The history of the albums

This list includes in chronological order the important and unavoidable albums. A list updated regularly

John Mayall with Eric Clapton - Blues Breakers
88
John Mayall, British multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, emerged parallel to the first and second wave of the British Invasion within the underground circuit, becoming one of the icons of British Blues during the 60s to early 70s. What's fabulous about this artist is that John Mayall is still active today with almost 60 years of uninterrupted career. Unlike most of the cult bands or artists of the 60's, John Mayall was not a star but an artistic icon of that generation, in the sense that he still made history with a great handful of albums and singles that were significant for that time. Inspired by African-American music, like all the other British musicians of that time, John Mayall can easily be classified among the similar Alexis Korner, Rolling Stones, Yardbirds, Animals or even the Kinks at times. Having formed the group Bluesbreakers and inviting the future legend Eric Clapton to his side, John Mayall has in my opinion reached its peak with the classic Blues Breakers, a particularly great album. It is for this reason that we are going to revisit this album of an artist with an impressive career, that we can't help but admire becoming such a longevity... to continue..
Full review : https://www.albumoftheyear.org/album/39580-john-mayall-with-eric-clapton-blues-breakers.php
The Mothers of Invention - Freak Out!
94
With such an explicit stage name, it is easy to understand how this Californian collective is one of the most important and innovative Avant-Garde and Experimental Rock acts in history. It is also the birth of one of the most cult music geniuses named Frank Zappa. So today we are going to open a new and significant chapter in history, like many of those that make up 1966 and the following revolutionary years. What is important to know and especially since we are approaching this subject in retrospect, this first album and overall the debut of The Mothers of Invention did not have commercial success at the time and neither did the professional/amateur critics at the time. At the time, we were far from understanding the full extent of the potential and genius of an album like Freak Out. Besides it will be the same with the Velvets Undergrounds. For the people of the 60's they were mostly drug addicted musicians and just extravagant in their styles, yet the Mothers of Inventions not only opened other doors to the possibilities of Pop Rock but they were also among the first innovators and pioneers to add an aesthetic/concept art to music when it was (almost) just a way to "entertain" themselves in the eyes of the listeners. By taking bands/artists like the Beatles, Brian Wilson, the Velvet Underground and the Mothers of Inventions for example, popular music was placed on the same level of consideration as what film, literature or painting/and more are for Art. So yes, people weren't wrong about one thing, these artists were probably...
.. to continue.. Full review : https://www.albumoftheyear.org/user/doublez/album/6382-freak-out/
The Seeds - The Seeds
87
This Californian rock band recognized in the 60's is typically the kind of band I like. Not as popularly recognized, often neglected to its true value today and distinguished by an atypical style/content. While it particularly smells of acid, generously swallowed by these individuals and imagined in an underground rock/proto-punk garage, the Seeds are known to have been one of the first pioneers of Psychedelic Rock at the same time as the Yarbirds or the Kinks. That's to say the importance they had both in the near future on famous artists/groups like Jimmy Hendrick, The Doors or Cream for the psychedelic movement, on the Stooges the proto punk band of Iggy Pop, even extending over several decades with Punk, Post-Punk, Post-Rock, Dream pop and even not so long ago with the Whites Stripes. The list is rather long, even if the influence is not necessarily all the time in a direct way. Obviously we are not talking here about a band that revolutionized music, otherwise we would hear about the Seeds, but the quartet/quintet led by singer-songwriter and bassist Sky Saxon to mark its time with delicious singles/albums from 1965 to 1969, until their first "split". Moreover Sky Saxon is logically the only one to have continued as a soloist until his disappearance in the 2000s, trying to re-form several times the band Seeds under a new alias but without success.. to continue..
Full review : https://www.albumoftheyear.org/user/doublez/album/7068-the-seeds/
Jacques Brel - Ces gens-là
91
Today I will try to pay tribute to one of the most beautiful legends and one of the best French-language albums of all time. I can say without hesitation that the Belgian Jacques Brel ranks among the legendary trio of French music alongside George Brassens and Serge Gainsbourg, and that no one else can hold their own. So yes, I'm talking about a monument that should be taken as the ultimate example, author among others of "Ne Me Quitte Pas". An incomparable influence, artist and lyricist of Songs with Text close to the divinity, Jacques Brel is Brel, the incomparable. Tackling provocative and arrogant poetry, with the insolence of his deep, high-pitched voice, Jacques Brel didn't keep his words in his pocket, he expressed them with such power that his songs still resonate today despite the time lag. It is not annodin if it is main success and his genius of writing in particular with "Quant On N'A Que L'Amour", "Vesoul", "La Valse A Mille Temps", "La Chanson Des Vieux Amants", "Amsterdam", "Mathilde" or "Ces Gens-La" enabled him to be exported beyond the French-speaking countries in an international way, inspiring great geniuses such as David Bowie, Leonard Cohen and taken again by Frank Sinatra or Ray Charles. That's why I don't exaggerate when I talk about legend. We will revisit the album Ces Gens là, symbol of its apogee and some time before it "forsakes" a little music for the cinema. Action..
.. to continue.. Full review : https://www.albumoftheyear.org/user/doublez/album/20008-ces-gens-la/
Bob Dylan - Blonde on Blonde
97
After a tumultuous yet prodigious year 1965, Bob Dylan had already reached the glass ceiling, marked by the break with his old traditional folk fan and his rise to commercial success with his new Folk Rock/Blues Rock formula. So after the 2 classics Bringing It All Back Home and Highway 61 Revisited, Blonde On Blonde is causing a great deal of questioning among listeners and specialists alike. Especially since Blonde on Blonde is based on the same foundations as the previous albums. Certainly Bob Dylan has so far shown us a constant progression at an extraordinary and out of the ordinary level, which was rather reassuring, but what can we achieve again on the same beaten track of a new Bob Dylan album? Well, I can immediately break this "suspense" by telling you that Blonde on Blonde remains one of the best albums of his career. While it seemed to walk on water, Blonde on Blonde not only closes out that Blues Rock era and the famous trilogy, but on top of that, it's cut out to be one of Dylan's favourite albums for many listeners. Obviously, Dylan's career is far from ending after Blonde on Blonde, however I think that this 3 year period (1963 to 1966) has greatly helped Dylan to acquire the status he has today of being the most important Folk artist of all time. Which for me, there is no question about it. Today, we will revisit Blonde on Blonde, and understand how Dylan has been able to offer a new wonder without straying from the horizons he drew the year before..
.. to continue.. full review : https://www.albumoftheyear.org/user/doublez/album/5605-blonde-on-blonde/
The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds
99
War was declared. Only a victor could end it. Fortunately I am not talking about a bloody war in its atrocity, I am of course referring to the artistic war of the albums that Brian Wilson, leader of the Beach Boys, will launch in response to the revolutionary Rubber Soul of the Beatles. Maybe it was purely egocentric or maybe it was just a way to challenge oneself, which in any case will be a service to the history of music. This historical passage is probably one of the most significant for both the album format and the musical creativity of the artists. Based on the facts, we can clearly say that Rubber Soul sounded like a revolution but it would not have been as strong without Brian Wilson's response with Pet Sounds. Although the answer is still a mystery, I doubt that when the Beatles released Rubber Soul they had the ambition to make the best album of all time and to establish themselves as the greatest band in the world. Conversely, Brian Wilson fell so much in admiration of the concept and work of Rubber Soul that he made no secret of his ambition to make Pet Sounds "the best album of all time". It turns out that for some people, he has succeeded. In my opinion, he comes very close to it, but not only is this not true, but he will not win this artistic war since the Beatles' ultimate response with Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) will dethrone him. After this is an opinion based on the balance between objectivity and my subjectivity, because let's be honest, Pet Sounds is so great, so grandiose, that it all comes down to a few details. If we take a look in the rear-view mirror, the Beach Boys were at the time the only American band that in 1964/1965 resisted the artistic domination and popularity of the British Invasion bands (not to mention the Byrds). What even extraordinary, it is that they succeeded by..
