10 best albums from 1964 might surprise you

1964 in music featured the British Invasion fully taking over the U.S. and was also when albums began to become more important to listeners, though singles still dominated.
The Beatles arrive in the U.S. 1964
The Beatles arrive in the U.S. 1964 / Evening Standard/GettyImages
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While the 1950s was a rather fallow period for album listeners – unless you were a jazz fan, of course – the mid-1960s was when albums began to become the preferred listening method for music lovers. However, 1964 was still a bit too early for that to be the case and singles and radio play were still the dominant listening method for most people.

Despite that, 1964 was a tremendous year for music, especially due to the fact that the British Invasion was in full swing by that year – especially after The Beatles performed on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964 to an audience of 73 million people (the entire population of the U.S. at that point was roughly 191 million).

The best albums of 1964, which are celebrating their 60th anniversary this year, showcase a wide breadth of different styles and artists. Read on to explore the 10 best from that year.

The British Invasion was in full swing by 1964

10. Stay Awhile/I Only Want to Be With You – Dusty Springfield

Dusty Springfield’s debut album sees the British chanteuse deliver a bevy of gutsy performances, including the classic title track, “I Only Want to Be With You,” which is one of the best opening songs from a debut album of all time, as well as hit single “Wishin’ and Hopin’,” which was written by powerhouse songwriting duo Hal David and Burt Bacharach.

The album also features deeper cuts such as “Twenty Four Hours from Tulsa,” “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” and the fun “Mockingbird,” though the definitive version of that song comes via Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels in the film Dumb and Dumber, of course. Springfield’s sound served as the U.K.’s answer to Motown, and though she would deliver more impressive artistic highs later on in the 1960s, this is a strong opening salvo from a gifted singer.

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