Top 70 Albums of the ’70s

1. The Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd (1973)
Essential Track: “Time”
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2. Led Zeppelin IV, Led Zeppelin (1971)
Essential Track: “Stairway to Heaven”
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3. London Calling, The Clash (1979)
Essential Track: “Train in Vain”
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4. Wish You Were Here, Pink Floyd (1975)
Essential Track: “Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Parts I-V”
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5. The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, David Bowie (1972)
Essential Track: “Starman”
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Top 60 Albums of the ’60s

1. Revolver, The Beatles (1966)
Essential Track: “Tomorrow Never Knows”
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2. Abbey Road, The Beatles (1969)
Essential Track: “Something”
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3. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles (1967)
Essential Track: “A Day in the Life”
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4. The Velvet Underground & Nico, The Velvet Underground (1967)
Essential Track: “Venus in Furs”
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5. The Beatles (The White Album), The Beatles (1968)
Essential Track: “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”
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Six Underrated Albums of 2015

Other Lives, Rituals
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Stillwater, Oklahoma-based atmospheric indie rockers invoke names like Alt-J, Fleet Foxes, and early Radiohead.
 

Ultimate Painting, Green Lanes
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Formed by James of Veronica Falls and Jack of Mazes, this duo crafts simple and true ’60s and ’70s-inspired guitar pop.
 

Ryley Walker, Primrose Green
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An accomplished fingerstyle guitarist/songwriter whose music bridges similarities with Tim Buckley’s, Sandy Bull’s, Davey Graham’s and John Martyn’s.
 

Zun Zun Egui, Shackle’s Gift
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Bristol-based band blending an eclectic mix of genres.
 

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Paper Mâché Dream Balloon
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Freaked-out psychedelic madness by way of Melbourne, Australia.
 

Bop English, Constant Bop
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Colorful retro pop from White Denim frontman James Petralli’s solo project.

EL VY

My dad told me to check these guys out. A quirky musical collaboration between National vocalist/lyricist Matt Berninger and multi-instrumentalist Brent Knopf of Menomena and Ramona Falls.

Love & Mercy

Love-Mercy

“When you listen to Pet Sounds, use earphones in the dark, and you can hear everything.”

Though I’ve long known that Pet Sounds is considered one of the greatest albums ever recorded, it was not until I watched a film called Love & Mercy that I ever gave the record a proper listen.

The movie depicts two eras in the life of the Beach Boys’ musical genie Brian Wilson. The mid-60s version, played by Paul Dano, is a young man overflowing with sonic inspiration, and hints at the shadow that will eventually swallow Wilson for a while. John Cusack plays the man in the 1980s, when he has become zombified by a mad doctor who badly mistreats Wilson’s mental disease.

While both eras of the picture are compelling, it was the sections that focused on the Pet Sounds sessions that intrigued me the most and made me seek out these songs. I now listen to the album on repeat on my long walk to work, letting it’s whimsical melancholy wash over me like a harmonic ocean.

The movie is worth seeing if only to give you a chance to hear life with new ears.