The 25 best albums of 1964

10 February 2024, 12:00

Some of the biggest albums of 1964 from Bob Dylan,  Simon & Garfunkel, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles,
Some of the biggest albums of 1964 from Bob Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles,. Picture: Alamy Stock Photo

Radio X takes a look back to the year of A Hard Day's Night, The Times They Are A-Changin', You Really Got Me and The Sound Of Silence.

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  1. Bo Diddley's Beach Party: release date January 1964

    This prime slice of R&B was recorded live and spent six weeks on the UK album charts. Tunes included Hey! Bo Diddley, Road Runner and a cover of Chuck Berry's Memphis.

    Bo Diddley's Beach Party cover art
    Bo Diddley's Beach Party cover art. Picture: Press
  2. The Hollies - Stay With The Hollies: release date January 1964

    The debut album from Manchester's answer to The Beatles included their hit Stay, plus covers of Talking 'Bout You, You Better Move On and It's Only Make Believe.

    The Hollies - Stay With The Hollies cover art
    The Hollies - Stay With The Hollies cover art. Picture: Press
  3. The Trashmen - Surfin' Bird: release date 14th January 1964

    The garage rock pioneers seemed like a novelty act at the time, but their homemade sounds were an influence on bands for the next 20 years or so. Aside from the ridiculous title track, the album also included versions of Misirlou (aka the Pulp Fiction theme tune), Money and It's So Easy by Buddy Holly.

    The Trashmen - Surfin' Bird cover art
    The Trashmen - Surfin' Bird cover art. Picture: Press
  4. Sam Cooke - Ain't That Good News: release date February 1964

    Cooke's last studio album to be released before the singer was shot dead in December 1964 included A Change is Gonna Come, Another Saturday Night and Good Times.

    Sam Cooke - Ain't That Good News cover art
    Sam Cooke - Ain't That Good News cover art. Picture: Press
  5. Gene Pitney - Blue Gene: release date February 1964

    The US singer's fifth album included his worldwide hit Twenty Four Hours From Tulsa.

    Gene Pitney - Blue Gene cover art
    Gene Pitney - Blue Gene cover art. Picture: Press
  6. Dionne Warwick - Anyone Who Had A Heart: release date February 1964

    Cilla Black may have had a UK hit with the title track, but Dionne Warwick owned it. Also included were This Empty Place and Don't Make Me Over.

    Dionne Warwick - Anyone Who Had A Heart cover art
    Dionne Warwick - Anyone Who Had A Heart cover art. Picture: Press
  7. Bob Dylan - The Times They Are A-Changin': release date 10th February 1964

    The third album from Dylan was an all-time protest classic: aside from the anthemic title track, the LP also included The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll and Only A Pawn In Their Game.

    Bob Dylan - The Times They Are A-Changin cover art
    Bob Dylan - The Times They Are A-Changin cover art. Picture: Press
  8. The Beach Boys - Shut Down Vol 2: release date 2nd March 1964

    The fifth album from the Californian group included the classics Fun Fun Fun and Don't Worry Baby, plus covers of Why Do Fools Fall In Love and Louie Louie.

    The Beach Boys - Shut Down Vol 2 cover art
    The Beach Boys - Shut Down Vol 2 cover art. Picture: Press
  9. The Dave Clark Five - A Session With The Dave Clark Five: release date April 1964

    The debut album from the purveyors of "The Tottenham Sound" included the single Can't You See That She's Mine, plus covers of Link Wray's Rumble and the show song On Broadway.

    The Dave Clark Five - A Session With The Dave Clark Five cover art
    The Dave Clark Five - A Session With The Dave Clark Five cover art. Picture: Press
  10. The Rolling Stones - The Rolling Stones: release date 16th April 1964

    The Stones' first album (they're currently on their 24th!) included covers of Route 66, I Just Wanna Make Love To You, Can I Get A Witness, Walking The Dog and Chuck Berry's Carol.

    The Rolling Stones - The Rolling Stones cover art
    The Rolling Stones - The Rolling Stones cover art. Picture: Press
  11. Dusty Springfield - A Girl Called Dusty: release date 17th April 1964

    After leaving The Springfields, Dusty went solo with this collection that included versions of Twenty Four Hours From Tulsa, Anyone Who Had A Heart and Will You Love Me Tomorrow.

    Dusty Springfield - A Girl Called Dusty cover art
    Dusty Springfield - A Girl Called Dusty cover art. Picture: Press
  12. The Merseybeats - The Merseybeats: release date May 1964

    The Liverpool band's only studio album included covers of Hello Young Lovers and He Will Break Your Heart. The band folded in 1966, with members Tony Crane and Billy Kinsley forming The Merseys, best known for their hit Sorrow.

