How Good Was The Year (in music) - 1962?

We return from a brief HGWTY holiday to the year 1962.

A reminder of the premise of the thread

After a number of days of posting and reminiscing, we’ll be rating the music of the year out of ten, based on the albums, singles, gigs, whatever that stand out for you that year, and voting for our favourite nominated albums and songs.

Everyone can nominate one album and one song from the year which will then be collated into side-polls two days before the thread closes - please make it clear when you post a nomination for the poll (as opposed to just posting clips or lists of songs and albums you like, which are very welcome).

Rank Year Rating Top Album Top Song
1 1991 8.98 Slint - Spiderland Massive Attack - Unfinished Sympathy
2 1997 8.6 Radiohead - OK Computer The Beta Band - Dry The Rain
3 1967 8.48 Love - Forever Changes Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood - Some Velvet Morning
4 1992 8.29 Pavement - Slanted & Enchanted Pulp - Babies
4 2013 8.29 Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Push the Sky Away Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Jubilee Street
6 2019 8.14 Self Esteem - Compliments Please Big Thief - Not
7 1975 8.13 Neil Young - Tonight’s the Night / Bob Dylan - Blood on the Tracks Neil Young and Crazy Horse - Cortez the Killer
8 2004 8.1 Madvillain - Madvillainy / Arcade Fire - Funeral The Walkmen - The Rat
9 1981 8.06 The Cure - Faith New Order - Ceremony
10 1982 7.76 The Cure - Pornography / Kate Bush - The Dreaming Robert Wyatt - Shipbuilding / The Associates - Party Fears Two
11 2014 7.69 FKA Twigs - LP1 FKA Twigs - Two Weeks
12 1970 7.61 Neil Young - After the Goldrush Curtis Mayfield - Move on Up
13 1976 7.47 David Bowie - Station to Station Bob Dylan - Hurricane
14 1986 7.42 Talk Talk - The Colour of Spring New Order - Bizarre Love Triangle
15 2005 7.39 Sufjan Stevens - Illinois Amerie - 1 Thing
16 1965 7.38 The Beatles - Rubber Soul Frank Wilson - Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)
17 2009 7.1 Fever Ray - Fever Ray Animal Collective - My Girls
18 1974 6.95 Neil Young - On The Beach Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson - The Bottle
19 1985 6.53 Tom Waits - Rain Dogs Prince and the Revolution - Raspberry Beret
20 1961 5.16 John Coltrane - My Favourite Things Roy Orbison - Crying

1962 was the year of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the arrest of ANC leader Nelson Mandela and some big cultural debuts; the first comic appearance of Spiderman, the first James Bond movie and the first Beatles songs all happened this year.

We said goodbye to Marilyn Monroe, Eleanor Roosevelt, Niels Bohr and William Faulkner, and hello to Tom Cruise, Jon Bon Jovi, Jodi Foster, Sheryl Crow, MC Hammer and Philip Schofield.

How good was the music?

You have until Sunday 26th June to nominate one album and one song which will then go into a poll along with a number rating poll for year overall out of 10, which will close on Tuesday 28th.

Some lists for inspiration:

Best Albums of 1962 : Best Ever Albums
Best albums of 1962 - Rate Your Music
100 Greatest Albums of 1962
100 Greatest Songs From 1962

Nominations will be tallied here as the week goes on:

Album Nominations

Song Nominations

I did not know this was released by someone else before the Walker Brothers (it’s a Bacharach tune, and whilst Dionne Warwick recorded the demo first, the first hit for it was this guy):


This album will definitely be getting one of my votes…


1962 - year of Jamaican Independence and arguably the birth of ska with the first 3 Jimmy Cliff singles among others

But which song to choose?

That year that the Bossa Nova standard ‘Garota de Ipanema/Girl from Ipanema’ was written, though the version released in 1962 was by Pery Ribeiro and isn’t nearly as good as the iconic Astrud Gilberto version (1963). Found this good live recording of Jobim/Gilberto/Moraes in 1962 though:

Ohhhhh what a stunning bit of music/great album this is.

Mal Waldron – The Quest


Roy Orbison – Crying


Francoise Hardy – Francoise Hardy


Booker T and the MGs – Green Onions


Song nomination


Ah, 1962. This is my go-to for this year. Ray Charles mixing his R&B soul into country. Wild (for 1962) …

Reckon that’ll get my nomination, but I’ll have a little look around first.

1 Like

NOMINATE SONG Otis Redding - These Arms Of Mine


Very close run thing with this though


Well, we’ve also got these to consider:

Bob Dylan - self-titled debut album. He’d get better, then worse, but this is a mighty fine debut album. Especially given it was 1962. His interpretation of In My Time of Dyin’ is maybe my favourite track off this.

Serge Gainsbourg - No. 4. We’ll you’d never guess, but it is Serge’s 4th studio album. Much like Bobby D, he’d get better then worse, but this is still a fine listen. A 19 minute run time. Why not give it a go over a quick coffee break?

And finally, Sun Ra - The Futuristic Sounds of Sun Ra. Worth a go. Maybe Sun Ra never got more “accessible” than this. Hey, and just look at that cover!

Melodious …


Enjoying this album a lot - very tight jazz ensemble led by one of the all-time great drummers with an orchestra being employed like an instrument.

This year saw the first commercial release from The Radiophonic Workship, two tracks on a 7" credited to Ray Cathode, Time Beat on one side and Waltz In Orbit on the reverse, not actually a bloke called Ray but a pseudonym for a collaboration between the Workshop’s Maddalena Fagandini and an only just pre Beatles George Martin

Then from the sublime…

…to Bernard Cribbins doing a Calypso record


Calypso seems to have been quite the thing in ‘62.

Quite fond of a comp from ‘62 called Hellish Calypso


Surely the biggest banger of ‘62?

Obligatory Howlin’ Wolf track, this version ripped from the 7", replete with crackles, pops and extra distortion:

Another tragic tale with a twist from Roy, falls short of a classic though:

One for MC5 fans (note the credit for Jerry Lee’s Pumping Piano):

Excellent Joe Meek-produced single from Mike Berry:

The Shadows at their best:

…and contributing to a fairly decent rocker from Cliff:

1962 entry from the real king of British Rock ‘n’ Roll: