“When the night has come...”
- Stand By Me
- I’m A Believer
- Reach Out I’ll Be There
Stand By Me was written by American soul singer Ben E. King and was an instant hit in 1961. But it gained even more traction in 1986 when it was used in the film of the same name. It was inspired by a spiritual writing by Sam Cooke and J.W. Alexander called “Stand by Me Father.”
"Now that you’ve found your paradise...”
- Shangri La
- I’m a Believer
- Paradise By the Dashboard Light
This 1969 song was performed by the English rock band The Kinks. It’s said to be part motivational speech and part biting social commentary. The song’s inspiration came after lead singer and song-writer Ray Davis and the band visited his sister, Rose, in Australia. The designed community the family lived in became the song’s inspiration.
“Beat is getting’ stronger, music getting' longer too...”
- Music Lover
- Dance to the Music
- I Want to Take You Higher
Sly and the Family Stone released this song in 1969. The band from San Francisco is also known for helping to develop soul, rock, funk and psychedelic music. But they were also well known for being a gender and racially integrated group, which was a rare gem in those days. The band remained active until 1983.
“Put your sweet lips a little closer to the phone...”
- He’ll Have To Go
- Lonely Weekends
- I’m Waiting for the Man
He'll Have To Go was recorded on October 15, 1959 by American county singer Jim Reeves. The song was released in the Fall of 1959. But it didn’t become a hit in the American country and pop genres until 1960. Reeves became a well known musician nicknamed “Gentleman Jim.”
“I read the news today, oh boy...”
- I Heard It Through the Grapevine
- Sympathy for the Devil
- A Day in the Life
This iconic song was performed by none other than The Beatles. It was the final track in their album, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club,” which was released in 1967. It was written primarily by John Lennon, but Paul McCartney wrote the song’s middle part.
"I don’t know just where I’m going, but I’m gonna try for the kingdom if I can...”
Heroin was written by American musician Lou Reed and performed by his rock band, the Velvet Underground. The rock band was formed in New York City in 1964. However, Reed also had an amazing solo career that grew by leaps and bounds over 50 years.
"Couldn’t sleep at all last night...”
- Tossin’ and Turnin’
- She’s Got You
- I’m Still in Love With You
Tossin’ and Turnin’ became a number 1 hit in 1961. It was sung by American rock and roll and rhythm and blues singer Bobby Lewis. He’s also famous for another hit single called “One Track Mind.” Lewis was raised in an orphanage and learned to play the piano when he was six.
“I am he as you are he as you are me....”
- Wish You Were Here
- I Am the Walrus
- I’m Waiting For The Man
This song was part of the “Magical Mystery Tour” record as well as the television film of the same name. It was performed by none other than The Beatles, the most influential band of all time.
"I saw her today at the reception...”
- You Can’t Always Get What You Want
- The Tracks of My Tears
- Walk Away Renee
Mick Jagger is the voice behind this song. The English singer has gained worldwide recognition as the lead singer of the Rolling Stones and is also one of the band's founding members. Aside from singing and songwriting, he’s also an actor and film producer.
"Breakin’ rocks in the hot sun...”
- Bad Moon Rising
- Friday on My Mind
- I Fought the Law
The song was originally performed by singer Bobby Fuller. But a band called The Clash made their own version as a way to express their sadness over the dangers of rebellion. Fuller wasn’t just a singer. He was also a songwriter and guitarist whose other works included “Let Her Dance” and “I Fought the Law.”
"Oh, a storm is threatening, my very life today...”
- Gimme Shelter
- For What It’s Worth
- Ramble On
This song made its debut on the album “Let It Bleed” by The Rolling Stones. It became one of the band’s most iconic songs. The Rolling Stones defined hard rock thanks to the heavy and gritty nature of their music.
"Be on my side, I’ll be on your side, baby...”
- Down by the River
- Send Me a Postcard
The dark line “Down by the river, I shot my baby,” was sung by Neil Young and the band Crazy Horse in 1969. But a lot of their albums and live albums were credited as “Neil Young and Crazy Horse.”
"Well, it ain’t no use to sit and wonder why, babe...”
- Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag
- Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right
Bob Dylan released this song on his 1963 album “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan.” Dylan is an American singer regarded as one of the greatest songwriters in music history. He has also published eight books related to drawings and paintings.
