As you well know, we love music lists. We love to categorize music by decades, delve into each year of each era, and creating a compilation with the 50s, 60s and 70s music seems like one of the most logical things for us to do. We adore understanding the context of each period, organizing music by spoken language and country of origin.
We have divided the music of the 50s, 60s, and 70s into three sections because we believe this is the best way to understand the evolution of pop, rock, and dance or techno music over time. The 70s decade, in this sense, holds an importance that the rest of the decades do not, even though they do in their own way. Why? We provide links to each decade in the following lines.
Because there are great 50s, 60s and 70s singers and bands that span 30 years without breaking a sweat. French like Charles Aznavour, Spaniards like Julio Iglesias, Americans like Elvis Presley, Latin Americans like the Mexican Vicente Fernández, and many more. Also because we love to see how music is understood in each country of the world. In some countries, the romantic music, others for nostalgics or even instrumental. How something that we would never listen to today was the most listened to back then. Our ears have grown older or immature, depending on the opinion, and we love to hear opinions.
The importance of the music of the 50s, 60s and 70s in the world
Without the music of these three decades, it would be impossible to understand the music of the following years. This is mainly because context is everything, like the pendulum law, and in reality what happens in the 80s could be summarized and generalized as the revival of the 50s, the 90s as the revival of the 60s, and the 2000s as the revival of the 70s, each in its own way. While in each subsequent decade the music evolved enough to create unique and own sounds that relativize and separate them from other years, all pay homage and feed on previous groups that influenced their sound.
So, below we show you how to discover our favorite 50s, 60s and 70s songs so you can join us in our fervor for the oldies. We hope you like it as much as we do on absinthe walls, or at least that it serves you to know or recover voices and unique artists of great talent.
The best 50s, 60s and 70s songs in English, Spanish, French and more
Before starting with our selection separated by decades and where we will highlight a total of 10 songs per section (one per year), we leave you here our Spotify playlist with the best music of the 50s, 60s and 70s. A total of 550 songs that will delight all music lovers, regardless of their age. After all, we are looking at the greatest musical classics of the 20th century, with the permission of the 80s and 90s, of course.
In short, I won’t ramble on any longer. Next, our small tribute to what we like most about each decade, even though what you were looking for was the playlist, so we ask you from here not to forget to subscribe. And if you like it, we invite you to visit other playlists from the Spotify profile.
The best 1950s music
The 50s music is important mainly because of the birth of rock and roll. For taking the best of jazz, blues and pop and turning it into rock. Because the 50s are the decade in which youth completely takes over the culture, shedding its role as apprentices and labor among the family. This, added to the fact that globalization was incipient and the pie of the music industry was still heterogeneous and international, leads us for example to the fact that Italian music in the 50s, 60s and 70s was as popular as French music in these decades. A force that has been lost over the years, although French music is still in fashion beyond their language borders
- Dream A Little Dream Of Me, by Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong (1950)
- The Bigger The Figure, by Louis Prima & Keely Smith (1951)
- Singin’ In The Rain, by Gene Kelly (1952)
- That’s Amore, by Dean Martin (1953)
- (I’m Your) Hoochie Coochie Man, by Muddy Waters (1954)
- The Great Pretender, by The Platters (1955)
- Hound Dog, by Elvis Presley (1956)
- Everyday, by Buddy Holly (1957)
- My Baby Just Cares For Me, by Nina Simone (1958)
- Only You, by The Platters (1959)
The best 1960s music
On the other hand, the 60s songs highlight the Anglo-Saxon importance in pop culture. The Beatles weren’t the only ones to explode; the entire British invasion gave rise to hundreds of similar groups in other languages, not to mention direct versions taken from English groups. In Spain, Los Brincos would be the first to come to our mind because of their success over the years, but there would also be Los Mustangs or Los Salvajes, the Spanish version of The Rolling Stones.
Indeed, this is so much so that we’ve even divided the music of the 60s into two. On one hand, we offer the music of the 60s in English, which includes countless unforgettable and immortal artists such as The Kinks, The Sonics, The Beach Boys, The Who, The Doors, or The Animals. And that’s just to name a few, because let’s not forget that we’re talking about a decade with singer-songwriters like Canadian Leonard Cohen, the enormous and unbeatable Bob Dylan, soul greats like Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, or Aretha Franklin, and many more names. Not for nothing, Woodstock closed the decade compiling the best of it so we wouldn’t forget how magical it was.
On the other hand, we have the music of the 60s in Spanish, which has a multitude of names that not only sing in Spanish, but also in French, Italian, or even other languages included in the Spanish State. In this list, you will find artists like Jacques Brel, an irreplaceable Belgian singer-songwriter, bands like Los Sírex, Lone Star, Raphael, or Pino Donaggio, for example. It’s the decade of the yeyé girls and boys, that name that turned the Yeah from the music of the 50s, 60s, and 70s in English into a meaningless shout in other languages, except for being a youth cry eager to dance and love.
- I Just Want To Make Love To You, by Etta James (1960)
- Jump in the Line, by Harry Belafonte (1961)
- Return To Sender, by Elvis Presley (1962)
- Ring Of Fire, by Johnny Cash (1963)
- Fly Me To The Moon (In Other Words), by Frank Sinatra and Count Basie (1964)
- Like a Rolling Stone, by Bob Dylan (1965)
- You Can’t Hurry Love, by The Supremes (1966)
- Good Times, by Eric Burdon & the Animals (1967)
- I Say a Little Prayer, by Aretha Franklin (1968)
- Come Together, by The Beatles (1969)
The best 1970s music
Lastly, we have the list with 500 songs just for you. The music of the 70s is, for us, the best in the world, incomparable with other decades, be they earlier or later. The maturity achieved compared to the previous 20 years is so great that it’s impossible to deny that it’s the best of all. Rock, dying since the 80s, explodes in this decade in a thousand forms, and most are good. Hard rock in full bloom, mature, and tasteful. Soft rock pleasant and musically creative, with great names like ABBA, Bob Marley, Queen, Rod Stewart, or Pink Floyd. A bunch of artists that popular culture associates with the 80s and not. Long live the 70s.
- Paranoid, by Black Sabbath (1970)
- Morning Has Broken, by Cat Stevens (1971)
- Woman, by Barrabas (1972)
- Radar Love, by Golden Earring (1973)
- Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe, by Barry White (1974)
- Please Mr. Postman, by Carpenters (1975)
- Dancing Queen, by ABBA (1976)
- Stayin’ Alive, by Bee Gees (1977)
- One Way Or Another, by Blondie (1978)
- Ring My Bell, by Anita Ward (1979)
(Madrid, 1987) Novelist by vocation, SEO specialist by profession. Music lover, cinephile and reading lover, but in “amateur” mode.