1969 (Impulse! AS 9181)
Recorded on February 14-19, 1969 in New York City
Producer: Bob Thiele
Style: Spiritual Jazz
Comments: Thom Jurek for allmusic: "Pharoah Sanders' third album as a leader is the one that defines him as a musician to the present day. After the death of Coltrane, while there were many seeking to make a spiritual music that encompassed his ideas and yearnings while moving forward, no one came up with the goods until Sanders on this 1969 date. There are only two tracks on Karma, the 32-plus minute "The Creator Has a Master Plan" and the five-and-a-half-minute "Colours". (... ) "Creator" begins with a quote from "A Love Supreme", with a nod to Coltrane's continuing influence on Sanders. But something else emerges here as well: Sander' own deep commitment to lyricism and his now inherent knowledge of Eastern breathing and modal techniques. His ability to use the ostinato became not a way of holding a tune in place while people soloed, but a manner of pushing it irrepressibly forward."
55. The Byrds - Mr. Tambourine Man
Biggest fans: Miguel (#10), Listyguy (#23), Rocky Raccoon (#28 )
Position in AM 3000: #55 of the 1960s and #239 of all time
Position in 1965 poll: #8
Released on June 21, 1965 (Columbia CS 9172)
Recorded on January 20 - April 22, 1965 at Columbia Studios, Hollywood, California
Producer: Terry Melcher
Style: Folk Rock
Comments: Richie Unterberger for allmusic: "One of the greatest debuts in the history of rock, "Mr. Tambourine Man" was nothing less than a significant step in the evolution of rock & roll itself, demonstrating that intelligent lyrical content could be wedded to compelling electric guitar riffs and a solid backbeat. It was also the album that was most responsible for establishing folk-rock as a popular phenomenon, its most alluring traits being Roger McGuinn's immediately distinctive 12-string Rickenbacker jangle and the band's beautiful harmonies."
54. Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin
Biggest fans: Brad (#12), Listyguy (#15), Gillingham and Honorio (#22)
Position in AM 3000: #28 of the 1960s and #108 of all time
Position in 1969 poll: #7
Released on January 12, 1969 (Atlantic SD 8216)
Recorded on October, 1968 at Olympic Studios, London, England
Producer: Jimmy Page
Style: Hard Rock
Comments: Stephen Thomas Erlewine for allmusic: "Led Zeppelin had a fully formed, distinctive sound from the outset, as their eponymous debut illustrates. Taking the heavy, distorted electric blues of Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck and Cream to an extreme, Zeppelin created a majestic, powerful brand of guitar rock constructed around simple, memorable riffs and lumbering rhythms. But the key to the group's attack was subtlety: it wasn't just an onslaught of guitar noise, it was shaded and textured, filled with alternating dynamics and tempos. As "Led Zeppelin" proves, the group was capable of such multi-layered music from the start."
53. James Brown - 'Live' at the Apollo
Biggest fans: Chris, nj and Stephan (#27)
Position in AM 3000: #16 of the 1960s and #40 of all time
Position in 1963 poll: #3
Released on May 1963 (King 826)
Recorded on October 24, 1962 at the Apollo Theatre, New York City
Producer: James Brown
Comments: Rob Bowman for allmusic: "An astonishing record of James and the Flames tearing the roof off the sucker at the mecca of R&B theatres, New York's Apollo. When King Records owner Syd Nathan refused to fund the recording, thinking it commercial folly, Brown single-mindedly proceeded anyway, paying for it out of his own pocket. He had been out on the road night after night for a while, and he knew that the magic that was part and parcel of a James Brown show was something no record had ever caught. (...) The affirmative screams and cries of the audience are something you've never experienced unless you've seen the Brown Revue in a Black theater. If you have, I need not say more; if you haven't, suffice to say that this should be one of the very first records you ever own."
52. Scott Walker - Scott 4
Biggest fans: Henrik (#5), sonofsmiam (#10), Chris (#18 )
Position in AM 3000: #80 of the 1960s and #412 of all time
Position in 1969 poll: #13
Released on September 1969 (Phillips SBL 7913)
Recorded in 1969 at Olympic Studios, London, England
Producer: John Franz
Style: Baroque Pop
Comments: Richie Unterberger for allmusic: "Walker dropped out of the British Top Ten with his fourth album, but the result was probably his finest '60s LP. While the tension between the bloated production and his introspective, ambitious lyrics remains, much of the over-the-top bombast of the orchestral arrangements has been reined in, leaving a relatively stripped-down approach that complements his songs rather than smothering them. This is the first Walker album to feature entirely original material, and his songwriting is more lucid and cutting. Several of the tracks stand among his finest."
51. John Coltrane - My Favorite Things
Biggest fans: Charlie Driggs (#9), nicolas (#10), Henry (#13)
Position in AM 3000: #97 of the 1960s and #539 of all time
Position in 1961 poll: #2
Released on March 1961 (Atlantic 1361)
Recorded on October 21-26, 1961 at Atlantic Studios, New York City
Producer: Nesuhi Ertegün
Style: Modal Jazz
Lindsay Planer for allmusic: "Although seemingly impossible to comprehend, this landmark jazz date made in 1960 was recorded in less than three days. (...) Each track of this album is a joy to revisit. The ultimate listenability may reside in this quartet's capacity to not be overwhelmed by the soloist. Likewise, they are able to push the grooves along surreptitiously and unfettered. For instance, the support that the trio - most notably Tyner - gives to Coltrane on the title track winds the melody in and around itself. However, instead of becoming entangled and directionless, these musical sidebars simultaneously define the direction the song is taking."
nicolas: "Jazz is not much represented in my favorite albums, but thanks to the 50-60s poll, it's getting better (Chet Baker Sings, Sketches of Spain or Mingus Ah Hum have become favorites of mine). And the same goes for classical. In fact I prefer songs. But My Favorite Things is a song, and this sound is so gorgeous… This one is an old friend."
You're a machine, Honorio, pumping out these polls with so much accuracy. Keep up the good work.
Amazing finish for Karma given that it's such a relatively obscure album compared to those that surround it. If Michael had voted, it would have easily cracked top 50. I wonder how "The Creator Has a Masterplan" will fare...
Wow, 18 of my top 20 are in this top 50.
nicolas, awesome comment on Trout Mask Replica!
But where are you now when I have discovered Ces gens-là?
I'm glad you discovered such a great album !
everything Brel did in 1962-65 is great
Hi, Anthony, many thanks for your kind words.
Yes, Stephan, Henrik had Morricone at #37. I post the first three voters on every album (from 50 to 25 I will post the first four and from 10 to 1 the first five). In the case of Morricone Gilligham was #4 (position 31) and Henrik and nj tied at #5.
Yes, Jackson, Pharoah Sanders has been a refreshing surprise on this poll.
Listyguy, according to the calculations with the Excel sheet your overall correlation with the combined votes of the poll was 0.39, in the lower half but you were not the lowest. You will see the complete correlations when I post the Excel sheet but (if I'm allowed to slightly spoil the surprise) the ones with lower correlation (the “different” ones) were... nj and Romain (and the ones with higher degree Chris and Harold Wexler).
Henrik, your comment on “Trout Mask Replica” was great too. And so it is “Ce gens-là” and the 1962-1965 period for Brel (my favourite is 1964’s 10” album “Jef”).
Well, Listyguy, the answer to this question should be answered by Henrik the Magic Statician, but I can’t post to him the complete Excel file (I don't want to ruin the surprise for him). Maybe we should wait till the final results to reveal the statistical analysis (sorry, probably I rushed in too early with that comment).
The Top 50
And there it goes our first personal #1...
50. The Beatles - Help!
Biggest fans: John (#3), Miguel (#17), Brad (#18 ), Henry (#23)
Position in AM 3000: #107 of the 1960s and #620 of all time
Position in 1965 poll: #6
Released on August 6, 1965 (Parlophone PCS 3071), the songs from the UK album were released in the US as part of the albums "Beatles VI" (Capitol 2358, released on June 14, 1965), "Help!" (Capitol 2386, released on August 13, 1965) and "Yesterday and Today" (Capitol 2553, released on June 15, 1966)
Recorded on February 15 - June 17, 1965 at EMI Studios, London, England
Producer: George Martin
Comments: Stephen Thomas Erlewine for allmusic: "Considering that "Help!" functions as the Beatles' fifth album and as the soundtrack to their second film - while filming, they continued to release non-LP singles on a regular basis - it's not entirely surprising that it still has some of the weariness of "Beatles for Sale". (...) Since Lennon wrote a third more songs than McCartney, it's easy to forgive a pair of minor numbers ("It's Only Love," "Tell Me What You See"), especially since they're overshadowed by four great songs. His Dylan infatuation holds strong, particularly on the plaintive "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" and the title track, where the brash arrangement disguises Lennon's desperation. Driven by an indelible 12-string guitar, "Ticket to Ride" is another masterpiece and "You're Going to Lose That Girl" is the kind of song McCartney effortlessly tosses off - which he does with the jaunty "The Night Before" and "Another Girl," two very fine tunes that simply update his melodic signature. He did much better with "I've Just Seen a Face," an irresistible folk-rock gem, and "Yesterday," a simple, beautiful ballad whose arrangement - an acoustic guitar supported by a string quartet - and composition suggested much more sophisticated and adventurous musical territory, which the group immediately began exploring with "Rubber Soul"."
49. The Mothers of Invention - We're Only in It for the Money
Biggest fans: Mindrocker (#1), Georgie (#15), Henrik (#18 ), Harold Wexler (#22)
Position in AM 3000: #50 of the 1960s and #205 of all time
Position in 1968 poll: #9
Released on March 4, 1968 (Verve V6 5045)
Recorded on March 14 - October 1967 at Capitol Studios, Los Angeles, California, Mayfair Studios and Apostolic Studios, New York City
Producer: Frank Zappa
Style: Experimental Rock
Comments: Steve Huey for allmusic: "From the beginning, Frank Zappa cultivated a role as voice of the freaks - imaginative outsiders who didn't fit comfortably into any group. "We're Only in It for the Money" is the ultimate expression of that sensibility, a satirical masterpiece that simultaneously skewered the hippies and the straights as prisoners of the same narrow-minded, superficial phoniness. (...) Regardless of how dark the subject matter, there's a pervasively surreal, whimsical flavor to the music, sort of like "Sgt. Pepper" as a creepy nightmare. Some of the instruments and most of the vocals have been manipulated to produce odd textures and cartoonish voices; most songs are abbreviated, segue into others through edited snippets of music and dialogue, or are broken into fragments by more snippets, consistently interrupting the album's continuity. Compositionally, though, the music reveals itself as exceptionally strong, and Zappa's politics and satirical instinct have rarely been so focused and relevant, making "We're Only in It for the Money" quite probably his greatest achievement."
