Spillyear 1969

Our last 60s year, the last 60s year. Plenty to choose from, I reckon.

That putting a man on the moon thing must have been quite exciting. Almost on a par with Leicester winning the league.

Add your top 3 to the playlist

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70 thoughts on “Spillyear 1969

  1. I decided to be ready for this one because:

    Pink Floyd – Careful with That Axe, Eugene (Live Ummagumma version)

    Velvet Underground – Pale Blue Eyes
    Dusty Springfield – Son of a Preacher Man

  2. Not easy at all, but I’ve gone for these three:

    1. Fairport Convention – Who Knows Where The Time Goes?
    2. Nick Drake – Riverman (could be any of half a dozen songs off Five Leaves Left)
    3. Townes van Zandt – Fare Thee Well, Miss Carousel

    Fairport, TvZ, Tim Buckley and several others seem to have released more than one album that year.

    Abbey Road is possibly my favourite Beatles album, but I love it best in its entirety (although George’s songs stand up pretty well on their own).

    Also missing Dylan, the VU… yep, I reckon this would have been a good time to be alive.

    • ah, I missed that you’d recommended those first two and have consequently gone for a similar selection, fab selection.

  3. “Can’t help about the shape I’m in, I can’t sing, I ain’t pretty and my legs are thin …”
    Fleetwood Mac – Oh Well
    “Looking at the world through the sunset in your eyes, traveling the train through clear Moroccan skies …”
    Crosby, Stills and Nash – Marrakesh Express
    “The road is long, with many a winding turn, that leads us to who knows where, who knows where …”
    The Hollies – He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother

    Lots of good music to choose from, I’ve tried to find songs that I remember from the time. I was 10, decimalisation was yet to come and the 11+ would soon change my little life.

    Sorry, the links don’t work for me so haven’t uploaded tracks.

  4. have to grab this one first – i was afraid that this year had gone by and i somehow didn’t nom this.

    Rolling Stones – Gimme Shelter

  5. Amazing amazing year. Not the best for soul music though. 1971 was awesome too. Impossible but enjoyable task gives you :

    1. A Salty Dog – Procol Harum
    2. Ssshh/Peaceful – Miles Davis
    3. The Boxer – Simon & Garfunkel

  6. Ok, all three-

    Rolling Stones – Gimme Shelter
    Tommy James and the Shondells – Crimson and Clover
    Jefferson Airplane – We Can Be Together

    but how could i leave out all that i did? What a year.

  7. I remember it well: Here’s some I remember.
    Rolling Stones Honky Tonk Women
    Youngbloods – Get Together
    Creedence Clearwater Revival – Proud Mary
    Blood, Sweat and Tears – You’ve Made Me So Very Happy
    Bob Dylan – Lay Lady Lay
    Marvin Gaye – I Heard It Through The Grapevine
    Edwin Hawkins Singers – Oh Happy Day
    Miles Davis – In a Silent Way
    I have to acknowledge The Boxer, Gimme Shelter, Marrakesh Express, Fairport, Dusty and Floyd, and I’m sure there’ll be many more.

  8. Grateful Dead – Dark Star. It remains the most perfect statement.
    Frank Zappa – It Must Be A Camel
    The Band – The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

    But another year of plenty, for sure.

  9. A preposterously brilliant year. I could afford albums, and so singles took a back seat. I could choose something from every album in the top 50 for that year. But, it’s only three, so:

    Pentangle – Once I had a Sweetheart. I bought the album and Pentangle were the first live concert I attended, in Newcastle City Hall. I was first drawn to them through watching Take Three Girls. Pentangle sang Light Flight, the title music. This is just so classy – a folk song given a jazzy swing, with a sitar solo.

    Jethro Tull – We Used to Know. We had a great music teacher who would give over the occasional class to us so that we could bring in our LPs and he would play snippets and pass judgement. We would then pas them around after school, thus broadening our musical horizons. Stand Up is the only JT album I like, but still play it every now and then today. My favourite track with its great wah-wah guitar.

    Roy Harper – One for All. Son of gutbucket, one of those great comp (‘sampler’) albums that came out in those days, had Sergeant Sunshine on it. This led me to Folkjokepus and my favourite track. It’s long (8 minutes, or so) and maybe self-indulgent (for both Roy playing it and me choosing it) but I’d never heard anyone play acoustic guitar like this before, and Roy seemed to defy pigeon-holing (‘folk’ – a bit, ‘rock’ – he played acoustic guitar, but like an electric one, ‘singer-songwriter’ – not like Dylan and co. who would never have writyen something like ‘In the Time of Water’). The following year we had Michael Chapman’s ‘Fully Qualified Survivor’, who, to me, shares lots of the good qualities Roy has.

