I swear i'll be writing more in 2014

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Top 85 Songs of 1966

Pscyhedelia is upon us. 

85.  I’m So Glad – Cream (Hard Rock) – 1966

The guitar changes are incredible, even though they never once say “I’m glad that you’re a glide!”  I wonder if Phish’s “Glide” is a spoof of this song. 

84.  Wild Thing – The Troggs (Rock) – 1966

This is a pretty good rock song.  Like “Born to Be Wild,” it’s been overplayed beyond reproach, but if I hadn’t heard this a million times, I’d still appreciate some aspects of it.  Nowadays, I just wanna hear the Sam Kinison version in a comedic sort of way. 

83.  Dead End Street – The Kinks (Rock) - 1966
82.  And Your Bird Can Sing – The Beatles (Rock) – 1966
81.  Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song) – Otis Redding (Rhythm & Blues) – 1966

Off the top of my head, here are famous Otis’ I know of.  Otis Redding.  Otis Wilson (Chicago Bears).  That’s about it. 

80.  One of us Must Know – Bob Dylan (Folk Rock) - 1966
79.  Rain – The Beatles (Pop Rock) – 1966
78.  High and Dry – The Rolling Stones (Alt-Country) – 1966

I’m merely including this song because it’s arguably the first alt-country song.  I call it that because it’s a bunch of blues rockers trying to play a bluegrass song.  Make no mistake, it is a ho-down and nothing more, but it’s the Stones and they’re not good enough to play authentic bluegrass … thus the beginning of alt-country. 

77.  Good Loving – The Young Rascals (Rock) – 1966

This would be perfect bubble gum rock if it didn’t have a tendency to irritate. 

76.  Stupid Girl – The Rolling Stones (Rock) - 1966
75.  One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer – John Lee Hooker (Blues) – 1966

I’m not sure if this is possible, but I may like George Thorogood’s version better.  We’ll see what happens when I listen to late 70s music. 

74.  Substitute – The Who (Rock) – 1966

What’s the point of the internet if you can't search “Was Roger Daltrey’s dad black” and come up with a quick answer?

73.  Fourth Time Around – Bob Dylan (Folk Rock) – 1966

The things I learn about while listening to all these songs is great.  Here we have a little Bob Dylan vs. John Lennon, and I don’t care whether it’s playful or not, it’s just interesting to hear “Norwegian Wood” all over again. 

72.  Think – The Rolling Stones (Rock) - 1966
71.  It’s No Secret – Jefferson Airplane (Rock) – 1966
70.  Lady Jane – The Rolling Stones (Folk Rock) – 1966
69.  Mustang Sally – Wilson Pickett (Funk) - 1966
68.  Blues From An Airplane – Jefferson Airplane (Folk Rock) – 1966

This is exciting because the beginning of the San Francisco scene is emerging.  I can’t wait to hear some better Jefferson Airplane, some Janis, and yes, of course the Grateful Dead. 

67.  Working in the Coal Mine – Lee Dorsey (Rhythm & Blues) - 1966
66.  Have You Seen Your Mother? – The Rolling Stones (Rock) – 1966
65.  Shapes of Things – The Yardbirds (Psychedelic Rock) – 1966

This one has Jeff Beck on lead. 

64.  I’m Waiting For the Day – The Beach Boys (Pop Rock) – 1966

Although it pales in comparison to Revolver, with all the arrangements on some of these songs, I’m starting to get why Pet Sounds gets so much hype.  Sometimes I’m just too much of a guitar head for stuff like this. 

63.  N.S.U. – Cream (Hard Rock) – 1966

If funny how upon hearing this song for my first time, I said to myself, “Wow, this is a pretty fun song.  I bet Eric Clapton didn't write it” then looked at who wrote it and it's indeed Jack Bruce. 

62.  Got to Get You Into My Life – The Beatles (Rhythm & Blues) – 1966

Oh the sad days of listening to this song with a girl who happened to be my best friend that I also had a crush on, hoping she loved this song just because she "wanted to get me into her life," but alas, those feelings weren’t true, and she was a lesbian. 

61.  I’m a Believer – The Monkees (Pop) – 1966

Though the song is way too smiley, it’s one hell of a pop song. 

60.  Rainy Day Women – Bob Dylan (Rock) – 1966

Though it’s great that a major artist has a song directly about a pot, it’s pretty lazy and boring (what a shocker). 

59.  Scarborough Fair – Simon and Garfunkel (Folk) – 1966

It seems as if Simon and Garfunkel should be referred to as the “Second” Biggest Folk act of all-time.  That way Garfunkel could be 2nd best of the 2nd best which would be a nice unique phenomenon.  Trivia question:  What’s the difference between a phenomenon and a phenomena? 

58.  Last Train to Clarksville – The Monkees (Pop Rock) – 1966

The Monkees are a strange phenomenon too.   

