In this song, Sinatra sings about looking back on his life and his work: “I’ve lived a life that’s full / I traveled each and every highway / And more, much more than this, I did it my way.” While he still had many years to go after he recorded this song in 1969, the majority of his career and most well-known albums were in the rearview at that point, especially since his big band style had given way to the British invasion and rock ‘n roll. “I Got You (I Feel Good)” is his highest-charting single, though, lead by Brown’s squeals, yelps, and shaking hips. Sorry, late ‘60s parents. In studying the songwriting of Bob Dylan, one should begin with “Blowin’ in the Wind." Jackie Wilson, ”(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher”, 85. In fact, the group’s greatest song started with a melody by guitarist Marv Taplin. —Nick Marino, The magic of The Beatles is that two men with very different aesthetics, Lennon and McCartney somehow formed one of the most dynamic combinations in the history of rock and roll. — Zach Blumenfeld, This platinum-selling 1969 single was one of Neil Diamond’s biggest hits. Though still considered folk rock, “The Boxer” proved to be one of the more elaborate tracks of Simon & Garfunkel’s run, bringing in various instruments such as a steel guitar, strings, a harmonica and trumpet. “Both Sides Now” was already a hit before Joni Mitchell included it on her second album. 39. Rather, Like a Rolling Stone”’s intended audience saw themselves as the subject, the “you,” at the same time they were being shaken by their country’s violence in the mid- to late-1960s. — Bonnie Stiernberg, Everyone from The Beatles to She & Him has covered this track, but no one can touch the original. The song’s political awareness was mostly unheard of for that kind of gospel-influenced R&B record. 50. 's spent much of their careers playing the background as members of Stax house band. Page continued to work on the song, which was released on Led Zeppelin’s debut album. With 50 years of study, it’s easy today to see the song’s surrealistic lyrics for what they were—a knowing retort, but empathetic, to a privileged woman who has had her comeuppance. The song’s desperate night-time loneliness—“Cathy, I'm lost, I said though I knew she was sleeping / I’m empty and aching and I don’t know why”—is Mr Simon’s default setting. But the song has come to mean so much to so many people, most listeners just can’t help themselves. When Grace Slick joined Jefferson Airplane, not only did the band get one of the greatest female voices in rock history. King spent just a few years with The Drifters, but the songs he said lead on were something special, including “There Goes My Baby,” “Save the Last Dance For Me” and, of course, the early 1960 classic “This Magic Moment.”, 95. But it’s a compliment of the highest order. 86. Even a later version by The Beach Boys couldn’t top what stands as one of the ultimate West Coast pop songs of the 1960s. “(Sittin’ On) The Dock fo the Bay” is more restrained than every other Otis Redding hit, which may be what makes it so darn enticing. But none of it may have had the impact or influence that “My Generation” did. Written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King, “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” was a groundbreaking record, becoming the first song by a black all-girl group to reach No. Who’s your daddy?” gives the song an added risqué allure. But the hits were massive, none more so than “Reach Out I’ll Be There,” a track that proves singer Levi Stubbs was among the label’s greatest voices. And yet the sing-along chorus – a rarity in Hendrix’s catalog — outshines everything. Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”, 34. It’s a total reinvention. But the special thing about this song is that it’s the most direct and rebellious song he’s ever penned. Once the group got around to cutting its own rendition, the song was all theirs. Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement, and Your California Privacy Rights (each updated 1/1/21). Albert King – “Born Under a Bad Sign”. The result was a punishing sound that every hard rock act that followed would reach for. 2 and No. The 'old lover' referenced in the song has been interpreted to be either Simon's ex-wife Peggy Harper, from whom he was recently divorced, his former girlfriend from the 1960s Kathy Chitty, or even Art Garfunkel, who appears on the song that follows 'Still Crazy After All These Years" on the album. The ancient concept of the round figures importantly, as do the very modern innovations of the Beatles and the Beach Boys. Written by then-Brill Building stars Gerry Goffin and Carole King, “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” became the first Billboard No. A great record, no doubt. 