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Monday, January 24, 2011

The Top 110 Songs of 1967

This is probably the best year music ever has had to offer.  Even though this psychedelic fad has gone a little too far with even Keith Richards trying to get freaky, it’s still working.  Psychedelia is changing the way musicians create music which is going to lead to many, many more genres down the road.  You can basically hear traces of every genre their ever was or will be in 1967, with the possible exception of rap but shit James Brown and the Parliaments are rappin’ the mic, so even that’s sort of tasted here. 

110. Incense and Peppermints – Strawberry Alarm Clock (Psychedelic Rock) – 1967

Every time a new genre of music is created, there’s always a band that takes it too far.  In this case, it’s a band called Strawberry Alarm Clock. 

109. Strange Brew – Cream (Rock) – 1967

I’m guessing Clapton wrote this “thriller” of a song (Zach looks at Wikipedia) … wow, shocker, he did.  Seriously, if you hear a Cream song and it’s boring, it was probably written by Eric Clapton. 

108. As I Went Out One Morning – Bob Dylan (Folk Rock) - 1967
107. The Ballad of You and Me and Pooneil – Jefferson Airplane (Psychedelic Rock) – 1967

The Airplane is in their own world, but then again, almost everyone from this era is.

106. Paper Sun – Traffic (Psychedelic Rock) – 1967

I bet sitar sales hit a peak in 1967 that hasn’t been reached since. 

105. Wait Until Tomorrow – Jimi Hendrix (Rhythm & Blues) - 1967
104. The Good Humor Man Sees Everything – Love (Folk Rock) - 1967
103. Baby I Love You – Aretha Franklin (Rhythm and Blues) – 1967

This song has a nice little groove behind it.  I feel like I’m listening to Amy Winehouse or Sharon Jones, yet I’m listening to Aretha, the greatest female singer of them all. 

102. Pictures of Lily – The Who (Rock) - 1967
101. My Eyes Have Seen You – The Doors (Rock) – 1967
100. The Red Telephone – Love (Psychedelic Rock) – 1967
99. Cold Rain and Snow – Grateful Dead (Rock) - 1967
98. Hole in My Shoe – Traffic (Psychedelic Rock) – 1967

It’s incredible how Traffic and Pink Floyd were doing a very similar thing this year. 

97. Tales of Brave Ulysees – Cream (Psychedelic Rock) - 1967
96. Blackjack County Chain – Willie Nelson (Country) – 1967

What’s strange is all the dope of 1967 doesn’t really affect Willie Nelson’s music.  What are the odds of that? 

95. The Golden Road to Unlimited Devotion – The Grateful Dead (Psychedelic Rock) – 1967

It’s always fun to hear a band’s “first ever” song, meaning the first song on their first album. 

94. Arnold Layne – Pink Floyd (Psychedelic Rock) - 1967
93. Dealer – Traffic (Psychedelic Rock) – 1967

With this first Traffic record, they take a lot of obscure chances.  When it comes together, the songs are great. 

92. Moonlight Drive – The Doors (Psychedelic Rock) – 1967
91. Do Right Woman-Do Right Man – Aretha Franklin (Rhythm & Blues) – 1967

Aretha’s soul takes her to another level compared with all these psychedelic groovy hippie bands of this era. 

90. Mr. Soul – Buffalo Springfield (Rock) – 1967

The first grunge song?  Well no, but it is the first time I get to hear Neil Young for these lists so that’s fun.   

89. Outside a Small Circle of Friends – Phil Ochs (Pop Rock) – 1967

Obviously the lyrics on this cabaret song are anything but pop.  The reason why Bob Dylan was better was the old “good poets show, bad poets tell” theory.  I don’t want to call Phil Ochs incredible lyricism “bad”, but he has no imagery whatsoever.  It’s all tell tell tell.

