Sounds of the '60s

Published on 22 May 2020

Ah, the '60s. The good ole days. 

Okay, we might not have been there, but we sure can look back and appreciate a time that we didn't experience, right? Right. 

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the Sixties? 

Is it bold, psychedelic patterns? Anti-war protests? Or maybe the birth of a TV classic The Flintstones? 

Whatever it may be, there's no denying that it was a decade of true technicolour. And, whether we were or weren’t there or whether we were there and don’t remember it, we can all enjoy and revel in the cultural symbols and products that came during this decade of revolutions. 

Even though the '60s may seem like a long time ago now, we never tire of the incredible music that came from that era and records that were influenced by the decades' trials and tribulations. Songs from the likes of Dylan and Aretha became the soundtracks to the civil rights movement, protests, the hippie heyday and the Vietnam War. 

Today, we’re taking a trip down memory lane and reminiscing the sounds of the '60s and the artists that truly defined and shaped that era.

So, put on your best psychedelic shirt and grab your rose-tinted glasses. Let's go... 

Good Vibrations - The Beach Boys 

Good vibes only here, folks! Not only is this track an absolute cracker of a tune, the chart-topping hit was also a turning point in the world of recording and production. With endless takes, and overdubs, this track really showed what could really be achieved in 1966 inside the four walls of a recording studio. Even today, despite all the fancy technology and studio equipment that we have now, record producers are still chasing to achieve that sweet iconic sound of the Sixties. 

All Along the Watchtower - Jimi Hendrix 

Urgh, we were really born in the wrong era. Well, let's look on the bright side, at least the music lives on and we can enjoy it forever! Originally a Bob Dylan track, Jimi took this simple three-chord song, turned it inside out and upside down. The result? Well, listen to the vibrant, punchy tones of the record yourself below... 

Waterloo Sunset - The Kinks 

As any songwriter would know, the best songs are the ones that just come to you without any effort, and for Ray Davies, that was literally the case. “Waterloo Sunset came to me in a dream ... I woke up and it was there.” There are very few songs that paint the picture of London in the Sixties, but The Kinks have managed to do that perfectly with the 1967 hit. 

Respect - Aretha franklin 

It’s been over 50 years since Aretha hit the Number One spot and in the five decades since its release, people all over the world have been singing it - especially, badly at karaoke -  ever since. If this song doesn’t get you movin’ and grovin’, we don’t know what will. 

California Dreamin' - The Mamas & Papas

A simple, wishful thought turned into a chart-topping hit, and possibly a song that we can all relate to right now.  We’d all love to be somewhere else and we are most definitely California Dreaming right now. And also, it features our all-time favourite flute solo. Didn't think we'd ever have one, but we do! 


Whole lotta love - Led Zeppelin

Coined as the 'most important guitar riffs of the 20th century' by record producer Steve Levine, this Zeppelin song is instantly recognizable. Two notes in and we're already air-guitaring, and we know you are too! It's undeniable that this album opener revolutionised the round of rock vocal and guitar. Jimmy Page came up with the riff in the summer of '68, on his houseboat on Thames after being inspired by his love for big rockabilly intros. 

She Loves you - The Beatles 

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah. She Loves You was released in 1963 and all hell broke loose. It was the song that kicked off Beatlemania in the UK and US and is still the biggest selling Beatles tune in the UK. 

House of the Rising Sun - The Animals 

The House of the Rising Sun, the most notable and successful song form The Animals. Here’s a little fun fact for you… did you know, reportedly, this song only took The Animals and producer Mickey Most, only 15 minutes to record? No messing around from these guys! 

Bob Dylan - The Times They Are a-Changin' 

Come gather ‘round people, Wherever you roam. Whenever we think of the Sixties, we instantly think of Dylan. Released in 1964,this Dyland track was a deliberate response to the happenings of the ‘60s and became an anthem for many. , and has been a record that has been influential to many people’s views on society. This track has stood the real test of time, and still speaks to our changing times today. 

My generation - The Who

Released in 1965, My Generation became The Who’s biggest hit to date and was a definitive statement of the Sixties. Pete Townsend whore this as a nod to the rebellious British youths, known as "mods", expressing their feeling that the older generation didn't understand them. 

Well there you have it, the sounds of the Sixties. We could have gone on and on, and on about our favourite tracks from this era, as there were far too many to chose from. Which is not bad thing really. 

Who is your favourite artist or band of the '60s? Let us know in the comments below. 


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