The 25 Best Albums of 1956
In 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower successfully won his re-election bid, the Philadelphia Warriors won the NBA Finals and Charles Mingus made the best album of the year.
Even in a year when 21-year-old Mississippi native Elvis Presley took the entire planet by storm, it was the work of a 34-year-old jazz bassist from New York City that remains the most innovative. Pithecanthropus Erectus was Mingus’ first major artistic statement, and it kickstarted one of the greatest careers in music history.
Along with Mingus and Presley, several other great artists made their debut in 1956, including Cecil Taylor (who kickstarted avant-garde jazz) and Johnny Burnette (who kickstarted rockabilly). Yet even though this Top 25 list is filled with new blood, old standbys like Frank Sinatra, Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald still feature heavily throughout.
And so, without further ado, here are the Top 25 albums of 1956.