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. While Young sings as politely as before, the guitars riff and buzz with menace, setting out a whole new stall. The opening track on Lenny Kaye’s ‘Nuggets’, his essential compilation of late-60s garage and psych rock, ‘I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)’ was written by professional songwriting team Annette Tucker and Nancie Mantz but musses up its classic structure with needling, distorted guitar from Ken Williams – recorded backwards – and a growling lead vocal from James Lowe. Below you will find a ranking of our favorite love songs from the 1960s that will fill dance floors for years to come. The Troggs’ version quickly eclipsed it the following year. Priority's Chart Toppers series is an excellent budget-line collection, offering a strong selection of 15 original hits, grouped by a specific theme and decade, on each disc. Other acts have since recorded “Wild Thing,” including Jimi Hendrix, The Runaways, X, Cheap Trick, Liz Phair, Sam Kinison and, of course, Animal from The Muppet Show. He lays on the lasciviousness, works up some groovy licks and spouts the smut while drummer Mitch Mitchell earns his wage with a clatter of rolling fills and general rabid hastiness. Is it… actually, yes, it’s a half-speed electric piano. Originally done by vocal group The Dells, Jackie Wilson re-recorded the track in Chicago with members of the Motown in house band, The Funk Brothers. They might have done the gritty thing with ‘Ball Of Confusion’ and ‘Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone’ or tried overwrought testifying on ‘Ain’t Too Proud To Beg’, but the Temptations song that gets reeled out most these days is this soppy, doo-wopping poem to a girl who makes everything all right. ‘Cinnamon Girl’ was later covered by Smashing Pumpkins and Motörhead. That voice—sounding pissed and possessed—lit up the band’s two releases, 1965’s Here Are The Sonics and Boom, released the following year. Smokey Robinson did it first. As with all great pop, though, it’s the way you express it, and with the help of producer Lou Adler (and an additional flute break) The Mamas and Papas turned a wistful thought into one of the greatest pop tunes ever. The swinging 60s might be more than half a century ago now, but their revolutionary impact still remains to this day. Somehow, I suppose somebody from the press was there and it got picked up. 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. 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. The bestselling single from the band that gave us UK No.1 (and later Billy Idol single) ‘Mony Mony’, ‘Crimson And Clover’ occupies a strong, silent place in rock history. —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. King Crimson, “21st Century Schizoid Man”, 80. As the ultimate stamp of grungy approval it would later be squished into submission by Iggy Pop. —Hilary Saunders, Haggard had already landed four No. Folk enjoyed a political revival, yet, the British Invasion was blessedly not political. 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. Recorded just 6 weeks before his death and released posthumously, this track was Redding looking back at a life that had seen him move to San Francisco from Georgia to seek stardom. A hymn-like universal anthem which King penned with songwriting legends Leiber and Stoller, that was not only later to be covered by Jimi Hendrix but also used for the classic coming of age film of the same name and would become a by-word for 50s nostalgia. It may have been a hard left turn away from the blues-based rock and pop the group was doing up to that point, but that doesn’t diminish the song’s power one iota. —Hilary Saunders, Almost 50 years since the release of Big Brother and the Holding Company’s cover of “Piece of My Heart” and still no one can wail like Janis Joplin. Find 60s tracks, artists, and albums. “Dazed and Confused,” one of the lead, legendary originals from the band’s self-titled debut, however, helped lay down the groundwork for a storied decade to come. The song ratchets up with intensity and emotion in much the same way that their ‘64 hit “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” did, but for much different aims. There’s a man with a gun over there, telling me I’ve got to beware. The Slits, meanwhile, post-punked the shit out of it. Over the course of several weeks, thousands of SoulTrackers nominated and then voted on the Greatest Soul Songs of the 1960s. This song in particular, the first song off 1966’s album of the same name, was an especially soulful and successful example of their musical spark. 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. 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. Written in honor of Simone’s friend Lorraine Hansberry, author of the play A Raisin in the Sun (which, consequently, takes its name from Langston Hughes’ poem “Harlem”), the song became an anthem of the Civil Rights Movement. © 2021 NME is a member of the media division of BandLab Technologies. His pain, our gain. An apt follow-up No. 