1001 Albums You Must Hear (and Blog about) Before You Die

My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die

934. Black Monk Time – The Monks


Brief Background: Black Monk Time was recorded by a group of American G.I.’s stationed in Hamburg, Germany. The album was recorded in 1965 and released in early 1966. In staying with their name, The Monks sported monk haircuts (tonsures) and black robes. Although not commercially successful, the album has been cited as a critical component for the development of Punk Rock and the revival of garage rock. (Gary Burger, was born in Minnesota and was the Mayor of Turtle River from 2006 to his death in March 2014).

What I think: I have come up with a formula for the album’s sound that I think works pretty well:

Let’s take some Kinks and add some Animals to get the base. Add to that a big shot of subversive humor and a twist of weirdness for the sake of being weird and you have Black Monk Time.

That formula makes for a pretty interesting album that for me was impossible to completely embrace, or even to dismiss. It (purposefully) grates on the listener, but isn’t unpleasant to listen to. In other words, I think The Monks straddle the line between confrontation and compliance perfectly. Check out “Monk Time”, “Higgle-Dy – Piggle-Dy” and “That’s My Girl” for a good idea of what the Monks are about.

Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? Something about this album feels really important in the advancement of Rock and Pop music. The presence of so much open subversiveness is certainly something that was rare, if not completely new on a record.

Rating (Out of 5): 4

Amazon Review (Out of 5):4.5

Is this my first time hearing this album? Yes (50/68)

Percentage of Albums that are new to me: 74%


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This entry was posted on May 29, 2014 by and tagged , , , , , , , , .

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