Saturday, April 10, 2010

The 40 Best Songs of 1966

I’m a couple days late posting because I spent the day in San Francisco yesterday. I went down to see the new Christina Ricci movie After.Life and it was terrific. Ricci has been one of my favorite actresses for years and she was perfect. Liam Neeson was superbly creepy. I don’t know why I don’t like Justin Long. Something about him annoys me. I felt the same way last year when he played essentially the same role in Sam Raimi’s Drag Me to Hell. Yes, Ricci was naked for a good portion of the movie and she is beautiful, but beyond that it was a good creepy psychological horror film and Hollywood does not give us enough of those.

Here we go with the songs…

Numbers 20 to 16

20. Happenings Ten Years Time Ago – The Yardbirds

For a short time in 1966, two of the greatest guitarists in the history of recorded music shared membership in a single band. Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck shared lead guitar duties on this blazing single and the guitar work is impressive. The great Page/Beck riffs and Keith Relf’s vocals drive the song into a psychedelic frenzy.

19. I’m a Boy – The Who

Pete Townshend’s unusual tale of a boy being raised as a girl featured incredible musicianship from drummer Keith Moon and bassist John Entwistle. Originally intended as a part of a pre-Tommy rock opera, it stands on its own and gives us another interesting character in the Pete Townshend universe.

18. Mother’s Little Helper – The Rolling Stones

This may have been the first anti-drug song dealing with prescription drugs. They started selling valium in 1963 and it was the top-selling legal drug in America by 1969. The theme is pretty relevant today. Adding Brian Jones’s trippy sitar riffs sends it over the top. It made it to number eight on the US charts.

17. Mr. Spaceman – The Byrds

And The Byrds give us space-rock, also, one of their first experiments with country-rock. Roger McGuinn tells an extraordinary tale of extraterrestrial visitation. Strange aliens that communicate by smeared toothpaste.  

16. Tomorrow Never Knows – The Beatles

One could say that psychedelia wasn’t part of the mainstream until The Beatles did it. They stuck their toes deeper into those hallucinogenic waters with this track then they ever had before. Once this last song on Revolver played that would be the new direction, for the next couple of years anyway.

Comments and opinions are welcome and encouraged.

Thank you for your interest.

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