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Life at 33 1/3   By Carl Meyer


The album classics of 1968 part 2

The Zombies, Odessey And Oracle (CBS) - Released: April 19, 1968

An unparalleled work of beauty, recorded in Abbey Road in the summer and autumn of 1967.  Unfortunately the band split up before the album was released, so it didn’t stand a chance.  It was somewhat resurrected in 1969 when “Time Of The Season” became a surprise posthumous hit single in the US.  Today it is often included on critics’ and musicians’ lists of the 100 greatest albums of all time.

Contents: Care of Cell 44/A Rose for Emily/Maybe After He’s Gone/Beechwood Park/Brief Candles/ Hung Up on a Dream/Changes/I Want Her, She Wants Me/This Will Be Our Year/Butcher’s Tale (Western Front 1914)/Friends of Mine/Time of the Season

The Kinks, The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society (PYE) - Released: November 22, 1968

A concept album lamenting the passing of the old England, its traditions and quiet country life.  A masterpiece that hardly anyone bought at the time, but its status gradually improved over the years.  It has influenced loads of later bands and is considered as a bona fide classic today.

Contents: The Village Green Preservation Society/Do You Remember Walter?/Picture Book/Johnny Thunder/Last of the Steam-powered Trains/Big Sky/Sitting by the Riverside/Animal Farm/Village Green/Starstruck/Phenomenal Cat/All of My Friends Were There/Wicked Annabella/Monica/People Take Pictures of Each Other

Jimi Hendrix Experience, Electric Ladyland (Track) - Released: October 16, 1968

The last Experience-album.  There’s r&b, blues, psychedelia, experimental jams, funk, you name it, and the icing on the cake: the absolute definitive version of “All Along The Watchtower”.

Contents: ...And the Gods Made Love/Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)/Crosstown Traffic/Voodoo Chile/Little Miss Strange/Long Hot Summer Night/Come On (Part I)/Gypsy Eyes/Burning of the Midnight Lamp/Rainy Day, Dream Away/1983... (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)/Moon, Turn the Tides...Gently Gently Away/Still Raining, Still Dreaming/House Burning Down/All Along the Watchtower/Voodoo Child (Slight Return)

Small Faces, Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake (Immediate) - Released: May 24, 1968

Oh what a joyful record (and sleeve)!  A masterpiece of cockney whimsy and friendly psychedelia.  The concept part that covers the whole second side of the album sounds a bit dated, but it’s still fun if you can stomach the gobbledegook of narrator Stanley Unwin.  Side 1 on the other hand, is a non-stop delight.

Contents: Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake/Afterglow (Of Your Love)/Long Agos and Worlds Apart/Rene/Song of a Baker/Lazy Sunday/Happiness Stan/Rollin’ Over/The Hungry Intruder/The Journey/Mad John/Happy Days Toy Town

Aretha Franklin, Aretha Now (Atlantic) - Released: June 14, 1968

By now Aretha was established as the female voice of soul music, and this, her fourth album for Atlantic Records, is so good you wanna eat it.  Includes the marvellous “Think”.

Contents: Think/I Say a Little Prayer/See Saw/Night Time Is the Right Time/You Send Me/You’re a Sweet Sweet Man/I Take What I Want/Hello Sunshine/A Change/I Can’t See Myself Leaving You

The Byrds, Sweetheart Of The Rodeo (Columbia/CBS) - Released: August 30, 1968

An important release as it was the first country-rock album by a major band.  New member, the legendary Gram Parsons steered them right into the heart of the music, and even if most of his vocals were replaced with Roger McGuinn’s voice (due to legal complications), his heart and soul is still there, shining.

Contents: You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere/I Am a Pilgrim/The Christian Life/You Don’t Miss Your Water/You’re Still on My Mind/Pretty Boy Floyd/Hickory Wind/One Hundred Years from Now/Blue Canadian Rockies/Life in Prison/Nothing Was Delivered

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The album classics of 1968 part 2