60s Rock Music Hits That Will Never Go Out of Style

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,

Listening to the same music over and over can get pretty boring. If you’re looking for something new to listen to, you should check out this list of 60s rock hits that will never go out of style!

The Beatles

The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. With members John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, they became widely regarded as the foremost and most influential music band in history. Rooted in skiffle, beat and 1950s rock and roll, the Beatles later experimented with several genres, ranging from pop ballads and Indian music to psychedelia and hard rock, often incorporating classical elements in innovative ways. In 1963, their enormous popularity first emerged as “Beatlemania”; as the group’s music grew in sophistication following their return from Hamburg, they came to be perceived by many fans as an embodiment of the ideals shared by the era’s turbulent youth.

During the early 1960s, the Beatles built their reputation playing clubs in Liverpool and Hamburg. From 1966 onwards, they produced what many consider to be their finest material, including the innovative and widely imitated Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967), Abbey Road (1969) and Let It Be (1970). After managing to hold off the British Invasion led by the Rolling Stones for a couple of years with a string of hits including “She Loves You”, “I Want To Hold Your Hand” and “Can’t Buy Me Love”, they reached unprecedented levels of popularity in 1964 with their film A Hard Day’s Night and Guys and Dolls-inspired sound track album Beatlemania! With songs like “Yesterday”, “Eleanor Rigby”and “Strawberry Fields Forever”, they became a leading exponents of psychedelic pop before gradually moving into more reflective territory with The White Album (1968) and Lennon’s game-changing solo albums John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band (1970) and Imagine (1971). McCartney also pursued a successful solo career during the 1970s after Wings’ 1972 hit “Mull of Kintyre”. In 1980, Lennon was shot dead outside his New York apartment; Harrison died of cancer in 2001; Starr remains active.

The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in London, England, in 1962. The first stable line-up consisted of Brian Jones (guitar, harmonica), Ian Stewart (piano), Mick Jagger (lead vocals, harmonica), Keith Richards (guitar, vocals), Bill Wyman (bass) and Charlie Watts (drums).

The band’s primary songwriters, Jagger and Richards, began writing mostly blues-inspired songs during the first years of the band’s existence. They gained a following in the United Kingdom with their debut album, The Rolling Stones, released on 16 April 1964 by Decca Records. After signing to Andrew Loog Oldham’s record label Collins, the band released High Tide and Green Grass on 9 May 1966.

The Rolling Stones’ popularity grew throughout the rest of the 1960s; they were identified with rebellious youth and their music reflected a growing interest inpsychedelic rock. They became a major attraction on television and radio; their live performances at London’s Hyde Park on 5 July 1969 and at New York’s Altamont Speedway on 6 December 1969 have been cited as two of rock’s most notorious events. By 1972 the Rolling Stones were considered among rock music’s most influential groups.

The Beach Boys

The Beach Boys are an American rock band, formed in 1961 in Hawthorne, California. The group’s original lineup consisted of brothers Brian, Dennis, and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and their friend Al Jardine. Distinguished by their intricate vocal harmonies, The Beach Boys are one of the most influential bands of the 20th century. The band’s early music gained popularity for its close vocal harmonies and lyrics reflecting a Southern California youth culture of surfing, cars, and romance.

The Beach Boys have frequently been cited as America’s “first independent rock band” and as one of the earliest pop music groups to gain international acclaim. Their popularity peaked in the mid-1960s with a string of hit records including “I Get Around” (1964), “Fun Fun Fun” (1964), “Help Me Rhonda” (1965), “Barbara Ann” (1965), and “Good Vibrations” (1966), which helped define the nascent genre of psychedelic pop. Following their U.S. chart-topping success with 1966’s Pet Sounds album and its singles “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” and “Sloop John B”, 1967’s Smile project was initially aborted due to creative differences between Brian Wilson and Mike Love; it was finally completed nearly 50 years later after Dennis Wilson’s death in 1983 catalyzed a reunion of surviving members that included new contributions from Brian Wilson.

Despite having sold more than 100 million records worldwide, the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame only in 1988 – an honor they richly deserved but one that was overdue nonetheless. In 2001, they were voted No. 2 on Classic Rock magazine’s list of The 100 Greatest Artists Of All Time behind only The Beatles;Rolling Stone magazine ranked them No. 12 on its list of The Greatest Artists Of All Time; VH1 placed them at No. 8 on its list Each member of The Beach Boys – Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks – has contributed his own particular genius to their extraordinary body of work; together they are true musical legends.