88. Little Miss Lover – Jimi Hendrix (Hard Rock) – 1967

I’ve sadly referred to all the Hendrix songs as “Jimi Hendrix” and not the “Jimi Hendrix Experience.”  It’s no slight, just easier.  Mitch Mitchell drops one helluva beat on this song though.

87. These Days – Nico (Pop) – 1967

This is another very nice soft and light Nico song, only the Velvet Underground isn’t with her so it’s a little happier. 

86. Coloured Rain – Traffic (Rock) – 1967
85. There She Goes Again – The Velvet Underground (Rock) - 1967
84. Born Under a Bad Sign – Albert King (Blues) – 1967

Not the most exciting song, but it’s the blues, so what do you want? 

83. My Obsession – The Rolling Stones (Rock) – 1967

It must have been tough on the Stones in 1967.  Between the Buttons isn’t bad, but it’s not “different” and in 1967, you have to be different to be good, hence Their Satanic Majesties Request.  They really had no choice. 

82. SWLABR – Cream (Psychedelic Rock) – 1967

She walks like a bearded rainbow … freaking hippies.   There is a huge downside to LSD.  Never forget that.   

81. She Has Funny Cars – Jefferson Airplane (Rock) – 1967

Balin and Slick singing this together makes it pretty special. 

80. Cold Sweat, Part 1 – James Brown (Funk) – 1967

This is a pretty good tune, but sometimes with funk, I’m just left wondering what’s going on between great horn arrangements.  Does James Brown hootin’ and hollerin’ and talking to Maceo on top of a great groove qualify as music? 

79. With a Little Help From My Friends – The Beatles (Pop) – 1967

Sgt. Pepper is so good that this song doesn’t even sound out of place.  

78. I Don’t Live Today – Jimi Hendrix (Hard Rock) – 1967
77. May This Be Love – Jimi Hendrix (Psychedelic Rock) – 1967

It’s pretty hard to find a Jimi Hendrix song off of Are You Experienced? that isn’t good. 

76. Testify – Parliament (Funk) – 1967

I don’t know if the version I’ve heard is the 67 version by “The Parliaments” or the 74 version that’s a remake, but this doesn’t sound that 70s, so …

75. If I Were a Carpenter – Tim Hardin (Folk) – 1967
74. Good Morning, Good Moring – The Beatles (Rock) – 1967

How many songs from Sgt. Pepper will place?  You decide. 

73. Matilda Mother – Pink Floyd (Psychedelic Rock) – 1967
72. Alabama Song – The Doors (Psychedelic Rock) – 1967

Do you think Jim Morrison’s soul ever appreciates Ray Manzarek and John Densmore? 

71. Lucifer Sam – Pink Floyd (Psychedelic Rock) – 1967

The dropping bass line makes this one. 

70. I Can See For Miles – The Who (Hard Rock) – 1967
69. All You Need is Love – The Beatles (Pop Rock) – 1967
68. Morning Dew – The Grateful Dead (Slow Rock) – 1967

The Grateful Dead have a soul none of the other hippie bands really have. 

67. Tin Soldier – Small Faces (Rock) – 1967
66. Spanish Castle Magic – Jimi Hendrix (Hard Rock) - 1967
65. Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite – The Beatles (Psychedelic Rock) – 1967
64. Omaha – Moby Grape (Hard Rock) – 1967

This song should be a little bit longer, but what’s going on has a nice hook and nice riffage.  You can’t ask for much more than that.

63. Blue Jay Way – The Beatles (Psychedelic Rock) - 1967
62. The Black Angel’s Death Song – The Velvet Underground (Psychedelic Rock) – 1967

What’s so great about the VU is that they’re experimental without being hippie.  That’s a tough task in 1967. 

61. John Wesley Harding – Bob Dylan (Country) – 1967

Though the harmonica may be a bit annoying, it’s great to hear Dylan get a little country after making a big change from folk to rock.  

