Songfactors Choice: Top Albums of the '60s

Turbulent times and amazing music. Not just singles either - lots of full albums in all their glory that we played on record players. As selected by the Songfacts community, these are the Top 10 albums of the '60s.

10. The Band - The Band (1969)

Key Tracks:
The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

Up On Cripple Creek

Rag Mama Rag

1969 wasn't all protest and bubblegum and psychedelia. The Band crafted story songs that have stood the test of time. The brilliant musicianship certainly helps.
Nominated by Bluesboy

9. Crosby, Stills & Nash - Crosby, Stills & Nash (1969)

Key Tracks:
Suite: Judy Blue Eyes

Long Time Gone

Wooden Ships

Like The Band, this 1969 album was made possible by a group that could seriously harmonize, and they showed up at Woodstock as well. The clip is from their Woodstock set, and it happened at 3am.
Nominated by Tenacious Peaches

8. Beggars Banquet - Rolling Stones (1968)

Key Tracks:
Street Fighting Man

Sympathy For The Devil (in video)

No Expectations

The last Stones album featuring a productive Brian Jones, they were in peak creative form on this one.
Nominated by Edna

7. Highway 61 Revisited - Bob Dylan (1965)

Key Tracks:
Desolation Row

Like A Rolling Stone

Highway 61 Revisited (in video)

In a rare straightforward statement, Dylan said it best: "I'm never gonna be able to make a record better than that one. There's a lot of stuff on there that I would listen to."
Nominated by BlueAngel

6. Let It Bleed - The Rolling Stones (1969)

Key Tracks:
Gimme Shelter

Midnight Rambler

You Can't Always Get What You Want

The raw power of the Rolling Stones. According to the band, the album title came from Keith Richards playing so hard he started to bleed.
Nominated by Miamisammy

5. The Doors - The Doors (1967)

Key Tracks:
Light My Fire (in video)

Break On Through (To The Other Side)

The End

The Doors provided a very intense listening experience with this historic album, punctuated by the 11-minute epic "The End." Jim Morrison would die four years later.
Nominated by The Lizard

4. Led Zeppelin II - Led Zeppelin (1969)

Key Tracks:
Whole Lotta Love

Ramble On

Moby Dick

The sequel was even better than the original, as Led Zeppelin established themselves as Rock Gods and mighty performers.
Nominated by MC_Kenne

3. Tommy - The Who (1969)

Key Tracks:
Pinball Wizard (in video)

See Me, Feel Me

I'm Free

All the Mama Mia's and Movin' Out's owe a debt to Tommy, which was a successful Rock Opera. Yes, that's Elton John in the video playing the Pinball Wizard.
Nominated by The Seeker

2. Are You Experienced? - The Jimi Hendrix Experience (1967)

Key Tracks:
Foxy Lady

The Wind Cries Mary

Hey Joe

Producer Chas Chandler kept Hendrix tight on his debut album, forcing him to create 4-minute songs out of his wild imagination.
Nominated by BlueAngel

1. Rubber Soul - The Beatles (1965)

Key Tracks:
Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)

In My Life

Nowhere Man

This was a turning point for The Beatles, as their songwriting and musicianship got more complex.
Nominated by Edna