48. Pink Floyd - The Piper at the Gates of Dawn
Biggest fans: John (#5), Chris and Romain (#19), Jackson (#31)
Position in AM 3000: #26 of the 1960s and #99 of all time
Position in 1967 poll: #14
Released on August 5, 1967 (Columbia CX 6157)
Recorded on February 21 - July 5, 1967 at EMI Studios, London, England
Producer: Norman Smith
Style: Psychedelic Rock
Comments: Steve Huey for allmusic: "The title of Pink Floyd's debut album is taken from a chapter in Syd Barrett's favorite children's book, "The Wind in the Willows", and the lyrical imagery of "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn" is indeed full of colorful, childlike, distinctly British whimsy, albeit filtered through the perceptive lens of LSD. Barrett's catchy, melodic acid pop songs are balanced with longer, more experimental pieces showcasing the group's instrumental freak-outs, often using themes of space travel as metaphors for hallucinogenic experiences (...) "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn" successfully captures both sides of psychedelic experimentation - the pleasures of expanding one's mind and perception, and an underlying threat of mental disorder and even lunacy; this duality makes "Piper" all the more compelling in light of Barrett's subsequent breakdown, and ranks it as one of the best psychedelic albums of all time."
47. The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Axis: Bold as Love
Biggest fans: Listyguy (#5), John (#23), Chris, Rocky Raccoon and Romain (#24)
Position in AM 3000: #33 of the 1960s and #141 of all time
Position in 1967 poll: #9
Released on December 1, 1967 (Track 612003)
Recorded on May - October 25, 1967 at Olympic Studios, London, England
Producer: Chas Chandler
Style: Psychedelic Rock
Cub Koda for allmusic: "Jimi Hendrix's second album followed up his groundbreaking debut effort with a solid collection of great tunes and great interactive playing between himself, Noel Redding, Mitch Mitchell and the recording studio itself. Wisely retaining manager Chas Chandler to produce the album and Eddie Kramer as engineer, Hendrix stretched further musically than the first album, but even more so as a songwriter. He was still quite capable of coming up with spacy rockers (...) but the beautiful, wistful ballads "Little Wing," "Castles Made of Sand," "One Rainy Wish," and the title track set closer show remarkable growth and depth as a tunesmith, harnessing Curtis Mayfield soul guitar to Dylanesque lyrical imagery and Fuzz Face hyperactivity to produce yet another side to his grand psychedelic musical vision."
Listyguy: "Soo underrated."
46. The Rolling Stones - Aftermath
Biggest fans: Honorio (#11), Rocky Raccoon (#22), Charlie Driggs (#24), Stephan (#25)
Position in AM 3000: #30 of the 1960s and #125 of all time
Position in 1966 poll: #4
Released on April 15, 1966 (Decca SKL 4786), released in US on July 1966 (London 3476) with different cover art and track listing
Recorded on December 3-8, 1965 and March 6-9, 1966 at RCA Studios, Hollywood, California
Producer: Andrew Loog Oldham
Richie Unterberger for allmusic: "The Rolling Stones finally delivered a set of all-original material with this LP, which also did much to define the group as the bad boys of rock & roll with their sneering attitude toward the world in general and the female sex in particular. The borderline misogyny could get a bit juvenile in tunes like "Stupid Girl." But on the other hand the group began incorporating the influences of psychedelia and Dylan into their material with classics like "Paint It Black", an eerily insistent number one hit graced by some of the best use of sitar (played by Brian Jones) on a rock record. Other classics included the jazzy "Under My Thumb", where Jones added exotic accents with his vibes, and the delicate Elizabethan ballad "Lady Jane", where dulcimer can be heard. Some of the material is fairly ho-hum, to be honest, as Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were still prone to inconsistent songwriting; "Goin' Home", an 11-minute blues jam, was remarkable more for its barrier-crashing length than its content. Look out for an obscure gem, however, in the brooding, meditative "I Am Waiting"."
Honorio: "Although the mythical stature of the Stones relies in bringing blues music back to life and exemplifying the rock ’n’ roll way of life, they were also an excellent POP band, as good as any other British band (and I’m talking about The Kinks or even The Beatles). Don’t believe me? Just listen to "Under My Thumb", "Out of Time", "Lady Jane" or "Mother’s Little Helper"."
For any other artist in the 60's that bridge album between rock and experimentation seems to be their most acclaimed. Don't know why that isn't the case with Hendrix. Yes, listyguy... so underrated.
I'll never get you guys to fully appreciate Piper, will I?
I knew that the low positions of the last albums (at least much lower than on the critics lists) may raise some protest from the biggest fans. Yes, John and Listyguy, probably "Piper" and "Axis" should be higher. British psychedelia at its best.
Me, as the biggest fan of "Aftermath" here, I would like to recommend also two Stones compilations that show the underated POP side of Jagger and Richards, 1967's "Flowers" (compilation of singles as glorious as "Ruby Tuesday" and album songs) and 1975's "Metamorphosis" (compilation of unreleased songs they mainly wrote for other artists).
And I suppose that Mindrocker is not too content to have his #1 at #49 (almost the same position as the critics, The Mothers are #50 on the official list).
Fantastic group now, five albums that we rated much higher than the critics. And deservedly so.
45. Simon & Garfunkel - Bookends
Biggest fans: Honorio (#6), Henry (#16), Rocky Raccoon (#25), Miguel (#30)
Position in AM 3000: #67 of the 1960s and #319 of all time
Position in 1968 poll: #12
Released on April 3, 1968 (Columbia KCS 9529)
Recorded on September 7, 1966 - February 6, 1968 at Columbia Studios, New York City
Producer: Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel and Roy Halee
Style: Folk Rock
Thom Jurek for allmusic: "Earlier that spring, Simon and Garfunkel had slipped their fourth album into the bins with a whisper, the confoundingly literary, profoundly poetic and stunningly beautiful "Bookends". (...) As a pair, the two were seemingly equal collaborators with producer and engineer Roy Halee on a highly textured, multi-layered song cycle that offered observations on everything from urban crises that were symptomatic of larger issues, the prospect of old age and death, the loss and dislocation of those who desperately wanted to inherit an American Dream but not the one offered to them, surreal yet wistful reflections on youthful innocence lost forever to the cold winds of change."
Honorio: "The more ambitious album of S&G is also their best. The acclaim usually relies on the vinyl A-side, a conceptual set of songs about the passing of time from childhood ("Save the Life of My Child") to elderly ("Old Friends"), with "America" as S&G peak. But my favourite is B-side, a collection of singles as brilliant as "Fakin' It", "Mrs. Robinson" or "Hazy Shade of Winter"."
44. The United States of America - The United States of America
Biggest fans: nj (#1), Charlie Driggs and sonofsamiam (#11), Georgie (#16)
Position in AM 3000: #133 of the 1960s and #837 of all time
Position in 1968 poll: #8
Released on March 6, 1968 (Columbia CS 9614)
Recorded on December 7 - 23, 1967 probably in Los Angeles, California
Producer: Martin Rubinson
Style: Art Rock
Richie Unterberger for allmusic: "Originally released on Columbia in 1968, "The United States of America" is one of the legendary pure psychedelic space records. Some of the harder-rocking tunes have a fun house recklessness that recalls aspects of early Pink Floyd and the Velvet Underground at their freakiest; the sedate, exquisitely orchestrated ballads, especially "Cloud Song" and the wonderfully titled "Love Song for the Dead Che," are among the best relics of dreamy psychedelia. Occasionally things get too excessive and self-conscious, and the attempts at comedy are a bit flat, but otherwise this is a near classic."
nj: "They must've fapped off to really big Int3rwebz machines at that time... but did CyberHippies dream of electric weed, too?"
43. The Millennium - Begin
Biggest fans: Georgie (#2), sonofsamiam (#6), Jackson (#14), nj (#17)
Position in AM 3000: #256 of the 1960s and #1776 of all time
Position in 1968 poll: #10
Released in 1968 (Columbia CS 9663)
Recorded on March - August, 1968 probably in Los Angeles, California
Producer: Curt Boettcher, Keith Olsen
Style: Sunshine Pop
Matthew Greenwald for allmusic: "The Millennium's "Begin" can truly be described as a bona fide lost classic. The brainchild of producers Curt Boettcher and Gary Usher, the group was formed out of the remnants of their previous studio project, Sagittarius, which was preceded by yet another aggregation, the Ballroom. On "Begin", hard rock, breezy ballads, and psychedelia all merge into an absolutely air-tight concept album, easily on the level of other, more widely popular albums from the era such as "The Notorious Byrd Brothers", which share not only Usher's production skills, but similarities in concept and construction. The songwriting, mostly by Joey Stec and Curt Boettcher, is sterling and innovative, never straying into the type of psychedelic overindulgence which marred so many records from this era."
Rocky Raccoon: "The prelude is mindblowing considering when this album was released. The rest is just really good pop music."
42. Nina Simone - Pastel Blues
Biggest fans: sonofsamiam (#5), Charlie Driggs (#10), nj (#11), Romain (#20)
Position in AM 3000: not listed
Position in 1965 poll: #12
Released on October 1965 (Philips PHS 600-187)
Recorded on April 4, 1964 - May 20, 1965 in New York City
Producer: Hal Mooney
Style: Soul Jazz
Richie Unterberger for allmusic: "If this is blues, it's blues in the Billie Holiday sense, not the Muddy Waters one. This is one of Nina Simone's more subdued mid-'60s LPs, putting the emphasis on her piano rather than band arrangements. It's rather slanted toward torch-blues ballads like "Strange Fruit", "Trouble in Mind", Billie Holiday's own composition "Tell Me More and More and Then Some", and "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out". Simone's then-husband, Andy Stroud, wrote "Be My Husband", an effective adaptation of a traditional blues chant. By far the most impressive track is her frantic ten-minute rendition of the traditional "Sinnerman", an explosive tour de force that dwarfs everything else on the album."
Rocky Raccoon: "Is it just me, or does she sound like a man?"
