I must hesitantly admit, I am not up to date with current music.  The Top 40 is a mystery to me, a channel reserved for the few moments in which I have no control over the ambiance of my surroundings; a friend’s house, the mall or a club. Don’t get me wrong, I am not one of those who feels nobler because they reject the contemporary. My musical taste stems not from trying to be “avant-garde” or “hipster,” but rather, I feel more comfortable in my own little world framed by the soundtrack of my i-tunes, which is filled with a bunch of oldies.  I am certainly not the only one who enjoys music from the past, as my friends constantly bring about amazing songs to my attention, whether they be by Depeche Mode or Simon and Garfunkel.  I am constantly looking to expand my tastes, so if anyone has any good suggestions, I would be more than happy to receive them through my address on the contributors page, or in a comment below. 

There’s a scene in High Fidelity, a fantastic movie based on Hornby’s wry novel about a record-store owner (played by the succulent John Cusak)  in which the owner, Rob, arranges his vinyls not alphabetically or chronologically, but autobiographically.  Each record relates to an important memory in his life: His first heartbreak, the first song he played in his store etc.  Isn’t one’s collection of music essentially similar?  Most of our songs are handpicked, and in some cases, played to relive a certain moment in time or to relive a vivid feeling attached to the song, almost like a marker on the timeline of one’s life.

With this in mind, I have set out to present a music chronology from the 50s to the 90s, along with my very humble recommendations and short analysis of songs that meant something both to me, and to era at large.  For the purposes of not making the article too long, as there is a lot to say, the first part will focus uniquely on the 50s and 60s.  I truly hope you enjoy.


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The decade of the 50s is an extremely interesting marker in music history.  With the advent of Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, and Little Richard, among others, rock-n-roll began to emerge.  At first, rock-and-roll was perceived as “black entertainment,” as it was mainly black artists that were the pioneers of this movement.  However, white teenagers embraced this music, and soon the perception of rock evolved as one reserved for blacks to one reserved for youth.  Singers such as Elvis emerged onto the scene, and rock-n-roll became a form of musical liberation, straying away from the past norms of music and combining the genres of traditional blues, R&B and gospel.  This new music was fast-paced, it was loud, and above all, it was sexy.  Many people, especially adults, had serious problems with rock-n-roll for this reason, as it was considered brash and impure.  Interestingly enough, the 50s is an era divided by nice, cheerful music, sung mainly by original boy bands or artists such as Buddy Holly or the Chordettes, and fast-paced sinful rock sung by the likes of Chuck Berry or Little Richard.  This division also influenced a style movement, or the rise ‘Greasers’ , known for their hair gel and ‘rebellious’ attitudes.  The 50s also had a remarkable array of blues and soulful R&B.


Big Mama Thornton



Big Mama Thornton has a big, big voice. Born in Alabama, she began as a singer in a baptist church.  Her Southern upbringing, as well as her mastery of the harmonica and blues singing is very apparent in all of her songs.  As her name implies, she has a big personality, a big voice and big success as a blues singer, inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1984.

Hound Dog (1952)


Big Mama was actually the first to record Hound Dog, even though Elvis made it popular with his recording.  However, she dominates the song with her personality and stellar voice.  Move over, Elvis.

One Mint Julep, The Clovers (1951)

The piano in the song is what makes it great, along with the wistful lyrics about having one too many drinks, and the problems this creates.  This song is typical blues, originating in the South.  It has since appeared on the Oxford American Southern Classics album.


In this case, pop refers to the popular music of the time that would not be classified as rock-n-roll.

50s pop puts a heavy influence on background vocals; the background chorus is almost as important as the lead vocals.  Harmony is key to creating a melody, so often singers would have an entire chorus to back up their songs.  Usually soft melodies that do not include any sort of heavy drums or guitar.

The Chordettes


The Chordettes were an all female quartet, formed in the in the late forties, that gained popularity in the 50s.  Their songs are often cheery and not overly profound; reflecting the simplicity of the perfect fifties way of life.