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. Listen free to Various Artists – 101 60s Party Hits (Can't Take My Eyes Off You, Things and more). Grace Slick perfectly captured the mid-60s hope that narcotics could change perceptions and the world. —Logan Lockner, Led Zeppelin wasn’t exactly treading new ground when Jimmy Page formed the group in 1968, bringing them together to release their self-titled debut a year later. It’s easy to underestimate the raw power and sheer importance of the Motor City Five, who let’s not forget were writing punk tracks seven years before the Pistols. 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. It’s performed on a bleak scale by Manchester’s finest The Hollies but is an ever-turning song of hope about the nice young lady in the queue who, by August, “was mine“. Mid-1967, as the Summer Of Love approached, and The Small Faces’ got ready to meet their Nice, over the pond the Velvets were tripping up to Harlem to score $26 worth of smack. 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. Find album reviews, stream songs, credits and award information for 100 Greatest 50s & 60s Hits - Various Artists on AllMusic - 2011 Buffalo Springfield, “For What It’s Worth”, 14. —Bonnie Stiernberg, This legendary duet ranks among the best of all time—Motown or otherwise—and it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of songwriter Nick Ashford. And yet the sing-along chorus – a rarity in Hendrix’s catalog — outshines everything. “I was probably the most incorrigible child you could ever meet. Yet another sterling pop track based on a dysfunctional relationship, Elvis’ final Number One was initially a flop for another songwriter, Mark James. According to legend this track was inspired by Keith Richard’s gardener (along with the effect of quaffing too much acid ), The Stones’ ‘…Jack’ was led by Richards’ propulsive, open tuned guitar riff which he likened to “levitation.” Meanwhile Jagger’s vocal was the perfect blend of bullish and petulant. Just sayin’. “Walkin’ After Midnight,” Patsy Cline, 78. Jackie Wilson, ”(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher”, 85. By the time MacLean completed it, though, Love was already working on their seminal 1967 record Forever Changes. Classic Pop Music Hits from Sixties & Seventies. —Beca Grimm, Other songs may be more influential or boast wittier lyrics, but none are as simply beautiful as “Waterloo Sunset.” The guitar part feels like a hug from an old friend, and the lyrics remind us that sometimes all you truly need is someone to walk along a bridge with. 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. — Zach Blumenfeld, Jazz has a supernatural presence when crafted correctly. —Kurt Suchman, “The Weight” remains The Band’s most well-known song to date, and who can complain with that? —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. 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. Turn! Two and a half minutes of world class pop later and it’s gone, but in your head forever. One of our favorite performances of this song actually came almost 20 years later, though, after divorce and solo careers. We recommend you to check other playlists or our favorite music charts. It took a 4am – 7am session at Tennessee’s American Sound Studio with Chip Morman to birth The King’s final calling card. Hard to wipe that image of Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and the potter’s wheel in 1990’s Ghost, but ‘Unchained Melody’ was almost a cliché even as far back as 1965, having been subjected to numerous versions already. —Tyler Kane, One of the quintessential ’60s songs, “Time of the Season” is easily identifiable from Chris White’s simple and sturdy bass line, which gives space for Rod Argent’s psychedelic scribble. “I Ain’t Marching Anymore” criticizes America’s futile Vietnam invasion with zing and zest over quick acoustic strumming in the tradition of folk heroes like Pete Seeger and Woody Guthie. A cheery bolt of daydream escapism, amongst a background of social upheaval. Over here record buyers saw it as a jolly pop tune and sent it to No.1. —Max Blau, The Shangri-Las’ 1965 album Leader of the Pack never performed as well on the charts as the singles it spawned. These songs are ranked based upon their intitial and lasting popularity, as well as their influence and impact on the evolution of Rock and Roll and its sub-genres. Chip Taylor – brother of US actor Jon Voight – wrote ‘Wild Thing’, which was originally recorded by The Wild Ones. “Space Oddity” certainly feels like two or three different parts of songs melded together. The Animals, “House of the Rising Sun”, 26. Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, “You Really Got A Hold on Me”, 30. In fact, even in its much tamer studio version, The Stooges’ feedback-heavy force of a song still out-fought most hard-rockers in ’69, only being outdone by Detroit brothers The MC5. 100 Greatest Rock Songs of the 60's Criteria: Songs listed are from Rock and Roll and related sub-genres. 