Caffé Latté looks back at…
THE 200 MOST ESSENTIAL
SONGS OF THE
No decade was as turbulent as the 1960s. Politically and socially, there was turmoil. Musically too, the rules were changing at breakneck speed. This was the decade of Flower Power, Motown, Woodstock, girl groups, Beatlemania, psychedelia and The British Invasion. Here are 200 songs that matter most from the period. These recordings had an impact on music and provided the soundtrack to the 10 years that made up the Sixties.
CAN'T HELP FALLING IN LOVE
The successful pairing of Elvis Presley and the big screen spawned several hits, including the massive 1961 ballad "Can't Help Falling In Love" from 'Blue Hawaii'. Throughout the rest of the decade other musicians, including Cliff Richard and The Beatles, also starred in films that capitalized on their popularity.
FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH
Riots during the mid- 1960s inspired Stephen Stills to pen "For What It's Worth". This 1967 single was the key track for his band Buffalo Springfield which influenced the sound of American West Coast rock.
I JUST WANT TO MAKE LOVE TO YOU
In 1967, Etta James showed aspiring female singers how to deliver a blues, R&B and rock vocal fusion before the breakthrough of Aretha Franklin. She could be tender as on "At Last" but belted out "I Just Want To Make Love To You" in 1961. Her remake totally transformed the track from the original Muddy Waters version.
GIVE PEACE A CHANCE
Plastic Ono Band
On June 1, 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono and various guests recorded the anthem "Give Peace A Chance" in a room at Montreal's Queen Elizabeth Hotel. At the time, Lennon was still a member of The Beatles and the single was issued on the band's Apple label. As was their custom, the Lennon- penned protest song was also credited to Paul McCartney. The single reached #2 in Britain, #14 in America and made the Top 10 in various European countries. Its success augured well for the solo careers of The Fab 4 as the group approached its end.
IN THE MIDNIGHT HOUR
This 1965 single showcases the magic of that Stax sound. Wilson Pickett arrived in Memphis and was teamed up with Booker T & The MGs, the house band at Stax. It had worked for Otis Redding and Atlantic was keen to repeat that success with Pickett. He created the soul gem "In The Midnight Hour" with musician / producer Steve Cropper.
NIGHTS IN WHITE SATIN
The Moody Blues
This single was issued in 1967, from The Moody Blues' album 'Days Of Future Passed'. The track was written by recent recruit Justin Hayward. It is still regarded as one of the unique epics of the 1960s. Hayward's tempered vocal is effectively complemented by the mellotron.
You know a song has a special place in the rock canon when it is covered by the likes of The Doors, Jimi Hendrix and Patti Smith. From the pen of Irish rocker Van Morrison, his original lead vocal oozes sexual energy. Released by his band Them in late 1964, it is one of the seminal garage rock recordings.
(SITTIN' ON) THE DOCK OF THE BAY
Released in 1968, "(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay" was a posthumous hit for Otis Redding. Co-writer Steve Cropper constructed the hit from his collaborator's recording, completed just 3 days before his death in a plane crash. The song marked a change of style for Redding who had just had throat surgery. It retains a much deserved hallowed place in the soul music songbook.
STAND BY ME
Ben E. King
Ben E. King co-wrote "Stand By Me" with his producers Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Issued in 1961, the song dealing with friendship, topped the US Soul Chart as well as peaking at #4 Pop. The former lead vocalist for The Drifters enjoyed his greatest solo success with the disc. In the 1980s, it was re-released and climbed to #1 in Britain as a result of its use in the film 'Stand By Me'. The track remains a cherished soul staple.
The Velvet Underground
What The Velvet Underground's 1967 debut album lacked in sales, it more than made up for terms of influence on subsequent musicians. "Heroin" was one of its longest running tracks, running for more than 7 minutes. Lou Reed's lyrics and his vocals are enhanced by the group's musicianship.