Wednesday, December 30, 2009

1001 Albums You Must Hear....the best years

What was the best year ever? And what made it so good?

To refresh your memory, the eleven best years by number of entries were:

1967 29
1968 33
1969 36
1970 29
1971 35
1972 30
1973 32
1977 29
1978 34
1994 29
1996 29

It shows that bimodal distribution we've noted before - the golden era from 1967 to 1978, and a smaller peak from 1994 to 1996.

So what made 1969 the greatest year ever?

CCR, Fairport Convention, Led Zeppelin were firing - each landing two albums in the list. There were also classics from a diverse range of artists including Frank Zappa, Isaac Hayes, Johnny Cash, King Crimson, Leonard Cohen, Miles Davis, Neil Young, Sly & The Family Stone, The Band, Beatles, Bee Gees, Kinks, MC5, Stones, Stooges, Temptations, Velvets and Van Morrison. Phew!

Its hard to imagine anything like it today. It would be challenging to name 35 really crucial artists - let alone imagining them all releasing one or more albums in a single year that will be regarded as a classic in forty years. If you weren't there, you have my sympathy.

Here's the full list.

Trout Mask Replica Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band
Chicago Transit Authority Chicago
Bayou Country Creedence Clearwater Revival
Green River Creedence Clearwater Revival
Crosby, Stills And Nash Crosby, Stills And Nash
Dusty in Memphis Dusty Springfield
From Elvis in Memphis Elvis Presley
Liege And Lief Fairport Convention
Unhalfbricking Fairport Convention
Hot Rats Frank Zappa
Hot Buttered Soul Isaac Hayes
Johnny Cash at San Quentin Johnny Cash
In The Court of the Crimson King King Crimson
Led Zeppelin I Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin II Led Zeppelin
Songs From A Room Leonard Cohen
In A Silent Way Miles Davis
Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere Neil Young
Five Leaves Left Nick Drake
Basket Of Light Pentangle
Happy Trails Quicksilver Messenger Service
Scott 4 Scott Walker
Stand! Sly & The Family Stone
The Band The Band
Abbey Road The Beatles
Odessa The Bee Gees
The Gilded Palace of Sin The Flying Burrito Brothers
Live/Dead The Grateful Dead
Arthur, or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire The Kinks
Kick Out The Jams The MC5
Let It Bleed The Rolling Stones
The Stooges The Stooges
Cloud Nine The Temptations
The Velvet Underground The Velvet Underground
Elephant Mountain The Youngbloods
Astral Weeks Van Morrison

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