The Who are in the middle of their 50th anniversary tour, and that had us thinking about some of the more landmark records celebrating major anniversaries this year. 1965 was a very interesting year for music – The Beatles were at the height of their popularity, and bands like The Beach Boys and The Rolling Stones started making names for themselves as well.  Here’s our look at some of our favorite records reaching 50 years this year as we look back on the Class of 1965.

The Beach Boys – Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!)

Like so many artists at the time, The Beach Boys released two records in 1965, Today!, and Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!).  While Today was a bit of a departure for The Beach Boys, Summer Days was a collection of some of the most iconic Beach Boys tracks, including “California Girls”.  Summer Days was a turning point for Brian Wilson, both as a producer and songwriter.

The Beatles – Help!

Released in August of 1965, Help! features some of The Beatles’ best known tracks, “Ticket To Ride”, “Help”, and “Yesterday”.  In the US, the album was released as the soundtrack to the motion picture of the same name, but had a very different track listing.

The Beatles – Rubber Soul

Released in December of 1965, Rubber Soul may be the most interesting album in the Beatles’ discography.  It’s the beginnings of the wild journey they would take us on in their later years as a band.  Tracks like “Norwegian Wood”, “Nowhere Man”, and “Run For Your Life” helped The Beatles expand on their sound, while tracks like “Drive My Car” stuck to the very successful Beatle formula. It’s no surprise that Rolling Stone listed this as the 5th greatest record of all time. The fact that the Beatles are on this list twice speaks to the incredible output from perhaps the most legendary of legendary bands.

Bob Dylan – Highway 61 Revisited

There is no album more synonymous with Bob Dylan’s success than Highway 61 RevisitedThis is possibly the most legendary record on this list, and influenced so many incredible artists, and continues to to this very day.  “Like a Rolling Stone” is arguably Dylan’s most recognizable song, listed as Rolling Stone’s greatest song of all-time. Add in the amazing “Desolation Row” and title track, and you have one of the finest albums ever released. Some even credit this album as an important catalyst of the social movements in the 1960s.

Bob Dylan – Bringing It All Back Home

Released in March of 1965, Bringing It All Back Home is another highly influential record from Bob Dylan. It marked his departure from the folk sound and protest songs he became associated with earlier on in his career.  This move alienated him from the folk community, but expanded his reach as his music became more personal and relatable.

The Who Sing My Generation

The Who’s first proper LP, The Who Sing My Generation is most well known for its title track, but the album as a whole really is an interesting look at the early days of The Who. Their early promotional posters proclaimed “Maximum R&B”, and The Who Sing My Generation delivers that with covers of James Brown tracks “I Don’t Mind” and “Please, Please, Please” as well as a cover of Bo Diddley’s “I’m A Man”. Also on the record is some really interesting, and loud tracks that many musicians claim to be the forerunner of what became Punk rock. The album also features one of the best songs Townshend ever wrote, “The Kids Are Alright”.


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