57.  You’re Gonna Miss Me – The 13th Floor Elevators (Rock) – 1966

This sounds a little bit like Them, or the Them.  Not sure how exactly to say that. 

56.  Sunny Afternoon – The Kinks (Rock) - 1966
55.  Love Me, I’m a Liberal – Phil Ochs (Folk) – 1966
54.  Sticks – Cannonball Adderley (Jazz) – 1966

It’s always so much easier for me to listen to jazz when it isn’t 10 minutes long.  It’s even easier when you have a crowd clapping along the whole time.  What a great song.  

53.  World of Fantasy – The Five Stairsteps (Rhythm & Blues) – 1966

They’re just so dang relaxing. 

52.  I Am Waiting – The Rolling Stones (Psychedelic Rock) - 1966
51.  I Am A Rock – Simon and Garfunkel (Rock) – 1966
50.  Visions of Johanna – Bob Dylan (Folk Rock) - 1966
49.  I’m a Boy – The Who (rock) - 1966
48.  Just Like a Woman – Bob Dylan (Folk Rock) – 1966
47.  Sweet Wine – Cream (Hard Rock) – 1966

This is pretty powerful stuff.  I’ve been waiting patiently for a song off of Cream’s debut Fresh Cream to blow me away.  This one comes pretty close.  I at least felt a breeze. 

46.  Under My Thumb – The Rolling Stones (Rock) - 1966
45.  Bus Stop – The Hollies (Beat) – 1966

Here’s my fun learning for the day.  This genre (as well as many I have already done) is called Beat, which has nothing to do with beat poets. 

44.  Homeward Bound – Simon and Garfunkel (Folk) - 1966
43.  Paperback Writer – The Beatles (Rock) – 1966
42.  My Little Red Book – Love (Rock) – 1966

This song has a nice darkness about it. 

41.  Land of 1000 Dances – Wilson Pickett (Rock ‘n Roll) – 1966

It’s nice to hear a rock ‘n roll song this late in the game.  I’m so tempted to talk about famous wrestlers covering this song in the 80s … I won’t, but … well … fortunately from everyone reading this, I can’t find all the lyrics on line without semi-time consuming research.  I will say this.  Classy Freddy Blassy says, “I’ll whap ya with my cane!  You pencil neck geek!”

40.  It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World – James Brown (Rhythm & Blues) – 1966

I don’t like too much of JB’s non-funk stuff, but this song is wonderful. 

39.  Femme Fatale – The Velvet Underground (Pop Rock) – 1966

This is a very hard band to label, which is the reason why they’re still so respected today. 

38.  River Deep, Mountain High – Tina Turner  (Rhythm & Blues) – 1966

The history of this song may be better than the actual song, but I will say this.  I’ve officially deleted Ike’s name off my Ipod.  All Tina Turner songs (of which there are 5 at this juncture) are labeled as “Tina Turner” whether Ike is involved or not.  Has anyone ever liked the duo because of Ike?  It’s like liking Art Garfunkel more than Paul Simon. 

37.  All or Nothing – Small Faces (Rock) – 1966

I have no idea who this band was before I started this madness, and they’re a great find. 

36.  Friday on My Mind – The Easybeats (Rock) – 1966

This sounds like a Strokes song except the singer seems a little happier to be alive. 

35.  Monk Time – The Monks (Rock) – 1966

It’s quite tempting to call this “punk”, but it’s not much more than really repetitive rock … which I guess is exactly what punk is so go figure. 

34.  You Keep Me Hangin’ On – The Supremes (Pop) – 1966

Remember Kim Wilde? 

33.  Eleanor Rigby – The Beatles (Pop) – 1966

Suppose I should say something about the string arrangement here. 

32.  Hazy Shade of Winter – Simon and Garfunkel (Folk Rock) – 1966

I believe this is now my second song that was covered for the Less Than Zero soundtrack. 

31.  Taxman – The Beatles (Rock) – 1966
30.  Love You To – The Beatles (Psychedelic Rock) – 1966

It’s quite simple really, Sitar = Psychedelia. 

29.  Hey Joe – Jimi Hendrix (Rock) – 1966

Before I get all crazy with the first Jimi Hendrix song, it’s not like he wrote it and it’s too repetitive.  Jimi’s a badass.  I can’t wait for more of his tunes. 

28.  Eight Miles High – The Byrds (Psychedelic Rock) – 1966

This is a nice relic of the 60s.  I also didn’t know David Crosby was a Byrd.  It’s rare that someone’s in two highly successful bands. 

27.  Sunshine Superman – Donovan (Folk Rock) – 1966

Wow, that’s Jimmy Page! (The girlies I like are under agecheck it!)  This song also references the Green Lantern. 

26.  Psychotic Reaction – Count Five (Rock) – 1966

The changes in this song are really good, especially for the time. 

25.  Seven and Seven Is – Love (Hard Rock) – 1966

I remember when I bought my first Love album and dismissed them as just another hippie 60s band.  I did not realize how hard songs like this were for their time, and in general just how different they were. 