77. The extra time, no doubt, added to the songs depth and drama, accentuated by mariachi-inspired horns and a striking string section. As the orchestral strings and horns assemble and rise, Cooke proffers a timeless mantra in the refrain—part hope, part prayer, part demand—that a change is going to come. “A Day In The Life” is generally considered The Beatles’ signature song because it, more than any other track, showcases the songwriting partnership of Lennon-McCartney with its distinct parts. Naturally, that was a recommendation flagrantly disregarded. But it’s Eric Clapton’s hypnotic wah-wah guitar sounds that steals the show. And it helped bring their second guitarist Jimmy Page into the fold. That led to “People Get Ready,” The Impressions’ greatest song and a game-changer for the genre. The Shangri-Las, “Leader of the Pack”, 75. Nina Simone, “To Be Young, Gifted, and Black”, 40. This classic Otis Redding cover is not only one of the best Aretha tracks, but also one of the best songs of all time. The song starts with Lennon’s reflections on the news of the day, tinged with his usual dark outlook. Consisting of guitarist/singer-songwriter Paul Simon and singer Art Garfunkel, the duo first met as children in Forest Hills, Queens, New York in 1953, where they first learned to harmonize with one another and began writing original material. Creedance Clearwater Revival, “Fortunate Son”, 12. The song proved to be a towering achievement of psychedelic rock at a time when the genre was taking off. In the Name of Love”, 19. Add in a sharp guitar solo and you have one of the first masterpieces of the Stones’ golden album era that started with “Beggar’s Banquet.”, 64. Martha and the Vandellas, “Dancing in the Street”, 44. The Miracles then recorded it a year later. —Bonnie Stiernberg, This legendary duet ranks among the best of all time—Motown or otherwise—and it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of songwriter Nick Ashford. — Bonnie Stiernberg, SNAP! Backed by Steve Cropper’s guitar, along with the rest of the Stax crew, Redding delivers one of his most majestic vocal performances. A couple of sophomores from southern California high schools went to a party, and were impressed by a few similarly-aged fellows with… Subscribe to As the story goes, “Strawberry Fields Forever” was so innovative that it shook some of the other great musical innovators of the time. It’s “Born in the U.S.A.” without the irony and misinterpretation. Case in point -- Reed crafted one of The Velvet Underground’s trademark songs, “I’m Waiting for the Man,” around the dramatic story of a guy waiting for his heroin dealer, and it’s mesmerizing. Lennon was obsessed with Procol Harum’s “A White Shade of Pale." Here are the 100 best songs from the ‘60s. Yet, it wasn’t until 2010 that Holmes got the proper credit he deserved for inspiring one of Zeppelin’s signature songs. First, it’s one of the greatest singalong tracks in rock history. Percy Sledge – “When a Man Loves a Woman”. The Doors’ epic masterpiece began as a simple love song written by Jim Morrison. But Nyro’s own original version from her landmark album “Eli and the Thirteenth Confession” remains definitive. The Jimi Hendrix Experience – “All Along The Watchtower”. However, bands with votes for multiple songs were limited to two tracks each. That means no “Louie Louie” by The Kingsmen or “A White Shade of Pale” by Procol Harum. “Space Oddity” certainly feels like two or three different parts of songs melded together. But it’s Sledge who is identified with the track that became a watershed moment for southern soul music. But her conviction gave the song much needed oomph. The Who were every bit the studio obsessed band The Beatles and The Beach Boys were during the 1960s. Simon Says is also a band from Estonia, Narva. “I Am The Walrus” is one of John Lennon’s most meticulous compositions. Her performance embodies joy, romance and triumph. In the documentary “20 Feet From Stardom,” Mick Jagger is filmed listening to the isolated vocals of Clayton when she screams, “Rape, murder!” A smile comes over Jagger’s face. It’s one of the few times Gordy was wrong. 12—respectively. 20. The drums and electric guitar were a perfect fit for the new version. It’s like a car accident you can’t turn away from. For a hopeful and everlasting sentiment, the song’s final line reads, “I am leaving, I am leaving / But the fighter still remains.” —Laura Stanley, Has there been any song from the ‘60s that has been more watered down and neutered by its continued use in commercials, TV shows, and films than “Born To Be Wild?” There are likely arguments to be made for a lot of tunes from that decade, but the unbound spirit and thudding oomph of this song has lost all its meaning as a result. 