Favorite Albums of My Life: 1969

The year 1969 brought with it a plethora of musical styles. It seemed to be a pivotal year in what was to become the popular music of the 70's. My favorite albums are a representation of several of those styles. They are, as follows...

1. NICK DRAKE: "Five Leaves Left"

Although I didn't come to know this Nick Drake album until later in life (he seems to have had most of his "success" 30 years after his tragic death), it is evident that Nick Drake was at the forefront of a singer/songwriter movement, related to, yet completely different from the 60's Folk movement that had taken America by storm. Nick's songs were sparse, personal gems. It's no wonder that his music has not dated like most music of it's time.

4. KING CRIMSON: "In the Court of the Crimson King"

What can be said about Robert Fripp's endlessly evolving Progressive Rock creation? Not nearly enough...

This album was the first of many albums by King Crimson, and one which featured Greg Lake (later of Emerson, Lake and Palmer) on vocals and Ian McDonald (who later on to be one of the original members of Foreigner), this was probably the most commercially accessible of the King Crimson catalog, as they eventually evolved into a band that favored quirky rhythms and eccentric sounds.

3. BREAD: "Bread"

Many people probably wonder why Bread would be on my list of favorite albums of 1969. First, I was weened (musically) on Bread. Heck, I was probably weened (literally) with Bread playing in the background. My dad loved Bread, and I grew to love Bread. In retrospect, this debut (eponymous) album by Bread featured some clever musicianship, mature songwriting, and beautiful harmonies. One of my favorite ballads of all time is a track from this album called, "LOOK AT ME". A simple melody, tasteful harmonies, and beautiful backing acoustic guitar. It is my dream to eventually learn this song, and find someone to play and harmonize with me.

4. CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL: "Green River"/"Willy and the Poor Boys"

Why two albums by the same artist? Well, it's simple. I have the opinion that because the albums were both released in 1969, within 3 months of each other, that they were both material probably conceived and created at nearly the same time. It was a common thing with bands to generate music as quickly as possible, and these guys were the kings of it. The great part is that I can't say that I like one more than the other. They both have timeless songs, and they are both solid records, from start to finish. The same is to be said of...


Another case of "let's ask Zeke which one he likes more".... and I will answer, "I don't know". Unlike the aforementioned CCR albums, these two were released 7 months apart. I still think that because both albums were the at the beginning of an illustrious career, they were songs that were all culled from the same point in the bands career... both literally (that's obvious) and emotionally.

Also, Led Zeppelin were one of the leading revolutionaries to fuse the gritty rawness of Blues music with the powerful Hard Rock sounds that were emerging from the late 60's. Does it get much better than this? Not much...


I can't say enough about this album. It has been said that by time The Beatles announced their breakup a year later, that they had really ended their creative relationship BEFORE "Let It Be" was released. After listening to that album, it came across as haphazard, with very little focus. ABBEY ROAD, on the other hand, is what I consider to be their pivotal album... at least of the latter third of their career. The album is loaded with classic songs, among which is one of my favorite songs of all time... George Harrison's immortal, "SOMETHING".