By itself, it’s no more than a melancholic mood piece, but then, after a sudden transition made from harsh glissandos, it changes into what sounds like a separate song—McCartney, churning out one of the light, gorgeous melodies he seemed to summon at will. Folk enjoyed a political revival, yet, the British Invasion was blessedly not political. And that’s very strange and also very sad. Music from 1960 -1969. Ike & Tina Turner, “River Deep – Mountain High”, 73. The blues bled into hard rock. Phil Ochs, the Texan-born singer, self-described social democrat, and revolutionary, epitomized this. But even if this 1963 single should actually just be taken at face value, “I Want To Hold Your Hand” exemplifies the era’s joyful pop rock, noted by kitschy handclaps, a swinging backbeat and perfect Fab Four harmonies. Even though he’s gone on to write literally thousands of great songs since then, nothing has ever surpassed the sincerity and passion the 21- year-old musician poured into every track on the record. “As tears subside, I find it all so amusing,” he sings, “To think I did all that.” ‘Ol Blue Eyes is looking back on everything, and though things may be coming to an end and he may not have made all the right choices, he—and anyone else listening—can be proud that they’ve done it their way. —Robert Ham, Ed Sullivan famously told Jim Morrison to refrain from singing the line, “Girl, we couldn’t get much higher,” before the Doors’ performance of “Light My Fire” on his show on live television in 1967. Turn! It’s impossible. Pop music felt its soul. Like in most of his work, Reed offers a harrowing tale without any overwhelming judgment. Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You”, 82. Merry Clayton’s wailing vocal solo is positively chilling, but in the end, there’s a glimmer of hope that reminds us that maybe this song and “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” aren’t so different after all: “Love, sister, is just a kiss away.” — Bonnie Stiernberg, This was one of the first pop songs to include “God’ in its name. The Sonics were uglier, louder and scarier than anything that had floated this way during the British Invasion. Appropriately, their first single, “California Dreamin’,” is a paean to that state, and is still, for my money, the finest song they have recorded. I asked if they’d mind if I sang “Sweet Caroline.” So the connection was made to this gathering at the New York Public Library. In the Name of Love”, 19. And yet, in 1969, when bands such as Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones were playing stadiums with electric guitars, he got his band of violins and horns together to record this emotional song in his unique style that endures to this day. This is a great book for the price I paid. The published rates are for US domestic shipping only. —Beca Grimm, One of the leading groups of the early ‘60s, Peter, Paul and Mary took inspiration from old-timey folk groups and reinvigorated it with pop harmonies fitting for the day. With “At Last,” the title track of her 1961 album, she delivers arguably one of the most iconic songs of all time. — Bonnie Stiernberg, “Hello, darkness, my old friend / I’ve come to talk with you again.” Arrested Development jokes aside, this lyric from “The Sound of Silence” is one of the most iconic song openers in music. Jazz felt free. Who sang the original song "Woman is a Devil" performed by the Doors? This means that the risk of loss and title for such items passes to you upon our delivery to the carrier. Both tracks were included in the group's subsequent album release, Golden Hits of the 4 Seasons (1963).[3]. —Robert Ham, We once designated this song as one of 10 songs people need to stop covering. Sounds of the 60s … The opening lick over the quick bass/snare drum combo is instantly recognizable. He sings phrases like “Mystery tramp?” “Chrome horse with your diplomat?” “Napoleon in rags?” as if they were a new language, a secret code, masquerading as popular song. “Space Oddity” certainly feels like two or three different parts of songs melded together. “Walkin’ After Midnight,” Patsy Cline, 78. Eating his cherry, cherry pie I didn't put in a thumb I didn't pull out a plum I guess I'm not as great as he, whoa-oh, whoa-oh Give me nah-nah-nah give me some nah-nah-nah-nah-nah Give me nah-nah-nah give me some nah-nah-nah-nah-nah Give me nah-nah-nah give me some cherry, cherry pie Nah, nah Nah, nah, nah, whoa-oh, whoa-oh Nah, nah, nah —Robert Ham, While there remains some mystery surrounding Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead’s involvement with Jefferson Airplane’s folk-psychedelic classic Surrealistic Pillow, it’s certain that the album remains a premier example of the concise blends of the bohemian 1960s. It took Gouldman to give that feeling a musical lift buoyed by little lyrical details (“Sometimes she’d shop / and she would show me what she bought”) and a shimmying rhythm. We have all, at one point or another, longed to stumble upon that special someone in “meet cute” fashion. Back in 2008, Diamond told us the history of the song, written for John F. Kennedy’s daughter Caroline: “It was her birthday and her husband [Edwin Schlossberg] called up and said, “Neil, could you sing happy birthday to Caroline?” I agreed to do it so we set up a cross-country satellite thing in my little studio here in LA. According to Gaudio, the song took about 15 minutes to write and was originally titled "Jackie Baby" (in honor of then-First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy). —Hilary Saunders, Years before Sly Stone’s drug addiction and enigmatic persona fully materialized, he was changing the way people viewed soul and pop music from a musical, cultural and