1960’s Instrumental Music Hits: The Best of the Decade

Is your taste in music a bit more old-school? Then you’ll love our latest blog post, which features a compilation of the best instrumental hits from the 1960s. From the Beatles to Pink Floyd, these are the tracks that defined a decade.

The Beatles – “A Day in the Life”

The Beatles – “A Day in the Life” is a song by the English rock band the Beatles that was released as the final track of their 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The song is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential works in popular music history.

The Beach Boys – “Good Vibrations”

One of the most timeless and well-known bands of the ‘60s, The Beach Boys hail from Southern California. The group’s sound is defined by their use of multiple harmonies, custom-made instruments, and intricate studio production. “Good Vibrations” was released in 1966 as a single from their album Pet Sounds and quickly became one of their signature tracks. The song is noted for its innovative sound, which was achieved by piecing together various sections recorded in different studios.

Bob Dylan – “Like a Rolling Stone”

By the time Bob Dylan released “Like a Rolling Stone” as a single in July 1965, the song had been through more than its fair share of incarnations. It was first written as an Extended Play track called “Lonesome Day Blues.” Then, it was recorded as an 11-minute jam with The Hawks, a version which Dylan quickly scrapped. After that, he cut a six-minute take with the band that would eventually become known as The Band. And finally, he recorded the now-legendary single version with Al Kooper on organ and Robbie Robertson on guitar.

The Rolling Stones – “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”

The Rolling Stones are a British rock band that was formed in 1962. The band members consist of Mick Jagger (lead vocals and harmonica), Keith Richards (guitar and vocals), Brian Jones (guitar, harmonica, and keyboards), Bill Wyman (bass guitar), and Charlie Watts (drums). The group’s primary songwriters were Jagger and Richards.

The Rolling Stones were one of the most popular bands of the 1960s. They released their debut album, “The Rolling Stones,” in 1964. The album contained the song “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” which became one of the band’s most successful singles. The song reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States and has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

The Kinks – “You Really Got Me”

One of the first great rock guitar anthems, The Kinks’ “You Really Got Me” is built on a simple, elegant power chord riff that any amateur could learn in minutes. But it’s the way that the band uses those chords — shifting from major to minor and back again, creating tension and release — that makes the song so special. It’s a perfect template for what would become one of rock’s most popular song forms: the three-chord wonder.

The Animals – “House of the Rising Sun”

The Animals – “House of the Rising Sun” is a song from the 1960s that was written by Alan Price and sung by Eric Burdon. The song is about a house in New Orleans that is frequented by prostitutes and gambling. The song became a hit for The Animals in 1964 and has since been covered by many artists.

The Doors – “Light My Fire”

“Light My Fire” is a song by the American rock band the Doors. It was recorded in August 1966 and released in January 1967 on their self-titled debut album. Released as a single in July 1967, it spent three weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in September and remained the band’s only number-one single in the United States. A year later, it re-entered the chart and peaked at number 87, thus becoming one of their most enduring singles.

It has been referenced in popular culture and has been covered by many artists including José Feliciano, who’s version became a bigger hit than the original, Helen Reddy, Liberace, Richie Havens, Earl Grant, Mongo Santamaria, los Lobos and Grateful Dead. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked it number 35 on its list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Jimi Hendrix – “Purple Haze”

One of the most popular and influential rock guitarists of the 1960s, Jimi Hendrix was born in Seattle and raised in a broken home by his grandmother. He taught himself to play guitar and began performing with various bands in the early 1960s. In 1966, he moved to England, where he formed the Jimi Hendrix Experience. The group released a series of successful singles and albums, including the groundbreaking “Are You Experienced” (1967), before Hendrix returned to the United States in 1968. He performed at the Monterey Pop Festival and Woodstock before his untimely death in 1970 at the age of 27.

Cream – “Crossroads”

Crossroads is a song by the British rock band Cream. It was released as a single in 1968, and reached number four in the UK charts. The song is based on the traditional blues song of the same name, and is notable for its use of power chords and its structure, which deviates from the standard 12-bar blues form.

The Byrds – “Mr. Tambourine Man”

The Byrds were an American rock band, formed in Los Angeles, California in 1964. The band underwent multiple line-up changes throughout its existence, with frontman Roger McGuinn (known as Jim McGuinn until mid-1967) remaining the sole consistent member. Although they only managed to attain the huge commercial success of contemporaries like the Beatles, the Beach Boys, and the Rolling Stones for a short period in the mid-1960s, the Byrds were one of the most influential bands of their era.

“Mr. Tambourine Man” is a song written by Bob Dylan, released as the first single from The Byrds’ debut album Mr. Tambourine Man (1965). It reached number 1 on both Billboard’s Hot 100 chart and the UK Singles Chart. The song was also included on The Byrds’ Greatest Hits (Columbia Records, 1967).

In 2004, “Mr. Tambourine Man” was ranked number 59 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”.

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