50th! Great Records of 1969

Below are upcoming dates for The Royal Room’s annual celebration of classic records released half a century ago.

August 2: Miles Davis In A Silent Way

Miles once famously stated that he “only changed music 4 or 5 times”. In A Silent Way was one of those times. Featuring three electric keyboards, guitar and the incredible rhythm section of Tony Williams and Dave Holland, In A Silent Way opened the flood gates for electronic instruments in jazz, and the entire genre of jazz fusion. Joe Zawinul’s signature tune, and title track, is a monument to beauty through economy.

September 7: The Band The Band”//Janis Joplin I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again Mama!

In 1969 both Janis Joplin and The Band were managed by Bob Dylan’s manager Albert Grossman. Janis had just left Big Brother and The Holding Company, and The Band had released Music From Big Pink, a record that shook the rock world at its very foundation. Their 2nd album, often referred to as “The Brown Album”, found the 4 Canadians and a young drummer from Arkansas carefully crafting what may be one of the most perfect albums ever made. In the meantime, Janis put together her dream band, with a killer rhythm section and great horns.

September 20: Neil Young: Everybody Knows This Is NowhereDate TBD

This was the first album by Crazy Horse, and maybe a “greatest hits” record before it was even released. Featuring well known songs Down by The River, Cinnamon Girl, Cowgirl in the Sand and more.

September 27: The Beatles Abbey Road

Abbey Road was named after the legendary studio of the same name, where the Beatles started out, and had worked ever since. The recording sessions for the album were the last in which all four Beatles participated. It was a final document of their incredible love with the recording studio, but also a harbinger of things to come, and the widely different directions the members were headed in.

October 11: Tony Williams: Emergency!

Tony Williams, arguably the most important drummer in modern jazz, changed the sound of everything he touched, most famously in the Miles Davis Quintet with Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter and Herbie Hancock. Although he made over 20 albums as a leader, he is typically known for his contributions as a sideman. Emergency! is one exception. With organist Larry Young and the emerging guitar legend, John McLaughlin, Emergency! helped define the early days of jazz fusion. This event featuring D’Vonne Lewis, Cole Schuster and Joe Doria.

December 7: The Rolling Stones Let It Bleed

Let It Bleed finds the Stones assimilating their blues, country & early rock and roll influences and blending them in their own unique and special way. Their mastery is so refined that it is very difficult to decide whether some of these songs contain more of one style than another.

Mostly recorded without Brian Jones — who died several months before its release (although he does play on two tracks) and was replaced by Mick Taylor (who also plays on just two songs) — this extends the rock and blues feel of Beggars Banquet into slightly harder-rocking territory. 

December 13: Captain Beefheart Trout Mask Replica

Discovered by Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart changed how we think about pop music, bringing a combination of sound, lyrics and attitude that were one part Howlin Wolf, one part Albert Ayler, and one part absurdist poet. Trout Mask Replica, produced by Zappa, features 28 songs, most well under 3 minutes. The blues meets the avant-garde meets the garage.

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