Welcome to Rock of Agers

Welcome to Rock of Agers

Friday, September 9, 2016

1966: A Great Year in Music - Kicks

If you're a long-time music lover, you probably have a favorite music year, a period when the songs stand out for multiple reasons. For me, that year is 1966
In 1966, I was 14 years old and a freshman in the South Jersey high school I attended. 
Although I didn't know it at the time, it would prove to be one of the greatest years for garage rock, a type of music named because bands just starting out would learn and practice these 3- and 4-chord songs, which were relatively easy to rehearse and then perform live at local dances. And most of these bands would rehearse either in the garage or the basement of whatever member had the most tolerant parents.
I should probably add one more thing here. 1966 was the year I joined one of these garage bands as a keyboard player. It's a role I would find myself in off and on for the next 40 years. And even though I'm no longer performing live, I still keep a couple of keyboards set up for my enjoyment in my writing office.
So periodically here in Rock of Agers I want to highlight some of my favorite songs from 1966. I'll tell a little about the tunes and sometimes a little about myself. But more importantly, thanks to YouTube, you can listen to the artists and see if you can hear some of what I and the rest of my generation first heard then. 
 Kicks - Paul Revere and the Raiders


The great songwriting team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil originally wrote "Kicks" for The Animals, but Eric Burdon and the group turned it down.

Considered one of the earliest anti-drug songs, "Kicks" reached number four on the charts in the United States, but as the hippie culture began emerging later in the decade the message of the song was considered outdated.

However, many garage bands of the mid-60s head the song on its setlist and in 2004 "Kicks" was ranked number 400 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

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