    I have copies today of many of those ’69 albums, all on CD. As I age, I find myself drawn back to them more and more.

    • Brilliant songs, I love Seargent Sunshine, must buy Folkjokeopus again, my cassette is worn out. Not self indulgent, just amazing. I must check out Michael Chapman, never heard him.

      • Michael Chapman is great, Beth, he deserves to be better known. Mick Ronson played guitar on a couple of his late 60s/early 70s albums.

    • … “Time passes all too soon, how it rushes by,
      Now a thousand moons are about to die
      No time to reflect on what the time was spent on,
      Nothing left, far away, dreamers fade … “

  10. And now we come to the year where I started seeing albums as being more important than singles. It was another one of the great years, as far as I am concerned.

    Albums that came out included Happy Trails by Quicksilver Messenger Service, which is a personal favourite and which I heard back then but didn’t buy until later. It is also the year that introduced Led Zeppelin to the world, with the release of their first two albums. The Who gave us Tommy and Crosby, Stills and Nash released their eponymous first album. Captain Beefheart produced the still difficult Trout Mask Replica and we also had Blind Faith‘s eponymous album, too. We also saw the birth of something that would, for me become truly special when King Crimson released In The Court Of The Crimson King. The busiest band in 1969 may well have been Fairport Convention who managed to produce What We Did on Our Holidays, Unhalfbricking AND Liege & Lief!

    I didn’t have a great deal of money, due to not actually having a Saturday job, so buying albums was a big investment. In fact, I am pretty sure that the only album I actually bought in 1969 was the Led Zeppelin II.

    Courtesy of my friend and her elder brother and his mates I got to listen to lots of great stuff, though, so here are my picks;

    King Crimson – Epitaph
    Led Zeppelin – Ramble On
    Crosby, Stills and Nash – Suite: Judy Blue Eyes

    I could have picked so many more ……………..

    • Carole: Thank you for reminding me of one of my all-time favorites that I’d overlooked, ‘Happy Trails’. I bought the LP right after it came out and a couple of weeks later they were booked into the LA Philharmonic Auditorium: of course I went. I was so impressed that I found myself backstage after the concert where I started talking to the group’s manager, Ron Polte, out of nowhere I said something about wanting to make a documentary film about Quicksilver and he jumped on the idea. I was given total access to the group and put on payroll to accompany them to Hawaii to record an album!
      Tommy was a huge album for me in 1969, I returned from England that summer determined too teach a course at the university on Tommy. And then there was CSN, Crimson King and Fairport, not to forget Pentangle.

  11. “That putting a man on the moon thing must have been quite exciting. Almost on a par with Leicester winning the league.”
    Expect widespread internet conspiracy theories that Leicester winning the league was faked in about 40 years time.

  12. I wasn’t available in 1969 so I can only do this from now. Roy Harper, Pink Floyd, The Stones and Led Zep are represented already, so I shall regretfully leave them and only mention the Doors, Grateful Dead, Tim Buckley, Leonard Cohen in passing, my choices are
    1) Matty Groves by Fairport Convention. I spent a year playing this album almost every day, it’s so familiar, it’s a part of me so hard to choose one, but I love this interpretation of a tale of a noblewoman up to no good when her husband is away.

    2) Time Has Told Me by Nick Drake . I know everyone likes Nick Drake now*, but he seemed like my little secret when I first heard him and the music is still amazing.

    3) Tyrannosaurus Rex – Romany Soup because it’s so sweet, but the whole of Unicorn really

    *sorry, the music snob in me can’t help feeling this way

    • You are so right about Nick Drake, Beth. I got to know his music back in around 1974 or 5, but only because I was friends with someone who was a complete Nick Drake fanatic and she used to play his three albums all the time to anyone who would let her. I count myself lucky that I was one of the few who actually listened to them. I think that in his lifetime he probably sold fewer than 10,000 copies of all his albums put together. Sadly, it took until some time in the 1990s for him to finally hit the mainstream and get the critical acclaim he really deserved in his tragically short life.

