Ten Classic Albums Turning Fifty This Year

Yellow Submarine, the quirky animated film involving The Beatles, is returning to theaters this season. The special screening has been scheduled to honor the fiftieth anniversary of its release, not long after the band had created its iconic Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album.

Another psychedelic film from a popular musical quartet, which like Yellow Submarine was accompanied by an album of the same title, came out in 1967. With a simple one word title, Head portrayed the Monkees in a much different light than fans of their hit television show had seen.

Neither the film nor the record received much critical acclaim, but the Monkees did that same year release an album that has long been considered among their best. It is just one of many albums that came out the year after the summer of love, and here are ten of the best releases from 1968.

Bookends by Simon and Garfunkel

“Mrs. Robinson” appeared on this as well as the soundtrack to The Graduate, but the highlight here is Simon’s story of the young couple fruitlessly searching for “America.”

Music From the Big Pink by the Band

Bob Dylan wrote a couple of the tracks on this disk, which is best remembered for Robbie Robertson’s “The Weight.”

In Search of the Lost Chord by the Moody Blues

This disk spawned two of the British group’s earliest hits, “Ride My See Saw” and “Voices In the Sky.”

Tape From California by Phil Ochs

After a career making acoustic protest songs, the folk legend branched out here by adding orchestration and electricity to his still poignant lyrics.

The Hurdy Gurdy Man by Donovan

The title track was a huge hit for the man dubbed the British Bob Dylan, and the album has several other jaunty tunes done in the same vein.

The White Album (self-titled) by The Beatles

Some flaws are evident, sure, but this four-sided masterpiece showcases just how great of a songwriter John Lennon was.

Self-Titled by Neil Young

After the demise of Buffalo Springfield, Young set out on his own with an album that opens appropriately with a song called “The Loner.”

The Birds, the Bees and the Monkees by the Monkees

A girl named Valleri inspired one of the hits from this record, which also includes “Daydream Believer” and the underrated “Tapioca Tundra.”

Aerial Ballet by Nilsson

Midnight Cowboy spurred “Everybody’s Talking” to the Top Ten, but its album mate “One” was taken all the way to the top a year later by the Three Dog Night.