41. Os Mutantes - Os Mutantes
Biggest fans: sonofsamiam (#4), nj (#10), Charlie Driggs (#14), Jackson (#15)
Position in AM 3000: #127 of the 1960s and #804 of all time
Position in 1968 poll: #11
Released on June 1968 (Polydor LPNG 44.018 )
Recorded on December 1967 - January 1968 in Brazil
Producer: Manoel Barenbein
John Bush for allmusic: "The band's debut album, "Os Mutantes", is far and away their best - a wildly inventive trip that assimilates orchestral pop, whimsical psychedelia, musique concrète, found-sound environments - and that's just the first song! Elsewhere there are nods to Carnaval, albeit with distinct hippie sensibilities, incorporating fuzztone guitars and go-go basslines. Two tracks, "O Relogio" and "Le Premier Bonheur du Jour," work through pastoral French pop, sounding closer to the Swingle Sisters than Gilberto Gil. Though not all of the experimentation succeeds - the languid Brazilian blues of "Baby" is rather cumbersome - and pop/rock listeners may have a hard time finding the hooks, Os Mutantes' first album is an astonishing listen. It's far more experimental than any of the albums produced by the era's first-rate psychedelic bands of Britain or America."
nj: "They probably have a lot of interesting things to say, but here in the Western world, we don't speak mexican or muslim, Dudes. Try harder."
How much sonofsamiam/nj/Charlie Driggs am I?
The United States of America: 70
Pastel Blues: 29
Os Mutantes: 62
Curious but tentative.
The United States of America is one of the greatest albums I've ever heard. The last song "The American Way of Love" is a stunning ending song I think, I really do. I'm happy it's done so well, and it probably should've done better!
How is King Crimson still alive? Didn't my 100 placing do enough damage to it? Just kidding ... sorta. Could I have ranked it lower than 100?
If I sent a ballot Os Mutantes and United States of America would be higher. Both great albums.
Now that's a group of albums! Seeing the Millennium and Os Mutantes make the top 50 (and directly above Pink Floyd, Hendrix, the Stones, and the Beatles) is quite a nice surprise and makes me more excited to see the rest of the list.
I agree on "The American Way of Love"--I think it's definitely the best on the album, and really a quite remarkable achievement. I'm not sure if there's a song that's quite literally a psychedelic trip like that song is.
Yep, 44-41 is the most exciting run of albums we're likely to see in any of these results. Amazing stuff, just wish they could've slipped into the Top 40. :)
I’m glad to see that we are all happy with the high placement of that run of albums. The rest of the list is not so surprising (there’s only two albums left from outside the critics Top 100). But don’t worry, there is still great material coming!
Well, Henrik, your correlation with nj and sonofsamiam is slightly negative, but it’s not the case with Charlie Driggs, your correlation is quite high. I suppose that everyone wants to know the correlations of the others.
But I’m afraid you’ll have to wait.
Of course it's more fun to see the results from back to front than vice versa. But the thing is that when your favourite show up you can never be completely happy (unless it's #1) because it's actually the worst outcome based on what you knew just before. If the presentation had been from 1 to 100 I'm sure sonofsamiam's comment "just wish they could've slipped into the Top 40" would have been "I'm happy that they all made the Top 50".
I don't know about the rest of you but this thing sometimes makes it a little difficult for me to write comments. Comments like "Yes, there goes my #100 already" or "Why didn't you rank this amazing album higher?" aren't that much fun.
Of course, this is no offense to your great presentation Honorio.
Good point Henrik. How about we have a discussion on why the greatest jazz guitarist of all time is finishing so low when a fairly mediocre Beatles record makes it into the top 50 (Help was my personal #100).
Sonofsamiam, I surely didn't mean to pick on you for making a negative comment. I'm sorry if that's how it felt. In fact, I think I subconsciously took a sentence from you (because you generally write in a positive tone) so it wouldn't be seen as a personal attack against anyone.
Many thanks boys...
If we agreed (with our votes) that the albums in positions 40-38 were underated by the critics, should’nt we conclude that 37-36 albums were overated? Not in my opinion, especially for Otis. We put little soul in our list (of course I’m talking about soul music).
40. The Byrds - The Notorious Byrd Brothers
Biggest fans: Miguel and Mindrocker (#6), nj (#20), Harold Wexler (#21)
Position in AM 3000: #56 of the 1960s and #242 of all time
Position in 1968 poll: #15
Released on January 3, 1968 (Columbia CS 9575)
Recorded on June 21 - December 6, 1967 at Columbia Studios, Hollywood, California
Producer: Gary Usher
Style: Psychedelic Rock
Comments: Richie Unterberger for allmusic: "The recording sessions for the Byrds' fifth album, "The Notorious Byrd Brothers", were conducted in the midst of internal turmoil that found them reduced to a duo by the time the record was completed. That wasn't evident from listening to the results, which showed the group continuing to expand the parameters of their eclecticism while retaining their hallmark guitar jangle and harmonies. With assistance from producer Gary Usher, they took more chances in the studio, enhancing the spacy quality of tracks like "Natural Harmony" and Goffin & King's "Wasn't Born to Follow" with electronic phasing. Washes of Moog synthesizer formed the eerie backdrop for "Space Odyssey," and the songs were craftily and unobtrusively linked with segues and fades. But the Byrds did not bury the essential strengths of their tunes in effects."
39. Simon and Garfunkel - Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme
Biggest fans: Henrik (#3), Miguel (#14), Henry (#20), nicolas (#31)
Position in AM 3000: #117 of the 1960s and #752 of all time
Position in 1966 poll: #5
Released on October 10, 1966 (Columbia CS 9363)
Recorded on December 1965 - August 1966 at Columbia Studios, New York City
Producer: Bob Johnston
Style: Folk Rock
Comments: Bruce Eder for allmusic: "Simon & Garfunkel's first masterpiece, "Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme" was also the first album on which the duo, in tandem with engineer Roy Halee, exerted total control from beginning to end, right down to the mixing, and it is an achievement akin to the Beatles' "Revolver" or the Beach Boys' "Pet Sounds" album, and just as personal and pointed as either of those records at their respective bests. After the frantic rush to put together an LP in just three weeks that characterized "The Sounds of Silence" album early in 1966, "Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme" came together over a longer gestation period of about three months, an uncommonly extended period of recording in those days, but it gave the duo a chance to develop and shape the songs the way they wanted them. (...) Overall, "Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme" was the duo's album about youthful exuberance and alienation, and it proved perennially popular among older, more thoughtful high-school students and legions of college audiences across generations."
38. The Who - The Who Sell Out
Biggest fans: Miguel (#9), Stephan (#12), sonofsamiam (#14), Harold Wexler (#18 )
Position in AM 3000: #61 of the 1960s and #269 of all time
Position in 1967 poll: #7
Released on December 16, 1967 (Track 613002)
Recorded on May 1967 at CBS Studios, London, England, on July 1967 at De Lane Lea Studios, London, England, on August 1967 at Talentmasters Studios, New York City, on September 1967 at Gold Star Studios, Los Angeles, California and on October 1967 at IBC Studios, London, England
Producer: Kit Lambert
Richie Unterberger for allmusic: "Pete Townshend originally planned "The Who Sell Out" as a concept album of sorts that would simultaneously mock and pay tribute to pirate radio stations, complete with fake jingles and commercials linking the tracks. For reasons that remain somewhat ill defined, the concept wasn't quite driven to completion, breaking down around the middle of side two (on the original vinyl configuration). Nonetheless, on strictly musical merits, it's a terrific set of songs that ultimately stands as one of the group's greatest achievements. (...) The album is as perfect a balance between melodic mod pop and powerful instrumentation as the Who (or any other group) would achieve; psychedelic pop was never as jubilant, not to say funny."
Rocky Raccoon: "As much as I like the Who, I'm just not into this album. It just seems like they were warming up for "Tommy"."
37. The Band - The Band
Biggest fans: Henry (#6), Harold Wexler (#11), Rocky Raccoon (#14), Georgie (#18 )
Position in AM 3000: #17 of the 1960s and #47 of all time
Position in 1969 poll: #15
Released on September 22, 1969 (Capitol STAO-132)
Recorded on April - May 1969 at Sammy Davis Jr. House, Los Angeles, California and on May - June 1969 at Hit Factory Studios, New York City
Producer: John Simon
Style: Roots Rock
Comments: William Ruhlmann for allmusic: "The Band's first album, "Music from Big Pink", seemed to come out of nowhere, with its ramshackle musical blend and songs of rural tragedy. "The Band", the group's second album, was a more deliberate and even more accomplished effort, partially because the players had become a more cohesive unit, and partially because guitarist Robbie Robertson had taken over the songwriting, writing or co-writing all 12 songs. Though a Canadian, Robertson focused on a series of American archetypes from the union worker in "King Harvest (Has Surely Come)" and the retired sailor in "Rockin' Chair" to, most famously, the Confederate Civil War observer Virgil Cane in "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down". (...) The arrangements were simultaneously loose and assured, giving the songs a timeless appeal, while the lyrics continued to paint portraits of 19th century rural life (especially Southern life, as references to Tennessee and Virginia made clear), its sometimes less savory aspects treated with warmth and humor."
36. Otis Redding - Otis Blue / Otis Redding Sings Soul
Biggest fans: Honorio (#9), Romain (#14), Stephan (#18 ), Rocky Raccoon (#20)
Position in AM 3000: #20 of the 1960s and #61 of all time
Position in 1965 poll: #5
Released on September 15, 1965 (Volt S412)
Recorded on April 19 - July 10, 1965 at Stax Recording Studios, Memphis, Tennessee
Producer: Jim Stewart, Isaac Hayes, David Porter
Bruce Eder for allmusic: "Otis Redding's third album, and his first fully realized album, presents his talent unfettered, his direction clear, and his confidence emboldened, with fully half the songs representing a reach that extended his musical grasp. More than a quarter of this album is given over to Redding's versions of songs by Sam Cooke, his idol, who had died the previous December, and all three are worth owning and hearing. (...) "Respect" and "I've Been Loving You Too Long", two originals that were to loom large in his career, are here as well; the former became vastly popular in the hands of Aretha Franklin and the latter was an instant soul classic. (...) Redding's powerful, remarkable singing throughout makes Otis Blue gritty, rich, and achingly alive, and an essential listening experience."
Honorio: "Exactly, "Otis Blue" and "Otis Redding Sings Soul". A self-explanatory title if there’s one. We can find here some of the saddest and most beautiful ballads ever ("I’ve Been Loving You Too Long" or "A Change Is Gonna Come") and some of the hardest soul numbers ("Respect", "Satisfaction", "Shake"). And Otis sang every word and every verse putting all his soul on it."
I still can't figure how my percentage was so low when 17 of my top 20 are in the overall top 35. Half of the remaining albums are in my top 20.
