Five songs from the 1960s that have no business being as great as they are

These five gems were excellent despite being completely different.
The Kinks in the 1960s
The Kinks in the 1960s / Hulton Archive/GettyImages
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The 1960s. What a weird time in music. The birth of heavy rock and roll and better-recorded albums.

Gone were the days of singles being the driver of a musical artist's career. Albums became much more important. Instead of one or two good tracks, an artist needed eight.

Still, nothing works better to grow an LP's appeal than to have some strong singles. The five songs below are all worth your listen for the next 50 years. They had some odd origins, though.

Five excellent songs from the 1960s

The Kinks - "You Really Got Me" (1964)

Listening to early Kinks now is still thrilling - Ray and Dave Davies have a way with words and melody that is eternally impressive - but the bombast isn't quite the same. If you sit a 20-something down in front of a speaker system, they might love the song, but the Kinks don't have the volume that Slipknot has. That was different in 1964.

In the early part of the '60s, rock was still fumbling around a bit from its rockabilly and blues origins. The genre's surface had not yet cooled. The sound was a bit tingy and what one heard on the radio was more poppy than a foreshadowing of Led Zeppelin. This is why a song such as "You Really Got Me" was so refreshing.

If this song had been created ten years later, it would have been metal. The intro guitar riff is aggressive and full of static. Parents still listening to old Bing Crosby tunes might have been worried about their children finding this Kinks record. Plus, the track will get stuck in your head for weeks, and you will be thankful for it.