The Kinks’ most beautiful song came at a time when Ray Davies was reaching his peak as a songwriter. David Bowie’s first album wasn’t on the level of the masterpieces that would come after it. The Groove was a soul-oriented band formed in Melbourne in 1967 with artists who had played in some of the biggest bands of the day. — Bonnie Stiernberg, This lead single from Sonny & Cher’s 1965 album Look at Us is a perfect pop boy-girl duet. Before there was a mainstream feminist movement, Loretta Lynn was tackling the hardcore throw-down. —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. 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. —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. But the group moved into the spotlight with 1962′s hit record “Green Onions.” The flawless showcase of musicianship is widely considered one of greatest instrumental recordings of all time. Everything about that has to do with James’ amazing vocal performance, a masterclass in singing that inspired future singers both male and female, from Rod Stewart and Diana Ross to Amy Winehouse and Adele. —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. Though seemingly saccharine thanks to Bobbie Gentry’s sweet soprano and the song’s repetitive structure, the lyrics actually detail a violent scene, as “Billie Joe McAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge.” Even still, the song spent four weeks at No.1 in 1967. Lou Reed had a way of showcasing a part of New York City life in the 1960s that many knew existed but few were willing to tackle in song form. It’s a one of a kind rock hit. Sly & The Family Stone – “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)”. In this song, Sinatra sings about looking back on his life and his work: “I’ve lived a life that’s full / I traveled each and every highway / And more, much more than this, I did it my way.” While he still had many years to go after he recorded this song in 1969, the majority of his career and most well-known albums were in the rearview at that point, especially since his big band style had given way to the British invasion and rock ‘n roll. Somewhat surprsingly, “Waterloo Sunset” ends things on a stunningly majestic note. The seven and a half minute love song takes you from the early stages of their relationship to to the devastating breakup. —Mark Lore, Stevie Wonder wrote the music for this song, but he went to Robinson for help with the lyrics. “I Wanna Be Your Dog” is a filthy masterpiece. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. 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. Phil Ochs, the Texan-born singer, self-described social democrat, and revolutionary, epitomized this. There’s confusion, lust, depression and the feeling that makes you wish you were “born a thousand years ago.”, 7. 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. James Brown had earlier recordings that made funk music what it is. Paste compiled the 100 best songs of the 1960s by whittling down a list of more than 500 songs. —Steve Rosen, It’s telling that, 40-plus years after its initial release, “Space Oddity” remains a weird, weird song. —Bryan C. Reed, Condense everything that made the Stax sound so gritty into one three-minute capsule, and you’ll get “Green Onions.” The label’s most recognizable melody—inspired, allegedly, by Ray Charles—came from Booker T. and the MG’s, Stax’s long-time house band and one of the most racially integrated soul groups of all time. Still, the heart of the song is Simon’s introspective lyrics about a boxer struggling with life inside and outside the ring. They're a metalcore band with nu metal influences. The electric guitar’s role in rock music would never be quite the same. And yet the sing-along chorus – a rarity in Hendrix’s catalog — outshines everything. 40. Once the group got around to cutting its own rendition, the song was all theirs. The Sixties mark the decade when rock and roll fully took shape as an art form. 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. Ray Charles’ covering a traditional pop song wasn’t well-received by everyone. Let the debate begin. When Grace Slick joined Jefferson Airplane, not only did the band get one of the greatest female voices in rock history. 2 and No. Not only did Franklin add the famous “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” and “Sock it to me!” parts. / With no direction home,” quickly became prophetic to them. It’s those first few moments after a bad breakup or the beginnings of a long distance relationship with an uncertain future. 50. —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. Much of band’s masterful album “Something Else” tackles a lot of social and political issues going on in England at the time. It was quite divisive at the time. An African American spiritual song reworked by Nina Simone with the help of producer Hal Mooney, the song’s jazz arrangement is the first thing that jumps out. We have all, at one point or another, longed to stumble upon that special someone in “meet cute” fashion. —Paul Williams, “Wooden Ships” is a staple from Crosby, Stills & Nash’s eponymous debut album from 1969. But “Cold Sweat” marked a turning point for soul music as a whole, abandoning the twelve bar blues chord progression for a one-chord bass line and that astonishing breakbeat. The Jimi Hendrix Experience – “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)”. When Brian Wilson began obsessing over Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound production, The Beach Boys music became truly groundbreaking. But it never comes to rest. You’re probably wondering where “Mr. —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. Then Jimi Hendrix hijacked it. “Space Oddity” certainly feels like two or three different parts of songs melded together. 3) "Groovy" is such a 1960s word. Martha and the Vandellas, “Dancing in the Street”, 44. © 2021 Advance Local Media LLC. The blues bled into hard rock. One of their jams was “Simon Says.” It had a similar feel to the other bubblegum type stuff they put out. The song sounds so beautiful, it makes you believe it can happen. 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. Albert King – “Born Under a Bad Sign”. The Beatles, “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, 41. But it wasn’t until The Righteous Brothers’ covered it that the track became a true pop standard. 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. The origins of “The House of the Rising Sun” go back a long way with a folk melody that may have originated in the 16th century. Ray Davies originally wrote the song on piano. And it helped bring their second guitarist Jimmy Page into the fold. 82. While the song might seem simple by today’s pop standards, it was quite a shock to the system for a mainstream pop act to make orchestral sounds the centerpiece of a single. Here, the plea for reconciliation feels more agonized and terrified. “Simon Says” reminds me a little of the theme song for the 1970s Scooby Doo cartoon. 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. But even the great Motown Records couldn’t control the song’s narrative. One of many Lynn songs banned for their candor, the Kentuckian singer lobs a perky opening salvo at the bigmouth homewrecker. It has an edm sort of feel to it. One is a hard rock band from California, and the other is a prog rock band from Sweden. Your list would surely be different. “I Am The Walrus” is one of John Lennon’s most meticulous compositions. 77. Jackie Wilson - “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher a & Higher”. But Cooke’s didn’t like the final product. Fifty years later, the chemistry between organist Booker T. Jones and guitarist Steve Cropper still feels like it’s happening live. 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