Like most people, I love the music of my teen and early adult years. But my favorite music more often comes from the late 1960s and early 1970s, the era just before and right after my birth.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of 1966, one of those years that I love, a year that produced some of the most amazing works by a variety of musical artists. Like most years, it was a time of stark diversity. “The Ballad of the Green Berets” was the top single of the year, and Frank Sinatra had a hit with “Strangers in the Night” (the song that would win him his last non-honorary Grammy award, until his 1994 album Duets II). At the same time, the Beatles released Revolver, the Stones released Aftermath, and Dylan released Blonde on Blonde.
And that’s just scratching the surface.
Here are five of my favorite songs from 1966:
5. “Paint It Black” (The Rolling Stones)
4. “Land of 1000 Dances” (Wilson Pickett)
3. “Hey Joe” (The Jimi Hendrix Experience)
2. “Sunny” (Bobby Hebb)
1. “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” (The Four Tops)