Mr. Sandman (1954)

The group has great vocal harmony, and the song is a classic fifties tune.  Each girl gets to show off her vocal talents, making it a nice overall composition.

Lollipop (1958)

It is clear that the strength of this group lies in their quartet structure.  This is a pleasant and cheery tune, one that would have probably been requested on the jukebox time and time again.  This song was immensely popular, reaching number two in 1958.

Other pop songs:

Earth Angel, Marvin Berry and the Starlighters (1954):

This song is a nice romantic ditty.  I first heard this in Back to the Future, in the scene where Marty McFly must reunite his parents at the Under the Sea Dance.  This is undoubtedly one of the best scenes in the movie.

Only You, The Platters (1955)


This is just a really romantic song, with great vocal harmony.  It has been in many movies and has been covered many times.

Lonesome Town- Ricky Nelson (1958)

This is a really mournful song, which has a huge emphasis on vocals.  A soft guitar can be heard, and he plucks it in time to each sad note.  This song regained popularity after its inclusion on the Pulp Fiction soundtrack.


Due to the fast pace of the songs, and emphasis on guitar and drums, the songs below would have been the first to start the rock-n-roll craze.  Many at the time believed rock-n-roll to be a passing phase, yet it has lasted until the present day and seems nowhere near to slowing down.  At the time, rock was a beacon in a sea of subdued music, and it paved the way for the rise of classic rock in the sixties.

Chuck Berry



Chuck Berry is credited as the pioneer of rock-n-roll, as he was the first to truly defy the popular norms of music, and present the public with fast-paced songs that required frenzied dancing.  His songs were both about and geared towards youth, and he became a symbol for youth culture.  He combined his heavy love for blues and R&B and essentially made his songs faster-paced versions of these genres, birthing rock-n-roll.

Johnny B. Goode (1958)

One can easily hear the blues influence in this song, especially with the piano.  The tale tells of a young boy interested in music and the guitar; not unlike Berry.

Roll Over Beethoven (1956)

The title of this song is directly related to the rock-n-roll movement, as it is essentially asking Beethoven, or the classic structure of music, to “roll over” and make way for a new generation of music.

Rock-N-Roll Music (1957)

It seems that most of Berry’s songs speak directly of rock-n-roll music itself; which is an interesting tactic.  He is preaching his new form of music to the time of an electric guitar.

Other rock songs

Shout- Isley Brothers (1959)

This song was very popular when released, and like other songs, such as The Twist, the lyrics gave instructions on how to dance to it, making it a very popular wedding or party song.  The song is still relevant in popular culture, appearing in films such as Animal House and Wedding Crashers.

Tequila- The Champs (1958)

Does anyone really know when they first heard this song?  It’s been in countless movies, and it seems to be one of those songs everyone knows.  Nevertheless, it rocks.

Tutti Frutti- Little Richard (1955)

Little Richard, like Chuck Berry, made music specifically designed for youth and dance, and this song is no exception.

Great Balls of Fire- Jerry Lee Lewis (1957)

Although rock music was seen as a black music movement, singers like Jerry Lee Lewis brought it to white youth.


It’s hard to pick a best era for music, but the 60s might be number one.  Somewhat similar to the fifties, there was a division between nice, cheerful melodies, which crossed over from this, experimental rock featured later in the era (think of the Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper Album) influenced by youth drug culture.  The combination of these two styles made for a really fascinating time in musical history, one that also mirrored the political structure of the time.

Sixties counterculture emerged, a movement most credited to “hippies” or those that rejected the laws and regulations the government tried to impose on them, such as conscription or better known as “the draft”.  The main goal of this movement was liberation, and music reflected this.  Because of the post-war baby-boom, America was riddled with young people that sought to take change into their own hands, and fight back against oppression.  Perhaps the greatest musical figures of this movement are the Beatles, who formed in 1960, gained fame late 1962, and broke up in 1970, thus allowing their music to span and change along with an entire decade.