60.  The Fool on the Hill – The Beatles (Pop Rock) – 1967
59.  Manic Depression – Jimi Hendrix (Hard Rock) – 1967

Jimi turns it up a notch on this one. 

58.  Ruby Tuesday – The Rolling Stones (Pop Rock) – 1967

It sounds like they’ve been listening to Paul McCartney a little too much, but it’s still a good tune. 

57. Tell Mama – Etta James (Funk) – 1967

It’s always nice to hear a 60s funk song that you haven’t heard before. 

56. Coming Back to Me – Jefferson Airplane (Folk) – 1967

I’ve always loved this Marty Balin ballad, and the Coen Brothers love for it in A Serious Man has made it even better.  It’s nice to see the Airplane get some love outside of “White Rabbit” and “Somebody to Love”

55. Interstellar Overdrive – Pink Floyd (Space Rock) – 1967

I have to give Space Rock its own category.  Between Pink Floyd and the Grateful Dead coming out, the whole jam band thing is created. 

54. Soul Man – Sam & Dave (Funk) – 1967
53. I’ll Be Your Mirror – The Velvet Underground (Pop Rock) – 1967

The songs Nico sings on the debut VU album make them sound like an American European band, which I like. 

52. 2000 Man – The Rolling Stones (Psychedelic Rock) - 1967

I know Their Satanic Majesties Request is so non-Stones, but they do have a few bad ass songs on it. 

51. Up From the Skies – Jimi Hendrix (Psychedelic Rock) – 1967

I’ve always loved the groove of this song. 

50. She’s a Rainbow – The Rolling Stones (Psychedelic Rock) – 1967

I’ve always loved this song and still do, but it’s just not the Rolling Stones no matter how good it is.  It’s strange how some bands I appreciate for constantly re-inventing themselves and the Stones are so good I always want them to be the Rolling Stones. 

49. Let’s Spend the Night Together – The Rolling Stones (Rock ‘n Roll) – 1967
48. Magical Mystery Tour (Psychedelic Rock) - 1967
47. Down on Me – Janis Joplin (Rock) – 1967

It’s great to hear her voice.  She was basically Aretha for the hippies. 

46. Foxy Lady – Jimi Hendrix (Hard Rock) – 1967

I wonder if I’ll think of Dana Carvey’s pelvic thrusts for the rest of my life when I hear this song.

45. Bummer in the Summer – Love  (Folk Rock) – 1967
44. Baby You’re a Rich Man – The Beatles (Pop Rock) – 1967
43. 2000 Light Years From Home – The Rolling Stones (Space Rock) – 1967

This is the cream of the crop of the Stones psychedelia.

42. The Wind Cries Mary – Jimi Hendrix (Slow Rock) – 1967
41. Shanty Town – Desmond Dekker (Reggae) – 1967

I guess 1967 is the first year for real reggae songs, or ska songs or whatever.  This isn’t a genre I can profess any knowledge on whatsoever, so I’m not going to try. 

40. People are Strange – The Doors (Psychedelic Rock) – 1967

This is great drug induced paranoia right here. 

39. Run Run Run – The Velvet Underground (Rock) – 1967

In a time when everything is all hippied out, it’s nice to hear something very very raw. 

38. Little Wing – Jimi Hendrix (Rock) – 1967

1967 is the last year when acts had two great albums coming out in the same year.  Record companies finally realized how much more profitable pacing was.  

37. Sitting On Top of the World – The Grateful Dead (Rock) - 1967

Now that hippie rock is taking the main stage, we have a great non-hippie song by a hippie band.  Jerry Garcia is a ripping up the guitar in this one to a level we haven’t heard before … that is … aside from that Jimi guy. 

36. Who’s Been Sleeping Here – The Rolling Stones (Rock) – 1967

There’s a special place in my heart for Rolling Stone songs that are great and not well known.  Here’s another one.  McJagger even sounds modest if you can believe that. 