66. Simon & Garfunkel, “The Sound of Silence”. Brian Wilson put the song together from various recording sessions, combining its unique parts into a pop masterpiece. We also limited it to acts that have been voted into the museum as “Performers," excluding early influencers, non-performers and the songs that have been honored in the divisive “Singles” category. The song turned The Jackson 5 into mega-stars, thanks in no small part to one of the most iconic (and sampled) bass lines in music history. Inspired by “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “Space Oddity” is a science fiction triumph that was unlike all other pop music. The Righteous Brothers – “Unchained Melody”, If “Unchained Melody” feels old fashioned, that’s because it is. Ultimately, the song was given to British singer Dusty Springfield’s whose perfect vocal performance made it the ultimate example of blue-eyed soul. The 1960s are often considered the best decade for music in America. The opening lick over the quick bass/snare drum combo is instantly recognizable. Of course, this was the theme music for M*A*S*H* (1970) and later an instrumental version for the TV show. Smokey Robinson is undeniably one of the greatest songwriters in music history. The blues bled into hard rock. That’s what the guy on the back of their second album _ Turn! Singer Matt Franks claims that Simon Says was never a "planned" band. The Ventures did something different with their version in 1960, giving the track a fuzzed out, instrumental guitar vibe that would point towards the popularity of surf rock. Sly & The Family Stone – “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)”. There’s a man with a gun over there, telling me I’ve got to beware. And the ultimate expression of that is “Pale Blue Eyes,” perhaps the most beautiful song Lou Reed ever wrote. The Best 1960s Music for Weddings to get people on the dance floor! The Four Tops – “Reach Out I’ll Be There”. 13th Floor Elevators, “You’re Gonna Miss Me”, 90. Louis Armstrong, “What a Wonderful World”, 72. Yet, while much of that gets attributed to what the band did for heavy metal, Zeppelin also pushed the world towards punk rock, which is evident by the opening chords of “Communication Breakdown.” Jimmy Page’s downstroke guitar playing style would go on to serve as a major influence on Johnny Ramone. — Bonnie Stiernberg, “Walkin’” certainly marks the height of Cline’s crossover success, ranking high on both country and pop charts—peaking at No. Simon Says Lyrics: {Instrumental} / I'd like to play a game / That is so much fun / And it's not so very hard to do / The name of the game is Simple Simon says / And I would like for you to play it The electric guitar’s role in rock music would never be quite the same. But quite simply, “God Only Knows” is the group’s best song on its best album. Not is “At Last” Etta James’ signature tune, but it’s one of the most iconic pop songs of all time. It also gave the world one of the catchiest love songs in the world that’s capable of turning a small group of people into a rousing choir once the chorus kicks in. It doesn’t really matter. Even if you find someone who doesn’t listen to The Band, they probably know this song. —Ron Hart, This song became a big deal even before the 13th state in the union officially decreed it the official state song in 1979. Wilson Pickett – “In the Midnight Hour”. —Robert Ham, Just as “Umbrella” was kicked down to Rihanna after being rejected by Britney’s label, so too did a dozen or so other bands refuse to record “Happy Together” before it was offered to The Turtles in 1967. Their vision became the first of five consecutive No. The structure is impeccable and the hook infectious, which is why, to this day, “Sweet Caroline” is as celebrated as any song on this list. Beyond Richards’ iconic riff (which he claims came to him in a dream), there’s Mick Jagger—part bluesman, part Marilyn Monroe—in top form, pouting out verses about being sexually frustrated and fed up with commercialism. It was a scene and a time in New York City that no one could capture in musical form like Lou Reed. Saying The Monkees were successful during 1966-1969 is a dramatic understatement, though. That song became “My Girl." “Tomorrow Never Knows” marks one of the many times The Beatles changed music. —Max Blau, Our favorite moment comes around the three-minute mark, when Page concludes an extended trippy breakdown with peals of electric guitar that make the song’s signature riff seem boring by comparison. Odds are you’ve probably heard CCR’s “Fortunate Son” in some pop-culture medium, be it a TV show, movie or documentary. Although we at Paste had previously compiled the 60 Best Albums of the 1960s, we felt that a number of songs were missing. Simply put: “Good Vibrations” changed the way pop music was made moving forward. The story is supposed to be ambiguous. From the moment she utters "You’re no good, heartbreaker,” she owns you. There aren’t too many genres of rock The Beatles didn’t influence. Phil Ochs, the Texan-born singer, self-described social democrat, and