Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Best Music of the '60's ... (aka The World According To Chet!)

A short while back we did a #1 comparison list of records that topped the three most-prominent music trades, Billboard Magazine, Cash Box Magazine and Music Vendor / Record World Magazine.  The series was inspired by the release of the new Joel Whitburn / Record Research Chart Comparison Book that lists, for the first time ever, the peak position of every record to make the list in all three of these publications.  

After the series I mentioned that I might some day feel inspired to (by collecting the accumulated weeks at #1 of every record covered in these volumes, 1954 - 1982) to compile a list of The Top 1000 #1 Records Of All-Time. 

To give readers some idea as to what that might look like, I ran the list of The Top 200 #1 Records of The Beatles Era (1964 -1970)  

Frequent Forgotten Hits contributor (and mega-music fan) Chet Coppock was immediately concerned that a list such as this didn't accurately reflect the best music of the '60's ... too much bubblegum ... and none of the classic album tracks would be considered.  This was true ... MY list was a mathematical ranking based on chart statistics ... but Chet felt that he could compile a more accurate list of '60's Favorites that would better represent this pivotal era in music.  (Of course this would be a very personal list of favorites, based on nothing more than ones own opinion ... and, as I've been told COUNTLESS times in my lifetime, opinions are like assholes ... EVERYBODY'S got one!!!)  

That being said, I told Chet, "Have At It" ... and, of course, he did!!!  

So today we present The Top 200 Greatest Hits Of The '60's ... 
Based on The World According To Chet Coppock! 

It's sure to inspire debate (most of his lists usually do!!!) ... and we're not necessarily asking you to compile a list of your own ... but digest, reflect and comment as you see fit.

Just about finished with my 1960's top 200 list ... bound to cause anger from coast to coast ... this may cause rioting of epic proportions!  
Just remember, YOU asked for it, champ! 

Chet later told me that the first 170 songs came to him immediately ... all he had to do then was put them in rank order.  He actually compiled a list of 300 and then whittled it down to 200.  The Top 50 are "absolute" ... #51 to about #150 have been given a fair amount of thought (and quite a bit of shuffling around was necessary to get these in order) ... and the last 50 are a bit more random ... but all are songs he felt HAD to be there.  

That being said, I don't think I could have put together a list of my Top 200 Favorite Songs From 1967, much less the whole decade ... the year just meant too much to me to have to pick and choose a narrowed-down list of favorites (and still leave other favorites out) ... so I give him a lot of credit for his efforts ... despite the fact that many of these would have NEVER made my own personal list.  (I do have to say thanks, however, for including ONE Monkees song in my honor!!!  lol)  

Here goes ...  

Dear Kent:  

You know why I've stopped at your bar and grill. Several months ago, you ran a piece about all the songs that reached #1 during the tumultuous, yet magical decade known as the 60's.  

Frankly, the list of top tunes disturbed me for one reason. I had no qualm with the vast majority of songs on the list, but there was just too much bubble gum combined with other mindless drivel that had no business seeing the top of the Billboard Mountain.  I told you I was going to send you my own list of top 200 songs from that magnificent era of sound. 

Now, before we throw out the first pitch, let me give your F.H. readers a few grounds rules. My list actually begins in '61 and shuts down at the close of 1970.  Hey, my house, my game.   

Additionally, I do have handful of album cuts on my list for the simple fact that they are just terrific tunes, tunes that still resonate with me to this day ... songs that deserve recognition. 

Kent, knowing how much you love The Monkees I managed to find a spot deep in the pack for Valleri. However, let’s also note that the Lemon Pipers, The Ohio Express and the Archies were never given consideration. 

Green Tambourine? Gag me with a spoon.  

I sat down this past Friday morning and jotted down 300 songs. After a series of cuts, here is my 60's rock 'n roll highway:  

(Note:  I am not listing full song names. Your readers don't have to be told that “I've Been Loving You Too Long”, the masterpiece by Otis Redding, is actually titled, “I've Been Loving You Too Long to Stop Now”. Capiche?)

