Monday, October 12, 2009

Top Albums of the 1960s (Pt. 1)

I've been digging into the past for lists over the past month or two, showcasing the songs and albums that I love that came out long, long ago. I went through the '90s, the '80s, and the '70s (in that order), looking at the music that shaped those decades and the decades that followed. The next step in this journey is to examine the music of the 1960s because, well, it was the decade before the '70s.

Most albums on every list I've made owe a lot to the music of the '60s. As America dealt with the Cold War and Vietnam and England dealt with fish & chips or whatever the hell those Brits deal with, the boundaries of music were drastically stretched. From the beginning of the decade to the end several vital innovations were made, and several new genres were established. Rock n' roll in 1960 looked very different from rock n' roll in 1969, and that change was mostly good. The "Tutti Frutti"s and "Johnny B. Goode"s of the previous decade became "Tomorrow Never Knows" and "I Wanna Be Your Dog". (Which were my top two songs of the '60s. The list is here if you missed it.) Rock and pop both experienced a renaissance during the '60s, and we're all better off for it.

But rock and pop weren't the only shifting genres. Jazz, which had progressed with the help of Charlie Parker and Ornette Coleman in the '50s, went in all different directions. The majority of the jazz albums on this list are either "free jazz" or "post-bop," styles that both (though free jazz did more) broke all the rules of music. And funk and soul were basically invented in the '60s.

So the decade was pretty awesome. Musically, at least. I wasn't alive, so I can't exactly speak on much else. Just enjoy these albums.

90. The Who--The Who Sell Out
89. Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto--Getz/Gilberto
88. Van Morrison--Astral Weeks
87. Charles Mingus--Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus
86. The Mothers Of Invention--Absolutely Free
85. Led Zeppelin--Led Zeppelin I
84. Joan Baez--Joan Baez
83. Albert Ayler--Spirits Rejoice
82. Dara Puspita--A Go Go
81. Miles Davis--Seven Steps To Heaven

80. The Rolling Stones--Let It Bleed
79. Sly & The Family Stone--Life
78. Albert King--Born Under A Bad Sign
77. Herbie Hancock--Fat Albert Rotunda
76. Archie Shepp--Live At The Panafrican Festival
75. Skip Spence--Oar
74. Cromagnon--Orgasm
73. Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood--Nancy & Lee
72. The Soft Machine--The Soft Machine
71. Yusef Lateef--Eastern Sounds

70. Bobby Hutcherson--Dialogue
69. Scott Walker--Scott
68. The Beach Boys--Wild Honey
67. Silver Apples--Contact
66. Duke Ellington--Money Jungle
65. The Byrds--Sweetheart Of The Rodeo
64. The Beatles--Help!
63. John Coltrane--My Favorite Things
62. Ike Turner & The Kings Of Rhythm--A Black Man's Soul
61. The Beatles--Beatles For Sale

60. Scott Walker--Scott 3
59. Isaac Hayes--Hot Buttered Soul
58. The Beatles--Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
57. Sun Ra--Heliocentric Worlds, Vol. 1
56. The Sonics--Boom
55. Leonard Cohen--Songs From A Room
54. Frank Zappa--Hot Rats
53. The Beatles--Please Please Me
52. Anthony Braxton--3 Compositions Of New Jazz
51. The Kinks--Are The Village Green Preservation Society

50. Terry Riley--A Rainbow In Curved Air
49. Scott Walker--Scott 2
48. Johnny Cash--At Folsom Prison
47. The Band--The Band
46. John Fahey--The Transfiguration Of Blind Joe Death
45. Roscoe Mitchell--Sound
44. Nick Drake--Five Leaves Left
43. The Beatles--Rubber Soul
42. Creedence Clearwater Revival--Willy And The Poor Boys
41. The Jimi Hendrix Experience--Electric Ladyland

40. Peter Brotzmann--Machine Gun
39. Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band--Safe As Milk
38. The Mothers Of Invention--Freak Out!
37. Miles Davis--Sketches Of Spain
36. Bob Dylan--Highway 61 Revisited
35. The Beatles--A Hard Day's Night
34. Scott Walker--Scott 4
33. The Zombies--Odessey And Oracle
32. Pharoah Sanders--Karma
31. John Coltrane--Giant Steps

That's what I think. Look for the top 30 soon-ish!

1 comment:

  1. If Rolling Stone saw this list they would be horrified. But hey, I agree, Sgt. Pepper's is not as amazing as everyone believes.