1001 Albums 0049-0050

Published April 15, 2013

My continued journey through the albums featured in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

0049: The Sonics: Here Are The Sonics (1965)

This is a fascinating albums. Sonically (no pun intended) it sounds old and new at the same time: there were limitations in recording technology in the Sixties, but those limitations weren't so big that the recordings had to sound this "dirty". After all, most engineers would try to record everything to the best of their abilities, and any dirtiness would usually have to come from the bands' performances. And yet that dirtiness, that distorted sound, was there on this 1965 recordings, somehow making it sound like it was recorded at least 10 years later, at the height of punk, when many voluntarily chose a more raw and aggressive approach over a clean hi-fi-sound.

For me personally, this is one of those albums that I really think are great - there are quite a few  tracks here that would grace any Sixties compilation, such as the magnificent 'Have Love, Will Travel' - but because the energy level is more or less the same throghout the entire album, gets to be a little samey. I think I would have enjoyed the album more if they'd aspired for a bit more variation. But then that wasn't really what The Sonics were about, was it?

Verdict: Great, but an entire album's worth is too much of a good thing.

Listen on Youtube.

0050: Bob Dylan: Bringing It All Back Home (1965)

This album is famous as the one where Dylan "went electric" - at least on Side One, side two was mainly in his old acoustic style. It also features some of his most famous songs, although, as is often the case for me, I usually prefer other artists' versions of his tunes: better singing and no excessive use of harmonica. The nice surprise here, though, was Dylan's recording of 'She Belongs To Me', which I'd only heard in Rick Nelson's version before. So although I realize that this album is extremely important in rock history and influenced everybody and his mother, that tender and low-key recording of a really nice song is what I'll take with me from this listening experience.

Verdict: Many great songs, but the performances get in the way for me.

Listen on Spotify.


The Sonics: Here Are The Sonics.


Bob Dylan: Bringing It All Back Home.