1969 was a tough year for the Album of the Year nominees...


1969 One Man Academy: Album of the Year

- Rule Zero

"If zero albums are up to OMA standards in a given year, none of the albums get an award that year." OMA Rules of the Road


...but these two albums are totally interesting!
  • Magical Mystery Tour, The Beatles
  • Feliciano!, José Feliciano

If you only listen to one song: "Always Something There To Remind Me", José Feliciano


The Beatles

Blowing past The Beatles to invoke Rule Zero feels wrong.

Magical Mystery Tour is a perfectly fine album with a lot of great songs. That said, it's sort of a weird album. It turns a corner halfway through... I found I liked the second half of the album a bit better than the first half, but overall it's not up to OMA's standards.

Other notes:

  • I never knew how much I liked "Strawberry Fields Forever".
  • "Penny Lane" is an amazing song.

José Feliciano
While I recognized the name "José Feliciano" from somewhere, I'm not sure I had high hopes for this album. Turns out I really liked it!

I was also a bit torn to be blowing past Feliciano! to invoke Rule Zero. In the midst of that, I found myself comparing Feliciano! to Magical Mystery Tour: I'd rather listen to Feliciano! but I recognize Magical Mystery Tour is probably a better album.

But if the point of an album is to be listened to, wouldn't Feliciano! be better by definition?

All of which is to say: giving out awards is a weird and tough job sometimes. A lot of obviously incorrect decisions have been made over the years, and those should never be forgiven, but I won't say it's easy.

If I had to award an award in 1969, I'm not sure which of these two albums I would select and I wouldn't be confident in either choice.

Other Notes:

  • Devotees will remember[1] that I'm always a sucker for a Burt Bacharach and Hal Davis tune. I was clearly very excited to hear "Always Something There To Remind Me" on the album.
  • Some Beatles tunes make an appearance, as well as California Dreamin', all of which are great.

The current One Man Academy (OMA) project is listening to the Grammy's Album of the Year nominees and re-choosing winners, absent of historical context.

Featured songs from this post: Spotify


  1. You’re a crook, Captain Hook / Judge, won’t you throw the book at the pirate... ↩︎