Whether you’ve got a high school reunion coming up or just feel like reliving some of your favorite late ‘60s tunes, we think you’ll like the Spotify playlist we created. Take a closer look at the songs we chose here:
Classmates’ Best of the Late ‘60s Spotify Playlist – A Track-by-Track Look
“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” (Rolling Stones)
Everyone knows the opening guitar riff to this classic Stones tune, which became their first number one hit in the U.S. In 2004, Rolling Stone (no relation) listed it at number 2 on its “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” list.
“California Dreamin’” (The Mamas & The Papas)
Anyone who’s longed for warmer weather will identify with the lyrics to this song. Inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2001, the tune was representative of both the California Sound and the counterculture era.
"Hey Jude" (The Beatles)
Paul McCartney famously wrote this one for John Lennon’s son, Julian, in the wake of John and Cynthia Lennon’s divorce. The song appears on many critics’ “greatest of all time” lists and is arguably one of the best-known and most popular Beatles tunes.
“Bad Moon Rising” (Credence Clearwater Revival)
This tune was written by John Fogerty after he saw a film called The Devil and Daniel Webster. It became Creedence Clearwater Revival’s second gold single and has subsequently been used in numerous movies and TV shows. Fun fact: The lyric “there’s a bad moon on the rise” is often misheard as “there’s a bathroom on the right.”
“Like a Rolling Stone” (Bob Dylan)
One of Bob Dylan’s biggest songs, many critics have referred to “Like a Rolling Stone” as being revolutionary in its lyrics and sound. Rolling Stone has listed it at number one in its 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, and the original handwritten lyrics sold for $2 million at a 2014 auction.
“The Sound of Silence” (Simon & Garfunkel)
Oddly, this hit got almost no airplay when it was first released (the debut album on which it appeared had fallen flat), causing the duo to temporarily separate. College DJs began to pay attention, and soon the song was getting the attention it deserved. In 2013, the Library of Congress added it to the National Recording Registry.
“Light My Fire” (The Doors)
Appearing on the Doors’ debut album, this tune was their best-selling single as of 1971. It’s listed at number 35 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. In a well-known incident, Jim Morrison was asked to alter the lyrics “girl, we couldn’t get much higher” to sing “girl, we couldn’t get much better” on a live Ed Sullivan Show performance. Although he agreed, Morrison ended up singing the original words (much to the consternation of the show’s producers).
“Come Together” (The Beatles)
This song has an interesting origin story: Timothy Leary, who was running for governor of California, asked John Lennon to write a campaign song for him. Once Leary was sent to prison for marijuana possession, that venture was over. Lennon admittedly had been unable to come up with a proper campaign song anyway but did come up with this tune instead.
“Build Me Up Buttercup” (The Foundations)
This upbeat pop/soul tune reached number 3 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in 1969. The Los Angeles Angels used to play this song right after “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” during the seventh inning stretch, with many fans singing along.
“Someday We’ll Be Together” (Diana Ross & The Supremes)
Diana Ross was on the verge of starting her solo career when this song was recorded. It ended up on the last album that she and the Supremes recorded together. It was also the last number one single on the Billboard Hot 100 in the 1960s.
“I Can’t Get Next To You” (The Temptations)
A number-one single for the Temptations, this tune has been covered numerous times, most notably by Al Green. Billboard ended up ranking the Temptations’ version at number three for top songs of 1969.
“Land of 1000 Dances” (Wilson Pickett)
The original version of this one, written and recorded by Chris Kenner in 1962, mentioned 16 different dances. Wilson Pickett’s version, arguably the best-known, pares that down considerably. We heard mention of the Mashed Potato, the Alligator, and the Watusi. A number one song on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop list, this became Pickett’s biggest pop hit.
“For What It’s Worth” (Buffalo Springfield)
Stephen Stills wrote this one in response to the 1966 Sunset Strip curfew riots, but it has become more commonly used as an anti-war song. The title was created after the song, when Stills reportedly said to the record company executive, “I have this song here, for what it’s worth, if you want it.” Buffalo Springfield’s recording reached number 7 on the Billboard Hot 100.
“Volunteers” (Jefferson Airplane)
This song was written after Marty Balin was awoken by a Volunteers of America truck one morning. Jefferson Airplane ended up releasing it two months before Volunteers, in order to promote the album (an album that drew controversy for its revolutionary and anti-war themes).
“Suspicious Minds” (Elvis Presley)
Prior to the release of this song, Elvis Presley had spent about seven years appearing in movies. By 1968, he was more than ready to return to music. This tune, written by Mark James, helped bring about the revival of his recording career. It also ended up being his last number one single in the U.S.
“Dizzy” (Tommy Roe)
This fun tune hit number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in 1969 and ended up becoming Tommy Roe’s third gold record. Listening to it just might make you feel a little dizzy, as it contains 11 key changes.
“(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” (Otis Redding)
Otis Redding was inspired by his stay at a houseboat in Sausalito, CA, when he wrote this one. Tragically, he died in a plane crash not long after the single was released. It went on to become the first posthumous tune to reach number one in the U.S.
Information Source: Wikipedia