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1966

September 21, 2021

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[Albums 910 – 913 /1001]

Of the ‘1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die,’ 16 are from the year 1966.

I’ve reviewed all but four of them so far.

The quartet of non-reviewed albums remaining (conveniently, all by ‘The’ bands*): The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds, The Monks – Black Monk Time, The Mothers of Invention – Freak Out!, and The Yardbirds – Roger the Engineer.

Which 1966 albums are the most essential to hear again?

Ranked by their essential-ness, here’s how I’d prioritize revisiting these 16 albums, enjoy!

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16. The 13th Floor Elevators – The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators. Not many bands boast a full-time Electric Jug player.

15. The Monks – Black Monk Time.

14. The Mothers of Invention – Freak Out!

13. The Yardbirds – Roger the Engineer.

If recency bias means to give greater importance to recent events, what would its antonym be?

In the case of new-to-me albums, I suppose if I was initially (and recently) blown away by an album, I could see how that would lead to it being favoured over more historic discoveries.

But if I’m not in absolute awe of a new-to-me album at first listen, I suspect the recency ends up working against it.

When an album is deemed significant enough to be included on the 1001 list, in most cases, there’s probably a positive correlation between the amount of time spent with an album and the amount of listener appreciation.

Since I haven’t spent a lot of time with these beyond the requisite listens, I don’t think I’ve reached maximum appreciation for The Monks / Mothers of Invention / Yardbirds just yet.

But that’s part of the beauty of these lists: in theory, the 1001 list would be a definitive statement, yet the list fluctuates with each new revised edition.

Were I to revisit my 1966 rankings in a few years, especially if I found myself on a Zappa kick or perhaps in the middle of a Jeff Beck-a-thon, it would be interesting to see how their placement would shift.

12. Fred Neil – Fred Neil. Given that my name is Geoff Stephen, I can’t help but support artists with 2 first names!

11. Blues Breakers – John Mayall With Eric Clapton. Clapton’s first (and far from his last) appearance on the list.

10. Paul Revere & The Raiders – Midnight Ride. Fond memories associated with finding the LP in Ottawa for $6 likely helped bump this up on the list a couple of spots.

9. The Mamas & The Papas – If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears. And equally fond memories associated with finding this CD for $3 likely didn’t hurt its cause either!

8. The Byrds – Fifth Dimension. The second of five Byrds albums on the 1001 list.

7. Nina Simone – Wild is the Wind. One of several talented artists from the “Rebel Girls” books that appears on the 1001 list as well.

6. The Kinks – Face to Face. Their first of a quartet of 1001 albums list appearances.

5. The Rolling Stones – Aftermath. The second of their six appearances.

4. Simon & Garfunkel – Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme. Although I might prefer the Flight of the Conchords lookalike version!

3. Bob Dylan – Blonde on Blonde. As Jack Black’s character advised in High Fidelity, “Don’t tell anybody you don’t own f***ing Blonde On Blonde!”

2. The Beatles – Revolver.

Only #2?????

I’d wager if it had been released in ’65 or ’67, it would have easily been my #1.

However, 1966 was also the year of release for…

1. The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds . I’ll concede, it’s possible that Pet Sounds isn’t objectively that fantastic.

But because it was so important to me at a formative phase of life, so long objectivity!

An all-timer (#7 on My Top 15 Albums list), God Only Knows there aren’t many records like it.

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Verbalize the Positive

*A tip of the hat to Graham @ Aphoristic Album Reviews for many reasons, more specifically today for the fun weekly music quizzes.

This week’s quiz? Identifying “The” Bands based on song titles.

Alas, there were no questions about ‘The’ Monks/Mothers of Invention/Yardbirds this time, but knowledge of The Beach Boys helped me earn a 29/38, nothing at which to sneeze?!

From → 1960s

18 Comments
  1. Thanks for the shoutout! I actually haven’t heard half those records but Blonde on Blonde, Pet Sounds, and Revolver is one heck of a top 3.

  2. Pet Sounds wasn’t as good as everyone said (Except for God Only Knows), but at least I could see the significance with that album. It was impressive and probably should be #1 for its influence.

    • I remember you reviewed it semi-recently – I remember having that feeling with The Velvet Underground & Nico. I was expecting food to taste better after hearing, based on the rave reviews I’d heard!

  3. Of course I’ve gotta shout out Aftermath, but that Bluesbreakers album defined a guitar ton for countless players.

    “If recency bias means to give greater importance to recent events, what would its antonym be?” Historical bias, maybe?

  4. Eric Clapton was in the Yardbirds for a while but I guess he’d left before this album.

    • At one point or another, they had Jimmy Page or Clapton or Jeff Beck playing guitar, that ain’t bad!

  5. I’m a little disappointed that the year of my birth is under-represented on the 1001 list, but maybe that’s just a result of the years around it being even more musically spectacular. I know & love about 2/3 of these 16 albums, with those top 6 being particular favorites. There were also killer albums by Buffalo Springfield, The Who, Cream, Sam & Dave and Sinatra released that year. Perhaps if more albums had electric jug players that year it would be more revered. Haha. That 13th Floor Elevators album is a blast.

    • They’re the only band with a full-time Electric Jug player that I’m aware of – and they made the 1001 list.
      So it would appear that the advice for aspiring musicians would be, hiring an electric jug player is a fool-proof way to get on the 1001 list!

  6. Well 1967 isn’t looking too bad! lol

  7. Pet Smells, more like!!

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