racial standpoint. “Israelites” was one of native Jamaican Desmond Dekker’s first international hits and offered the world its first taste of this now-beloved genre. Van claimed he never saw a penny of royalties and the contract he naively signed rendered him liable for all expenses incurred during the recording process, which is probably a big reason why he doesn’t consider it one of his favorite songs from the catalog. This was only a prelude to the true greatness to come. Those unforgettable power chords laid the groundwork for generations of hard rock bands to come. Carrying that weight for us is Bobby Hatfield reaching deep within his soul for a vocal performance that feels like he’s tearing his heart apart, bit by bit, with each line. This cover of an old Pete Seeger tune was one of the many hits off the trio’s self-titled 1962 debut album. — Bonnie Stiernberg, This song is showcase not only for those delightful vocals by lead singer Dolores Brooks and her cohorts, but also the strange genius that was Phil Spector. Written by future 10cc member Graham Gouldman, the song still works in the way that romantic movies still capture our attention. 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. #5 “BANANA BOAT SONG” – “Daylight come and me want to go home….”, the Jamaican folk song saw new life when Harry Belafonte in 1956 and again in the 80s when the film “Beetlejuice” copped the song for a hilarious ghost possession scene. Plus, it helped those boys in Remember The Titans work out their differences. Although songs like “Sunshine of Your Love” deliver a distinctly late-’60s psych sound, the band went on to become influential in the forming of metal, prog and jam bands. — Bonnie Stiernberg, The Supremes were, bar none, the most successful Motown girl group. The call-and-response of lines like “What’s your name? However, whether he liked it or not, “Brown Eyed Girl” has since become his reluctant calling card, the one Van Morrison song everyone seems to know about due to its firm place on classic rock radio, its appearance in such acclaimed films as The Big Chill and Born on the Fourth of July and the fact its a song in regular rotation in the iPods of no less than two American presidents. —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. Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”, 34. It’s inspired countless “singing into a hairbrush” moments, in film and real life alike. —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. The English rockers hit No. Their catalog included their infamous, yet, most famous, f-bomb-dropping “Kick Out the Jams”—a hard-rocking tune that’s been covered by the likes of Rage Against the Machine and Pearl Jam. —Ross Bonaime, Maybe the best known of all the Man in Black’s songs, “Ring of Fire” perfectly encapsulates the Tex-Mex style of country that would propel Cash to lasting stardom. “I Got You (I Feel Good)” is his highest-charting single, though, lead by Brown’s squeals, yelps, and shaking hips. Discover new music you'll love, listen to free personalized 60s, 70s, and 80s Hits radio. —Kurt Suchman, The early days of rock music found its many stars and wannabe stars digging through the treasure trove of folk and blues for inspiration. Peter, Paul and Mary, “If I Had A Hammer”, 42. The album also features Redding’s recording of the Sam & Dave hit “Knock On Wood,” which is also featured on this list. A simple tune, not full of the vocal theatrics that he so often performed, it could easily start conversations about the Otis Redding that could have come. Including rock ‘n’ roll, itself. All Rights Reserved, 100. It’s a blistering piece of proto-punk, one that set the stage for any outlandish, fuzzed-out guitar line that would follow in a garage, and Iggy Pop’s unforgettable wails—“Now I wanna be your dog!”—can’t be unheard. After the track hit number one, The Temptations’ decidedly less gritty version was released, but by then, Starr’s take had already cemented its status as the definitive version. Smith - 1968 Bread and Butter - The Newbeats - 1964 Jambalaya - Jo Stafford - 1952 Green Onions - Booker T. and the MG's - 1962 Banana Boat (Day-O) - Harry Belafonte - 1957 Jambalaya (On the Bayou) - Hank Williams - 1952 —Robert Ham, The key to loving this song is to falling hard for the very end when lead Angel Peggy Santiglia moves past the restraint she’s exhibited for the rest of the song and starts singing for the rafters. It’s like listening to a smile, and no matter how many cheesy romantic comedies it soundtracks, that never gets old. The Righteous Brothers, “Unchained Melody”, 97. You will either start tearing up or looking out your nearest window to watch the world drift by. The sultry song, released as a single that year, went on to become one of the Los Angeles band’s most recognizable and best-selling hits. Fullscreen . —Sandy Pearlman, With Frank Sinatra now long passed, “My Way” has taken on a new, beautiful significance. “Like a Rolling Stone”’s refrain, “How does it feel / To be on your own? —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. Its strings and sentiment, laid on thick with Charles’ cooing and piano plinking, make it irrelevant whether the lyrics are about a state or the sister of the original songwriter Hoagy Carmichael. It’s also probably the first song most folks use to turn on others to the contralto singer. Here, the plea for reconciliation feels more agonized and terrified. Beyond Richards’ iconic riff (which he claims came to him in a dream), there’s Mick Jagger—part bluesman, part Marilyn Monroe—in top form, pouting out verses about being sexually frustrated and fed up with commercialism. For a hopeful and everlasting sentiment, the song’s final line reads, “I am leaving, I am