"There must be some kind of way outta here...”
- All Along the Watchtower
- See Emily Play
- L.A. Woman
Bob Dylan wrote this song, but it was also recorded by musician Jimi Hendrix. Sci-fi fans might be familiar with the song as well. It was used in the 2004-2009 "Battlestar Galactica" series as a sort of theme song for the mysterious “Final Five” Cylons.
“Once upon a time you dressed so fine...”
- Suspicious Minds
- Like a Rolling Stone
- Paint it Black
This was considered Bob Dylan’s masterpiece in 1965. Not only was the song a major hit, but it proved to the music industry that Dylan was a songwriting legend. He’s also produced other hits like “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “The Times They Are a –Changin'.”
“Can’t you see, I love you, please don’t break my heart in two...”
- Wooden Heart
- Heartbreak Hotel
- Always on My Mind
Wooden Heart was recorded by Elvis Presley on April 28, 1960 and featured in his film “G.I. Blues.” The song reached number 1 for six weeks in the UK Singles Chart in 1961. But the song wasn’t entirely in English. Presley threw in some German, too.
“Ba ba, ba ba ba ba, Ba ba ba ba, Ba ba ba ba, ba ba ba...”
- Run Sally Run
- Some Girls Do (Some Girls Don’t)
Tracy was released in 1969. It was performed by the band The Cufflinks. The song was featured in 1998 on the show “Ally McBeal” in the episode titled “Theme of Life.”
“Ground control to Major Tom...”
- God Only Knows
- A Whiter Shade of Pale
- Space Oddity
David Bowie performed this oddly imaginative song. Space Oddity was released on July 11, 1969 as a 7-inch single. It was later re-released as the opening track of his second album “David Bowie.” It was also inspired by the 1968 film “2001: A Space Odyssey.”
“Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman...”
- Stand by Your Man
- Big Louise
- Sister Ray
This 1968 song put Tammy Wynette on the map as one of the best-selling female singers and one of country music’s best-known musicians. When she passed away in 1998, she became known as the First Lady of Country Music.
“Well it’s been building up inside of me...”
- Don’t Worry Baby
- Sittin’ On the Dock of the Bay
- She Loves You
American musician, singer and songwriter Brian Wilson co-wrote this song, which was recorded by the Beach Boys. He was also co-founder of the American rock band that was formed in Hawthorne, California in 1961. The Beach Boys were also known for other great hits like Surfin' USA.
“You need cooling, baby, I’m not fooling...”
- My Generation
- Whole Lotta Love
- The Witch
Whole Lotta Love was released in 1969 and was considered one of Led Zeppelin’s freakiest and loudest songs. Led Zeppelin was an English rock band formed in 1968. They were known for their heavy, guitar-driven sound and they are considered the forefathers of heavy metal.
“There’s a light, a certain kind of light...”
- To Love Somebody
- White Room
Bee Gees members Barry and Robin Gibb wrote this song for American singer and songwriter Otis Redding. Unfortunately, the Bee Gees were forced to record the song themselves due to Redding’s untimely passing in 1967. It became the second single released by the band.
“Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day...”
This song was performed by Pink Floyd, an English rock band that was formed in 1965. They were the latest rage at the time because of their philosophical lyrics and sonic experimentations. Each clock at the start of the song was recorded separately at an antique store.
"All the leaves are brown, and the sky is grey...”
- California Dreamin'
- Georgia On My Mind
- River Deep Mountain High
This song was released in 1965 by The Mamas & The Papas, an American folk rock vocal group that were active from 1965 to 1971. Members of the group included John Phillips, Denny Doherty, Cass Elliott, and Michelle Phillips.
"Johnny’s in the basement, mixing up the medicine...”
- I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night)
- Subterranean Homesick Blues
Bob Dylan has been a major pop culture figure for over 5 decades. But this song was actually his first top 40 hit in the United States. It was released as a single on January 14, 1965 and later became the lead track in his “Bringing It All Back Home” album on March 8, 1965.
“Wise men say only fools rush in…”
- And I Love Her
- Can’t Help Falling in Love
- Luck Be a Lady
“Can’t Help Falling in Love” was recorded by Elvis Presley for the film “Blue Hawaii” in 1961. It has since been covered countless times by artists such as Bob Dylan, Andy Williams, Kina Grannis and Twenty One Pilots.
