1965 started a very exciting period for Rock music in general. During this times the bands and artists started to drift away from the straight Rock 'n Roll that were started in the fifties. The best albums were mainly in the following genres:

1. Blues - A lot of these bands did some kind of Blues. There were the Rolling Stones ,Them and The Kinks that started with the R&B Blues sound. It was faster than the normal blues and also with more soulful vocals and lyrics that were broaden. Then there were the Paul Butterfield Blues Band that moved towards a more blues rock direction. But lastly there were also the Blues traditionalists like BB King that took die torch of the American Blues forward.
2. Merseybeat - Merseybeat was the original sound of the British Invasion — a driving, melodic sound that was hybrid of American rock & roll and R&B, and British skiffle. The Beatles' early records, like "Please Please Me" and "Love Me Do," were the prototypes of the genre, and soon other Liverpudlian bands like Gerry & the Pacemakers, Billy J. Kramer, and the Searchers were following the same style. Called Merseybeat because of the Mersey River in Liverpool, the sound flourished throughout 1963 and the first half of 1964. Shortly afterward, R&B-oriented bands like the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, and the Yardbirds appeared, as did pop groups like the Hollies and Freddie & the Dreamers. While these pop groups were influenced by Merseybeat, the style itself was losing ground, especially since the Beatles had begun to expand their stylistic reach. Herman's Hermits and many other bands were still to follow this path until the late sixties.
3. Pop/Rock - Both The Beatles and The Beach Boys were exploring new directions. The Beatles were experimenting with new musical ideas incorporating instruments like the Sitar and The Beach Boys released an album with more adult lyrics, leaving the Surf Rock behind.
4. Motown / Soul - With the release of the single "My Girl" The Temptations and Otis Redding's album started the whole Motown / Soul sound that were to dominate certain radio stations for many years.
5. Folk Rock - With the first side of his "Bringing it all back home album, Dylan moved away from the traditional acoustic folk. It was The Byrds however who would perfected this musical genre with their electric interpretations of the old Dylan songs.

The foundations of Psychedelia, Hard Rock, Country Rock and a lot of other genres were laid during 1965. And the albums that were perfect are all albums that stood the test of time.

 

Bob Dylan - Bringing It All Back Home: With Another Side of Bob Dylan, Dylan had begun pushing past folk, and with Bringing It All Back Home, he exploded the boundaries, producing an album of boundless imagination and skill. And it's not just that he went electric, either, rocking hard on "Subterranean Homesick Blues," "Maggie's Farm," and "Outlaw Blues"; it's that he's exploding with imagination throughout the record. After all, the music on its second side — the nominal folk songs — derive from the same vantage point as the rockers, leaving traditional folk concerns behind and delving deep into the personal. And this isn't just introspection, either, since the surreal paranoia on "It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" and the whimsical poetry of "Mr. Tambourine Man" are individual, yet not personal. And that's just the tip of the iceberg, really, as he writes uncommonly beautiful love songs ("She Belongs to Me," "Love Minus Zero/No Limit") that sit alongside uncommonly funny fantasias ("On the Road Again," "Bob Dylan's 115th Dream"). This is the point where Dylan eclipses any conventional sense of folk and rewrites the rules of rock, making it safe for personal expression and poetry, not only making words mean as much as the music, but making the music an extension of the words. A truly remarkable album.

Tracks:

1 Subterranean Homesick Blues Dylan 2:21
2 She Belongs to Me Dylan 2:47
3 Maggie's Farm Dylan 3:54
4 Love Minus Zero/No Limit Dylan 2:51
5 Outlaw Blues Dylan 3:05
6 On the Road Again Dylan 2:35
7 Bob Dylan's 115th Dream Dylan 6:30
8 Mr. Tambourine Man Dylan 5:30
9 Gates of Eden Dylan 5:40
10 It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) Dylan 7:29
11 It's All over Now, Baby Blue Dylan 4:12

