MY MORE OR LESS FAVORITE ALBUMS BY ARTISTS WHO HAVE NEVER BEEN NOMINATED FOR THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME (Volume 1: The Sixties)

Just for fun…here’s the rules:

1) I didn’t include solo artists who are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of a group or one off groups who contain Hall of Fame members (so no Jerry Butler or Derek and the Dominoes for instance).

2) I didn’t include comps (no Dionne Warwick, Paul Revere and the Raiders, etc. who I know mostly through greatest hits packages).

3) I didn’t include anyone who has been inducted in one of the “extra” categories (so no Carole King, since she’s in as a songwriter).

4) I didn’t include anyone who isn’t eligible yet (No Roots or Moby, for instance….you’d be surprised how often this comes up in on-line discussions…for the record, an artist becomes eligible in the “Performer” category 25 years after the Hall determines they released their first record).

5) As the title of this post indicates, I didn’t include artists who have been nominated but not inducted (so no War or Spinners, who would otherwise have multiple entries)

6) This is not an argument that any or all of these acts should actually be in the Hall of Fame. Some should be, some shouldn’t, but I’ve made those arguments elsewhere (you can check the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame category on the right for further details if interested).

All that to keep it simple. Like to 25 or so**. Otherwise it was gonna get complicated. (**Note, that 25 was a general number for the total. Pretty sure it’s gonna be more like 30…or so. I keep remembering.)

So, in roughly chronological order (by year, but I didn’t look up month and day for those in the same year):

The Shangri-Las I Can Never Go Home Any More (1965)

FAVALBUMSSHANGRILAS

Note: I’ve never actually owned this album. I do have the original release Shangri-Las 65, which would be worthy on its own. This drops “Dum, Dum Ditty” (perhaps their weakest track) and adds the title track (one of their greatest) so it’s a no-brainer it’s the better album, even before taking the killer cover photo into consideration. I have a private theory that this cast a longer and deeper shadow than Rubber Soul. Me and Amy Winehouse are going to collaborate on a white paper proving this theory next time we get together at the big think tank in the sky. No neocons allowed.

Pick to Click: “Never Again”

Love (1966)

FAVALBUMSLOVE1

Note: A racially transgressive sound that’s still radical. Oh, what might have been.

Pick to Click: “Signed DC” (pretty sure the Moody Blues cashed the intro into “Nights in White Satin”…roughly speaking)

Love Forever Changes (1967)

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Note: This is enough of a touchstone of its era it actually creates a backlash of sorts. You can prove how hip you are by preferring some other Love album to this one. Heck, you might even be right. I’ll just make my own distinction by saying several of Love’s other albums are great. This one’s on the order of a miracle. (Even with the guess-you-had-to-be-there cover, which will be a developing theme here!)

Pick to Click: “Bummer in the Summer”

Moby Grape (1967)

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Note: Another touchstone but not too many people insist anything else they did was greater. With reason. Not too much anybody did was greater.

Pick to Click: “Omaha”

Manfred Mann The Mighty Quinn (1968)

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Note: American version of an LP that was called Mighty Garvey in England (with a slightly different track selection). In case that and the cover aren’t 1968 enough for you, it actually has a (wonderful) song called “Cubist Town.” Didn’t sell, even though the title track was a big hit, and didn’t get them any street cred, even though it didn’t sell. I picked it up on a very strange and exhilarating day in 1979 which also involved Boone, North Carolina, a surly record store manager, choir practice, “Beach Baby,” “Cruel War,” a made-for-TV Monkees comp and my first ever speeding ticket. Basically the kind of day you can only have when you’re eighteen. Either that or in a dollar store somewhere a short time later. The memory hazes. Either way, It’s been making me smile ever since.

Pick to Click: “Each and Every Day”

Clarence Carter This Is Clarence Carter (1968)

FAVALBUMSCLARENCECARTER

Note: Most of the soul giants have at least been nominated. No love for Clarence. Then again he never sounded like a guy who expected to be treated fairly and on his first album, his mournful side meshed perfectly with his definitivelly wicked sense of the absurd.