The Beatles


The Liverpudlian foursome of Paul McCartney, George Harrison, John Lennon and Ringo Starr rose to international fame as a boy band in the very early sixties.  ‘Beatlemania’ spread the globe, and people everywhere couldn’t get enough of their music.  The Beatles had probably the most interesting musical transformation during their career, as they started out covering other singer’s hits, such as Chuck Berry’s Roll Over Beethoven or Smokey Robinson and the Miracle’s You Really Got a Hold on Me.  As the social system changed, so did their music, and they strayed from their boy band image and reinvented themselves completely into experimental rockers, and perhaps their best songs ensued as a result.  For this reason, they are one of the best bands to represent the sixties, and all the changes the decade brought.

1. please-please-me

Their first album, Please Please Me, was recorded in a single day in 1963, and features a mix of covers and original songs, such as Lennon’s hit Pleae Please Me.  Lennon admits that at this time, he and McCartney were simply writing songs “à la Buddy Holly, songs with no more thought of them then that- to create sound, the words were almost irrelevant”.

Favourite song on the album: Twist and Shout (1963)

This song beckons people to dance, and the raspiness of Lennon’s voice, a result of recording nine previous songs in a row, actually contributes quite well to the song’s style.


With the Beatles was released late 1963, and features mainly covers of other songs.  It’s a great album, and many of their covers are somewhat better than the originals.  This album was immensely popular, and stayed in the number 1 spot of the Top Twenty in Britain for 21 weeks.

Favourite song on album: All I’ve Got to Do (1963)

This is a nice melody that encapsulates The Beatles’ earlier style.  The harmony of the vocals is also quite great.


A Hard Day’s Night was released in 1964, along with the Beatle’s first feature film by the same name.  This is the first album which featured all original tracks, yet the songs are still defined as classic rock-n-roll style.  At this stage, the Beatles were known for their distinctive mop-top and smart suit look.

Favourite song: And I Love Her (1964) (I Should Have Known Better  gets an honourable mention)

Paul McCartney is one of the greatest lyricists of all time, and his songs are often softer and more melodic than Lennon’s.  This song is no exception, and is perhaps one of the earliest showcases of his sheer talent.



Beatles For Sale was released in 1964, and is a somewhat different album than their previous ones.  The songs are a mix of covers and originals, yet it is their originals that stand out the most and differ.  The covers are unexpected, such as Mr. Moonlight, sung by Lennon, and do not necessarily follow a specific style or genre, perhaps the album’s only detriment.  The original songs are raw and sort of reflect the immense popularity the Beatles had by way of diffusion, with songs such as No Reply or I’m a Loser; a subtle way of proclaiming their status as humans and not gods.

Favourite song: No Reply (1964)

This song, an original, is an honest song about heartbreak.  This song is among their first to tell a complete story, or integrate a narrative.  Lennon’s distinctive voice plays in really well with the tempo of the instruments, which changes from soft to hard many times throughout the song.



With this album, Help, came another movie that was a tad more bizarrely structured than its previous counterpart.  The songs are originals, and for the most part, they are pretty great, with a few fillers here and there.  However, at this point, it is clear that the Beatles had not reached their point of transformation, sticking to their classic rock style.  Help is no doubt a very fun and upbeat album; the movie reflecting the Beatles wit and unique charm.

Favourite song: Yesterday (1965)


This song, written and sung by McCartney, was way ahead of its time.  This song could have easily appeared on their last released album, Let it Be, or even on Abbey Road, in keeping with the softer and more vocal-based tracks, such as Harrison’s Something.  Apparently, the song’s melody appeared to McCartney in a dream, and after putting words to the melody, Yesterday was born, and it is truly the stuff of dreams.



Ok, here is where the transformation starts.  The album, released in 1965, features some really groovy hits. There is a hint of Indian musical influence, which would later become Harrison’s signature touch during his tutelage under musician Ravi Shanker.  This is apparent in the song Norwegian Wood.  The album also features songs that are similar to their classic rock hits, with a few experimental songs in the mix.  The release of the album coincides with a large amount of civil rights activism in the States as a protest to the Vietnam War.