Bob Dylan - Highway 61 Revisited : Taking the first, electric side of Bringing It All Back Home to its logical conclusion, Bob Dylan hired a full rock & roll band, featuring guitarist Michael Bloomfield, for Highway 61 Revisited. Opening with the epic "Like a Rolling Stone," Highway 61 Revisited careens through nine songs that range from reflective folk-rock ("Desolation Row") and blues ("It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry") to flat-out garage rock ("Tombstone Blues," "From a Buick 6," "Highway 61 Revisited"). Dylan had not only changed his sound, but his persona, trading the folk troubadour for a streetwise, cynical hipster. Throughout the album, he embraces druggy, surreal imagery, which can either have a sense of menace or beauty, and the music reflects that, jumping between soothing melodies to hard, bluesy rock. And that is the most revolutionary thing about Highway 61 Revisited — it proved that rock & roll needn't be collegiate and tame in order to be literate, poetic, and complex.

Tracks:

1 Like a Rolling Stone Dylan 6:13
2 Tombstone Blues Dylan 6:00
3 It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry Dylan 4:09
4 From a Buick 6 Dylan 3:19
5 Ballad of a Thin Man Dylan 5:58
6 Queen Jane Approximately Dylan 5:31
7 Highway 61 Revisited Dylan 3:30
8 Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues Dylan 5:32
9 Desolation Row Dylan 11:22

 

The Beatles - Rubber Soul : While the Beatles still largely stuck to love songs on Rubber Soul, the lyrics represented a quantum leap in terms of thoughtfulness, maturity, and complex ambiguities. Musically, too, it was a substantial leap forward, with intricate folk-rock arrangements that reflected the increasing influence of Dylan and the Byrds. The group and George Martin were also beginning to expand the conventional instrumental parameters of the rock group, using a sitar on "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)," Greek-like guitar lines on "Michelle" and "Girl," fuzz bass on "Think for Yourself," and a piano made to sound like a harpsichord on the instrumental break of "In My Life." While John and Paul were beginning to carve separate songwriting identities at this point, the album is full of great tunes, from "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)" and "Michelle" to "Girl," "I'm Looking Through You," "You Won't See Me," "Drive My Car," and "Nowhere Man" (the last of which was the first Beatle song to move beyond romantic themes entirely). George Harrison was also developing into a fine songwriter with his two contributions, "Think for Yourself" and the Byrds-ish "If I Needed Someone.

Tracks:

1 Drive My Car Lennon, McCartney 2:30
2 Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) Lennon, McCartney 2:05
3 You Won't See Me Lennon, McCartney 3:22
4 Nowhere Man Lennon, McCartney 2:44
5 Think for Yourself Harrison 2:19
6 The Word Lennon, McCartney 2:43
7 Michelle Lennon, McCartney 2:42
8 What Goes On Lennon, McCartney 2:50
9 Girl Lennon, McCartney 2:33
10 I'm Looking Through You Lennon, McCartney 2:27
11 In My Life Lennon, McCartney 2:27
12 Wait Lennon, McCartney 2:16
13 If I Needed Someone Harrison 2:23
14 Run for Your Life Lennon, McCartney 2:18

The Rolling Stones - Now : Although their third American album was patched together (in the usual British Invasion tradition) from a variety of sources, it's their best early R&B-oriented effort. Most of the Stones' early albums suffer from three or four very weak cuts; Now! is almost uniformly strong start-to-finish, the emphasis on some of their blackest material. The covers of "Down Home Girl," Bo Diddley's vibrating "Mona," Otis Redding's "Pain in My Heart," and Barbara Lynn's "Oh Baby" are all among the group's best R&B interpretations. The best gem is "Little Red Rooster," a pure blues with wonderful slide guitar from Brian Jones (and a number one single in Britain, although it was only an album track in the U.S.). As songwriters, Jagger and Richards are still struggling, but they come up with one of their first winners (and an American Top 20 hit) with the yearning, soulful "Heart of Stone."