.. to continue.. full review : https://www.albumoftheyear.org/user/doublez/album/4963-pet-sounds/
Wayne Shorter - Speak No Evil
93
As a symbol, 1964 is a major year for both Post-Bop and Wayne Shorter. Although Speak No Evil was released in 1966, the entire album was recorded in December 1964. So it is not annodin if in the list I quoted you in my first paragraph, if we find so many masterpieces released that famous year. Moreover the apogee as a leader of Wayne Shorter essentially took place at this period. Let's put things in context, Wayne Shorter started very young by becoming one of the leading thinkers and actors of the Jazz Messengers directed by Art Blakey. Wayne Shorter was at his best when he switched from the Hard Bop he was playing in his early days to Post-Bop. If we look at the rest of his career, when he moved to Jazz Fusion, a style where he wasn't as excellent, Wayne Shorter will slowly fade away, without offering any reference as a leader in this current. In 1964, he joined the Second Great Miles Davis Quintet, with Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and Tony Williams. If Wayne Shorter learned a lot from Art Blakey and then with Miles Davis, it is very important to say that Wayne Shorter (like Herbie Hancock, but on a smaller scale for him) probably resurrected Miles Davis who at that time was "in perdition"...
.. to continue.. full review : https://www.albumoftheyear.org/user/doublez/album/33319-speak-no-evil/
The Rolling Stones - Aftermath
91
With the brilliant Aftermath, not only did the Rolling Stones stay the course in the face of fierce competition, but they also gave us their first undisputed classic. C'est un peu le jour où les Stones sont passer de simples interpréte à musiciens de génies. If we compare retrospective analyses with today's analysis, we can observe a two-fold phenomenon that is rarely found in new releases. Given that everything goes very fast these days and that there are many more artists and bands, I have the impression that careers last much less time, as if everything was a bit immediate, like our massive consumption of music. In the sense that even if we often talk in retrospect about legends or extraordinary bands/artists, which distorts the debate a bit (without forgetting the fact that guys have tried almost everything in terms of innovation), I have this impression that we notice much more a progression and evolutions, whereas today we have the impression that they give from the beginning all the best they have. It's maybe where you notice the great artists/groups compared to those who will just temporarily mark the history of music, there's probably some of that too. In fact why I'm making this reflection, it's because when we analyze the Rolling Stones' career, we have noticed a constant progression from album to album, whereas nowadays the difficulty to make a second album after a success of esteem remains a task that few people manage to accomplish...
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John Handy - Recorded Live at the Monterey Jazz Festival
89
There are many fantastic feelings when you are a music lover that few people can understand when music is just entertainment in their eyes (it is a personal choice that they respect). Today I'd like to make an apology for one of these sensations, close to idyllic happiness because I know I'm talking to music lovers here. I think it happens to all lovers and many times too, you know that feeling of discovering an album or/and an artist very little known, or even unknown, but which nevertheless transcends you totally. You know, it's that story that nobody knows, like that valuable object hidden and tucked away in the attic. This feeling of pride to have unearthed the treasure buried for centuries. It's a feeling of indescribable happiness for those who have never experienced it, but so familiar to lovers and curious people, who every day try to find the revelation. In short, I think you have understood my words. It is for this reason that today I am going to talk to you about a magnificent artist and an album that I believe can be classified in this category of sensation of "discovery" even if it is far from being a total unknown. So I am honoured to tell you about John Handy and his album: Recorded Live at the Monterey Jazz Festival . "Who, John Handy? Another folk, blues or country artist deeply depressed? "No, John Handy is a very talented alto saxophonist who has navigated between different eras, from the avant-garde jazz to more mainstream content. Although he is still active today, John Handy has not been able to establish himself as a leader in the face of the stiff competition of the time due to a lack of memorable references. However, in the 70s, Handy was a rather popular jazzman...
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Jacques Dutronc - Jacques Dutronc
83
As with most internationally recognized genres/styles, the beginning of Rock in France came a few years after the emergence of Bill Harley and Elvis Presley in the heart of the capital. It all started underground in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, the day Henri Leproux, singer and waiter of a golf club, decided to bring the American trend by launching music as one of the particularities of the Golf-Drouot establishment. Thus, the initial golf club with little success will be transformed into a bar little by little, until it becomes a mythical discotheque reserved for French and foreign pop rock artists. All this may seem trivial, yet it goes beyond the symbol! From the end of the 50's until the 80's, the Golf-Drouot will become the French rock reference, launching the best artists like Johnny Hallyday, Eddie Mitchell or Jacques Dutronc. It is necessary to understand the context, in the 50s France proposed musically the "Song", superficial pop, jazz and classical music in its entirety, and the arrival of rock n roll to change habits, well before the "Yé Yé" period, which will give way to a desert generation of the most symbolic French artists in the history of the country over the next 10 years. It is difficult to really fix the impact and popularity of this new generation when you are a foreigner, but in France artists like Johnny Hallyday and Eddie Mitchell have become the most popular French artists of all time, perhaps even more so than Serge Gainsbourg. However, if we discard the popular aspect and rely solely on musical objectivity, neither Hallyday nor Mitchell were better than Jacques Dutronc. Let us say especially that the first 2 are rather recognized for their interpretative talent, whereas Dutronc offered a much better content in a more complete profile..
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The Monks - Black Monk Time
90
There are many reasons why writing each episode of History of the Albums remains an absolute joy. It's true that I have a thirst for knowledge and curiosity, I even tend to be more interested in the history or the personality of a band/artist rather than their music intrinsically speaking. However, our musical heritage is so full of fantastic stories that I feel I will never tire of it. Just look at today's exciting topic, The Monks, a band formed in Germany by American military personnel who created their legend with only one album. Here we are not talking about those one-day artists who triumphed commercially with a single single, The Monks are not only avant-garde artists whose talents and ideas were simply a blessing for us music lovers, but on top of that they exude a deeply human music. Let's put all this in context, in 1966 the Vietnam war occupied the media space while on the one hand the counter-culture "hippie" and peaceful movements were growing among the younger generation. In music, the era of the revolutionary years was launched, many groups/artists chose to favor the artistic aspect rather than the commercial one. For this reason, 1966 was marked by the birth of experimental rock and many other avant-garde prototypes. It is impossible not to mention the main "popular" actors, such as the Beatles, the Velvet Underground, The Mother of Invention, without forgetting the Monks. It's also obvious to say that I don't count the many underground bands/artists who didn't survive the test of time or who remain significant obscure references. In addition to their already fascinating history, ...
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Patty Waters - Sings
87
To say that it was not until 1966 and the singer Patty Waters that for the first time in history the Vocal Jazz merged with the Avant Garde Jazz. An enigma inconceivable to the most traditional listeners, lovers of Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Billie Holiday or Sarah Vaughan, who are normally used to a jazz vocal accentuated by the beauty of the singing, interpretation and writing, whereas the bebop/swing/cool jazz musicality is more like an accompaniment. On the contrary, the happiness of the curious listener who just wanted the Vocal Jazz to go out of its comfort zone to explore new landscapes will be immediately conquered or interested in the experience. This is clearly what Patty Waters has managed to do justice to on 2 albums released the same year, of which Sings remains the most symbolic. For a long time and even after Patty Waters, Vocal Jazz and Jazz cousins have remained as 2 opposing things, especially when the most creative jazzmen understood the limits of traditional jazz in the mid/late 50s. You might as well know that during the 60's, when popular music had literally changed its horizon to Pop Rock and Folk, this phenomenon amplified to create an almost indelible divide. Personally, as a jazz lover, respecting our traditional heritage as much as I do the artist's experiments, I even think it was criminal not to have had time for the two cousin genres to reconcile. Instead we had hysterical people afterwards like Yoko Ono who was trying to soak up Patty Waters' madness. Finally Vocal Jazz finally disappeared from the surface little by little and Jazz went its own way..
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Godz - Contact High With The Godz
70
To be completely honest I hesitated for a long time to analyze this subject, because here we are not going to analyze one of his excellent and indispensable albums to listen to once in his life. To put it simply, Contact High With The Godz is above all an experimental experiment for the time, which is one of the many revolutions and experiments that will take place during the last 5 years of the 60s. This vision works with their entire discography. Godz is concretely one of his New York underground bands that has this reputation of UFO and that deeply divides listeners and specialists with such polarity. After all, it is logical to find such a contrast of opinions when talking about an "experimental" project, which is not directly considered an essential piece despite the retrospective. Yet if one delves into their ideas in more detail, one cannot say that they had no imaginations. Even beyond that, if Godz is often categorized under Folk, Psychedelic and Experimental, they are part of his prototype groups that were necessary for the evolution of different currents, I think of Experimental Rock, Hard Rock, the Noise/Psychedelic movements as a whole and especially Godz remains one of the pioneer groups of Freak Folk..