Favourite song: Norwegian Wood  (1965) (Michelle  and I’m Looking Through You get honourable mentions)

As mentioned before, this is the first song to include Indian musical influence, something that would become not uncommon in the Beatles’ later songs.  The guitar is sublime, and the lyrics are very quintessential sixties folk.



Revolver, besides having the best album cover, blew the public away as this was the first album the Beatles decided to really branch away from their classic rock roots.  The songs feature a wide variety of instruments, such as trumpets, flutes and even odd sound effects, such as in the song Tomorrow Never Knows.  That particular song, with its psychedelic rhythm, Indian influence, odd sound effects and hard to follow lyrics, was extremely radical for its time. These type of songs fit quite well with Timothy Leary’s advocacy of LSD, something the Beatles were known to use when writing music, under his slogan of “turn on, tune in, drop out”.  Revolver is not an easy album to classify, as all of its songs are radical, some more than others, in their own sense, yet fitting in with different genres.  Eleanor Rigby is extremely different from Taxman, which is different than I’m Only Sleeping, yet they all pushed the musical envelope in some way.

Favourite song: Eleanor Rigby (1966) (For No One gets an honourable mention)

This is a heartbreaking song, due to its supreme use of violin and its lyrics, speaking of the lonely.  This song may hit home for many in its honest portrayal of being alone, and it is simply beautiful on all levels.


8. 220px-Sgt._Pepper's_Lonely_Hearts_Club_Band


Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, released in 1967, is a masterpiece.  The album as a whole is mind-blowing.  As a way of reinventing themselves, the Beatles created a fictional band, as the name of the album implies, and performed songs that followed a consistent and unique style.  This album was a hard pill to swallow, as many believed the Beatles were on hiatus after not having produced music or going on tour for a while.  The paranoia as a result of drugs, the War, the fight against oppression etc, fuelled these many theories, which were often directed at counterculture bands, and existed in the society of the time.  The Beatles as people once knew them were not dead, but reborn. The Beatles had arrived.

Favourite song: A Day in the Life (1967)

This is my favourite Beatles song.  It is almost perfect.  The song is a sad story, with an ever-changing symphony that crescendos going into the bridge and at the end.  Interesting fact: the change in style, found after the first crescendo of sound, is another song that Paul McCartney had written, yet was advised to add it into the song to create an interesting change in pace.  The song ends on a long distinguishable chord, also signalling the end to an incredible album.



Magical Mystery Tour brings about the third movie made by the Beatles, and a very weird album.  The songs are what would be described as ‘psychedelic’.  The movie is almost unwatchable as it has almost no plot or any real dialogue, it is just a bunch of sound and kaleidoscopic visuals.  Yet this is still a strong album, not their best, but a good album nonetheless.  The album truly demonstrates the influence drug use had on the Beatles music.

Favourite song: All You Need is Love (1967) (Fool on the Hill and I am the Walrus get honourable mention)

This is a classic Beatles song, and showcases the ‘Peace and Love’ attitude the youth culture possessed to a ‘T’.  The lyrics, although simple, are a true testament to Lennon’s uplifting song writing.




The Beatles, or otherwise known as the White Album, is a product of the Beatles’ stay in an Indian retreat, where they became familiar with the practices of transcendental meditation.  After their retreat, they channeled their newfound inspiration into a truly exceptional and unique album.  Social commentary, a broad range of musical styles and experimentation are all apparent in the album.  This album is also infamous for its association with the crazed Charles Manson, who listened to the album for what he believed were subliminal messages hinting at an apartheid type war in America.  Nevertheless, whether you hate or love this album, it is genius in its own right.

Favourite song:  While My Guitar Gently Weeps (1968) (there are a few other great and underrated songs such as Sexy Sadie, I Will, I’m So Tired, Rocky Racoon)

This is a beautiful Harrison composition, and features amazing guitar handiwork.  The song is beautiful and melodic in every sense, and is one of their best.



