Top 100 Sixties Songs: The Return

 After posting my first top 100 sixties songs I was left with a feeling of incompleteness. There was just so much more to that decade than my little list. Perhaps it is down to the interweb thing that we have such unprecedented access to every kind of music now. It’s a paradox that today we can have a more holistic overview of this kind of music than the people who actually lived through the decade; constrained in their tastes by what was available in record shops or played on the radio or written in the music press. Did anyone in 1960s London have any idea what kind of music was being played in Saskatchewan or New South Wales? Did people in Sheffield know much about the music scene even in Leeds? Perhaps more than we imagine, but maybe less than we do now. What I do know now is that video streams are often withdrawn/expurgated. This seems to happening with Beatles stuff especially so I won’t be posting links for the Fab Four. You all know the songs anyway. One rule I’ve kept to: not more than one song per band.

An additional note: I’m posting this early to help publicise Independent Record Store Day (April 17th ).  For all the delights of music online, the browsing experience, meeting other music fans and having your ears and mind opened to new things by knowledgeable strangers is a pleasure that can’t easily be replicated elsewhere. We need these spaces to meet, learn and listen. I hope you will support the campaign.  Alternatively, you can look at my post about 70s music.

1 Screamin’ Jay Hawkins — I Put A Spell On You

One of the most innovative voices in popular music, Hawkins always knew how to put on a show. He gave soul music the goth aesthetic (before the goths were even thought of), wrote some of the wittiest songs ever recorded and came up with this classic. Covered endlessly by the mediocre, the bland and the forgettable, it shines when performed by its genius creator. I give you Screaming Jay: half George Clinton, half Salvador Dali 100% legend. 

2 The Human Beinz — Dance On Through 

I include this mainly as a tribute to the guy who made this video. If you are ever on Youtube and want to spend an hour or so finding great 60s tunes, head for Blacflag’s page. Some of the stuff he’s posted is truly inspired (and I’ve raided his archive mercilessly in these posts). On the other hand, it is a great wistful tune from a band that is famous for only one song (Nobody But Me). A great eye-opener of the range that the Human Beinz were capable of.

3 Johnny Cash & Bob Dylan — Girl From the North Country

American folks’ most honoured sons in a legendary duet. OK so Bob’s voice is less than perfect, but the song as a whole benefits from his raw vocal delivery. The overproduced, shiny, electronically neutered pap marketed as music these days could learn a thing or two from this.

4 Sons of Adam — Feathered Fish

Back in ’89, I was a student at Portsmouth Polytechnic and was billeted in halls with a guy called Michael Neden. Ned (as everyone called him) had a great collection of 60s garage records he’d brought all the way from Bury. I introduced him to Arthur Lee and Love, he repaid me with this truly original song (among others). Every time I listen it takes me back to those days… Magic.

5 Los Saicos — Demolición 

Only discovered this a couple of weeks ago as I scanned the latest Shindig! Magazine. Peruvian freakbeat, of all things. And it’s brilliant! It’s the best song I’ve ever heard about demolishing a railway station. Those cats in Lima really knew how to Rock. Saludos desde Inglaterra, compadres.

6 The Rolling Stones — Sympathy For The Devil 

Quality. That’s all I have to say about this particular song. One of those you could listen to all day and still find new things to delight in. Every time I play it, it gets better.

7 The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band — Mr Apollo 

A rallying cry against body fascism, a piss-take of Charles Atlas newspaper advertisements (A theme that the Bonzo’s would return to in Look Out There’s A Monster Coming). The message was simple: just be yourself. Don’t let charlatans tell you you’re not good enough and need to change. The medium used was humour. Jolly good English humour at that. Pip, pip! 

8 Country Joe & The Fish — I’m A-Fixin’ To Die 

The drollest anti Viet-Nam War song of them all. “Be the first one on the block to have your boy come home in a box.” Classic.

9 The Soul Benders — Hey Joe

Hey Joe is a song with a lot of history behind it. Originally written by Billy Roberts, there are a number of stories concerning its authorship. One is that Roberts sold the copyright to a fellow musician, Dino Valenti, to help him get back on his feet after a stint in jail. Valenti then published the song under the pseudonym, Chester Powers. What is clear is that in 1964 it came to the attention of west-coast musicians and popularised by ‘Love’ and ‘The Leaves’ (who had the original hit with the song). It soon became a standard (Blacflag has documented over 15 recorded versions of the song prior to its most famous incarnation; by the Jimi Hendrix Experience). The Soul Benders’ treatment is my own personal favourite.

10 The Soup Greens  — Like A Rolling Stone

The sleeve notes on the Pebbles compilation album where I first heard this song, asserted that 60s garage bands could take any tune you could think of and make it sound like Louie Louie. This version of a Bob Dylan masterpiece, proves their point beyond reasonable doubt.

