It’s 50 years since Bob Dylan’s iconic Highway 61 Revisited album was released. Here, Chris Bond chooses 10 other great albums from the 60s.
IT was a big year for Bob Dylan. Not only did he cause outrage among folk music purists when he plugged in his guitar and went “electric” at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965, but this was the year he also released two of his greatest records – Bringing It All Back Home and, on August 30, Highway 61 Revisited, which included songs such as Like a Rolling Stone, Tombstone Blues and Desolation Row. Here are 10 other great albums from that tumultuous decade.
Otis Blue – Otis Redding (1965)
This is the record that made Redding’s name. As well as taking songs made popular by other R&B and soul artists and making them his own, he also showed off his songwriting prowess through tracks like Respect and I’ve Been Loving You Too Long.
Pet Sounds – The Beach Boys (1966)
By the time Pet Sounds came out The Beach Boys had already chalked up 10 studio albums to their name – but nothing quite like this. Produced and arranged by Brian Wilson (who also wrote and composed most of the songs), this was his sonic masterpiece.
Revolver – The Beatles (1966)
While Sgt Pepper might be more famous and Abbey Road more eclectic, this album proved that the Fab Four were far more than just the lovable mop tops the world had come to know, they were pushing back the musical boundaries.
The Doors – The Doors (1967)
Jim Morrison may have been self-destructive and, at times, pretentious, but stick him on stage with his three bandmates and their music brought his esoteric lyrics to life. They sounded like no one else and at their best, which they are on this record, The Doors could transport you to strange, uncharted places.
Are You Experienced? – The Jimi Hendrix Experience (1967)
Seldom, if ever, in the history of popular music has someone had such an explosive impact as Jimi Hendrix. With one monster guitar riff he became a psychedelic talisman and changed the way rock music sounded.
The Velvet Underground & Nico – The Velvet Underground (1967)
With songs about such taboo subjects as drug abuse and prostitution, this debut album featuring Andy Warhol’s famous banana print was never going to be a popular airtime. But their experimental ethos spawned its own velvet revolution and an army of imitators.
Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison – Johnny Cash (1968)
At the time this live album came out the “Man in Black” was trying to turn his career around after a spell in the doldrums. It proved an unexpected critical and commercial hit and led to another prison album, At San Quentin.
Five Leaves Left – Nick Drake (1969)
This was the first of Nick Drake’s three albums released during his short life. Although he hardly registered a murmur outside the British folk music at the time, today his fans include Brad Pitt and Kate Bush.
Crosby, Stills & Nash – Crosby, Stills & Nash (1969)
These days you can’t move for so-called supergroups, but this trio comprising of David Crosby (The Byrds), Stephen Stills (Buffalo Springfield) and Graham Nash (The Hollies) were the first. This, their debut album, was arguably their best.
Let It Bleed – The Rolling Stones (1969)
This is Mick Jagger and co at their darkest best. You just know that any album kicking off with Gimme Shelter is going to be good.