Yellow Submarine as an album is the picture of sixties psychedelia.  The album was made alongside the fourth Beatles’ film by the same name (which they really had nothing to do with- not even their voices are used), which was animated with technicolor and hallucinogenic images.  George Martin, their manager, had a heavy influence on this album, and added symphony type tracks on side two of the album that coincided with the fictional world of Pepperland, as seen in the movie.  At this point, the Beatles are completely removed from their classic boy band image.

Favourite song: Hey Bulldog (1968)


This is a very groovy Lennon/McCartney song.  The lyrics have no real relevance to any other song on the album, and is sort of comparable to their very early songs; a song as a means of making sound.  However, the song is pretty funky, and the scattered vocals at the end are pure improvisation and are an example of the Beatles’ fun loving attitudes.


Technically, Abbey Road is the Beatles’ last recorded album, yet it was released before Let it Be.  The influence of the almost seventies are apparent in the sense that the album is a bit like a story, with many songs relating to others on the album, as seen with later seventies albums by David Bowie (The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust, Diamond Dogs) and Pink Floyd (The Wall, Animals, Dark Side of the Moon).  The songs are less psychedelic rock and more seventies rock, with a few genre bending songs here and there, like Octopus’s Garden, which sounds a bit like an early fifties ditty and Maxwell’s Silver Hammer, which sounds from that era as well.  Overall, one of their best albums, and a good grounding point for the Beatles to land back on after their journey into hallucination with Yellow Submarine.  They have come down from their trip, and their songs are all the more honest because of it.

Favourite song: Something (1969) (Maxwell’s Silver Hammer gets an honourable mention)

Another of Harrison’s best.  this song is extremely romantic, and was written by Harrison’s for his wife.  The lyrics are beautiful, and is very consistent with Harrison’s ability to write and compose beautiful music.



Although there is some debate as to whether this album should be considered as their final one, it still serves as a musical culmination point.  There are a few truly amazing songs on this album, and a few songs that are a bit odd, such as Dig It, albeit not out of place.  The album’s title could be somewhat of a response to the public, who could not handle the imminent split of the Beatles.  As a group of four, they had reached their potential, recreating themselves many times in the process.  For a band that moulded and changed so consistently with the decade, which at the time was coming to a close, it seems only fair that they too would end as well.  The album is a great goodbye to all of their fans, and to the sixties at large.  The Long and Winding Road had lead them to this point, and it was time to Let it Be.

Favourite song: Across the Universe (1970- recorded in 1969) (Let it Be obviously gets an honourable mention)

The song is a beautiful composition of imaginative vocals, Hare Krishna chant, dreamy guitar and dramatic background chorus vocals.  It is simply an amazing song, and a timeless one at that.


Although I mainly focused on the Beatles as a representation of sixties counterculture, the sixties were a wealth of other fantastic artists and musical styles.  here are some other songs and artists to consider:

Serge Gainsbourg


Serge Gainsbourg is the epitome of French cool, and his career took off in the sixties.  It’s hard to classify his music into a single genre, as many of his songs, like the Beatles, are experimental in their style.  His song genres range from reggae to classic rock, yet all have a unique style and appeal, a Gainsbourg “je ne sais quoi” touch to them.  He is a genius lyricists, and many of his songs feature very clever play on words that carry double meanings.

Here a few of his best songs:

Je t’aime moi non plus (I love you, Me Neither) (1969) 

This song features Jane Birkin, his wife at the time.  She sings abnormally high because he wanted her to sound like a little boy.  Because of the extremely risqué lyrics, this song was banned for many years in various countries.  The song was originally written for Bardot, yet after she had recorded a version with him, she begged for it not to be released as to not expose her affair with Gainsbourg, as she was married.  Birkin agreed to record it with him as she was jealous of the possibility of another woman singing such an explicit song with him.

