When I was younger, I didn't really get Bob Dylan. I found his voice quite depressing and I was more keen to listen to songs that were upbeat and easy to dance to but as I got older and paid more attention to Dylans' lyrics I began to understand why people had hailed him as a great poet. He was one of the loudest voices in bringing the world's attention to serious issues and injustices. His music is timeless. This album spawned three singles, including 'Subterraenean Homesick Blues', which is one of my favourite Dylan songs.
When I had my first Dansette record player at the age of 10, one of my parents' friends gave me this LP. It features Nat King Cole's version of the classic blues song, 'Route 66'. It was Cole who first recorded the song, then later it was a recorded by Chuck Berry who inspired the Rolling Stones to release it as a single.
Nat King Cole is one of my favourite male voices of all time, it's so velvety smooth, so I just had to have one of his albums on my Top 10 list.
This is the first album by The Monkees, who were the One Direction of their day! It's also the first album I actually owned (apart from the Mary Poppins Soundtrack, which we won't talk about!) Several of the tracks on this album were written by that awesome pop song writing team, Gerry Goffin and Carole KIng. There's also a song by David Gates on it so: some quality content!
How do you pick a favourite Beatles album? Just choose a double album - more for your money. The White Album had a plain white cover which was in complete contrast with their previous album Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Mind you, I nearly picked that one just because the artwork is so fabulous! The White Album features my favourite George Harrison composition, 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps'.
Tighten Up was a series of Ska & Reggae classics by a various artists. These albums were a large part of the soundtrack of my youth. They were issued by the Trojan record label which specialised in reggae productions. The albums were produced 1968 - 1974. Sadly I no longer have any of those LPs but have managed to collect most of the tracks on various CD reggae compilations.
I just had to include an album by The Mothers in this list because I forgot to include one in my Top 10 70s album list. It was the strange and inventive Frank Zappa that made this band so memorable. A mixture of Blues, Doo-Wop and unusual, sometimes freaky lyrics and subjects drew me to this band. I'm not sure whether its the great musicianship or the humour in their music that I love the most. If you don't know Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, do seek out some of their work. It's certainly different!
Another compilation album, Motown Chartbusters was a very successful series of albums filled with the greatest chart hits of the time. This one features tracks by Stevie Wonder, Isley Brothers, Martha and the Vandellas, Marvin Gaye and others.
The debut album by Etta James, it's no surprsise that this album contains her signature song, 'At Last'. Also on the album is the song that I love the most by Etta: 'All I Could Do Was Cry', she sings it so soulfully. Incidentally, that song was co-written by Motown founder, Berry Gordy. In 2012, Rolling Stone magazine put At Last at No. 119 in The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
This album wasn't actually released for sale until 1971 but as it was recorded between 1967 - 1969, I'm going to cheat slightly and include it in my list. It's a compilation album by the great Pink Floyd and the album that introduced me to their music when I was given the album by a family friend who didn't like it. Some of the tracks are taken from previous albums, A Saucerful of Secrets and Piper at the Gates of Dawn. The singles, 'Arnold Layne' and 'See Emily Play' are on this record too.
Some say that this album changed the direction of pop music in the 1960s and I guess you had to be there to realise the truth of that statement. The album wasn't recieved as enthusiastically in the US as it was in Europe, where Brian Wilson's genius as a writer and producer was celebrated wholeheartedly. Wilson experimented with all sorts of new sounds and methods in the making of this very expensive album and it all paid off as it is still talked about as one of the best albums ever made. Just this year, Uncut magazine ranked it No. 1 in their 200 Greatest Albums of all Time. Other magazines and charts also continue to place it in their top three list too. I had no trouble choosing as my No. 1 album of the sixties.