The Best Albums of the Sixties

Obviously, most of what I write on this blog is of limited appeal, but this one is more limited than most. I’ve just bought a magazine, published by UNCUT, called “The 500 Greatest Albums of the 1960s” and it’s annoyed me because it’s wrong. If only everyone agreed with me!

Here are the 20 greatest albums of the 1960s, according to the writers of UNCUT.

  1. The Velvet Underground And Nico by the Velvet Underground
  2. Revolver by The Beatles
  3. Forever Changes by Love
  4. The Beatles (the White Album) by The Beatles
  5. Let It Bleed by The Rolling Stones
  6. Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys
  7. Blonde On Blonde by Bob Dylan
  8. Abbey Road by The Beatles
  9. Astral Weeks by Van Morrison
  10. The Stooges by The Stooges
  11. Highway 61 Revisited by Bob Dylan
  12. Bringing It All Back Home by Bob Dylan
  13. The Velvet Underground by The Velvet Underground
  14. Five Leaves Left by Nick Drake
  15. Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles
  16. Dusty In Memphis by Dusty Springfield
  17. The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society by The Kinks
  18. Beggars Banquet by The Rolling Stones
  19. A Love Supreme by John Coltrane
  20. Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere by Neil Young with Crazy Horse

Before we get any further, it needs to be stated, as a fact, that all of the best albums of the Sixties were made by The Beatles, so let’s get them in order, for starters. It’s an impossible job but Sgt. Pepper wins out for the cultural impact, as much as the music. “Help!” was the first album I bought so it deserves a high position. Exactly how UNCUT can place “Tons Of Sobs” by Free above “Please Please Me” is ludicrous. What is it about “Beatles For Sale” that gives it a poor reputation? What other albums contain such greatness as “No Reply”, “I’m A Loser”, “Eight Days A Week”, “I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party”, “What You’re Doing” as well as effortless brilliant covers such as “Rock And Roll Music” and “Words Of Love”? 401 !! I want my £8.99 back.

The figures in brackets show where the misguided and tasteless writers of UNCUT placed the album.


Beatles 1 Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (15)

Beatles 2 Revolver (2)

Beatles 3 Rubber Soul (21)

Beatles 4 Abbey Road (8)

Beatles 5 Help! (92)

Beatles 6 A Hard Day’s Night (46)

Beatles 7 The Beatles (4)

Beatles 8 Beatles For Sale (401)

Beatles 9 With The Beatles (134)

Beatles 10 Please Please Me (312)

I’m not including “Let It Be” because that was released in 1970 and I’m not including “Yellow Submarine” or “Magical Mystery Tour” because they weren’t ‘proper’ albums.



Now to consider the best Bob Dylan albums of the Sixties. It’s very hard to separate the top six but “John Wesley Harding” is overrated. and “Nashville Skyline” just isn’t very good unless you happen to like “Lay Lady Lay”. Which I don’t. This is how the list should look.

BD1 Blonde On Blonde (7)

BD2 Highway 61 Revisited (11)

BD3 Bringing It All Back Home (12)

BD4 The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (44)

BD5 Another Side Of Bob Dylan (272)

BD6 The Times They Are A-Changin’ (116)

BD7 John Welsey Harding (60)

BD8 Bob Dylan

BD9 Nashville Skyline (85)


Of course, Tim Buckley released four albums in the Sixties.

TB1 Happy/Sad (79)

TB2 Blue Afternoon (161)

TB3 Goodbye And Hello (176)

TB4 Tim Buckley


And let’s not forget The Beach Boys. “Friends” at 455? That’s a joke.

BB 1 Friends (455)

BB 2 Pet Sounds (6)

BB 3 Wild Honey

BB 4 Smiley Smile

BB 5 20/20

BB 6 Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!) (292)

BB 7 The Beach Boys Today!

BB 8 Little Deuce Coup

BB 9 Surfer Girl

BB 10 Christmas Album

BB 11 Beach Boys Party!

BB 12 All Summer Long

BB 13 Shut Down Volume 2

BB 14 Surfin’ USA

BB 15 Surfin’ Safari


I suppose I have to list The Rolling Stones’ albums, so here they are, in order. Number One is not up for debate. It’s a masterpiece.