Bonnie and Clyde (1968)

This song, featuring the sexy Bardot, tells the classic tale of robbers Bonnie and Clyde.  Very campy, but also very cool.

Un poison violent, c’est ça l’amour (1967) (A Violent Poison, That’s What Love is)

This song is very French, both in attitude and a humorous look on love.  The lyrics are simply great, and are delivered perfectly in time to the song’s offbeat melody.  The song is featured in his sixties counterculture film under the name Anna.

La Chanson de Prévert  (Prevert’s Song) (1961)

This song was written in memory of French poet Jacques Prévert, as Gainsbourg reminisces about him during the fall. The melody is beautiful, and serves as a beautiful testament to Prévert’s legacy.

Couleur Café (Coffee Colour(1963)

This song has Caribbean influence, and is a simple, yet fun song about how he loves women with coffee couloured skin(very typical Gainsbourg).

Simon and Garfunkel


The songs made by the duo of Art Garfunkel and Paul Simon are still very much relevant today.  Their beautiful harmonies and folk roots infuse their melodies artfully, and Paul Simon is a lyrical genius.  The lyrics are poems in their own right, and their harmonious voices stop nothing short of bringing them to life.  One of my all-time favourite movies, The Graduate, features a soundtrack ridden with Simon and Garfunkel tunes, and they played a large part in making a beautiful movie complete.

Sound of Silence (1964)

Listen to the lyrics of this song to discover the duo’s brilliant songwriting skills.  This song manages to be both soft and powerful at the same time; a somewhat difficult feat to accomplish.

Homeward Bound (1965)

This song evokes that feeling of missing home; a song all too relevant for anyone who’s ever left their friends and family behind.  The change in tempo is interesting, as it shifts from upbeat to melancholic, perhaps reflecting bittersweet emotion.

America (1968)

This is a brilliant song, and once again, the lyrics are excellent.  The song tells the tale of two travellers searching for themselves across the bleak canvas of America they have painted.

Mrs. Robinson (1968)


Perhaps their most popular, this song was written especially for The Graduate, and speaks of Mrs. Robinson, the older woman who seduces young college student, Ben, in the movie.

Patsy Cline


Patsy Cline is often defined as the original country star, as her strong voice has a heavy Southern twang to it and her lyrics often speak of heartbreak, a theme associated with this genre of music.  Her personal life was somewhat tragic, almost dying in a car crash, leaving her face permanently scarred, and later, she died at the young age of thirty in a plane crash, ending her immensely successful career.  She channelled her pain into beautiful songs, which are still widely acclaimed to this very day.

Crazy (1961)

This song accurately describes heartbreak, and her powerful and mournful voice enrich the sad words that she is singing.  This is a beautiful song, and it appears in one of Québec’s best movies titled C.R.A.Z.Y, a reference to this song.

Foolin’ Round (1962)

This song is more playful than her other sadder songs, yet the theme of heartbreak and betrayal are still very much apparent.

I Fall to Pieces (1961)

This is perhaps her most quintessential country song, and one can really hear the Southern charm in her voice.  As per usual, the lyrics are fairly negative, yet very aptly sung.

San Antonio Rose (1961)

She is reminiscing about a man who broke her heart in San Antonio, Texas.  At least she is consistent with the theme of her songs.

Otis Redding



Otis Redding must have one of the most powerful voices in music history, and his songs are so potent that they tend to make one need to stop what they’re doing and listen.  Redding  is responsible for many great soul hits, including his original Respect, which is often credited to Aretha Franklin.  Redding truly encapsulates soul, as he not only sings, but pours his entire heart and character into each and every song he makes, almost like each song has been ripped out of the pages of his own tortured diary.

Try a Little Tenderness (1966)

This song’s strength is in its tempo change.  Redding begins quite slowly, dragging out each note perfectly, and then the song reaches a faster pace, becoming more of a dance song with the inclusion of more guitar and piano, and his voice gets even more powerful.

