More of the SamuraiFrog-inspired madness shortly. You may find this article interesting: Many classic hits are secretly re-recorded. I remember buying a soul collection (3 CDs), and all but a half dozen tracks were by the original artists, but NOT the original tracks. Likewise with a Herman’s Hermits’ greatest hits collection. VERY disappointing when one discovers it; the ear knows.


50. Temptations: With A Lot O’ Soul (1967)
Usually a Temptations album is under the direction of one producer, such as Smokey Robinson or Norman Whitfield. But this was a transitional time, which made the album more eclectic.

49. Beatles: White Album (1968)
Remember hearing it for the first time in the basement of the Unitarian church in Binghamton, NY.

48. Roberta Flack: Chapter Two (1970)
Three extraordinary songs out of the eight.

47. Doors: Waiting For The Sun (1968)
‘Hello, I Love You’ is the single, and the least interesting song on the album.

46. Cream: Goodbye (1969)
Album has three live songs, including the definitive version of ‘I’m So Glad’. It also features Badge, written by Clapton and George Harrison.

45. Janis Joplin: Pearl (1970)
Contains the posthumous #1 single Me and Bobby McGee. I was singing ‘Mercedes Benz’ at work around that time. and someone thought it was a Temptations song. Weird.

44. Aretha Franklin: Lady Soul (1968)
It was my sister’s album, so I played it less than it warranted.

43. Jefferson Airplane: Surrealistic Pillow (1967)
Their second album, with ‘White Rabbit.’

42. Neil Young: Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (1969)
Two very long songs, but also my second favorite Neil song, Cinnamon Girl.

41. Vanilla Fudge: Vanilla Fudge (1967)
Great covers of the Beatles, Supremes, Zombies, Sonny & Cher.

40. Led Zeppelin: III (1970)
The worst selling LZ album. I liked it because it was more mellow.

39. Four Tops: Reach Out (1967)
I believe it was my sister’s album.

38. Temptations: Psychedelic Shack (1970)
That’s where it’s at.

Cover of the 1965 reissue, which I still own.


37. Supremes: Meet the Supremes (1962)
The first several singles from the former Primettes were commercial flops, but I enjoyed them, especially ‘Buttered Popcorn.’

36. Traffic: John Barleycorn Must Die (1970)
Was always ‘Glad’ to listen to this album.

35. Jefferson Airplane: Volunteers (1969)
Heavily political, but also has the lovely ‘Good Shepherd.’

34. Judy Collins: Who Knows Where The Time Goes (1968)
My grade school friend Lois gave this to me on my 16th birthday. She said apologetically, “I don’t know if you’ll like it; it’s kinda countryish.” Yes, there is pedal steel guitar on a couple songs, but I liked it very much, thank you.

33. Best of Joan Baez (1963)
After Joan made it big on Vanguard Records, some minor label put out this misleading title, which I wrote about.

32. King Crimson: In The Court Of The Crimson King (1969)
I was in a mall in Oneonta, NY a few years ago and heard some really irritating remake of ‘21st Century Schizoid Man,’ a song I loved. Used to play it as loud as the neighborhood would bear.

31. Steppenwolf: Steppenwolf (1968)
This album contains ‘Born To Be Wild’ and ‘The Pusher’, both of which would end up on the Easy Rider soundtrack, but it is ‘The Ostrich’ that was the highlight for me. I forgot that I used to have a feature on this blog called Underplayed Vinyl.

30. Diana Ross and the Supremes: Love Child (1968)
The last good Supremes album, with ‘Keep An Eye’ and ‘Honey Bee’ standouts for me.

29. Paul McCartney: McCartney (1970)
It was like a home recording, Paul, with Linda, noodling about. Yet created my favorite Macca song ever, ‘Maybe I’m Amazed.’

28. Santana: Abraxas (1970)
The segue from ‘Black Magic Woman to Gypsy Queen’ was, well, magical, then followed by ‘Oye Como Va’. The second album, and the first after Woodstock.

27. Hair: Original Broadway Cast Recording (1968)
Played this so much on vinyl that I knew where all the pops and skips were.

26. James Taylor: Sweet Baby James (1970)
There was a law passed in 1971 that every college dorm room in the US HAD to have Carole King’s Tapestry and this album.

5 Responses to “My favorite albums from 1961-1970: 50-26”

  • MDS says:

    if i’m not mistaken i believe the 1971 Sweet Baby James-Tapestry College Dorm Act was amended in ’88 or ’89 to say that a song from each album has to be playing at a hospital or dentist’s office at least 4 times a day.

    also, Volunteers over Surrealistic Pillow just made me twitch uncontrollably. (i’m a HUGE fan of Pillow, had it at #12 on an album list i did 6 years ago — http://top80albums.grigr.com/?p=65)

  • Thomas Mckinnon says:

    If you played King Crimson as loud as you could in 1971, you would probably get a visit from the local police! Damm hippies!

  • CGHill says:

    Judy Collins’ cover of Ian and Sylvia’s “Someday Soon” — “He loves his damned old rodeo / More than he loves me” — remains my favorite Judy track, period, pedal steel notwithstanding.

  • SamuraiFrog says:

    Great stuff. Totally agreed with your description for 47. Only six of these were on my list, but I can’t dispute any of your choices. Fantastic music.

  • One comment I can make without conflicting with any others: The Unitarian Church in Binghamton was one of the most loving, inclusive congregations I ever saw! So it’s cool, and rather apropos, they turned you on to the White Album. Just too perfect!

    Also, I lived off my big sisters’ records, too. Hey, they’re pressed to be played, and I still have them! Amy

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