Throwback 60’s Playlist

I once took a Victorian Literature class and on the first day we went around the room and said what time period we would live in if we could go back (or forward) in time. There were a lot of people who said the Victorian era (suck ups) and others who said medieval times (knight in shining armor syndrome), but me, I said the 60’s.

And not just because I love hitch hiking and tripping on shrooms (NOT!), but because I feel it would be so cool to experience the time period my parents grew up in. And for the great music, of course.

(Way Back) Throwback 60’s Playlist

For when you’re not playing the new Justin Timberlake CD on repeat.  Just me?

1. “For What It’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield


Just love.  What a perfect expression of countercultural angst and that laid-back hippie vibe.  From the lyrics to the message to the style of the music, everything about this song just screams 60’s to me.  Fact: If this song comes on in the middle of a heated vinyasa yoga flow, the class becomes a million times better.  Fun Fact #2: I always thought this song was about Vietnam, but it’s actually about the curfew battle that happened between young clubgoers (hello Peter Fonda and Jack Nicholson!) and the surrounding businesses in L.A during the 60’s.  Who knew?!

2. “White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane


It broke my heart a couple weeks ago when, driving in our mini van in Arizona, this song came on the radio and Joey’s cousin exclaimed “this song is about Alice in Wonderland!” and I had to say “this song is about drugs!”  Such is the wisdom you receive when you have two parents that grew up in the 60’s and this is your family road-trip sing-a-long song of choice.

3. “A Whiter Shade of Pale” by Procol Harum

Procol Harum LP Front

Okay, call me weird (because this song is weird) but I have always loved this one.  It’s one of those songs that you make up the words to when you sing along and then you look up the lyrics and hey, those actually are the right words!  No?  Just me who does that?  Anyways, slightly chilling, really beautiful and totally thought-provoking.  As in my one thought is “what is this song talking about?!”  Also, um, creepiest album cover ever?

4. “Rescue Me” by Fontella Bass


Because every playlist needs a little R&B.  And because I dig the simplicity of this 60’s classic.  I just wish I could remember that it’s by Fontella Bass and not Aretha or Diana.

5. “Where Did Our Love Go?” by the Supremes


And while we’re on the subject of Diana.  Short Story: the other day “Tainted Love” was on in the car and I announced that the part where the song transitions into a cover of “Where Did Our Love Go?” is my favorite part and Joey was so confused because he thought that was an original part of the song.  I about had a heart attack because “who doesn’t know the original is by the Supremes?!”  Luckily, me playing the original and singing along quickly jogged his memory.

6. “Sittin On the Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding

otis redding 800

Have you listened to this song recently?  Like really listened to it?  I’ll admit that I hadn’t and when I did all I could think was “how beautifully soulful!”  Okay, that whistling part still really annoys me, but the rest of the song is perfect.

7. “(I Love You) More Today Than Yesterday” by Spiral Staircase


I had second thoughts about including this one, but while going through my list and listening to each song again (I take this seriously, people) there was no way I could skip it.  There’s nothing like an upbeat love song with a fun chorus you can belt out into your honey’s ear while he’s trying to focus on the road and drive you both home.  Amiright?

8. “Respect” by Aretha Franklin


Is it even possible to be a woman and not love Aretha Franklin?  Answer: no.  I basically consider this song to be the original independent woman anthem.

9. “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” by Marvin Gaye


Dear lord, I love this song.  I love it in a way that makes me unable to not get super into singing along any time I hear it.  That opening music?  Marvin’s flawless voice?  Those parts where you have to embrace your own beautiful falsetto?  How is it even possible to not love this song?

10. “Build Me Up Buttercup” by the Foundations


Because there is not a single person on this Earth with ears who does not love this song.  Every time it ends I say “nooooo, it was just getting extra good!”  Sidenote: WHAT is this album cover?


If you could live in any time period, what would it be?

What’s your favorite “oldie” song?

Do you have a favorite musical era?

9 thoughts on “Throwback 60’s Playlist

  1. I LOVE Oldies. It’s my favorite music. I love all the ones you mentioned, and some other favorites are “Ain’t No Sunshine” from Bill Withers, “California Dreamin'” from the Mamas and the Papas, and “Ain’t No Mountain Hight Enough” (classic, who doesn’t love that song??). I don’t know what exactly happened to music after the 70’s, but for the most part I don’t like any of it. Oh well. 😉

    • I totally agree about post-70’s music! The 80’s has some good movies (hello, John Hughes!), but the music wasn’t my favorite and it’s basically just gone down hill from there. I don’t know how I could forget “California Dreamin'” — love that song! My sister and I used to always argue over the lyrics to that one.

  2. Your playlist is awesome! I am a HUGE oldies fan and always feel like I should have existed in a different era. I think I would have liked to have been a teenager during the 60s and then an adult during the 70s. That way, I could be at my most angst-filled during the crazy, turbulent, awesome ’60s and then become a trail blazing 70s feminist. Haha…my nerd is showing. Getting back to music, for some unknown reason, I really gravitate toward cheesy 70s songs even though I know the 60s was a better decade for music overall. Favorites include “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac, “O-o-oh child” by The Five Stairsteps, “September” by Earth Wind and Fire, and “Train in Vain” by The Clash. Nice to know I’m not alone in my oldies love!

    • Anything by Fleetwood is fine by me! My dad is always saying how much better life was in the 60’s so maybe he has some influence over my answer 🙂

  3. Yah, gotta go with the Victorian period. But to be fair that is the period of literature that I study. You’re right about the oldies, though:-)
    BTW, who taught your Victorian lit class?

  4. That album cover my friend is most definitely the product of tripping off ‘shrooms! 😉 But seriously the BEST song ever! And I think it would be fun to go back to the 1920’s…the world was on the cusp of so much change…the energy…the excitement…we’ll until the stock market crash…I’d like to come back to present before that happens! Just as long as I get to bring a flapper girl dress back with me! 😉

  5. I love time period stuff! I was a flapper last Halloween and did some serious research on the 20’s- very fascinating time (as a stylist I truly appreciated the hair styles- artwork!)! I also love the 60’s and 70’s and the music of those decades. Such exciting times!

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