162 Chicago – Chicago Transit Authority

Few debut albums can boast as consistently solid an effort as the self-titled Chicago Transit Authority (1969). Although this was ultimately the septet’s first national exposure, the group was far from the proverbial “overnight sensation.” Does being the tightest band make you the best?  Let’s discuss.

161 Tim Buckley – Happy Sad

By 1969, Tim Buckley seemed bored with traditional acoustic folk. Happy / Sad marked the beginning of Buckley’s experimental period, incorporating elements of jazz by way of Lee Underwood’s – guitar, keyboards & David Friedman‘s vibraphone . Buckley also decided he wanted to take control of the songs and lyrics penning the entire album himself , and began to really use his voice with drawn out phasings so that they acted as another instrument blending into the songs instead of on top of the melodies. The album’s songs are a minimal tapestry that slowly draw the lister into Buckley mesmerizing visions about loneliness, love and loss.

160 Sly and the Family Stone – Stand!

“Stand!” is the pinnacle of Sly & the Family Stone’s early work, a record that represents a culmination of the group’s musical vision and accomplishment.

159 The Temptations – Cloud Nine

“Cloud Nine” is an album that would become one of the defining early funk examples, with songs that not only took Motown in a new direction, but helped to shape the genre as well, but only on the first half. The second half shows the temptations right back in their comfort zone, and that is not a bad thing.

158 MC5 – Kick Out the Jams

Rather than try to capture their legendary on-stage energy in a studio, MC5 opted to record their first album during a live concert at their home base, Detroit’s Grande Ballroom. From Brother J.C. Crawford’s rabble-rousing introduction to the final wash on feedback on “Starship,” Kick Out the Jams is one of the most powerfully energetic live albums ever made.

157 Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin II

Recorded quickly during Led Zeppelin’s first American tours, Led Zeppelin II provided the blueprint for all the heavy metal bands that followed it. Since the group could only enter the studio for brief amounts of time, most of the songs that compose II are reworked blues and rock & roll standards. Some of the group fe3els like it was a rushed album and doesn’t have the same teeth as the first but still enjoyable.

156 The Band – The Band

The Band, the group’s second album, was a more deliberate and even more accomplished effort, partially because the players had become a more cohesive unit, and partially because guitarist Robbie Robertson. The arrangements were simultaneously loose and assured, giving the songs a timeless appeal, while the lyrics continued to paint portraits of 19th century rural life.

155 Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin had a fully formed, distinctive sound from the outset, as their eponymous debut illustrates. Taking the heavy, distorted electric blues of Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, and Cream to an extreme, Zeppelin created a majestic, powerful brand of guitar rock constructed around simple, memorable riffs and lumbering rhythms.

154 Quicksilver Messenger Service – Happy Trails

Without question, this follow-up to Quicksilver Messenger Service’s self-titled debut release is the most accurate in portraying the band on vinyl in the same light as the group’s critically and enthusiastically acclaimed live performances. The album is essentially centered around the extended reworkings of Bo Diddley’s “Who Do You Love?” and “Mona”. The group finds most of the album boring, and uninspired with the exception of a few of the originals.

153 The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground

Upon first release, the Velvet Underground’s self-titled third album must have surprised their fans nearly as much as their first two albums shocked the few mainstream music fans who heard them. After testing the limits of how musically and thematically challenging rock could be on Velvet Underground & Nico and White Light/White Heat, this 1969 release sounded spare, quiet, and contemplative, as if the previous albums documented some manic, speed-fueled party and this was the subdued morning after.

152 Elvis Presley – From Elvis in Memphis

After a 14-year absence from Memphis, Elvis Presley returned to cut what was certainly his greatest album. The fact that From Elvis in Memphis came out as well as it did is something of a surprise, in retrospect

151 Dusty Springfield – Dusty in Memphis

Hoping to reinvigorate her career and boost her credibility, Springfield signed with Atlantic Records, Home of soul greatest Dusty idolized such as Aretha Franklin. Although she was well versed in R&B and soul songs, she had never released an entire album of R&B material. It was there in American Sound Studios that dusty create one of her best albums.

150 Nick Drake – Five Leaves Left

Underrated in his own time Nick Drake had a resurgence after his passing at a young age. On this debut album Drake’s lyrics capture a subtle poetry of emotion while his singing is soft, articulate and sometimes haunting.

149 The Rolling Stones – Let It Bleed

For their next album Let it Bleed The stones would continue the return to the ragged blues rock songs of protest and misery but this time they would do away with any psydelic elements in favor of a country accent. And like the previous album the opening track shows that the Stones only sharpen their licks as gimme shelter sounds like a beautiful siren in the distance before a riotous explosion of guitar and share sets the political anthem on fire.

148 Pentangle – Basket of Light

An unexpected album from the UK folk “supergroup” featuring
Bert Jansch, John Renbourn and Jacqui McShee that moved folk into jazz territory with flourishes of psych.

147 Bee Gees – Odessa

The group members may disagree for personal reasons, but Odessa is easily the best and most enduring of the Bee Gees’ albums of the 1960s.

146 Miles Davis – In a Silent Way

Upon its release, the album was met by controversy among music critics, particularly those of jazz and rock music, who were divided in their reaction to its experimental musical structure and Davis’s electric approach. Grady has a lot to say and Rob thinks he is starting to like Jazz.

145 The Who – Tommy

After the dry run of  the Who’s previous album “ the who sell out”  Pete Townshead spearheaded a new project that was both innovative and ambitious. Tommy was a full-blown concept rock opera complete with overtune, interludes and an interwoven story about a boy Tommy.

144 The Beatles – Abbey Road

The last Beatles album to be recorded (although Let It Be was the last to be released), Abbey Road was a fitting swan song for the group

143 Creedence Clearwater Revival – Green River

After the success of Bayou Country producer and primary songwriter John Fogerty would continue his run of great songwriting in this second of the three albums recorded in 1969. The band worked tirelessly shunning the drug scene and breaking free from the drawn out San Francisco psychedelic jams with a straight ahead stripped down southern rock n roll that sounded gutsy and refreshing to critics and listeners alike.

140 Blood Sweat Tears – Blood Sweat Tears

It was commercially successful, rising to the top of the U.S. charts for a collective seven weeks and yielding three successive Top 5 singles. It received a Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1970. We hate it and Rob loves it because it reminds him of marching band and late nights in Vegas.

139 Crosby Stills Nash – Crosby Stills Nash

Crosby , Still and Nash begin as a loose idea of songwriters all with an affinity for close harmonies blended with folk and pop music. Having been at odds with their previous groups they decided to use their surnames as identification to ensure independence and guarantee that the band could not continue without any one of them.