by Vivienne Forstner

It’s very difficult to get into a new genre of music. You have to figure out what you like and don’t like, which bands are your favorites, and, if you really want to go that extra mile, learning about the time period and culture surrounding the genre. Now, I don’t know that much about most things, but what I can tell you all about is 60’s-80’s rock (I really believe that the genre that I’m thinking of is more pop than rock, but the definition of rock has evolved over time). Some people have a difficult time getting into music from this time because a good majority of it takes place during a very experimental period in music history. There are some absolutely legendary songs and albums that have come from this, but also some… interesting pieces (“Revolution 9” for example. Listen at your own risk). I have put together some starter packs of my favorite bands to hopefully make it easier for those looking into exploring these decades of music.

1 – The Beatles

“Sound”It really depends which era you’re listening to, but the easiest way to describe them is pop-rock (although they have a song in just about every genre)
Most popularHere Comes The SunCome TogetherLet It BeYesterdayHey JudeBlackbirdTwist and ShoutI Want To Hold Your HandIn My LifeHelp!
UnderratedNowhere ManReal LoveI’ve Just Seen A FaceHere, There and EverywhereMichelle
Soft songsSun KingJuliaMother Nature’s SonIf I FellAnd I Love Her
Loud/fun songsCome TogetherShoutOb-La-Di, Ob-La-DaRock And Roll Music You Won’t See MeBonus – Helter Skelter (one of the songs that helped define heavy rock)

2 – The Monkees

“Sound”They have a very Beatle-esque sound since the band was created for a TV show that was centered around a wannabe Beatles band. However, after the band started to write their own songs with their own creative input, they developed a mix of pop and folk-country style
Most popularI’m a BelieverDaydream BelieverMe & MagdalenaLast Train to ClarksvilleAs We Go AlongPleasant Valley Sunday(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ StoneA Little Bit me, a Little Bit You(Theme From) The Monkees
UnderratedPapa Gene’s BluesI’ll Be Back Up On My FeetOur Own WorldThe Kind Of Girl I Could LoveDon’t Call On Me
Soft songsCome on InSomeday ManTake a Giant StepDon’t Call On Me
Loud/fun songsGoin’ DownI’m A BelieverWhat Am I Doing Hangin’ ‘Round?Gonna Buy Me a DogShe Hangs Out

3 – The Beach Boys

“Sound”The Beach Boys sound exactly like their name – fun pop that you can jam to at the beach. Their later songs have a more developed feel to them, but they still have that pop sound that they coined from their early years.
Most popularWouldn’t It Be NiceSurfin’ U.S.A.Good VibrationsGod Only KnowsI Get AroundKokomoDon’t Worry BabySloop John BCalifornia Girls Barbara Ann
UnderratedHere TodayDo It AgainWild HoneySurfin’ Safari
Soft songsGod Only KnowsFriendsCaroline, NoDon’t Worry Baby
Loud/fun songsFun, Fun, FunDo It AgainCalifornia GirlsAny song of theirs that has some variation of the word “surfing” in the title

Some other great songs:

  • Hello, I Love You – The Doors
  • Can’t Take My Eyes Off You – Frankie Valli
  • Sunny Afternoon – The Kinks
  • Ev’rybody’s Gonna Be Happy – The Kinks
  • Waterloo Sunset – The Kinks
  • California Dreamin’ – The Mamas & The Papas
  • 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover – Paul Simon
  • Paint It, Black – The Rolling Stones
  • Gimme Shelter – The Rolling Stones
  • Oh, Pretty Woman – Roy Orbison
  • Mrs. Robinson – Simon & garfunkel
  • Leaves That Are Green – Simon & Garfunkel
  • Elenore – The Turtles
  • Happy Together – The Turtles
  • My Generation – The Who
  • She’s Not There – The Zombies
  • Care of Cell 44 – The Zombies
  • Beechwood Park – The Zombies
  • This Will Be Our Year – The Zombies