Essential Oldies Playlist: The Beatles, The Doors, Stevie Wonder, Hot Chocolate, Chuck Berry

Essential Oldies Playlist: The Beatles, The Doors, Stevie Wonder, Hot Chocolate, Chuck Berry

Bring a little party to your oldies playlist 60s and 70s style (minus the recreational drugs…)! Here are a few oldies that will vamp up any playlist. Disclaimer: There will be dancing. Resistance is futile.


1. The Beatles – “Twist and Shout”

The Beatles "Please Please Me" (

The Beatles “Please Please Me” (

This essential Beatles song from 1965 appearing originally on their chart-topping album “Please Please Me” is an upbeat tune that will definitely get you out of your seat. The simple call and response style of this song makes it that much easier to jam out to, and the catchy chord progression is packed with lots of “Ooooh’s” and “Aaaaah’s” that lead into some grungy vocal riffs. The gritty/beachy/bluesy vibe of this song is bolstered by some strong vocals belted courtesy of John Lennon, the sweetheart and everyone’s quintessential Beatle. The song is the most famous single-take in rock history, a very impressive feat, considering the timing and vocal dexterity of this song. Perhaps the most unforgettable usage of this song was in the iconic scene in the 80s movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” where protagonist Ferris Bueller dances in the Macy’s parade in Chicago.



2. The Doors – “Light My Fire”

The Doors 1967 self titled album (

The Doors 1967 self titled album (

This song is arguably one of the most iconic songs of the 60s. The psychedelic song both established The Doors as a force to be reckoned with in the rock community, rocketing them to fame, and single-handedly set the tone for the decade. The song was recorded in 1966 and debuted on the Doors’ 1967 self-titled album. The song’s edgy lyrics make blatant scandalous sex and drug references and got them into trouble on many occasions, including on the “Ed Sullivan Show” back in the 60s. The edgy keyboard switches and improvised keyboard and guitar solos throughout the song make it a unique and unforgettable essential oldies staple.





3. Stevie Wonder – “Sir Duke”

Stevie Wonder "Songs in the Key of Life" 1977 (

Stevie Wonder “Songs in the Key of Life” 1977 (

This song, written and produced by Stevie Wonder himself, is a stunning tribute to jazz legend, Duke Ellington. The song displays Wonder’s true musical genius as the song unravels into a masterful R&B masterpiece, with a rhythmic baseline, swinging tune, and lyrics that pay homage to some of the greats that proceeded him and music itself; the “language we all understand.” The song is a light, happy, tune that will lift your spirit and your mood and make your life feel full. Check out more great songs to jam out to on his 1977 album “Songs in the Key of Life.”





4. Hot Chocolate – “You Sexy Thing”

1977 "Sound Explosion" (

1977 “Sound Explosion” (

1977 powerhouse “Sound Explosion” originally housed this flirtatious tune, and since then it experienced a revival in the 1998 film “The Full Monty” and has been used again and again in TV ads. But beyond this, the song is insanely catchy and upbeat, not to mention sexual. This is one of those songs that can’t help but put a smile on your face. The subject matter of the song, essentially one long pickup line, is such a lighthearted and even humorous topic, that is furthered through the crazy vocal talent of lead singer of this UK band, Errol Brown. Overall, a must-add to your essential oldies playlist.





5. Chuck Berry – “Johhny B. Goode”

Chuck Berry's 1959 album "Chuck Berry is on Top" (

Chuck Berry’s 1959 album “Chuck Berry is on Top” (

This song simply has to be added to any classic rock ‘n roll playlist, for the simple fact that if it did not exist, it can be said with almost complete certainty that no rock song after it would have ever been made. Chuck Berry was the pioneer who preceded the great bands we know and love throughout the 60’s and 70’s era, and from today. It is because of Chuck Berry, and this simple rock song, “Johnny B. Goode,” that anyone can claim the title of a rock band. The brilliance of the song is in the simple genius, the concept of playing a song that makes you rock and dance with the music. Music that moves people, literally and figuratively. The song is such a legendary and fundamental rock song, such a staple, that it has been adapted by many great rock bands that came after the days when Chuck Berry ruled the rock scene: Jerry Lee Louis, Jimi Hendrix, and The Grateful Dead among them.




What are the songs that get you dancing? Leave a response below or shoot me a tweet @JenksUOhMeASoda

Hannah Jenkins

Hannah Jenkins is the genius inventor of the toaster strudel and a compulsive liar. She is a Communications major at Fordham University, an intern at WindUp Records, and is a member of the same club rugby team as fellow blogger and friend Carolyn Ambrosich. Hannah’s area of focus is music/entertainment and fashion. If you enjoy mildly funny observational humor coming from an abrasive and highly opinionated/empowered woman, follow me on Twitter @JenksUOhMeASoda

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