Travel back to the 60s with these timeless songs available now
The swinging 60s brought us some of the biggest bangers our ears have ever had the pleasure of jamming to. The 60s may be long gone, but we still hear the soundtrack to a decade of turning points in history all the time; when we aren’t hearing 60s songs in Walgreens (or wherever you still hear the radio), we hear 60s hits in our favorite films & TV series.
60s songs continue to maintain relevance in shows & films for one reason: they’re so groovy! Some of pop music’s most worshipped artists had their heyday in the 60s, creating some of the world’s most beloved songs. Check out our favorite 60s songs to bring you back to the time of incense & peppermints.
“You’re the One”
In 1962, Petula Clark brought the world one of the best 60s songs with “You’re the One”, but the track wasn’t popularized until The Vogues put out a version later that year.
However, the reason why you know the song is because of the viral success of Queen’s Gambit, which used the song in an episode, creating a whole new generation of “You’re the One” fans. Even almost sixty years later, the song still proves itself to be an eternal earworm (and we aren’t complaining).
Frank Sinatra is known for his silky voice, blue eyes, rumored mob ties, and being a standalone star. However, his daughter Nancy blew up in 1965 with “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’”, and by 1967, the two deemed a duet was what audiences needed.
“Somethin’ Stupid” hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and continues to serenade music fans today popping up in popular media, most recently in season 4 of Better Call Saul.
“Sloop John B”
The Beach Boys changed the pop game when they dropped Pet Sounds back in 1966, bringing music fans one of the most legendary & studied albums of all time (just look at the album’s infinite scroll Wiki page).
Nearly every song on the album is a pop hit, but “Sloop John B” seems to rise above the rest. The origin of “Sloop John B” goes back to 1916, but The Beach Boys crafted the song in the style it would be forever remembered, widely recognized as one of the greatest 60s songs ever produced.
“A Change is Gonna Come”
Sam Cooke put out some of the world’s best 60s songs, but the renowned singer made history in 1964 when he dropped “A Change is Gonna Come”. Released smack dab in the middle of the civil rights movement, the song presented Cooke’s own struggle as a black man in the U.S., one millions continue to relate to.
“A Change is Gonna Come” hasn’t faltered in relevance since its release, having been sampled by rap’s most famous artists throughout the 2000s, and most recently being sung by Jennifer Hudson at the 2020 Democratic National Convention. Not only is “A Change is Gonna Come” important & legendary, but it’s also one of music’s best 60s songs.
The nuclear family & obedient housewives were all the rage in the 60s, but convention didn’t stop Mary Wells from cranking out one of the best songs about playing the field ever written. Smokey Robinson wrote the hit, but Mary Wells sent “Two Lovers” to the top of the Billboard Hot 100, hitting number seven on the chart in 1962.
Wells is best known for her most successful song, “My Guy,” but two years before “My Guy” dropped, “Two Lovers” released to music fans with Wells’s most interesting (and scandalous) hit. One listen will show you “Two Lovers” is even more of an earworm than “My Guy” and has definitely lasted the test of time.
These are some of our favorite 60s songs, but the decade is bursting with gems to get your toe tapping. Start with our list and you’ll be on your way on a magic carpet ride to the land of bell bottoms & Beatlemania.