[The Rolling Stones' London/ABKCO catalog was reissued in August of 2002, packaged in digipacks with restored album artwork, remastered, and released as hybrid discs that contain both CD and Super Audio CD layers. The remastering — performed with Direct Stream Digital (DSD) encoding — is a drastic improvement, leaping out of the speaker yet still sounding like the original albums. This is noticeable on the standard CD layer but is considerably more pronounced on the SACD layer, which is shockingly realistic in its detail and presence yet is still faithful to the original mixes; Keith Richards' revved-up acoustic guitar on "Street Fighting Man" still sends the machine into overdrive, for instance. It just sounds like he's in the room with you. Even if you've never considered yourself an audiophile, have never heard the differences between standard and gold-plated CDs, you will hear the difference with SACD, even on a cheap stereo system without a high-end amplifier or speakers. And you won't just hear the difference, you'll be an instant convert and wish, hope, and pray that other artists whose catalog hasn't been reissued since the early days of CD — Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, especially the Beatles — are given the same treatment in the very near future. SACD and DSD are that good.]

Tracks:

1 Everybody Needs Somebody to Love Burke, Russell, Wexler 3:00
2 Down Home Girl Butler, Leiber 4:13
3 You Can't Catch Me Berry 3:40
4 Heart of Stone Jagger, Richards 2:49
5 What a Shame Jagger, Richards 3:06
6 Mona (I Need You Baby) McDaniel 3:35
7 Down the Road a Piece Raye 2:56
8 Off the Hook Jagger, Richards 2:35
9 Pain in My Heart Neville 2:12
10 Oh Baby (We Got a Good Thing Goin') Ozen 2:09
11 Little Red Rooster Burnett, Dixon 3:06
12 Surprise, Surprise Jagger, Richards 2:31

The Rolling Stones - Out of our Heads: In 1965, the Stones finally proved themselves capable of writing classic rock singles that mined their R&B/blues roots, but updated them into a more guitar-based, thoroughly contemporary context. The first enduring Jagger-Richards classics are here — "The Last Time," its menacing, folky B-side "Play With Fire," and the riff-driven "Satisfaction," which made them superstars in the States and defined their sound and rebellious attitude better than any other single song. On the rest of the album, they largely opted for mid-'60s soul covers, Marvin Gaye's "Hitch Hike," Otis Redding's "Cry to Me," and Sam Cooke's "Good Times" being particular standouts. "I'm All Right" (based on a Bo Diddley sound) showed their 1965 sound at its rawest, and there are a couple of fun, though derivative, bluesy originals in "The Spider and the Fly" and "The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man."

Tracks:

1 Mercy Mercy Covay, Miller 2:45
2 Hitch Hike Gaye, Paul, Stevenson 2:22
3 The Last Time Jagger, Richards 3:35
4 That's How Strong My Love Is Jamison 2:23
5 Good Times Cooke 1:57
6 I'm Alright Jagger, Richards 2:21
7 (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction Jagger, Richards 3:45
8 Cry to Me Russell 3:08
9 The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man Phelge 3:10
10 Play With Fire Jagger, Richards 2:15
11 The Spider and the Fly Jagger, Richards 3:30
12 One More Try Jagger, Richards 1:58

The Rolling Stones - December's Children : The last Stones album in which cover material accounted for 50 percent of the content was thrown together from a variety of singles, British LP tracks, outtakes, and a cut from an early 1964 U.K. EP. Haphazard assembly aside, much of it's great, including the huge hit "Get Off of My Cloud" and the controversial, string-laden acoustic ballad "As Tears Go By" (a Top Ten item in America). Raiding the R&B closet for the last time, they also offered a breathless run-through of Larry Williams' "She Said Yeah," a sultry Chuck Berry cover ("Talkin' About You"), and exciting live versions of "Route 66" and Hank Snow's "I'm Moving On." More importantly, Jagger-Richards' songwriting partnership had now developed to the extent that several non-A-side tracks were reasonably strong in their own right, such as "I'm Free" and "The Singer Not the Song." And the version of "You Better Move On" (which had been featured on a British EP at the beginning of 1964) was one of their best and most tender soul covers.

