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the best songs ever
More from the Fish EP when we get to 1966.

The Byrds were a seminal folk-country-rock-psychedelic band from the sixties. Wasn't born to Follow (late 1967-early 1968 from Notorious Byrd Brothers) features wonderful psychedelic phasing and guitar sounds, and its appeal to freedom and independence made it a natural for the film Easy Rider in 1969, along with Born to Be Wild and The Pusher among others. Lyrics by Gerry Goffin and music by Carole King.

"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
The Byrds recorded this great Bob Dylan song and made it the centerpiece/virtual title track of Younger Than Yesterday

A Byrds original: Have You Seen Her Face, from this same album

Neither of these made my top 400; apparent oversights. They weren't hits in our neighborhood, and I didn't buy this album, so I guess I just forgot them.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
My favorite by folk singer icon Joan Baez is from 1967, from her album Joan. She sang a fantasy poem by Edgar Allen Poe, great music by Don Dilworth.

Baez co-wrote this anti-Vietnam War song from the album:

The album was arranged and conducted by P.D.Q. Bach aka Peter Schickele
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
The Supremes went on singing Holland, Dozier and Holland songs about lost love, but I think they and the Motown sound reached a romantic height and subtlety in this song that fit in with the psychedelic year.

Then they at least used a hippie title for their next song, which featured quite a trippy dixieland arrangement even though done with conventional instruments, and another catchy tune.

"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
The first Rolling Stones song I really liked, I think it was banned from many radio stations because of its sexual overtones. But why this one and not the countless others? Oh well. Very uplifting song with great arrangement and performance, and with an organ part too. Let's Spend the Night Together was the B side of their big 1967 hit Ruby Tuesday.

I didn't like Ruby Tuesday until Melanie made this wonderful interpretation in 1970:

And Melanie did say that her favorite song was Witchi Tai To Smile
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
My favorite from the Rolling Stones' 1967 "psychedelic" album "Their Satanic Majesty's Request" (their answer to The Beatles' "Sargent Pepper")

Another one I liked was "Dandelion"

There's a rumor that Sgt. Pepper referred to Jim Pepper of Witchi Tai To fame. I actually liked this Stones album better than Sgt. Pepper. Here's another song from "Majesty's Request," in which the Stones match some of Pink Floyd's excursions. A pioneering space music track, which may have influenced Gypsy by The Moody Blues.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
This Buffalo Springfield song was made a hit by the Mojo Men early in 1967, and I love it for it's wonderful instrumentation. I got to meet one of the members of the band later, the female drummer.

"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
A counter-culture protest song by a great singer/songwriter. Still relevant today. I'm sure JPT and Classic Xer would hate it. Not to mention Cynic Hero! Oh, and kinser too!

Goodbye and Hello, Tim Buckley (1967)

The antique people are down in the dungeons
Run by machines and afraid of the tax
Their heads in the grave and their hands on their eyes
Hauling their hearts around circular tracks

Pretending forever their masquerade towers
Are not really riddled with widening cracks
And I wave goodbye to iron
And smile hello to the air

Oh the new children dance
I am young all around the balloons
I will live swaying by chance
I am strong to the breeze from the moon

I can give painting the sky
You the strange with the colors of sun
Seed of day freely they fly
Feel the change as all become one
Know the way, know the way

The velocity addicts explode on the highways
Ignoring the journey and moving so fast
Their nerves fall apart and they gasp but can't breathe
They run from the cops of the skeleton past

Petrified by tradition in a nightmare they stagger
Into nowhere at all and then look up aghast
And I wave goodbye to speed
And smile hello to a rose

Oh the new children play
I am young under the juniper trees
I will live sky blue or gray
I am strong they continue at ease

I can give moving so slow
You the strange that serenely they can
Seed of day gracefully grow
Feel the change and yes still understand
Know the way, know the way, know the way

King and the queen in their castle of billboards
Sleepwalk down the hallways dragging behind
All their possessions and transient treasures
As they go to worship the electronic shrine

On which is playing the late late commercial
That hollowest house of the opulent blind
And I wave goodbye to Mammon
And smile hello to a stream

