Search Results : (JAZZ)

Feb 062018
 

A selection of more than one thousand albums/recordings I consider essential, from 1923 to the present. Click the decade link to view the whole decade in one page or click the single year.

New! View it in Google Sheets.

The lists:

Notes about the lists:

  • This is a work in progress.
  • The lists are focused on rock music, including roots and derivative genres. So they cover other genres as well, even if not extensively, in those cases where the content is considered influential for rock music.
  • The first section (Early blues, jazz, folk and rock ‘n’ roll) includes mostly compilations. The other lists include albums only, although there are few exceptions.
  • They include 10 main albums per year (at least starting from 1964) plus a variable number of notable albums listed after (I’m more “generous” in the last decade). The release date is reported between the parenthesis and the albums are sorted by that date, unless specification indicates otherwise.
  • Straight blues is covered more extensively here: Blues recordings selection.
  • The following acronyms are used to identify some minority genres or nationalities:

Album covers selected from the lists above, one for each year:

 

Dec 102017
 

Rank order:

  1. Bell Witch – Mirror Reaper (October 20)(DOOM)
  2. Ryuichi Sakamoto – Async (April 28)
  3. Fen – Winter (March 10)(BM)
  4. Wolves in the Throne Room – Thrice Woven (September 22)(BM)
  5. Drudkh / Paysage d’Hiver – Somewhere Sadness Wanders (August 25)(BM)
  6. Rosalía – Los Ángeles (February 10)(FLAMENCO)
  7. Chelsea Wolfe – Hiss Spoon (September 22)
  8. Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Luciferian Towers (September 22)
  9. Ulver – The Assassination of Julius Caesar (April 7)
  10. Auðn – Farvegir Fyrndar (November 10)(BM)

Others, release date order:

  • The xx – I See You (January 13)
  • Piano Magic – Closure (January 20)
  • Moon Duo – Occult Architecture Vol 1 (February 3)
  • Tinariwen – Elwan (February 10)(AFRICA)
  • Lawrence English – Cruel Optimism (February 17)(AMBIENT)
  • Grails – Chalice Hymnal (February 17)
  • Dool – Here Now, There Then (February 17)
  • Vagabon – Infinite Worlds (February 24)
  • The Brian Jonestown Massacre – Don’t Get Lost (February 24)
  • Jay Som – Everybody Works (March 10)
  • Planning For Burial – Below The House (March 10)
  • Yasmine Hamdan – Al Jamilat (March 17)(LEBANON)
  • Mount Eerie – A Crow Looked at Me (March 24)
  • Falls of Rauros – Vigilance Perennial (March 31)(BM)
  • Robyn Hitchcock – Robyn Hitchcock (April 21)
  • The Black Angels – Death Song  (April 22)
  • Mark Lanegan Band – Gargoyle (April 28)
  • Flowers Must Die – Kompost (April 28)
  • Slowdive – Slowdive (May 5)
  • Perfume Genius – No Shape (May 5)
  • Hampshire & Foat – Galaxies Like Grains of Sand (May 26)(JAZZ)
  • Big Thief – Capacity (June 9)
  • Flotation Toy Warning – The Machine That Made Us (June 16)
  • Offa Rex – The Queen of Hearts (July 7)(BRITISH)
  • Lana Del Rey – Lust For Life (July 21)
  • Oh Sees – Orc (August 25)
  • Der Weg Einer Freiheit – Finisterre (August 25)(BM)
  • LCD Soundsystem – American Dream (September 1)
  • The Dream Syndicate – How Did I Find Myself Here? (September 8)
  • Gregg Allman – Southern Blood (September 8)
  • The National – Sleep Well Beast (September 8)
  • Motorpsycho – The Tower (September 8)
  • Myrkur – Mareridt (September 15)(BM)
  • The Horrors – V (September 22)
  • UUUU – s/t (October 6)
  • Yellow Eyes – Immersion Trench Reverie (October 20)(BM)
  • Julien Baker – Turn Out the Lights (October 27)
  • Converge – The Dusk in Us (November 3)
  • Charlotte Gainsbourg – Rest (November 17)(FRANCE)

Reissues/Compilations:

  • Radiohead – OK Computer OKNOTOK 1997 2017 (Compilation, June 23)

EPs:

  • VANUM – Burning Arrow (EP, April 1)(BM)
  • Oranssi Pazuzu – Kevät / Värimyrsky (EP, April 12)(BM)

« Best albums of 2016
» Best albums of 2018

Sep 212017
 

Essential list of early influential recordings, mostly compilations, sorted approximately by recording date:

  • [recordings 1923-] Bessie Smith – The Essential Bessie Smith (Compilation, Columbia/Legacy, 1997)(BLUES)
  • [recordings 1927-] Blind Willie Johnson – Dark Was the Night (Compilation, Columbia/Legacy, 1998)(BLUES)
  • [recordings 1927-] Blind Lemon Jefferson – The Best of Blind Lemon Jefferson (Compilation, Yazoo, 2000)(BLUES)
  • [recordings 1928-] Mississippi John Hurt – Avalon Blues: The Complete 1928 Okeh Recordings (Compilation, Columbia/Legacy, 1996)(BLUES)
  • [recordings 1929-] Charley Patton – Founder of the Delta Blues (Compilation, Yazoo, 1969)(BLUES)
  • [recordings 1930-] Son House – Complete Recorded Works of Son House & the Great Delta Blues Singers (Compilation, Document, 1990)(BLUES)
  • [recordings 1931-] Skip James – I’d Rather Be the Devil: The Legendary 1931 Session (Compilation, Rev-Ola Records, 2007)(BLUES)
  • [recordings 1933-] Billie Holiday – The Ultimate Collection (Compilation, Hip-O, 2005)(JAZZ)
  • [recordings 1935-] Billie Holiday – Lady Day: The Master Takes and Singles (Compilation, Columbia/Legacy, 2007)(JAZZ)
  • [recordings 1934-] Lead Belly – King of the 12-String Guitar (Compilation, Columbia/Legacy, 1991)(BLUES)
  • [recordings 1935-] The Carter Family – Can the Circle Be Unbroken?: Country Music’s First Family (Compilation, Columbia/Legacy, 2000)(FOLK)
  • [recordings 1936-] Robert Johnson – King of the Delta Blues: The Complete Recordings (Compilation, Columbia/Legacy, 1997)(BLUES)
  • [recordings 1937-] Bukka White – The Complete Bukka White (Compilation, Columbia/Legacy,1994)(BLUES)
  • [recordings 1938-] Sister Rosetta Tharpe – Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 1 [1938-1941] (Compilation, Document, 1996)(BLUES)
  • [recordings 1938-] Louis Armstrong – The Definitive Collection (Compilation, Hip-O/Verve,2006)(JAZZ)
  • [recordings 1940-] Woody Guthrie – Dust Bowl Ballads (Compilation, Buddha Records, 2000)(FOLK)
  • [recordings 1944-] Woody Guthrie – This Land Is Your Land: The Asch Recordings, Vol. 1 (Compilation, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, 1997)(FOLK)
  • [recordings 1944-] Charlie Parker – The Complete Savoy and Dial Studio Recordings 1944-1948 (Compilation, Atlantic, 2000)(JAZZ)
  • [recordings 1945-] Bill Monroe – The Essential Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys [1945-1949] (Compilation, Columbia/Legacy, 1996)(FOLK)
  • [recordings 1947-] Hank Williams – 40 Greatest Hits (Compilation, Polydor/Mercury, 1978)(FOLK)
  • [recordings 1947-] Muddy Waters – His Best, 1947 to 1955 (Compilation, MCA/Chess, 1997)(BLUES)
  • [recordings 1947-] Lightnin’ Hopkins – Gold Star Sessions, Vol. 1 & 2 (Compilation, Arhoolie, 1990)(BLUES)
  • [recordings 1947-] Django Reinhardt – Peche à la Mouche (Compilation, Verve Reissues, 1992)(JAZZ)
  • [recordings 1948-] John Lee Hooker – The Definitive Collection (Compilation, Hip-O, 2006)(BLUES)
  • [recordings 1949-] B.B. King – Original Greatest Hits (Compilation, Virgin, 2005)(BLUES)
  • [recordings 1951-] Elmore James – The Sky Is Crying: The History of Elmore James (Compilation, Rhino, 1993)(BLUES)
  • [recordings 1951-] Howlin’ Wolf – His Best: The Chess 50th Anniversary Collection (Compilation, MCA/Chess, 1997)(BLUES)
  • [recordings 1951-] Ray Charles – The Best of Ray Charles: The Atlantic Years (Compilation, Rhino, 1994)(BLUES)
  • [recordings 1951-] Willie Dixon – The Chess Box (Compilation, MCA/Chess, 1989)(BLUES)
  • [recordings 1953-] Elvis Presley – Sunrise (Compilation, RCA, February 9, 1999)
  • [recordings 1954-] Elvis Presley – Elvis Presley (Album, March 23, 1956)
  • [recordings 1954-] Bill Haley – 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Bill Haley & His Comets (Compilation, MCA, 1999)
  • [recordings 1955-] Eddie Cochran – Somethin’ Else: The Fine Lookin’ Hits of Eddie Cochran (Compilation, Razor & Tie, 1998)
  • [recordings 1955-] Carl Perkins – Original Sun Greatest Hits (Compilation, Rhino/Warner Bros, 1986)
  • [recordings 1955-] Little Richard – The Very Best of Little Richard (Compilation, Fantasy/Specialty Records/Universal, 2008)
  • [recordings 1955-] Chuck Berry – The Definitive Collection (Compilation, Geffen/Chess, 2006)
  • [recordings 1955-] Bo Diddley – The Definitive Collection (Compilation, Geffen/Chess, 2007)
  • [recordings 1955-] Johnny Cash – The Sun Years (Compilation, Rhino, 1990)(FOLK)
  • [recordings 1956-] Buddy Holly – The Definitive Collection (Compilation, Geffen/Decca, 2006)
  • [recordings 1956-] Jerry Lee Lewis – Original Sun Singles ’56-’60 (Compilation, Sundazed, 2009)
  • [recordings 1956 ] Charles Mingus – Pithecanthropus Erectus (Album, Atlantic Records, July 1956)(JAZZ)
  • [recordings 1957 ] The Crickets – The “Chirping” Crickets (Album, Brunswick, November 27, 1957)
  • [recordings 1957 ] John Coltrane – Blue Train (Album, Blue Note, 1958)(JAZZ)
  • [recordings 1958-] Link Wray – Rumble! The Best of Link Wray (Compilation, Rhino, 1993)
  • [recordings 1959 ] Miles Davis – Kind of Blue (Album, Columbia, August 17, 1959)(JAZZ)
  • [recordings 1959 ] Ornette Coleman – The Shape of Jazz To Come (Album, Atlantic, October 1959)(JAZZ)
  • [recordings 1960-] The Shadows – Shadows Are Go! (Compilation, Scamp, 1996)
  • [recordings 1960-] The Ventures – Walk Don’t Run : The Best of the Ventures (Compilation, EMI Music Distribution, 1990)
  • [recordings 1961-] Roscoe Holcomb – An Untamed Sense of Control (Compilation, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, 2003)(FOLK)

