BigHans
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40 Essential "Oldies" You Need to Get

I am forgoing traditional "Classic Rock" here. These are essential top 40 type songs from the early 60's through the mid 70's. Time to bone up on some history kids. List is not ranked.
1Bob Marley
No Woman No Cry

Live versions of this are stunning.
2Lou Reed
Walk on the Wild Side

Fuck Marky Mark's version.
3Steeler's Wheel
Stuck in the Middle With You

Mostly famous for the scene in Resivoir Dogs where Michael Madsen loses his shit and tortures the cop.
4Simon & Garfunkel
The Sound of Silence

An absolutely stunning marriage of words and melody.
5The Temptations
Aint Too Proud To Beg

Their best.
6Elvis Presley
Suspicious Minds

Thats right, the fucking King.
7Van Morrison
Sweet Thing

Arguably his greatest song. Probably is.
8The Animials
House of the Rising Sun

Bonechilling.
9The Doors
Break On Through

Love me some Doors.
10Fats Domino
Aint That a Shame

Also get "Blueberry Hill"
11Procol Harum
A Whiter Shade of Pale

Very Powerful.
12The Beatles
I've Just Seen a Face

The catchiest song they ever wrote.
13Otis Redding
Sitting on the Dock of the Bay

Essential no matter what genre you like.
14Del Shannon
Runaway

IM A WALKIN IN THE RAIN
15Ray Charles
What'd I Say

The cool thing is he made this up on the spot.
16Jackson Browne
Doctor My Eyes

Either this or The Pretender
17The Hollies
Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress

Get it.
18Gordon Lightfoot
Sundown

Gotta love the Canadians
19Bill Withers
Lean On Me

A Soul CLINIC.
20Boz Skaggs
Lido Shuffle

One of the best choruses in history.
21Jefferson Airplane
White Rabbit

Go ask Alice, when shes ten feet TAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL.
22Janis Joplin
Me & Bobby McGhee

Freedom's just another word for nothin left to lose.
23Elton John
Levon

One of his most overlooked classics.
24Dobie Gray
Drift Away

Fuck you Uncle Kracker for ruining this.
25Jimi Hendrix
All Along the Watchtower

1967 Fender Stratocaster strung upside down for a lefthanded motherfucking genius.
26Beach Boys
Good Vibrations

Is sometimes named the greatest song of all time.
27Bobby Darin
Mack the Knife

I would also accept "Somewhere Beyond the Sea."
28Chamber Brothers
Time Has Come Today

Its a hippie anthem, and I hate hippies, but still a great song.
29Sam and Dave
Hold On, I'm Coming

A Blues Clinic. Works very well in movies.
30The Byrds
Turn, Turn, Turn

America's answer to the Beatles and Stones.
31Bob Dylan
Times are a Changing

He has better songs, but this one pretty much encompassed an entire era.
32The Four Tops
I Can't Help Myself

hard to find a more irresistably catchy song.
33Neil Diamond
Cracklin Rosie

Everyone needs more Neil in their life.
34Sly and the Family Stone
Everyday People

About as essential as it gets.
35Gladys Knight & The Pips
Midnight Train to Georgia

As good as anything Aretha came up with.
36James Taylor
Fire & Rain

Great acoustic work going on here.
37Eddie Cochran
Summertime Blues

One of the first RAWK songs.
38Sam the Sham & The Pharohs
Hey Little Red Riding Hood

A very haunting and chiling track. Was featured in the underrated Bruce Willis vehicle "Striking Distance."
39Stevie Wonder
Superstition

Probably the greatest groove ever.
40Little River Band
Take It Easy On Me

Requisite Power Ballad.
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