As the new year draws closer, we’ve decided to take a look the music that’s gotten us to where we are today. So in an effort to broaden our musical horizons and our understanding of contemporary artists, we’re counting down 2012 by counting up from 1952, taking a look at a handful of songs from a different year every day until January 1st. You can find the full list here. Today we’re heading back to 1966!
Nancy Sinatra – “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’”
The music video for this sassy hit is pretty seductive, but it’s child’s play in comparison to the near pornographic video for Jessica Simpson’s cover.
The Beach Boys – “God Only Knows”
From the band’s highly regarded Pet Sounds, “God Only Knows” is one of popular music’s best love songs ever, period. Why else would Rivers Cuomo upload a video of himself performing it on the piano?
13th Floor Elevators – “You’re Gonna Miss Me”
These psychedelic rock pioneers cited the ”quest for pure sanity” through drugs as the basis of their 1966 album The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators. This was the only hit the band ever had, and that strange sound you’re hearing is an electric jug.
The Beatles – “Eleanor Rigby”
It’s not easy to pick just one song from Revolver, but I’ve always been very partial to “Eleanor Rigby” ever since first hearing it in The Beatles’ amazing 1968 psychedelic animated musical film Yellow Submarine (and I still really love that suitably depressing scene). The song is darker than anything the band had recorded up to that point, making this particular tune a milestone for the their artistic evolution. McCartney says that he picked the name randomly, but it turns out there was a real Eleanor Rigby who lived and died in Liverpool, and whose grave is located at a place McCartney and Lennon first met. Spooky ghost vibes.
The Monks – “Monk Time”
In ’64, five American soldiers stationed in Germany formed a band. Two years later saw their first release as The Monks, Black Monk Time, which kicks off with this flippant military diss. This reckless garage sound was essentially the first of it’s kind, and arguably the birthplace of punk rock and krautrock.
The Magic Mushrooms – “It’s a-Happening”
Precisely what you would expect from a 1966 song of this title, by an artist of this name. Best YouTube comment: “I was the lead guitar player in this band. We recorded this song in the Fall of 1966. I am amazed that our music is on the Internet.”
Sam and Dave – “Hold On I’m Coming’”
This song rules, and will always rule, despite being on the Due Date soundtrack.