» Best albums of 1960

Feb 072016
 

Release date order:

  1. Peter Hammill – The Silent Corner and the Empty Stage (February 8)
  2. Big Star – Radio City (February)
  3. Henry Cow – Unrest (May)
  4. Neil Young – On The Beach (July 16)
  5. Robert Wyatt – Rock Bottom (July 26)
  6. Jackson Browne – Late For The Sky (September 13)
  7. King Crimson – Red (October 6)
  8. Gong – You (October)
  9. Kraftwerk – Autobahn (November 1)(ELECTRONIC)
  10. Popol Vuh – Einsjaeger & Siebenjaeger (?)

Others:

  • Tangerine Dream – Phaedra (February 20)(ELECTRONIC)
  • Lou Reed – Rock ‘n’ Roll Animal (February)
  • King Crimson – Starless and Bible Black (March 29)
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd – Second Helping (April 15)
  • Brian Eno – Taking Tiger Mountain [By Strategy] (November)
  • Genesis – The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (November 18)
  • Norman Blake – Fields of November (?)(FOLK)

Released posthumously:

  • John Coltrane – Interstellar Space (September; recorded: February 22, 1967)(JAZZ)

« Best albums of 1973
» Best albums of 1975

Feb 062016
 

Release date order:

  1. Syd Barrett – The Madcap Laughs (January 3)
  2. Miles Davis – Bitches Brew (March 30)(JAZZ)
  3. Tim Buckley – Lorca (May)
  4. Soft Machine – Third (June 6)
  5. Creedence Clearwater Revival – Cosmo’s Factory (July 25)
  6. Neil Young – After The Goldrush (August 31)
  7. Kevin Ayers – Shooting At The Moon (October)
  8. Paul Kantner / Jefferson Starship – Blows Against The Empire (November)
  9. Nico – Desert Shore (December)
  10. High Tide – High Tide (?)