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Baden Powell & Vinícius De Moraes - Os Afro Sambas de Baden e Vinícius
92
If you are a great lover of Brazilian music and more particularly of Samba, it is inevitable to possess in his company Os afro-sambas, a magnificent masterpiece released in February 1966 and signed by Baden Powell and Vinicius de Moraes. Founded at the base of the African roots in Brazil, Samba appeared at the end of the 19th century, before blossoming symbolically in Rio de Janeiro and becoming one of the richest cultures of the country. However, if we base ourselves only on albums or even singles, before Os Afro-sambas, there are very few essential and deeply influential references. There are of course some projects by Dorival Caymmi (Cançoes Praieiras and E o Mar), some fulgurances by Elza Soares and of course the album Samba esquema novo by Jorge Ben. 1966 will actually become a pivotal year for Samba for several reasons. The first one is that Jorge Ben was able to give Samba a new lease of life a few years earlier, moving from the traditional to something more contemporary. The second reason is the emergence of the new generation of popular artists who will give MPB (Brazilian Popular Music), following the new wave of the British Invasion in their own way. And finally, as is often the case with the classics, the album Os afro-sambas will bring a whole new dimension to the musical style. While Jorge Ben was turned towards a more popular approach and closely related to Bossa Nova, Baden Powell and Vinicius de Moraes offer a more complex and sophisticated vision of Samba, moving closer to traditional and religious controversial sub-styles like Candomblé Music and folk music like Samba de roda. For its 2 traditional sub-styles, the album Os afro-sambas remains the most beautiful tribute in history...
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The Mamas & The Papas - If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears
86
Imagine a world without problems. An idyllic world where we make war with flowers instead of weapons and bombs. A world without discrimination or racism. A world where the sun would come to wake you up every morning accompanied by thousands of birds singing the happiness of a wonderful new day. A world where love would be everyone's only concern, like in this Sunday afternoon TV movie that whatever happens will have a happy ending. Paradise on earth to put it simply. In short, it all sounds of course like something naive and silly, but it is clearly in this fairy-tale world that The Mamas & The Papas transport me when I listen to their classic If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears. A joyful Folk Pop and Sunshine Pop fusion that is particularly seductive in its simplicity and sincerity. This atypical quartet, initially composed of 2 female/male duos, wonderfully represents the counter-culture of the 60's and the hippie vision that characterizes this decade. This positive energy and passion has allowed them to offer some popular classics without any headache, thus becoming one of the best selling groups in the world. Their musical styles are mainly characterized by the formidable work of harmonies and a lively orchestration..
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John Coltrane - Ascension
95
Like an earthquake, the jazz sphere underwent one of the biggest upheavals in its history at the end of the 1950s. It can be roughly compared to the big bang and the disappearance of the dinosaurs, because in the end it's a bit like what happened if you caricature it with wacky metaphors. Jazz geniuses and innovators such as Miles Davis himself were beginning to grow weary of the innovative and creative limits of bop. And so the divide was created, a gulf between traditional swing and bop and the artistic momentum that was buzzing the most inventive and imaginative of all. It wasn't as usual, that is to say a simple progressive evolution over time that shows an evolution sometimes leading to something new. Here the actors were almost radically opposed to the rule, defying the basics, the achievements and sometimes even going so far as to erase structures. Concretely, it had become an avant-garde vision as if jazz had the chance to start its third life, travelling through the territories known as Modal Jazz and the great family of Avant-Garde Jazz..
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Herbie Hancock - Maiden Voyage
90
Listening to Herbie Hancock's masterpiece Empyrean Isles, you might think that you've understood the essence of his Post-Bop/Modal Jazz/Avant-Garde Jazz period, but I think you'll miss out on an album that has no reason to be ashamed of the competition: Maiden Voyage. It's always a complex task to be able to bounce back when you've reached a stage of consecration, especially when you've reached that much sought-after outcome. Yet despite the fact that Empyrean Isles comfortably places Herbie Hancock in the category of the best jazzmen of the time, he never looked back, without trembling and without thinking for a second that he would fall into the ease of trying to reproduce something that is impossible. Instead of sounding like a simple continuation of the previous one, the Maiden Voyage album is an album that stands out very clearly, as much in its Modal Jazz direction as in its thematic approach. Although we know that Herbie Hancock has always been versatile in the fusion of jazz styles, we can say that he arrived on Empyrean Isles at the height of his mastery of Post-Bop, and Modal Jazz with Maiden Voyage. To go further, in my opinion Maiden Voyage is certainly not the last album that closes a cycle that will lead to the Jazz Fusion period, but it is the last masterpiece before Hancock begins to show his limits in this musical direction. It is for this reason, that after the release of Maiden Voyage, Herbie Hancock will focus on different projects, such as soundtrack or more conceptual projects that will help to compensate for the limits, until Jazz Fusion arrives..
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Simon & Garfunkel - Sounds of Silence
90
The duo Simon & Garfunkel is clearly one of the most important and popular adventures in the history of Folk, especially if we extend it with the solo works of Paul Simon.Until their break-up in 1970, the duo enjoyed massive success, adding classics such as The Sound of Silence, Mrs. Robinson, Bridge Over Troubled Water and Cecilia to their musical heritage. However, it doesn't stop there since the group also offered us great albums, while participating in the development of Folk since the mid-60s. If Simon & Garfunkel's music stands out by their atypical styles and a deep personality, the duo has always globally reaped the important support of music critics, yet many listeners and specialists can't find their way through a music that is often judged as superficial. Conversely, the worshippers emphasize the fact that Simon & Garfunkel's music is deserved and distinguished precisely by the charm of their singularity.Although their adventure together doesn't seem to have lasted very long, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel met when he was a child since they lived in the same neighborhood in Queens. Beyond the fact that they lived nearby, Simon and Garkunkel attended the same school. The friends both developed a passion for music and especially for the fantastic harmonies of the Everly Brothers duo. A sign that does not deceive for the future..
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The Beatles - Rubber Soul
97
Exhausted by the hellish pace of touring and their entire workload, Rubber Soul marks the time when the Beatles will leave their costumes (metaphorically), looking for a way out, to focus solely on the artistic. We are not talking about just any door, which opens and closes at will, the four boys were more precisely looking for a door to seal for good. Rubber Soul is probably one of the most significant turning points in their career in terms of context. First of all, Rubber Soul perfectly concludes the Folk era, which they started in early 1964 on A Hard Day's Night. On this point again, the Beatles did not simply go to the artistic culmination of their musical direction, they transcended and revolutionized it as only Bob Dylan could have done. Taking a casual approach to dressing on this mythical cover, the Beatles on Rubber Soul created this fracture, to devote themselves to art rather than fame. It all translates into their attitude and the choices they will make when creating Rubber Soul...
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Vince Guaraldi Trio - A Charlie Brown Christmas
93
At a time when all the decorations and Christmas trees are currently tidied up or thrown away, to the great detriment of our wonderful planet (where then you get lazy and it only postpones the inevitable), that the duration of the night is gradually decreasing to face the next spring, it is however imperative that I get out of the old boxes stored in the attic this magnificent opus that Vince Guaraldi offered us. Since always, the release of several Christmas albums per year remains a tradition for the music and for the album format. Finally when we do the counting, despite the large number, there are still few albums of this type that really deserve to be considered as a must-have. However, in December 1965, an artist and musician by the name of Vince Guaraldi, a legend in the field of music for television, concocted for us not only one of the best Christmas albums in history, but also one of the most successful and significant TV soundtracks: A Charlie Brown Christmas, made for the special program of the same name, released the same year. Apart from the fact that this original TV soap opera changed some methods in the world of cinema/television, featuring Charlie Brown and his friends, the music from this event became just as important, integrating itself as a cultural classic. Funded in part by Coca Cola, which I am not surprised that they are participating in the commercial development of Christmas again, is not Santa Claus . A Charlie Brown Christmas is basically a culmination for Vince Guaraldi, who although he was already established thanks to his grammy award won in 1963 for his single Cast Your Fate to the Wind (1962), just wait for an absolute consecration work in order to reach the role of legend forever. We will then analyze his career and this famous classic, in order to understand how this musician, composer and his arrangements, as innovative as they are influential, were able to make history..
