These Classic Albums Are Now 50 Years Old
The year 1966 was a big one for classic albums, everything from Frank Sinatra and Otis Redding to The Monks and The Mamas and The Papas. Being 50 years old, these albums still stand the test of time, even if the people who wrote them have trouble standing in general.
Beach Boys – “Pet Sounds”
Release Date: May 16
Of all the greatest summer records ever, the eleventh studio Beach Boys album came in the spring of ’66. Put out the same year as their “best of” album, “Pet Sounds” plays like a greatest hits on its own. Its title track was written as a possible James Bond theme song, but lead-off song, “Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” rolls the feel-good vibe into “God Only Knows,” written in under an hour.
The Beatles – “Revolver”
Release Date: August 8
The seventh studio album from The Beatles was released the same year as “Yesterday and Today” back when great bands put out multiple records in a year, and they were better than the crap that comes out now every four years. Classics “Eleanor Rigby,” “Yellow Submarine” and “Here, There and Everywhere,” which McCartney wrote while waiting for Lennon to get out of bed, coat the album track list, which stands in most music lovers’ minds as one of the best Beatles records of all.
Bob Dylan – “Blonde on Blonde”
Release Date: May 16
A few years into his career, Dylan released his seventh studio album, including the greatest hits, “Rainy Day Women” and “Just Like a Woman.” Landing in the spring, “Blonde on Blonde” was a suitable follow-up to 1965’s hit album, “Highway 61 Revisited,” a music-listen for anyone with ears.
The Rolling Stones – “Aftermath”
Release Date: April 15
The sixth studio record from Mick and the boys, the same year “Got Live If You Want It,” their first live album came out, the boys gave us the “Aftermath.” Featuring hits like “Mothers Little Helper” and “Under My Thumb,” the record can boast being one of the classic Stones albums, not a far cry from “Let It Bleed.”
The Kinks – “Face to Face”
Release Date: October 28
Considered one of the first concept records, “Face to Face” was the fourth Kinks album, dropping in the fall of ’66. “Sunny Afternoon,” “Dandy” and “Party Line” were at the top of the list, as Ray Davies had a nervous breakdown right before the album was released. The album is revered to this day as an experimental style that would take over the rock ‘n’ roll music-sphere.
The Who – “A Quick One”
Release Date: December 3
A sophomore release for the “Happy Jack” Brits, “A Quick One” was an aptly-named 10-song winter album with “Boris the Spider.” The album was also released under the name “Happy Jack” in America with the same-titled single topping the charts.
The Animals – “Animalisms”
Release Date: June
The Animals third album, which came the same year as “Animalization,” the American release with a similar track list that came out shortly after. “Don’t Bring Me Down” and “I Put a Spell on You” are the stand-out hits, giving us that classic Animals sound in a classic album.
Simon & Garfunkel – “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme”
Release Date: October 10
Widely considered the breakthrough album for the folky twosome, the herb-infused release was their third together. Comprising mostly Paul Simon solo acoustic songs, including “Homeward Bound,” a big hit that was written during the recording of “Sounds of Silence,” their previous release. That, along with “Danglin’ Conversation” and a number of other relaxing tracks fill the record from start to stop (then flip, and start to stop again). That was a vinyl reference, you spoiled music streamers.
The Byrds – “Fifth Dimension”
Release Date: July 18
The American folk band went experimental psychedelic with their third release, giving people the “byrd” and a different sound altogether. Those who could handle their steez enjoyed the early singles “5D” and “Eight Miles High,” along with the late third single, “Mr. Spaceman.”
The Yardbirds – “Roger the Engineer”
Release Date: July 15
Reportedly the only Yardbirds album with all original material on it, landing right after Eric Clapton departed, “Roger the Engineer” became one of the summer sounds of ’66 in a big way. The title, based on a drawing done by band member Chris Dreja of their audio engineer, became known as one of the top 500 albums of all time, as well as an album everyone must hear before they die. That same year, “Blues Breakers With Eric Clapton” was released, another 50-year-old gem of the audible world.