Others:

  • Van Morrison – Moondance (January 27)
  • Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath (February 13)
  • Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – Déjà Vu (March 11)
  • King Crimson – In the Wake of Poseidon (May 15)
  • Grateful Dead – Workingman’s Dead (June 14)
  • The Pretty Things – Parachute (June)
  • Deep Purple – In Rock (July 3)
  • The Stooges – Fun House (July 7)
  • Traffic – John Barleycorn Must Die (July)
  • Fairport Convention – Full House (July)(BRITISH)
  • Black Sabbath – Paranoid (September 18)
  • Pink Floyd – Atom Heart Mother (October 2)
  • Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin III (October 5)
  • Grateful Dead – American Beauty (November 1)
  • Tim Buckley – Starsailor (November 2)
  • Syd Barrett – Barrett (November 14)
  • Pentangle – Cruel Sister (November)(BRITISH)
  • Spirit – Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus (November)
  • Robert Wyatt – The End of an Ear (December 4)
  • King Crimson – Lizard (December 11)
  • Van Der Graaf Generator – H to He, Who Am the Only One (December)
  • Peter Green – The End of the Game (December)
  • Johnny Shines – Standing at the Crossroads (?)(BLUES)
  • Popol Vuh – Affenstunde (?)
  • Amon Duul II – Yeti (?)
  • Willie Colón – Cosa Nuestra (?)(LATIN)

« Best albums of 1969
» Best albums of 1971

Feb 052016
 

Release date order:

  1. John Coltrane – Ascension (February)(JAZZ)
  2. The Rolling Stones – Aftermath (April 15)
  3. Bob Dylan – Blonde On Blonde (May 16)
  4. Frank Zappa – Freak Out! (June 27)
  5. The Byrds – Fifth Dimension (July 18)
  6. The Beatles – Revolver (August 5)
  7. Donovan – Sunshine Superman (August 26)
  8. The 13th Floor Elevators – The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators (October 17)
  9. Love – Da Capo (November)
  10. Ennio Morricone – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (?)(ITALIA)

Others:

  • The Fugs – The Fugs (March)
  • Love – Love (March)
  • The Seeds – The Seeds (April)
  • Paul Revere & the Raiders – Midnight Ride (May 6)
  • The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds (May 16)
  • Yardbirds – Roger the Engineer (July 15)
  • John Mayall – Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton (July 22)(BLUES)
  • The Kinks – Face to Face (October 28)
  • Count Five – Psychotic Reaction (October)
  • Blues Magoos – Psychedelic Lollipop (November)
  • Cream – Fresh Cream (December 9)
  • The Music Machine – (Turn On) The Music Machine (December 31)
  • Doc Watson – Southbound (?)(FOLK)

« Best albums of 1965
» Best albums of 1967

Feb 052016
 

Release date order:

  1. John Coltrane – A Love Supreme (February)(JAZZ)
  2. Bob Dylan – Bringing It All Back Home (March 22)
  3. Sonics – Here Are The Sonics (March)
  4. The Byrds – Mr. Tambourine Man (June 21)
  5. Bob Dylan – Highway 61 Revisited (August 30)
  6. Donovan – Fairy Tale (October 22)
  7. The Paul Butterfield Blues Band – The Paul Butterfield Blues Band (October)(BLUES)
  8. The Who – My Generation (December 3)
  9. The Beatles – Rubber Soul (December 3)
  10. The Byrds – Turn! Turn! Turn! (December 6)

Others:

  • Them – The Angry Young Them (June 11)
  • The Beatles – Help! (August 6)
  • Otis Redding – Otis Blue/Otis Redding Sings Soul (September 15)
  • B.B. King – Live At The Regal (?)(BLUES)

« Best albums of 1964
» Best albums of 1966

Feb 032016
 

Release date order:

  1. Bob Dylan – The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (May 27)(FOLK)
  2. James Brown – Live at the Apollo (May)
  3. Kenny Burrell – Midnight Blue (May)(JAZZ)
  4. Dick Dale and his Del-Tones – King of the Surf Guitar (June)
  5. The Trashmen – Surfin’ Bird (November 13)
  6. Charles Mingus – The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady (?)(JAZZ)

« Best albums of 1962
» Best albums of 1964

Feb 022016
 

Release date order:

  1. Bob Dylan – Bob Dylan (March 19)(FOLK)
  2. Ray Charles – Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music (April 1)
  3. Scrapper Blackwell – Mr. Scrapper’s Blues (September)(BLUES)
  4. The Beach Boys – Surfin’ Safari (October 29)
  5. Dick Dale and his Del-Tones – Surfers’ Choice (?)
  6. Charles Mingus – Tijuana Moods (?)(JAZZ)
  7. John Lee Hooker – Burnin’ (?)(BLUES)

« Best albums of 1961
» Best albums of 1963