Oh the new children buy
I am young all the world for a song
I will live without a dime
I am strong to which they belong

I can give nobody owns
You the strange anything, anywhere
Seed of day everyone's grown
Feel the change up so big they can share
Know the way, know the way

The vaudeville generals cavort on the stage
And shatter their audience with submachine guns
And freedom and violence the acrobat clowns
Do a balancing act on the graves of our sons

While the tap dancing emperor sings War is peace
And love the magician disappears in the fun
And I wave goodbye to murder
And smile hello to the rain

Oh the new children can't
I am young tell a foe from a friend
I will live quick to enchant
I am strong and so glad to extend

I can give handfuls of dawn
You the strange to kaleidoscope men
Seed of day come from beyond
Feel the change The Great Wall of Skin
Know the way, know the way

The bloodless husbands are jesters who listen
Like sheep to the shrieks and commands of their wives
And the men who aren't men, leave the women alone
See them all faking love on a bed made of knives

Afraid to discover or trust in their bodies
And in secret divorce they will never survive
And I wave goodbye to ashes
And smile hello to a girl

Oh the new children kiss
I am young they are so proud to learn
I will live womanhood bliss
I am strong and the man fire that burns

I can give knowing no fear
You the strange they take off their clothes
Seed of day honest and clear
Feel the change as a river that flows
Know the way, know the way, know the way

The antique people are fading out slowly
Like newspapers flaming in mind suicide
Godless and sexless direction less loons
Their sham sandcastles dissolve in the tide

They put on their death masks, compromise daily
The new children will live for the elders have died
And I wave goodbye to America
And smile hello to the world
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
The new children will live! The Haight-Ashbury hippie anthem. San Francisco, sung by the late Scott McKenzie, and written by "Papa" John Phillips, who organized the Monterey Pop Festival.

Another view:

Almost done with the psychedelic year. So many jewels from the late sixties, including some I didn't post, but there's still a lot more, because we still have 1966 to cover!

Comments on the video:
Would've been great to be 18 during the Summer of Love.......sighhhhhh. I was born in '68, instead I was a teen during the '80's which doesn't, anywhere NEAR, compare to the late '60's!! I did have lots of fun during the '70's when I was a little kid also. Peace....

there never was peace and love and our young are not sacrificed in foreign wars they go because they want to go or have to go because they have no jobs. War is money and the whole world is money and all these so called famous hippies disappeared and sold out to make money.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
This one maybe is not a pick for best ever, but it at least makes my top 400. But I'm stretching the line to post this because it's my video! No-one had posted this when I decided to put some pictures with it (including of me) and upload it. Naturally it's my most popular video because it's a hit record (especially on the west coast) and very much an icon of its time. Live by the Merry Go Round was written by Emitt Rhodes who was also the lead singer. He went on to have a successful but fairly-tragic solo career in which the company that "owned" him demanded that the young genius produce, produce and produce hits every couple of months, and when he didn't work that fast, they sued him and broke his spirit and he never recorded again until more recently. But he helped others record after that. Although this video is blocked in some countries, I hear that he and his girlfriend appreciated my posting it. Released in early 1967 and recorded in late 1966.

Here he is in a radio interview in 2010. He's about my age, a core boomer, which he admits right away, but his health has suffered.

Lots more Emitt Rhodes videos are available on the side panel of the interview video. Interesting guy and musician.
Here's one:
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
For some of the more recent years I only picked my favorite of the year, or left it for others to choose. I know there's more, but I know so much more about this era, and I really think it's the best pop era; 1956-1977 is my list; 1963-1973 is the best part of it, and 1966-1967 is the peak of the peak. Like a mountain pop may never reach again; I'd bet that it won't in fact. And even though I know a lot from this era, it's so rich and there were so many local centers of music, that there's probably almost as much that I don't know from this era as from the other periods.

There's one group I haven't mentioned since they broke up, going backwards from their solo hits in 1970, and that of course is The Beatles. This great one was also recorded in late 1966 and released in early 1967. It's a vivid and beautiful slice of life; specifically of their lives, but that doesn't matter, because it's my life too; I'm there. Penny Lane.

