The 25 Best Albums of the 60s
Psychedelia, Tropicalia, free jazz, rock, elbow music, and more!
More than any other decade the 60s canon is a hardened consensus: Dylan, Beatles, Stones, with maybe a Van Morrison or Marvin Gaye thrown in.
I like all those artists too, but their hyper-dominance tends to flatten out and homogenize a lot of the gloriously weird and heterogenous music made between 1960 and 1969. In this list I’ve tried to recapture some of that diversity, whether of genre, geography, or gems forgotten.
Serge Gainsbourg and Bridget Bardot (1968)
Serge Gainsbourg and Bridget Bardot
Slouching rumpled sex symbol Gainsbourg and bombshell sex symbol Bardot team up for an album of hyper hip/cutesy decadent cabaret pop rock. The ominously breathy title track, all erotic murder and weird yips, remains the standout. But there are plenty of other great moments, from Bardot’s “Zip! Bam!” ejaculations on “Comic Strip” to Gainsbourg’s lascivious Lugosi melodramatic emoting over organ vamp on “Intoxicated Man”. The whole album is fragrant with campy cracked sensuality. Even corn sounds cool when you make it clear you’re DTF.
BBC Radiophonic Music (1968)
A collection of themes and incidental music for BBC radio, composed by stalwarts John Baker, David Cain and Delia Derbyshire, this album is ground zero for the disturbingly bland electro soundtrack of our mysterious future past dystopia. Ominous blips, boings, clanks, whistles, clicks, shrieks, and drones chase ambient ear wash around cloying holiday cheer, till you feel you are trapped forever in a spaceship that has absorbed a mall built like an aquarium. You could say it’s so bad it’s good, or so good it’s bad, or so normal alien normal alien it has turned bad and good binary into fruity wallpaper for your gently humming brain.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Everything Is Horrible to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.