1968: 20 Songs Released in 1968 You Must Hear

My rules:

  • Only one song per artist/group
  • The song must be released that specific year
  • Songs from live albums not allowed
  • Restricted to only 20 songs

A shitload of great music was released in 1968, here are my 20 chosen songs.

  • Madame George – Van Morrison

    Madame George is the album’s whirlpool. Possibly one of the most compassionate pieces of music ever made, it asks us, no, arranges that we see the plight of what I’ll be brutal and call a lovelorn drag queen with such intense empathy that when the singer hurts him, we do too.
    -Lester Bangs

    A song from the album Astral Weeks, released in 1968. It was recorded during the first Astral Weeks session that took place on September 25, 1968 at Century Sound Studios in New York City with Lewis Merenstein as producer.

    In 1974, after he had recorded eight albums, Morrison told Ritchie Yorke when he asked him what he considered his finest single track and the one that he enjoyed the most that it was: “Definitely ‘Madame George’, definitely. I’m just starting to realize it more and more. It just seems to get at you… it just lays right in there, that whole track. The vocals and the instruments and the whole thing. I like that one.”

    Down on Cyprus Avenue
    With a childlike vision leaping into view
    Clicking, clacking of the high heeled shoe
    Ford and Fitzroy, Madame George
    Marching with the soldier boy behind
    He’s much older now with hat on drinking wine
    And that smell of sweet perfume comes drifting through
    The cool night air like Shalimar




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December 31: The Band played at Civic Auditorium SF in 1983

the band rick danko 1983

One of the most anticipated gigs of 1983 came at the very end of the year, when the Band returned to the city of The Last Waltz when invited to open for the Grateful Dead at their annual New Year’s Eve extravaganza. Before a sold-out crowd at San Francisco’s Civic Auditorium, the Band proved they were still one of the best sounding groups on the planet, delivering a performance that not only delighted the San Francisco audience, but the Band members themselves. Performing classic original material as well as a smattering of choice covers, this performance was captured by the Bill Graham Presents crew and is presented here in its entirety.
~concertvault.com

Richard Manual 1983

  • Rick Danko – bass, acoustic guitar, vocals
  • Levon Helm – drums, mandolin, harmonica, vocals
  • Richard Manuel – piano, drums, vocals
  • Garth Hudson – organ, piano, synthesizer, accordion, saxophones
  • Earl Cate – electric guitar, background vocals
  • Ernie Cate – keyboards
  • Ron Eoff – bass, background vocals
  • Terry Cagle – drums

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December 10: Rick Danko passed away in 1999

I saw Ronnie Hawkins play near my hometown, Port Dover, Ontario, and I saw him play there on New Year’s Eve and the following spring I booked myself to be his opening act on maybe five shows, and he hired me after the first night.
-RickDanko

You put a song on the record or on tape and you stop singing it. You just don’t sit around and sing it anymore unless you’re performing. That’s kind of sad.
-Rick Danko

I started working with Bob in 1965. We did go through a lot of changes from 65 to 74, a lot of changes. By 1974, everything had straightened itself out.
~Rick Danko

Stage Fright (from the Last Waltz):

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