My Top Ten Sixties Albums

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My Top Ten Sixties Albums Empty My Top Ten Sixties Albums

Post by Rowley on Tue 15 Apr 2014, 10:06 am

Am a huge fan of sixties music and thought I would either see if there are any kindred spirits out there or perhaps try and convert a few people to the cause by posting what for me are the top ten albums of the decade. Have tried to go for a few bits and bobs people may not be too familiar with. Apologies in advance for the lack of the Beatles in here. Left them off because guess most people are pretty familiar with them already, and to be honest for some reason they have always left me a bit cold.

Nick Drake – Five Leaves Left – Am not normally a fan of acoustic music or its practitioners as it is all a bit whiny for me but over his all too short career Drake proved himself as a master of the art. Not a duff track on it, and whilst plenty consider his later, more pastoral work his best, this debut remains his finest hour for me. Beautiful, beautiful record.

The Zombies –Odyssey and Oracles – Brilliant example of late sixties pop. Every song could be a single on this album. Brilliant harmonies throughout and one of the best crafted albums of this or any era.

Cream – Disraeli Gears – Cream are often described as the first ever supergroup and on Disraeli Gears they live up to their billing. The trio of Baker, Clapton and Bruce have a power few bands can match and songs like Strange Brew and Sunshine of Your Love sound as fresh today as they would have done on release.

Love – Forever Changes – Hard to categorise this album, often gets tagged as a psychedelic album, but for me this is more down to the flower power cover and era of release. However Forever Changes is far more accessible than a lot of psychedelic stuff. Mainly acoustic album but not in a twee or folksy way, huge influence on many bands, apparently is one of the Stone Roses favourite albums, which is obviously enough of a recommendation for me.

The Kinks – Face to Face – The Kinks are probably my favourite band of this era and so I really struggled with which of their albums to put in. Suspect most would go for Village Green but for me I prefer this one. Is early enough to still have the moddish R&B sound I like but also is the first example of the story telling songwriting Davies was to become a master of on later albums.

The Flying Burrito Brothers – The Gilded Palace of Sin – Another album that is hard to categorise, would describe it as a mix between psychedelic and country, but that makes it sound absolutely awful, which does it a huge disservice. Will not be to everyone’s taste but the songwriting and lyrics are absolutely brilliant and the music is like nothing you have ever heard before or since.

Dusty Springfield – Everythings Coming Up Dusty – Make no apologies for loving Dusty Springfield, listening to her sixties work there is a bit of everything, big ballads, soul classics and classic pop singles. Again really debated which of her albums to put in but as an introduction to her work this is perhaps the best starting point, bit of everything in here and her voice has arguably never sounded better.

Traffic – Traffic – Love Steve Winwood and could have found a place for a number of his albums, but Traffic’s second album is hard to leave off. Am a massive Traffic and Winwood fan and for me this is their best moment. Less obviously psychedelic than their debut and less prone to the prolonged jams that were common to their later work Traffic is the most disciplined of their albums and songs like Feelin’ Alright and Pearly Queen stand up to repeated listening.

The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds – Often quoted as the inspiration behind the Beatles Sgt Pepper album Pet Sounds is a stunning piece of work, endlessly experimental but never losing touch with the brilliant harmonies and melodies that had made the Beach Boys famous. Also trivia fans the song God Only Knows was the first hit single to feature the word God.

Bob Dylan – Bringing it All Back Home – Hard to have a list of sixties album without having Dylan on and this for me is his best work of the era. At the time this was considered a controversial album as it marked Dylan embracing electric guitars, which was seen as a betrayal of his folk roots. However when the song writing is as strong as it is on Maggie’s Farm and It’s All Over Now Baby Blue who really cares.

Have not put the albums in order as this is way too tough. When this gets the flood of responses that are an almost inevitability for such threads may move on to do similar for other decades.

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Post by superflyweight on Tue 15 Apr 2014, 10:35 am

Some good choices up there, jeff and good to see some less obvious choices as well.

Not sure I could do a top 10 at this stage without more thought but would probably be thinking about including:

The Beatles - Rubber Soul (possibly a bit cliched to include a Beatles' album but Rubber Soul was a real game changer and inspired Brian Wilson to make the brilliant Pet Sounds)

The Grateful Dead - Live Dead (captures the essence of the Dead which in turn captures the essence of 60's psychedelia).

Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin II (not their best album but album shows them really finding their feet)

Velvet Underground and Nico (almost perfect!)

The Stooges (such a massive change from almost anything else going on in the 60's)

The Rolling Stones - Let it Bleed (worth inclusion for one of the greatest songs ever written - "Gimme Shelter").

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Post by Rowley on Tue 15 Apr 2014, 10:40 am

Feel bad for missing the Velvet Underground now supefly, which is a belter. That is just an oversight on my part. Really debated with Let It Bleed as it is a great album, but for me think it is put in the shade by Exile a couple of years down the line, which will almost certainly feature should there be a seventies list.

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Post by Galted on Tue 15 Apr 2014, 10:51 am

Pink Floyd - Piper At The Gates Of Dawn (more of a personal guilty pleasure than a great album)
The Doors - The Doors
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Post by The Womble on Tue 15 Apr 2014, 11:10 am

Some good albums up there. I too am a fan of sixties music, especially The Kinks. I would choose The Kink Kontroversy as my favourite album of theirs. 'Where Have All The Good Times Gone' and 'I Am Free' are great tracks.