[The Rolling Stones' London/ABKCO catalog was reissued in August of 2002, packaged in digipacks with restored album artwork, remastered, and released as hybrid discs that contain both CD and Super Audio CD layers. The remastering — performed with Direct Stream Digital (DSD) encoding — is a drastic improvement, leaping out of the speaker yet still sounding like the original albums. This is noticeable on the standard CD layer but is considerably more pronounced on the SACD layer, which is shockingly realistic in its detail and presence yet is still faithful to the original mixes; Keith Richards' revved-up acoustic guitar on "Street Fighting Man" still sends the machine into overdrive, for instance. It just sounds like he's in the room with you. Even if you've never considered yourself an audiophile, have never heard the differences between standard and gold-plated CDs, you will hear the difference with SACD, even on a cheap stereo system without a high-end amplifier or speakers. And you won't just hear the difference, you'll be an instant convert and wish, hope, and pray that other artists whose catalog hasn't been reissued since the early days of CD — Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, especially the Beatles — are given the same treatment in the very near future. SACD and DSD are that good.]

Tracks:

1 She Said Yeah Christy, Jackson, Roderick 1:35
2 Talkin' About You Berry 2:31
3 You Better Move On Alexander 2:40
4 Look What You've Done Margonfield, Morganfield 2:16
5 The Singer Not the Song Jagger, Richards 2:23
6 Route 66 Troup 2:40
7 Get Off of My Cloud Jagger, Richards 2:56
8 I'm Free Jagger, Richards 2:24
9 As Tears Go By Jagger, Oldham, Richards 2:46
10 Gotta Get Away Jagger, Richards 2:07
11 Blue Turns to Grey Jagger, Richards 2:29
12 I'm Moving On Snow 2:13

The Byrds - Mr Tambourine Man : One of the greatest debuts in the history of rock, Mr. Tambourine Man was nothing less than a significant step in the evolution of rock & roll itself, demonstrating that intelligent lyrical content could be wedded to compelling electric guitar riffs and a solid backbeat. It was also the album that was most responsible for establishing folk-rock as a popular phenomenon, its most alluring traits being Roger McGuinn's immediately distinctive 12-string Rickenbacker jangle and the band's beautiful harmonies. The material was uniformly strong, whether they were interpreting Bob Dylan (on the title cut and three other songs, including the hit single "All I Really Want to Do"), Pete Seeger ("The Bells of Rhymney"), or Jackie DeShannon ("Don't Doubt Yourself, Babe"). The originals were lyrically less challenging, but equally powerful musically, especially Gene Clark's "I Knew I'd Want You," "I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better," and "Here Without You"; "It's No Use" showed a tougher, harder-rocking side and a guitar solo with hints of psychedelia. [The CD reissue adds six less impressive (but still satisfying) bonus tracks and alternate takes from the same era.]

Tracks : 

1 Mr. Tambourine Man Dylan 2:21
2 I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better Clark 2:34
3 Spanish Harlem Incident Dylan 2:00
4 You Won't Have to Cry Clark, McGuinn 2:09
5 Here Without You Clark 2:38
6 The Bells of Rhymney Davies, Seeger 3:33
7 All I Really Want to Do Dylan 2:05
8 I Knew I'd Want You Clark 2:16
9 I'ts No Use Clark, McGuinn 2:25
10 Don't Doubt Yourself, Babe DeShannon 2:57
11 Chimes of Freedom Dylan 3:53
12 We'll Meet Again Charles, Parker 2:10
13 She Has a Way [#/*] Clark 2:27
14 I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better [#/*] Clark 2:30
15 It's No Use [#/*] Clark, McGuinn 2:26
16 You Won't Have to Cry [#/*] Clark, McGuinn 2:10
17 All I Really Want to Do [*] Dylan 2:05
18 You and Me [#/*/instrumental] Clark, Crosby, McGuinn 2:12


Otis Redding - Otis Blues: Otis Redding's third album, and his first fully realized album, presents his talent unfettered, his direction clear, and his confidence emboldened, with fully half the songs representing a reach that extended his musical grasp. More than a quarter of this album is given over to Redding's versions of songs by Sam Cooke, his idol, who had died the previous December, and all three are worth owning and hearing. Two of them, "A Change Is Gonna Come" and "Shake," are every bit as essential as any soul recordings ever made, and while they (and much of this album) have reappeared on several anthologies, it's useful to hear the songs from those sessions juxtaposed with each other, and with "Wonderful World," which is seldom compiled elsewhere.