1. The Rolling Stones - Gimme Shelter
2. The Beach Boys - God Only Knows
3. The Animals - When I was Young.
4. Bob Dylan - Like a Rolling Stone
5. The Beatles - While My Guitar Gently Weeps
6. Jimi Hendrix - Are You Experienced? (Off the Experience album)
7. Smokey Robinson - Tracks of my Tears
8. Otis Redding - I've Been Loving You Too Long
9. The Kinks - Lola
10. Aretha Franklin - I Never Loved a Man
11. The Shirelles - Will You Still Love me Tomorrow?
12. The Righteous Brothers - Ebb Tide
13. The Yardbirds - Heart Full of Soul
14. The Beatles - Hey Jude
15. The Byrds - My Back Pages
16. Procol Harum- A Whiter Shade of Pale
17. Aaron Neville - Tell It Like It Is
18. Bob Dylan - Absolutely Sweet Marie - off “Blonde on Blonde”
19. Santana - Soul Sacrifice
20. Dionne Warwick- Anyone Who Had a Heart
21. The Rolling Stones - Let's Spend the Night Together
22. The Music Machine - Talk Talk
23. Stevie Wonder - Uptight
24. James Brown - There Was a Time
25. Del Shannon - Runaway
26. Dion - Ruby Baby
27. Canned Heat - On The Road Again
28. Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign
29. Neil Diamond - Kentucky Woman
30. The Vogues - Magic Town
31. Jimi Hendrix - Purple Haze
32. Janis Joplin - Kozmic Blues
33. Jefferson Airplane - Volunteers of America
34. The Dave Clark Five - Any Way You Want It
35. Jackie Wilson - Higher and Higher (honorable mention: The Who Who Song)
36. The Beach Boys - In My Room
37. Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels - Sock It To Me Baby
38. B.B. King - The Thrill is Gone
39. The Lovin' Spoonful – You Didn’t Have To Be So Nice
40. The Outsiders - Time Won’t Let Me                                                                                                                                                          
41. Paul Revere and the Raiders - Hungry
42. Steppenwolf - Magic Carpet Ride
43. Chubby Checker - Let's Twist Again
44. The Rolling Stones - Jumpin' Jack Flash
45. Elvis Presley – Can't Help Falling in Love with You
46. Steam - Na Na, Hey Hey, Kiss Him Goodbye
47. Little Milton - Feel so Bad
48. The Amboy Dukes- Journey to the Center of the Mind
49. Bob Dylan - Positively 4th Street
50. The Moody Blues – My See Saw
51. Credence Clearwater Revival - Fortunate Son
52. Stevie Wonder - I Was Made to Love Her
53. The Temptations - I Know I'm Losing You
54. Rosie and the Originals - Angel Baby
55. The Shangri Las - Remember (Walking in the Sand)
56. The Animals - When I Was Young
57. The New Colony Six - I Will Always Think About You
58. Rolling Stones - Sympathy for the Devil
59. The Association - Along Comes Mary
60. The Spencer Davis Group - Gimme Some Lovin'
61. The Crystals - He's a Rebel
62. The Four Seasons - Rag Doll
63. The Shadows of Knight - Gloria
64. Tommy James & The Shondelles - Crimson and Clover
65. Melanie - Lay Down (Candle in the Wind)
66. Kenny Rogers and the First Edition - Just Dropped In
67. The Beach Boys - Good Vibrations
68. Guess Who - American Woman
69. Buffalo Springfield - For What It's Worth
70. Ray Charles - Hit the Road Jack
71. The Mamas and the Papas - Creeque Alley
72. Dion - Little Diane
73. Junior Walker and the All Stars - Road Runner
74. The Flaming Embers - I'm Not My Brother's Keeper
75. The Ronettes - Da Do Ron Ron
76. Ides of March - Vehicle
77. Every Mother's Son - Come On Down To My Boat
78. The Jackson Five - I Want You Back
79. Velvet Underground - I'm Waiting For My Man (off “Velvet Underground and Nico”)
80. Beach Boys - Do It Again
81. The Newbeats - Bread and Butter
82. James Brown - I Don't Want Nobody To Give Me Nothin'
83. The Beatles - Happiness is a Warm Gun
84. The Dave Clark Five - Because
85. The Five Stairsteps - 0-0-H Child
86. Ray Stevens - Mr. Businessman
87. Gerry and the Pacemakers - Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying
88. Martha and the Vandellas - Dancing in the Streets
89. Wilson Pickett - Funky Broadway
90. The Isley Brothers - This Old Heart of Mine
91. The Capris - There's a Moon Out Tonight
92. The Jive Five - My True Story
93. Patsy Cline - I Fall to Pieces
94. Cream- White Room
95. Dick and Dee Dee - The Mountain's High
96. Paul Revere and the Raiders - Just Like Me
97. Otis Redding - These Arms of Mine
98. The Animals - Sky Pilot
99. The Moody Blues - Go Now
100. Del Shannon - Keep Searchin'
101. The Ronettes - Baby I Love You
102. The Drifters - Under the Boardwalk
103. Them - Here Comes the Night
104. The Doors - Light My Fire (tie) The End
105. The Four Seasons - Big Man in Town
106. The Exciters - I Know Something About Love
107. The Temptations - Fading Away  (B-side of Ain't Too Proud to Beg)