    The Merseybeats - The Merseybeats cover art
    The Merseybeats - The Merseybeats cover art. Picture: Press
  13. The Searchers - It's The Searchers: release date 22nd May 1964

    The third album from the Liverpool beat group included their hit Needles And Pins, plus covers of Glad All Over and Hi Heel Sneakers.

    The Searchers - It's The Searchers cover art
    The Searchers - It's The Searchers cover art. Picture: Press
  14. Johnny Cash - I Walk The Line: release date 22nd June 1964

    The Man In Black re-recorded some of his recent hits, including the title track, Folsom Prison Blues and I Still Miss Someone.

    Johnny Cash - I Walk The Line cover art
    Johnny Cash - I Walk The Line cover art. Picture: Press
  15. The Beatles - A Hard Day's Night: release date 10th July 1964

    The Fabs' third album also served as the soundtrack to their acclaimed first movie, directed by Dick Lester. On the soundtrack side was the incredible title track, If I Fell, I Should Have Known Better, And I Love Her and Can't Buy Me Love, while the non-soundtrack side included You Can't Do That, Any Time At All and Things We Said Today. All the songs on a Beatles album were written by Lennon and McCartney for the first and only time.

    The Beatles - A Hard Day's Night cover art
    The Beatles - A Hard Day's Night cover art. Picture: Press
  16. The Beach Boys - All Summer Long: release date 13th July 1964

    The sixth album from the Boys included the hit single I Get Around, plus the title track and Little Honda.

    The Beach Boys - All Summer Long cover art
    The Beach Boys - All Summer Long cover art. Picture: Press
  17. Bob Dylan - Another Side Of Bob Dylan: release date 8th August 1964

    Issued six months after The Times They Are A-Changin', Dylan's fourth album included All I Really Want To Do (later covered by The Byrds), My Back Pages and It Ain't Me Babe.

    Bob Dylan - Another Side Of Bob Dylan cover art
    Bob Dylan - Another Side Of Bob Dylan cover art. Picture: Press
  18. The Supremes - Where Did Our Love Go: release date 31st August 1964

    Classic Motown songwriting, featuring the voices of Diana Ross, Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson. Tracks included the unforgettable title track, Baby Love, Come See About Me and When The Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes.

    The Supremes - Where Did Our Love Go cover art
    The Supremes - Where Did Our Love Go cover art. Picture: Press
  19. Manfred Mann - The Five Faces Of Manfred Mann: release date 11th September 1964

    The debut album from the London rock band included covers of Smokestack Lightning, I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man and Got My Mojo Working.

    Manfred Mann - The Five Faces Of Manfred Mann cover art
    Manfred Mann - The Five Faces Of Manfred Mann cover art. Picture: Press
  20. The Kinks - Kinks: release date 2nd October 1964

    The Davies brothers' debut album included their hits You Really Got Me and Stop Your Sobbing, plus some R&B covers including Long Tall Shorty and Got Love If You Want It.

    The Kinks - Kinks cover art
    The Kinks - Kinks cover art. Picture: Press
  21. Simon & Garfunkel - Wednesday Morning 3am: release date 19th October 1964

    The debut album from the duo of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel included their classic Sound Of Silence, plus a cover of Dylan's The Times They Are A-Changin'.

    Simon & Garfunkel - Wednesday Morning 3am cover art
    Simon & Garfunkel - Wednesday Morning 3am cover art. Picture: Press
  22. The Animals - The Animals: release date 30th October 1964

    The debut album from the no-nonsense Newcastle R&B outfit included covers of She Said Yeah, Memphis Tennessee and John Lee Hooker's Boom Boom.

    The Animals - The Animals cover art
    The Animals - The Animals cover art. Picture: Press
  23. The Hollies - In The Hollies Style: release date November 1964

    The second album from the Manchester band included covers of Chuck Berry's Too Much Monkey Business, It's In Her Kiss (yes, that one!) and Set Me Free and You'll Be Mine, written by the band's Allan Clarke and Graham Nash.

    The Hollies - In The Hollies Style cover art
    The Hollies - In The Hollies Style cover art. Picture: Press
  24. Chuck Berry - St Louis To Liverpool: release date November 1964

    In 1964, plenty of bands were paying tribute to the Godfather of Rock 'N' Roll with numerous covers, and the man himself cashed in on his popularity with tunes like No Particular Place To Go, Promised Land and You Never Can Tell, as head in Pulp Fiction.

    Chuck Berry - St Louis To Liverpool cover art
    Chuck Berry - St Louis To Liverpool cover art. Picture: Press
  25. The Beatles - Beatles For Sale: release date 4th December 1964

    After an incredible year, which saw the Fab Four break the US and become an international sensation, their second album of '64 was somewhat muted, with a number of cover versions. However, the original songs showed that the Lennon-McCartney partnership showed no signs of letting up, which included Eight Days A Week, No Reply, I'm A Loser and Every Little Thing.

    The Beatles - Beatles For Sale cover art
    The Beatles - Beatles For Sale cover art. Picture: Press

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