Fogerty goes back and forth from point-of-views—from the millionaire’s son to the senator’s son to the folks born to wave the red, white and blue. —Matt Fink, Probably the song that Redding is still the most well-known for, “Sitting On A Dock Of The Bay” was co-written by legendary soul man Steve Cropper and recorded mere days before Redding’s death, released posthumously. “Like a Rolling Stone”’s refrain, “How does it feel / To be on your own? One of the few tracks composed by Nanker – Phelge, which was the collective pseudonym the Stones used when all five of them – Jagger, Jones, Richards, Watts and Wyman – contributed to the writing (and more importantly shared the royalties). Some insist that punk rock started in the U.K. in the ’70s; the Sonics tell us otherwise. — Bonnie Stiernberg, This song is the consummate piece of early ‘60s pop. 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. 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. An apt follow-up No. 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. They didn’t complain about the results, and the song found its true resonance in 1967’s The Graduate. Still a teenager, this was another 60s smash written by future 10cc-er Graham Gouldman in his downtime. 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. Top Hits of the 60s | Oldies Songs List 1960. 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 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. —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. Hendrix exudes soulful swagger, dripping with leering bravado and uncoiled sexuality. —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. 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. 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. From that very first “WHAT you want…” it’s clear this is an anthem, one that timed out perfectly with the civil rights era and the feminist movement, but it can be applied to pretty much anyone who’s looking for a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Aretha demanded her propers, and nearly half a century later, she still reigns as the Queen of Soul, thanks in no small part to this undeniable track. Appropriately, their first single, “California Dreamin’,” is a paean to that state, and is still, for my money, the finest song they have recorded. —Lane Billings and Logan Lockner, The music was phenomenal. Throbbing, pounding, and dripping with latent energy it epitomises the lurid appeal of The Stooges at their very best. —Max Blau, Up there with “Sweet Caroline” when it comes to most memorable horn licks 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. Nice bell work on the cymbals too. Not released as a single until 2004, ‘River Man’ was, in the troubled Nick Drake’s eyes, the centrepiece of his debut album ‘Five Leaves Left. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAdtUDaBfRA. —Steve Rosen, It’s telling that, 40-plus years after its initial release, “Space Oddity” remains a weird, weird song. But this is Led Zep, so of course it does. Though they would continue to record and tour following the release of The Psychedelic Sounds…, nothing they did came remotely close to having the impact and ferocious psychedelic energy of their debut and its incendiary single and leadoff track, “You’re Gonna Miss Me.”—Ryan Bort, When Patti Smith name-checks this song in her book Just Kids as something important she heard on the radio in the late ‘60s, well, that must mean it’s culturally significant. Dusty Springfield, “Son of a Preacher Man”, 76. Written and produced by Smokey Robinson with Ronald White, it features David Ruffin’s first – silky smooth – lead vocal. Just sayin’. ‘The House Of The Rising Sun’ was only The Animals’ second single but it made their name, topping the charts at home and in the US. 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. Fogerty gave the people a voice so unique and honest that you couldn’t ignore it. 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. 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. They were also playing what was essentially punk rock in the small town of Tacoma, Wash. one year before bands like The Seeds and the 13th Floor Elevators had done anything, three years before the Brits gave us The Pretty Things or The Deviants, and almost five years before The Stooges and MC5 blew up Detroit. 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. —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. Is it a half-speed electric piano? 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. 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. 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. The world's defining voice in music and pop culture since 1952. Young people know every word to so many 60's song … It’s a simple idea, really. The Marvelettes, “Please Mr. Postman”, 94. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkae0-TgrRU. —Max Blau, © 2020 Paste Media Group. 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. — Bonnie Stiernberg, No one wonders why bands still love to cover “I Wanna be Your Dog” in 2014. Is there a track in the world as gloriously filthy as this? —Max Blau, Etta James was one of those rare singers who absolutely defied genre. —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. Co-written by then Manfred Mann singer – and also writer of ‘Handbags And Gladrags’ – Mike D’Abo, ‘Build Me Up Buttercup’ is still a ubiquitous wedding and movie soundtrack favourite 40-odd years on. 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. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Vae_AkLb4Q. Released at the butt end of the 60s, Jagger and Richards captured the changing moods of the time, as race riots, Charles Manson and Vietnam had soured the hippie dream. That’s what the guy on the back of their second album _ Turn! The closing track on seminal 1968 LP ‘Odyssey And Oracle’, ‘Time Of The Season’ was perhaps The Zombies finest moment. — 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. A shimmering slice of 60s Britannica which honed in on a vision of the capital via the narrative grace of Ray Davies. But the musicianship and full-force funk makes it transcend the throwaway, as Sly Stone, guitarist Freddie Stone, bassist Larry Graham and hornsmith Cynthia Robinson all get a go on lead vocals and sweep the world up in the fun. Spitting the lyrics with a bit too much realness, the music spins into a frenzied “high” aided by Moe Tucker’s jiggling percussion and John Cale’s freakish viola. 