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:
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|
|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|