24.  Trouble Every Day – The Mothers of Invention (Rock) – 1966

It’s pretty bluesy, but it’s so different than what’s happening right now, and does have an underground feel to it. 

23.  Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin With Lovin On Your Mind – Loretta Lynn (Country) – 1966

Between Loretta Lynn’s not putting out and Nancy Sinatra’s boots, men better watch out in 1966!

22.  I Feel Free – Cream (Hard Rock) – 1966

Strange, the Cream song I’ve liked most from this album since the first time I heard Cream is still my favorite.  What are the odds? 

 21.  All Tomorrow’s Party – The Velvet Underground (Psychedelic Rock) – 1966

It really started when I heard that first sitar, but now I’m giving it its own genre: Psychedelic Rock, i.e., songs that were probably written under the influence of LSD. 

20.  Get Out of My Life Woman – Lee Dorsey (Rhythm & Blues) – 1966

At first I thought this song was just badass, but then I found out that the drum beat is so familiar because Cypress Hill borrowed it.  Obviously, they borrowed it for a reason. 

19.  Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again – Bob Dylan (Folk Rock) - 1966
18.  Doctor Robert – The Beatles (Rock) – 1966

Revolver songs just sound so great compared to everything else. 

17.  I Fought the Law – The Bobby Fuller Four (Rock) – 1966

Here’s another tragic death in the history of rock ‘n roll.  God, rock and roll starts die tragically more often than Saturday Night Live actors. 

16.  The Green Hornet Theme Song – Al Hirt (Jazz) – 1966

This is an old jazz cover.  In a time when Seth Rogan is bringing this movie back and Quentin Tarantino made this tune into one of “those” kinda movie songs, it’s still great to appreciate it for what it is.  And that’s …

15.  Paint It Black – The Rolling Stones (Rock) – 1966
14.  I’m Only Sleeping (Psychedelic Rock) – 1966

This may be the first “reversed” guitar track, something Modest Mouse would fall in love with in the late 1990s. 

13.  96 Tears - ? & The Mysterians (Rock) – 1966

This song is the pinnacle of that great organ sound of the mid 60s.  Any time you have to hit the “Shift” key twice to punctuate a band name is pretty impressive as well. 

12.  Out of Time – The Rolling Stones (Rock) – 1966

I’m not exactly sure why I love this one so much, but I do.  Both versions. 

11.  God Only Knows – The Beach Boys (Pop) – 1966

So, here we have the Beach Boys, and the cream of Pet Sounds.  It’s pretty darn good, but I still don’t get all the hype over it in the end.    

10.  Hold On, I’m Coming! – Sam and Dave (Funk) – 1966

Of all the fun things this title could refer too, it’s really about trying to get someone out of the bathroom. 

9.  Sunday Morning – The Velvet Underground (Pop) – 1966

A pop song that isn’t popular!  This song is a good cure for remorseful hangovers. 

8.  These Boots Are Made For Walking – Nancy Sinatra (Country) – 1966

This is my favorite anti-man song ever. 

7.  19th Nervous Breakdown – The Rolling Stones (Rock) – 1966

I’m not sure if it’s been awhile or what not since I last heard this song, but I always forget how much I love this Stones song. 

6.  I Want to Tell You – The Beatles (Rock) – 1966

So yeah, when all is said and done, this is my second favorite song off of Revolver. 

5.  Good Vibrations – The Beach Boys (Pop) – 1966

I feel cheesy that this is my favorite Beach Boys song, but so be it. 

4.  Bang Bang – Nancy Sinatra (Country) – 1966

It’s amazing what a tremolo affect and an appearance in a major motion picture can do for a song.  I had no idea this was Cher’s song.  Her version is now irrelevant.  C’est dommage Cher. 

3.  Mercy, Mercy, Mercy – Cannonball Adderley (Jazz) – 1966

This is becoming one of my favorite jazz songs ever.  It’s the perfect cherry on a tremendous album. 

2.  Gimme Some Lovin – The Spencer Davis Group (Rock) – 1966

How come no one ever called Steve Winwood, “Little Stevie Winwood?”  After all, he was quite young when he sang this one.   Years later, Winwood would realize this is the best song he was ever a part of, and that “Roll With It” just didn’t mutt the custard. 

1.  Tomorrow Never Knows – The Beatles (Psychedelic Rock) – 1966

I can’t imagine how the young parents who loved the Beatles earlier pop stuff felt when they heard this and realized their lovable muppets were doing mind altering drugs and didn’t care that rock ‘n roll and music in general were about to undergo it’s greatest change ever.  


  1. Like your list. Although I'll take The Residents version of Boots Are Made for Walkin over Nancy's.

    Good Vibrations was a milestone.

    I'm celebrating Brian Wilson's 1966 work in the studio, and others, in my audioblog "Audio Eclecticism in the 60s." Take a listen at http://wp.me/p16jwI-1D