Tag Archives: The Velvet Underground

Top Ten Pop/Rock Albums By Decade: 1960s

***Due to my obsessive nature I am editing this article with Amazon.com sales rankings included because I’m obsessed with them right now for some sick reason.***

According to the users of the website RateYourMusic.com, these are the top 10 pop/rock albums of the 1960s:

#01 The Beatles – Abbey Road (1969) – #82 on Amazon

#02 The Beatles – Revolver (1966) – #209 on Amazon

#03 The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967) – #3422 on Amazon

#04 Bob Dylan – Highway 61 Revisited (1965) – #903 on Amazon

#05 The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) – #122 on Amazon

#06 The Beatles – The White Album (1968) – #123 on Amazon

#07 King Crimson – In the Court of the Crimson King (1969) – #3877 on Amazon

#08 Bob Dylan – Blonde on Blonde (1966) – #794 on Amazon

#09 Bob Dylan – Bringing It All Back Home (1965) – #2267 on Amazon

#10 Jimi Hendrix – Are You Experienced (1967) – #1634 on Amazon Continue reading “Top Ten Pop/Rock Albums By Decade: 1960s” »

Susan Boyle’s Debut Album Has Already Sold More Copies Than…

On Saturday I wrote this article about the Susan Boyle phenomenon and how it shows how superficial the average CD buyer is.

Now that the album sales numbers are in (and they’re even higher than people projected they’d be) I thought a good way to showcase the ridiculousness of it all would be to show how many great albums have already been outsold by Susan Boyle’s debut in just one week (it sold over 700,000 copies in the US and over 400,000 copies in the UK.)

The Flaming Lips – The Soft Bulletin (1999)

Considered by many to be one of the best albums of the 1990s (including myself) – Susan Boyle’s debut has now sold more copies in one week than The Soft Bulletin has sold in 10 years (it has still yet to be certified Gold in the US & Gold means 500K copies sold.) I could also add every other Lips album except for Yoshimi to this list. Yoshimi has been certified Gold in the US although I don’t know if it’s actually sold 700K copies or not, it’s hard to get that kind of info. Anyway, it may take Susan two weeks instead of one to outsell that most commercial friendly of Flaming Lips albums. Continue reading “Susan Boyle’s Debut Album Has Already Sold More Copies Than…” »

John Cale Was Born On March 9, 1942

John Cale was born in Ammanford, Carmarthenshire, Wales, UK on March 9th of 1942.

He’s a musician, songwriter, singer, and producer who was among the founding members of the legendary 1960s rock band The Velvet Underground.

He left the band after their first two albums: 1967′s The Velvet Underground and Nico and 1968′s White Light/White Heat.

Cale had co-songwriting credits on “Sunday Morning,” “The Black Angel’s Death Song,” “European Son,” “The Gift,” “Here She Comes Now,” and “Sister Ray.”

The Velvet Underground & Nico is considered by many music critics to be among the greatest albums of all time. It was ranked #13 all time in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time (from 2003.) It’s ranked as the 4th greatest album of all time by the members of the RateYourMusic.com website.

Cale gets much credit as the primary producer and as the man behind the musical arrangements and experimental sound of the album.

Cale has released about 30 solo albums over the past 40 years and he has worked with artists such as Brian Eno, The Stooges, Nick Drake, and John Cage.

His three most highly reviewed solo albums on the RateYourMusic.com website are 1973′s Paris 1919, 1974′s Fear, and 1992′s Fragments of a Rainy Season.

His most recent studio albums are 2003′s HoboSapiens and 2005′s blackAcetate.

“Paris 1919″ Live

“Cable Hogue” Live

Five Groovy Songs From 1967

Ah yes. The “Groovy Songs” series takes a turn into the “Summer of Love.” Earlier entries: 1977, 1995, 1996.

The Beatles – “I Am The Walrus”
Magical Mystery Tour

The Pink Floyd – “Bike”
The Piper at the Gates of Dawn

The Velvet Underground – “European Son”
The Velvet Underground & Nico

Jimi Hendrix – “Third Stone From The Sun”
Are You Experienced?

Traffic – “Heaven Is In Your Mind”
Mr. Fantasy

Top Ten Rock Albums Of The 1960s*

*as ranked by the users of rateyourmusic.com

#1 The Beatles – Abbey Road (1969)

Actually only my 4th favorite Beatles album. It’s great for sure but it doesn’t bring quite the excitement and experimentation of my three favorite Beatles albums (which are all make the top 10 along with this one.) Side 1 has some great tracks including the classic singles “Come Together” & “Something” and the side closer “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” which is a truly awesome song. Side 2 may be my favorite side of any Beatles album for the way that it all works together so flawlessly.

#2 The Beatles – Revolver (1966)

Revolver is the hip choice for top Beatles album these days. It does have an incredible amount of great songs on it, with a great amount of variety. But “Yellow Submarine “would have worked better as a b-side than an album cut in my opinion. This is actually my 3rd favorite Beatles album.

#3 Bob Dylan – Highway 61 Revisited (1965)

I prefer Blonde on Blonde actually. But it is a brilliant album.

