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Early Rock Music Guide (Part 1)

This is the first of a series of posts that I’m going to put together to chronical some of my most favorite retro-rock-n-roll tracks. I love all of this super-old music, even though it alienates me from probably 98% of my peers and their preference for booty-droppin, trite electro-pop and rap music. I’ll start with just five songs per post (and there will be many).

The truth is that for some reason, I often feel like I’ve heard these songs before even though I clearly haven’t. Discovering Hold Me Tight was kind of like finding something you somehow knew existed, but didn’t actually know existed, and it completely blew my mind. I was born in 1990, but this music from -30 years is more of my era than anything else, and after building up playlists of it for the last few years, I think it’s time I started sharing some of the highlights.

All Through The Night

The Paris Sisters

From some of Phil Spector’s earlier works, this is more of a juvenile-teen song with a really great rockabilly backtrack. This song feels more like a 1950’s song than a 1960’s song, but I include it here just the same. The song is like a wandering through a mid-century high school girl’s mind as she anticipates her first date with some lucky guy who sounds like a real Chad. As you might imagine, it’s incredibly exciting and upbeat, and not-so-secretly, I can’t help but blast this song at full volume in my car as I drive up and down the highway.

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Be My Baby

The Ronettes

Ahh yes, one of the most quintessential songs of the 1960’s. A shining example of Phil Spector’s “Wall of Sound” production technique. Mention this song to any silent or boomer, and watch them light up telling you that this song “was their song.” A product of Brill Building era writers, Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry, and produced by Phil Spector, this song ranked in at No. 2 on the Billboard Pop Single chart in 1963.

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Bossa Nova Baby

The Clovers

Produced by a crack hitmaking team, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, this song rolls along and tells the story of an over-danced man trying to keep pace with his dance-crazed girl. From what I’ve found, there is at least two different versions of this song by The Clovers/Tippie, however several other artists recorded versions of it too, like Elvis Presley.

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Hold Me Tight

The Treasures

This is my most favorite early-1960’s tracks. Originally written by The Beatles, Phil Spector remade an incredibly bland and forgettable song into a lush soundscape that I suspect most people have never had the pleasure to listen to. Using session musicians, session vocalist Pete Anders of The Videls, Spector created one of the best tracks to represent the classic 1960’s rock sound.

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Oh, I Love You

The Ronettes

This is a peculiar song, as in I’m not sure many people know it exists. It’s not even listed in the iTunes catalog (or anyone else’s, for that matter). Which is a shame, because the song is super cute and sounds amazing. I discovered this song accidentally by finding on the B-Side of a 45 for Is This What I Get For Loving You?

Every now and again when I think about this song, I play it and I can’t help but thinking about how futuristic this song sounds, and how mind-blowing it would have been to hear it playing over a radio in the 1960’s.

According to my 45 copy, this song was written by Phil Spector, Gerry Goffin and Carole King.

Key Features

Listen via YouTube