The Beatles never recorded anything as good after this one, IMO. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band was recorded at about the same time, and became their biggest hit album, at least until The Beatles (White Album). I liked For the Benefit of Mr. Kite and Lovely Rita from that album, but none of its songs come close to being a best songs ever pick by Eric. Still, there were some other good songs after Penny Lane, although none good enough to merit it's own video post on this thread; well; maybe almost good enough Smile

Including these (unfortunately the copyright enforcers are pretty good at taking off Beatles songs from you tube anyway):

Your Mother Should Know (Magical Mystery Tour)
Only a Northern Song (Yellow Submarine) not available on you tube
It's All Too Much (Yellow Submarine)
Mother Nature's Son (White Album, "The Beatles")
Black Bird (maybe) (same as above)
Come Together (Abbey Road)
Let it Be
Get Back (Let it Be)
Across the Universe (Let it Be) (maybe)
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Eric I have just heard the weirdest song from 1969. To me i was really freaking bad. Had to turn it off. But it was the oddest thing so post worthy for you to listen to it if you choose.

Started off nice but by the end made my ears bleed.

1984 Apollonian Civic
ISFP - The Artist.

However this one from the same group is very nice

1984 Apollonian Civic
ISFP - The Artist.

Well, after that strange interlude.......

we get into the fabulous and pivotal year 1966.

And first I'm going to post three or four songs by artists which are also connected to songs from a few years later; an excuse to pick up a few more from the late sixties, although some were probably actually written in 1966 or earlier.

Laura Nyro was a charming, exhuberant, exotic, quasi-gospel composer from 1966, who had a great hit record late that year called Wedding Bell Blues:

But this also gives me an excuse to post a couple more songs by the Fifth Dimension group. They also did a version of Wedding Bell Blues, which was a bigger hit in 1969; #1 I think. But that's not one of my picks. Instead, I like these two other Laura Nyro songs they did-- as you can hear in my next post!
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
This one is so much fun to listen to, and idealistic and uplifting too. Fifth Dimension: Save the Country, written by Laura Nyro. Come on down to the glory river!

After your visit to the river, come on over to enjoy the Stoned Soul Picnic! S'urry!

Uploader says: Everybody get down to some "Stoned Soul Picnic"
as The Fifth Dimension performs this great classic from 1968.
Written beautifully by great songwriter and performer Laura Nyro

Comment: The song is written and originally recorded by child prodigy and creative genius Laura Nyro (1947 - 1997). It comes from her second LP, 'Eli and the Thirteenth Confession' (1968) which critics universally regard as a masterpiece (her third LP 'New York Tendaberry' (1969) is considered even better). Laura was uncompromising in her art and hence did not achieve great commercial success and is relatively unknown to the public, but her songs were hits for many others, particularly The 5th Dimension. For example, in late 1969 three of her songs were in the USA Top 10 at the same time to different artists. However, Laura is extremely well known within the music industry as an exceptional talent, and her influence has been vast (from Prince to Alice Cooper to Elton John to Joni Mitchell to Barry Manilow to Streisand). From her teens she wrote radically original and technically complex songs with personal and poetic lyrics sung with such soul by her three octave range that it 'blew everyone away' (Todd Rundgren). Laura was self taught at piano and guitar. She was inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame in 2012 by Bette Midler. Her songs continue to be re-interpreted. Her life was claimed by ovarian cancer at age 49.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
This one from late 1966 is extraordinary. Captivating. Let Suzanne take you down to the river, and see where it takes you. An historic, sacred musical moment. I first heard it on the same program on which I heard "Get Together" before it was heard anywhere else. #19 on my all time list.

Comments on the video:
love it!!! Wow, what a powerhouse of song writing, vocalist, and producer? The cascading guitar...who assembled that?

"...for he's touched your perfect body with his mind" Who else could sing this song so real, you can feel it."? God bless you sweet Judy Collins!

Judy Collins has such a beautiful voice, absolutely perfect for singing Leonard Cohen's "Suzanne." They just don't make music like this anymore...

This song and singer never get old! So beautiful

what kind of voice is this, what kind of sorcery is this, I melted.

