Culture

10 Classic Rock Tracks From the End of the '60s

A friend of mine was recently lamenting the demise of good “classic” rock across the airwaves. He said that Clear Channel et al. have ruined this for him. I agree: whatever is “classic” on the air has been largely devolved down to a few repetitious playlists of tripe, supposedly indicative of the “best” of the sound.

Yeah, well, not at PJM and not on my watch. So here’s a mix you might’ve heard on the radio in 1967-1969.

During their heyday, The Association had five songs that achieved top-ten status on the US charts.

1. The Association – “And Then Along Came Mary”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BD7SvXmjf3UFor such a great sound, it’s surprising that Buffalo Springfield never broke into the top ten, save once, for this song.

2. Buffalo Springfield – “For What it’s Worth”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gp5JCrSXkJYPurportedly written about a girlfriend Keith Richards had during the mid-60s, Linda Keith.

3. The Rolling Stones – “Ruby Tuesday”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUIh5zhe-FoWhen you hit 50-something, this is what you hope everything will do, “tighten up.”  Regrettably, gravity always wins.

4. Archie Bell and the Drells – “Tighten Up”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wro3bqi4Eb8Because it was their first song to feature horns – a somewhat radical departure from their earlier works – the band worried that this might be a flop.  They needn’t have, it hit number five on the Billboard Top 100 chart in 1968.

5. The Grass Roots – “Midnight Confession”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nZnqtDdswsThis song achieved number one on the charts in 1968. Not bad for a poor boy from South Africa.

6. Hugh Masakela – “Grazing in the Grass”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKcGCObEb28Though this became a highly popular hit, the band was a 1960s “one-hit wonder.”

7. The Crazy World of Arthur Brown – “Fire”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLG1ys2CGcI

Originally recorded in late 1967/early 1968, it wasn’t released until 1969.

8. Stevie Wonder – “My Cherie Amour”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NW0YcO5P3OMIf you’ve seen it, then you know what I mean – it is now almost impossible to separate this from the Breaking Bad episode featuring the song.

9. Tommy James and the Shondells – “Crystal Blue Persuasion”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dn5Pbug5nRwThis always reminds me of my Hippie-Dippie teachers in Elementary school, right about then (1969). They would make us 5th and 6th graders gather together in the auditorium and sing ’60s pop favorites and protest songs. I have distinct memories of pounding out “Age of Aquarius” for their benefit.

10. 5th Dimension – “Wedding Bell Blues”