revolutionary, epitomized this. That voice—sounding pissed and possessed—lit up the band’s two releases, 1965’s Here Are The Sonics and Boom, released the following year. The story goes that the film’s director, Robert Altman, gave the task to his teenage son to write the lyrics for “the stupidest song ever written”. That includes heavy metal with “Helter Skelter.” Paul McCartney’s super dark, trippy anthem was one of the heaviest songs ever released by a band of that stature, becoming a primitive form of the acid rock and what would become heavy metal. —Patrick Filbin, “I hope I die before I get old.” In a generation full of spokespeople, Townshend may not have been quite as outspoken as his peers, but this simple phrase from “My Generation” continues to capture the essence of its time. Originating as a poem, “Suzanne” is the finest example of Leonard Cohen’s brilliant songwriting. The Marvelettes, “Please Mr. Postman”, 94. 6. The Beatles, “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, 41. The marriage—not so much. The Velvet Underground – “Pale Blue Eyes”. As the 1960s began, we found R&B, Soul, DooWop, and instrumental beach music styles. Marvin Gaye, “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”, 6. For the all the deserved credit “Respect” gets, “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)” is just as emotionally earth-shattering. Some, but not all, of the band's tracks were performed by studio musicians. “I Am The Walrus” lives in that spirit but is far more complex, with an intricate chord structure and the orchestral sounds injected by George Martin. “I Can See For Miles," the band’s biggest hit in the U.S., was recorded over multiple sessions with tons of tinkering and overdubbing. She was comparing the feeling to falling in love with him to diving into a ring of fire. In the process they changed the beat and patterned the song after "Wooly Bully" by Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs. Pete Townshend was pulling out all the stops. Cream’s classic is a menacing anthem that clearly foreshadows the rise of bands like Deep Purple, Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. The Band – “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down". But it wasn’t until The Righteous Brothers’ covered it that the track became a true pop standard. The Mamas and the Papas – “California Dreamin’”. How could you not feel good with all those saxes and bass?—Hilary Saunders, Stephen Stills wrote his first major topical song since “Hard Rain” with this song, the first Buffalo Springfield single to make the charts. Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, “You Really Got A Hold on Me”, 30. The romantic swoon and playful swing of those earlier singles was replaced with a Sinatra-like cool as he looks to the ocean and wonders what his lover is doing on the other side of that body of water other than “watching the ships that go sailing.” Would that he could split it in half like Moses and reunite with his lady love. Marty Balin and Grace Slick’s harmonization remains one of the first important guy/gal pairings that has influenced countless bands through the decades. Here’s a reminder that this is just one subjective list. Yet, Nancy Sinatra’s 1966 country-pop single is so relatable that it’s been adapted into metal, punk, and dance tracks. The Groove was a soul-oriented band formed in Melbourne in 1967 with artists who had played in some of the biggest bands of the day. Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You”, 82. —Hilary Saunders, Girl-group perfection, this song took The Marvelettes to the top of the charts right out of the gate. Marvin Gaye – “I Heard It Through The Grapevine". Jazz felt free. “”Some things we fudged on slightly to make it rhyme, but the majority of it’s pretty accurate, I guess,” Haggard told NPR of the song in 2010. “I Wanna Be Your Dog” is a filthy masterpiece. 1 single with “Fingertips.” But it was “Uptight (Everything’s Alright)," which Wonder co-wrote, that proved he was something truly special. This was only a prelude to the true greatness to come. That Bowie makes it seem so seamless is a sign of his mastery. Bis Ende 1970 wurden noch mehrere erfolgreiche Schallplatten mit wechselnden Musikern veröffentlicht, dann löste sich diese Band wieder auf. A simple tune, not full of the vocal theatrics that he so often performed, it could easily start conversations about the Otis Redding that could have come. In Simon’s quick snapshot of 1960s New York City, he writes about the places he and Garfunkel frequent along with many other hopeful folk acts. With the Civil Rights Movement in full swing and riots breaking out in inner cities across the country, “Dancing in the Street” became a rallying cry that pushed the song to new cultural heights. The Mamas and the Papas are extremely sensitive to their material and to the impact of their finished product (producer Lou Adler probably deserves quite a bit of the credit here); their whole gimmick, if you want to call it that, is complex harmonies, each group member singing on one or several tracks which, when all mixed together, produce a new sort of harmony, not at all choral. Just sayin’. —Hilary Saunders, Although the album version of this significant song appeared on Nina Simone’s 1970 album Black Gold, the single was actually released in 1969, thus making it eligible for this list. The song was based on the children's game "Simon Says". “Israelites” was one of native Jamaican Desmond Dekker’s first international hits and offered the world its first taste of this now-beloved genre. 