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The Who - My Generation
90
With a stage name as unlikely as it is zany, The Who is a British Invasion band that first made its mark with Mod/Beat Music and Blues-Rhythm and Blues before becoming one of the pioneers of Hard Rock, Progressive Rock, Opera Rock and Rock Arena. Their impressive legacy has made them one of the most important, popular and influential bands in history, but where The Who excelled was in their gift to deliver that devastating pure rock energy and transcend themselves into self-destruction. Tic Toc Tic Toc, Boom. Dementia is a seemingly uncontrollable art form, but the Who controlled it wonderfully. Although they built up and differentiated themselves from their peers fairly quickly, The Who were not clearly one of the bands of the first wave of the British Invasion, as the band took their time to grow and observe, arriving in record stores in early 1965 when the others had already made a name for themselves the year before. In the space of a few months after the release of their first single I Can't Explain, the band quickly conquered its audience, relying both on the influences of the emblematic bands and on their own singularities. All this would not have been possible without understanding how the original members of The Who were all genius musicians. First of all there is Pete Townshend, one of the guitar heroes thanks to his stratospheric technicality and one of the best composers in history, Roger Daltrey, a powerful singer who is also ranked among the best. The same can be said of bassist John Entwistle and drummer Keith Moon. In short, think of The Who as one of the bands that had the cream of the crop. Before all that, it's time to first study the band's beginnings through their first and very solid album My Generation...
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Orchestre National De L'O.R.T.F / Ensemble Instrumental De Musique Contemporaine De Paris / Maurice  - Xenakis: Metastasis; Pithoprakta; Eonta
92
we are going to plunge into a wonderful and obscure album Metastasis; Pithoprakta; Eonta, composed by the french greek producer/engineer/composer/music theorist Iannis Xenakis. In the shadow of any form attached to popularity, Metastasis Pithoprakta Eonta is an orchestral collection that specialists recognize as a pioneer of the Stochastic Music genre/style of which Iannis Xenakis is the principal investigator. It is clear that this is subtle and complex music for the discerning ear that only a small core of musicians, artists and seasoned listeners can really understand, although the subjectivity of each individual is taken into account. I am not afraid to tell you honestly that I am still too inexperienced to understand the universe and all the mysteries behind this refined music, but this allows me without complex to place myself rather as a curious observer, wondering about all that a music as rich and exciting as this can give me. I then leaned over like an apprentice surrounded by piles of books that were about to give way, peeling through sources and archives until the abundant information gave me this headache and this bar to my forehead. So why so much fascination and work? I will simply say that I am trying to transcribe an essay of an idea that would manage to pay sufficient homage to the exceptional man and artist that was Iannis Xenakis..
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Rahsaan Roland Kirk - Rip, Rig and Panic
91
With promising beginnings but very much neglected by his too avant-garde or too fantasy approach, Roland Kirk has always put his extraterrestrial nature forward in order to offer the most original creativity possible. This multi-instrumentalist jazzman has succeeded with perseverance and genius in winning his case, offering himself an enticing notoriety and a crazy complementary discography. I am well aware of the number of fantastic albums I could have reviewed in this series since his first reference Kirk's Work released in 1961. In the space of 4 years (and it will continue even afterwards), Roland Kirk has covered us with delicious treasures that it is good to discover and rediscover, because each of them not only shows an evolution in his style, but also shares a different theme each time. We will therefore first revisit little by little what he took to make 1965 one of his vintages when he was at Limelight Records, before going into more depth on one of the best masterpieces: Rip, Rig and Panic. I hope you are well seated and concentrated, because there is so much to tell about this period that I will try to be as concise as possible and get to the point...
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The Pretty Things - Get The Picture?
84
It is time to give Julius Caesar back what belongs to him. One of the often forgotten outsiders of the early British Invasion bands, The Pretty Things is a cruelly underestimated group, one of the most prodigious, innovative and influential of all time. Believe me, this is not an exaggeration, dive into some of the greatest masterpieces of their discography to understand how much The Pretty Things lack recognition. Having never managed to achieve commercial success, the band has always remained in the shadow of those who were popular, which explains why their undeserved notoriety has overshadowed their impressive track record and content from 1964 to 1973. Opinions about the main reasons for "failure" are mainly due to their total lack of knowledge in the United States, to a few management mistakes but also to unpredictable facts of fate. I will therefore try to pay tribute to them by sharing with you my opinion on several episodes, because the Pretty Things have evolved and offered a varied artistic palette. Initially, the first period of the Pretty Things is characterized by a mixture of British Rhythms and Blues fulminant, of robust Blues Rock, of Garage Rock, and also of wild Mod/Beat Music when they expanded their formula. With an obscure aesthetic and by incorporating psychedelic experimentation into their musical base, the Pretty Things became..
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Jackson C. Frank - Jackson C. Frank
91
Today, we are going to delve into one of the most atypical and saddest artist stories there is, that of the legendary folk singer and musician Jackson C. Frank. It is the story of a destiny worthy of a Greek tragedy, but which has turned into a mythical treasure. Jackson C Frank has made history in a considerable way, leaving behind him a unique album and one of the greatest folk masterpieces in history. His trajectory is of course extraordinary, in the sense that it is rare that an artist influences his peers so much, releasing a classic album recorded in only a few hours on a certain day in July 1965. Not having known success during his activity, following the example of Van Gogh or Nick Drake, Jackson C Frank never knew afterwards how to recover from the trials that life had reserved for him, holding him in an infinite turmoil until 1999. To be honest, Jackson C Frank's career is not limited to just one album and one single, but the main thing is mostly in that, as well as in all the covers that many prestigious artists have taken up afterwards. In addition to his story, Jackson C Frank is first of all a Contemporary Folk singer..
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Junior Wells' Chicago Blues Band - Hoodoo Man Blues
91
By 1965, some of the Blues Revival had already taken root, congratulating itself on having accomplished its mission. Yes, a lot of music lovers don't know this because the Blues still sounds like a traditional style that is too old and that doesn't touch many people today, probably because of its complexity, its sometimes dusty quality and its temporal detachment, however I think that we don't realize what we owe to the Blues. Let's start with a few examples with the roots of R&B, Rock n Roll, Pop Rock etc... Let's remember that the British arrived on American soil in 1964 with a solid Blues soul, which will continue until the middle of the 70s. All guitar lovers are not supposed to ignore the importance of the Blues with its multitudes of techniques nowadays basic or electrification which is one of the ingredients of Rock, nor even the ideal songwriter in the construction of emotions in the writing of his songs. In short, Blues is part of almost all music, even if it is a particle of DNA. So let's go back to the main idea of the subject. Young people, researchers and specialists began to bring the heritage of the blues back within everyone's reach at the end of the 50s, in parallel with the stars already present and those who hadn't shone for a very long time. It was the Blues Revival. Except that in the middle of the 60s, when the whole new generation had acquired its bases, what remains of the Blues? The answer is simple, there's still a marvel to be discovered or to be searched for like an archaeologist. Let's now head to Chicago, one of the emblematic places of the Blues, to welcome today the most interesting Blues album of the year 1965: Hoodoo Man Blues by Junior Wells' Chicago Blues Band. Since the beginning of the 60s, only the legends Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf or Jimmy Reed have ..
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Smokey Robinson & the Miracles - Going to a Go-Go
89
When we take a closer look at the R&B albums of the 60's, we finally realize that these are overwhelmingly "well-rated" even today, with a few exceptions. There are several reasons for this phenomenon. The first one is that R&B was much brighter at that time with singles, R&B albums didn't sell very well, which also explains why pure "pop" also knows the same observation. The second reason is that in the end R&B albums were still mostly composed as compilations with A and B sides, whereas the way of making albums had evolved a lot in the mid-60s with Pop Rock. Finally, the last reason that accentuates this phenomenon is that the R&B of the 60's has always been in my opinion very underestimated whereas it is a very solid base for a lot of things that will happen afterwards and within the other genres/styles of this time. Luckily we're not the only ones to think that, which brings us to the subject of the day: Going to a Go-Go, a delicious album that few people talk about. And yet, 1965 is the most musically prolific year for The Miracles, one of the most important Motown/R&B bands in history. One of Motown's pioneering thinkers, Smokey Robinson had reached the pinnacle of his art, having already left a considerable legacy behind him. He had become such a star that the original band The Miracles was later called Smokey Robinson & The Miracles..
