1966’s Best Albums

1966's Best Albums

Photo: KRLA Beat/Beat Publications, Inc. / Public domain

1966’s Best Albums list defines another year in classic rock history in which we saw brand new spectacular albums released by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Beach Boys, The Who, The Hollies, The Byrds and so many more. We also experienced jaw dropping debut albums by The Young Rascals, Love, Cream, Jefferson Airplane, The Grass Roots, The Association, The Monkees The Seeds, Tim Hardin, Tim Buckley The Association, Neil Diamond, The Blues Maggos and many more listed below. 1966 was a smoking year for music that also created a big debate between the top two albums of the year. Which was better, which more legendary, which more groundbreaking. We made our choice. Do you agree?

As we have seen in exploring classic rock history’s 1960s catalog of music. many labels continued to release albums with different track listings and titles in various countries. In the United States music fans really had no idea that the U.S. Beatles albums released by Capitol Records were just compilations of singles and a mixture of tracks from the original UK Parlophone Beatles studio albums. This was a practice that still confuses fans today. The Rolling Stones continued to release new albums with different titles in the U.S. from the UK releases with just slightly different track listings. Other groups including The Yardbirds and The Dave Clark Five also released different titles separating US and UK releases.

1966’s Top 10 albums stands as one of the best of the decade. Maybe the best so far. But the top 25 is also mind blowing. In fact pretty much the entire top 100 is filled with memorable albums that have stood the test of time. Of course there are a few that some may have forgotten or some younger people may have never heard of. But that’s the point of these lists. To remember, to explore, to celebrate and of course as we see in comments…. to argue over.

