The Wrecking Crew Top 10

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1. PET SOUNDS—BEACH BOYS (1966)

The first real “concept” album, Pet Sounds featured the Wrecking Crew and wunderkind producer Brian Wilson at their creative apex. Considered by Sir Paul McCartney to be the finest pop recording of the 1960s, it undeniably influenced the very competitive Beatles to create their conceptual masterpiece, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band .

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2. BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER—SIMON AND GARFUNKEL (1970)

Coming off two number-one albums in a row— The Graduate and Bookends —this former Queens folk duo did themselves one better on their final studio LP. The soaring gospel-influenced title track not only won a Grammy for song of the year but was also the biggest-selling single of 1970—helped in no small part by the Wrecking Crew drummer Hal Blaine’s memorable, crashing performance.

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3. IF YOU CAN BELIEVE YOUR EYES AND EARS—THE MAMAS AND THE PAPAS (1966)

These Greenwich Village folk/rock transplants reached superstar status in L.A. in 1966 with their very first release. With its songs “Monday, Monday” and “California Dreamin’,” this album, regarded a pop classic, features the Wrecking Crew mainstays Blaine, Knechtel, and Osborn as the rhythm section on every track.

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4. THE MONKEES—THE MONKEES (1966)

The Monkees exploded onto the TV and pop-music scene in late 1966 with a mixture of slapstick comedy and youthful exuberance. But there was nothing funny about their success. This first album went straight to number one, sitting atop the Billboard charts for 13 consecutive weeks. The secret? Mike, Peter, Micky, and Davy simply sang along while the Wrecking Crew did all the instrumental work.

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5. BOOTS—NANCY SINATRA (1966)

Flying solo this time without her famous father, Nancy Sinatra struck vinyl gold with “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’.” Helping make those go-go boots truly walk the walk was the veteran Wrecking Crew bassist Chuck Berghofer, who wrote and played the signature descending standup-bass run.