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. No less than on the mythology referencing ‘Some Velvet Morning’ which has gone on to become a much covered alternative duet (perhaps most famously by Primal Scream and Kate Moss). —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. A single is a type of music release defined by the British Official Charts Company (OCC) as … —Sandy Pearlman, With Frank Sinatra now long passed, “My Way” has taken on a new, beautiful significance. The story goes that Martha Reeves’ peerless call to party was actually an incitement to riot as black residents of Harlem fought pitched battles against white police officers in its month of release. That is, the Byrds’ music has that sort of dependable self-energizing kineticism. While Otis Redding originally had a hit with this track in ’65, it would take two years, a phenomenal soul voice, some backing “sock it to me”s and a formidable “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” breakdown to really set the track on fire. Misery never sounded so good. 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. 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. You’re at Brian Wilson’s mercy from then on as he tips out tumbling drums and sweet harmonies relentlessly for the next three minutes. When creating a list of the best love songs of the 1960s, we also wanted to consider which songs are still prevalent in today’s era – timeless. But it never comes to rest. A counter-culture classic. But this is Led Zep, so of course it does. The Mamas & the Papas, “California Dreamin’”, 51. In this performance from 1973—the first time the trio had performed together in years—their harmonies are ragged and the delivery unrehearsed, but regardless, just having these musicians playing together again, and more importantly, obviously enjoying it, was a cause for celebration. —Robert Ham, It’s hard to think of any one record that has influenced an entire genre as much as the 13th Floor Elevators’ seminal debut The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators influenced the future of psych rock. Rank Song Title Song Artist Year Genre; Top songs of the 1950's is updated by the minute by Gigbuilder - The world's most popular Event Management System. —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. Mitch Mitchell’s drums go off like funky firecrackers. It would be years before the band finally stepped out of their borderline-derivative blues-meets-rock fusion. Columbia Records was more than happy to bring in members of the Wrecking Crew for session work to help supplement their meager earnings from Berry Gordy. —Max Blau, Etta James was one of those rare singers who absolutely defied genre. The music itself is simple, as most of Fogerty’s tunes are. This is a ... 100 Best Seasons of TV in the 21st Century. ‘The Tracks Of My Tears’ is one of their most enduring songs, a chest-bursting ballad that somehow failed to make the US Top 10. — Bonnie Stiernberg, One of the first supergroups, Cream—composed of Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker and Eric Clapton—moved from blues to psychedelic rock with their second album Disraeli Gears. 3,996 100 Ultimate List of Isekai Anime. This is a list of the best songs of the 60's decade (1960 to 1969) Their loss was The Supremes’ gain as the foot-stomping ‘Where Did Our Love Go’ made No.1 in America, No.3 over here and in 1981 got tacked onto Soft Cell’s Tainted Love to make a camp 12″ megamix. Pickett’s version, which appeared on his 1966 album The Wicket Pickett is the most recognized, even getting adapted again in the early ‘90s in the music film The Commitments. James Brown, “I Got You (I Feel Good)”, 16. From the hit machine and conveyor belt of in-house stars produced by Motown to the burgeoning, melon-twisting dawn of psychedelia, it was a decade of exploration and experimentation. Not really a fan of jazz, so there's a lack of it on this list. More pop than the bluesy Yardbirds were used to, it was too much for purist Eric Clapton who left to join Bluesbreakers, but ‘For Your Love’ still has a frenetic power and an edge that suggests Clapton was hasty. Creedence Clearwater Revival’s sprightly Cajun blues was apparently a bit of soothsaying inspired by recent political occurrences. ‘Beggars Banquet’’s opener was Jagger and Richards at their finest; the former swiping bits of Baudelaire for a dance with the devil and the latter suggesting it be set to a samba rhythm. But with “Gimme Shelter,” the Stones—those Satanic majesties—go full-tilt to the dark side, reflecting all the apocalyptic anxiety of the Vietnam era without ever directly referencing the conflict that defined their generation. In the end this just missed out on the UK top spot to The Beatles’ ‘Help!’. Discover more music, concerts, videos, … 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 covered over 1,000 times, it’s the most played song in public places as well as the most played song on British broadcasting ever. Ike & Tina Turner, “River Deep – Mountain High”, 73. Theremins, drum solos, saucy sex-obsessed gasps – on paper in shouldn’t work. While the charms of this track are obvious upon exposure, its studio legacy is just as important. 