Friday, July 17, 2015

Retro Favorite Albums: 1966

Okay, in now looking at the following year, 1966 is very similar to 1965 in that there aren't a ton of records among my favorites from it. It seems a lot of bands formed in '65 and '66 but didn't actually release anything for another year or two.

So I've made another somewhat sparse favorites list from this year. I guess I would like to assume each year coming will end up with more depth, but I can't be certain.

So, I have included some that I'm not incredibly familiar with, and some others I know somewhat, rather than just put 2 or 3 only.

I suppose given time to go back (especially with genres like Jazz) I could likely find more favorites from the mid 60's at some point. But for now, 1966 like 1965 is more of a year of artists putting out records that precede albums I find to be favorites (and albums I would like to get more familiar with with time perhaps).

Simon and Garfunkel - The Sound of Silence
rel January 17, 1966

This album I recall checking out briefly when my friend John and I went to see a S&G tribute for Bridge Over Troubled Water many years ago. But honestly, I know the title track which of course went on to be a huge part of The Graduate soundtrack, and that's all I can recall right now.

The Rolling Stones - Aftermath
rel April 15, 1966

"Under My Thumb" is probably the biggest hit on this album, and really the one that strikes me as one I know and like. Another somewhat popular early Stones album, that of course included the late Brian Jones.

The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds
rel May 16,1966
Largely influential on pop and psychedelic music. This is a record I enjoy, although I can't claim to have listened to hundreds of times actually. But the biggest/most well known songs: Wouldn't It Be Nice, God Only Knows and Sloop John B are among my favorite Beach Boys/Brian Wilson music. I suppose if I was around in '66, this could have been one of those albums I would have worn out as unique and progressive as it is/was then.

The Beatles - "Yesterday"...and Today
rel June 20, 1966

This album of course is best known for the recalled  "Butcher" cover, and known for most people who bought the issue with the new cover (above) peeling it off to reveal the original Butcher cover. Track-wise, it is similar to Rubber Soul and few tracks from Help! But it does include "Doctor.Robert" (which also came out later on Revolver) and "We Can Work It Out" among some of the songs from those other 2 records. I suppose to many it was like a compilation and most of the Beatles fanatics went a little more crazy a couple of months later with Revolver.

Also noteworthy to me, it was released 10 years to the day from the day I was born.

Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention - Freak Out!
rel June 27, 1966

This is Frank Zappa and the Mothers debut album, and a double album at that. But to be honest, I've meant to, but never gotten around to checking this out. I'm not sure if it's as prog or jazz-rock-like as some of his later records like Hot Rats, but it does include on the 4th side the 12-minute suite "The Return of the Son of Monster Magnet" and the 3rd side 8-minute suite "Help I'm a Rock" for what it's worth.

The Byrds - Fifth Dimension
rel July 18, 1966

This album includes one of The Byrds most well known pop tracks '8 Miles High" which of course many felt or knew to be about being on some kind of psychedelic drug trip (LSD?).

The Beatles - Revolver
rel August 5, 1966

"Taxman" "Eleanor Rigby" "Tomorrow Never Knows" 'Doctor.Robert" "Good Day Sunshine" "Yellow Submarine" 'She Said She Said" 'Here There and Everywhere" and "Got to Get You Into My Life" are among the songs I love and think of this record for. I remember revisiting it about 7 or 8 years ago and seeing a lot of people saying it was their favorite or the Beatles best record (and better than both Sgt Pepper and Abbey Road) and while I do find it having a ton of favorites and like Rubber Soul, incredibly forward-thinking and experimental, I still don't consider it better than those other 2.

That being said, looking at 1966, I'm not sure if it would not have been my album of the year.

The Monkees Album.jpg
The Monkees - The Monkees
rel October 10,1966

The Monkees debut record. While I would place some of their other albums higher, for what this is, it is still pretty solid. The theme song, while I've heard it like a bazillion times, has still held up well. "Last Train to Clarksville" despite its similarities to "Paperback Writer" by The Beatles, is still a very memorable, well written pop tune. Some other tracks like "I Wanna Be Free" and "Papa Gene's Blues" which is a Nesmith track, I've come to enjoy more as well.

The Beach Boys - Good Vibrations (single)
rel October 10, 1966

I'm mainly including this because 1966 was very much a year of the jousting between The Beatles and The Beach Boys, and this one track was arguably as good a song as any between both bands, and any band. It was supposed to end up on Smile, which didn't end up happening until 2011.
Also considering the amount of time and money that was invested into making this song, it almost feels like an album itself.

The Who - A Quick One, While He's Away
rel December 3, 1966

This is an album or mini album? of sorts in that it was Pete Townshend's 1st Rock Opera in-effect. Prior to Quadrophenia, Lifehouse (much of what ended up on Who's Next) and Tommy of course.
But sadly, I can't claim to have spent as much time with this as I should. But I guess I'm posting it here largely due to it's influence and known to be recognized as maybe the 1st "Rock Opera" of sorts.
I do recall enjoying the odd piece "Boris the Spider" from memory.

I also just noticed songs like "Substitute" and "Happy Jack" were included as bonus tracks with some later reissues.