I like Them's album The Angry Young Them, 'Mystic Eyes' is blinding!

I love Abbey Road, I think that is a stellar album.

Also a big fan of Manfred Mann and The Hollies.
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Post by 88Chris05 on Wed 30 Apr 2014, 1:33 pm

Nice stuff, Rowley. Not as clued up on the sixties as you are and my favourites are maybe a little more concentrated across the seventies and eighties, but I'll give it a go anyway.

In no particular order, apart from 'Revolver' which is my definite number one.

The Beatles - Revolver
The Beatles - Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Sam Cooke - The Wonderful World of Sam Cooke
The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds
Cream - Wheels of Fire
Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin II
Phil Ochs - Pleasures of the Harbor
Bob Dylan - Blonde on Blonde
Van Morrison - Astral Weeks
The Who - The Who Sell Out

Definitely a couple of yours that I'm only familiar with by name, or maybe the odd song here or there. Certainly need to dig a bit deeper and check 'em out.
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Post by Rowley on Wed 30 Apr 2014, 1:42 pm

Cheers Chris, have no idea who Phil Ochs is but intend to find out this evening. Considering doing the 70s at some point, started scribbling down some ideas but was struggling, may have to try irrespective. All else fails will just list about five Stones albums.

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Post by 88Chris05 on Wed 30 Apr 2014, 1:49 pm

Phil Ochs is one of these names my old man got me in to. Think Dylan but with a bit of extra quirkiness and a more experimental side. 'Pleasures of the Harbor' is a bit detached from his usual style which I'm not mad on (although it's not bad, either) but on that album he really has some interesting tunes. Kind of sunk in by osmosis - heard his records playing on our Hi-Fi when I was a kid and naturally thought they were garbage, started remembering them when I got a bit older and found myself thinking, "Hhhmm, looking back maybe they were ok, I'll check them out."
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Post by Guest on Mon 12 May 2014, 8:43 pm

Ooh.Sorry to join this thread a bit late-was just getting irate at another tv advert using a Pixies song in a cutesie"we're-all-the-same,really" type affair(The Pixies!!!) I stumbled into this with a bottle of Thunderbird in one hand and a Gang of Four lyric about consumerism brainworming through my bonce.

Kinks album for me is "something Else By The Kinks", although this possibly could eak into the 70s?Although I thought Nick Drake's debut was a 70s....could be wrong on both counts...okay just checked, nick Drake's 1969.

The Doors "The doors"  plus "Strange Days".

Love "Forever Changes"-possibly the best 60s lp in my view.( Scouse band Shack do a good impression if you like them).

The Velvet Underground and Nico.

Tim Buckley-"Happy Sad" and "goodbye and Hello"

Pink Floyd "Piper at the Gates of Dawn".

Jimi Hendrix "Axis Bold as Love"

13th Floor Elevators," The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators"

Simon & Garfunkel, "Sounds of Silence"

The Who "Sell out"

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Post by Guest on Mon 12 May 2014, 8:52 pm

There's a story about Phil Ochs travelling in a car with Dylan. His Bobness asked him what he thought of his latest song,and Ochs was one of the few people who spoke his mind to him;he told him he didn't like it and Bob ordered him out of the car. Seems to sum up the difference between the two-Ochs never got caught up in, or wanted to be, a pop star.

Billy Bragg wrote a song about him, "I dreamt I saw Phil Ochs" ,and he certainly believed that Ochs was the real deal whereas Bob sold his soul.

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Post by Rowley on Mon 12 May 2014, 8:53 pm

Cheers Andy, second person to point out my shameful omission of The Velvet Underground which is unforgivable on my part. Something Else is the 60's, believe Lola vs is their first 70s album. Totally agree re the Love album, lacked the nerve to try and put them in order but Forever Changes would almost certainly have been top of the pile.

Could not decide on a Who album, really like My Generation, but that is the old mod in me rather than the albums brilliance. Should I ever get my arse in gear to do a 70s list dare say Who's Next will appear, which despite being Jeremy Clarkson's favourite album is absolutely brilliant.

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Post by Guest on Mon 12 May 2014, 8:54 pm

I'm a big fan of "Astral Weeks" too,Chris. The song "Madam George " is staggering.(Album starred session musicians, no-one is sure who played bass on that song!)

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Post by Guest on Mon 12 May 2014, 9:00 pm

"Something else" has ,of course, copper bottom classics such as "situations Vacant","Lazy old sun", the very familiar "David Watts" (grew up with the Jam version!),and has corking extras on the 2004 release,such as "autumn almanac"-one of my favourites! (And Blur based most of a career on )"Death of a Clown"...everyone's a winner...

Actually recently read Ray Davies' book "Americana".He's curiously flat in prose, but it's worth a read.

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Post by Guest on Mon 12 May 2014, 9:07 pm

I must point out that I'm a big fan of the latter Traffic ,Rowley, "John Barleycorn Must Die" (1970) is terrific, especially "Freedom rider" .

As "Disraeli Gears " was mentioned I didn't feel the need to mention it-however it was a massive influence on the young Mick Jones, for which we should be hugely grateful!

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Post by Rowley on Mon 12 May 2014, 9:12 pm

I also like the later traffic stuff, particularly john barleycorn as you rightly say. However still think Traffic is their finest hour

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