leaving / But the fighter still remains.” —Laura Stanley, Has there been any song from the ‘60s that has been more watered down and neutered by its continued use in commercials, TV shows, and films than “Born To Be Wild?” There are likely arguments to be made for a lot of tunes from that decade, but the unbound spirit and thudding oomph of this song has lost all its meaning as a result. Released in 1965, John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme—led by the strength and cohesion of its title track—was certainly celestial. Fifty years later, the chemistry between organist Booker T. Jones and guitarist Steve Cropper still feels like it’s happening live. Stax president Jim Stewart apparently thought ”[Redding’s] rawness and [Thomas’s] sophistication would work” together. The Troggs’ version quickly eclipsed it the following year. The song starts with Lennon’s reflections on the news of the day, tinged with his usual dark outlook. — 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. When R&B legend, pianist, singer, and songwriter Ray Charles covered this old tune from the ‘30s, it leapt to the top of the charts in 1960. More than the specifics of what he did, it’s important to him that he stayed true to himself. 13th Floor Elevators, “You’re Gonna Miss Me”, 90. 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. Her performance embodies joy, romance and triumph. An archetypal “splatter platter,” “Leader of The Pack” was just one of many teenage tragedy sides the Shangri-Las would cut, making them something of icons in macabre sub-genre. The marriage—not so much. Dylan’s convention-defying song announced rock ‘n’ roll would become the voice—his voice—for disaffected Boomers out to revolutionize everything they could touch. But once Santiglia goes off on her own melodic trip at about the two-minute mark, “My Boyfriend’s Back” soars. While many of Bowie’s best are based around the gradual build or surprising the listener, this is by far the one that does it best. Up until that point, the song had been bouncing along the runway, fueled by handclaps and those tightly wound harmonies of the backing vocals. By the time MacLean completed it, though, Love was already working on their seminal 1967 record Forever Changes. She sings, “You been making your brags about town/ That you been lovin’ my man/ But the man I love, when he picks up trash/ He puts it in a garbage can.”, Owning her man “ain’t” a “saint,” Lynn has no trouble suggesting to the brazen gal stay clear. It’s those first few moments after a bad breakup or the beginnings of a long distance relationship with an uncertain future. What did you do when you were 12? Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, “You Really Got A Hold on Me”, 30. Apparently the Sinatra gene runs strong. Fogerty gave the people a voice so unique and honest that you couldn’t ignore it. —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. The Shangri-Las, “Leader of the Pack”, 75. And who doesn’t inadvertently clap along to that middle section? The news went everywhere…I was overwhelmed by it.”, This song incorporates so many important elements of R&B in the ‘60s—the call and response of “All you wanna do is ride around Sally” and “Ride, Sally, ride,” the 12-bar blues, and the brass funkiness. Reception. Rewind 10 Seconds. Music, Film, TV and Political News Coverage. The real story is that the song had been around for about a decade before The Righteous Brothers decided to record it for their 1967 album Just Once In My Life. Dusty Springfield, “Son of a Preacher Man”, 76. —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. The song, which was dressed up with over-distorted guitars, finger-flying note runs and radio-filtered hooks, brought a new focus to rock music by leaning on jazz and classical influence over the English love of blues music. The romantic swoon and playful swing of those earlier singles was replaced with a Sinatra-like cool as he looks to the ocean and wonders what his lover is doing on the other side of that body of water other than “watching the ships that go sailing.” Would that he could split it in half like Moses and reunite with his lady love. —Josh Jackson, Supposedly, this ballad was written as a response to the turbulent times when the Civil Rights Movement and anti-war protests were reaching their peak temperatures. This classic Otis Redding cover is not only one of the best Aretha tracks, but also one of the best songs of all time. 00:00. Big Brother and the Holding Company, “Piece of My Heart”, 29. It’s “Born in the U.S.A.” without the irony and misinterpretation. 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. The Slim Taper ’60s C profile neck is exceedingly comfortable, makes chording easy, and is perfect for pulling out buttery lead lines. —Max Blau, Our favorite moment comes around the three-minute mark, when Page concludes an extended trippy breakdown with peals of electric guitar that make the song’s signature riff seem boring by comparison. Sorry, late ‘60s parents. Soul, blues, jazz, pop—put it in front of her, and she could sing it, breaking your heart on one track by sounding gritty, raw and broken before putting a big, stupid grin on your face on the next song with vocals that were smooth and pristine. Since its release in 1966, countless bands have tried to imitate the album’s sound, and every psych-oriented group from The Jesus and Mary Chain to The Black Angels are in some way indebted to The Elevators and their visionary frontman Roky Erickson. At the studio, the name was changed to "Terri Baby", and eventually to "Sherry", the name of the daughter of Gaudio's best friend, New York DJ Jack Spector.

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