Sixties Party Music Filter
March 18, 2007 10:43 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for sixties party music.

So most of the sixties music I know isn't really appropriate for our sixties party coming up, i.e. Dylan, the later Beatles, The Band, The Byrds, and so on don't really get the party going.

Here's some specific song examples of what I'm going for:

Early Beatles - Twist and Shout, Roll Over Beethoven
Beach Boys - Do You Wanna Dance, Barbra-Ann
James Brown - Papa's Got A Brand New Bag
The Guess Who - American Woman
Dion - Runaround Sue
The Strangeloves - I Want Candy
Turtles - Happy Together
Monkees - I'm A Believer

People might want to dance, but not slow dance, so that negates a lot of the "My Girl" or "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" type stuff.

For my purposes, I'm expanding the 60s to include 59 and 70. I'm also especially interested in stuff where the 60s has fully grown its own sound. "Twist and Shout" and "Barbra-Ann" are great, but sound like they could have come right out of the fifties, while "Happy Together" and "I'm A Believer" are different - but still suggest both types.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim to Media & Arts (27 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Motown! Martha Reeves, The Supremes, Temptations, early Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight, Shorty Long, Edwin Starr, etc. Most of it's exceptionally danceable and fun. I know those 20th Century Masters compilations aren't something one should admit to owning, but I have this one, and it is like pure joy except for maybe the last couple of tracks.
posted by SoftRain at 11:04 PM on March 18, 2007

Just pointing towards artists here... early Al Green counts ("Al Green Gets Next to You"), anything produced by Phil Spector, Andy Williams' later stuff (eg "Can't Take My Eyes Off You"), anything on Motown (eg Diana Ross & The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas), Nancy Sinatra, Wilson Pickett, The Zombies ("She's Not There"), Dusty Springfield ("I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself"), The Yardbirds[?], The Kinks ("Lola"), The Small Faces, The Troggs ("Wild Thing"), late-60s Rolling Stones.
posted by Leon at 11:24 PM on March 18, 2007

If you could get your hands on the Rhino box set Beg, Scream and Shout, the big box of 60's soul music, you would have a rocking party.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 11:57 PM on March 18, 2007

? (question mark) and the Mysterians - 96 Tears
Ronny and the Daytonas - G.T.O.
Gloria Jones - Tainted Love
Sam & Dave - Soul Man
The Kinks - You Really Got Me
Shangri-Las - Leader of the Pack
Hermans Hermits - I'm Into Something Good
posted by p3t3 at 12:20 AM on March 19, 2007

The Frat Rock compilation makes for fun party music.
posted by misteraitch at 1:03 AM on March 19, 2007

You also might check out Nuggets. Its a collection of post-British Invasion American garage rock. Some well known, some pretty obscure.
posted by hwestiii at 1:28 AM on March 19, 2007

Inflicting my own perverse sense of humor on you, these two collections are available on eMusic and are German and French pop versions of a lot of big 1960s American hits: The In-Kraut (2 volumes) and Pop A Paris (2 volumes). They are cheesy but when they first start up, everyone will be saying "Wait! That sounds like..."
posted by loosemouth at 3:58 AM on March 19, 2007

Check out the 1960s output from Booker T. & the M.G.'s.
posted by john m at 4:03 AM on March 19, 2007

A few good Rolling Stones party faves: "Route 66", "The Last Time", "Brown Sugar", "19th Nervous Breakdown".
posted by wackybrit at 4:41 AM on March 19, 2007

Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders - Play the Game of Love
The Association- Along Comes Mary
Young Rascals - When I Was Young
Friend & Love - Reach Out of The Darkness
Zombies - Time of the Season
Grass Roots - Let's Live for Today
Turtles - Green Tamberine
posted by needs more cowbell at 5:02 AM on March 19, 2007

"Green Tambourine," even. Apparently it's misspelled in my music collection.
posted by needs more cowbell at 5:04 AM on March 19, 2007

Cream - Sunshine of Your Love
Jefferson Airplane - White Rabbit
Donovan - Mellow Yellow, Sunshine Superman
John Fred - Judy in Disguise
Herman's Hermits - all of it
Max Frost - Shape of Things to Come
Music Explosion - Little Bit O'Soul
McCoys - Hang on Sloopy
Rascals - Good Lovin'. Groovin'
Stones - Get Off my Cloud, Ruby Tuesday
Simon & Garfunkel - 59th Street Bridge Song
Steppenwolf - Magic Carpet Ride
Third Rail - Run, Run, Run
Van Morrison - Baby Please Don't Go, Gloria, Brown Eyed Girl
posted by clarkstonian at 5:32 AM on March 19, 2007

I thought Green Tambourine was the Lemon Pipers. This and this are a couple of good bubblegum collections. This is some overlap between the two, though.
posted by rfs at 6:51 AM on March 19, 2007

The Complete Stax/Volt Singles (1959-1968) is my all-time favorite '60's party mix.
posted by Etaoin Shrdlu at 7:02 AM on March 19, 2007

Kool and the Gang's "Chocolate Buttermilk" came out in 1969.
posted by saladin at 7:08 AM on March 19, 2007

Don’t forget “Louie Louie” by the Kingsmen. Maybe you could print the real lyrics on invitations, or whatever.
posted by Huplescat at 7:15 AM on March 19, 2007

Check out the Girls in the Garage series of compilations (I can't find a good link, but google shows a bunch of places to buy them).
posted by ruby.aftermath at 7:45 AM on March 19, 2007

Lee Dorsey, Ride Your Pony
posted by kimota at 8:33 AM on March 19, 2007

Bobby Fuller Four, I Fought The Law and Let Her Dance.
posted by kimota at 8:34 AM on March 19, 2007

This askme thread has suggestions of party songs by year.
posted by hydrophonic at 9:22 AM on March 19, 2007

Motown 1965 - or if you don't want to lay down that kind of cash, Hitsville USA.