1 single. With “At Last,” the title track of her 1961 album, she delivers arguably one of the most iconic songs of all time. Built around Levon Helm’s vocal performance, “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” tells the tale of a poor Southerner at the end of the Civil War. Supposedly when a very inebriated Sonny Bono and his former musical/romantic partner Cher went on Letterman back in 1987, they weren’t expecting to get shoved unceremoniously into the spotlight once more to sing their signature pop classic “I Got You, Babe.” Prearranged or not, the moment when they both gave in and gave a delightful performance of the song made for some great television. With John Cale leaving The Velvet Underground, the band’s self-titled third album shifted to more folk-driven and pop-oriented tunes. Released as a fairly basic, acoustic folk song on Simon & Garfunkel’s debut album “Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M.,” the original version of “The Sound of Silence” was rather forgettable. However, once producer Tom Wilson (Bob Dylan, The Velvet Underground) got his hands on it, it took on new life. The song most identified with B.B. She was thrilled. But as it goes on and on, Simone’s voice takes over, becoming a tour de force that carries the track into its compelling second half. Stephen Stills’ lyrics are profound with Neil Young’s subtle guitar playing adding a sense of urgency. It’s a soulful pop masterpiece that shows why Nyro was one of the great songwriters of her time. Turn! Not bad for a song reportedly written after Hendrix wanted to sit by a fireplace on a cold English day. 10. Driven by Ruffin’s mesmerizing voice, the track became The Temptations’ first No. —Robert Ham, “Good Vibrations” was Brian Wilson at his best, before he became his worst—a brilliant demonstration of what The Beach Boys may have done before mental illness derailed their frontman’s career soon after this song became released. But it’s producer John Cale that pushes the thing to amazing heights, using piano keys and sleigh bells to offset the distorted guitars. One is a hard rock band from California, and the other is a prog rock band from Sweden. The Four Tops aren’t as celebrated as some of the other big Motown groups (specifically, The Supremes and The Temptations). It’s the kind of ambiguous, yet powerful song only Dylan could write at such a time. The origins of “The House of the Rising Sun” go back a long way with a folk melody that may have originated in the 16th century. King’s cover of Roy Hawkins’ “The Thrill Is Gone” marked a resurgence for King. But his biggest hit, “Runaway,” is an unapologetic pop showcase that took on a life of its own after Shannon performed it on “American Bandstand” in 1961. The song introduced the world to Hendrix’s distinct guitar playing style, which merged electric blues rock with Middles Eastern influences and studio techniques. And the magic of its yearning and desperation hasn’t faded over the years. 42. The iconic single appeared on her 1969 masterpiece album Dusty in Memphis. Despite the anxiety of the titular question, the melody and chord progression capture the essence of the time: the optimism that accompanied the end of Eisenhower’s presidency and the beginning of Kennedy’s. And over which, Dylan’s strange lyrics seem triumphant, yet also full of warning, as his unglamorous voice brimming with attitude, holds onto syllables as if they were gleeful riders on a hurtling-downward roller-coaster. It gives you chills. This time around, with the 1960s, we made things even harder, narrowing down the list to 100. The Rolling Stones – “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”. Dylan’s convention-defying song announced rock ‘n’ roll would become the voice—his voice—for disaffected Boomers out to revolutionize everything they could touch. 