The Best Albums of 1969

In the early part of the 60s, Elvis Presley continued to score hits. For most of the 60s, Presley mostly released films. Presley decided to get away from films by 1969; his last #1 song on the charts was Suspicious Minds which was released in 1969. In July 1969, Newsweek magazine ran a feature story, “The Girls-Letting Go,” describing the groundbreaking music of Joni Mitchell, Laura Nyro, Lotti Golden, and Melanie, as a new breed of the female troubadour. Psychedelic rock climaxed in the 1969 Woodstock Festival, which saw performances by most of the major psychedelic acts, but by the end of the decade, psychedelic rock was in retreat. The Jimi Hendrix Experience broke up before the end of the decade and many surviving acts moved away from psychedelia into more back-to-basics “roots rock”, the wider experimentation of progressive rock, or riff-laden heavy rock. Here are all of the 1969 albums ranked.

Don’t miss out on the TIMELESS songs of 1969 below! Click to experience the grit of hard rock!

10. Tommy (The Who)

“This is the album that propelled the Who into legend land, and Pete’s first foray into concept albums. I listen to this vinyl lp and it takes me back to a time when there was just so much great music being made. The story of Tommy ( which everyone knows ) shows the Who becoming a great band, not just top ten 45 rpm act. The music is youthful, but strong, and clearly laid the path for their next four lps-all of which were HOF lps. This is an lp that is a “must have”, then you’ll need Live at Leeds, Who’s Next and Quadrophenia!!”

9. Trout Mask Replica (Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band)

“The classic Beefheart. Every Beefheart collector has this and Beefheart has never disowned this album of course. Sounds at first like the band just walked into the studio, smashed out of their skulls and played whatever was in their mixed up heads; not so. This album on careful listening reflects a stunning vision, meticulous arrangement and weeks of practice. In fact, they walked into the studio and played exactly what they had practiced and precisely what was in Don Van Vliet’s head.”

8. Hot Rats (Frank Zappa)

“Frank Zappa was a musical genius but his music can be difficult for some to get into. Hot Rats was a breakthrough album of rock, jazz, and fusion. This session set is almost all instrumentals and is excellent. Bluesy, jazzy and rocky. Could have done without the board game but overall I’m loving this music.”

See more: Kiss Albums Ranked

7. Five Leaves Left (Nick Drake)

“In a era of ever changing technology it’s nice to have to know LP records are available for the music aficionado. To me Nick Drake’s first LP Five Leaves left-cleverly named to remind a smoker has only five rolling papers left; is a timeless landmark album and one of my personal favorites. The unique original alternate fingerstyle guitar technique, the ethereal otherworldly shadowy lyrics combined with folk, jazz, classical, and blues”

6. The Velvet Underground (The Velvet Underground)

“A much tamer, more accessible album than what the band had previously released. There is no doubt that this is because of the absence of John Cale, the avant-garde leg of the band. It’s amazing that the Velvet Underground are able to almost completely depart from their original, gritty sound and make something so clean without having much of a drop in quality. But, there is a drop in quality, in my opinion, compared to their previous two albums.”

5. Let It Bleed (The Rolling Stones)

“The opening song, Gimme Shelter, a heady concoction of sex and death, starts creepily with Keith’s carefully picked guitar lines but, soon, the rhythm section grooves up a storm and Mick Jagger and Merry Clayton duet, irresistibly drawn together in the face of hellfire and brimstone coming their way. Gimme Shelter is the most electrifying opening track of any album in Rock, taut, muscular, disciplined. It casts a long doomy shadow across the whole album which never quite reaches its incredibly high standard.”

4. Led Zeppelin (Led Zeppelin)

“Led Zeppelin made a name for themselves right off the bat with this awesome debut album. This is without a doubt the best debut album I’ve ever listened to. Every song is great and the gestalt of Plant/Page/Jones/Bonham were already showing the world that Led Zeppelin was going to be one of the greats. Most bands would kill to be this good but Zeppelin was only getting started!”

See more: W.A.S.P. Albums Ranked

3. Led Zeppelin II (Led Zeppelin)

“This album really demonstrates different talent and styles. “The Lemon Song” showcases the blues, while “Thank You” and “What Is And What Should Never Be” allows toneful and soft songs with heavy choruses to sparkle. Jimmy Page shines the most on here, and it really gives you a sense of why people should listen to Zeppelin besides just the “big songs”.

2. In The Court Of The Crimson King (King Crimson)

“King Crimson had serious chops, but the songs and melodies were also great. They used a wide range of instruments and musical styles, from hard rock to jazz. Bob Fripp is one of rock’s finest guitarists, but his playing on the album is tasteful. Robert was known as Bob in 1969. Michael Giles was a great drummer and sounded like nobody else. Greg Lake does a great job as the lead singer and bass player.”

1. Abbey Road (The Beatles)

“Honestly, the greatest album ever made, hands down. There are few albums that can contend in my opinion, because the Beatles truly outdid themselves with this one. From the legendary bass line of the opening rocker ‘Come Together’ to the iconic album medley ending with one of the Beatles’ most poignant lyrics: ‘And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make’. Genius.”