220px-turnturnturncover#5 – The Byrds – “Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There is a Season)” – (1965)

So the thing with The Byrds is, Roger McGuinn is decades older than I am, but the music that this band put out always seemed so… old. McGuinn might be in his mid-70s now, but he wasn’t always. It just seems like a member of the Byrds has always been older than you. Roger was only 23 when they recorded this song. If I think of 23-year-old musicians today, I think Justin Bieber. Who could never in a million years record a song like this. Even if he had Pete Seeger writing for him! Makes me feel like a failure, really. Some of the lyrics are straight from the bible, giving this song the weird distinction of being the #1 hit with the oldest lyrics.


220px-TheByrdsSweetheartoftheRodeo#16 – The Byrds – “Hickory Wind” – (1968)

This beautiful country rock tune was written by Gram Parsons and, while considered his “signature song”, it isn’t the signature song of The Byrds, who released a lot of great music like this. This song is actually the perfect example of 1960s country rock. It’s just pretty.

#10 – The Beach Boys – “Kokomo” – (1988)

“Kokomo” is interesting. By the late 80s, The Beach Boys were mostly a group for nostalgia freaks. Then 4 musical giants got together and wrote this song: John Phillips (from the Mamas & the Papas), Scott McKenzie (who had a huge single on his own), Mike Love (founding member of the Beach Boys), and Terry Melcher (who produced albums for The Byrds, and Paul Revere & the Raiders). After they wrote the song, it was used in the Tom Cruise movie Cocktail – to huge success – propelling the song to #1 – the first for the Beach Boys since 1966. It put the band back in the spotlight and introduced their music to a whole new generation. The song was included on the Boys’ 1989 album Still Cruisin’ as well as the Cocktail soundtrack.

The song famously lists a bunch of tropical places and one fictional place (or a real one: Kokomo, Indiana – hardly tropical). Aruba, Jamaica, Bermuda, Bahama(s), Key Largo, Montego, Martinique, Montserrat, and Port-au-Prince. Naturally, VH1 and those “people” at Blender loathed this song and mocked it whenever they could. Guilty pleasure, maybe? Could be, but I’ve loved it since I first heard it – it’s catchy as hell. Also, this song was featured on Full House when Uncle Jesse joined the Beach Boys as their drummer. Yes, John Stamos was technically in The Beach Boys – which is one of my favorite bits of trivia ever.