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. ‘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. However, bands with votes for multiple songs were limited to two tracks each. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VN_Aq2W2Yi0. Phil Ochs, “I Ain’t Marching Anymore”, 52. 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. 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. 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. 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. Written by Phil Medley and Bert Berns – later to produce Van Morrison’s early solo recordings – ‘Twist And Shout’ would of course become best known for The Beatles’ moptop-shaking version. 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. Share. A rip roaring slice of garage rock, this classic was made by Rory Erkison’s squawking vocal style and harmonica solo. 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. Including rock ‘n’ roll, itself. That’s some vocal range. / With no direction home,” quickly became prophetic to them. Whether the lyrics implied drug consumption (as listeners suspected) or a foggy-brained love song (as Hendrix claimed) is irrelevant. Is it… actually, yes, it’s a half-speed electric piano. The Velvet Underground, “Pale Blue Eyes”, 70. “Walkin’ After Midnight,” Patsy Cline, 78. Marvin Gaye, “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”, 6. An evocative, inventive and timeless masterpiece. Simon & Garfunkel, “The Sound of Silence”. Top 60s & 70s Pop Songs. Even if its demarcation of “soft rock” is a bit belittling, this sing-along has endured over the decades. If you enjoyed listening to this one, maybe you will like: 1. 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. ‘Dance To The Music’ is a day-glo riot of pulsating horns, fuzzed-up guitars and zany organ, dressing up what’s essentially an “introducing the band” mid-concert jam. We have all, at one point or another, longed to stumble upon that special someone in “meet cute” fashion. Proto-Krautrock duo the Silver Apples flew miles ahead of the pack with this stunningly unique track. In the world of top hits oldies music back in the beginning of the 1960’s, rock and roll was on the decline. Two Grammys and countless covers later and it’s entered our musical lexicon as shorthand for girl power, soul power and, well, respect. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkPy18xW1j8. —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. Based on the counter-culture novel by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, the VU’s tale of S&M curdled with its own bedraggled charm, thrusting forth with John Cale’s droning viola and Lou Reed’s dully ceremonial vocal. —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. Released in 1965, John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme—led by the strength and cohesion of its title track—was certainly celestial. —Holly Gleason, Stevie Wonder was just 12 years old when he recorded what would go on to become one of the first live songs to hit number one, making him the youngest person in history to top the Billboard Hot 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. “Have Love Will Travel” isn’t as in-your-face as “The Witch” or “Strychnine,” but it’s still a primal slab of garage rock (the skronky sax solo rips, too). Having finished an exhaustive tour of England he’d lost interest in the music game, but the creation of this track – one of his finest moments made even better with Al Kooper’s signature organ line – reinvigorated his love for music. 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. —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. 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. But once Santiglia goes off on her own melodic trip at about the two-minute mark, “My Boyfriend’s Back” soars. Framed by producer Al DeLory’s wistful orchestration, Campbell’s honey-soaked croon perfectly captured the sadness of a long distance telephone lineman. The opening lick over the quick bass/snare drum combo is instantly recognizable. Somehow, I suppose somebody from the press was there and it got picked up. I said “hi” to Caroline, said a few words, and then I told her the story about how the song title came from a photo I’d seen of her and her little pony. But the special thing about this song is that it’s the most direct and rebellious song he’s ever penned. We recommend you to check other playlists or our favorite music charts. —Hilary Saunders, Bob Dylan’s second album, Freewheelin’ came out in 1963 right at the beginning of his career. From the frantic tumble of toms and urgent harmonies of the ten second intro onwards this track doesn’t mess about. 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. Gothic before “goth” existed. 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. 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. It became his only No. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZX0CfFdk-jw. But the dates don’t work and there’s too much joy in this kinetic blast of a record. To this day, plenty of people own huge 1960's collections of music. “I was probably the most incorrigible child you could ever meet. — Bonnie Stiernberg, The Supremes were, bar none, the most successful Motown girl group. Against the walking bass, it’s Booker T. Jones’s Hammond organ that steals the show, providing a slink that habitually pops up in adverts and movies including Get Shorty and American Graffiti. It was a call to liberation. The Stax house band found themselves with an iconic record themselves here, a simple 12-bar blues that thrives on in-built cool. —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. 