The Best Albums Of 1960

At the beginning of the 1960s, pop and rock and roll trends of the 1950s continued; nevertheless, the rock and roll of the decade before started to merge into a more international, eclectic variant. In the early-1960s, rock and roll in its purest form were gradually overtaken by pop-rock, beat, psychedelic rock, blues rock, and folk-rock, which had grown in popularity. Furthermore, the 1960s saw funk and soul music rising in popularity; rhythm and blues, in general, remained popular. The latter half of 1960s rock music spawned a generation of popular singer-songwriters who wrote and performed their own work. Here are all of the 1960 albums ranked.

Don’t miss out on the music of 1960 below! Click to find out why 1960 is one of the greatest years of rock ever!

10. Portrait In Jazz (Bill Evans Trio)

“Bill Evans epitomizes straight-up good jazz piano. Every note, every second, every piece can make any hardened hearted nonbeliever fall down on a good couch and simply sigh, “I love jazz.” I wholeheartedly recommend this to anybody, this group is made up of the kind of people that inspire you to pick up an instrument. It’s just magic, you know? If you’re familiar with this group’s work and you wanted to purchase an album, or you’re buying this totally blind, you’ll still get a nostalgic feeling from either work you’ve already heard from them, or jazz covers of classic songs that are timeless enough that you most likely recognize one or two of them.”

9. At Newport 1960 (Muddy Waters)

“The unmistakable stirrings of a live audience, along with the announcer prompting Waters, maybe impatiently, with “Muddy, come on,” leads into the introduction of the first song. Waters calls it “a brand new one.” A slide guitar wails, joined by a lonesome sounding harmonica, and the entire band kicks in beautifully with Waters’s distinctive voice cutting through the mix. This first grooving song, with the arguably disturbing title and theme, “I Got My Brand on You,” eases the listener perfectly into a set that becomes increasingly more raucous.”

8. Soul Station (Hank Mobley)

“Hank Mobley was known as one of the best tenor saxophonists during the 1950s and 1960s. He can be heard on many various recordings of the era as a contributing sideman or as a leader. He peaks on this album, which is his very own with a hard bop swing that never fails to thrill hardcore jazz fans! For many, this is considered one of the very best Jazz recordings. A ‘must own’!”

See more: Ray Charles Albums Ranked

7. The Incredible Jazz Guitar Of Wes Montgomery (Wes Montgomery)

“I heard some of Wes Montgomery’s music on a streaming jazz station and decided it would be nice to own my own copy. This three disc set includes some of his early recordings in New York and Los Angeles and it’s really enjoyable. The second disc has some flute on it, which I didn’t care for, but the songs without flute on that disc are great. The first and third discs have a very smooth jazz quartet sound and are all around nice to listen to either at home or while driving. A very nice introduction to Wes Montgomery’s music!”

6. Elvis Is Back! (Elvis Presley)

“Elvis is Back! was the first album Elvis Presley released after his two year stint in the army. Artistically, the album was a triumph on every level. There was new depth to his voice; his interpretations were increasingly sophisticated; the group was probably the best studio band in the business; the song selection was imaginative and varied, the technical quality excellent. Most surprising of all, the new album pointed in no one musical direction.”

5. Joan Baez (Joan Baez)

“No one lit a brighter candle to illuminate the sixties folk scene than Joan Baez, the original Madonna of Folk. While this album was released after she was a well-established force in contemporary music, it serves as a reminder of the breadth and depth of her vocal and musical gifts. From the opening “Be Not Too Hard”, a reworking of fellow folksinger Donovan Leitch’s song about the nature of human frailties and our common suffering, a somber and serious mood prevails.”

4. Blues & Roots (Charles Mingus)

“This album is similar in feeling to the great “Mingus Ah Um.” Overall, it highlights Mingus’ blues/gospel influences. “Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting,” (5:39) for example, in the tradition of songs like “Better Git It Into Your Soul”(“Mingus Ah Um”) and “Slop (“Mingus Dynasty”).” Unfortunately, this driving piece is flawed by (the otherwise-excellent) Horace Parlan repetitive piano–for a few seconds it seemed like the CD was stuck. The song is rooted in a deep mix of trombone (Willie Dennis), tenor sax (the amazing Booker Ervin), and bass, and punctuated by Mingus’ trademark shouts.”

See more: Muddy Waters Albums Ranked

3. At Last! (Etta James)

“This is classic Etta James with such songs as At Last, If I Can’t Have You and Stormy Weather. I love the “Best of” CD’s like this one because every song is a gem and this is no exception. Her voice is powerful and raw and will reach right into your soul. This is a great album to listen to on the iPod while taking a walk on a Sunday afternoon or to listen to on the stereo at home over a romantic Saturday night dinner.”

2. Sketches Of Spain (Miles Davis)

“Sketches of Spain is perhaps one of the absolute best collaborations between Miles Davis and Gil Evans. The lush orchestration is juxtaposed with Miles’ sublime playing bringing out the desperation in the music, the laughter, and the folk dance nature – all at appropriate times. The range of sound and the depth of playing is among Miles Davis’ best work. This is also the record to play for people who blurt out “I don’t like jazz”. Sit them down, and drop the needle on this wax, and they might reconsider what jazz can be for them.”

1. Giant Steps (John Coltrane)

“Giant Steps is an unbelievable and musically head popping experience. Every track shows Coltrane at his finest plowing through ridiculously difficult passages and beautifully constructed melodies. Every track is staggering, but ‘Giant Steps’, ‘Syeeda’s Song Flute’, and ‘Spiral’ are unforgettable. A must-have for any jazz listener.”