It became his only No. —Patrick Filbin, “I hope I die before I get old.” In a generation full of spokespeople, Townshend may not have been quite as outspoken as his peers, but this simple phrase from “My Generation” continues to capture the essence of its time. Taking in a timeless sense of youthful disaffection via a countercultural, Mod lens, Pete Townshend’s age-defying ditty distilled what it feels like to be young, energised and in the prime of life into 3:18 minutes of bristling hedonism. The song was introduced in the 1965 movie The Sandpiper with a trumpet solo by Jack Sheldon and later became a minor hit for Tony Bennett (Johnny Mandel arranged and conducted his version as well). —Dacey Orr, As much as we love David Bowie and Mick Jagger, the fact that their ridiculous cover of this has nearly twice as many YouTube views as the classic original is an absolute crime. —Logan Lockner, A hauntingly beautiful tale of unrequited love, “Pale Blue Eyes” is about recognizing you’re being used and allowing it to happen anyway. James Brown, “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag”, 71. Written to woo singer Steve Marriott’s future wife Jenny Rylance, it was offered to PP Arnold who declined but turned up to the Small Faces’ sessions to add fire and ballast to the chorus. From the frantic tumble of toms and urgent harmonies of the ten second intro onwards this track doesn’t mess about. Sam Cooke said ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’ came to him in a dream, but it was a natural product of the times too – in particular Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech, delivered just a few months before Cooke recorded the song. That startling drumshot of an opening: Al Kooper’s beckoning, carnivalesque Hammond B-3 organ part and Michael Bloomfield’s electric-guitar curlicues run around Dylan’s own determined rhythmic playing. The very concept of the song (“California dreamin’ on such a winter’s day”) is evocative; but it is the execution of the song that makes it a masterpiece. It was billed as a change of direction for Tommy James and lives up to it, burning slowly but intensely with its tremolo guitar signature and James’s yearning vocal. —Robert Ham, California, land of Ronald Reagan and P. F. Sloan, deserves the credit for latching on to these four wanderers long enough to record them and turn them into superstars. Play on Spotify. Many musicologists trace them to the red raw chords of this track, the ludicrously heavy third single from The Kinks and the one that sent them stratospheric. The Shirelles, “Will You Love Me Tomorrow”, 55. Not bad for a song reportedly written after Hendrix wanted to sit by a fireplace on a cold English day. Led Zep’s debut album belter has a murky history. Turn! Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”, 34. It’s “Born in the U.S.A.” without the irony and misinterpretation. The Supremes, “Stop! In the Name of Love”, 19. This one came from the end of Graham Gouldman, later one quarter of 10cc, who was inspired by gazing at the – yes – bus stop on his way to work. The opening lick over the quick bass/snare drum combo is instantly recognizable. Penned by Neil Diamond and played by session musicians, ‘I’m A Believer’ was a brilliant slice of 60s boyband pop, claiming its rightful place atop the US Billboard charts for seven glorious weeks. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izzKUoxL11E. The soft layer of sound created by Simon’s guitar is pierced by fierce beats on a snare drum that makes one of the best instrumental moments from any Simon & Garfunkel song. —Ron Hart, This song became a big deal even before the 13th state in the union officially decreed it the official state song in 1979. With a chorus that boasts she’s going to grab that hussy “by the hair a your hand / and lift you off of the ground,” this is worthy of the WWF, and Lynn ain’t playing. The Slits, meanwhile, post-punked the shit out of it. We were sure Rick Wakeman wouldn’t make it anywhere near this list, but here he is, sat behind the Mellotron for Bowie’s classic early single. Bob Gaudio would write songs at a record pace, including “Sherry,” which was original titled “Jackie Baby,” after first lady Jackie Kennedy. Frankie Valli’s voice drove the song to No. There’s a man with a gun over there, telling me I’ve got to beware. —Hilary Saunders, Although the album version of this significant song appeared on Nina Simone’s 1970 album Black Gold, the single was actually