Sorry. Listyguy, I've ranked the different voters' correlations and you were not really in the lower half as I told you (since there are correlations as high as 0.69 I assumed that without doing a ranking). Your real position is #12 (being #1 is the one with the lowest correlation and #20 the one with the highest).
But there's nothing wrong with being different, in fact I wish I was (I’m #17).
With the Dylan and Beatles albums out with these five there is only one album left from the first half of the decade (1960-1964). As I expected the complete Top 25 came from the second half.
35. The Beatles - A Hard Day's Night
Biggest fans: John (#15), Rocky Raccoon (#18 ), Miguel (#19), Brad (#23)
Position in AM 3000: #46 of the 1960s and #182 of all time
Position in 1964 poll: #1
Released on July 10, 1964 in the UK (Parlophone PMC 1230). In the US the songs from the UK album appeared on "The Beatles' Second Album" released on April 10, 1964 (Capitol 2080), "A Hard Day's Night (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)" released on June 26, 1964 (United Artists UAS 6366), "Something New" released on July 20, 1964 (Capitol 2108 ) and "Beatles '65" released on December 15, 1964 (Capitol 2228 ).
Recorded on January 29, 1964 at Pathé Marconi Studios, Paris, France and on February 25 - June 2, 1964 at EMI Studios, London, England
Producer: George Martin
Style: Pop Rock
Comments: Stephen Thomas Erlewine for allmusic: " "A Hard Day's Night" was the first Beatles album of all-original material, and the first to feature George Harrison playing his Rickenbacker electric 12-string guitar (on the opening chord of "A Hard Day's Night", for instance). The distinctive sound of the 12-string inspired countless guitarists including Roger McGuinn and David Crosby of the Byrds. The film from which these songs hail remains a classic combination of happy '60s naïveté and nascent hipster wit. Many of the most important rock bands to emerge in the latter half of the '60s came into being because of "A Hard Day's Night"'s irresistible vibrancy. The tunes flow like the finest red wine, as the title track leads to the glorious harmonica of "I Should Have Known Better" and the powerfully poignant "If I Fell"."
34. Dusty Springfield - Dusty in Memphis
Biggest fans: Romain (#2), Henrik (#13), Georgie (#17), Miguel (#24)
Position in AM 3000: #27 of the 1960s and #103 of all time
Position in 1969 poll: #14
Released on January 17, 1969 (Atlantic SD 8214)
Recorded on September 1968 at American Studios, Memphis, Tennessee and on November 1968 at 57th Street Studios, New York City
Producer: Jerry Wexler, Arif Mardin, Tom Dowd
Style: Blue Eyed Soul
Comments: Richie Unterberger for allmusic: "Sometimes memories distort or inflate the quality of recordings deemed legendary, but in the case of "Dusty in Memphis", the years have only strengthened its reputation. The idea of taking England's reigning female soul queen to the home of the music she had mastered was an inspired one. The Jerry Wexler/Tom Dowd/Arif Mardin production and engineering team picked mostly perfect songs, and those that weren't so great were salvaged by Springfield's marvelous delivery and technique. This set has definitive numbers in "So Much Love", "Son of a Preacher Man", "Breakfast in Bed", "Just One Smile", "I Don't Want to Hear About It Anymore", and "Just a Little Lovin'" (...) It's truly a disc deserving of its classic status."
33. The Velvet Underground - White Light/White Heat
Biggest fans: nj (#2), Brad (#8 ), Jackson and Mindrocker (#17)
Position in AM 3000: #48 of the 1960s and #190 of all time
Position in 1968 poll: #6
Released on January 30, 1968 (Verve V-5046)
Recorded on September 21-25, 1967 at Mayfair Sound Studios, New York City
Producer: Tom Wilson
Style: Noise Rock
Mark Deming for allmusic: "While side one was a good bit darker in tone than the Velvets' first album, side two was where they truly threw down the gauntlet with the manic, free-jazz implosion of "I Heard Her Call My Name" (featuring Reed's guitar work at its most gloriously fractured), and the epic noise jam "Sister Ray", 17 minutes of sex, drugs, violence, and other non-wholesome fun with the loudest rock group in the history of Western Civilization as the house band. "White Light/White Heat" is easily the least accessible of The Velvet Underground's studio albums, but anyone wanting to hear their guitar-mauling tribal frenzy straight with no chaser will love it, and those benighted souls who think of the Velvets as some sort of folk-rock band are advised to crank their stereo up to ten and give side two a spin."
nj: "This is the second album of New York based Velvet Underground and I like it a lot."
32. The Who - Tommy
Biggest fans: Stephan (#6), Henry (#10), nicolas (#17), Listyguy and Rocky Raccoon (#19)
Position in AM 3000: #29 of the 1960s and #113 of all time
Position in 1969 poll: #10
Released on May 23, 1969 (Track 613013/4)
Recorded on September 19, 1968 - March 7, 1969 at IBC Studios, London, England
Producer: Kit Lambert
Style: Rock Opera
Richie Unterberger for allmusic: "The full-blown rock opera about a deaf, dumb, and blind boy that launched the band to international superstardom, written almost entirely by Pete Townshend. Hailed as a breakthrough upon its release, its critical standing has diminished somewhat in the ensuing decades because of the occasional pretensions of the concept and because of the insubstantial nature of some of the songs that functioned as little more than devices to advance the rather sketchy plot. Nonetheless, the double album has many excellent songs, including "I'm Free", "Pinball Wizard", "Sensation", "Christmas", "We're Not Gonna Take It" and the dramatic ten-minute instrumental "Underture". Though the album was slightly flawed, Townshend's ability to construct a lengthy conceptual narrative brought new possibilities to rock music. Despite the complexity of the project, he and the Who never lost sight of solid pop melodies, harmonies, and forceful instrumentation, imbuing the material with a suitably powerful grace."
nicolas: "Great concept album."
31. Bob Dylan - The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan
Biggest fans: Stephan (#10), Gillingham (#11), Mindrocker (#18 ), Listyguy (#20)
Position in AM 3000: #43 of the 1960s and #117 of all time
Position in 1963 poll: #1
Released on May 27, 1963 (Columbia CL 1986)
Recorded on April 24, 1962 - April 24, 1963 at Columbia Records Studio A, New York City
Producer: John Hammond, Tom Wilson
Stephen Thomas Erlewine for allmusic: "It's hard to overestimate the importance of "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan", the record that firmly established Dylan as an unparalleled songwriter, one of considerable skill, imagination, and vision. At the time, folk had been quite popular on college campuses and bohemian circles, making headway onto the pop charts in diluted form, and while there certainly were a number of gifted songwriters, nobody had transcended the scene as Dylan did with this record. (...) At the time, the social protests received the most attention, and deservedly so, since "Blowin' in the Wind", "Masters of War", and "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" weren't just specific in their targets; they were gracefully executed and even melodic. Although they've proven resilient throughout the years, if that's all "Freewheelin'" had to offer, it wouldn't have had its seismic impact, but this also revealed a songwriter who could turn out whimsy ("Don't Think Twice, It's All Right"), gorgeous love songs ("Girl From the North Country"), and cheerfully absurdist humor ("Bob Dylan's Blues", "Bob Dylan's Dream") with equal skill. This is rich, imaginative music, capturing the sound and spirit of America as much as that of Louis Armstrong, Hank Williams, or Elvis Presley."
nicolas: "Historically speaking, one of the most important albums of the 60s. Dylan hits the folk scene like a supernova. He sings his own material : love songs ("Girl From The North Country", "Don't Think Twice"), great poems ("Hard Rain") and of course the protest songs like "Masters Of War"."
31. Bob Dylan - The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan
RIP Suze Rotolo, who graced the album cover on Bob's arm and sadly passed away this past week from lung cancer.
Oh, damn, first news for me about Suze Rotolo's death. Rest in peace.
As a little homage from AM Forum I’m going to post two quotes taken from the web.
First one from Antonio Jiménez Morató, a Spanish writer, that's my translation of some paragraphs from an article about her on his blog "Vivir del cuento 2.0":
"I came to that album, and not other Dylan's, because of the cover art. This New York street covered with snow – it should be from the Village, mythomany is a strange thing, I've never been there but I got the sensation that I could recognnize some streets – with Bob Dylan and a girl walking numb with cold, surrounded by cars taken from another time, from a movie set in the 50s. I mean, those cars were not so old then, but now they seem like a result of a good labour of production design. That girl seemed a beauty to me. Not because she was especially pretty but, that’s the way it goes, because one day you become crazy about someone and you don't know why. (...) With the innocence of the youth somehow an idea kept installed in my mind, the idea that this should be more or less the image of love. A young couple that, despite the cold around them, smile and hold themselves tight trying to get warm. If subconscious is real, I think that from my teenage years – I burned the album when I was fifteen – that was my idea of happiness, the ideal image of what they call love."
And another one from Wikipedia that illustrates the strong influence of Rotolo during the gestation of "Freewheelin'":
"Many critics have noted the extraordinary development of Dylan’s songwriting immediately after completing his first album. Dylan biographer Clinton Heylin connects the sudden increase in lyrics written along topical and political lines to the fact that Dylan had moved into an apartment on West 4th Street with his girlfriend Suze Rotolo in January 1962. Rotolo’s family had strong left-wing political commitments; both of her parents were members of the American Communist Party. Dylan acknowledged her influence when he told an interviewer: "Suze was into this equality-freedom thing long before I was. I checked out the songs with her".
Dylan's relationship with Rotolo also provided an important emotional dynamic in the composition of the Freewheelin' album. After six months of living with Dylan, Rotolo agreed to her mother's proposal that she travel to Italy to study art. Dylan missed her and wrote long letters to her conveying his hope that she would return soon to New York. She postponed her return several times, finally coming back in January 1963. Critics have connected the intense love songs expressing longing and loss on Freewheelin' to Dylan’s fraught relationship with Rotolo. In her autobiography, Rotolo explains that musicians' girlfriends were routinely described as "chicks", and she resented being regarded as "a possession of Bob, who was the centre of attention"."
In this photo Suze and Bob are very handsome
Well, Rocky Raccoon, here it is King Crimson's debut. Your #100 placing was finally not enough to damage them (in fact they ended better than in the critics list). Just kidding too.
