The Bluesbreakers (aka ‘The Beano album’) (The ’59) #50

The ’59 2018 #50: 180219

John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers (with Eric Clapton) [aka ‘The Beano Album’] (1966)

This year, Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, turns 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. We’re currently at year 8 – 1966.

Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton (a.k.a. The Beano Album) is a 1966 blues/blues rock album recorded by John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton as part of the band. It is the second album credited to John Mayall after the live John Mayall Plays John Mayall. Clapton left to form Cream after this recording, though would team up again in 1971 for the double LP Back to the Roots.

It is also known as The Beano Album (for obvious reasons from the cover photo). Clapton stated in his autobiography that he was reading The Beano on the cover because he felt like being “uncooperative” during the photo shoot.The photographer was Derek Wedgbury and the location was near the Old Kent Road in London.

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The Rolling Stones – Aftermath (The ’59) #049

The ’59 2018 #049: 180218

The Rolling Stones – Aftermath (1966)

This year, Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, turns 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. We’re currently at year 8 – 1966.

Aftermath was released in April 1966 by Decca Records and is the fourth album by the Rolling Stones. The image here is the American version, released in June 1966 on London Records. Aftermath is the first to consist entirely of Mick Jagger–Keith Richards compositions. It’s also a bit of a breakthrough musically as Brian Jones played a variety of instruments not usually associated with The Stones, including sitar, Appalachian dulcimer, marimbas and Japanese koto.

It was also the first Rolling Stones album to be recorded entirely in the US, at the RCA Studios in California, and their first album released in true stereo. It is also one of the earliest rock albums to eclipse the 50-minute mark, and contains one of the earliest rock songs to pass the 10-minute mark (“Goin’ Home”).

In August 2002 both editions of Aftermath were reissued in a new remastered CD and SACD digipak by ABKCO Records, with the UK version containing an otherwise unavailable stereo mix of “Mother’s Little Helper”. In the same year the US edition of Aftermath was ranked No. 109 on the List of Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and was included in Robert Dimery’s 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

The Beatles – Revolver (The’ 59) #048

The ’59 2018 #048: 180217

The Beatles – Revolver (1966)

This year, Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, turns 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. We’re currently at year 8 – 1966.

Revolver was the seventh Beatles album. Released on 5 August 1966, it was the Beatles’ final recording project before their retirement as live performers and marked the group’s most overt use of studio technology up to that time, building on the advances of their 1965 release Rubber Soul. The album’s diverse sounds include tape loops and backwards recordings on the psychedelic “Tomorrow Never Knows”, a classical string octet on “Eleanor Rigby”, and Indian-music backing on “Love You To”. The album was reduced to eleven songs by Capitol Records in North America, where three of its tracks instead appeared on the June 1966 release Yesterday and Today.

The band recorded the album following a three-month break from professional commitments at the start of 1966, and during a period when London was feted as the era’s cultural capital. The songs reflect the influence of psychedelic drugs like LSD and the increasing sophistication of the Beatles’ lyrics to address themes including death and transcendence from material concerns. With no thoughts of reproducing their new material in concert, the band made liberal use of studio techniques such as varispeeding, reversed tapes, close audio miking and automatic double tracking (ADT), in addition to employing musical instrumentation outside of their standard live set-up. Some of the changes in studio practice introduced by Revolver, particularly ADT, were soon adopted throughout the recording industry. The sessions also produced a non-album single, “Paperback Writer” backed with “Rain”, for which the Beatles filmed their first on-location promotional films.

Revolver topped the UK Albums Chart for seven weeks and America’s Billboard Top LPs list for six. Together with “Yellow Submarine”, “Eleanor Rigby” became an international hit when issued as a double A-side single.

The album cover was designed by Klaus Voormann, whose work combined Aubrey Beardsley-inspired line drawing with photo collage and went on to win the 1967 Grammy Award for Best Album Cover, Graphic Arts.

Revolver expanded the scope of pop music in terms of the range of musical styles used on the album and the lyrical content of its songs. The album was influential in advancing principles espoused by the 1960s counterculture and in inspiring the development of subgenres such as psychedelic rock, electronica, progressive rock and world music.