I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (1965)

This song is honest and raw, and the video above truly represents Redding’s stage charisma and character.  It is also quite remarkable that his voice sounds nearly identical live to his recordings.

Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay (1967)

Perhaps his best-known song, this song has a pleasant, cheery melody.  His voice is akin to the waves he speaks of in his song, smooth and rolling over each note perfectly.

The Kinks


The Kinks are a band that formed in 1964 in North London.  They are another band, like the Beatles, that incorporated many genres into their musical style, such as rhythm and blues, calypso and classic sixties rock.  Their career spanned almost three decades, yet their music remained consistently great.  Stylistically, they are a very cool band, and are among the figureheads of sixties counterculture bands.

Sunny Afternoon (1967)

This song is a social commentary against high society, or frivolous wealth, a popular theme in music of the time.  The song has great guitar, and interesting vocals sung by Ray Davies.

Dedicated Follower of Fashion (1966)

This song speaks of mod culture, and the obsession of youth with trying to look a certain way in order to separate themselves from the older generation.  One of the Kink’s greatest strengths is incorporating current events of the time into their songs.

All Day and All of the Night (1964)

This is one of their more rock-n-roll songs, and is made in the style of classic mod rock.  The lyrics are simple, but catchy nonetheless.

Autumn Almanac (1967)

This song has some latent elements of folk in it, and nostalgically speaks of autumn.  The vocals are delivered in a way that coincides exactly with the chords of the guitar, a very interesting choice of delivery.


Other gems:

Space Oddity- David Bowie (1969)


Son of a Preacher Man– Dusty Springfield (1968)


A Little Less Conversation- Elvis (1968)


Where Do You Go to My Lovely?- Peter Sarstedt (1969)



Little Green Bag- George Baker (1969)



A Whiter Shade of Pale- Procul Harum (1967)

Although not covered in the sixties, check out saxophonist King Curtis’ version (it appears in the beginning scene of one of my favourite movies, Withnail and I)


Jaan Pehechaan Ho- Shankar Jaikishan (1965)


Jump in the Line- Harry Belafonte (1961)


Just Dropped in to See What Condition my Condition was In- Kenny Rogers (1968)


Ring of Fire- Johnny Cash (1963)


Judy in Disguise With Glasses- John Fred and his Playboy Band (1968)


Alabama Song- The Doors (1966)



Lay Lady Lay- Bob Dylan (1969)


Wouldn’t it Be Nice- The Beach Boys (1966)


In Dreams– Roy Orbison (1963)


Be My Baby-The Ronettes (1963)


Bang Bang (My Baby Shot me Down)- Nancy Sinatra cover (1966)


Hooked on a Feeling- Blue Swede (1968, even though the video says otherwise)


Ode to Billie Joe- Bobbie Gentry (1967)


You Never Can Tell- Chuck Berry (1964- as seen in the famous Pulp Fiction dance scene)


French Sixties:


Although both England and the States were producing amazing music, France had its moment with its Époque Yéyé.  Although the songs weren’t as experimental as across the pond or in Britain, the songs are solid and well composed in their own right.  Many of these songs beckon a dance, and feature talented chanteuses, who are not so bad to look at.  The music videos are also lovably kitsch.

 Francoise Hardy

Tous les garçons et les filles (All the Boys and Girls) (1962)

Comment te dire adieu (How to Say Goodbye to You) (1968)

Sylvie Vartan

Comme un garçon (Like a Boy) (1968)

Gillian Hills

Zou Bisou Bisou (1962)


Jacques Dutronc

J’aime les Filles (I like Girls) (1967)


Joe Dassin:

Le petit pain au chocolat (The Little Chocolat Flavoured Bread) (1969)

Johnny Hallyday

Souvenirs souvenirs (Memories Memories) (1961)

Charles Aznavour

Emmenez-Moi (Bring Me) (1967)


France Gall

Le temps de la rentrée (1965)

Sacha Distel

Monsieur cannibale (Mister Cannibal) (1966)








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