June 16, 2010
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Comments: 55

  • Latosha from Compton, CaWhere's "Pet Sounds?"
  • Paul from Camden, Me astral weeks has to be included also Loves first album, the late great arthur lee
  • Riddler from Gothemthis is a bad list...missing all the important beatles albums..
  • Vivi from Wilmington, Cawhat about the monkees they are better than the Beatles [my opinion]
  • Luke from Kamloops, BcC'mon!! Astral Weeks guys!
  • Carlos from Laredo Txno sgt pepper? abbey road? revolver?
  • Joe Dufrene from New OrleansNo Allman Brothers Band self titled debut that had Whipping Post. Cream-Wheels of Fire.
  • Tc from OregonSgt Pepper definitely #1. Hendrix better album Electric ladyland
  • Yarg from DallasWow, how can you possibly narrow the 60s down to 10 spots? And seriously... The Stones have more listed than The Beatles!
  • Dan from DetroitThe Chicago Transit Authority, a double debut album.
  • Johnandraine from New York City,nyMAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR? where's 'yes', 'help', a quick one', beggars and banquet', 'who sell out', etc etc. where are they?
  • Timmers from Branford, CtMost other lists have the Beach Boys Pet Sounds in the top 5 under Sgt. Peppers..Brian Wilson was the most prolific and innovative writer in the '60's.
  • Layla from Harlowno white album? no sgt pepper?..but the stones has TWO albums on this list?!..comeon now dont be crazy
  • Bob from Z1.the white album
    2.let it bleed generation
    4.sgt pepper
    5.zep II
  • Brandon Perry from Union CityWheels of fire sould had been on here
  • Greg from Atlantayeah, this list leaves me slightly disappointed, I don't think the Rolling Stones should have had two albums on this list and the Beatles should have had Sgt. Pepper as no. 1. No Beach Boys either? This list should have been longer and more inclusive of more albums and artists that really shaped this important decade in music
  • Weedz from Dunedin, NzNo Sgt Pepper? No Pet Sounds? No Disraeli Gears? And no CCR? eeeck!!
  • Johnny Boy from OhioNo Pet Sounds? Aw c'mon
  • Chet Kelley from BuffaloBridge Over Troubled Water is a great LP but charted Feb. 1970...was the LP of the year. This is a 60s list.
  • John from Glasgowthe piper at the gates of dawn (pink floyd with syd barrett) was the album of the 60s A masterpiece.
  • Steven Eaton from Graham WaThe Beatles definitely deserve at least one more spot - The White Album should have been on there for it's diversity. Also - you left off Simon & Garfunkle Bridge over Troubled Waters. Definitely a classic.
  • Julie from FloridaSome great Albums here, but I would have definitely added Piper at the Gates of Dawn - Pink Floyd
  • Tom from NebraskaRevolver and Sgt. Pepper's should both be on the top ten list - setting the pace for other acts.
  • Reg from Ontario CanadaDays of Future Past by the Moody Blues tops all the 'top 10' in my opinion. The 60s saw the birth of progressive rock and those albums are real gems.
  • Hatchet Man from Tomahawk Wi.Good choices!Tho I love Pink Floyd
  • Kevin O'connor from Los AngelesAs far as influence and being ahead of it's time goes ya gotta put the Velvet Underground first LP there....even if it didn't sell anywhere near as much copies as these other LP's at the time....
  • Ally from Kilmarnock, ScotlandMoody Blues - In Search Of A Lost Chord
  • Brian from MichiganThe title of "Let it Bleed" was a direct poke at the very lame "Let it Be" single and album. Yes, both Stones albums should be there. Yes, Rubber Soul is better than Sgt. Pepper. I owned and loved every one of these albums. The one that sounds most dated? Led Zep.
  • Duford from Kennett,moAgree with Jorge, Hard to isolate just 10 albums from the 60's--however they are all great, and out of my favorite 100's of songs is In My Life
  • Felix from AustinBeatles on top as usual, great that the Stones & other classic albums are on the list. Bought many of these when they were brand new. I was one that believed that there was so much more than the Beatles - then & now.
  • Dale from SydneyMore Beatles is the obvious improvement - Sgt. Pepper's, Revolver & Abbey Road should all be there. Replacing Tommy with Pet Sounds is also a great suggestion
  • Jorge from MexicoIt's really hard to do a 10-item list that represent a whole decade, a decade that was full of excellent albums. The list should be about albums classified in several categories, I think.