11 The Children Of Darkness — She’s Mine

12 The Troggs — Wild Thing

13 The Beatles — Twist & Shout

14 The Kinks — The Village Green Preservation Society

15 The Dantes — Connection

16 James Carr — The Dark End Of The Street

17 The Sonics — Psycho

18 Mouse & The Traps — Maid Of Sugar, Maid Of Spice

19 Led Zeppelin — Whole Lot Of Love

20 Tyrannosaurus Rex — Warlord Of The Royal Crocodiles

21 Love — Seven And Seven Is

22 Simon & Garfunkel — Richard Cory

23 Tim Buckley — Happy Time

24 The Ju Jus — You Treat Me Bad

25 Duane Eddy — Boss Guitar

26 Hawkwind — Hurry On Sundown

27 Mary Hopkin — Those Were The Days

28 The Pretty Things — Midnight To Six Man

29 The Chocolate Watchband — She Weaves A Tender Trap

30 Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band — Pachuco Cadaver

31 The Velvet Underground and Nico — I’ll Be Your Mirror

The Velvets, looking insouciant.

32 The Liverpool Set — 17 Years To The End

33 The Searchers — Needles And Pins

34 Booker T and the MGs — Green Onions

35 The Hollies — Carrie Anne

36 Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders — They Said No

37 The Electric Prunes — Kyrie Eleison Mardi Gras

38 The Righteous Brothers — Little Latin Lupe Lu

39 The McCoys — Hang On Sloopy

40 Dickey Lee — I Saw Linda Yesterday

41 The Byrds — Eight Miles High

The Byrds in a TV studio with swirly background

42 Arthur Alexander — Soldier Of Love

43 Dick Dale & The Deltones — Misirlou

44 Paul Revere & The Raiders — Let Me

45 The New Vaudeville Band — Winchester Cathedral

46 Otis Redding — Can’t Turn You Loose

47 Group 1850 — Mother No-Head

48 The Crystals–  Da Doo Ron Ron

49 The Grodes — Cry A Little Longer

50 Ralph Mc Tell — Streets Of London

51 The Trashmen — Surfing Bird

52 The Who — It’s Not True

53 The Specters — No Good Nowhere World

54 The Hep Stars — Speedy Gonzalez

55 Smith — The Weight

56 Golden Dawn — My Time

57 Traffic — Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush

58 Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs — Poison Ivy

59 Love Affair — Everlasting Love

60 John Lee Hooker — No Shoes

61 David Bowie — The Laughing Gnome

62 Marie Laforet — Toi, Mon Amour Mon Ami

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Judy Huxtable and Peter Cook; the Posh and Becks of 1966

 

63 Blue Cheer — The Hunter

64 Mireille Matthieu — Je Ne Suis Rien Sans Toi

65 Status Quo — Pictures of Matchstick Men

66 Pink Floyd — Interstellar Overdrive

67 The American Breed — Bend Me, Shape Me

68 Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich — The Legend of Xanadu

69 The Calico Wall — I’m A Living Sickness

70 The Jimi Hendrix Experience — Red House

71 Hugo Montenegro — The Good, The Bad And The Ugly (Theme)

72 The Strawberry Alarm Clock — Incense And Peppermints

73 The Shangri-Las — The Dum Dum Ditty

74 Boyce & Hart — I Wonder What She’s Doing Tonight

75 The Avengers — Be A Caveman

76 The Allisons — Are You Sure?

77 Del Shannon — Runaway

78 Dee Dee Sharp — Mashed Potato Time

79 Trini Lopez — If I Had A Hammer

80 Kyu Sakamoto — Sukiyaki

81 Fleur De Lys — Mud In Your Eye

82 Serge Gainsburg & Screamin’ Jay Hawkins — Constipation Blues

83 Cream — NSU

84 Donovan — Mellow Yellow

85 Fairport Convention — Crazy Man Michael

86 Merrel Fenkhauser & HMS Bounty — Things (Are Going Round in My Mind)

87 The Mammas & The Pappas — California Dreaming

88 The Nice — America

89 The 1910 Fruitgum Company — Simon Says

90 Gerry & The Pacemakers — It’s Gonna Be Alright

91 The Swinging Blue Jeans — You’re No Good

92 The Bluestars — Social End Product

93 The Brogues — I Ain’t No Miracle Worker

94 Kit & The Outlaws — Don’t Tread On Me

95 The Hombres — Let It All Hang Out

96 The Elastik Band — Spazz

97 The Ronettes — Be My Baby

98 The Everglades — Limbo Lucy

99 The Wyngates — See What’s Right

100 The Blues Magoos Pipe Dreams

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About floppybootstomp

Lecturer, teacher, writer and traveller all perfectly good nouns aren't they? Do they have anything to do with me? Ask the taxman.

Posted on April 12, 2010, in Music Stuff and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Interestingly, Feathered Fish was written by Arthur Lee. I met Arthur in a cafe in Canterbury some years ago, shook his hand got his autograph…etc. Seemed like a top guy.

  2. Wow! You met Arthur Lee? I saw him live a couple of times when he came over with the ‘Forever Changes’ Love tour. Saw him in London and later in Stoke-on-Trent (oddly, there was no more than 100 to see him. Weird…

    Anyway, Ned, how are you doing after all these years?

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