Bill Moyers interviews Judy about Leonard Cohen, and "Suzanne"
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Connections between artists and songs is always interesting, especially when founded on the fountain year of pop music, 1966. Besides Suzanne, Leonard Cohen's best-known song is also a candidate for "best-ever" according to most critics, and I like it too. But what date would one assign to it? He worked on it for many years of the late Awakening/2T, then released it in 1984, but it remained unknown until it was covered by other artists; eventually over 300 of them.

The most popular and acclaimed version was apparently only released posthumously or became popular at the very start of the 4T in 2008. It has 74 million you tube views. It's by Jeff Buckley, who is the son of Tim Buckley, whose acclaimed 1967 work I sampled above. But typical boomer Tim abandoned this typical Gen Xer, who says he was treated like trash in childhood. But fortunately he was raised in a musical family. He was born on Nov.17, 1966, just a few days after the solar eclipse in which all planets formed the peace symbol, right during the peak of sixties creativity and recording I have mentioned. Both Buckleys died young, rather impulsively; Tim in a drug overdose and Jeff in a drowning. Both were exceptionally good-looking young guys too.

Tim recorded a highly-acclaimed album called "Grace" in 1994. So maybe there's some "good 3T music" on it. I have no opinion yet, never having heard it.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
There's a time for everything! It's time to post on this best songs ever thread, what the authors of The Fourth Turning identified as their theme song. The term "turning" may have come from it. The best version is by Judy Collins, singer of Both Sides Now and Suzanne. She gives the best shape (and the best voice) to the melodies that she sings. Turn Turn Turn (to Everything there is a Season).

This was released as a single in 1969, but it came from her 1963 album #3, and here is a version from 1966.

Here's another:
Pete Seeger & Judy Collins perform "Turn, Turn, Turn" on Pete Seeger's Rainbow Quest from 1966.

Wow, there WERE lots of people "making up their own songs" while this show was on. It was 1966! Not only people who went on stages, but people in their own garages.

The Byrds hit number 1 in late 1965 with this song. I liked it, but not as much as Judy's. The song itself by Pete Seeger goes back to the 50s, and most of the lyrics, back about 2500 years.

There is a second theme song often cited for "Generations" which will be along in a while Smile

Another Judy Collins goodie from 1969; country folk-rock written by Ian of Ian & Sylvia
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
This song from 1966 wasn't an American hit, but I got to know it after 1970 from the Live at Leeds album of that year. It exhibits the strange camaraderie of the London mod scene; the harmonies are very evocative. Not that I really know what the lyrics are about.

Live at Leeds version:

I guess I'm just "back-dated" Smile

Here are some of the other great Who songs from 1968-1973 I didn't post yet:
Is It In My Head from Quadrophenia 1973
The Punk and The Godfather Quadrophenia 1973
(Pete said he was sure he invented punk rock, but that it had left him behind)
Going Mobile Who's Next 1971
Magic Bus Magic Bus, 1968
Little Billy Odds and Sods, 1968
Faith in Something Bigger Odds and Sods, 1968
I'm Free Tommy, 1969
Amazing Journey and Sparks Tommy 1969
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Lyrics to Save the Country by Laura Nyro
The Fifth Dimension mixed up the lyrics a bit. All the same though.
Are the "two brothers" JFK and RFK, and is the "king" Jesus, or Martin?
The answer is yes, it appears:

Come on, people, come on, children
Come on down to the glory river.
Gonna wash you up, and wash you down,
Gonna lay the devil down, gonna lay that devil down.
I got fury in my soul, fury's gonna take me to the glory goal
In my mind I can't study war no more.
Save the people, save the children, save the country now

Come on, people come on, children
Come on down to the glory river
Gonna wash you up and wash you down
Gonna lay the devil down, gonna lay that devil down

Come on people! Sons and mothers
Keep the dream of the two young brothers
Gonna take that dream and ride that dove

We could build the dream with love, I know,
We could build the dream with love, I know,
We could build a dream with love, children,
We could build the dream with love, oh people,
We could build the dream with love, I know,
We could build the dream with love.

Come on, people! Come on, children!
There's a king at the glory river
And the precious king, he loved the people to sing;
Babes in the blinkin' sun sang
"We Shall Overcome".
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M

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