released in 1969, thus making it eligible for this list. By the time MacLean completed it, though, Love was already working on their seminal 1967 record Forever Changes. —Paul Williams, “Wooden Ships” is a staple from Crosby, Stills & Nash’s eponymous debut album from 1969. Penned by Motown dream-team of Holland/Dozier/Holland, Levi Stubbs sang this track with an urgency which was said to mimic Bob Dylan. More than the specifics of what he did, it’s important to him that he stayed true to himself. —Matt Fink, Like many of the early garage-rock standout songs, “Wild Thing” is a cover: written by Chip Taylor, New York City band The Wild Ones first recorded the song in 1965. Supposedly when a very inebriated Sonny Bono and his former musical/romantic partner Cher went on Letterman back in 1987, they weren’t expecting to get shoved unceremoniously into the spotlight once more to sing their signature pop classic “I Got You, Babe.” Prearranged or not, the moment when they both gave in and gave a delightful performance of the song made for some great television. Find album reviews, stream songs, credits and award information for 100 Jukebox Hits: 50's & 60's - Various Artists on AllMusic - 1998 - Anyone tuning in and thinking that Sarandon… An evocative, inventive and timeless masterpiece. Has disenfranchisement ever sounded as guttural, raw, and downright cool as this? 1 single. —Robert Ham, There is a reason everyone in the karaoke booth fights over covering this classic tear-jerker and if we have to tell you, well, you just wouldn’t understand. It’s become a virtue. Despite the anxiety of the titular question, the melody and chord progression capture the essence of the time: the optimism that accompanied the end of Eisenhower’s presidency and the beginning of Kennedy’s. An apt follow-up No. Including rock ‘n’ roll, itself. Penned by Jimmy Webb (who also wrote ‘Galveston’), this was another tale of blue-collar blues. For many, it’s the epitome of a “feel good tune” with it’s sunny backing vocals, chugging guitars and Wilson’s ecstatic vocals, so happy that he’s found “The One.”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2VCwBzGdPM. But the dates don’t work and there’s too much joy in this kinetic blast of a record. According to legend, Who manager Kit Lambert suggested that Roger Daltrey stuttered in order to sound “like a kid on speed.” Either way, it’s still a clarion call for a youth in revolt. Its reflective mood was retrospectively haunting and the whistling solo was a happy accident – Redding meant to finish the lyrics before his fateful plane crash. Dylan’s backing band charmed generations of drifters with this future country-rock classic. It was too late, however, as Ms Springfield’s slinky horn-packed effort had already written itself into the history books. The fact that you are married only proves you’re my best friend.” Anyone who has ever been friend-zoned can relate to the aching sadness oozing from this track. With the groovy panache of a jazz track, ‘She’s Not There’ gave St Albans rockers The Zombies a No.12 UK (and Top 10 US) hit with their debut single. Written and produced by Smokey Robinson with Ronald White, it features David Ruffin’s first – silky smooth – lead vocal. And over which, Dylan’s strange lyrics seem triumphant, yet also full of warning, as his unglamorous voice brimming with attitude, holds onto syllables as if they were gleeful riders on a hurtling-downward roller-coaster. The Shangri-Las were a cut above most early ‘60s girl groups, a bit more aloof, a bit cooler, a shade more chic, and it was hard for teenage boys to hear this tale of a cool, renegade motorbike gang member who gets Betty against her parents’ wishes without wanting to be him. With “At Last,” the title track of her 1961 album, she delivers arguably one of the most iconic songs of all time. Proto-Krautrock duo the Silver Apples flew miles ahead of the pack with this stunningly unique track. On Stand!, Sly & the Family Stone achieved a near-perfect balance, especially with songs like “Everyday People” that epitomized the refinement of their earlier work. Below you will find a ranking of our favorite love songs from the 1960s that will fill dance floors for years to come. Top songs of the groovy sixties. The iconic chorus features Diana Ross, Florence Ballard, and Mary Wilson all singing in unison, throwing up choreographed hand gestures that undoubtedly inspired the wrist-twisting of Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It.” —Hilary