Also featured are Redding's spellbinding renditions of "Satisfaction" (a song epitomizing the fully formed Stax/Volt sound and which Mick Jagger and Keith Richards originally wrote in tribute to and imitation of Redding's style), "My Girl," and "You Don't Miss Your Water." "Respect" and "I've Been Loving You Too Long," two originals that were to loom large in his career, are here as well; the former became vastly popular in the hands of Aretha Franklin and the latter was an instant soul classic. Among the seldom-cited jewels here is a rendition of B.B. King's "Rock Me Baby" that has the singer sharing the spotlight with Steve Cropper, his playing alternately elegant and fiery, with Wayne Jackson and Gene "Bowlegs" Miller's trumpets and Andrew Love's and Floyd Newman's saxes providing the backing. Redding's powerful, remarkable singing throughout makes Otis Blue gritty, rich, and achingly alive, and an essential listening experience.

Tracks:

1 Ole Man Trouble Redding 2:36
2 Respect Redding 2:05
3 Change Is Gonna Come Cooke 4:13
4 Down in the Valley Berns, Burke, Chivian, Martin 2:56
5 I've Been Loving You Too Long Butler, Redding 2:59
6 Shake Cooke 2:37
7 My Girl Robinson, White 2:53
8 Wonderful World Adler, Alpert, Cooke 3:09
9 Rock Me Baby Josea, King 3:22
10 (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction Jagger, Richards 2:43
11 You Don't Miss Your Water Bell 2:49

Paul Butterfield Blues Band - Even after his death, Paul Butterfield's music didn't receive the accolades that were so deserved. Outputting styles adopted from Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters among other blues greats, Butterfield became one of the first white singers to rekindle blues music through the course of the mid-'60s. His debut album, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, saw him teaming up with guitarists Elvin Bishop and Mike Bloomfield, with Jerome Arnold on bass, Sam Lay on drums, and Mark Naftalin playing organ. The result was a wonderfully messy and boisterous display of American-styled blues, with intensity and pure passion derived from every bent note. In front of all these instruments is Butterfield's harmonica, beautifully dictating a mood and a genuine feel that is no longer existent, even in today's blues music. Each song captures the essence of Chicago blues in a different way, from the back-alley feel of "Born in Chicago" to the melting ease of Willie Dixon's "Mellow Down Easy" to the authentic devotion that emanates from Bishop and Butterfield's "Our Love Is Drifting." "Shake Your Money Maker," "Blues With a Feeling," and "I Got My Mojo Working" (with Lay on vocals) are all equally moving pieces performed with a raw adoration for blues music. Best of all, the music that pours from this album is unfiltered...blared, clamored, and let loose, like blues music is supposed to be released. A year later, 1966's East West carried on with the same type of brash blues sound partnered with a jazzier feel, giving greater to attention to Bishop's and Bloomfield's instrumental talents.

Tracks :

1 Born in Chicago Gravenites 2:55
2 Shake Your Moneymaker James 2:27
3 Blues With a Feeling Little Walter 4:20
4 Thank You Mr. Poobah Bloomfield, Butterfield ... 4:05
5 I Got My Mojo Working Waters 3:30
6 Mellow Down Easy Dixon 3:40
7 Screamin' Bloomfield 4:30
8 Our Love Is Drifting Bishop, Butterfield 3:25
9 Mystery Train Parker, Phillips 2:45
10 Last Night Little Walter 4:15
11 Look Over Yonders Wall Clark 2:23