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The Kinks - The Kink Kontroversy
87
After having made all the rage with its 2 cult and revolutionary Proto Punk/Hard Rock singles "You Really Got Me" and "All Day and All of the Night" which propelled the group towards the glories of commercial success, the year 1965 of the Kinks wasn't going to go as planned. In fact, it was so symbolic that it was probably one of the reasons that prevented them from being as popular as the Beatles and the Stones. History is sometimes cruel, but the pioneers of the first wave of the British Invasion will alienate the United States. Already many Americans saw the British bands that came in as the plague that had dominated the music industry for so many years, but when a British band becomes an enemy of the United States, it's like putting a bullet in their left foot and asking for another ammunition to shoot themselves in the other one. Yet it all sounds like a fairy tale at first. At the beginning of 1965, the Kinks set off on a tour of Australia and New Zealand to promote their nascent success. However, the tensions within the group will make things tip over towards unthinkable. Already known for their characters a little rebellious, especially for the Davies brothers, a rather violent fight explodes during a concert in Wales between Dave Davies and Mick Avory. It was only the beginning, since during their tour in the United States, their behavior especially during concerts or during promotion will lead them to the ban to perform live for 4 years in the country. Just imagine in this context, the roads of America were wide open for the British music industry, yet they gave up their chances. So maybe it was unfair or too severe because of the events they were accused of, but in any case the Kinks can be considered in compassion as the first Punk / Hard Rock band. The good old saying: Violence, Drugs, Sex and Rock n Roll! Actually it wasn't like that at all...
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Wes Montgomery And Wynton Kelly - Smokin at the Half Note
87
There are dozens of reasons to love music, as if it were vital, the surprise factor is one of them. It wasn't a first since they had already played together, but when Smokin' At The Half Note came out in 1965, I'm sure it must have been one of the great jazz surprises of the year. It's the story of the meeting between the highly acclaimed jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery, who had proven himself so much as a leader, and such a talented pianist Wynton Kelly, best known as one of the best sideman and accompanist of jazzmen of great fame. This lightning fusion gave birth to a little-known collaborative album, Smokin' At The Half Note, half studio/mi live, which fits very clearly into one of the best projects of their respective discography. To go further, it is the last album as good as the 2 jazzmens will deliver us, before disappearing little by little. But before discovering the analysis of this splendid album which will need to be much more quoted, let's talk a little about the club The Half Note, historically mythical. By the way, I don't know if you've seen this nice last animated movie "Soul" where you can see the reference The Half Note (readapted of course), symbol of a cult place of jazz culture...
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The Yardbirds - Having a Rave Up
88
So far there is one last group from the first wave of the British Invasion that I have not yet mentioned. It's not The Who, because I've categorized it more as the second wave, while the first focuses on 1964. So I'm talking about one of the most mythical bands of that period, The Yardbirds. In a few words, apart from the fact that this band has the status of British Invasion, The Yardbirds is mostly known for having known under different formations some of the greatest guitarists of all times: Eric Clapton, Jimmy Paige and Jeff Beck. That alone is just insane. And for those who don't know it, we're talking about a guitar monument, we're not only talking about a very gifted guitarist, the term "legend" may not even be strong enough. Yet despite all this, writing this first review on Yardbirds was honestly a puzzle, a mental torture to understand how best to describe and apprehend a band that was composed of such impressive personalities. Because the real question that can be asked in hindsight is what is there to remember beyond the legends that composed it? This is what I have tried to understand, looking at all the factors and criteria that built this story. But first of all, let's continue the presentations. Apart from the fact that the band was made up of 3 guitar heroes who all went on to have incredible careers, either as a group or solo, the Yardbirds came with a wild side that was perhaps more pronounced than the Kinks and the Stones, with a British Blues Rock/Garage Rock, a symbol of the British Invasion, before moving on to the Mod/Beat, the Psychedelic Rock and gaining the notoriety of being one of the first Hard Rock bands, long before their time. We can say without hesitation..
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Pete La Roca - Basra
90
It is true that there are so many talented jazz drummers in the history of music that it is normal that Pete La Roca is not taken for granted. On the other hand, it is unthinkable, even criminal, that he would never be cited, to such an extent that the Harlem native was a remarkable composer and an irreproachable luxury partner. If you were planning to start a jazz band at the time, you can trust Pete La Roca's abilities and incredible professionalism with your eyes closed. A rather sober playing, which seems shy but perfectly transcribed. Throughout his career, Pete La Roca has built this magnificent reputation that has earned him so much praise, yet he has not gone down in history as some of the more popular have succeeded. There are, of course, several reasons for this. First of all Pete La Roca was a discreet artist, who worked in the shadows to make others shine. As you know, a jazzman who makes history is an artist who almost invariably achieves great prowess as a leader, something that Pete La Roca never really succeeded in doing. Yet despite 2 albums as a leader, Basra (1965) and Turkish Women at the Bath (1967), Pete La Roca is a victim of his lack of recognition by the general public, casting a shadow over his 2 fantastic works. Believe me, you're missing out on some really amazing things. That's why today we're going to plunge into Basra experience, a breathtaking album that testifies to all the greatness of Jazz..
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The Lovin' Spoonful - Do You Believe in Magic
83
While the British Invasion had shaken the world of music to the point of transforming it completely in 1964, the Americans were quick to respond the following year with the arrival of many important bands. There was of course the very large Californian scene, anchored by an impressive pop culture, with the Byrds or The Mamas & The Papas, but at the opposite of the country, New York, land of a renewed contemporary folk, some groups have also marked the spirits. I am thinking of course of one of the most important: The Lovin' Spoonful. The first striking thing that comes out of this band is the light-hearted state of mind and the fun with this relaxed, trendy and cool attitude. The Lovin' Spoonful is typically the archetypal pop rock band of the second half of the 60's, so much so that they didn't exist beyond that decade. When you look back without going into details, you get the impression that Lovin' Spoonful is a band that can be described as an "outsider" compared to their competitors, yet with the help of a handful of cult singles, the band has made history and influenced a large number of artists, sometimes even the greatest like the Beatles and the Kinks. In hindsight, one often tends to underestimate the impact of its "second zone" groups, which were never leaders. In reality, The Lovin' Spoonful is mostly 3 wonderful singles (Do You Believein Magic, Daydreal and Summer in the City) and 3 interesting albums, all spaced out from 1965 to 1966 before the band gradually declined. It's funny how their talent and their state of mind, often turned towards sexual allusions even in their stage name that in their label Kama Sutra without losing their roots, we manage to compete with the fierce competition of the British..
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Nina Simone - Pastel Blues
93
Although she emerged towards the end of the 50's, it is mostly during the second half of the 60's that Nina Simone gave us her best performances. When you think about it, the fact that Nina Simone shone in this way is ultimately a bit paradoxical if you look at the context of the time. Why is that? It's simply that if we put things back in order, it's important to note that even if she had adapted from her beginnings to a rather hybrid formula that extended to Blues and Soul, let's not forget that Nina Simone is a Vocal Jazz artist. That is to say that she excelled at a time when Vocal Jazz had already become a retro musical genre/style that now had the status of the ancestor of Pop in the global sense. Vocal Jazz occupied from the 30's until the 50's a very strong place in terms of popularity, before rock n roll and soul arrived, thus changing the interest of youth for these new trendy styles, which led Vocal Jazz as a style for more adult and specialized people. And then there was the final blow, when the British invasion conquered America, making "Pop Rock" the number one trend in the mid-60s. This is how the Vocal Jazz gradually disappeared, symbolizing the generational divide and the massive changes in the mindset of that era. So if I have to sum up the Vocal Jazz of the 60s, I would say that apart from a few established legends like Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong or Ella Fitzgerald, there was really only Nina Simone who managed to keep this aging musical genre alive for a larger audience, simply because of her absolute genius in her interpretation and the fact that she managed to speak to both young people and deep fans of Vocal Jazz. There was actually only one artist as exceptional as her to achieve what she did at that time..
