Music has changed dramatically in the decades since 1968. Fifty years ago, legendary bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones were in their prime while soon-to-be iconic bands such as Led Zeppelin and Crosby, The Stills and Nash were only just beginning.
In such a tumultuous decade full of political unrest and the emergence of flower power, artists found no shortage of topics to sing about. There was nowhere near as much reliance on technology to adjust and create music, so every new sound that hit the radio was fresh and exciting.
Listeners were blessed with a whole range of genres like soul, blues, rock, country and folk. To celebrate, Starts at 60 went back in time to 1968 to revisit the very beginning of a few classic melodies that are still remembered today.
It’s hard not to feel empowered as you listen to this soulful tune by the late and great Aretha Franklin. With a voice as strong as hers, it’s no surprise her music is unforgettable even to this day.
Franklin revived the song in 1980 for the comedy film Blues Brothers where she played Mrs Murphy, a sassy diner waitress. The incredible performance boosted her career once again and reinforced her status as the unbeatable ‘Queen of Soul’.
This sweet song became an instant hit for the most famous band of the 60s but after all this time, does anyone actually know who Jude is? To answer that, the ballad written by Sir Paul McCartney was originally ‘Hey Jules’ and was McCartney’s way of comforting John Lennon’s son, Julian, during the divorce of his parents.
Now that you know who the elusive song is about, you can spend the rest of the day trying to get the catchy “nana na na” tune out of your head.
This classic record was written for the popular film The Graduate by folk duo made up of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. Funnily enough, the song may might not have existed as Mike Nicholls, the director of The Graduate, asked the famous duo to write a few songs for the film’s soundtrack.
Simon was extremely hesitant as he saw it as “selling out” but because he enjoyed the idea of the film, he finally agreed. The first two songs they presented Nicholls with were rejected before ‘Mrs. Robinson’ (formally Mrs. Roosevelt) was brought to the table – and the rest is history.
In 1968, The Rolling Stones were one of the most famous bands in the world. When they released this controversial track (where Mick Jagger plays the role of the Devil himself) many people criticised them for being devil worshippers.
However, the group defended the catchy tune by saying it was simply taking a good look at the flaws of mankind. It’s said to be inspired by a classic Russian novel called The Master and Margarita that follows the Devil and his gang wreaking havoc on Moscow in the 1930s.
This classic, heavy rock song has lived on through generations with its popular rock and roll sound and exciting, rebellious lyrics. It is said to mark the very beginning of the term ‘heavy metal’ from the famous line “heavy metal thunder”. The tune really reached its peak when it became the anthem for the 1969 famous biker film Easy Rider, starring Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper.