Best of 1957: #25 – 21

25. Elvis’ Christmas Album

Elvis' Christmas Album

Artist: Elvis Presley

Even though you’ve heard them thousands of times, both “Blue Christmas” and “White Christmas” are eternal holiday classics, not only two of the best rock & roll Christmas songs ever recorded but also some of the most memorable material that Elvis Presley ever performed. Continue reading…

24. Anita Sings the Most

Anita Sings the Most

Artist: Anita O’Day

Genre: Vocal Jazz

Compared to her contemporaries — Dinah Washington, Julie London, Helen Merrill, Peggy Lee, to name a few — Anita O’Day has more charisma than all of them combined. On Anita Sings the Most, O’Day’s voice bends and stretches in perfect harmony with the music. Her timing is impeccable. Continue reading…

23. With His Hot and Blue Guitar

With his hot and blue guitar

Artist: Johnny Cash

Genre: Rockabilly

Even though Johnny Cash was only 23 years old when he first recorded “Folsom Prison Blues” in 1955, he sang with the world-weariness of a folk singer in his late-fifties. Continue reading…

22. ‘Round About Midnight

'Round About Midnight

Artist: Miles Davis

Genre: Hard Bop

The title track is one of Miles Davis’ seminal recordings. He plays a piercing, muted trumpet that harkens back to Birth of the Cool in both mood and sound. This lonely, late-night ballad stands head and shoulders over the rest of the LP, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the LP isn’t worthwhile. Continue reading…

21. Thelonious Himself

Thelonious Himself

Artist: Thelonious Monk

Genre: Hard Bop

Thelonious Monk’s idiosyncratic piano style has always been an acquired taste, and that is never more blatantly obvious than on this dark and somewhat-depressed solo album. Without any backing accompaniment to provide a discernible groove, Monk has us anticipating notes that never come and drowning in silences that last uncomfortably long. It’s one of his most moving performances. Continue reading…

#25 -21 | #20 – 11 | Top 10