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. But the prominence of the form undermines our knowing anything about all that. While blues singers Irma Thomas and later Koko Taylor were howling “You Can Have My Husband (But Please Don’t Mess With My Man),” Lynn drew a line in the sand around her catting around lesser half Doolittle “Mooney” Lynn. —Robert Ham, Just as “Umbrella” was kicked down to Rihanna after being rejected by Britney’s label, so too did a dozen or so other bands refuse to record “Happy Together” before it was offered to The Turtles in 1967. I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound? Smokey Robinson was the quite the Motown mogul, becoming a VP after encouraging Berry Gordy to set up the label in the first place, then piling on hit after hit as a writer/producer and lead singer of The Miracles. Top songs of the groovy sixties. Released in 1965, John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme—led by the strength and cohesion of its title track—was certainly celestial. The writhing and riff heavy opener to Led Zeppelin’s best album (‘Led Zeppelin II’) never received a UK single release but shifted millions of copies in the US. It was a call to liberation. 60 songs. By NME. —Hilary Saunders, Although it’s tried ever since, progressive music has never been as heavy-hitting as the opener of King Crimson’s 1969 debut album In the Court of the Crimson King. 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. It wasn’t the record’s first single, but it’s no doubt the most enduring, and a permanent soundtrack to late-’60s counterculture. Even if its demarcation of “soft rock” is a bit belittling, this sing-along has endured over the decades. But within the band’s own history, “Crimson and Clover” served as the turning point for more conceptual work. The Shangri-Las, “Leader of the Pack”, 75. —Max Blau, © 2021 Paste Media Group. —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. And if you had to distill the entire ten years’ worth of musical endeavour into one album, it would be The Beatles’ ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’. Songwriter Rod Argent drives the song on with his electric piano while Colin Blunstone strains for the vocal as the song gives early warning of The Zombies’ accomplished pop skills, later realised on legendary album ‘Odessey And Oracle’. Penned by Jimmy Webb (who also wrote ‘Galveston’), this was another tale of blue-collar blues. Though Simon admitted later to being inspired to write that lyric after turning off the bathroom light during a songwriting session (for the bathroom often has the best acoustics), the song is a perceptive commentary on people’s inability to communicate. Up until that point, the song had been bouncing along the runway, fueled by handclaps and those tightly wound harmonies of the backing vocals. —Mark Lore, The Kinks’ 1964 breakthrough hit is widely (and rightly) considered an all-time great. 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. Like many Cream songs, ‘White Room’ was written by bassist and vocalist Jack Bruce with the English poet Pete Brown. But the special thing about this song is that it’s the most direct and rebellious song he’s ever penned. This paean to the grisly aftermath of an unforgiving curry – or tribute to love’s steamy embrace, whatever you fancy – was written by Johnny Cash’s future wife June Carter with Merle Kilgore, and originally recorded by June’s sister Anita. Sorry, late ‘60s parents. Aided by a rudimentary synthesizer and a non-traditional song structure, ‘Oscillations’ appropriately enough, spoke of the beauty of the new, in an effortlessly forward- looking way. —Robert Ham, Covered by the likes of Calexico and The Damned, “Alone Again Or” was written by Love guitarist Bryan MacLean, and intended for the band’s 1965 debut. It stands alone as a nostalgic ode to home, one of his truly universal themes. All Rights Reserved, 100. The iconic single appeared on her 1969 masterpiece album Dusty in Memphis. Noel Redding’s bass bobs and weaves around howling guitar leads. Dylan’s backing band charmed generations of drifters with this future country-rock classic. But once Santiglia goes off on her own melodic trip at about the two-minute mark, “My Boyfriend’s Back” soars. Try to listen to this song, even in our current cynical and overstretched times, and remain unmoved or unemotional. Since covered by everyone from Megadeth to Jessica Simpson. It doesn’t go anywhere. One of many Lynn songs banned for their candor, the Kentuckian singer lobs a perky opening salvo at the bigmouth homewrecker. 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’s become a virtue. Featuring Curtis Mayfield on glorious lead vocals and sparing, funky guitar, ‘People Get Ready’ is a calm and spiritual call to join the fight – be it for civil rights or simple religious salvation. The end of a record an all-time great for more conceptual work gladys followed... 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