January 2017

220px-jeffair#9 – Jefferson Airplane – “Somebody to Love” – (1967)

This, possibly the signature song of Jefferson Airplane, was originally recorded by The Great Society, Grace Slick’s band immediately prior to this one and was written by her brother-in-law. It ended up in the top five on the Hot 100 and might be the defining song of the acid rock scene that developed in San Francisco in the late 1960s.

220px-buffalo_springfield_-_buffalo_springfield#10 – Buffalo Springfield – “For What It’s Worth” – (1966)

Released at the tail end of 1966, Buffalo Springfield (which included Stephen Stills and Neil young) had a slightly more subtle take on the protest song. It was even written about the war, but about riots in L.A. (which were counterculture clashes with police and if the counterculture was partly a result of Vietnam, then I guess it was, in a roundabout way, about the war). It was a top 10 hit and the only major hit the band had.

220px-country_joe_feel_like_im_fixin_to_die#11 – Country Joe & The Fish – “I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die Rag” – (1967)

This is the best anti-war song there is. Country Joe McDonald and his Fish were a a psychedelic rock band from Berkeley, California and their satirical take on Vietnam was immortalized in this song, which they performed at Woodstock (and substituted their famous “Fish cheer” for another four-lettered F-word. Lyrically, this song is awesome, even if the folksy, hobbled-together circus-like nature of the music isn’t your thing.

jackie_wilson_-_higher_and_higher#12 – Jackie Wilson – “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher And Higher” – (1967)

This top ten hit from Jackie Wilson is a great example of upbeat soul music that did not come from Motown. It’s a great vocal with a great beat and was the best song Wilson ever released.

220px-groovin#13 – The Young Rascals – “Groovin'” – (1967)

This top five album from The Young Rascals (later, The Rascals after they presumably aged a to hit whatever arbitrary age they decided they were no longer “young”) features this #1 hit. It’s a great summer song and pretty relaxing: perfect for dropping acid in the middle of a park in the 1960s.

220px-thebeatlesmagicalmysterytouralbumcover#14 – The Beatles – “All You Need Is Love” – (1967)

More like “All You Need is Copyright Law.” The hardest place to find the Beatles is YouTube. Hey, but I guess McCartney needs the money… which must be nice because he is credited as a co-writer of this song, even though John Lennon wrote it. It was a #1 all over the world, including the U.S. and U.K. Included on Magical Mystery Tour, you can just imagine this song at the heart of Swinging London.

are_you_experienced_-_us_cover-edit#15 – The Jimi Hendrix Experience – “Purple Haze” – (1967)

Jimi Hendrix may have been an incredible guitarist, but he doesn’t sound anything like his records when he performs live. This was a big hit all over the world and was only Hendrix’s second single so we can thank it for really help launch him into the mainstream.

the_turtles_-_happy_together#16 – The Turtles – “Happy Together” – (1967)

The 60s were a great time for rock and roll – but pop music had its place too. This psychedelic pop song was a #1 hit in the U.S. and, as its name implies, is just a very upbeat and happy song.

61fcdkzeqkl#17 – The Chambers Brothers – “Time Has Come Today” – (1967)

This is one of few songs that can easily be imagined to be blaring out of the side of a helicopter buzzing over Vietnam. Probably because it was used in a movie to that effect. It’s a great example of psychedelic rock. The album version of this song is 11 minutes long, but the radio version is much shorter. Also, The Chambers Brothers were four brothers from L.A. (all African-American) and they had one white guy in the band, the drummer. Which I think makes them the inverse of Hootie & the Blowfish.

supremes-sing-hdh#18 – The Supremes – “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” – (1967)

Damn The Supremes were good. Not only them: so were Lamont Dozier and Brian and Eddie Holland, who wrote this and so many other Motown hits. This song has been a #1 hit twice, first with The Supremes, and later again in the 1980s with Kim Wilde.

220px-the_feel_of_neil_diamond#19 – Neil Diamond – “Cherry, Cherry” – (1966)

Ugh. This is technically from 1966 (the year Neil Diamond released his debut album, from which this was a single). It was a top 10 hit on the Hot 100 in the fall of 1966 and remains one of Neil Diamond’s best-known and catchiest tunes.

the_youngbloods_get_together_album#20 – The Youngbloods – “Get Together” – (1967)

Those first notes of this song can really set your state of mind. It puts you right there in the flower power era. First recorded by the Kingston Trio, it became a huge hit for The Youngbloods – their only top 40 hit.

incense_and_peppermints_album#21 – Strawberry Alarm Clock – “Incense and Pepermints” – (1967)

This is about as psychedelic as psychedelic pop and rock ever got. 1967 was a great year for music – the 60s turmoil thing was in full swing. You had far out stuff like this, Motown was firing on all cylinders, and some of the best protest songs ever came out this year. This song is pure 60s. It was even a #1 hit.