35. Strange Days – The Doors (Psychedelic Rock) - 1967

How great would it have been if the Doors were around in an age where they could experiment with sound more and not just use traditional instruments?  The Doors in 1967 were a top 5 band in one of rock’s best years, if not rock’s best year.  This is essentially sloppy seconds, and it’s still incredible. 

34. Waterloo Sunset – The Kinks (Rock) – 1967

Everybody turns it up a notch in 1967 and the Kinks are no different.   I swear, I think the only band that regresses in 1967 is the Rolling Stones, and they’ll make up for it in 1968-1973. 

33. Castles Made of Sand – Jimi Hendrix (Psychedelic Rock) – 1967
32. Ode to Billie Joe – Bobbie Gentry (Country) – 1967

I don’t know if this is country, but Bobbie Gentry is from Mississippi, so well … that doesn’t solve anything. 

31. The Tide is High – The Paragons (Reggae) – 1967

What are the similarities between hippies and Rastas?  I can’t think of anything off the top of my head. 

30. See Emily Play – Pink Floyd (Psychedelic Rock) – 1967

The idea of Pink Floyd having singles is strange.  It’s a great song though.

29. Alone Again Or – Love (Pop Rock) – 1967

It’s almost as if every single band in 1967 found really great acid and reached their peak at the same time. 

28. Heroes and Villains – The Beach Boys (Psychedelic Rock) – 1967

This arrangement is incredible.  This is my new 2nd or 3rd favorite Beach Boy song. 

27. Bold as Love – Jimi Hendrix (Hard Rock) – 1967

I don’t see Jimi Hendrix as some psychedelic rocker.  Whatever Chuck Berry did to rock ‘n roll, Jimi Hendrix did to rock.  It’s beautiful whatever it is. 

26. The Crystal Ship – The Doors (Slow Rock) – 1967

There’s nothing like pre-drunken buffoon Jimbo.  His voice is so soft and magical.  The Doors have 5 incredible songs off their debut album.  That’s a feat very few bands have reached. 

25. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Beatles – 1967

It’s too bad I can’t include this with the first few tracks off this album as “one” track.  The beginning of this album does establish the one song going into another flow that hadn’t been done before. 

24. Fire – Jimi Hendrix (Hard Rock) – 1967

Granted I’ve heard this song a million times for better or for worse, but this is the most rockinest song I’ve heard thus far. 

23. Complicated – The Rolling Stones (Rock) – 1967

I don’t understand why this Stones song is forgotten.  At a time when they were doing the whole exploratory music thing like everyone else in 1967, they created this pure rock gem. 

22. Astronomy Domine – Pink Floyd (Space Rock) – 1976

This is my favorite pre-Dark Side Randall Pink Floyd song.  Pink Floyd, even in a time of drug experimentation reaching record heights, still managed to find a world that was completely their own. 

21. Respect – Aretha Franklin (Rhythm & Blues) – 1967

I love listening to a song that’s one of the biggest ever that I’ve never really loved, then realizing how great it is, but still due to my rock roots, not liking it as much as some of these next songs. 

20. Heroin – The Velvet Underground (Psychedelic Rock)

Heroin wasn’t really part of the 60s psychedelic drug scene, so I’m not sure if this qualifies as “psychedelic”.  It is most likely the first “trance” song, but I’m going to do my best not to include “trance” music on this entire list for as long as possible. 

19. Dear Mr. Fantasy – Traffic (Rock) – 1967

I suppose this is Traffic’s most popular Winwood tune.  On an album that’s early Genesis strange, it’s great that they can settle down and write a song of this magnitude. 

18. Soul Kitchen – The Doors (Rock) – 1967

There’s something magically soothing about the first Doors album, and it’s mostly because of late night diner songs like this. 

17. Can’t Take My Eyes Off You – Franki Valli (Pop) – 1967

This would’ve been higher if it weren’t for that stupid Super Bowl commercial that came out around 2007.  That commercial ALMOST ruined this song permanently. 