Saunders, Well, lemme tell ya now: With that piano slide and a bassline that just can’t be beat, this one’s a shoe-in. The song is vocally percussive, yet smooth and swaying; its bold lyrics are both timely for the era, yet utterly timeless in an age where Black Lives Matter. —Laura Stanley, The King of Soul was known at times as a gospel prodigy, a pop star, and a stirring soul singer, but with this song, he cemented his place as a voice in the Civil Rights Movement. One of George Martin’s few purely musical contributions to the Beatles canon adds a strange, but successful, touch to John Lennon’s understated piece of whimsy about his childhood – in Lennon’s view, the most mature piece he’d written by that point. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdOxRcvZJaM. The ever-trippy “White Rabbit,” one of the album’s two major hits, helped a counterculture movement filled with an influx of traditional pop and hallucinatory vibrations. Heavily inspired by the Texas blues that imbued her first musical endeavors, “Piece of My Heart” is a symbol of the time it was released; the perfect mix of blues and psychedelic hard rock to soundtrack the free-love ideology of the Hippie counterculture. True to the title and the song’s worshipful spirit, it moves up into the stratosphere with each passing minute with the help of Jackie Wilson’s unbound falsetto and a bridge section that lets the horns burst out like a heavenly call to action. Like many Cream songs, ‘White Room’ was written by bassist and vocalist Jack Bruce with the English poet Pete Brown. Discover more music, concerts, videos, … That’s what the guy on the back of their second album _ Turn! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnDm3qr1Knk. Like in most of his work, Reed offers a harrowing tale without any overwhelming judgment. — Bonnie Stiernberg 28563, Aretha Franklin was originally offered a chance to record “Son of a Preacher Man” but turned it down, leaving it to become British pop diva Dusty Springfield’s trademark song. —Paste Archives, The Monkees didn’t form; the band was made – in this case for an American TV show inspired by The Beatles’ film A Hard Day’s Night. King Crimson, “21st Century Schizoid Man”, 80. —Mark Lore, This song is poignant as a longing, even desperate, appeal to his real-life lover Marianne Jensen but, like much of Cohen’s work, it’s so much more than autobiography because of a soaring refrain that gains meanings with each of its many repetitions. Steamy and frantic, this funky cut from 1967 debut album ‘Are You Experienced?’ is just about as pop as Jimi Hendrix ever got. —Kyle McKenney, As the American public and mass media learned in the ‘60s, one of the best ways to protest unsavory governmental decisions was through song. Marty Balin and Grace Slick’s harmonization remains one of the first important guy/gal pairings that has influenced countless bands through the decades. This sped up live version is one of the all-time great performances. A stabbing at their infamous Altamont gig added an extra dimension of bitter twang as the soulful crisis of the track signaled the end of an innocent era. Not that I hate it, but I'm just not really interested in it. — Bonnie Stiernberg, The passion in frontman Levi Stubbs’ vocals is palpable, but in case you didn’t pick up on it, he drives it home with the line “You mean more to me than a woman was ever meant to be.” — Bonnie Stiernberg, If this song sounds suspiciously like a Motown rip-off, fear not. Tragic storytelling at its succinct best. The late, great Etta James had hit the skids by the late-60s, frittering away a decent career with a devastating heroin addiction – but there was enough faith in her voice to give her another go on her recovery. —Sandy Pearlman, With Frank Sinatra now long passed, “My Way” has taken on a new, beautiful significance. It was the lead single from the blues-rock supergroup’s third album Wheels Of Fire and sees them veering towards more expansive psychedelia, with Eric Clapton’s wah-wah guitar chattering away in the verses. And if there’s one, prolonged moment that epitomises the spirit and feeling of the decade, it’s the summer of ’67. Find album reviews, stream songs, credits and award information for 100 Greatest 50s & 60s Hits - Various Artists on AllMusic - 2011 Dusty Springfield, “Son of a Preacher Man”, 76. Dutch psych rockers Shocking Blue would score a US Billboard Hot 100 No.1 with 1970’s ‘Venus’ (covered so memorably by Bananarama 