Bob Dylan – Highway 61 Revisited (The ’59) #047

The ’59 2018 #047: 180216

Bob Dylan – Highway 61 Revisited (1965)

This year, Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, turns 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. We’re currently at year 7 – 1965.

Highway 61 Revisited is the sixth studio album from Bob Dylan, released on August 30, 1965, by Columbia Records. Having until then recorded mostly acoustic music, Dylan used rock musicians as his backing band on every track of the album, except for the closing 11-minute ballad, “Desolation Row”. Critics have focused on the innovative way in which Dylan combined driving, blues-based music with the subtlety of poetry to create songs that captured the political and cultural chaos of contemporary America. Author Michael Gray has argued that in an important sense the 1960s “started” with this album.

Leading with the hit single “Like a Rolling Stone”, the album features songs that Dylan has continued to perform live over his long career, including “Ballad of a Thin Man” and “Highway 61 Revisited”. He named the album after the major American highway which connected his birthplace, Duluth, Minnesota, to southern cities famed for their musical heritage, including St. Louis, Memphis, New Orleans, and the Delta blues area of Mississippi.

Highway 61 Revisited peaked at No. 3 in the United States charts and No. 4 in the UK. The album was ranked No. 4 on Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”. “Like a Rolling Stone” was a top-10 hit in several countries, and was listed at No. 1 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list. Two other songs, “Desolation Row” and “Highway 61 Revisited”, were listed at No. 187 and No. 373 respectively.

The Rolling Stones – Out of our heads (The ’59) #046

The ’59 2018 #046: 180215

The Rolling Stones – Out of our heads (1965)

This year, Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, turns 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. We’re currently at year 7 – 1965.

Out of Our Heads was the Rolling Stones’ third British album and their fourth in the United States. It was released in 1965 through London Records in the US on 30 July 1965, and Decca Records in the UK on 24 September 1965, with significant track listing differences between the two countries.

The Rolling Stones – No.2 (The ’59) #045

The ’59 2018 #045: 180214

The Rolling Stones – No. 2 (1965)

This year, Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, turns 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. We’re currently at year 7 – 1965.

The Rolling Stones No. 2 was their second UK album, released in 1965 following the massive success of 1964’s debut The Rolling Stones. It followed its predecessor’s tendency to largely feature R&B covers. However, it does contain three compositions from the still-developing Mick Jagger/Keith Richards songwriting team. On Dutch and German pressings of the album, the title is listed as The Rolling Stones Vol. 2 on the front cover, although the back of the album cover still lists the title as The Rolling Stones No. 2.

Using the cover shot for 12 X 5, the second US-released album in October 1964, The Rolling Stones No. 2’s track listing would largely be emulated on the upcoming US release of The Rolling Stones, Now!. While Eric Easton was co-credited as producer alongside Andrew Loog Oldham on The Rolling Stones’ debut album, Oldham takes full production duties for The Rolling Stones No, 2, which was recorded sporadically in the UK and US during 1964.

A huge hit in the UK upon release, The Rolling Stones No. 2 spent 10 weeks at No. 1 in early 1965, becoming one of the year’s biggest sellers in the UK.

The Beatles – Rubber Soul (The ’59) #044

The ’59 2018 #044: 180213

The Beatles – Rubber Soul (1965)

This year, Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, turns 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. We’re currently at year 7 – 1965.

Rubber Soul was the sixth Beatles. It was released on 3 December 1965 in the UK on EMI’s Parlophone label and was accompanied by the non-album double A-side single “Day Tripper” / “We Can Work It Out”. The album’s release saw a highly favourable critical response and it topped charts in Britain and the United States for several weeks.

Often referred to as a folk rock album, Rubber Soul incorporates a mix of pop, soul and folk. The title derives from the colloquialism “plastic soul”, which referred to soul played by English musicians. After the British version of A Hard Day’s Night, it was the second Beatles LP to contain only original material. For the first time in their career, the band were able to record the album over a continuous period, uninterrupted by touring commitments.

The songs demonstrate the Beatles’ increasing maturity as lyricists and, in their incorporation of brighter guitar tones and new instrumentation such as harmonium, sitar and fuzz bass, the group striving for more expressive sounds and arrangements for their music.

Rolling Stone ranked it fifth on the magazine’s 2012 list “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time”.