Nine best albums from 1959

Mid-1950s pop music was not well-known for delivering cohesive albums, but these nine classic albums from 1959 deserve your time.
Bobby Darin
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By the late 1950s, rock ‘n’ roll had begun, and some of the earliest progenitors of the form, such as Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, and Chuck Berry, were beginning to deliver some of the energetic and exciting music that that genre would become known for.

Of course, albums were still a secondary concern for most artists, as they focused more on getting singles into heavy rotation on the radio, for home consumption, and via jukeboxes. Of course, for jazz musicians, their main method of disseminating their recorded material was full-length albums, and, as such, 1959 was a banner year for the genre.

While these nine albums are celebrating their 65th anniversary this year, each one of them holds an important place in music history – as well as in the career of each artist that produced them. Read on to explore these nine terrific albums from 1959.

1959 was a banner year for jazz albums, though rock ‘n’ roll was gaining steam

No. 9 - Mingus Ah Um – Charles Mingus

This seminal release from one of jazz’s most accomplished and iconoclastic composers delivers a bevy of classic tracks – many of which immediately entered the canon of jazz “standards” upon this album being released. “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat” might be the most well-known piece featured here, but “Fables of Faubus” is an underrated gem.

All pieces are delivered in Mingus’s high-energy, heavily improvisational style, and they still sound fresh and exciting 65 years after release. This album is also notable for the gorgeous abstract art album cover by renowned designer S. Neil Fujita.