Music reviews for music that was released in 1964.
1. John Coltrane: A Love Supreme (10/10)
2. The Beatles: A Hard Day’s Night (10/10)
3. Another Side of Bob Dylan (10/10)
4. The Great Concert of Charles Mingus (10/10)
5. Bob Dylan: The Times They Are a Changin’ (10/10)
Along with his previous record, this is the point at which Dylan basically killed protest song writing, both for himself and everyone else. For himself, he seems to have gotten bored and wanted to explore new avenues (which he had already hinted at with a few of his original songs on earlier records), or maybe he just didn’t want to be viewed as such an important “voice” in the US. For everyone else: if you are a budding protest songwriter how do you compete with these lyrics? What are you supposed to do now?
Obligatory mention: Dylan has stolen many of his melodies from other songwriters. This was extremely common in the folk and blues traditions at the time and few (if any) people called him out for it. We shouldn’t judge this record by our standards today. (We should judge him now, when he continues to do it, on the other hand.)
7. Beatles For Sale (10/10)
8. Herbie Hancock: Empyrean Isles (9/10)
9. Sam Cooke: Ain’t That Good News (9/10)
Basically a greatest hits collection. Read the review of Ain’t That Good News.
10. Bernard Herrmann: Marnie Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (7/10)
Marnie is considerably more traditional than Herrmann’s most famous works from the ’60s, but that doesn’t make it bad. The score is highly memorable (i.e. catchy) and features not just a compelling main theme but some other pieces that really get in your head.
There’s nothing innovative here. It’s just a pretty good score by one of the great American film score composers. Worth checking out if you’re into Herrmann, or Hitchcock, but certainly not among his very best.
11. The Rolling Stones (7/10)
In the context of the time, this covers record likely seemed totally original. Read the review of The Rolling Stones’ debut album.
12. Maurice Durufle: Méditation (7/10)
Another brief piece, one which we can assume was not intended for publication, since it was published after Durufle’s death. This is one of those brief musical paintings meant to conjure something. I’m not sure what, but it’s nice enough to listen to. I wouldn’t meditate to it, but I’m not sure that’s the idea.
13. John Coltrane: Coltrane’s Sound (7/10)
By the time this was released, Coltrane had already completely moved on from this music. If you are not evaluating it in 1960 terms, it would look pretty weak.