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Bobby Hutcherson - Dialogue
91
It's time to look at Dialogue, the first real album by one of the greatest vibraphonists in the history of jazz: Bobby Hutcherson. That's not all, Dialogue is also a masterpiece of Avant-garde jazz/ Post-Bop that has brought new colors to jazz thanks to a unique signature that will remain engraved forever. In the end, the story is rather well done, in the sense that there is a great deal of logic in all of this. Why does an album like Dialogue go through history, just because it's profoundly fantastic? No, it's not such an important factor. Actually there are two important things that make these albums and artists become legends of the genre: the first is that the best technicians on a particular instrument are often the only ones who are really recognized, and the second is that when you add an impressive personal touch to it, it's obvious that it makes an impression. That's clearly what happened to Bobby Hutcherson from the very beginning. Let's look at that, but first let's go back. The Vibraphone is a relatively rare instrument in jazz, but one that had been used a few decades before. You have to go back to the 1930s to see the first jazzmens used it as Lionel Hampton, a leading figure of that period. Afterwards, it is especially during the swing and bop period that the vibraphone will know its apogee when Milt Jackson will use it as the main instrument. With the arrival of hard bop, the vibraphone was put aside, but without ever disappearing, until one day in the mid-60s, a certain Bobby Hutcherson became one of the masters of this instrument, doing what no one had been able to do before..
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Otis Redding - Otis Blue / Otis Redding Sings Soul
94
If I had to give you my 3 favorite R&B artists of all time that I could listen to without ever getting bored, I would quote without hesitation: Al Green, Curtis Mayfield and of course Otis. Although objectively there are always better examples or equivalent contests, they are obviously a subjective choice without it sounding like a few things wrong. Let's take, for example, the legend we're going to study today: one of the greatest soul singers in history, probably the greatest of the 1960s: Otis, who built a unique and stratospheric legacy, may be even more than his spiritual fathers/mothers. Imagine that when Otis sings, it's like having the chance to eat your favorite food, or like watching the movie you know by heart and can recite without error. It's as grand as a sunset. Yes today I speak with my heart again, maybe more than the other times, because I have a deep love and preference for Southern Soul. So this review is a sincere tribute that I wish to share, because as I told you, whether it's Otis or another Southern Soul legend, the influence that these artists had is so immense that we still see in our time some basics and obvious signs. Without taking any risks, I think it's far from over...
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Phil Ochs - I Ain't Marching Anymore
86
When talking about the Folk Revival, it is unthinkable not to mention Phil Ochs, one of the emblematic figures of the Greenwich Village. Starting his career in the early 1960s, Phil Ochs is one of the spiritual sons of Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie, the antithesis of the popular Bob Dylan and a legend in his community like Dave Van Ronk. Possessing an angelic and delicate voice, Phil Ochs draws on a traditional folk style that has been purified and revisited in a modern way to deliver fearsome melodies, as well as powerful lyrics that he has concocted himself. If the spectre of Phil Ochs is still striking today, it's because he offered us a handful of seductive albums, while being a much appreciated activist. Suffice it to add the fact that Phil Ochs was a highly talented singer/songwriter/musician who made the most of current events and his own lyrics to make his mark on history. These 3 factors alone explain how the Phil Ochs catalog and legend has survived the passage of time despite the fact that he is not a very popular singer. Becoming more and more activist in the late 60's, Phil Ochs' career deteriorated to the benefit of his commitments, followed by his mental health, which led him to end his life in 1976. In a career spanning more than 13 years, Phil Ochs built his legacy, which began to flourish in other artists, mainly in the 1980s and 1990s..
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Bob Dylan - Highway 61 Revisited
98
I will say first of all that Highway 61 Revisited is brilliant as it was in 1965. I'm not even halfway through the year yet, yet it's impressive to see how many classic albums have already been reviewed, and how many more are to come. In fact, 1965 was a major turning point for music, which will be amplified in the years to come. We clearly notice a generational change so powerful that it will lead to new horizons. It is also possible to make the same link with the evolution of the Album format, which is becoming more and more worked out in a conceptual way and more systematically as a compilation. Ironically with everything that was criticized, especially with the electrification of his music, Bob Dylan, who at that time was experiencing his most prolific period, offered us in the same year 2 masterpieces that had a colossal impact on the rest of the music. Obviously this is not the only one, but it is a perfect illustration of the ultra rich year we are revisiting. It's possible that the term "masterpiece" is not even enough to describe Highway 61 Revisited, which for me remains Dylan's album par excellence. It goes beyond that. That's what we're going to try to understand..
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Albert Ayler - Spiritual Unity
92
Today we will travel through an important chapter in the history of jazz, with one of the most atypical and controversial figures of the avant-garde period of the 1960s. It is a very special dossier, which denotes precisely the specimen we are going to study. It's not necessarily a name that the general public knows, but Albert Ayler was able to impose his brand with strong choices, which probably became more pronounced with the influence he had and by his tragic death in 1970. Why does the term "phenomenon" suit him so well? Imagine an artist who has a very original musical signature and on top of that a very strong character. All right, are you there? To tell you the truth, saxophonist Albert Ayler is opposed to the idea of being categorized as a Free Jazz artist, when in fact we couldn't be closer, even though in reality the jazzman's style is so radical that it's not really easily describable with a fixed term. As you will have understood, it is only a matter of respecting his artistic will, so if I rely on the large number of jazzmen he influenced afterwards, we will categorize him in the Avant Garde Jazz artists. In terms of musical heritage, Albert Ayler can be counted among those who changed things and made a considerable contribution during that period, with John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry, Eric Dolphy and Grachan Moncur III, for example. Albert Ayler's death in 1970 remains to this day a mystery, of which murder or suicide remain the most probable causes. Having thus started in the early 1960s, Albert Ayler's career was very short. Highly criticized and too abstract, Albert Ayler didn't leave many good things behind him, but his little exceptional work created a solid notoriety that has been able..
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The Beatles - Help!
94
A mythical and uncluttered sleeve, showing the 4 boys calling for help in semaphore. Or Ringo Starr who stumbles upon a cursed ring belonging to a crazy sect that seeks to sacrifice him, leading to a crazy and wacky chase around the world. But who came up with a scenario as twisted as it is funny? You have to see the movie to believe it, this is no joke, but please, don't sacrifice good old Ringo! In July/August 1965, the Beatles perform for the second time in the 7th art, with the movie Help accompanied by its official album and its original soundtrack. Although we're here to talk about music, leaving the film critics to do a much better job than I did, it's important to note that not only is Help a significant improvement over the first A Hard Day's Night movie, but it also has some features that have gone down in history, including the development of music videos. We were still a long way from MTV, but both in terms of film and music, Help makes a general statement. I hear and read a lot of opinions on the fact that Help is finally the album to remember from the beginning of the Beatles, at least from their first period. However, even if it's totally understandable to have this opinion and to prefer Help to the previous albums, I would say that Help is probably excellent in its generality, but it's actually a work that is accomplished for the first time. Compared to what they've done before, Help is a much better movie than A Hard Day's Night, and a "better album" as well, but I think they're just following through with their ideas, in the sense that A Hard Day's Night and all the new studio directions they took in 1964 had a much stronger impact on the pop aspect and that Help is its consecration. Especially when we know that the following album Rubber Soul marks the beginning of the Beatles' second period..
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The Rolling Stones - Out of Our Heads
85
Out of Our Head is certainly not the album that you first think of when you talk about the Stones, it's not a must-have album, yet I have reason to believe that it's necessary to talk about it in HOTA for several good reasons. The first reason is simple: it is simply what it represented at that time. To put it in context, in 1964/1965 there are the "good guys" Beatles and the "bad guys" Rolling Stones. Even if this is far from the truth, it is in any case all that was put in place by the management and production team who wanted to create this contrast. Besides, even if the Stones were friends with the Beatles, they played that to get themselves noticed and thus compete with them despite their differences in levels at that time. I'll even quote a funny and slightly caricatured phrase that my father told me about it: "parents wanted their daughters to marry a Beatles, certainly not a Stones". I think that sums up the situation very well, even if you have to understand the nuance of it. If from the very beginning the goal of creating a false war between them was already a will, this one is accentuated on Out Of Our Heads when they all made their sounds dirty, borderline vulgar and deliberately aggressive. It was a bit like the blues and English version of the Sonics. But let's pick up where I left off..