  • Uvray1 from CaliforniaCan't argue with the choice of artists, but I would have swapped your LP choices. Led Zeppelin I, instead of II. And "Music From Big Pink" instead of "The Band".
  • Duke Of Earl from OhioAny list of Best Of 60's albums with only 1 Beatles album on it I can't consider legitimate. Also, to leave Pet Sounds off is ridiculous. The vast majority of serious critics consider Sgt Pepper and Pet Sounds #1 and 2.
  • Steve from AustraliaRubber Soul over Sgt Pepper's - you bet
    Two Stones albums and only one Beatles - I luv yus
    The Band sneaking in - wanna have my babies?
    Tommy? - that's where Pet Sounds should be
    And replace Crosby, Stills & Nash with From Elvis in Memphis
  • William Chong from Kuala Lumpur, MalaysiaAm delighted The Beatles took pole position.In all fairness, at least 5 of their albums should rightly be in the top 10 list.
  • King from New MexicoI gotta agree, "Pet Sounds" by the Beach Boys should be on here. I know this is opinion based, but if you look at most critics "Greatest Albums of all Time" lists, "Pet Sounds" is almost always in the top five, along with usually two Beatles albums and Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited". Paul McCartney lists it as one of his favorite albums and the Beatles said it greatly influence the recording of Sgt. Pepper. Just stating a case for it's inclusion on this list.
  • Alan from North CarolinaSurrealistic Pillow
  • Jake from PaLet's be honest here, as great as all these albums are, The Beatles deserved more. I am biased, but seriously. No Sgt. Peppers? Where's Abbey Road? Magical Mystery Tour? Revolver? The White Album? Let It Be?
  • AnonymousEven The Beatles' "Let It Be" is a very good album compared with what other groups were turning out.
  • Antoine from PennsylvaniaYeah, they did miss a couple of important albums, like Arlo Guthrie's 'Alice's Restaurant', Led Zeppelin's debut, and the Beatle's 'Revolver'. Then again, lists such as this can only ever be opinion based. Ah, at least they have good albums up here already.
  • Dude from MeAbbey Road (released in September 1969) was, is, and will continue to be the best album ever recorded. The first half of the CD is filled with fantastic songs (I Want You, Oh Darling, Here Comes the Sun) and the 2nd half (the medley) is the best piece of classic rock ever recorded. I'll listen to it for a month or so; put it away for a while and then dig it out again. There is nothing else like it.
  • Brittany from BostonWhere is Sgt. Pepper? Pet Sounds? They should be up there!
  • Robin from Horwich, UkBringing It All Back Home not Highway 61
  • Syd from HawaiiI'm glad that the Beatles got number one but i'm sad that they only have one album...
    all their albums were great. i mean no Sgt. Peppers?
    all top ten should have been beatles!!! at least 7 of the 10.
  • R.a. from AlaskaMagical Mystery Tour (it had I Am The Walrus, All You Need Is Love, Hello Goodbye, Fool On The Hill...)
    ***** In The Court Of The Crimson King, by King Crimson, every song is excellent ***** Magic Bus,by The Who, a lot of great original obscure songs ***** L.A. Woman by The Doors, I drove across Germany twice listening to this album! Every song sets a mood ...
  • Duncan from Winnipeg, CanadaLeave it up to the Rolling Stones to come up with an album titled "Let it Bleed" at the hight of the peace / love / "Flower Power" movement in 1969. They always went against the grain. Nice Canadian touch with The Band at !number 10
  • Marco from Cape Coral FloridaPet Sounds should be on here somewhere, and i think Sgt. Peppers should be the Beatles representative... other than that... great list.
  • Joao Hanna from BrazilCongratulations for the subject altough it is really impossible to compress the 60`s popular music in 10 albums. Only The Beatles have 6 excelent albums or all but Let it be.
  • Barry from New YorkMost of the above albums are from the later 60s, especially 1967-69. Before then, LP albums were usually not very coherent and filled with filler.
  • David from MassachusettsSgt. Pepper, Abbey Road, Revolver, Beatles White, All Things Must Pass :-)
  • Luke from IowaPet Sounds?
  • Fermin from ArgentinaRevolver is the best album ever, not only of the sixties...
  • Kenne from PhoenixVery good list of important albums of the decade.

    Honorable mention goes to CCR, Jefferson Airplane and Beach Boys.
  • Mark from Topeka KsI can't believe no Sgt. Pepper or Revolver
see more comments

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