      • Wow, how cool hearing him then! I admit I didn’t hear him until 1993 when Mark and Lard played Fruit Tree on late night radio, so I am a newcomer really. Now though he’s being played in clothes shops and I feel a little put out about it 🙂

        • I think that it is really incredibly sad that for a lot of people their first contact with Nick Drake’s music was via a car advert.

    • I love Matty Groves and can probably still remember most of the words. ‘A holiday, a holiday, and the first one of the year……’ 1969 was a very Fairport year indeed.

      • I think I’ve memorised the whole of Liege and Leif, I seriously overlistened to it. I’d love to hear more versions of the song too, Joan Baez’s is the only other recorded one I know of.

  13. Not often that I get to feel young(ish), but I was around for only part of 1969, and so my view of its music is entirely shaped by nostalgia of various forms; went through a serious phase in the late 80s (coinciding with the rise of Stock, Aitken & Waterman, as I recall) of thinking that it would have been so much better to be a teenager in the late 60s, and then a serious phase in the mid-90s of utterly repudiating such a position for fear of being tainted with the whole Oasis, Ocean Colour Scene etc. revivalist scene. From somewhere in the middle of that confusion of ideas and ideals, we get…

    Sly & the Family Stone: Everyday People

    Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg: Je T’Aime… Moi Non Plus

    Cream: Badge

    • I remember going to a ‘Cream’ concert in a small club and the intensity of the sound, particularly the bass and drum was so intense that it had a physical effect on me, I had to leave for a while. I couldn’t believe that a 3 piece group could play with that intensity.

    • If you’re putting up the whole album i’m donding. Thought about picking 3 off of it, but couldn’t narrow it down. Midnight Rambler has to wait for Ya Ya’s the next year though, it has to be live.

      • I’m with you on the live version of Midnight Rambler. Anyway, my three faves from Let it Bleed are Gimme Shelter, You Can’t…, and Let it Bleed itself, which is a song I really get nowadays. The only track I don’t care for is Country Honk but even that has its charm.

        BTW. for “Kick Out the Jams” by MCG.
        Yoo Doo Right

        I just made a playlist of some soul albums I’ve heard from 1969, so I’ll add that. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14yEO8nfqxE&list=PLwmnm6S9mz770fKCwZwXgIjMNAKpJhZmc&index=1

      • I’m for Gimme Shelter, Let It Bleed, and … You Got The Silver, Monkey Man, Love in Vain?

        There were 2 Zep albums out that year, i couldn’t pick just one song from those. From CSN / Neil Young – too many. Guinnevere, Helplesly Hoping, Suite Judy Blue Eyes. and Down By the River.

        I’m glad Aba put up Sly Stone.

      • Monkey Man is four.

        I actually don’t know any Zep albums. Clapton, Tull, Dylan, CSNY, etc, are an unknown world. I was trying to explain that to my new love. She just seemed amazed. It’s moments like that that I realise I’m out of step with most people when it comes to music.

      • Okay, this is where I start wondering about what I’ve missed in recent months… You have a new love, Fuel? Glückswünsch!

  14. 1969 – The Stooges
    Victoria – The Kinks
    What Goes On – The Velvet Underground (live version)

  15. There were many others, I’m obviously not paying attention add these:
    Quicksilver Messenger Service, – Happy Trails – Calvary
    The Who – Tommy
    Crosby, Stills and Nash – Judy
    Captain Beefheart – Trout Mask Replica
    Fairport Convention Liege & Lief! & Matty Groves
    Cream: Badge
    Pentangle – Once I had a Sweetheart.
    The Band – The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
    Bowie – Space Oddity
    Roy Harper,
    Pink Floyd

  16. Ya know It seems I’m late to everything these days. This was an outstanding year in many ways. Donds to much of the above. Makes for a great list. I should mention that Get Together was making it’s second tour of the charts having made it in 1967 also. Here’s my humble contributions.

    Cinnamon Girl – Neil Young
    Can’t Find My Way Home – Blind Faith
    Fortunate Son – CCR

    Honorable mentions
    Israelites – Desmond Decker & the Aces
    Everybody’s Talking – Nillson

    • Hey Finny, you been away too long!
      I’ll drink to all those, with a year like this it’s possible, but unforgivable, to overlook the likes of Israelites, Everybody’s, Cinnamon, Find my way and Son.
      Stick around for a while, pull up a chair…..T.

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