Pick to Click: “Do What You Gotta Do”

Joe South Introspect (1968)

FAVALBUMSJOESOUTH

Note: Did somebody mention 1968? Based on the cover, South might have been hanging out at Haight-Asbury. He was actually hanging out in Nashville and Atlanta which meant the entire world had gone crazy or he was some kind of visionary who couldn’t be explained by ordinary marketing schemes. I’ll take both. The still, small voice in the back of everyone’s mind, who stayed there even after “Games People Play” broke wide open.

Pick to Click: “Redneck”

The Turtles The Turtles Present the Battle of the Bands (1968)

FAVALBUMSTURTLES

Note: Chasing cred, they parodied themselves and everybody else. They sort of got the cred and would have really gotten it if the biggest parody (“Elenore”) hadn’t gone top ten everywhere in the English-speaking world. That’s all very representative. It should have been a catastrophe on every level. Instead it came out…wistful. They probably liked themselves better than they thought.

Pick to Click: “Earth Anthem” (or else “Surfer Dan”…some choices really are too existential to permit any sort of oppressive concept like finality)

Mother Earth Presents Tracy Nelson Country

FAVALBUMTRACYNELSON

Note: Actually this and Mother Earth’s Living With the Animals got swept away in the great CD selloff of 2002 (along with about 98 percent of the collection I had been building for fifteen years…life’s for making mistakes and regretting them as they say) and I’ve never managed to either forget or replace them. There’s nothing here to match Animals’ “Down So Low” but my memory is that this one was more cohesive. Brilliant in any case and as foundational of the alt-country concept as anything Gram Parsons was involved in.

Pick to Click: “Why, Why, Why”

Nancy Sinatra Nancy (1969)

FAVALBUMSNANCY

Note: The other side of the sixties (a long way from Manfred Mann, let alone Tracy Nelson), where Show Biz never died and still contained multitudes. I said my piece about this one here.

Pick to Click: “I’m Just in Love”

Fairport Convention What We Did on Our Holidays (1969)

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Note: Let’s put it this way. The name of the album is What We Did on Our Holidays. One of the cheerier tracks is called “The Lord Is in This Place…How Dreadful Is This Place.” That’s telling it like it is baby!

Pick to Click: “Meet On the Ledge”

Fairport Convention Unhalfbricking

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Note: Oh death, where is thy sting? Right here? No, no, that was our last album. Cheer up lads. Affirmation has arrived. Sort of. Time for the seventies to begin, maybe?

Pick to Click: “Si Tu Dois Partir”

(Volume 2: The Seventies, and Volme 3: The Eighties, to follow…soon, I hope)

12 thoughts on “MY MORE OR LESS FAVORITE ALBUMS BY ARTISTS WHO HAVE NEVER BEEN NOMINATED FOR THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME (Volume 1: The Sixties)

  1. I have to chime in here for Paul Revere and the Raiders. They had an incredible career in their years with Mark Lindsay (1958-1975) and went from R&B to garage rock to power pop with the incredible songwriting duo of Lindsay and Terry Melcher to Lindsay taking the reins creatively leading them into their greatest album, Raiders Collage. It’s unfortunate their greatest hit, Indian Reservation was a dour and preachy tome (I hate it) but this was quite a band.

    • Boy I love the Raiders in all their phases. I just haven’t ever got hold of any of their albums (got many comps, including the three disc set that Collector’s Choice put out which is incredible)…They definitely deserve to be in the Hall. I just couldn’t honestly include any of their albums because of my own ignorance. I’ll definitely put Collage on my list. Always looking to add to my knowledge!

  2. DJ

    Some predictably worthy selections, some unpredictably worthy selections (INTROSPECT is a gem), and some plain unpredictably idiosyncratic ones (Tracy and Nelson and idiosyncrasy is which is what taste and opinion are all about).

    For me, the first side of DA CAPO is the best Love ever, and MOBY GRAPE ’69 has been under-appreciated for waaaaaay too long.