Them - Them : The debut album by the group, also known as The Angry Young Them, and half its tracks make it a dead-on rival to the Stones' debut album. This reissue features the album's original British configuration ("Just a Little Bit," "I Gave My Love a Diamond," "Bright Lights, Big City," and "My Little Baby" are here; "One Two Brown Eyes" and "Here Comes the Night" are absent). "My Little Baby" was no huge loss, being a pale imitation of "Here Comes the Night," but the omitted "Just a Little Bit" features a Howlin' Wolf/"Spoonful"-style performance by Van Morrison that would have incinerated a lot of American teens. On the other hand, Morrison's soul-shouting performance on the deleted "I Gave My Love a Diamond," appropriated by Bert Berns from the public domain "Cherry Song," would have shocked any folkie familiar with the original. Morrison's "You Just Can't Win" isn't nearly as impressive, but even as a time-filler it isn't half bad. And then there's "Gloria," rock's ultimate '60s sex anthem, and one of the handful of white-authored songs that can just about hold its own against any blues standard you'd care to name.

Tracks :

1 Mystic Eyes Morrison
2 If You and I Could Be as Two Morrison
3 Little Girl Morrison
4 I Gave My Love a Diamond Berns, Farrell
5 Gloria Morrison
6 You Just Can't Win Morrison
7 Go on Home Baby Berns, Farrell
8 Don't Look Back Hooker
9 I Like It Like That Morrison
10 I'm Gonna Dress in Black Gillon, Howe
11 Bright Lights, Big City Reed
12 My Little Baby Berns, Farrell
13 Route 66 Troup

BB King - Live at the Regal : B.B. King is not only a timeless singer and guitarist, he's also a natural-born entertainer, and on Live at the Regal the listener is treated to an exhibition of all three of his talents. Over percolating horn hits and rolling shuffles, King treats an enthusiastic audience (at some points, they shriek after he delivers each line) to a collection of some of his greatest hits. The backing band is razor-sharp, picking up the leader's cues with almost telepathic accuracy. King's voice is rarely in this fine of form, shifting effortlessly between his falsetto and his regular range, hitting the microphone hard for gritty emphasis and backing off in moments of almost intimate tenderness. Nowhere is this more evident than at the climax of "How Blue Can You Get," where the Chicago venue threatens to explode at King's prompting. Of course, the master's guitar is all over this record, and his playing here is among the best in his long career. Displaying a jazz sensibility, King's lines are sophisticated without losing their grit. More than anything else, Live at the Regal is a textbook example of how to set up a live performance. Talking to the crowd, setting up the tunes with a vignette, King is the consummate entertainer. Live at the Regal is an absolutely necessary acquisition for fans of B.B. King or blues music in general. A high point, perhaps even the high point, for uptown blues.

Tracks :

1 Every Day I Have the Blues Memphis Slim 2:38
2 Sweet Little Angel King, Taub 4:12
3 It's My Own Fault King, Taub 3:29
4 How Blue Can You Get? Feather 3:44
5 Please Love Me King, Taub 3:01
6 You Upset Me Baby King, Taub 2:22
7 Worry, Worry Davis, Taub 6:24
8 Woke up This Morning (My Baby's Gone) King, Taub 1:45
9 You Done Lost Your Good Thing Now Josea, King 4:16
10 Help the Poor Singleton 2:58

Herb Albert - Whpped Cream and other delights : It'll never be known exactly what made Whipped Cream & Other Delights Herb Alpert's big commercial breakthrough — the music or the LP jacket's luscious nude model covered almost entirely with simulated whipped cream. Probably both. In any case, Alpert's most famous album is built around a coherent concept; every song has a title with food in it. Within this concept, Alpert's musical tastes are still refreshingly eclectic; he uses Brazilian rhythms on "Green Peppers" and "Bittersweet Samba," reaches back to the big-band era for the haunting "Tangerine," uses Dixieland jazz on "Butterball," and goes to New Orleans for the Allen Toussaint-penned title track (familiar to viewers of TV's The Dating Game). He also has developed a unique sense of timing as a producer, using pauses for humorous effect, managing to score his second Top Ten hit with a complex, tempo-shifting version of "A Taste of Honey." No wonder Alpert drew such a large, diverse audience at his peak; his choices of tunes spanned eras and generations, while his arrangements were energetic enough for the young and melodic enough for older listeners. Whipped Cream & Other Delights, number one in the U.S. for eight weeks, is available on CD, though the cover obviously doesn't make as alluring an impression as it did on LP.

