74 for ’74: 1963

My 74 for ’74 video playlist of classic rock and roll songs continues with 1963 offerings.  With the advent of The Beatles, we are now fully into the rock and roll era.  My choices as to what songs make the cut begin to get crazy hard from this point on.  Please hang on for the ride.

14. She Loves You, The Beatles (1963). In 1963 (actually, January of 1964), the British Invasion began in earnest, The Beatles top the charts and the rest is history. They are simply the best, most significant and most creative rock and roll band of all-time. This song starts with the chorus at it works as an incredible hook. Actually, the “yeah, yeah, yeah” refrain was the real hook. She Loves You was a huge hit in the UK in 1963 but didn’t take off in the USA until after I Want to Hold Your Hand went to #1 in early ’64.  In any event, critics who panned the song as uncouth slang (“yeah yeah yeah”) from a fad band were just a little bit off.

15. Blowin’ In the Wind, Peter, Paul and Mary (1963).  A powerful, haunting and beautiful Dylan song and a civil rights anthem. It asks tough rhetorical questions and expects us to hear the answers Blowin’ in the Wind. Dylan (obviously) and Sam Cooke both do great versions too. The PPM version charted the highest and sold over a million copies — over 300,000 the first week. In The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams proposes that “How many roads must a man walk down?” is the ultimate question.  You can listen for yourself and decide if he’s right. 

16. One Fine Day, The Chiffons (1963). Shoobie doobie doobie doobie doo wop wop.  Carole King — who co-wrote the song, inspired by Madame Butterfly of all things — plays piano on the original. This song is just great fun.

Other great 1963 songs: Wipe Out, The Surfaris; It’s My Party, Lesley Gore; Da Doo Ron Ron, The Crystals; Be My Baby, The Ronettes (1963)(Cher sang back-up); Louie Louie, The Kingsmen; Another Saturday Night, Sam Cooke; Ring of Fire, Johnny Cash; Heat Wave, Martha and the Vandellas; I Want to Hold Your Hand, I Saw Her Standing There, All My Loving, The Beatles.

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