108. Wilson Pickett - 634-5789
109. Bobby Vee - Take Good Care of My Baby
110. Cream - Tales of Brave Ulysses
111. Ral Donner - You Don’t Know What You've Got
112. Everly Brothers - Crying in the Rain
113. Gary U.S. Bonds - School is Out
114. The Syndicate of Sound - Little Girl
115. Arlo Guthrie - Coming Into Los Angeles
116. Major Lance - Monkey Time
117. The Monkees - Valleri
118. Arthur Conley - Sweet Soul Music
119. The Vogues - Five O'Clock World
120. Ronny and the Daytonas - GTO
121. Betty Everett - Shoop Shoop Song (It's in His Kiss)
122. Bob Dylan - Memphis Blues Again
123. Bobby Freeman - C'mon and Swim
124. CSNY - Woodstock
125. The Temptations - You'll Lose a Precious Love
126- Tommy James - Ball of Fire
127. Ernie K-Doe – Mother-in-Law
128. Cream - I'm Free (Tie) Sunshine of Your Love
129. The Duprees - You Belong to Me
130. Dion - Donna the Prima Donna
131. Ike and Tina Turner - River Deep, Mountain High
132. The New Colony Six - Things I'd Like to Say
133. Jan Bradley - Mama Didn't Lie
134. The Four Seasons - Big Man in Town
(NOTE:  This one is already listed at #105 ... you'll have to come up with another favorite!!!  May I suggest ... since you already have several other Cream songs listed ... "Strange Brew" perhaps, next to "Badge" ... also not on your list ... the greatest song Cream ever recorded?  No, better yet, how about "Black Pearl" by Sonny Charles and the Checkmates ... 'cause you left it off your list AGAIN and I know it's one of your all-time favorites!!! -kk)
135. Gene Chandler - Duke of Earl
136. The Kinks - Tired of Waiting For You
137. Dee Dee Sharp - Mashed Potato Time
138. Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas - Little Children
139. Shortly Long - Function at the Junction
140. Paul Revere and the Raiders - Good Thing
141. The Band - Rag Mama Rag
142. Roy Orbison - Crying
143. The Chiffons - One Fine Day
144. Tommy James - Draggin' the Line
145. Thunderclap Newman - Something in the Air
146. Eddie Floyd - Knock on Wood
147. The Leaves - Hey Joe
148. Mountain - Mississippi Queen
149. The Bar-Kays - Soul Finger
150. Percy Sledge - When a Man Loves a Woman
151. The Turtles - It Ain't Me Babe
153. The Righteous Brothers - Just Once in My Life
154. The Ramsey Lewis Trio - The "In" Crowd
155. Blood, Sweat and Tears - Go Down Gamblin’
156. Sam Cooke - Shake
157. Dave Clark Five – Catch Us If You Can
158. The Fifth Dimension - Go Where You Wanna Go
159. The Union Gap - Lady Willpower
160. Richie Havens - Here Comes the Sun
161. Terry Stafford -Suspicion
162. The Beatles - Hey Bulldog
163. The Beach Boys - Wild Honey (Tie) Help Me Rhonda
164. The Rolling Stones - Heart of Stone
165. Aretha Franklin - Think
166. The Hollies - Carrie Anne
167. The Chairman of the Board - Pay To The Piper
168. The Impressions - Check Out Your Mind
169. Question Mark and the Mysterians - 96 Tears
170. CSNY -Wooden Ships
171. The Box Tops - Soul Deep
172. The Moments - Love On a Two Way Street
173.  Syndicate of Sound - Little Girl
174. The Beau Brummels – Laugh, Laugh
175. Dyke and the Blazers - We Got More Soul
176. The Beatles - A Day In The Life
177. The Temptations - Get Ready
178.  The Rolling Stones - Monkey Man
179. The Four Tops - You Keep Running Away
180. Lesley Gore - She's a Fool
181. The Dells - There Is
182. Curtis Lee - Pretty Little Angel Eyes
183. Jimmy Ruffin - What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?
184. The Byrds - Turn! Turn! Turn!
185. The Flaming Embers - Westbound #9
186. Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell – Your Precious Love
187. The Jaynetts - Sally Go 'Round the Roses
188. Aretha Franklin - Respect
189. The Buckinghams - Don’t You Care
189. Cream - Sunshine of Your Love
(Another dupe ... already listed ... in a tie ... for #128 ... I'm just going to figure that it REALLY belongs here at #189!  lol -kk)
190. Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart - I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight
191. The Contours - Do You Love Me?
192. The Guess Who – American Woman
(oops ... and another ... already way up there at #68 ... guessing you won't want to replace it with Bill Cosby's "Little Ole Man" or Napoleon XIV's "They're Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haa! ... so you're on your own with this one!!! -kk)
193. Jefferson Airplane - Somebody To Love
194. Gene Pitney - 24 Hours From Tulsa
195. Johnny Rivers - Poor Side of Town
196. Bobby Darin - If I Were a Carpenter
197. Roy Orbison - It's Over
198. The Beatles - Baby, You're a Rich Man
199. The Rolling Stones - 19th Nervous Breakdown
200. The Blues image - Ride Captain Ride