15. But when it comes to funk music, there’s a clear consensus. —Paul Williams, Ben E. King began his career in the late 1950s with The Drifters, singing on several hits including “There Goes My Baby” and “Save the Last Dance for Me,” but he went solo shortly after and this song became a hit in 1961. Everybody look what’s going down…” The title of the song is perfect: “For What It’s Worth.” There is no bitterness, no dialectic…just description, and a word of unspoken advice: hold back from the battle—look around—we’ve already won the War. What are the greatest songs of the 1960s? But understand that he wrote the song as well; something so profound, that would serve as an anthem for the Civil Rights Movement. 100. Phil Ochs, “I Ain’t Marching Anymore”, 52. “I was probably the most incorrigible child you could ever meet. The duo absolutely nails the song’s back and forth dynamic, making it a landmark soul record. Much of band’s masterful album “Something Else” tackles a lot of social and political issues going on in England at the time. —Robert Ham, There is a reason everyone in the karaoke booth fights over covering this classic tear-jerker and if we have to tell you, well, you just wouldn’t understand. The 1960s was a good decade for squares, and there's any number of box-shaped pop songs I'd have loved to see on our list: "Downtown", "Blue Moon", "Danke Schoen". After the track hit number one, The Temptations’ decidedly less gritty version was released, but by then, Starr’s take had already cemented its status as the definitive version. —Katie King, No single song captures The Velvet Underground’s ethos more perfectly than “Heroin.” Contrary to popular belief, it’s not an endorsement of the drug (you only need to listen to Reed’s wry, self-deprecating laugh after he sings “it’s my wife, and it’s my life” to glean that much), but it’s also not an after-school special. Yet, there’s a distinct kind of beauty to “Sweet Thing,” a romantic tune that captures the feeling of being in love picture perfectly. The Beatles – “Strawberry Fields Forever". And yet, in 1969, when bands such as Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones were playing stadiums with electric guitars, he got his band of violins and horns together to record this emotional song in his unique style that endures to this day. Ours might be different if we did this again tomorrow. This song is based on the game. Let the debate begin. Crosby, Stills & Nash – “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes”. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart thanks to the bludgeoning guitar and singer Reg Presley’s vocals, which go from sounding almost distracted to unsettlingly focused when he veers into the famous chorus. Peter, Paul and Mary, “If I Had A Hammer”, 42. Members of his backing band and some of his black fan base didn’t agree with the shift in sound. Technically, “Crimson and Clover” was one of the first songs recorded on a 16-track tape, and Tommy James’ use of tremolo foreshadowed much of the acid rock and psych rock to follow. Inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey, the song spins the tale of “Major Tom” an unfortunate astronaunt trapped drifiting in space. In fact, even in its much tamer studio version, The Stooges’ feedback-heavy force of a song still out-fought most hard-rockers in ’69, only being outdone by Detroit brothers The MC5. An African American spiritual song reworked by Nina Simone with the help of producer Hal Mooney, the song’s jazz arrangement is the first thing that jumps out. His greatest is unquestionably “Higher & Higher,” a song originally recorded by The Dells for Chess Records. —Adam Vitcavage, The Byrds—a ‘60s group including the folks who went on to become Crosby, Stills, and Nash—are eclectic. —Matt Fink, Like many of the early garage-rock standout songs, “Wild Thing” is a cover: written by Chip Taylor, New York City band The Wild Ones first recorded the song in 1965. Talk about breaking ground. Stevie Wonder – “Uptight (Everything’s Alright)”. —Robert Ham, Ed Sullivan famously told Jim Morrison to refrain from singing the line, “Girl, we couldn’t get much higher,” before the Doors’ performance of “Light My Fire” on his show on live television in 1967. This is the title track from Simon's 1975 album of the same name. “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” adds in clear elements of funk (see the fantastic intro) and utilizes a multitrack technique that became all the rage for the most innovative pop acts of the decade. —Logan Lockner, David Ruffin’s smiling vocals, that bass hook and those pentatonic scales all make this feel-good track unforgettable. Otis Redding, “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay”, 17. 1 on the charts, the first of three consecutive songs by the group to reach that mark. But with “Gimme Shelter,” the Stones—those Satanic majesties—go full-tilt to the dark side, reflecting all the apocalyptic anxiety of the Vietnam era without ever directly referencing the conflict that defined their generation. That’s hard to argue with. “ R-E-S-P-E-C-T ” and the other bubblegum type stuff they put out s in... 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