16. All Along the Watchtower – Bob Dylan (Folk Rock) – 1967

After writing this one, I’m sure Dylan said to himself, “Wow, this song is going to be covered like no song ever has been covered before.”

15. Love Me Two Times – The Doors (Rock) – 1967

Ah, one of the first guitar riffs I ever learned. 

14. Somebody to Love – Jefferson Airplane (Rock) – 1967

The other night I realized this song (and obviously the rest on this list) is 44 years old. 

13. I’m Waiting For the Man – The Velvet Underground (Rock) – 1967

Maybe the VU devotes too many lyrics to heroin, but it works here. 

12. White Rabbit – Jefferson Airplane (Psychedelic Rock) – 1967

It’s always fun trying to sing this one and realizing I’m no Grace Slick. 

11. Purple Haze – Jimi Hendrix (Hard Rock) – 1967

The flashy guitar is what got me into classic rock so it’s one of my favorites but that amoebic drum beat is pretty tough sometimes, however, sometimes you need that just so the guitar player can wail.  The White Stripes for instance, make that work quite well. 

10. Venus In Furs – Velvet Underground (Psychedelic Rock) – 1967

A few tunes came out in 1966, but it was 1967 that gave birth to the underground circus with the banana on the album cover.  Music would never be the same.  I can say that about 80 acts from 1967. 

9. Are You Experienced? – Jimi Hendrix (Psychedelic Rock) – 1967

More reverse guitar!  Jimi wasn’t too flashy with his soloing here, but the way this song is arranged is incredible, even though it’s just drums, guitar, vocal, bass and reverse guitar.  When I think of the hippie 60s, this is one of the first songs that comes to mind. 

8. Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds – The Beatles (Psychedelic Rock) – 1967

I sometimes forget just how great this song is because of the million times I’ve heard it.  It’s on par as one of Lennon’s greatest. 

7. Light My Fire – The Doors – (Slow Rock) – 1967

Man the balls to put the long jazz solo in what’s one of the most recognizable pop songs ever. 

6. I Am the Walrus – The Beatles (Psychedelic Rock) – 1967

Could you imagine trying to compete in a year when this isn’t the top Beatles song?

5. Break on Through – The Doors (Hard Rock) – 1967

Say what you want about Morrison’s douchebaggery (and it does reach unprecedented levels), but this first Doors album is only rivaled by the Beatles in 1967 … and the Doors are American!!!! Fuck yeah! BREAK ON THROUGH TO THE OTHER SIDE!!!!

4. The End – The Doors (Psychedelic Rock) – 1967

Besides all the bullshit of the dude walking down the hall and coming to a door, the mood of this song is what makes it.  It’s one of the few 10 minute long plus songs that never seems like a long song. 

3. Sunshine of Your Love – Cream (Hard Rock) – 1967

Clapton maybe responsible for writing one of the best guitar riffs ever, but you can tell this song is just a little too exciting so I’m guessing he didn’t write it on his own. 

2. Strawberry Fields Forever – The Beatles (Psychedelic Rock) – 1967

It’s tough because I have fond memories of my mom playing this song on piano, and the arrangement is just as good as “A Day in the Life.”  It’s a pick’em really.  Sometimes decisions are hard though and they need to be made.  George W. Bush taught me that.  I’m the decider, and I’m going with this one as John Lennon’s second best song ever.  These two could very well end up as #1 and #2 all time though by the time I die. 

1.  A Day in the Life – The Beatles (Psychedelic Rock) – 1967

You could probably first tell as soon as you heard the beginning of the album, or maybe when you heard “Tomorrow Never Knows” on the previous one, but if I ever suffer amnesia and get to listen to Sgt. Pepper for my first time again, I can’t wait to be blown away by this song again.  This is the song that makes John Lennon the greatest songwriter ever, with or without the help of Paul McCartney, well, either this or “Strawberry Fields Forever.”

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