30. Neil Young with Crazy Horse - Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
Biggest fans: nicolas (#7), Mindrocker (#11), Henrik (#16), Gillingham (#19)
Position in AM 3000: #44 of the 1960s and #180 of all time
Position in 1969 poll: #6
Released on May 14, 1969 (Reprise RS 6349)
Recorded on January - March 1969 at Wally Heider Recordings, Hollywood, California
Producer: Neil Young, David Briggs
Style: Country Rock
William Ruhlmann for allmusic: " "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere" marked the beginning of Young's recording association with Crazy Horse, the trio of Danny Whitten (guitar), Ralph Molina (drums) and Billy Talbot (bass) that Young had drawn from the struggling local Los Angeles group the Rockets. With them, Young quickly cut a set of loose, guitar-heavy rock songs - "Cinnamon Girl," "Down by the River," and "Cowgirl in the Sand" - that redefined him as a rock & roll artist. The songs were deliberately underwritten and sketchy as compositions, their lyrics more suggestive than complete, but that made them useful as frames on which to hang the extended improvisations ("River" and "Cowgirl" were each in the nine-to-ten-minute range) (...) "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere" was breathtakingly different when it appeared in May 1969, both for Young and for rock in general, and it reversed his commercial fortunes, becoming a moderate hit. (...) And it set a musical pattern Young and his many musical descendants have followed ever since; almost 30 years later, he was still playing this sort of music with Crazy Horse, and a lot of contemporary bands were playing music clearly influenced by it."
nicolas: "The first Crazy Horse album, a monument of rock, and the first of the hard rock Neil Young albums, with long playing songs and guitar solos, and of course Neil Young's unique sense of melody and songwriting."
29. King Crimson - In the Court of the Crimson King
Biggest fans: Henrik (#7), Jackson (#9), Gillingham (#12), Honorio (#18 )
Position in AM 3000: #32 of the 1960s and #131 of all time
Position in 1969 poll: #9
Released on October 10, 1969 (Island ILPS 9111)
Recorded on July 16 - August 20, 1969 at Wessex Sound Studios, London, England
Producer: King Crimson
Style: Progressive Rock
Lindsay Planer for allmusic: "Initially, King Crimson consisted of Robert Fripp (guitar), Ian McDonald (reeds/woodwind/vibes/keyboards/Mellotron/vocals), Gerg Lake (bass/vocals), Michael Giles (drums/percussion/vocals) and Peter Sinfield (words/illuminations). As if somehow prophetic, King Crimson projected a darker and edgier brand of post-psychedelic rock. Likewise, they were inherently intelligent - a sort of thinking man's Pink Floyd. Fripp demonstrates his innate aptitude for contrasts and the value of silence within a performance, even as far back as "21st Century Schizoid Man". The song is nothing short of the aural antecedent to what would become the entire heavy alternative/grunge sound. Juxtaposed with that electric intensity is the ethereal noir ballad "I Talk to the Wind". The delicate vocal harmonies and McDonald's achingly poignant flute solo and melodic counterpoint remain unmatched on an emotive level. The surreal and opaque lyrics are likewise an insight to Peter Sinfield's masterful wordplay, which graced their next three releases."
Rocky Raccoon: "Some albums in this poll are among my all-time favorites, some I like although don't rate quite that highly, some I am indifferent to, but only one a really hate; and it's this one. I just don't get the appeal of this band. Is it music to listen to while you're playing D&D?"
nicolas: "A strange mix of melodic pop and experimental music, it's one of the best albums of the genre, even though you wouldn't listen to those never ending songs everyday."
28. Mingus - The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady
Biggest fans: sonofsamiam (#2), Jackson (#3), nj (#4), John and Mindrocker (#20)
Position in AM 3000: #83 of the 1960s and #418 of all time
Position in 1963 poll: #2
Released on 1963 (Impulse! A 35)
Recorded on January 20, 1963 in New York City
Producer: Bob Thiele
Style: Avant Garde Jazz
Steve Huey for allmusic: " "The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady" is one of the greatest achievements in orchestration by any composer in jazz history. Charles Mingus consciously designed the six-part ballet as his magnum opus, and - implied in his famous inclusion of liner notes by his psychologist - it's as much an examination of his own tortured psyche as it is a conceptual piece about love and struggle. It veers between so many emotions that it defies easy encapsulation; for that matter, it can be difficult just to assimilate in the first place. Yet the work soon reveals itself as a masterpiece of rich, multi-layered texture and swirling tonal colors, manipulated with a painter's attention to detail. There are a few stylistic reference points - Ellington, the contemporary avant-garde, several flamenco guitar breaks - but the totality is quite unlike what came before it."
nj: "You have to give it to that Sinner chick. Keeping your mouth shut and letting the fat guy do all the cool stuff is a lesson sorrily not learnt by those TripHopfags. This was pre-CGI age, so it's all animatronics, I guess. Rad. Oh, and James Bond on blow, too."
27. The Kinks - Something Else by The Kinks
Biggest fans: Honorio, John and Romain (#13), nj (#14)
Position in AM 3000: #63 of the 1960s and #300 of all time
Position in 1967 poll: #10
Released on September 15, 1967 (Pye NSPL.18193)
Recorded on April 1966 - July 1967 at Pye Studios, London, England
Producer: Shel Talmy, Ray Davies
Style: British Pop
Stephen Thomas Erlewine for allmusic: " "Face to Face" was a remarkable record, but its follow-up, "Something Else", expands its accomplishments, offering 13 classic British pop songs. As Ray Davies' songwriting becomes more refined, he becomes more nostalgic and sentimental, retreating from the psychedelic and mod posturings that had dominated the rock world. Indeed, "Something Else" sounds like nothing else from 1967. The Kinks never rock very hard on the album, preferring acoustic ballads, music hall numbers, and tempered R&B to full-out guitar attacks. Part of the album's power lies in its calm music, since it provides an elegant support for Davies' character portraits and vignettes. From the martial stomp of "David Watts" to the lovely, shimmering "Waterloo Sunset," there's not a weak song on the record."
Honorio: " "Welcome to Daviesland", as said in the liner notes. They vindicated proudly the English peculiarities ("Afternoon Tea") and dissected lucidly its society with characters as David Watts, Sylvilla and Percilla, Suzy and Johnny or the "Tin Soldier Man". "Face to Face" was first and "Village Green" was a more cohesive work, but this was "Something Else". Their best album IMO."
26. The Beatles - Magical Mystery Tour
Biggest fans: nicolas (#5), Brad (#11), John (#12), Miguel (#18 )
Position in AM 3000: #157 of the 1960s and #988 of all time
Position in 1967 poll: #8
Released on November 27, 1967 (Capitol SMAL 2835) in the US. In the UK it was released on December 8, 1967 as a double EP (Parlophone SMMT-1) including the soundtrack songs (the A-side of the US album)
Recorded on November 24, 1966 - November 2, 1967 at EMI Studios, London, England and on May 11 - June 14, 1967 at Olympic Sound Studios, London, England
Producer: George Martin
Style: Psychedelic Pop
Richie Unterberger for allmusic: "The U.S. version of the soundtrack for the Beatles' ill-fated British television special embellished the six songs that were found on the British "Magical Mystery Tour" double EP with five other cuts from their 1967 singles. (...) The psychedelic sound is very much in the vein of "Sgt. Pepper's", and even spacier in parts (especially the sound collages of "I Am the Walrus"). Unlike "Sgt. Pepper's", there's no vague overall conceptual/thematic unity to the material, which has made "Magical Mystery Tour" suffer slightly in comparison. Still, the music is mostly great, and "Penny Lane," "Strawberry Fields Forever," "All You Need Is Love," and "Hello Goodbye" were all huge, glorious, and innovative singles. The ballad "The Fool on the Hill," though only a part of the "Magical Mystery Tour" soundtrack, is also one of the most popular Beatles tunes from the era."
nicolas: "Is it a real album ? A soundtrack plus a collection of singles is more accurate. But who cares ? Even if there is not this unity which makes the big Beatles album, it is still the fucking Beatles, like someone said once in the forum. And at a fucking good moment of their carreer. To me it outshines Sgt Pepper because the songs are just better."
That's a great section there; it's unfortunate a Beatles release that's only loosely considered an album tops them all. But the great finish for The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady gives me hope A Love Supreme will be top 20; and since Something Else did so well, maybe Village Green made the top ten.
Magical Mystery Tour shouldn't really count, and even if it did, it's not better than "A hard Day's Night".
Meh. Magical Mystery Tour is no different than today's albums where half of the songs are heard before the actual album comes out. For everyone outside of those who lived in the UK in the 60's this is the album we all listened to the first time we heard these songs as a collection. Think of Magical Mystery Tour UK as a teaser EP and Magical Mystery Tour US as the release. Thousands of bands do it today. But, I think this debate has come up before on the forums.
A Hard Days Night? Now that's debatable! Both are fantastic. I gave MMT the slight edge though.
You look at this list and you wonder not only if rock and roll is dead but also if music in general will ever be able to come close to this kind of output again.
Of the four main genres over time it's debatable but universally recognized that jazz had their golden years in the 50's, rock and roll the 60's, country... depends on who you talk to but probably the 70's. Classical.. I don't know but I'm sure a huge fan could name a timespan that was beyond all others. Is that kind of golden age even possible anymore? The only genre that could maybe experience such a phenomenon is hip-hop. Has it already happened, or is it occuring right now? And once it's over, what's next? What comes after rock and roll and hip-hop? How can it be that 50 years after these albums came out they are still the gold standard in which we compare all of today's music?
Doesn't that depend on whether you require a 'golden age' to be a commercial success?
I think internet niches are in a golden age just because of the dramatic increase in accessibility. If you think about the sort of games we play on these forums, was anything like this even possible ten years ago? If you wanted to hear a rare album you had to scout out dozens of used record stores for months or get involved in bootleg communities.
Let me propose a counter-question: Which era of television is the golden age?
We're never going to have another era where shows get 60-shares. But is that the measure of the strength of an era? Was there anything up to the level of The Sopranos before? The specialization of the medium has resulted in narrower focus. They don't have to make shows that please everyone a little: They can make shows that please a few people a lot.
So no, there's never going to be another band like the Beatles who is everybody's favorite at the same time. But now anybody can hear whatever they want at will, almost no matter how rare it is.
I also think, most of the people who swear to the superiority of the classic rock era would find more newer stuff they liked if they explored a little deeper beyond the top of the critic charts. The only difference is, your list would have less in common with other peoples' lists than your list from the 60s.
I don't know I was just trying to think of golden ages. Country probably doesn't belong in that discussion.
I still hold by my argument that these albums are the gold standard though. Not that they are better than albums made after or that it's my personal opinion, just that most of the time these are the albums that critics compare and contrast with. I'll concede that might be changing though as the new critic is a lot different than the one 5 or 6 years ago.
