1969 Classic Rock Reviews
1969 Music
1969 may have been the peak year for rock and roll.

We featured albums from the year 1969 during January and February 2014. During this 45th anniversary celebration of this music, we have written original reviews these albums:

* 1969 Album of the Year
+ Multiple Album Review

Below are further descriptions of each album, in the order that we reviewed them.

January 3, 2014
Blind FaithBlind Faith was one of the very first “super groups”, forged out of the breakups of Cream and Traffic. Together for less than a year, the group released only one eponymous album, but this captured lightning in a bottle by aptly displayed the immense talents of the members of this quartet which seemed to effortlessly jive together as a group.

Review of Blind Faith

January 8, 2014
Led Zeppelin I and Led Zeppelin II double album reviewLed Zeppelin arrived like very few groups, with their incredible output during 1969. The group embarked on eight tours between the releases of Led Zeppelin I and Led Zeppelin II, two albums which helped forge the direction of hard rock for decades afterward and are still absolute classics 45 years later.

Review of Led Zeppelin I & Led Zeppelin II

January 12, 2014
The Soft Parade by The DoorsIn the midst of a controversial year, The Doors released their fourth album The Soft Parade, which contained a radically different sound for the band. But when you remove all the fog surrounding it, the album is a diverse, entertaining, and totally unique album of a great American band at a musical crossroads.

Review of The Soft Parade

January 16, 2014
Chicago Transit Authority 1969 albumChicago used their short-lived name for their double-length 1969 debut album, Chicago Transit Authority. From the inception, the seven member group fused brass, jazz, soul, and blues-based rock and roll and, with three lead vocalists and composers, the group’s sound was a s diverse as their influences.

Review of Chicago Transit Authority

January 20, 2014
Tommy by The WhoMusically, Tommy by The Who includes many throwbacks to classical opera. The album starts with a broad overture that includes themes that will appear later in the album, a staple of opera that dates back to at least the 17th century. However, the Who were the band that brought it into 20th century progressive rock.

Review of Tommy

January 24, 2014
Creedence Clearwater Revival 1969 albumsFor the first (and most likely only) time, Classic Rock Review has done a triple album review. The three albums are Bayou Country, Green River, and Willie and the Poor Boys, all of which were released during the year 1969 by Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Review of Bayou Country, Green River, and Willie and the Poor Boys

January 28, 2014
Let It Bleed by The Rolling StonesLet It Bleed finished the decade of the 1960s with a mostly solid blues/rock effort by The Rolling Stones. Released a few months after the group had lost their original leader and musical visionary Brian Jones, the album is a true transitional work which divides the early and later periods of the band’s most productive years.

Review of Let It Bleed

January 31, 2014
The Band 1969 albumWith a second strong album, The Band came into their own as a viable, independent group, with their self-title 1969 album, The Band. The blend of rural Americana and urban-centric rock really struck a chord with listeners as the mature musicians who began their musical journey in the 1950s found broad appeal in the post-psychedelic era.

Review of The Band

February 3, 2014
Crosby, Stills and NashCrosby, Stills, & Nash was formed from a trio of vocalists / guitarists who each came from successful 1960s pop/rock acts. Their debut album Crosby, Stills, & Nash became an extremely influential album that rippled through the music scene of the following decade.

Review of Crosby, Stills, & Nash

February 6, 2014
Stand Up by Jethro TullWith their second LP Stand Up in 1969, Jethro Tull began to move away from the straight-forward blues rock of their earliest years and towards a more progressive jazz-fusion sound. Led by the ever-present flute of group leader Ian Anderson, this sound would serve to define the group through their heyday of the 1970s.

Review of Stand Up

February 10, 2014
Aoxomoxoa by The Grateful DeadAs the third studio album by Grateful Dead, Aoxomoxoa is dominated by guitarist and vocalist Jerry Garcia. The album also bridges the gap between the psychedelic sounds of their earlier material and the more Americana based music of the Grateful Dead in the early 1970s.

Review of Aoxomoxoa

February 14, 2014
The  Allman Brothers Band debut albumA superb debut, the 1969 self-titled album by the Allman Brothers Band captures the newly formed group at the accelerant stage with a potent fusion of blues, jazz, and rock. Further, the album itself seems to grow as it progresses, building from the simple to the complex, and leaving the listener wanting from more.

Review of The Allman Brothers Band

February 17, 2014
Arthur (or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire) by The KinksOriginally developed to accompany a British television production, The Kinks 1969 concept album Arthur (or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire) may have been their finest overall output during the 1960s, a decade in which they did much to define musically.

Review of Arthur (or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire)

February 20, 2014
In the Court of the Crimson King by King CrimsonSeldom does a band release a debut album as critically and financially successful as In the Court of the Crimson King, an Observation by King Crimson. Released in the winter of 1969, the album is filled with echoes of the darkest parts of the decade of the 1960s and may be the first truly progressive rock album.

Review of In the Court of the Crimson King

February 25, 2014
Yer Album by James GangThe debut album by the James Gang seems to be at once frivolous and genius. While Yer Album contains some annoying filler with bad humor, it also contains unabashed rock jams and insightful compositions, while setting the plate for a brief but potent career for this power trio.

Review of Yer Album

March 4, 2014
Abbey Road by The Beatles, 1969 Album of the Year
1969 was an extraordinary year for music, so choosing our Album of the Year was more difficult than in most cases. But when you consider that it is the finest work by The Beatles, the band that defines the decade of the 1960s, it made the choice more clear. Despite turmoil in their interpersonal and business relationships, the group was able, with the oversight of producer George Martin, to bridge their differences and make a cohesive and brilliant album. And that’s exactly what they did and Abbey Road is our Album of the Year for 1969.

Review of Abbey Road

Final 1969 Poll Results
Q: What is the best album of 1969?

1 Abbey Road by The Beatles 37%
2 Led Zeppelin II 20%
3 Led Zeppelin I 15%
4 Tommy by The Who 9%
5 Blind Faith 8%

Conducted on our site, January-February, 2014

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