The Kinks

The Kinks are one of the most influential bands of the British Invasion, with their unique brand of proto-punk. Hits like “You Really Got Me” and “All Day and All of the Night” are still considered classics today, 50 years after their release.

The Who

The Who is an English rock band formed in London in 1964. The group consisted of lead singer Roger Daltrey, guitarist and singer Pete Townshend, bass guitarist John Entwistle, and drummer Keith Moon. They became known for their energetic live performances and hits such as “My Generation”, ” Substitute” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again”.

The Doors

The Doors were an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1965, with vocalist Jim Morrison, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, guitarist Robby Krieger, and drummer John Densmore. They were among the most controversial and influential rock acts of the 1960s, mostly because of Morrison’s lyrics and voice, as well as his reportedly erratic stage persona. After Morrison’s death in 1971 at the age of 27, the remaining members continued as a trio until disbanding in 1973.

Despite not achieving commercial success until 1967 with their eponymous debut album, The Doors exerted a considerable influence on popular culture. According to Rolling Stone magazine, they were “the most influential American band of the psychedelic era.” In 2002, retained its place at number 42 on the magazine’s list of “The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time”. In January 2007, Morrison was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of The Doors.

Jimi Hendrix

As a child of the 60s, I grew up listening to a lot of great rock music. One of my favorite artists was Jimi Hendrix. His unique style of playing the guitar and his powerful voice set him apart from other musicians of his time. These days, Hendrix is considered one of the greatest guitarists of all time. Here are some of his most popular songs that I still enjoy listening to today.

-Purple Haze
-All Along the Watchtower
-The Wind Cries Mary
-Hey Joe
-Stone Free

Led Zeppelin

One of the most influential bands of the 20th century, Led Zeppelin has left a lasting legacy on popular music. Formed in 1968, the band quickly rose to prominence with their debut album, which featured some of their most iconic hits like “Whole Lotta Love” and “Communication Breakdown.” Over the next decade, Led Zeppelin would release eight more studio albums, each one containing songs that would go on to become classics.

While other bands from the same era have faded into obscurity, Led Zeppelin’s music has continued to endure. Their songs have been covered by other artists and have been used in countless films and TV shows. Even today, nearly 50 years after their first album was released, Led Zeppelin remains one of the most popular rock bands in the world.

Janis Joplin

Janis Lyn Joplin was an American singer-songwriter who combines blues, soul, rock, and psychedelia to create her unique sound. She is one of the most iconic and influential rock stars of her era. Joplin rose to prominence in the late 1960s as the lead singer of the psychedelic-acid rock band Big Brother and the Holding Company, and later as a solo artist with her own backing groups, The Kozmic Blues Band and The Full Tilt Boogie Band.

She is renowned for her powerful, bluesy vocals, and for hits such as “Piece of My Heart”, “Mercedes Benz”, “Cry Baby”, and “Me and Bobby McGee”. Joplin was posthumously inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1995 and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.

The Grateful Dead

The Grateful Dead was an American rock band formed in 1965 in Palo Alto, California. The band is known for its eclectic style, which fused elements of rock, folk, country, bluegrass, blues, gospel, and psychedelic rock; for live performances of lengthy musical improvisation; and for its devoted fan base, known as “Deadheads.” “Their music,” writes Lenny Kaye, “touches on ground that most other groups don’t even know exists.” They were ranked 57th in Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Artists of All Time and what they accomplishedmusically has been described as part of the Great American Songbook.

The Grateful Dead have sold more than 35 million albums worldwide. The Grateful Dead was founded in the San Francisco Bay Area amid the counterculture of the 1960s. The founding members were Jerry Garcia (guitar, vocals), Bob Weir (guitar, vocals), Ron “Pigpen” McKernan (keyboards, harmonica), Phil Lesh (bass guitar), and Bill Kreutzmann (drums). Members with longtime tenure in the band include Mickey Hart (drums; 1967–1971; 1973–1995) and Tom Constanten (keyboards; 1968–1970). Keyboardist Bruce Hornsby was a touring member from 1990 to 1992 before becoming an official musician in 1992. Vince Welnick joined the band as keyboardist from 1990 to 1995 following constanten’s departure. Drummers Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann played drums throughout most of the band’s history but took extended hiatus’ during various periods throughout their tenure.

The other official members of The dead are: Jerry Garcia Bob Weir Ron “Pigpen” McKernan Phil Lesh Bill Kreutzmann Mickey Hart Tom Constanten Bruce Hornsby Vince Welnick

The Grateful Dead have inspired music schools such as The Evergreen State College DeadAcademic Community and Widener University’s Grateful Dead Archives.

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