201 - "Bear Down Chicago Bears"

What I find when I look at a list like this is that a song selected by a particular artist inspires me to pick alternate suggestions that I consider to be MUCH stronger recordings by that same artist.  

Examples:  "If I Were A Carpenter" by Bobby Darin is a great recording ... and gave his then fairly-dormant career a big boost ... but (if sticking only with the '60's) doesn't even come close to capturing the magic of "Beyond The Sea".  

You've got a few Aretha tracks listed ... but for me some of her strongest were "Think", "Since You've Been Gone", "Baby I Love You", "A Natural Woman" and even "I Say A Little Prayer".  

Nothing beats "Rag Doll" for pure impact power for The Four Seasons ... but I'd have to rank the complete "out of nowhere" sound of "Sherry" or the latter-day hit "C'mon Marianne" ahead of "Big Girl In Town", even if you DID list it twice!!!  

Same with the James Brown selections ... NOTHING was more powerful for me than "It's A Man's, Man's, Man's World" ... or the classic monster hits "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag" and "I Got You".  I didn't particularly care for "There Was A Time" or "Cold Sweat" when they first came out ... but I appreciate them SO much more today, especially after seeing the James Brown biopic last year.  

And, if you're expanding the list to 1970, how on earth do you leave off "Bridge Over Troubled Water"???  Or (from 1965) Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come"?  (You've got the A-Side of that record listed ... "Shake" ... but how do you ignore "A Change Is Gonna Come?")

See, THIS is why we could debate this list forever ... you say potatoe ... I say potahto ... you say "We Got Soul" by Dyke and the Blazers ... I say "Tracy" by The Cuff Links!  

Speaking of which, you can make fun of The Monkees all you like ... and "Valleri" is a great choice, by the way ... but at the time "She" (which hasn't aged as well) or "Shades Of Gray" (which sounds more prophetic than ever 45 years later) certainly turned quite a few heads back in the day, too.  

Once you add in album tracks, I'd have a hard time eliminating about 50-60 Beatles cuts.  I'm not sure I could narrow my list down to The Top 2000 Greatest Songs Of The '60's (but man, what a GREAT radio play list that would be!!!)  In fact, somebody give me a crack at it and I'll give you back a play list of 4000 songs that would build the greatest '60's radio station EVER!!! 

That's another problem I have (personally) with ranking this stuff ... what the song meant to me THEN vs. what it means to me now.  Some (like "For What It's Worth" by Buffalo Springfield) have only gotten stronger.  Others (like "Yummy Yummy Yummy") leave me wondering "What the heck was I thinking when I bought that record???)  Then again you get SOME songs that sucked then ("Harper Valley PTA") and will continue to suck for all eternity!!!  

That being said ... I DEFY you to sit still for all two minutes of "Down At Lulu's" ... I just don't think it can be done!!!  lol   

I commend you for your efforts ... this is NOT an easy task.  Like our "Soul Favorites" series a few months back, the "suggestion list" will continue to grow and grow as more feedback comes in ... but the truth is, it's all subjective.  All I know is that MOST '60's music works for me ... and STILL does the trick some 50+ years later!  (kk) 

We should do a point / counter-point radio show!
Jane, you ignorant slut ... 
Believe it or not, I think something like this could actually work!  Each week, you could introduce me to half a dozen tracks that YOU think have stood the test of time that I may have missed the first time around ... and I'll introduce you to half a dozen INCREDIBLE tracks that probably slipped right past you because you were listening to "heavier" stuff than I was at the time.  We could probably come up with a one hour radio show that folks around the world would listen to just to find out what we were going to butt heads about next!  
In fact, I've already got a radio station lined up that'll air it!  WRLR would LOVE to have us do this as a weekly debate on their station!  You can ponder on for all infinity (well, 30 minutes anyway!) about the virtues of The Velvet Underground ... and then I can show you how amazing the music of Herman's Hermits and Gary Puckett and the Union Gap really was!  I'm telling you ... it's a HIT in the making!  (kk)

Go ahead ... just TRY and sit still!!!!