Friday, February 4, 2011

Rewind: Top 10 Songs of 1966

Over the course of the year, I plan to work towards the best of 2011 by reviewing songs from the past -- in 5 year increments. I was going to start with 1961, since this is the 50th anniversary, but sweet jesus what a brutal year for music that was. When "Runaround Sue" is a legitimate contender for best song of the year it is time to move on.*

* It's not just me, Pitchfork's top 100 songs of the 1960's included just three from 1961.

By 1966, though, the music world looked a whole lot better. It was still a year before Hendrix, Bowie and Creedence would debut, but the biggest bands of all time were already making their mark, blues music was in its golden age, and both the Motown and Stax labels were in full swing. My list is full of the usual suspects, but they are the usual suspects for a reason. And, to be fair, it's not as if the below were the biggest hits of the year back then. Billboard's top 5 in 1966 was:

     1) "The Ballad Of The Green Berets" by Sgt. Barry Sadler
     2) "Cherish" by Association
     3) "(You're My) Soul And Inspiration" by Righteous Brothers
     4) "Reach Out I'll Be There" by Four Tops
     5) "96 Tears" by ? & The Mysterians

In fact, only two of the songs below were in the Billboard top 100 for 1966. Maybe in 45 years everyone will think Wolf Parade and Deerhunter were huge and forget who the Black Eyed Peas are. One can dream.

Grooveshark playlist (without the Beatles track) is at the bottom.

Top 10 Songs of 1966
  1. "Help Me (A Tribute to Sonny Boy Williamson)" / Junior Wells / Chicago/Blues/Today!
    "Lower that nightshade / put on your mourning gown / 'cause you know I ain't sleepy darling / but lord I feel like lying down"
  2. "God Only Knows" / Beach Boys / Pet Sounds
    "I may not always love you"
  3. "Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again" / Bob Dylan / Blonde on Blonde
    "And here I sit so patiently / waiting to find out what price / you have to pay to get out of  / going through all these things twice"
  4. "Mustang Sally" / Wilson Pickett / The Wicked Pickett
    "Got to put your flat feet on the ground"
  5. "Paint It, Black" / The Rolling Stones / Aftermath
    "I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes / I have to turn my head until my darkness goes"
  6. "It's Growing" / Otis Redding / The Soul Album
    <Temptations cover>
  7. "For No One" / The Beatles / Revolver
    "And in her eyes you see nothing / no sign of love behind the tears / cried for no one"
  8. "Hold On, I'm Coming" / Sam & Dave / Hold On, I'm Coming
    "When the day comes and you're down / in a river of trouble and about to drown"
  9. "Uptight (Everything's Alright)" / Stevie Wonder / Uptight
    "She says / no one / is better than I / I know / I'm just an average guy"
  10. "I'm a Believer" / The Monkees / More of the Monkees
    "Not a trace / of doubt in my mind"

1 comment:

  1. I like Runaround Sue, I think you need to take another listen ...