The year 1965 was an important one for music history, marking the beginning of a new era of creativity and experimentation. The Beatles and Bob Dylan were leading the charge with their innovative sound and songwriting, and other artists were following suit, pushing the boundaries of what was considered popular music at the time. In this article, we will explore the top 10 albums of 1965, looking at how they influenced music and culture at the time and how they continue to resonate with listeners today.
"Highway 61 Revisited" - Bob Dylan
"Highway 61 Revisited" is perhaps one of the most important albums of all time, not just in 1965. Dylan's sixth studio album saw him move away from his earlier acoustic folk sound and towards a more electric, rock and roll-influenced sound. The album's opening track, "Like a Rolling Stone," is one of the greatest songs ever recorded and served as a major inspiration for other artists to explore new sonic territories. The album also features other classics such as "Tombstone Blues" and "Ballad of a Thin Man," cementing its place in music history.
"Rubber Soul" - The Beatles
The Beatles were at the height of their popularity in 1965, and "Rubber Soul" marked a significant departure from their earlier, more straightforward pop sound. The album saw the band experimenting with new instruments and styles, incorporating elements of folk, rock, and soul. Tracks like "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)" and "In My Life" showcased the band's growing maturity and songwriting skills. "Rubber Soul" is widely regarded as one of The Beatles' best albums and helped to lay the foundation for the psychedelic sound they would explore in later years.
"Bringing It All Back Home" - Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan's second album on this list, "Bringing It All Back Home," further solidified his reputation as a songwriter and innovator. The album features a mix of acoustic and electric songs, with Dylan continuing to push the boundaries of what was considered acceptable in popular music. Tracks like "Subterranean Homesick Blues" and "Maggie's Farm" are classic examples of Dylan's social commentary and wit, while the ballads "She Belongs to Me" and "Love Minus Zero/No Limit" showcase his softer, more introspective side.
"Otis Blue/Otis Redding Sings Soul" - Otis Redding
"Otis Blue/Otis Redding Sings Soul" is widely regarded as one of the greatest soul albums of all time, and for good reason. Redding's powerful voice and emotional delivery shine on tracks like "I've Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)" and "Respect," which would later become a hit for Aretha Franklin. The album also features covers of classics like "Satisfaction" by The Rolling Stones and "My Girl" by The Temptations, showcasing Redding's ability to make any song his own.
"Help!" - The Beatles
"Help!" was The Beatles' fifth studio album and accompanied their second feature film of the same name. The album sees the band further exploring new musical territories, with tracks like "Ticket to Ride" and "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" featuring more complex arrangements and introspective lyrics. The album also includes the classic title track, which became a hit for the band and helped to cement their status as one of the most popular and influential bands of all time.
"Mr. Tambourine Man" - The Byrds
"Mr. Tambourine Man" was the debut album from American rock band The Byrdsand marked a significant shift in the musical landscape. The album features the iconic title track, which was a Bob Dylan cover that the band rearranged into a folk-rock masterpiece. The album also includes other Dylan covers like "Chimes of Freedom" and "All I Really Want to Do," as well as original tracks like "I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better" and "Here Without You." The Byrds' use of jangly guitars and harmonies influenced countless bands to follow, and "Mr. Tambourine Man" remains a classic album today.
"A Love Supreme" - John Coltrane
John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme" is a landmark album in the world of jazz, showcasing the saxophonist's incredible talent and spirituality. The album is a four-part suite that explores themes of devotion and transcendence, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest jazz recordings of all time. Coltrane's masterful playing is complemented by a talented quartet, featuring McCoy Tyner on piano, Jimmy Garrison on bass, and Elvin Jones on drums.
"The Times They Are a-Changin'" - Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan's third album on this list, "The Times They Are a-Changin'," features some of his most politically charged and socially conscious songs. The album's title track became an anthem for the civil rights movement, while other tracks like "With God on Our Side" and "Only a Pawn in Their Game" criticized the government and society at large. The album also features more personal songs like "Boots of Spanish Leather" and "One Too Many Mornings," showcasing Dylan's versatility as a songwriter.
"Out of Our Heads" - The Rolling Stones
"Out of Our Heads" was The Rolling Stones' third album and marked their emergence as a serious rock and roll band. The album features a mix of covers and original songs, with tracks like "Satisfaction" and "The Last Time" becoming huge hits for the band. The album also features blues and R&B covers like "Mercy Mercy" and "Hitch Hike," highlighting the band's roots and influences.
"My Generation" - The Who
"My Generation" was The Who's debut album and helped to define the sound of British rock and roll in the 1960s. The album features the iconic title track, as well as other hits like "The Kids Are Alright" and "A Legal Matter." The band's use of power chords and aggressive vocals set them apart from other bands of the time, and helped to lay the foundation for the punk rock movement of the 1970s.
In conclusion, 1965 was a pivotal year in music history, with artists pushing the boundaries of what was considered popular music at the time. The albums listed above helped to define the sound of the 1960s and continue to inspire and influence musicians today. From Bob Dylan's groundbreaking "Highway 61 Revisited" to The Who's debut album "My Generation," these albums showcase the incredible creativity and innovation of the era and stand as timeless classics.
100 Greatest Albums of 1965 - Singersroom.com