Ian's Movie Reviews
Short Reviews of Movies, Board Games, and Other Stuff

The Ten Best Songs of the 60’s

10. Sunshine of Your Love

The 1960’s was a time of great change in the world, and this was reflected most clearly among pop culture on music. The rock and roll era really began defining itself, and with it came new sounds like the psychedelic songs of bands like Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead, and Cream. Cream’s Sunshine of your Love is a great representation of that bluesy, drug-inspired sound which captured the imaginations of teenage rebels on both sides of the Atlantic.Eric Clapton’s guitar riff remains one of the most recognizable in popular music, and the song remains a powerhouse of hippie rock.

9. Heard it Through the Grapevine
Marvin Gaye

And while psychedelic and protest rock was on the rise, Motown records was making different waves throughout the music industry which would have a lasting effect throughout the decades. One of the most celebrated single songs to come out of this soul movement was Marvin Gaye’s Heard it Through The Grapevine. It is a song that has been covered numerous times. It was even a cover for Gaye himself, but it was one of Motown’s biggest hits nonetheless.

8.A Whiter Shade of Pale
Procul Harem

Even though it came from one of the many one-hit wonders of the time, a great song is a great song. And White Shade of Pale is a great song. The music was famously Bach-inspired and the melody is and vocals can easily sweep listeners away. Its haunting and beautiful all at the same time.

7. Hey Jude
The Beatles

Hey Jude may just be most beloved song of what is certainly the most beloved band of the 60s (and beyond for that matter). Written for John Lennon’s song, Hey Jude starts of as slow and melodic, rising to a rousing conclusion which is almost impossible not to nod your head to. The 1960’s was chock full of hits from the Fab Four, and Hey Jude always seems to be sitting near the top of the list.

6. Good Vibrations
The Beach Boys

The Beach Boys brought a fresh new sound to the pop music scene. Their music was full of carefree, feel-good tunes which still resonate today. Good Vibrations encapsulates all of this is one amazing track. It was also a revolutionary song in terms of how tracks were recorded and produced within a recording studio, providing it with a long lasting legacy which will probably outlive most of the other music of its time.

5. California Dreamin’
The Mamas & the Papas

With a song that sounds like it would be a Beach Boys song, the Mams and the Papas had their biggest hit which also turned out to be a song for the ages. California Dreamin’ has an almost hypnotic quality to it. Its very easy to listen to with some great guitar chords and vocals, but altogether it is greater than the sum of its parts. It is a song which defined the changing generation during the 60s.

4. Respect
Aretha Franklin

Soul music was given a powerful new voice in the form of Aretha Franklin. Respect was such a powerhouse of a song its permeation into pop culture is still inherent even today. Lets face it, everyone knows this song. And at the time, the song was a standard of the feminist movement and remains so even now.

3. A Day in the Life
The Beatles

The Beatles have tons of hits and many, many beloved songs. However, even though it may not always be one of their go-to tracks in the minds of most fans, across the board the most critically-acclaimed song of theirs is A Day in the Life. Rolling Stone magazine listed it as their greatest after making a top 100 Beatles song list. The Beatles are almost certainly the most famous musical band of the century, and with songs like A Day in the Life, their musical legacy and credibility is etched in the ages.

2. Satisfaction
The Rolling Stones

Often considered the quintessential rock and roll song, The Rolling Stones had a massive hit with Satisfaction. Their sexually-driven lyrics secured their positions as the “bad boys” of rock at the time. Its opening guitar riff is immediately recognizable and instantly catchy, while Jagger’s vocal ring through with energy and exuberance. You simply can’t have a conversation about the greatest rock songs without Satisfaction being involved.

1. Like a Rolling Stone
Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan’s Like a Rolling Stone changed music. It gave pop music a cynical purpose it didn’t really have before. Dylan had a message he wanted to get across both through his poetry lyrics and his musical style. Like a Rolling Stone has long been argued as one of the best songs ever written. It influenced countless musical acts and has been covered many, many times. Dylan is one of the most important modern musicians we have and Like a Rolling Stone stands as his masterpiece and as the best song of it’s decade.

9 Responses to “The Ten Best Songs of the 60’s”

  1. That’s a great list for this decade, alright.

  2. Good picks. Satisfaction’s my favorite, and it may also be my favorite song.

  3. Great list, Ian. The only song on here I don’t like is “A Day in the Life” — never took to that one at all. The disjointed feel from mashing two songs together, the transition between the two… that damned dog whistle (I know, not something people with normal hearing ranges complain about….) Just not a fan.

    But everything else? Solid choices. At least a few would make it onto my own top 10 list, “Good Vibrations” and “Sunshine of Your Love” chief among them.

    It’s hard to pick a top 10 list of songs from an entire decade that won’t spawn some argument, but I’d say you’ve got a very good list here.

  4. That’s a solid playlist right there Ian. 😀 I’m gonna play a couple of them as I blog right now, thanks!

  5. Ian thank you for this list! I am creating a new movie project and I prefer to have it with classy music. Also I love that there are two Beatles songs here even though there should be more.

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