The Sixties really were a crazy decade. Socially, politically, in the world of sport, cinema, and most importantly for this article, musically, that decade completely redefined the world. So which classic choooons am I listening to this week?
Feeling Good – Nina Simone
This song has the most low key, stripped back introduction there can be to a song. Nina just sings a couple bars, her aching voice setting this song up for that amazing horns introduction. That “and I’m feeeeelinnng gooood” before it all goes off has to be one of my favourite musical moments that I can think of lately, that transition just sits so well. Her voice completely outdoes the horns time and again through this song, the sheer power in those pipes cutting them off and showcasing her incredible talent. They really just don’t make music like this any more.
For Your Precious Love – Otis Redding
To be honest, I was fairly hard pushed for which Otis to choose. There’s the classic Sitting on the Dock, but that seemed too obvious. Try a Little Tenderness is also a classic, but for me, this is the best showcase of an almost unmatchable talent. In a similar way to Nina above, I am in love with the way Otis’ voice can completely and totally captivate an audience. The number of times I have tried and failed to replicate these notes he hits is embarrassing, as are the results, but the way he sings is so captivating. There’s a rasp and a simplicity to his voice, a pureness about it that makes it so impressive. There is just so much love in his voice here. This also features in one of my favourite thrillers of all time, Ne Le Dis à Personne ( yeah I’m cultured and watch foreign cinema, never forget ) and it is so romantically beautiful there too, it’s just phenomenal.
The House of the Rising Sun – The Animals
I can’t tell you for the life of me why ( apart from the fact that this is a stonking song ) but a few years back, this became one of the anthems for my car, the Love Shack ( I stand by that decision for a name.) Fairly regularly I could be seen with my homeboiz ( not sure how they feel about that title ) blaring this around Surrey and the four of us just bellowing it out at the top of our lungs.
Another mid sixties song, I think it’s the bluesy, low pitch of lead singer Eric Burdon that gets us so into this song. We can really belt it out, and it’s a lot manlier than our T Swift renditions. That first guitar riff sets it all off, and it’s just the story as much as anything that we love. This song really is anthemic, it’s so easy to get into it and just start rocking those low notes. The unrelenting guitar keeps you going, and Burdon’s voice just keeps getting more bluesy and more searching as it all goes on. Our quartet has scattered for the year between Europe and bloody Baltimore, so this one’s for the boys!