RS 1 Their Satanic Majesties Requests (139)

RS 2 Let It Bleed (5)

RS 3 Beggars Banquet (18)

RS 4 Aftermath (68)

RS 5 Between The Buttons (96)

RS 6 The Rolling Stones (298)

RS 7 Out Of Our Heads

RS 8 No. 2


Other great albums include, in alphabetic order…

David Ackles by David Ackles (412)

An Apple A Day by Apple

Joy Of Toy by Kevin Ayers (188)

The Band by The Band (48)

Music From Big Pink by The Band (59)

Bradley’s Barn by The Beau Brummels (344)

Truth by Jeff Beck (186)

Sweetheart Of The Rodeo by The Byrds (50)

Younger Than Yesterday by The Byrds (36)

The Notorious Byrd Brothers by The Byrds (33)

Valentyne Suite by Colosseum

Electric Music For The Mind And Body by Country Joe And The Fish (179)

Crosby, Stills & Nash by Crosby, Stills & Nash (76)

Five Leaves Left by Nick Drake (14)

Liege And Lief by Fairport Convention (61)

Unhalfbricking by Fairport Convention (49)

What We Did On Our Holidays by Fairport Convention (214)

Reflections by Les Fleur de Lys

The Gilded Palace Of Sin by The Flying Burrito Brothers (26)

Around Grapefruit by Grapefruit

Wee Tam by The Incredible String Band (117)

Surrealistic Pillow by Jefferson Airplane (180)

In The Court Of The Crimson King by King Crimson (47)

Led Zeppelin by Led Zeppelin (38)

Forever Changes by Love (3)

Everything Playing by The Lovin’ Spoonful

The Papas And The Mamas by The Mamas And The Papas

Children Of The Future by The Steve Miller Band

Sailor by The Steve Miller Band

Brave New World by The Steve Miller Band

Your Saving Grace by The Steve Miller Band

Children Of The Sun by The Misunderstood

Song To A Seagull by Joni Mitchell (351)

Clouds by Joni Mitchell (73)

The Monkees by The Monkees

Days Of Future Passed by The Moody Blues (384)

In Search Of The Lost Chord by The Moody Blues

On The Threshold Of A Dream by The Moody Blues

To Our Children’s Children’s Children by The Moody Blues

Astral Weeks by Van Morrison (9)

Blowin’ Your Mind by Van Morrison

The Marble Index by Nico (52)

Chelsea Girl By Nico (86)

A Salty Dog by Procol Harum

Happy Trails by Quicksilver Messenger Service (289)

Woman Blue by Judy Roderick

The Circle Game by Tom Rush

Boz Scaggs by Boz Scaggs (490)

Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake by Small Faces (83)

California Bloodlines by John Stewart

Transformer by David Stoughton

The Angry Young Them by Them (257)

Them Again by Them

Ultimate Spinach by Ultimate Spinach

The Velvet Underground by The Velvet Underground (13)

The Velvet Underground And Nico by The Velvet Underground (1)

White Light/White Heat by The Velvet Underground (29)

Volume 3: A Child’s Guide To Good And Evil by The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band

Tommy by The Who (112)

The Who Sell Out by The Who (78)

Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere by Neil Young with Crazy Horse (20)

Neil Young by Neil Young (149)



Finally, here is the list, as it should have been. Well, the Top 20, anyway. Clearly, I know much more about music and good taste than the hundreds of writers who listen to music all day and write about it for a living. If only everybody agreed with me.

I’m going to set myself a rule which is that I’m only allowed two albums by any one artist, otherwise places 1-9 would be taken up by The Greatest Band In The World..

  1. Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles

2. Revolver by The Beatles

3. Blonde On Blonde by Bob Dylan

4. Astral Weeks by Van Morrison

5. Highway 61 Revisited by Bob Dylan

6. Happy/Sad by Tim Buckley

7. In Search Of The Lost Chord by The Moody Blues

8. California Bloodlines by John Stewart

9.Friends by The Beach Boys

10. Blue Afternoon by Tim Buckley

11. Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys

12. Liege And Lief by Fairport Convention

13. The Band by The Band

14. The Velvet Underground And Nico by The Velvet Underground

15. Their Satanic Majesties Requests by The Rolling Stones

16. On The Threshold Of A Dream by The Moody Blues

17. Forever Changes by Love

18. Song To A Seagull by Joni Mitchell

19. Five Leaves Left by Nick Drake

20. Joy Of Toy by Kevin Ayers

21. White Light/White Heat by The Velvet Underground

22. Happy Trails by Quicksilver Messenger Service

23. Blowin’ Your Mind by Van Morrison

24. The Marble Index by Nico

25. Wee Tam by The Incredible String Band

That’s 25, not 20. Oh dear. This is harder than it seemed.

Published by wilfulsprinter

Music lover

4 thoughts on “The Best Albums of the Sixties

  1. You’re clearly completely wrong in your listings because nowhere does Jimi Hendrix feature.
    PS. The Beatles are rubbish.
    PPS. Only joking 😬

    Like

  2. With great regret I must agree with you in your thoughts and most selections. Who do these music writers think they are? they should read – addsomemusictoyourday

    Liked by 1 person

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