Turntable Talk Round 8 Those Were The Days My Friends — Best Year of All Time for Music?

round 8 rolling stones 1965

Dave has come up with creative ideas for posts on and around music, some easier to write about than others. This time he has given us the challenge to come up with what we each think was the best year for music. If that isn’t a tall order that runs the risk of being also chosen by someone else, especially if you know who those others’ favorite musicians are, I don’t know what is. The biggest challenge for me was trying to figure out a process to go through mass quantities of possibilities for songs over all time. I quickly realized that just wasn’t possible. Instead I set some parameters for myself and chose them within my parameters. Of course zillions of choices were excluded by the limits, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.

My first parameter was to focus only on the rock and roll genre, using that term loosely.

My second parameter was to choose a finite number of my favorite musical groups or individuals. As time is the great arbiter of all, those were limited to, in no order of preference:
The Kinks
The Beatles
The Rolling Stones
Led Zeppelin
R.E.M.
U2
Joni Mitchell
Pearl Jam
Jethro Tull
George Harrison

The last parameter was years, which I limited to between 1964 and 1990. What I did then was go through the studio discographies of each of them and put check marks in each column for each group/person if they had an album that year. Sadly, although Pearl Jam is one of my favorite groups of all time, their first album wasn’t released until 1991. This excluded them from consideration. The albums each group had in 1991 and beyond varied, with top 3 in quantity being Pearl Jam at 11, REM at 9, U2 at 8.

round 8 beatles 1965

Adding up all years for all albums within the group and year parameters, 3 years tied for the most, at 9: 1964, 1965, and 1969. As the audiophile readers undoubtedly know, 3 groups skewed the numbers for those years: The Kinks, The Beatles, and The Rolling Stones, with The Beatles being the main culprits for 1964 with 6 studio albums! 1965 had a more even distribution with those three groups: Kinks (2,) Beatles (3,) and Stones (4.)

Because of that more even distribution, I’m going to say 1965 was the best year for music. Taking a gander at the songs from those albums, my favorites:

Kinks – Tired of Waiting for You, Dancing in the Streets, Where Have all the Good Times Gone

Beatles – In My Life, I Need You, I’ve Just Seen a Face,

The Rolling Stones – What a Shame, Heart of Stone, Off the Hook

round 8 kinks 1965

I got to my choice for best year for music in a semi-scientific way and based that choice on three of my favorite groups. None of my other favorite groups had albums released in those years. Just to add a little oomph of support for the year, I looked at playbackfm for their top 100 songs of 1965 and was not too surprised to see so many Stones, Beatles, and Kinks tunes, with some not on the albums released that year:
I Can’t Get No Satisfaction
Help!
Yesterday
Ticket to Ride
Get Off my Cloud
The Last Time
Day Tripper
Rock n Roll Music
Eight Days a Week
A Well Respected Man

You can check out the list at that link and lists for several other years if you would like to. From that hundred, my supporting evidence that 1965 was THE BEST includes (and you will be amazed at how many great tunes came out of this year):
In the Midnight Hour by Wilson Pickett
Unchained Melody by Righteous Brothers
Downtown by Petula Clark
Wooly Bully by Sam the Sham & The Pharoahs
Mr. Tambourine Man by The Byrds
Like a Rolling Stone by Bob Dylan
My Girl by The Temptations
Turn, Turn, Turn by The Byrds
Goldfinger by Shirley Bassey
For Your Love by The Yardbirds
California Girls by The Beach Boys
I Got You by James Brown
The Tracks of My Tears by The Miracles
We Gotta Get Outta This Place by The Animals
Positively Fourth Street by Bob Dylan
I Hear a Symphony by The Supremes
Gloria by Them
It’s My Life by The Animals

In conclusion, I’d like to thank Dave for the challenge he gave each of us. Going through it, I realize there is no real contest about which year is the best. It is more about the process of how we each chose how we chose and why. I look forward to reading each of your posts because I want to see what your process was in choosing. For anyone who also chose 1965: you’ve got great taste!

images links:
Rolling Stones
The Beatles
The Kinks

First published on Dave’s blog, A Sound Day.

16 Comments Add yours

  1. Badfinger (Max) says:

    Lisa…I had 1965, 1966, and 1967 written up…I couldn’t decide so….I went with 1968 lol. 1965 was probably the best year of the 60s….the mod thing and swinging London at full bloom.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I can’t remember, where you a Cub Scout or Boy Scout as a youngster? You like to be prepared 🙂 Thanks, Max!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Badfinger (Max) says:

        LOL… no I can never make up my mind! I ended up going back through and redoing it.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Paula Light says:

    Hard to argue with that!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I like your methodical approach, Lisa. It really is an almost impossible task to tackle. And at the end of the day, no matter what selection criteria you use, it’s still pretty subjective. That said, I think you picked an outstanding year. And you’re right, once you look at the songs you listed you do realize how much great music there was in 1965. Some of my all-time favorites you listed include “The Last Time” (Stones), “Day Tripper” (Beatles), “A Well Respected Man” (Kinks), “In the Midnight Hour” (Wilson Pickett), “Mr. Tambourine Man” (Byrds), “Like a Rolling Stone” (Dylan), “Gloria” (Them) and “It’s My Life (Animals). I also think it’s cool we haven’t seen overlap thus far! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks much, Christian, for your comment and yes it is amazing no overlap so far.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Really goes to show how amazing that music period between the mid-60s and mid-70s was.

        In my case, I had concluded 10 years ago or so that 1969 was my favorite year. At the time, I was making playlists in iTunes of different decades. At some point, I noticed how many 60s songs I dig actually came out in 1969.

        But looking at your list, it’s pretty much just as great!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          Christian, you’re an organized person to arrange your music that way. I still haven’t gotten on the iTunes bandwagon and have barely dipped a toe into Spotify. Hard copies are preferred and those are stored alphabetically. The library copies on my c drive are also (by band.)

          Liked by 1 person

  4. 1965 was a great year for music! It is interesting how you came up with your year. I am not sure I could limit it to a specific genre. Having a year with a variety was key to me. I almost went VERY early and at the same time almost went into the 80’s. However, one year kept coming back around …. Watch for mine soon.

    Good write up with some great songs!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks, Keith. I look forward to your post to learn about your process of choosing across times and genres. For me it would be a very long and tortuous process to do a proper study, but with the subjective nature of music and the vast quantity I’m really not sure it is possible.

      Like

  5. memadtwo says:

    I’ve just been listening to Revolver and Rubber Soul. It puts to shame, frankly, the music being made now. Nothing I’ve heard in years gets my blood flowing the same way. It was true of all the music of the time (don’t forget Motown!! they were as important to me as anyone in the 60s). It was also great for dancing. We could use more dancing right now. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      ❤ Love your comment, Kerfe. Those years shine as beacons of quality. The decades of the 60s, 70s, 80s, and even the 90s, thank goodness they exist.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. memadtwo says:

        Yes, thank goodness.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I like the process you used to get to your decision and your conclusion about having been set the challenge. 👍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Brit 🙂

      Like

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