Tracks :

1 A Taste of Honey Marlow, Scott 2:42
2 Green Peppers Lake 1:30
3 Tangerine Mercer, Schertzinger 2:45
4 Bittersweet Samba Lake 1:43
5 Lemon Tree Holt 2:23
6 Whipped Cream Neville 2:33
7 Love Potion No. 9 Leiber, Stoller 3:01
8 El Garbanzo Lake 2:12
9 Lady Fingers Thielemans 2:44
10 Butterball Henderson 2:12
11 Peanuts Guerrero 2:09
12 Lollipops and Roses Velona 2:28

The Kinks - The Kink  Kontroversy - The Kinks came into their own as album artists — and Ray Davies fully matured as a songwriter — with The Kink Kontroversy, which bridged their raw early British Invasion sound with more sophisticated lyrics and thoughtful production. There are still powerful ravers like the hit "Till the End of the Day" (utilizing yet another "You Really Got Me"-type riff) and the abrasive, Dave Davies-sung cover of "Milk Cow Blues," but tracks like the calypso pastiche "I'm on an Island," where Ray sings of isolation with a forlorn yet merry bite, were far more indicative of their future direction. Other great songs on this underrated album include the uneasy nostalgia of "Where Have All the Good Times Gone?," the plaintive, almost fatalistic ballads "Ring the Bells" and "The World Keeps Going Round," and the Dave Davies-sung declaration of independence "I Am Free." Some mediocre filler detracts from the disc's overall punch, though the CD reissue adds the great swinging London satire hit "Dedicated Follower of Fashion," as well as previously unissued alternate takes of "When I See That Girll of Mine" and "Dedicated Follower of Fashion."

Tracks :

1 Milk Cow Blues Estes 3:44
2 Ring the Bells Davies 2:21
3 Gotta Get the First Plane Home Davies 1:49
4 When I See That Girl of Mine [Unreleased Demo Recording] Davies 2:12
5 I Am Free Davies 2:32
6 Till the End of the Day Davies 2:21
7 The World Keeps Going Round Davies 2:36
8 I'm on an Island Davies 2:19
9 Where Have All the Good Times Gone Davies 2:53
10 It's Too Late Davies 2:37
11 What's in Store for Me Davies 2:06
12 You Can't Win Davies 2:42

The Temptations - The Temptations sing Smokey - This was only the group's second LP, and it was an extremely strong one, built around two monster hits ("My Girl" and the previously recorded "The Way You Do the Things You Do") and one close runner-up ("It's Growing"), plus a brace of some of the best songs in the Motown catalog, including renditions of "You Beat Me to the Punch," "What's So Good About Goodbye?," "You've Really Got a Hold on Me," and "Way Over There." All are done in a style unique to the Temptations, with arrangements that are distinctly different from the familiar versions by other Motown acts, and all are worthwhile. The original CD version, released in the mid-'80s, was a major disappointment. In 1998, it was remastered in 24-bit digital audio, giving it vastly superior sound quality (the 1998 copyright on the back is the giveaway, along with the reference to Polygram as owner of Motown); it was the first of the classic individual Motown albums already out on CD to get this treatment. The stereo separation on the reissue is very sharp, the sound is a lot closer and louder, and the detail is startling, right down to the rhythm section, parts of which, on "Baby, Baby I Need You" and "My Girl," stand out in astonishingly sharp relief. The bass on the latter is so solid it's scary, and the disc is worth owning almost as much for the sound as the music, just to show what listeners were missing on those earlier CDs.