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The Byrds - Mr. Tambourine Man
93
No need to be original to describe in a few words The Byrds, one of the most influential Californian rock bands in the history of music, characterized by a crystalline sound and by dreadful harmonies on a well licked Folk Rock aesthetic (although the band will evolve its formula and its sounds later on). This legendary group did not only create its legend through its popularity, its influence and its unique sound, The Byrds is also a line-up that contains only fantastic artists, which played a leading role in their historical impact, especially when we see that each member of the group later had an immense solo career. Influenced mainly by the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, great figures of overtone singing such as The Beach Boys, The Everly Brothers or the legendary saxophonist and composer John Coltrane, The Byrds was at the base concretely an American response to the British Invasion. And yet very quickly this group became one of the most important legacies of the history, with its multiple regional characteristics, with a very Americanized sound imbued with folk and country, which often strays to more oriental territory, thus imposing itself in the hearts of popular listeners. So today we are going to study the beginnings of the Byrds on the occasion of a classic album, a marvel so important, which is called Mr. Tambourine Man. It is impossible to ignore this album, which is one of the essentials of a Rock/Pop/Folk discography. To put it in context, the Byrds came at a time when the Beatles had all but wreaked havoc on their path and had already begun to produce a Folk Pop formula, while Bob Dylan was at the premise of his new direction: electrification. Flashback Marty..
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Wayne Shorter - JuJu
90
One of the greatest saxophonists and composers in history, Wayne Shorter was clearly a very important figure in the mid-60s, when he was at the top of his career and at the top of the jazzmen of that era. Reflecting his fantastic career, Wayne Shorter is the kind of influential artist who has such a remarkable career that there are many subjects to talk about. If I had to do a quick debriefing, I would first say that he was noticed as an exceptional sideman in the Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers band in the late 50's, before launching himself as a leader with the Blue Note label. At the same time he joined one of the most important quintets in the history founded by the legend Miles Davis, before logically following the new Jazz Fusion movement at the end of the 60s. On an individual level, Wayne Shorter excelled especially in the mid-60s with a Modal and Post-Bop style, thanks in particular to his genius as a composer and performer, but also by the choice of the formations they accompanied him. With his refined playing and extreme elegance, Wayne Shorter offered an impressive number of cult albums and standards that will forever be engraved in history. In this first episode, we will first look back at the beginning of his career, how he rose through the ranks very quickly and how he became so strong almost immediately, while also making the link with his first successes as a leader. We'll take this opportunity to go into more detail about Juju, his first masterpiece..
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Them - The Angry Young Them
86
One might think that Them a was only a springboard for Van Morrisson's future solo career, in reality it's only half true, because in the space of 2 years, the band was able to become one of the emblematic figures of the first wave of the British Invasion, thanks to the Gloria cult. From 1964 to 1966 before Van Morrisson left an irreparable band, Them left a considerable legacy that had an impact until the 2000s as for example on MC5, The Doors, The Saints, Billy Childish or even Beck. Characterized as a Garage Rock band and heavily influenced by the American Bluesmen, Them is a kind of mix between the Blues Rock of the Rolling Stones and the Animals, the foggy and super energetic Rhythms and Blues of The Sonics and the punchy Rock n roll of the early Beatles. If each band of the first wave of the British Invasion had several emblematic members, Them only had Van Morrisson, which explains why the band and the future career of the other members could not really survive afterwards. However, despite their youth and internal conflicts, Them knew how to set up a very distinct rhythm and Blues with an Irish sauce, argued with fiery sonorities and/or melancholic ballads. Even without Morrisson's solo career, Them would still have had a place in history, which is why it is essential to devote an episode to them today, especially since their first album is a real pleasure..
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Bert Jansch - Bert Jansch
89
I don't know about you, but personally today the sun danced all day at my house. The birds were chirping and replied from tree to tree. These same trees where the orange leaves, half fallen, come to illuminate the landscape. The sweetness of the morning coffee, the smell of the air during the day's walk, to end on a particularly touching sunset. To accompany me on this autumn day, an album that fits perfectly, an angelic guitar, a poignant voice, the seductive accent of Bert Jansch. Oh how it was a beautiful epicurean day. Now that all the drums are wanted, let's talk about music. Except for a few exceptions such as Davy Graham, Shirley Collins or Martin Carthy, these last few years of folk music are mostly marked by Americans and this passage between traditional and personal composition, the famous singer/songwriter style. However if we cross the Atlantic, the British have developed since the early 60s their own folk style, the Baroque Folk. Being still very young and still very little exploited by many artists, it is obvious that this musical style was still in 1965 stifled by American folk, especially with the immense popularity of Bob Dylan. But not for long. For lack also of having only one serious precursor Davy Graham, the Baroque Folk was going to know one of these new emblematic figures: Bert Jansch. Often known for his work in his future group Pentangle formed in the late 1960s, Bert Jansch built a fabulous career, having from his beginnings made a considerable and (mainly) indirect mark on the history of music, as he became one of Folk's major influences, particularly through his atypical and innovative style of playing on acoustic guitar, for his writing and his way of singing. Just to make you understand who we are talking about, Bert Jansch has influenced to name only the great examples: Paul Simon, Nick Drake, Donovan, Jimmy Page, Elton John or for the younger ones: Fleet Foxes...
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Andrew Hill - Point of Departure
92
Although Andrew Hill's success is generally retrospective, it's remarkable to see how he was one of the strong symbols of the jazz avant-garde during the sixties. In just 5 years, from 1963 to 1968, Andrew Hill released a handful of reference albums that can compete with the greatest legends. Maybe it's simply because it is one, despite the lack of media hype. To tell the truth, in the mid-60s, only a few jazz icons and a few more mainstream jazzmen managed to survive in terms of popularity in the face of the explosion of Pop Rock and Soul. For the first time in about two decades, Jazz had always evolved and remained at an extraordinary level, but the musical genre was reaching less and less young listeners, not to mention older listeners who didn't recognize themselves in the avant-garde period that Jazz was experiencing at the time. Yet it must be recognized that the jazz of the sixties is probably the most exciting to discover, because the geniuses of that era were on the path between keeping certain standards, certain bases and innovating relentlessly. It was as if you had jazzmen who were a perfect mix of nerds, gentlemen and athletes, in the sense that they had kept this purity, this ultimate class, delivering increasingly technical and complex interpretations, without ever putting creativity aside..
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The Zombies - Begin Here
84
Despite their "short" career (which did not prevent them from revolutionizing pop rock music), the Zombies are known for several things, first with their first single She's Not There (1964), and a little more in retrospect for Time of the Season and its masterpiece Odessey and Oracle (1968). This means that the guys only existed for 4 years, while making history in a significant way, and each time against all expectations. So when I came to make my final selection for the series, I was really wondering: isn't it worth it more to explain their entire journey through just the Odessey and Oracle album that will be released in 1968? At first, I was going to do so, but as I went through 1964 and 1965 I realized that the Zombies clearly deserved 2 reviews, for several reasons that I will mention later and also because finally there are 2 distinct parts that perfectly summarize their journey. If the Zombies are recognized especially for their Baroque Pop, their Soft Rock or their psychedelic aesthetics, it is necessary to know that at their beginnings they approached a style logically more different, even if they already tended to what they were going to become. In the beginning, Zombies were a mix of Beatles, Animals and Beach Boys, with a background of Beat Music and Mod style. Roughly speaking we can say that overall the style of the Zombies was in the style of the times for a British Invasion band. Certainly the group was not as successful as their peers, however the Zombies did not just play second fiddle when they arrived, they built an important legacy and stood out for their uniqueness..
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Grant Green - Idle Moments
90
A few delicate touches, a perfect mastery of the strings and its chords, a pure and melodious style approaching the fusion between traditional Bop styles and Rhythm and Blues, here is how to describe in a few words one of the best and underestimated Jazz guitarist: Grant Green. Today we're going to take a look through his greatest classic Idle Moments and see how Grant Green was often too forgotten, even though he is clearly one of the 10 best jazz guitarists of all time. Influenced by the legendary guitarists Djando Reinhardt, Charlie Christian, Wes Montgomery and saxophonist Charlie Parker, Grant Green was pretty much against the jazz avant-garde, preferring to rely on his traditions, which made him one of Blue Note's most productive jazzmen in the 1960s. Similar to Jim Hall or George Benson in the sense that he clearly distinguished himself from the best Jazz had to offer in that period, Grant Green is also a remarkable composer who has a discography with many lost gems. Going through his discography is a colorful journey that is highly recommended if you want to listen to pleasant jazz without ever losing its technical virtues..
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The Beach Boys - The Beach Boys Today!