That is true. Critics do tend to anchor their judgment against bands such as the Beatles, Zeppelin, VU.
On popularity I'd say TVs golden age is right now and is about to enter into something amazing quanity and quality wise with internet viewing. Same goes for music and film. People are watching and listening to what they want, when they want and they're doing it more than ever before. A businessman would say different but media in general is in a golden age right now.
Wow, that’s a debate! 3 days without connecting to the Internet (due to my perennial lack of spare time) and look what I've found. Many thanks!
Please allow me to post my opinion about some questions. First of all about the music genres I must say that I agree a lot with the division that John made but putting "folk" instead of "country" (as Henrik pointed country is an specific folk style, it's not even the only folk style coming from the US). I posted here some years ago my own (little) theory about these genres, if you don’t mind I’m going to post it again: "In my opionion the four genres that include all the music in the world could be:
a) Classical. Main feature: sheet music. The importance here relies in the composer. The musicians are "only" allowed to play exactly the music the composer wrote, they can't change a single note and only slightly modify the intensity and tempo (the composer even noted "forte" or "adagio" too).
b) Jazz. Main feature: stage. The importance here relies in the actual performance that is never exactly the same. It can be included here the music based on improvisation (jazz and avant-garde) that only not tries to reproduce written music but not even the performance of the recording sessions. The jazz musicians usually base their performances in a standard melody or in a chord pattern but the main body of their music are the improvised solos.
c) Pop. Main feature: record. The importance here relies in the artist and the product (single, album) that one can actually buy. The sound, the arrangements and the vocal performance determine even the sub-classification. Of course there are covers too, with a "freedom" of reinterpretation intermediate between the complete of the jazz artists and the absent of the classical ones. 90% of the AM list can be filed under this group, including rock, vocal or rhythm and blues.
d) Folk. Main feature: oral tradition. The importance here relies in the ground, the traditions of a country that are transmitted from parents to children. I'm not talking about the singer-songwriter with an acoustic guitar (that's pop actually), I'm talking about real roots-music like flamenco, where the musicians don't play an actual "song" but they aren't really improvising too because they follow strict patterns, like the chord sequence that the tocaor plays or the couplets of popular poetry that the cantaor sings. Many of the so-called "world music" can be filed under this group."
About considering hip hop a whole new genre I'm afraid I have to disagree. Surely it innovated a lot the music language of today, especially with the use of samples as its music foundation (which it's an interesting and very postmodern basis) and the use of rap as its vocal foundation (which it ties the genre lyrically with literature and poetry, at least in theory). But despite this it can be filed under pop in the sense I defined before, a genre based in the recorded song.
About the golden ages I have to agree again with John, going back to the four genres I dare to say that the golden age for classical was the XIXth Century, for jazz the 40s and 50s, for pop the 60s and 70s and for folk depends on the different traditions (for country the 50s and 60s, isn’t it?). Of course music (and art in general) is always looking for new ways but styles like classical or jazz (whose golden age was long ago) are good examples to measure the usual evolution of a given style. In classical or jazz we can define periods:
a) Early (classical during the Middle age and Renaissance or the Dixieland period of jazz during the 00s-20s).
b) Classic (the style achieves its maturity, like baroque or classic styles of Bach or Mozart or the classic period of jazz of Ellington and Armstrong).
c) Golden Age (the style begins to reach for new frontiers and it achieves its zenith, just like the romantic period on the XIX Century for classical or the bebop revolution on the 40s-50s for jazz).
d) Avantgarde (the ever expanding horizons begins to break the foundations of the style, like the atonality of Schönberg and Stravinsky or the free jazz of Ornette Coleman).
e) Decadence (given the imposibilty of going further from the previous period the musicians range between the revival/neoclassicism and new styles that usually derives from fusions with other styles, jazz-rock for instance).
Given the fact that pop is a POPular style those periods are not that similar, no doubt the 50s rock'n'roll could be the early period and the 60s and 70s the classic period but the rest of the periods are not so clear. Probably the simultaneous revolutions of punk and disco music at the end of the 70s were really that golden age that gave place to the predominant styles during the 90s and 00s: the indie-rock and grunge as evolution of the punk and hip hop and electronica as evolution of dance music. Anyway what it’s clear to me is that now we are living the period of decadence: every new album carries the weight of the sounds of the past. Look to our brand new #1 of 2010: "The Suburbs" sound like The Kinks or Hunky-Dory-era David Bowie, "Sprawl II" has obvious debts to Blondie's "Heart of Glass", "Waster Hours" sound like Neil Young, etcetera. It seems that the critics base their acclaim on using the "correct" influences.
About TV series I’m afraid I don't have an informed opinion, I never watch TV (except from some movies and news).
Excellent post Honorio, very insightful.
I'll chime in on the series discussion and pretty much wholeheartedly agree with BillAdama. No, there is no show like M.A.S.H. which everyone watches, but is that because M.A.S.H. was so much better than The Wire, Breaking Bad, or, indeed, The Sopranos? I am not old enough to have watched M.A.S.H. during its original runtime, but I have seen the series and I believe that in terms of writing quality, depth and scope it's not even close to any of the three series I mentioned above. In fact, I could easily come up with 10 more series that I believe are better than M.A.S.H., and all of them are from the previous decade. Therefore I completely agree that the previous 10 years were the golden age for television.
The Top 25
Three of those albums got similar positions on the official list but the other two were nice surprises.
25. Nick Drake - Five Leaves Left
Biggest fans: Henrik (#2), Georgie and Gillingham (#8 ), nicolas (#11)
Position in AM 3000: #34 of the 1960s and #151 of all time
Position in 1969 poll: #4
Released on September 1, 1969 (Island ILPS 9105)
Recorded on July 1968 - July 1969 at Sound Techniques, London, England
Producer: Joe Boyd
Style: Chamber Folk
Ned Raggett for allmusic: "It's little wonder why Drake felt frustrated at the lack of commercial success his music initially gathered, considering the help he had on his debut record. Besides fine production from Joe Boyd and assistance from folks like Fairport Convention's Richard Thompson and his unrelated bass counterpart from Pentangle, Danny Thompson, Drake also recruited school friend Robert Kirby to create most of the just-right string and wind arrangements. His own performance itself steered a careful balance between too-easy accessibility and maudlin self-reflection, combining the best of both worlds while avoiding the pitfalls on either side. The result was a fantastic debut appearance, and if the cult of Drake consistently reads more into his work than is perhaps deserved, "Five Leaves Left" is still a most successful effort."
nicolas: "In a sense, I wish I had knowv this record when I was 20, because it's exactly the kind of music I wanted to make at that time. Beautiful but lonely."
24. Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin II
Biggest fans: Listyguy (#4), Mindrocker (#5), Romain (#6), Henry (#7)
Position in AM 3000: #21 of the 1960s and #63 of all time
Position in 1969 poll: #5
Released on October 22, 1969 (Atlantic SD 8236)
Recorded on January - August 1969 at Olympic and Morgan Studios in London, England, A&M, Quantum, Sunset, Mirror Sound and Mystic Studios in Los Angeles, California, Ardent Studios in Memphis, Tennessee, A&R, Juggy Sound, Groove and Mayfair Studios in New York City, and the "hut" in Vancouver, British Columbia
Producer: Jimmy Page
Style: Hard Rock
Stephen Thomas Erlewine for allmusic: "Recorded quickly during Led Zeeppelin's first American tours, "Led Zeppelin II" provided the blueprint for all the heavy metal bands that followed it. Since the group could only enter the studio for brief amounts of time, most of the songs that compose II are reworked blues and rock & roll standards that the band was performing on-stage at the time. Not only did the short amount of time result in a lack of original material, it made the sound more direct. Jimmy Page still provided layers of guitar overdubs, but the overall sound of the album is heavy and hard, brutal and direct. "Whole Lotta Love," "The Lemon Song," and "Bring It on Home" are all based on classic blues songs - only, the riffs are simpler and louder and each song has an extended section for instrumental solos. (...) While "Led Zeppelin II" doesn't have the eclecticism of the group's debut, it's arguably more influential. After all, nearly every one of the hundreds of Zeppelin imitators used this record, with its lack of dynamics and its pummeling riffs, as a blueprint."
Listyguy: "Glad to see this here."
23. John Coltrane - A Love Supreme
Biggest fans: sonofsamiam (#1), Jackson (#2), nj (#7), Honorio (#17)
Position in AM 3000: #22 of the 1960s and #67 of all time
Position in 1965 poll: #4
Released on February 1965 (Impulse! A-77)
Recorded on December 9, 1964 at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
Producer: Bob Thiele
Style: Avant-Garde Jazz
Sam Samuelson for allmusic: "Easily one of the most important records ever made, John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme" was his pinnacle studio outing that at once compiled all of his innovations from his past, spoke of his current deep spirituality, and also gave a glimpse into the next two and a half years (sadly, those would be his last). Recorded at the end of 1964, Trane's classic quartet of Elvin Jones, McCoy Tyner and Jimmy Garrison stepped into the studio and created one of the most thought-provoking, concise, and technically pleasing albums of their bountiful relationship (not to mention his best-selling to date). From the undulatory (and classic) bassline at the intro to the last breathy notes, Trane is at the peak of his logical yet emotionally varied soloing while the rest of the group is remarkably in tune with Coltrane's spiritual vibe. Composed of four parts, each has a thematic progression leading to an understanding of spirituality through meditation."
nj: "I actually don't like how they pronounce the word "supreme" because... well, just imagine if some white guys would do that.. double standards - duhhhh... big news. Cool band though, have to dig deeper into them."
22. The Velvet Underground - The Velvet Underground
Biggest fans: Brad and Chris (#5), Jackson (#10), Gillingham (#14)
Position in AM 3000: #40 of the 1960s and #172 of all time
Position in 1969 poll: #3
Released on March 1969 (MGM SE-4617)
Recorded on November - December 1968 at TTG Studios, Hollywood, California
Producer: The Velvet Underground
Style: Art Rock
Mark Deming for allmusic: "Upon first release, the Velvet Underground's self-titled third album must have surprised their fans nearly as much as their first two albums shocked the few mainstream music fans who heard them. After testing the limits of how musically and thematically challenging rock could be on "Velvet Underground & Nico" and "White Light/White Heat", this 1969 release sounded spare, quiet, and contemplative, as if the previous albums documented some manic, speed-fueled party and this was the subdued morning after. (The album's relative calm has often been attributed to the departure of the band's most committed avant-gardist, John Cale, in the fall of 1968; the arrival of new bassist Doug Yule; and the theft of the band's amplifiers shortly before they began recording.) But Lou Reed's lyrical exploration of the demimonde is as keen here as on any album he ever made, while displaying a warmth and compassion he sometimes denied his characters."
nicolas: "Less, far less hype than the VU & Nico, but very charming album, more peaceful, closer to what lou reed would do in the 70's."