#4 The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967)

nico-desert-shore-john-cale-velvet-underground-factory-sealed-70-reprise-6424 Nico - Desert Shore John Cale Velvet Underground FACTORY SEALED '70 REPRISE 6424
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This is ranked a bit higher than I’d put it. It’s great but I don’t think it’s as good as many of the albums it’s ranked ahead of.

#5 Bob Dylan – Bringing It All Back Home (1965)

#6 The Beatles – The White Album (1968)

This is my #1. I love the sprawling madness of it all. It has the most re-listen value of any album of the ’60s for me. It’s like document of every kind of popular music made up to that point. Some will say that it has too many clunkers and yeah it does have a few songs that aren’t actually that good but for some reason that makes it even better to me. Hard to explain why.

jimmy-durante-september-song-white-label-promo-lp-12-album-nice-copy Jimmy Durante September Song White Label Promo LP 12" Album Nice copy
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#7 Bob Dylan – Blonde on Blonde (1966)

This is my favorite Dylan album, at the moment anyway.

#8 Jimi Hendrix – Are You Experienced? (1967)

Great, but it’s a little overrated with it’s placement this high.

#9 The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)

I think years of people calling it overrated have in fact made it now underrated. For me it ranks above Abbey Road & Revolver.

beatles-sgt-peppers-club-band-lonely-hearts-lp-parlophone-pmc-7027-xex637-1967 Beatles SGT Peppers Club Band Lonely Hearts LP Parlophone PMC 7027,XEX637 - 1967
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#10 The Kinks – The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society (1968)

A bit overrated in my opinion. I know it’s hip to say the Kinks are super fantastic these days. And yes they were good but no, they were not as good as The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones, or The Who. Speaking of The Beach Boys, where’s Pet Sounds? It’s #12 among 60s rock albums on RYM, it’d definitely be in my top 10. The top ranked Stones album is Let It Bleed at #18.

Remember the rankings are not mine, they were taken from Rate Your Music – But the comments are mine. Those you can flame away on if you disagree (as I’m sure you will, not everyone can be this brilliant!)

Bands Whose Debut Album Is Their Best

Some bands debut album only hints at their later greatness (see The Beatles & Radiohead as a pair of obvious examples) while others burst out of the gates with their best effort that they never seem to be able to quite match again. Or in some cases don’t even come close to matching again.

The bands listed below had to pass the following two criteria in order to be considered for inclusion:

1. Their debut album must be their highest rated album at RateYourMusic.com, this shows the consensus among fans is that the band or artist’s debut album is also their best album.

2. Their debut album must have the most stars (or tied) at AllMusic.com, this shows a general consensus that music critics think that their debut album is their best album.

This is not to say that the following list is all inclusive of every single band that met that criteria only that it was a requirement for being considered for this list.

WeezerWeezer (Blue Album.) This was a close call as their debut currently outscores their second album Pinkerton only 4.09 to 4.08 at RateYourMusic.com, it’s the huge drop in quality after those first two albums that has caused many of their fans this side of Mozart Breath to grow weary of the Weez. Weezer’s most well known songs are on their debut album including “Buddy Holly,” “Undone – The Sweater Song,” and “Say It Ain’t So.” Weezer is planning on releasing their 6th album in 2008. After their dreadful last album, 2005′s Make Believe, it’s hard to get too excited about that. If you are one of the few who likes Make Believe, be sure to check out Mozart Breath’s articles.

The Stone RosesThe Stone Roses. This is an easy choice as The Stone Roses only released two albums their critically acclaimed self titled debut album in 1989 and their much less well received second album, Second Coming five years later. The Stone Roses are a classic example of a band that shot it’s load with their debut album.

The StrokesIs This It. The Strokes were everywhere as the millennium got underway but haven’t lived up to the hype since their 2001 debut. Their 2nd and 3rd album have been not been nearly as well received by critics or by fans.

The Velvet Underground - The Velvet Underground & Nico. While The Velvet Underground’s next three albums; 1967′s White Light/White Heat, 1969′s The Velvet Underground, and 1970′s have all received their share of critical acclaim and fan love it’s their 1967 debut The Velvet Underground & Nico that is still seen by a majority or at least a plurality as being their best album. It’s currently rated as the best album of 1967 and the 7th best album of all time at RateYourMusic.com, not too shabby.

Guns N’ RosesAppetite for Destruction. Guns N’ Roses 1987 debut Appetite for Destruction, is considered by almost all Guns N’ Roses fans to be their best album. While 1991′s Use Your Illusion I (& II) were reasonably well received, it clearly did not match the intensity of their debut. And then “Grunge” hit and it appears that 16 years later, Axl Rose has still not recovered.

Van HalenVan Halen. Van Halen’s 1978 self titled debut is still seen by most VH fans as their best. It easily outdistances their second highest ranked album, 1984′s 1984, on RateYourMusic.com 4.07 to 3.79 and it includes many of their most famous songs like “Runnin’ With the Devil” and Eddie’s ultimate guitar wank “Eruption.”