Tracks :

1 The Way You Do the Things You Do Robinson, Rogers 2:38
2 Baby, Baby I Need You Robinson 2:51
3 My Girl Robinson, White 2:42
4 What Love Has Joined Together Robinson, Rogers 2:55
5 You'll Lose a Precious Love Robinson 2:33
6 It's Growing Moore, Robinson 2:57
7 Who's Lovin' You Robinson 2:57
8 What's So Good About Goodbye? Robinson 2:37
9 You Beat Me to the Punch Robinson, White 2:42
10 Way Over There Gordy, Robinson 3:00
11 You've Really Got a Hold on Me Robinson 2:57
12 (You Can) Depend on Me Gordy, Robinson 2:32

The Beach Boys - Today! Brian Wilson's retirement from performing to concentrate on studio recording and production reaped immediate dividends with Today!, the first Beach Boys album that is strong almost from start to finish. "Dance, Dance, Dance" and "Do You Wanna Dance" were upbeat hits with Spector-influenced arrangements, but Wilson began to deal with more sophisticated themes on another smash 45, "When I Grow Up," on which these eternal teenagers looked forward to the advancing years with fear and uncertainty. Surf/hot rod/beach themes were permanently retired in favor of late-adolescent, early-adult romance on this album, which included such decent outings in this vein as "She Knows Me Too Well," "Kiss Me Baby," and "In the Back of My Mind." The true gem is "Please Let Me Wonder," one of the group's most delicate mid-'60s works, with heartbreaking melodies and harmonies. Be aware that the version of "Help Me, Rhonda" found here is an inferior, earlier, and slower rendition; the familiar hit single take was included on their next album, Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!). [Today!/Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!), a Capitol two-fer CD, combines this and Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!) onto one disc, adding alternate takes of "Dance, Dance, Dance," "I'm So Young," and "Let Him Run Wild," as well as a previously unreleased studio version of "Graduation Day." Most significantly, it also adds the non-LP single from late 1965, "The Little Girl I Once Knew," which looked forward to Pet Sounds in its studio experimentation and lyrical themes.]

Tracks :

1 Do You Wanna Dance Freeman
2 Good to My Baby Wilson
3 Don't Hurt My Little Sister Wilson
4 When I Grow Up (To Be a Man) Wilson
5 Help Me, Rhonda Love, Wilson
6 Dance, Dance, Dance Wilson, Wilson
7 Please Let Me Wonder Love, Wilson
8 I'm So Young Tyus
9 Kiss Me, Baby Love, Wilson
10 She Knows Me Too Well Wilson
11 In the Back of My Mind Wilson
12 Bull Session with "Big Daddy" Jardine, Leaf, Love, Wilson ...

Herman's Hermits - Herman's Hermits - The group's debut British album was actually issued six months later than its American counterpart, and two months after its second American album, the LP being treated as far more important in the United States than in England. The contents are actually fairly close to the U.S.-issued Their Second Album! Herman's Hermits on Tour, with a couple of important differences. Among the tracks unique to this album, the Richard/Marvin ballad "I Wonder" is pretty dispensable, but interspersed with achingly beautiful ballads are the group's attempts at somewhat harder sounds on numbers like Carole King and Gerry Goffin's "Walkin' With My Angel" and more basic, slightly edgier rock ballads such as "Dream On" and their cover of Graham Gouldman's "For Your Love." The latter is decent, and lively enough, but the Yardbirds' version, lightweight as it may have seemed next to their blues sides, is so deeply soulful that it completely eclipses this rendition. Spiced with Keith Hopwood's catchy "Don't Try to Hurt Me" and "Tell Me Baby" (which appear on both albums, a testimony to Hopwood's songwriting ability) and ubiquitous fare such as "Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter," the result is a pleasantly upbeat and substantial album by a highly underrated group.

Tracks :

1 Heartbeat Montgomery, Petty
2 Traveling Light Bennet, Topper
3 I'll Never Dance Again Anthony, Mann
4 Walkin' With My Angel Goffin, King
5 Dream On Gordon
6 I Wonder Pearson
7 For Your Love Gouldman
8 Don't Try to Hurt Me Hopwood
9 Tell Me
10 I'm Henry the VIII, I Am Murray, Weston
11 The End of the World Dee, Kent
12 Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter Peacock

 

   

 

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