16 years later), but ‘Send Me A Postcard’ is a darker proposition altogether, singer Mariska Veres evoking Julie Driscoll or Jefferson Airplane’s Grace Slick as she hollers over fuzzed guitar and the obligatory swirling organ. —Marcus J. Moore, If you were to round up a team of the world’s finest scientists, mathematicians and pollsters to determine the most instantly recognizable guitar riff of all time and came back with anything other than the pure bliss of Keith Richards’ fuzzed-out “Satisfaction” intro, we’d tell you to throw out all your data and go back to the drawing board. Teenage garage rock crew The Count Five used to stride out on stage dressed as Count Dracula (geddit?) Imagine how racy this was in 1960, with a young girl considering whether to get it on with her boyfriend in an age of prurience yet to be wholly swept away from rock’n’roll. But quite simply, “God Only Knows” is the group’s best song on its best album. And supposedly that television appearance wasn’t planned. —Hilary Saunders, Adapted from a French pop tune from the ‘40s, Bobby Darin’s follow up to the one-two commercial punch that was his other late ‘50s hits, “Dream Lover” and “Mack The Knife,” allowed the crooner to show off another shade to his versatile voice. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNcXFy8QTC4. This is down to a striking, cod-Motown bounce, a hair-raising vocal from Colin Young and, yeah, that There’s Something About Mary outro. Influenced by The Kinks’ ‘All Day And All Of The Night’, Pete Townshend’s choppy guitar has inspired The Clash and The Hives, while the song has been covered by David Bowie. The world's defining voice in music and pop culture since 1952. This is a list of the best songs of the 60's decade (1960 to 1969) Ike & Tina Turner, “River Deep – Mountain High”, 73. Gothic before “goth” existed. — Zach Blumenfeld, “Rock and roll—it’s the only place you can scream like that without going to jail,” Sonics vocalist-keyboardist Gerry Roslie told me a few years ago. Home state radio backing made ‘The Witch’ a major local success and allowed the band to chuck out a few more grimy garage rock sides before a split in 1968 and a place in grunge folklore. —Robert Ham, “Good Vibrations” was Brian Wilson at his best, before he became his worst—a brilliant demonstration of what The Beach Boys may have done before mental illness derailed their frontman’s career soon after this song became released. — Bonnie Stiernberg, This song is the consummate piece of early ‘60s pop. Forthright and literate with a flowery orchestration from producer John Simon, Cohen’s definitive version appeared on the troubadour’s classic debut ‘Songs Of Leonard Cohen’. The poignant effect of the flute is a tribute both to the orchestration and to John Phillips, who arranged (and wrote) the song. There were points during that time when, despite the ire of rock ‘n’ roll hipsters, the so-called pre-fab four outsold their Liverpudlian predecessors, thanks in large part to the bouncing pop of 1966’s single “I’m A Believer.” Ultimately, The Monkees enjoy a kind of iconic pop culture status both because of and in spite of the unusual and even existential way the group came to be. Written and produced by the in house team of Holland-Dozier-Holland, the shimmering song was their attempt to re-construct the previous Supremes hit ‘Come See About Me’, but the joyous results were above and beyond those limitations. The swinging 60s might be more than half a century ago now, but their revolutionary impact still remains to this day. A prosaic and somewhat depressing trip turns irrepressibly chic in their hands, however, and this standout from their eponymous debut would eventually become a signature song. The marriage—not so much. But this is Led Zep, so of course it does. —Max Blau, Up there with “Sweet Caroline” when it comes to most memorable horn licks of all time. Bryan MacLean worked it up for Love’s 1966 debut album, but didn’t get around to completing it for another year or so – and this time he barely appeared on it, finding his vocal wiped in favour of Arthur Lee’s harmony lines. It’s hard to believe that this perfect soul pop nugget was turned down by no less than Aretha herself, but following Dusty’s sultry take on the track she was quick to correct the error of her ways. Here are the 100 best songs from the ‘60s. —Hilary Saunders, Haggard had already landed four No. It’s like listening to a smile, and no matter how many cheesy romantic comedies it soundtracks, that never gets old. Her performance embodies joy, romance and triumph. —Adam Vitcavage, The Byrds—a ‘60s group including the folks who went on to become Crosby, Stills, and Nash—are eclectic. With 50 years of study, it’s easy today to see the song’s surrealistic lyrics for what they were—a knowing retort, but empathetic, to a privileged woman who has had her comeuppance. Folk enjoyed a political revival, yet, the British Invasion was blessedly not political. Furthermore, the track introduces the arrival of John Entwistle as the undisputed king of his instrument and perhaps the most memorable stutter in all of rock history. 