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. Nina Simone, “To Be Young, Gifted, and Black”, 40. Her performance embodies joy, romance and triumph. —Robert Ham, The 1965 single cut of “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag” became a smash because of James Brown’s introduction of funk elements. Through all its agitation—the off-kilter drum fills, furious horn solos, and rolling bass lines—there’s an underlying heartbeat centering the rhythm when it almost falters. That Bowie makes it seem so seamless is a sign of his mastery. Is it a harpsichord? In honor of Billboard magazine's 120th anniversary on Nov. 1, we're revealing the top 20 Billboard Hot 100 hits from each decade since the 1960s (for a total of 120 songs). And that’s very strange and also very sad. The Beatles, “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, 41. Over here record buyers saw it as a jolly pop tune and sent it to No.1. 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. Inspired by the films of Bunuel and quasi- Biblical in its lyrical bent, ‘The Weight’ became an anthem of American counterculture (see its use in Easy Rider and later Girl, Interrupted). —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. —Eric R. Danton, Considering the career he has had since, it’s wild to think that this song convinced Eric Clapton to leave The Yardbirds because their sound was getting too commercial in his eyes. Originally called ‘Six Miles High’ in reference to the altitude of a commercial flight, ‘Eight Miles High”s less specific title had people thinking about drugs, and the song was duly banned in the States. Find album reviews, stream songs, credits and award information for 100 Hits: Classic 60s - Various Artists on AllMusic - 2011 - With 100 hit tracks spanning five discs, this… Though hailing from Hitsville U.S.A. in Detroit, the song has been covered by everyone from The Beatles to The Carpenters to The Saturdays. 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. Teenage garage rock crew The Count Five used to stride out on stage dressed as Count Dracula (geddit?) Marvin’s is The One, though. Saying The Monkees were successful during 1966-1969 is a dramatic understatement, though. 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. “Israelites” was one of native Jamaican Desmond Dekker’s first international hits and offered the world its first taste of this now-beloved genre. before laying waste to their output including this seminal tune. It stands alone as a nostalgic ode to home, one of his truly universal themes. ‘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. Posted: April 30, 2014 at 9:18 pm / by musicalist / comments (0) tags: Top Hits of 1960. 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. Based around the dirtiest of fuzzy riffs and piercing harmonica, ‘Psychotic Reaction’ moves from glam stomp to psych wig-out and was highly regarded enough for rock critic extraordinaire Lester Bangs to name a book after it. —Katie King, No single song captures The Velvet Underground’s ethos more perfectly than “Heroin.” Contrary to popular belief, it’s not an endorsement of the drug (you only need to listen to Reed’s wry, self-deprecating laugh after he sings “it’s my wife, and it’s my life” to glean that much), but it’s also not an after-school special. Jackie Wilson, ”(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher”, 85. It’s “Born in the U.S.A.” without the irony and misinterpretation. 13th Floor Elevators, “You’re Gonna Miss Me”, 90. “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. Their turbulent domestic life (Tina accused Ike of being an abusive husband) has overshadowed their legacy, but there’s no denying the electricity the two had on stage. This mysterious, mariachi horn-drenched kickstarter from fantastic 1967 album ‘Forever Changes’ was almost not on it at all. The swinging 60s might be more than half a century ago now, but their revolutionary impact still remains to this day. Here on his debut album ‘Songs Of Leonard Cohen’ he bids farewell to Marianne, his love and muse throughout the 60s, with a pristine bit of poetry and a typically stately and swinging folk-pop arrangement. Although the band broke up shortly after this song’s release, the arid R’n’B stylings of this track would live on decades after their demise. 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. In other words, it’s a perfect approximation of the rapid heartbeat and soaring emotions of someone in love. 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. But the prominence of the form undermines our knowing anything about all that. Rather, the glinting harpsichord and lightly Eastern-influenced percussion simply nudged the door open for the group to embrace more psychedelic sounds. Written by future 10cc member Graham Gouldman, the song still works in the way that romantic movies still capture our attention. It’s a song that serves as a portrait of a specific scene, expertly reflecting a certain time and place when hedonistic socialites, intellectuals and bohemians converged on The Factory to challenge social norms, demand acceptance and be codependent—and it does it all with only two chords. This song fires twin darts at your heart from the beginning. ‘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. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQSGw0hMd_I. James Brown, “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag”, 71. Provenance aside, this intense brooder sees Page bowing his guitar as Robert Plant simmers with Black Country lust. They may have been beaten to the punch by Nina Simone and Bob Dylan, who both recorded versions of the song earlier, but it’s The Animals whose rendition dominated the hearts of listeners for decades to come. 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. Divested of any visual accompaniment, “Born” still sounds as fierce as ever with a searing guitar hook and growling vocal performance by John Kay that laid the template for hard rock and heavy metal. —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. © 2020 NME is a member of the media division of BandLab Technologies. But its titular song stands today as an immortal girl-group pop hit, a nuanced juxtaposition of little-girl sweetness and adult tragedy.
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