“Wouldn’t it be nice if we were older…”
- Wouldn’t It Be Nice
- The Way You Do The Things You Do
- Summer Wind
Brian Wilson composed the music to “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” while lyricist Tony Asher wrote the words. They finished the song in just two days while the rest of the band was on tour in Japan.
“A fine little girl, she waits for me…”
- Do Wah Diddy Diddy
- Louie Louie
- House of the Rising Sun
In February of 1964, an outraged parent wrote to Attorney General of the United States Robert F. Kennedy alleging that the lyrics of “Louie Louie” were obscene. The FBI investigated the complain and after 31 months concluded that the song was “unintelligible at any speed.”
“Pretty woman, walkin’ down the street…”
- Pretty Woman
- Only the Lonely
- Peggy Sue
The song “Pretty Woman” sold over seven million copies and marked the peak of Roy Orbison’s career. The song was later used as the title of the 1990 film, which starred Richard Gere and Julia Roberts.
“I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day…”
- Brown Eyed Girl
- Unchained Melody
- My Girl
“My Girl” was written by two members of the R&B group the Miracles, Smokey Robinson and Ronald White. It was written about Robinson’s wife and bandmate Claudette Rogers Robinson.
“Everybody’s doing a brand-new dance, now…”
- Keep on Chooglin’
- The Loco-motion
- Twist and Shout
The song “The Loco-Motion” has had an enduring legacy since it was first released in 1962. It was originally recorded by Little Eva in 1962, then recorded again by Grand Funk Railroad in 1974 and then recorded again by Kylie Minogue in 1988.
“Hey, where did we go?”
- Free Fallin’
- Sweet Home Alabama
- Brown Eyed Girl
“Brown Eyed Girl” has remained a staple of classic rock since it was first released in 1967. The song has since been covered by musicians such as U2, Adele, Billy Ray Cyrus, Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan.
“You’re just too good to be true…”
- I Love You Baby
- I Gotta Feeling
- Can’t Take My Eyes Off You
“Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” was recorded by Frankie Valli in 1967 and even though it was one of his biggest hits, it failed to reach a number one spot on the charts. The song stayed at the number two spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for a week, stuck behind “Windy” by the Association.
“Baby, baby, baby don’t leave me…”
- Where Did Our Love Go
- Baby Love
- Stop! In the Name of Love
“Where Did Our Love Go” was the first song recorded by The Supremes to get to the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States. It held the spot for two weeks in August 1964.
“Oh, when the sun beats down and burns the tar up on the roof…”
- Under the Boardwalk
- Good Vibrations
- The Boys of Summer
When “Under the Boardwalk” was released by The Drifters in 1964 it charted at number four on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It has since been covered by artists such as Billy Joel, Bette Midler, the Tom Tom Club, The Rolling Stones and Bruce Willis.
“We’re caught in a trap, I can’t walk out…”
- I Get Around
- Suspicious Minds
- You Can’t Hurry Love
The song “Suspicious Minds” was originally written and recorded by songwriter Mark James. James’s version of the song failed commercially and it was later re-recorded by Elvis Presley. Presley’s version became a hit in 1969.
“I thought love was only true in fairy tales…”
- It’s Not Unusual
- I Want to Hold Your Hand
- I’m a Believer
The song “I’m a Believer” was written by Neil Diamond. The first group to record it was The Monkees, who released their version in 1966, but Diamond himself also recorded the song for his 1979 album “September Morn.”
“I may not always love you, but long as there are stars above you…”
- God Only Knows
- Come Together
- Moon River
When the song “God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys was originally released in 1966 is was a bit controversial. It was unusual at the time for pop music to reference God in any way.
“Well, no one told me about her, the way she lied…”
- She’s Not There
- Mr. Lonely
- Begin Here
Rolling Stone magazine ranked “She’s Not There” number 297 on their list of the 500 greatest songs of all time. This song reached number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 when it was released in 1964.
“They say we’re young and we don’t know, we won’t find out until we grow…”
- I Got You Babe
- How Sweet It Is
- Take a Chance On Me
“I Got You Babe” spent three weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1965. It sold more than one million copies that year and also reached number one spots on charts in the United Kingdom and Canada.