# 100 – Wild Things! – The Ventures

# 99 – The Seeds – The Seeds

# 97 – Frankie and JohnnyElvis Presley

# 94 – Boots  – Nancy Sinatra

# 93 – S.R.O. – Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass

# 91 – Come the Day (UK) (Georgy Girl) (US) – The Seekers

# 90 – Spinout – Elvis Presley

# 89 – Hold On!Herman’s Hermits

# 88 – Woman – Peter and Gordon

# 87 – Spotlight on Nilsson –  Harry Nilsson

# 86 – Psychotic Reaction – Count Five

# 85 – Faithful Forever – Marianne Faithfull

# 84 – The Toys Sing “A Lover’s Concerto” and “Attack!” – The Toys

# 83 – Cher – Cher

# 82 – What’s Up, Tiger Lily?  – The Lovin’ Spoonful

# 81 – River Deep – Mountain High – Ike & Tina Turner

# 80 – Beau Brummels ’66Beau Brummels 

# 79 – Spicks and Specks – Bee Gees

# 78 – Volume 3 – The Easybeats

# 77 – Gettin’ Ready – The Temptations

# 76 – Road Runner – Jr. Walker & The All Stars

# 75 – Double Dynamite – Sam & Dave

# 74 – Away We A Go-Go – The Miracles

# 73 – The Exciting Wilson Pickett – Wilson Pickett

# 72 – Black Monk Time  – The Monks

# 71 – Live at the Cafe Au Go Go – Blues Project

# 70 – Pretty Flamingo (US) As Is (UK) Manfred Mann

# 69 – Lightfoot! – Gordon Lightfoot

# 68 – Two Yanks in England – The Everly Brothers

# 66 – Dion & The Belmonts Together Again – Dion DiMucci & the Belmonts

# 66 – I Hear a Symphony – The Supremes

# 65 – Tim Buckley – Tim Buckley

# 64 – Tim Hardin 1 – Tim Hardin

# 63 –  Down on Stovall’s Plantation – Muddy Waters

# 62 – Watchout! – Martha and the Vandellas

# 61 – Down to Earth – Stevie Wonder

# 60 – 96 Tears – Question Mark & the Mysterians

# 59 – And Now! – Booker T. & the M.G.’s

# 58 – Soul Sister – Aretha Franklin

# 57 – Them Again – Them

# 56 – Moods of Marvin Gaye – Marvin Gaye

# 55 – Crying TimeRay Charles

# 54 – The Fugs – The Fugs

# 53 – East-West – Paul Butterfield Blues Band

# 52 – The Monkees – The Monkees

# 51 – The Spirit of ’67Paul Revere & the Raiders

# 50 – Take A Ride – Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels

# 49 – The Orbison WayRoy Orbison

# 48 – Up Tight – Stevie Wonder

# 47 – Handful of Soul – James Brown

# 46 – The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators

# 45 – Both Sides of Herman’s HermitsHerman’s Hermits

# 44 – Where Were You When I Needed You – The Grass Roots

# 43 – Dictionary of Soul – Otis Redding

# 42 – Soul and Inspiration – The Righteous Brothers

# 41 – Satisfied with You – The Dave Clark Five

# 40 – For Certain Because (UK) Stop Stop Stop (US)The Hollies

# 39 –  Autumn ’66 – The Spencer Davis Group

# 38 – And Then……. Along Comes The Association – The Association

# 37 – The Soul Album – Otis Redding

# 36 – Try Too Hard  – The Dave Clark Five

# 35 – Ready Steady Who (EP) – The Who

# 34 – Hold On, I’m Comin’ – Sam & Dave

# 33 – Jefferson Airplane Takes Off – Jefferson Airplane 

# 32 – The Feel of Neil Diamond  – Neil Diamond

# 31 – Hanky Panky – Tommy James and the Shondells

# 30 – The Second Album (UK ONLY)  – The Spencer Davis Group

# 29 – Wild Thing – The Troggs

# 28 – The Mamas & the Papas – The Mamas & the Papas

# 27 – Projections – The Blues Project

# 26 – The Sound Of Silence – Simon & Garfunkel

# 25 – Midnight Ride – Paul Revere & the Raiders

# 24 – Hums of the Lovin’ SpoonfulThe Lovin’ Spoonful

# 23 – Got Live If You Want It!The Rolling Stones

# 22 – Psychedelic Lollipop – The Blues Magoos

# 21 – Love – Love

# 20 – Sunshine Superman – Donovan

# 19 – Daydream – The Lovin’ Spoonful

# 18 – Bus Stop (US) Would You Believe (UK) – The Hollies

# 17- If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears – The Mama’s & The Papa’s

# 16 – Fifth Dimension – The Byrds

# 15 – John Mayall & Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton

# 14 – Da Capo – Love

# 13 – Animalization (US) Animalisim (UK) – The Animals

# 12 – Small Faces – Small Faces

# 11 – Over Under Sideways Down – The Yardbirds

# 10 – Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme – Simon & Garfunkel

#  9 – Buffalo Springfield – Buffalo Springfield

#  8 – Face To Face – The Kinks

#  7 – A Quick One – The Who

#  6 – The Young RascalsThe Young Rascals

#  5 – Freak Out! – Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of Invention

#  4 – AftermathThe Rolling Stones

#  3 – Blonde On Blonde – Bob Dylan

#  2 – Pet Sounds – The Beach Boys

#  1 – Revolver – The Beatles

Other important Beatles release in 1966 that were not part part of the original 13 Beatles UK Albums

Yesterday and Today ( U.S. Capitol Records)

A Collection of Beatles Oldies  (Parlophone UK)

Greatest Hits Volume 1 (Parlophone Australia)

All album covers in this article are Amazon affiliate links and are not stored on the ClassicRockHistory.com server.

Best Albums of The Year Series

1962’s Best Rock Albums List

1963’s Best Rock Albums List

1964’s Best Rock Albums List

1965’s Best Albums

1970’s Best Classic Rock Albums List

1971’s Best Classic Rock Albums List

1972’s Best Classic Rock Albums List

1973’s Best Classic Rock Albums List

1974’s Best Classic Rock Albums List

1975’s Best Classic Rock Albums List

1976’s Best Classic Rock Albums List

1977’s Best Classic Rock Albums List

1978’s Best Classic Rock Albums List

1979’s Best Classic Rock Albums List

1980’s Best Rock Albums List

1981’s Best Rock Albums List

1982’s Best Rock Albums List

1983’s Best Rock Albums List

1984’s Best Rock Albums List

1985’s Best Rock Albums List

1986’s Best Rock Albums List

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