21. Bob Dylan - Bringing It All Back Home
Biggest fans: Stephan (#3), Listyguy (#9), Rocky Raccoon (#10), Chris and sonofsamiam (#16)
Position in AM 3000: #23 of the 1960s and #73 of all time
Position in 1965 poll: #3
Released on March 22, 1965 (Columbia CL 2328 )
Recorded on January 13 - 15, 1965 at Columbia Recording Studios, New York City
Producer: Tom Wilson
Style: Folk Rock
Stephen Thomas Erlewine for allmusic: "With "Another Side of Bob Dylan", Dylan had begun pushing past folk, and with "Bringing It All Back Home", he exploded the boundaries, producing an album of boundless imagination and skill. And it's not just that he went electric, either, rocking hard on "Subterranean Homesick Blues," "Maggie's Farm," and "Outlaw Blues"; it's that he's exploding with imagination throughout the record. After all, the music on its second side - the nominal folk songs - derive from the same vantage point as the rockers, leaving traditional folk concerns behind and delving deep into the personal. And this isn't just introspection, either, since the surreal paranoia on "It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" and the whimsical poetry of "Mr. Tambourine Man" are individual, yet not personal. (...) This is the point where Dylan eclipses any conventional sense of folk and rewrites the rules of rock, making it safe for personal expression and poetry, not only making words mean as much as the music, but making the music an extension of the words. A truly remarkable album."
Rocky Raccoon: "Not only does Dylan "plug in" here, he does it on side one. When he reverts to acoustic on side two, the songs still blow away just about anything he had done previously."
Excellent post Honorio. I agree with most of it.
I'm glad Five Leaves Left did so well. If I voted it would have done even better.
That is a good summary of music over the past 70 years Honorio. It's really interesting that in a 30-40 year span, three genres reigned supreme in English speaking culture and since rock/pop took over in the 60's there hasn't been anything close to a challenger for the throne. That's 50 years of ruling the charts if we're putting hip-hop in the same category. Although, it's interesting that you want to lump hip-hop in with pop. It makes sense. But at the same time, it's logical to make the connection to rock and pop and just label it all pop, but when you lump hip-hop in there as well, while it's logical for pop and hip-hop to be linked, there becomes a really distinct difference between rock and hip-hop.
A very nice summary indeed.
What about electronic music? Pop too?
BTW, I like Sprawl II so much because of the Heart of Glass reference.
I'm open for a new revolution in music, something groundbreaking may happen. But then again, these revolutions are usually too short and if I think of all the post-grunge Nirvana-wanna-be bands in the nineties, I might prefer more of Arcade Fire's decadence.
Honrio, your post is great, but what would you do with hip-hop, reggae and electro ? you'd put them in the "pop" category I guess ?
This is a great debate, but I've got no time for it now
It is an interesting discussion indeed. I was thinking about it a little more, and I was wondering where rap battles would fit in, it's closer to the description of jazz than anything else. And how about country music by let's say.. Garth Brooks. More pop than folk, is it not?
For a band that is considered a 70's band it's funny that Zeppelin's best two albums came out during the 60's.
Just a note about "classical" music: it technically ends in the 1820s. Then you have Romantic-era music.
My ordering of Zep albums (With AT rank)
151) Physical Graffiti
319) Houses of the Holy
I'm in the minority that thinks Led Zeppelin lacks a single album that is an enjoyable front-to-back listen (I do like quite a few of their songs though). If I had to put on one it would probably be LZ II, but even that is quite uneven. Then again I've always thought Black Sabbath were miles better, so I'll have to accept LZ's high acclaim.
By the way, that run of albums was incredible. It's a shame the top 20 will lack jazz entirely though.
Some comments before posting the next five:
- Well, John, I named the group c) as "Pop" but I could have named it "Song" if you wanted because it’s structured in songs (gathered in albums). Within this group there’s music that it’s not usally written in sheet paper, it’s not mainly based on improvisation and it doesn’t follow strict traditional patterns. Of course it’s a widely heterogenous group that could includes rock, pop, vocal and (why not?) hip hop and electronica.
- About hip hop being more closer than jazz than to pop, well, Stephan, it’s an interesting theory. Probably the original crews with the DJs scratching records almost randomly and the MCs improvising their raps at the very moment could fit on group b) but most of the MCs write their lyrics before and the samples are now carefully selected.
- Electronica could be a completely different question, André and nicolas. Some musicians that uses noises, clicks and effects and construct their collage of sounds almost randomly have more in common with contemporary avant-garde than (even in the broadest sense) pop. I’m thinking about bands like Pan Sonic that could be filed on group b). But I prefer to consider most of the electronic sounds as this four period on the style, this "avant-garde" period that preceeded the decadence.
- And yes, André, there is glory on decadence too.
- VanillaFire1000, you’re right, every generalization carries some innacuracy, especially mine.
- About Led Zeppelin probably their 70s albums were better (I’m a "IV" fan too). But the first two albums were the ones that created a new style that is here to stay, for good or for bad, depending on your tastes.
And another three underated gems in this group. The last ones?
20. The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Electric Ladyland
Biggest fans: Henry and nicolas (#8 ), Listyguy (#10), Rocky Raccoon (#11)
Position in AM 3000: #11 of the 1960s and #22 of all time
Position in 1968 poll: #3
Released on October 22, 1968 (Track 613008/9), the US release (Reprise RS 6307) featured a different cover art
Recorded on July 6 - 19, 1967 at Mayfair Studios, New York City, on January 21 - April 1968 at Olympic Studios, London, England and on April - August 1968 at Record Plant Studios, New York City
Producer: Jimi Hendrix
Style: Acid Rock
Cub Koda for allmusic: "Jimi Hnedrix's third and final album with the original Experience found him taking his funk and psychedelic sounds to the absolute limit. The result was not only one of the best rock albums of the era, but also Hendrix's original musical vision at its absolute apex. When revisionist rock critics refer to him as the maker of a generation's mightiest dope music, this is the album they're referring to. But "Electric Ladyland" is so much more than just background music for chemical intake. Kudos to engineer Eddie Kramer (...) for taking Hendrix's visions of a soundscape behind his music and giving it all context, experimenting with odd mic techniques, echo, backward tape, flanging, and chorusing, all new techniques at the time, at least the way they're used here. What Hendrix sonically achieved on this record expanded the concept of what could be gotten out of a modern recording studio in much the same manner as Phil Spector had done a decade before with his Wall of Sound."
Honorio: "The highest achievement on Hendrix short career. While discovering the studio trickery and expanding his limits he made the perfect drug album. And with his usual mastery on electric guitar, showcased on the four-part solo on "All Along the Watchtower": 1º bluesy with string bending 2º with slide and echo 3º with his landmark wah wah 4º with crazy funky rhythm."
Listyguy: "My top 20 is 70% Beatles, Dylan, Hendrix and Zeppelin."
nicolas: "A trip. No record captured the athmosphere of the late 60's better than this one. It is also the outmost of electric guitar, of course. Favorite songs : All Along the Watchtower and 1983. Just like I prefer "Songs In The Key Of Life" to "Innervisions" or the White album to Revolver, my love for double albums make it my favorite JH record."
19. Sly and the Family Stone - Stand!
Biggest fans: Henrik (#1), Listyguy (#3), Charlie Driggs (#5), Rocky Raccoon (#7)
Position in AM 3000: #38 of the 1960s and #167 of all time
Position in 1969 poll: #8
Released on May 3, 1969 (Epic BN 23656)
Recorded on 1968 - 1969 at Pacific High Recording Studios, San Francisco, California
Producer: Sly Stone
Stephen Thomas Erlewine for allmusic: " "Stand!" is the pinnacle of Sly & the Family Stone's early work, a record that represents a culmination of the group's musical vision and accomplishment. "Life" hinted at this record's boundless enthusiasm and blurred stylistic boundaries, yet everything simply gels here, resulting in no separation between the astounding funk, effervescent irresistible melodies, psychedelicized guitars, and deep rhythms. Add to this a sharpened sense of pop songcraft, elastic band interplay, and a flowering of Sly's social consciousness, and the result is utterly stunning. (...) All of it sounds like the Family Stone, thanks not just to the communal lead vocals but to the brilliant interplay, but each track is distinct, emphasizing a different side of their musical personality. As a result, "Stand!" winds up infectious and informative, invigorating and thought-provoking - stimulating in every sense of the word. Few records of its time touched it, and Sly topped it only by offering its opposite the next time out."
Listyguy: "Everyday People, Stand!, Sing a Simple Song. Great."
18. The Doors - The Doors
Biggest fans: Gillingham and Listyguy (#7), Charlie Driggs (#8 ), Henrik and Romain (#10)
Position in AM 3000: #12 of the 1960s and #24 of all time
Position in 1967 poll: #4
Released on January 4, 1967 (Elektra EKL 4007)
Recorded on August 25 - 31, 1966 at Sunset Sound Recorders, Hollywood, California
Producer: Paul A Rothchild
Style: Psychedelic Rock
Richie Unterberger for allmusic: "A tremendous debut album, and indeed one of the best first-time outings in rock history, introducing the band's fusion of rock, blues, classical, jazz, and poetry with a knock-out punch. The lean, spidery guitar and organ riffs interweave with a hypnotic menace, providing a seductive backdrop for Jim Morrison's captivating vocals and probing prose. "Light My Fire" was the cut that topped the charts and established the group as stars, but most of the rest of the album is just as impressive, including some of their best songs (...) The 11-minute Oedipal drama "The End" was the group at its most daring and, some would contend, overambitious. It was nonetheless a haunting cap to an album whose nonstop melodicism and dynamic tension would never be equaled by the group again, let alone bettered."
nicolas: "One of the best debuts ever. "Light My Fire" towers above the rest, but every song is full of energy and panache."
Listyguy: "Their best album."
