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September 16, 2021


Of the ‘1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die,’ 23 are from the years 1960 through 1964.

I’ve now heard them all – but the question is, which ones are the most essential to hear again?

Ranked by their essential-ness, here’s how I’d prioritize revisiting these 23 albums, enjoy!



23. The Rolling Stones – The Rolling Stones (1964). Interesting to hear their early sound.

22. Solomon Burke – Rock ‘n’ Soul (1964). I rarely turn down Rock &/or Soul.

21. Phil Spector – A Christmas Gift For You (1963). Plenty of fine & festive performances.

20. Bill Evans Trio – Sunday at the Village Vanguard (1961). Surprisingly, the only album from 1961 on the list.

19. Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto – Getz/Gilberto (1963). One of a pair of Getz collaborations on the list.

18. Joan Baez- Joan Baez (1960). I’m now curious what % of the 1001 list is from self-titled albums.

17. Elvis Presley – Elvis is Back! (1960). He certainly is, with his 2nd of 3 list appearances.

16. Miriam Makeba – Miriam Makeba (1960). Speaking of self-titled 1960 albums.

15. Everly Brothers – A Date with the Everly Brothers (1960). I found the LP for $4, a good find!

14. Charles Mingus – Black Saint & The Sinner Lady (1963). I’d happily spend $4 if I ever see this LP at that price in the wild too.

13. Ray Price – Night Life (1962). What’s that Alicia Bridges song, I Love The Night Life.

12. Jimmy Smith – Back at the Chicken Shack (1963). Apparently stayed on the shelf for 3 years before being released.

11. Muddy Waters – At Newport (1960). His first of a pair of 1001 appearances.

10. Dusty Springfield – A Girl Called Dusty (1964). Also her first of a pair of 1001 appearances.

9. Ray Charles – Modern Sounds in Country & Western Music (1962). His second (and final) appearance on the list.

8. Jacques Brel – Olympia ’64 (1964). Quite a memorable live performance.

7. Booker T & The MGs – Green Onions (1962). Heaps of Hammond B-3 organ, yes please.

6. The Beatles – A Hard Day’s Night (1964). Each revisit will inevitably make me feel alright.

5. James Brown – Live at the Apollo (1963). What an introduction by Fats Gonder.

4. Stan Getz & Charlie Byrd – Jazz Samba (1962). Super smooth saxomphone.

3. Bob Dylan – The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (1963). I guess It’s All Right.

2. Sam Cooke – Live at the Harlem Square (1963). Great energy throughout the live set.

1. The Beatles – With The Beatles (1963). It Won’t Be Long (Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!) until their next appearance at or near the top of another one of these lists.


Verbalize the Positive

A few years ago, a student did a stellar rendition of Dylan’s Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right at a Talent Show – I can’t recall if he ended up winning , but it was my favourite of that year’s entries!

From → 1960s

  1. I like that the list starts with the Stones and ends with the Beatles. That makes it quite a list!!

  2. Harlem Square is a great record.

    • Agreed – and though not from this set, I was pleased Rolling Stone thought his A Change is Gonna Come was also Top 5 material!

      • Yup, it’s funny because I’ve been working of a 10 best hits of the 1960s list for my site and there’s a ton of crossover with the Rolling Stone top 50. I already had a draft, so it’s not like I copied them. I like their new list a lot actually.

      • Hopefully if you do a ’10 worst hits’ there won’t be as much crossover with the Rolling Stone list!

  3. Again, I love/want all of those records. These are like shopping lists!

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