92
3 years after their great debut, the Beach Boys deliver their first undeniable classic: The Beach Boys Today! It was a long and complicated road, but driven by the talent of leader and genius Brian Wilson, the Beach Boys first managed to resist the British Invasion, while on the other hand becoming even more creative and innovative. That's probably why we're going back to the period when the Californian group carved their history in marble, something that the previous singles might not have been enough to build such a significant notoriety. Surprisingly, I had never listened to The Beach Boys Today until I worked on this review. But when I listened to it I was amazed both by the impressive amount of excellent singles I already knew, including the legendary Help Me Rhonda, which I will discuss in more detail later, and also by the Beach Boys' lead over the Baroque Pop competition. Because in reality, The Beach Boys Today was not only a sequel to their previous reference All Summer Long, the album was able to amplify a general Pop Rock, while emphasizing their new direction of Baroque Pop, which will find its quintessence the following year with the wonderful Pet Sounds. We are far from the beginning of the teenagers, artistic level the group has metamorphosed and has dimensions of gaps, personal level the group knew how to keep their youthful ardor and their culture, while showing a little more maturity.. to continue..
John Coltrane - A Love Supreme
99
Yes, A Love Supreme is my favorite jazz album, as if Coltrane had already said it all in the title of his greatest masterpiece. John Coltrane had already offered us a huge amount of extraordinary albums so far, but just like Miles Davis' Kind of Blue and Charle Mingus' The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady, this last relic was missing to compete with them. That day took a while, but it finally arrived, as the ultimate salvation, the divine consecration. As for his companions, A Love Supreme is a concept album, recognized in particular for having officially introduced the Spiritual Jazz, which remains one of the major revolutions that Jazz has known. There is the before and after of A Love Supreme, so much so that the avant-garde jazzmen of the following years followed these foundations and structures for decades. On the other hand A Love Supreme also represents the quintessence of Jazz Avant-Garde, Post-Bop and one of the most beautiful Modal/Free Jazz marvels that Jazz has known. The Jazz Spiritual that John Coltrane built is based on the philosophical aspect of music and themes. It's more a way of doing and being than a musical style in reality because it generally draws on Avant-Garde Jazz foundations (even if Jazz Spiritual incorporates international, often oriental sounds). It is above all a state of mind, which ended up entering the jazz mores and habits especially at the end of the 60s and during the 70s. Fusing culture, meditation, spirituality, philosophy, religion and beliefs, John Coltrane proposed a whole new vision of art and music in general, expanding the realms of the possible and the impossible. A Love Supreme is a reflection that reproduces itself endlessly, which has the gift of bringing you a different vision depending on the mood or your own personal state..
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Bob Dylan - Bringing It All Back Home
96
Released in 1965, Bringing It All Back Home is one of the emblematic albums of his discography, and not for nothing. Not only is Bringing It All Back Home one of the intermediate albums between two significant periods of his career, the evolution between contemporary Folk and Folk Rock, but on top of that he manages to capture all the essence of Dylan as he had never transcribed it so well before. For good reason, Bringing It All Back Home is probably one of the most complex Dylan's albums to understand at first glance, because it is of an incredible richness and a masterful technicality. That is to say that if for example you compare it to The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan or even to the one after Highway 61 Revisited, there may be a debate on which one is the best, but in any case Bringing It All Back Home is clearly the one that deserves the most. For those who need a little flashback, at that time the Dylan walked on water. He was one of the most influential artists, if not the most influential artist in the world, even more so than the Beatles. It's so impressive, that Folk was vampirized in almost every way, for many musical genres/styles, so much so that it became as popular as ever and Dylan himself became a "pop star" in his own way.. to continue..
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Comments
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3w
Thank you very much for those kind words! It gives me great pleasure to read this comment @rafae_l
3w
reading the comments, you're probably seeing this a lot, but DUDE. this is the single greatest list on this site. the amount of dedication and work this must've taken so far is incredible. keep up the fantastic work.
4w
I mean if u want of course wouldn't matter at all if you didn¡t (forgot to hit send xdd)
4w
I could suggest some records in spanish, they're not as trascendetal in the big picture as the english ones, but it's still the second most spoken lenguage in the world :)
1mo
Oh thank’s so much, it’s kind ! If you need any suggestions, @Fergau
1mo
listen to them*
1mo
wow this is amazing thank you, there are some records here I didn't know that I'll totally
1mo
Thank you very much! Don't worry, it's criminal to make a list of classics without stopping on the endtroducing masterpiece, so when I'm in the 90's there will of course be a review on it (: @bl0nded
1mo
impressive but when you get to the 90s albums you better add endtroducing thats a landmark in music history
2mo
These are words that touch me a lot, I appreciate it! Thanks again for everything! (: @A1t3rTheFreak
2mo
really great and important list you have out here
thanks for all the great work you do👍🏾❤️
2mo
Thank you very much, it means a lot to me! Thank you for all these kind words and for your support (: @josephdcarter
2mo
You have become my favorite member on this site, and this list is the greatest undertaking in mankind. Keep up the good work!
3mo
Thank you @Scre4meh, its kind my friend! I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate you again on your latest reviews, especially the ones on Kanye!
3mo
Best list on AOTY
3mo
Thank you very much for this message @tiagoaon, it's very kind! If you don't have a lot of time, direct me to things you like and I'll make recommendations (:
3mo
This list is amazing really, so bad for me to take so long to discorver it!
4mo
Thank you very much @elextranodpl!
5mo
Now this is dedication! Amazing list and concept for it. Can't say nothing but congratulations, might have to check some of these.
5mo
Merci Math 🙏 je n oublierai jamais que tu as été le premier à suivre cette série !
5mo
HOTA is iconic
5mo
Thank you so much for this comment and your support 🙏 I appreciate it, it's really touching! @Allofasudden
You're welcome, you know not only I read them but also I like your opinions/analyses, keep it up! Personally I think it's normal to give strength when it's deserved, and even if sometimes we don't agree (like on DS2, hehehe for the moment we really don't agree) but it's important to hear the comments and opinions of others (:
6mo
You're truly one of the most passionate & sincere guy I've
ever seen when it comes to music. You're devoting so much to this website & this list shows. Appreciate this great work & thanks for liking my reviews from the start. Idc if you’re reading them or not but I just wanted to tell. :)
7mo
I very much appreciate your compliment, thank you! I hope you can find out a lot of things! @MikeOwen
7mo
This is the best list on the website without a doubt. It's introducing me to a whole load of albums I wouldn't have checked out otherwise, and a good few of them here are really helping with wider listening for my music class. Thanks for compiling this!
8mo
Thank’s so much @Jameswg03
8mo
This is one incredible list!
8mo
Thanks @dearsongs, it's a pleasure! Can't wait to see your possible future reviews on this topic
8mo
This winter I’m def using this list to discovery lots of gems. Keep it up 👍🏻
8mo
Thank you it's very kind Ryan! @cipater22
8mo
What an amazing piece of work this is
8mo
Thank you very much! I'm happy to help! @TommyAOTY
8mo
Thank you so much for this. This project will definitely help me on my musical listening journey.
8mo
That's really kind, thank you very much! Appreciate it! @MusicGod
8mo
Wow this is amazing. This is easily the best list I’ve ever seen on this website. I’m looking forward to what you do with this in the future.
9mo
A huge thank you! I appreciate your support and encouragement! I am happy to see people like you take an interest in my work! @Felix_96
9mo
That's what you call a list. Looking forward to discover some great music here. Thanks DoubleZ for your passionate effort on creating this list.
9mo
Thanks @Docky! I'm happy to make you discover albums and artists!
9mo
Damn this thing is really cool, I have yet to finish reading even 1/4th of this but damn this is really well written and interesting. G'job on making this! I'll give some of these albums a listen later
9mo
Thank you very much my friend! @(N0stalgia) ! I plan to continue until today, even if it will take a long time! The advantage is that there are so many wonderful things to discover every year that sometimes you don't want it to go any further!
9mo
This project is easily my favourite on the whole website and I was wondering if you're only gonna do it for the early years in popular music or if you're planning to keep expending on it until one day you get to the 2020's?
11mo
Thank you @Musk, that's kind of you!
11mo
This is very cool and unique! Thank you for doing this project.
1y
Thanks for the comment and for the support, Simo!
1y
This is incredible. Thank you for making this
1y
Thank you, I really appreciate it!
1y
This may well be the single best list I've seen on this site. Keep up the great work!
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February 2021 Playlist
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