100 best tracks of the ’60s – Spotify playlist. The debut single from Tacoma, Washington’s The Sonics is creepy as its title suggests, romping along on a honking riff intercut with frenzied surf guitar freakouts. It’s hard to believe the (slightly craggy) Peter Pan of country Willie Nelson was around and writing this old standard at the start of the 60s, but there he was and here was Patsy Cline delivering the performance she’d end up remembered for, a raw, honest but understated turn that came just two years before her death in a plane crash. It’s been covered by sometime Go-Go Belinda Carlisle and sampled by Kylie Minogue. TOP 100 FOLK HITS OF THE '50S AND '60S. Fun fact: On drums is none other than Marvin Gaye. We have all, at one point or another, longed to stumble upon that special someone in “meet cute” fashion. That Bowie makes it seem so seamless is a sign of his mastery. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart thanks to the bludgeoning guitar and singer Reg Presley’s vocals, which go from sounding almost distracted to unsettlingly focused when he veers into the famous chorus. What started out as a folk-rock style on the first album has been turned, via repetition, into a form. “I turned 21 in prison doing life without parole / No one could steer me right, but mama tried—mama tried” may not have been strictly autobiographical—Haggard never served a life sentence, after all—but he did his share of hard time for offenses beginning in his teenage years. —Mark Lore, The Jimi Hendrix Experience never sounded better than they do on “Fire,” arguably the liveliest performance the trio ever put to tape. “Please allow me to introduce myself / I’m a man of wealth and taste”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jbdw43yvTY. They didn’t complain about the results, and the song found its true resonance in 1967’s The Graduate. I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound? It’s one of the better love songs of the ‘60s because of its doe-eyed simplicity, the ease of its melody, and, of course, the power of Valli’s voice when he belts the iconic “I LOVE YOU BABY!” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” will remain a classic until drunk grooms stop singing it at weddings, which is to say that it will always be a classic. He probably hasn’t looked back though. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltRwmgYEUr8. Pop Music Hits 60s 70s | Best Pop Songs of the 60's & 70's By Listanauta. Paste compiled the 100 best songs of the 1960s by whittling down a list of more than 500 songs. On which pounding drums, Jagger drawl and the first sitar to feature on a Number One record combine for an indie disco favourite for now and all time. “I Got You (I Feel Good)” is his highest-charting single, though, lead by Brown’s squeals, yelps, and shaking hips. The Stax house band found themselves with an iconic record themselves here, a simple 12-bar blues that thrives on in-built cool. Before there was a mainstream feminist movement, Loretta Lynn was tackling the hardcore throw-down. Written by future 10cc member Graham Gouldman, the song still works in the way that romantic movies still capture our attention. As the ultimate stamp of grungy approval it would later be squished into submission by Iggy Pop. — Zach Blumenfeld, Jazz has a supernatural presence when crafted correctly. Bassist Noel Redding got fed up during the sessions and walked out, and Hendrix redid his guitar parts umpteen times, moving from four track to eight track to 16 track as he went. Rather, the glinting harpsichord and lightly Eastern-influenced percussion simply nudged the door open for the group to embrace more psychedelic sounds. Nice bell work on the cymbals too. It’s since been covered by The Vines and speed-metallers Helloween. Hauntingly brilliant. “”Some things we fudged on slightly