Monday, April 22, 2013

My 100 Favorite Albums of the 1960s: 100-81

I mentioned somewhere or other that I've been doing a massive project for the past couple of years: listening to all of the music I ever wanted to listen to, in chronological order. I've just finished up with 1980, but I thought I'd jump back into the sixties and make a big list of favorites. Haven't done a big list around here in a while. So, in my journey through the 1960s, here are my 100 favorites of the many, many albums I listened to, 20 a day for the rest of the week.

A couple of ground rules, though:

First, I count in units of 10, so the years active here are 1961-1970.

Second, no greatest hits albums or compilations. I always feel like that's cheating to have them on the same list as proper albums, because compilations are the cherry-picked best.

Third, I apologize if this list isn't really that different from the myriad of greatest albums lists already in existence.

Fourth, as always, I reserve the right to cheat my rules because they're my rules.

Honorable mentions:

1. The great, essential compilation set Nuggets: Original Artyfacts of the First Psychedelic Era, 1965-1968. It doesn't qualify by my rules because it's a compilation and it didn't come out until 1972, anyway, but it's amazing. It got me through high school some nights, and it's still one of the best listening experiences you can have. It's wonderful, and even though it doesn't go here, I just had to mention it.

2. SMiLE by the Beach Boys, which probably would be number 2 on this list if it had actually been released. It wasn't officially released until two years ago, but what an amazing listen.

Alright, starting at number 100, with possibly minimal commentary, here are

My 100 Favorite Albums of the 1960s

100. God Bless Tiny Tim, Tiny Tim (1968)
Did I lose anyone right off? I thought for sure this would be some kind of grating joke album, but I actually found it surprisingly pleasant to listen to. Maybe I was softened up to like Tiny Tim from watching so many Laugh-In reruns on Nick at Nite as a kid, but I found the record to err on the sincere side of weirdness.

99. Safe at Home, The International Submarine Band (1968)

98. Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, Neil Young (1969)

97. Recorded Live: The 12 Year Old Genius, Stevie Wonder (1963)
I love the energy of this album; Wonder really holds the crowd and gets them into the show, which is what I want to hear on a live album. Live albums aren't always favorites of mine. This is actually the only Stevie Wonder album on this list. If I were doing a 1970s list (which I might), they'd nearly all be on there. Like a lot of records from the 1960s, there's a lot of filler and less interesting covers on Wonder's albums. A compilation of his 60s singles, though, is invaluable. I have At the Close of a Century and play it an awful lot. There is nothing like soul music. Nothing.

96. Live at the Apollo, James Brown (1963)
Another example of a terrific live album. In fact, this album is so terrific that I love it even though I'm actually not a fan of James Brown.

95. The Electrifying Aretha Franklin, Aretha Franklin (1962)

94. 2000 Years with Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner & Mel Brooks (1961)

93. Improvisations, Ravi Shankar (1962)

92. Elton John, Elton John (1970)
I actually have a huge soft spot for pretty much Elton John's first 10 or so albums.

91. The Beach Boys' Christmas Album, The Beach Boys (1964)
I love a well-done Christmas album. This one has been a staple for me since before I can even remember, honestly. I used to listen to it on an 8-track.

90. My Generation, The Who (1965)

89. Blood, Sweat & Tears, Blood, Sweat & Tears (1968)

88. Blind Faith, Blind Faith (1969)

87. Shades of Deep Purple, Deep Purple (1968)

86. Bill Cosby Is a Very Funny Fellow...Right!, Bill Cosby (1963)
To this day, his routine about Noah is still the thing I find funniest from Cosby's stand-up. though there's one other Cosby album I like more. (Teaser?)

85. Truth, Jeff Beck Group (1968)

84. Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5, The Jackson 5 (1969)

83. Vanilla Fudge, Vanilla Fudge (1967)
I am also a huge fan of psychedelic music.

82. Bringing It All Back Home, Bob Dylan (1965)
Lots of Bob Dylan on this list, of course. I've always loved his music, to the annoyance of most of the people I've ever known.

81. Marvin Gaye Recorded Live on Stage, Marvin Gaye (1963)
An amazingly fun, high energy album from a guy who had stage fright.

Tomorrow: 80-61, obviously.


Roger Owen Green said...

No arguments. OK, I could pick on TIM, but don't own it, so should not say.
I have a lot of Neil Young!
Ravi - boy, you're sophisticated guy.
I'm going to guess that the other Cosby album is Why Is There Air, though Wonderfulness would be a good pick too. Very Funny Fellow is the only one of Cosby's first half dozen albums I DIDN'T own.
I agree re Elton. I loved his albums up to, but not including, Captain Fantastic, then it was more spotty.
Still own 91-82, except 87.

Good start.

Roger Owen Green said...

Wow, Aretha on Columbia!

I'm playing a mixed CD I made of music of the later 1960s. On it: The Loner - Neil Young (on right now) and She's Not There - Vanilla Fudge.

SamuraiFrog said...

It's Aretha's version of "Rock-a-Bye Your Baby" on that album that especially gets me.

Not right on any of the other Cosby albums yet, but all good choices. I really like his 60s albums.

I don't get called sophisticated very often, so thank you, sir.

DrGoat said...

I still have a copy of that Vanilla Fudge album somewhere.

Tallulah Morehead said...

Not only do I still have my God Bless Tiny Tim vinyl album I purchased in 1968, but mine is signed on the front by Tiny Tim himself, after seeing him in concert. Yes, that's right, in concert. What can I tell you? The 1960s were weird.