Tuesday, May 04, 2010

The 40 Best Songs of 1966

Numbers 10 to 6

10. Over, Under, Sideways, Down – The Yardbirds

If you’ve been following the list so far, it’s obvious that I’m a sucker for a really great guitar riff. This song has one of the best, played by Jeff Beck on the single, but by Jimmy Page in this particular live performance. I have to give props to Paul Samwell-Smith for some great bass runs as well. This was a tremendous celebration of the rock star lifestyle of the time and Keith Relf sang it as one who had lived it.

9. Substitute – The Who

One of the greatest early Who songs. It was pure musical perfection from Townshend, Entwistle, and Moon. Roger Daltrey exuded just the right level of proto-punk attitude. “I was born with a plastic spoon in my mouth” is one hell of a great lyric. It was a number five hit in Britain, but surprisingly did not chart in the States.   

8. Seven and Seven Is – Love

Speaking of proto-punk, this is a perfect example. Amongst the fiercest examples to come along before Iggy Pop started bloodying up the stages of Detroit. The drums and bass build up intensity so high that the logical conclusion can only be an explosion and that is exactly what Arthur Lee gives us before winding the song down into a peaceful guitar run. Beautiful.

7. I Feel Free – Cream

Cream was mostly a blues band, but every now and then they broke out some psychedelia. Clapton, Bruce, & Baker displayed tremendous chops on this single and barely missed the British top ten. This beauty of a love song draws you in right off the top with the vocal bopping leading into spacier keening and Clapton’s gorgeous guitar.

6. Good Vibrations – The Beach Boys

There’s that awesome theremin again. What a fantastic sound. Brian Wilson shows off even more of his amazing studio skills with this mini-symphony. Not a part of Pet Sounds, this stand-alone single topped the charts in the US and Britain and was their second single to go gold.  

Comments and opinions are welcome and encouraged.

Thank you for your interest.

1 comment:

Lesley said...

Great list! That was such a great year for music.