The 60’s Rock Anthems

“Every night I’m at my private concert. I’m the rockstar, and I’m the loony fan

The 1960’s music renaissance gave us The Doors, The Beatles, Bob Dylan and many more musical and lyrical pioneers. They gave voice to youngsters all over the world, the voice against the prevalent social uprisings. 1960s also witnessed some of the world’s most astounding live shows, which were not just lip-syncing and uneventful performances like in the modern digital era. The live shows in the classic rock era were energetic, frantic and moreover mesmerizing. The world then did not buy just sex-appeal and glamour for a musician; they wanted true talent, the energy, they needed their voice to be heard out loud and clear.

I want to betalk some of the ’60s rock songs that dumbfounded me. The mysterious lyrical content and the upbeats, melancholy and depth of music are indeed very captivating. The 1960s was the evolution of many rock legends alongside the trends of psychedelic rock, folk rock, stoner rock and the blues. Also the songs communicated to the world about peace, freedom and love.

Well, these are the songs.

#5 House Of The Rising Sun

The animals

The animals are a London based English rock band. Eric Burdon being the lead singer was famous for his live performances. Their genres include folk rock ,psychedelic rock and blues rock. The house of rising sun is the signature song of theirs. They are very important in the British Invasion to US.

The song refers to a boy’s involvement in crimes after which he had to live a corrupt life. He regrets the life he lives but he has no choice but stay. He warns the mothers to guide their children, not to take the wrong path in life. The animals have taken the idea for this song from a ballard lyrics written in 1940’s which is about a girl who regretted her life at a Brothel.

The song indulges us in its mystery. The lyrics are wonderfully crafted. The emotions like regret, bewilderment and pain are excellently conveyed with their instrument mastery. Apparently the masterpiece work of The animals.

#4 Fortunate Son

Creedence Clearwater revival

Creedence Clearwater Revival was an American rock band active in the late 1960s and early 1970s which consisted of lead vocalist, lead guitarist, and primary songwriter John Fogerty, his brother rhythm guitarist Tom Fogerty, bassist Stu Cook, and drummer Doug Clifford

During the Vietnam War, the American youth had to mandatorily participate in the war. The rich people however managed to not send their sons to the war. The song is against the unfairness and discrimination based on class, rich men making wars and poor men fighting them.

Like any other songs of CCR, John Fogerty’s voice added a different dimension to the song. The lyrics are brutally frank and the song is indeed the voice of a common man who failed to explain what he felt.

#3 Like a rolling stone

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, author, and artist who has been an influential figure in popular music and culture for more than five decades.

This song is a dark humour by Dylan on the girl who dumped him for a successful artist while he was budding as a popular singer. She cheated Dylan with alot of other men but eventually got dumped. She ended up as a drug addict and homeless. The song is predominantly about greed of young girls for money and fame which might eventually lead to their descend. He was darkly mocking the girl’s situation because she was unreasonably greedy for fame and money, and the fact that eventually she had lost her fleeting fame as Dylan’s girlfriend.

In the 1960s he was considered as “voice of the generation” as his works were mostly about the on going Vietnam War and his songs became anti-war and civil rights movement anthems. His songs are captivating because of the deep-meaning lyrics. Listening to his songs, we can easily deduce that he has mastered the folk rock and psychedelic rock genres with his expertise in playing guitar.

#2 Paint it, black

The rolling stones

The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in London, England, in 1962. Their line-up consisted of Brian Jones, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts. They were identified as the ambassadors for the counterculture of the 1960’s.

The song is about how a man feels after he lost his love. He wants his heart ( the red door) to be painted black. He doesn’t want anyone to console him instead he wants to grieve by himself. He is blaming himself as he couldn’t stop his girlfriend from dying. The lyrics are cleverly crafted with ingenious metaphors. The song throughout is depressing, as he describes the funeral scene ( line of cars, they are all painted black) and the darkness proliferated in his life without his girlfriend. Assuming the man’s emotional state to be suicidal, this song is a killer.

The music is apparently very energetic and swaggering. It was the first song to feature a sitar instrumental. Most of the songs of The rolling stones are highlighted with a killer riff of guitar. The salient riff in this song is played with a sitar, which gives it a wild and aggressive mood throughout. Later The Beatles were also influenced by sitar as seen in their songs especially the ones in Abbey Road. Can’t deny that a lot of famous rock and roll bands were influenced by Indian music.

#1 The end

The Doors

The Doors are an American rock band formed in 1965. Their line up include Jim Morrison, Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger and John Densmore. Their lead singer was Jim Morrison, who died at the age of 27, is one of the greatest performers, song writers, singers and poets of all time.

The Doors are my all time favourite music to listen to. Honestly, I am a little swayed to give this song #1 despite the other songs in the list being equally breathtaking. When The Doors first performed this song live in a club in LA called the Whisky Go Go, they were fired from the club after Jim Morrison yelled at the climax of the performance ” father I want to kill you, mother I want to fuck you all night” which was a spoken improvisation of this song. Jim was in an acid trip when he yelled it out.

The song begins as a farewell song to a girl, a calm start but it takes us to the protoganist’s lost childhood and unfulfilled dreams and fantasies, is when it becomes wild. The lyrics are deep, bewildering and the climax twist made the crowd go crazy, everytime they performed it live.

The music and instrumentation is majorly influenced by Indian music. The guitar is tuned to match sitar, the drums play the rhythm of a tabla and keyboard aids the overall feel of music, like a thamburu. The song is definitely dark, mysterious and a bad trip for 12 minutes. Jim Morrison has shown his artistry in this song both as a singer and as a poet. He is also known for his drug abuse and outrageous stage performances.

When talent was more important than looks

Add a few more to your list.

  1. Purple Haze – Jimi Hendrix
  2. For what it’s worth – Buffalo Springfield
  3. Evil Ways – Santana
  4. California dreaming – The mamas and papas
  5. The sound of silence – Simon and Garfunkel
  6. Sunshine of your love – Cream
  7. Hey Jude – The Beatles
  8. Dazed and confused – Led Zeppelin
  9. Good Vibrations- The beach boys
  10. Somebody to love – Jefferson Airplane
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