17. Leonard Cohen - Songs of Leonard Cohen
Biggest fans: Miguel (#3), Gillingham and Henrik (#4), Jackson (#6)
Position in AM 3000: #36 of the 1960s and #162 of all time
Position in 1967 poll: #6
Released on December 27, 1967 (Columbia CS 9533)
Recorded on August 1967 at Columbia Studio E, New York City
Producer: John Simon
Mark Deming for allmusic: "At a time when a growing number of pop songwriters were embracing a more explicitly poetic approach in their lyrics, the 1967 debut album from Leonard Cohen introduced a songwriter who, rather than being inspired by "serious" literature, took up music after establishing himself as a published author and poet. The ten songs on "Songs of Leonard Cohen" were certainly beautifully constructed, artful in a way few (if any) other lyricists would approach for some time, but what's most striking about these songs isn't Cohen's technique, superb as it is, so much as his portraits of a world dominated by love and lust, rage and need, compassion and betrayal."
nicolas: "Another fabulous debut."
Honorio: "The Canadian poet Leonard Cohen was probably the first worldwide bedroom star. I can imagine various generations of sensitive boys and girls listening him religiously in his/her bedrooms at night. The minimalist but perfect arrangements (that snare drum on "So Long Marianne"!), the European flavours and the poetic texts were outstanding features."
17. The Kinks - The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society
Biggest fans: Jackson and Miguel (#1), Georgie (#6), John (#9)
Position in AM 3000: #47 of the 1960s and #187 of all time
Position in 1968 poll: #5
Released on November 22, 1968 (Pye NSPL 18233)
Recorded on November 1966 - October 1968 at Pye Studios, London, England
Producer: Ray Davies
Style: Baroque Pop
Comments: Stephen Thomas Erlewine for allmusic: "Ray Davies' sentimental, nostalgic streak emerged on "Something Else", but it developed into a manifesto on "The Village Green Preservation Society", a concept album lamenting the passing of old-fashioned English traditions. As the opening title song says, the Kinks - meaning Ray himself, in this case - were for preserving "draught beer and virginity," and throughout the rest of the album, he creates a series of stories, sketches, and characters about a picturesque England that never really was. It's a lovely, gentle album, evoking a small British country town, and drawing the listener into its lazy rhythms and sensibilities. Although there is an undercurrent of regret running throughout the album, Davies' fondness for the past is warm, making the album feel like a sweet, hazy dream."
You better believe it, boys. No Stones on the Top 10.
15. Van Morrison - Astral Weeks
Biggest fans: Charlie Driggs (#1), Miguel (#5), Georgie (#9), Chris (#11)
Position in AM 3000: #9 of the 1960s and #15 of all time
Position in 1968 poll: #7
Released on November 1968 (Warner Bros. WS 1768 )
Recorded on September 25 - October 15, 1968 at Century Sound Studios, New York City
Producer: Lewis Merenstein
Style: Chamber Folk
William Ruhlmann for allmusic: " "Astral Weeeks" is generally considered one of the best albums in pop music history. For all that renown, "Astral Weeeks" is anything but an archetypal rock & roll album: in fact, it isn't a rock & roll album at all. Employing a mixture of folk, blues, jazz, and classical music, Van Morrison spins out a series of extended ruminations on his Belfast upbringing, including the remarkable character "Madame George" and the climactic epiphany experienced on "Cyprus Avenue". (...) An emotional outpouring cast in delicate musical structures, "Astral Weeeks" has a unique musical power. Unlike any record before or since, it nevertheless encompasses the passion and tenderness that have always mixed in the best postwar popular music, easily justifying the critics' raves."
nicolas: "A difficult but beautiful work, and the most audacious Morrison achievement, full of poetry and a wonderful choice of instruments."
14. The Beatles - Rubber Soul
Biggest fans: John (#1), Brad (#4), Listyguy and Miguel (#8 )
Position in AM 3000: #13 of the 1960s and #29 of all time
Position in 1965 poll: #2
Released on December 3, 1965 (Parlophone PCS 3075), the US version (Capitol ST-2442) featured 10 songs (plus 2 from the UK album "Help!"), the other four songs appeared on the album "Yesterday and Today" (Capitol ST 2553)
Recorded on June 17 - November 11, 1965 at EMI Studios, London, England
Producer: George Martin
Richie Unterberger for allmusic: "While the Beatles still largely stuck to love songs on "Rubber Soul", the lyrics represented a quantum leap in terms of thoughtfulness, maturity, and complex ambiguities. Musically, too, it was a substantial leap forward, with intricate folk-rock arrangements that reflected the increasing influence of Dylan and the Byrds. The group and Goerge Martin were also beginning to expand the conventional instrumental parameters of the rock group, using a sitar on "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)", Greek-like guitar lines on "Michelle" and "Girl", fuzz bass on "Think for Yourself", and a piano made to sound like a harpsichord on the instrumental break of "In My Life"."
nicolas: "The first modern Beatles album, with mutiple innovations and expansion of their talent."
Honorio: "The perfect bridge album between the funny but quite trivial Beatlemania and the innovations of "Revolver" and "Sgt. Pepper’s", "Rubber Soul" was the turning point of that inquisitive and creative musicians who were about to break its limits. But in that exact point they were able to create songs that would serve to explain to an extraterrestrial what is pop music."
Listyguy: "Was once my favorite of their albums."
13. Rolling Stones - Beggars Banquet
Biggest fans: Gillingham (#1), Brad (#3), Stephan (#4), Rocky Raccoon (#6)
Position in AM 3000: #14 of the 1960s and #30 of all time
Position in 1968 poll: #4
Released on December 6, 1968 (Decca SKL 4955)
Recorded on March 17 - July 25, 1968 at Olympic Sound Studios, London, England
Producer: Jimmy Miller
Style: Blues Rock
Richie Unterberger for allmusic: "The Stones forsook psychedelic experimentation to return to their blues roots on this celebrated album, which was immediately acclaimed as one of their landmark achievements. A strong acoustic Delta blues flavor colors much of the material, particularly "Salt of the Earth" and "No Expectations", which features some beautiful slide guitar work. Basic rock & roll was not forgotten, however: "Street Fighting Man", a reflection of the political turbulence of 1968, was one of their most innovative singles, and "Sympathy for the Devil", with its fire-dancing guitar licks, leering Jagger vocals, African rhythms, and explicitly satanic lyrics, was an image-defining epic. On "Stray Cat Blues," Jagger and crew began to explore the kind of decadent sexual sleaze that they would take to the point of self-parody by the mid-'70s. At the time, though, the approach was still fresh, and the lyrical bite of most of the material ensured "Beggars Banquet"'s place as one of the top blues-based rock records of all time."
nicolas: "The best blues-rock album ever. Instead of aping the blues, or over-electrify it, they use it as an influence and play their own songs."
Rocky Raccoon: "My favorite Stones album because it's their most stripped down. "Sympathy for the Devil" doesn't hurt, either."
12. Rolling Stones - Let It Bleed
Biggest fans: Harold Wexler (#4), Stephan (#8 ), Brad (#9), Henry and Listyguy (#11)
Position in AM 3000: #15 of the 1960s and #36 of all time
Position in 1969 poll: #2
Released on December 5, 1969 (Decca SKL 5025)
Recorded on February 10 - July 2, 1969 at Olympic Sound Studios, London, England and on October 17 - November 2, 1969 at Sunset Sound Recorders and Elektra Studios, Hollywood, California
Producer: Jimmy Miller
Richie Unterberger for allmusic: "Mostly recorded without Brian Jones - who died several months before its release (although he does play on two tracks) and was replaced by Mick Taylor (who also plays on just two songs) - this extends the rock and blues feel of "Beggars Banquet" into slightly harder-rocking, more demonically sexual territory. (...) Yet some of the songs are among their very best, especially "Gimme Shelter", with its shimmering guitar lines and apocalyptic lyrics; the harmonica-driven "Midnight Rambler"; the druggy party ambience of the title track; and the stunning "You Can't Always Get What You Want", which was the Stones' "Hey Jude" of sorts, with its epic structure, horns, philosophical lyrics, and swelling choral vocals. "You Got the Silver" (Keith Richards' first lead vocal) and Robert Johnson's "Love in Vain", by contrast, were as close to the roots of acoustic down-home blues as the Stones ever got."
nicolas: "Beggar's banquet continued. Both albums could make a perfect double."
11. Love - Forever Changes
Biggest fans: Harold Wexler (#2), Georgie (#4), Charlie Driggs (#6), Jackson (#7)
Position in AM 3000: #18 of the 1960s and #49 of all time
Position in 1967 poll: #2
Released on November 1967 (Elektra EKS 74013)
Recorded on June 9 - September 25, 1967 at Sunset Sound Studios, Hollywood, California
Producer: Bruce Botnick, Arthur Lee
Style: Baroque Pop
Mark Deming for allmusic: "Love's "Forever Changes" made only a minor dent on the charts when it was first released in 1967, but years later it became recognized as one of the finest and most haunting albums to come out of the Summer of Love, which doubtless has as much to do with the disc's themes and tone as the music, beautiful as it is. Sharp electric guitars dominated most of Love's first two albums (...) but most of "Forever Changes" is built around interwoven acoustic guitar textures and subtle orchestrations, with strings and horns both reinforcing and punctuating the melodies. The punky edge of Love's early work gave way to a more gentle, contemplative, and organic sound on "Forever Changes", but while Arthur Lee and Bryan MacLean wrote some of their most enduring songs for the album, the lovely melodies and inspired arrangements can't disguise an air of malaise that permeates the sessions."
Honorio: "A cult album, misunderstood and ignored when it was released. At the exact time (1967) and place (California) of hippie splendour there was Arthur Lee, a man who didn't share that cosmic happiness. "Sitting on a hillside / watching all the people die / I’ll feel much better on the other side". No matter the greatness of the music, nobody wanted to listen to this then."
Nice to see "Stand!" in the top 20. But the Stones were robbed.
Also, shouldn't "Village Green" be 16? (You listed two 17's)
4 Beatles albums in the top 10? Meh.
No Stones in the top ten would be more surprising for the 70's than the 60's. I wouldn't be shocked if the Beatles pulled of 1-2-3-4. I'm surprised Electric Ladyland didn't hit the top ten. It would have been my #4.
Remaining are 4 Beatles, 2 Dylan, Beach Boys, Hendrix, The VU and THE ZOMBIES!?
I don't understand the appeal for that album
A pity the Stones are not doing so well here.
I prefer te original cover of Beggars Banquet by the way.
And now The Beatles... as always... *sigh*
The tie at 17 is magnificent, as are numbers 11 and 15. It's too bad six of the top ten will be made up of two artists, but the Zombies are definitely a pleasant surprise. Stand might be the most surprising placement of the whole poll in my opinion, I would have guessed it would have finished around 40.