Some French yé-yé is a must. Try Swinging Mademoiselles.
posted by mykescipark at 9:36 AM on March 19, 2007

Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass - Whipped Cream & Other Delights

More cocktails by the pool than LSD at the Filmore, but quintessentially '60s.
posted by doctor_negative at 9:48 AM on March 19, 2007

Oh, Jesus, lemme get home and look through my iTunes.

Short answer for now— go and pick up a handful of SoulJazz comps. Their New Orleans Soul one is particularly good. But there's a whole mountain of great stuff out there past the kinda predictable stuff being suggested here.
posted by klangklangston at 12:23 PM on March 19, 2007

Trust me on this: Anything called Boogaloo or Shing-a-ling.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:25 PM on March 19, 2007

Yardbirds,Yardbirds,Yardbirds...and the best Turtles' song 'She's My Girl'. Smokey Robinson and the Miracles do great stuff to do the stroll to. Sam Cooke's 'Bring it on Home to Me' and Otis Redding 'My Lover's Prayer" are theee best slow dance jams.
How about Desmond Dekker 'The Isrealites' for some early raggae?
posted by readery at 3:17 PM on March 19, 2007

You should be drowning in Beach Boys -- "Fun, Fun, Fun," "I Get Around," all that cars-and-girls stuff. If I were you I'd "get 20 Good Vibrations: The Greatest Hits, vol. 1 (ballads are mostly vol. 2). NB: As perfect as it sounds, do not get the Beach Boys Party album.

Some Everly Brothers ("Bye Bye, Love," "Wake Up, Little Susie") might work, but it borders on being too early and '50sish.

You are going to have "Aquarius / Let the Sun Shine In," aren't you? It may not be the world's best song to dance to, but it is the best shorthand for "trip to the 1960s." How about the Shangri-Las' "Leader of the Pack" for the same reason? And "Build Me Up, Buttercup" for guaranteed karaoke?

You can use some Four Seasons hits -- "Workin' My Way Back to You," "Big Girls Don't Cry."

"Red Rubber Ball" -- The Cyrkle
"I'm 'Enery the Eighth, I Am" -- Herman's Hermits
"Dancing in the Street" -- Martha & the Vandellas
"ABC" -- Jackson 5
"Surf City" -- Jan & Dean
posted by booksandlibretti at 3:44 PM on March 19, 2007

Ok, you want a party, not a fucking museum.
A few suggestions and then a playlist—
Think about the kind of '60s party you want. Do you want Beach Blanket Bingo, Johnny Gunn, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, or Woodstock? The '60s is when rhythm and blues became rock and roll, and when ska first showed up in Jamaica. It's when girl groups took over and when Henry Mancini ruled film.
Any of those things could be a good party. You could make a kickin' mix of all Dick Dale surfing tunes. You could find soundtrack jazz and Morricone albums. You could break out the Strawberry Alarm Clock.
But any one of those things will give you a tighter focus.

From the sounds of it, and correct me if I'm wrong, you're throwing a college party, so the theme will be loose (you don't want anyone feeling outs because they chose Mary Tyler Moore over Joni Mitchell), though again I'd give some thought to a narrower idea than "60s." But that means that your audience is gonna be people who grew up on rock and rap, and that means the best party music will reflect the upheavals of the day: sex, drugs and race. Instead of cheesy standards, go with a handful of dancing r&b tracks.
And for a broader view, I Love Music's singles poll is pretty good:

Now for the songs that I think help a party move, all from the '60s.

Lonely Woman: Ornette Coleman
No Tonic Press: Rahsaan Roland Kirk
Walk On By— Isaac Hayes
Mama Too Tight: Archie Shepp

Handclappin' Time— The Fabulous Raiders
Wine Wine Wine— The Nightcaps
Boom Boom— The Animals
I Ain't No Miracle Worker— The Brogues
You're Gonna Miss Me— The 13th Floor Elevators
My Little Red Book— Love
96 Tears— ? And The Mysterions
Hold On, I'm Coming— Sam and Dave
I Can Hear the Grass Grow— The Move
Him or Me— Paul Revere and the Raiders
You talk sunshine, I breathe fire— The Amboy Dukes
Nothing but a heartache— The Flirtations
Barabajagal— Donovan
You Can't Judge a Book by its Cover— Bo Diddley
Kick-Back— The Buena Vista
A Girl Can't Go By What She Hears— Dee Edwards
Testify— The Parliaments
Funky Miracle— The Meters
Hang In— Question Mark
69— The Vaqueros
Break in the Road— Betty Harris
Makin' Time— The Creation
Tha Thang— Eddie Bo
Don't Mess Around With My Man— Irma Thomas
Blue Green— Los Angeles Smog Division
Move It, Groove it— The Ponees
Ballot Bachs— The Shades
Hallucinations— Baker Knight
My Mind Goes High— M.C.2
Get Out My Life Woman— Allen Toussaint
I Don't Want Your Love— Barbara Howard
Pounds of Soul— Betty Bibbs
Shoorah, Shoorah— Betty Wright
Handa Wanda— Bo Dillis
You're My Girl— The Doo Rights
Do-Wah-Ditty— The Exciters
Hip Drop— The Explosions
Knock on Wood— Ike and Tina Turner
Handclapping Song— The Meters
Alcohol— Robert Jay
And the whole of Ladies of Detroit Soul.

That should get you started, and make for a better party. Though my list didn't conform to this advice, I find that three parts r&b/soul to one part rock works best for keeping people on the floor.
posted by klangklangston at 11:21 PM on March 19, 2007 [1 favorite]

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