Monday, February 15, 2010

Oldest Top 10 Ever: of 1966

I can't imagine the historical Top 10's will go back further than this, but 1966 was the next year up in the decade-cyclical randomized order. These ten fall into two tiers... The top five were easy and stable in rankings once I started the list, and I did give it second thoughts. The next five were mostly there from the get-go, but I rearranged the order quite a few times. So maybe it's like a 5-way tie for the 6th slot. Awright, let's go!

#10 Hand Clappin' Foot Stompin' Funky-Butt... Live! -
Geno Washington and the Ram Jam Band

Hand Clappin' Foot Stompin'
Three songs live, from Hand Clappin'... (1966)

Genre - Northern Soul
Official -
Myspace -
Location - London, England

Review - All Music Guide
Purchase - Amazon ($40+)

Might have made the list purely on the merits of the title, for it is excellent. But the contents of this live document of Indiana soul-expatriate revue more that meets the challenge. Your basic outta-sight mod getdown through the whole of the running time. Not worth any of the prices I'm currently seeing, but worth your epic quest anyhow.

#9 Aftermath - Rolling Stones

"Paint It, Black" from Aftermath (1966)

Genre - Rock 'n' Roll
Official -
Myspace -
Location - The United Kingdome

Review - Rolling Stone #108
Download - Amazon [UK version], iTunes
Lala - Aftermath
Purchase - Amazon, or any record store

Specifically for "Paint It, Black." I remember seeing that video (well, not the Matt Dillon part) on Mtv back around 1982. And it was at least a couple more years before I realized it wasn't a Tattoo You-era song. Still consider it one of my favorite Stones songs, and they're really not a huge band for me. First record with all originals, the UK version had "Mother's Little Helper" and some others, but no "Paint It, Black."

#8 Pet Sounds - The Beach Boys

Pet Sounds
"Sloop John B" from Pet Sounds (1966)

Genre - Surf-Psych Pop
Official -
Myspace -
Location - California, U.S.A.

Review - Pitchfork [40th anniv.]
Download - Amazon, iTunes
Lala - Pet Sounds
Purchase - Every store in the world...

Another really-not-huge-for-me band, but there's no denying the amount of quality borne by this record. Brian Wilson will always carry the weight of all those corny surf sing-a-longs, in my mind at least. And Pet Sounds sometimes seems more like a Viet Nam-era period piece soundtrack grab-bag. But that's all after-the-fact, and also the price of being an all-time classic.

#7 The Good, The Bad & The Ugly OST - Ennio Morricone

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
"Ecstasy of Gold" from The Good, The Bad & The Ugly (1966)

Genre - Morricone!
Official -
Myspace -
Location - Italy

Review - Urban Cinefile
Download - Amazon, iTunes
Lala - Original Soundtrack
Purchase - Amazon

Some of the best single-source Morricone ever. Plenty of sweet guitar balladry, symphonic score material... Okay, okay, here's the main theme!!

#6 Black Monk Time - The Monks

Black Monk Time
"Boys Are Boys and Girls Are Choice" [live] from Black Monk Time (1966)

Genre - '60s Punk
Official -
Location - Germany

Review - Crawdaddy!
Download - Amazon, iTunes
Lala - Black Monk Time
Purchase - Amazon

US military, stationed abroad, tearing up '60s punk action like they had a Pac-NW garage of their own. Many shoulda-been all-time classics, like "Shut Up," "I Hate You" and "Complication."

#5 Love - Love

"Little Red Book" from Love (1966)

Genre - Psych-Folk-Rock
Official -
Myspace -
Location - Los Angeles, CA

Review - All Music Guide
Download - Amazon, iTunes
Lala - Love (1966)
Purchase - Amazon

First, you get Forever Changes (1967), then you get this their debut. Then you realize that Love was one of the greatest bands of the '60s. I still need to get Da Capo (1967), the second one.

#4 Face to Face - The Kinks

Face to Face
"Most Exclusive Residence For Sale" from Face to Face (1966)

Genre - English Rock 'n' Roll
Official Ray Davies -
Location - England

Review - Crawdaddy! via Beat Patrol blog
Download - iTunes
Purchase - Amazon ($40+)

This is the only full Kinks album I have. No Village Green (1968), no Arthur (1969)... Maybe I'll work up to them, but this is good enough for me now. I don't really imagine becoming a fanatic for them, but Ray Davies clearly overflowed with quality musical ideas.

#3 Blonde on Blonde - Bob Dylan

Blonde on Blonde
"Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat" from Blonde on Blonde (1966)

Genre - Post-Folk
Official -
Myspace -
Location - Greenwich Village, NYC

Review - Treble Zine
Download - Amazon, iTunes
Lala - Blonde on Blonde
Purchase - Amazon, or your local record store...

Getting into the realm of the obvious here. By my count, the 3rd or 4th best album from the single greatest singer-songwriter of the rock era. I'd also throw in the Royal Albert Hall concert (released as the Bootleg Series, Vol. 4).

#2 Revolver - The Beatles

"Taxman" 1967 cartoon from Revolver (1966)

Genre - Merseybeat
Official -
Myspace -
Location - Liverpool, UK

Review - Pop Matters
Download/Lala - I don't think they do that.
Purchase - C'mon... seriously?

You might have heard this one before. Thankfully, we've gotten past the stage where Sgt. Pepper's considered the best album of all recorded time. As the linked review states, "not even the best Beatles album of all time." I'm not even sure I'd say that's Revolver, but at least it's in the running. The self-titled double (White) album? The American Magical Mystery Tour LP? Anyway, we're talking the full British release here, and it's solid gold.

#1 The Psychedelic Sounds of The 13th Floor Elevators

The Psychedelic Sounds
"Reverberation (Doubt)" from Psychedelic Sounds (1966)

Genre - Psychedelic Garage Shamanism
Official -
Myspace -
Location - Austin, TX

Review - Pitchfork
13th Downloads - Amazon, iTunes
[Strangely, this album isn't available anywhere for d/l.]
Lala - Going Up: The Very Best of...
Purchase - Amazon (one of many versions)

Along with Ennio Morricone, Roky Erickson is Top 10 material here in 1966 and again recently for 2005 (compilation division). Also, #1 Live 2009 - wow!! So, maybe I'm a little biased towards the mid-'60s Texan psychedelia. But the Elevators pulled it off with no George Martin, no Loog Oldham, no Abbey Road, no global reputation, no corporate budget, and obviously no Lennon/McCartney, Bob Dylan, Jagger/Richards or Brian Wilson. Even I'm not loony enough to put Tommy Hall in those ranks. Although Roky? Hmmmm...

LP cover photo thanks to this guy, who also had one of The Evil One covers.

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