It’s back, and in its final season. AMC’s Mad Men premiered Sunday night, leading the way into 1969, one of the most tumultuous years of the 1960s in culture, politics and social change. And the music, more than perhaps any other era in the last century, defined (and was defined by) it all.
Lou Simon, programmer and mastermind behind SiriusXM’s 60s on 6, gave us his top picks for how he would soundtrack this season with some of the most iconic songs of that year – and perhaps that entire decade.
1) The Chambers Brothers: Time Has Come Today (1968)
Psychedelic soul. A great blending of black and white … in living color!
2) The Who: My Generation (1968)
“Hope I die before I get old …”
3) Plastic Ono Band: Give Peace a Chance (1969)
A generational chant.
4) Bob Dylan: The Times They Are a Changin (1964)
A truly timeless anthem.
5) The Cowsills: Hair (1969)
Visual lyrics. Perfect.
6) The Fifth Dimension: Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In (1969)
The dawning of the age …
7) The Rolling Stones: Mother’s Little Helper (1966)
“Doctor, please… some more of these…”
8) Dion: Abraham, Martin & John (1968)
An ode to four lost men who gave hope to the next generation
9) Jefferson Airplane: White Rabbit (1967)
“Remember what the dormouse said … ‘feed your head.’”
10) The Rascals: People Got to Be Free (1968)
Gospel Rock. “See that train over there … that’s the train of freedom…”
11) The Strawberry Alarm Clock: Incense and Peppermints (1967)
Psychedelic bubble gum fun.
12) Thunderclap Newman: Something in the Air (1969)
“… we’re gonna blast our way through here.”