to make it rhyme, but the majority of it’s pretty accurate, I guess,” Haggard told NPR of the song in 2010. Much more than a classic rock anthem, “Piece of My Heart” is a cultural emblem in itself, as well as an icon of a timeless talent gone far too soon. The 6/8 time signature and the renaissance feel of the instrumentation give the song the tone of a dirge but Cohen’s vocal performance – exploding into each refrain with a tangible sense of awe – is the essence of rock ’n roll. A shimmering slice of 60s Britannica which honed in on a vision of the capital via the narrative grace of Ray Davies. With its gentle jangle and angelic harmonies this track set the template for all future alt-country jams. It wasn’t even ruined by Mick Jagger and David Bowie in 1985. —Robert Ham, Being of a certain age, this song will forever be cemented in my mind as the one that soundtracks Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore getting all sensual with clay in Ghost. “A Change is Gonna Come” was released during the end of a tempestuous 1964. Robinson remarked that it “sounded like a circus,” and the rest, as they say, is history. This article is an in-depth perspective of the best rock songs of the 60s and 70s. ‘To Love Somebody’ was originally intended for Otis Redding , but he died before he could tackle Barry and Robin Gibb’s latest masterpiece so the Bee Gees recorded it themselves. Thanks to Brian Wilson’s fervent experimentation, endless takes and overdubs, a pretty hefty cash injection from Capitol, and of course that electro-theremin, ‘Good Vibrations’ really showed producers in 1966 – and in every year since – what could be achieved within those soundproofed walls. The Shangri-Las, “Leader of the Pack”, 75. It’s a simple idea, really. Martha and the Vandellas, “Dancing in the Street”, 44. Musically, the song mimics the narrator’s high, starting off slowly, then picking up speed and building to a frenzied crescendo (highlighted by John Cale’s viola screeches) before coming back down again in the end. Smokey Robinson did it first. “Ground control to Major Tom” it begins, introducing the world not only to the first of his many characters but in many cases to the man himself. Inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey, the song spins the tale of “Major Tom” an unfortunate astronaunt trapped drifiting in space. If it was a balm, it failed, but if it was just another gentle song and career highlight for jazz pioneer Louis Armstrong, the tune was still a huge success. A counter-culture classic. (But don’t worry, you can just click here to find our best-of lists for some of those bands like The Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Kinks, and The Velvet Underground.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9PYPvMz-Wc. Find 60s tracks, artists, and albums. — Bonnie Stiernberg, This 1964 single maybe have been the last time Roy Orbison reached the top of the charts in the U.S., but the impact it had on the pop music world was marked. The Beatles, “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, 41. Like an American version of Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot, Nancy and Lee were a sultry pairing who radiated with danger and mysterious sexual allure. —Robert Ham, The Hollies, one of the more underrated groups to come from the British Invasion, finally broke through in America with this chirpy 1966 single that charmingly tells the tale of finding love while waiting for public transit. Well, thank goodness they never did. Some great 1960s music went missing in action in a decade when tens of thousands of singles were released each year, we've picked the best 60s singles below As for the central metaphor, comparing love to a burning ring of fire was a creative, almost counterintuitive step that successfully brought together both the joy and the pain of falling hard for someone. Reggae originated in the Jamaica in this decade, combining elements of ska, R&B, and Caribbean percussion to give sound to the country’s diaspora and social issues. Desmond Dekker & The Aces, “Israelites”, 98. Sly & The Family Stone, “Everyday People”, 38. The Troggs’ version quickly eclipsed it the following year. Themselves with an urgency which was said to mimic Bob Dylan it is Ain t. Record Forever Changes love you ”, 98 a... 100 best tracks of the Stooges at their best. Makes it seem so seamless is a member of the many hits off the trio ’ s band! 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