    NU

    • Da Capo was a near miss, mostly because I haven’t heard it in so long (I don’t get back to the vinyl part of the house much these days!)…I’ll have to take your word on the Grape. Had the 2-cd comp back when (before the great cd selloff yaddah, yaddah) but the first album is the only one I’ve heard all the way through. I notice as time has gone on, more and more people have stood up for their other work so I”ll definitely want to check them out some day. So many avenues to pursue…so little moolah! Anyway, glad you enjoyed the list. The seventies and eighties will probably be a little weirder (in a mainstream kind of way of course…)

  3. Thank you for your kind reply on the Raiders! I’ve been a fan since 1968, when I was 10. I was at the end of their initial fan base. They were a huge influence on me and were a good “bridge” to the adult aspects coming like Woodstock in 1969 and all the great and diverse music that was heard on even the AM waves that year.

  4. Great topic! I want to steal it for myself. One thing occurs to me … I don’t know if it’s just an impression I get from the outside, or if it’s a conscious move on your part. It seems that you often draw inspiration from taking a contrary opinion to “established” critical history. Do you think that is the case?

    One of the best things about Favorite lists is that no one can dispute your choices … they are your favorites, not anyone else’s.

    On to my own quickie preferences. I owned the first two Love albums as a teenager in the 60s. I never got around to Forever Changes, and didn’t know it was supposed to be a classic until much later. So for me, those albums are the ones I’d include. Heck, I even liked “Revelation”. And I give a big thumbs up for “Signed D.C.”. I saw Arthur Lee and Love in 1974, opening for Lou Reed during his Sally Can’t Dance tour. Lee sang “Signed D.C.”, at one point shouting, “hey, this is 1966!”, as if to say Lou Reed wasn’t the only one singing about shooting up in those days.

    I’ve come to enjoy Mother Earth, but in the 60s, I knew them mostly as the third band on the soundtrack to the movie Revolution, after Steve Miller and Quicksilver.

    Finally, “Elenore” is one of the finest records of all time. Here’s the version of the story I bore my friends with on a regular basis. The Turtles were always more ambitious than just a hit-making machine, and when they finally reached their limit, they wrote “Elenore” as a joke, assuming everyone would treat it as such. But they were such masterful pop artists that they couldn’t help themselves: despite that goofy “You’re my pride and joy, et cetera” chorus, “Elenore” is in fact every bit as captivating as “Happy Together”.

  5. Hi Steven…by all means, steal away.

    Your point about running opposite to the norm is spot on. It’s not that I always disagree with established narratives by any means. It’s just that when I agree, I rarely find myself wanting to write about it. Also, when it comes to rock and roll in particular, I think the “narrative” is way too streamlined. Way too much gets left out or shunted to the side so I find myself drawn to what’s in the corner of my eye and asking “why don’t we talk more about them?” Put another way, I love the Beatles as much as anybody, but I don’t find myself writing much about them because, except for using them as a handy reference point, there ain’t much to say that hasn’t been said, and in most cases, said often and well. (That being the case, I do, at some point, want to write a “my journey with” series in which they and some others I’ve neglected get their due. Nice thing about blogs, The strictly personal angle need not be cast aside!)

    Good point on ‘favorite.” “Greatest’ or “best” can have a kind of dismissive air–maker of said statement telling everybody what to think. I’m not above using those phrases but I try to be really careful. i”m also not real fond of a pre-set number. I can see the need for them sometimes, but absent restrictions on word counts or column inches, I’d rather just go as far as the concept takes me…so long as it’s still interesting.

    I actually remembered that story about “Elenore” but I had to look it up to be sure (it’s one of those that’s so good you can convince yourself you imagined it.)…Agree on its qualities and the Turtles generally. I keep asking myself “How did they NOT hear that as a hit?”

    And Arthur Lee and Lou Reed on the same stage? I was definitely born too late!

  6. I’m familiar with all of these except for Tracy Nelson, and any of them would get my vote if nominated (is the Hall of Fame still letting fans vote, with their favorite getting one vote out of the deal?). Totally agree with the love for Nancy Sinatra; I have all of her albums from the 1960s.

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