Left to Right: '60's rock icons The Supremes, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, and Jim Morrison of The Doors.
Sixties rock music stars: The Supremes, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors
60's Soul - Stax/Atlantic: Otis Redding, Booker T & The MG's, Carla Thomas, The Mar-Keys, Issaac Hayes, Sam & Dave, The Bar-Kays, Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, Albert King, Johnnie Taylor



British Invasion:  The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Animals, The Dave Clark Five, Herman's Hermits, The Yardbirds, The Hollies, The Kinks, The Troggs




Garage Bands: The Standells, The Kingsmen, The Seeds, The Knickerbockers, The Sonics, Paul Revere & The Raiders, The Leaves, Shadows of Knight, The Castaways, The Leaves, Count Five, ? & The Mysterians


Psychedelic Rock: 13th Floor Elevators, Grateful Dead, The Charlatans, Pink Floyd, Love, Spirit, The Electric Prunes, Strawberry Alarm Clock, Traffic, Soft Machine, Eric Burdon, Jefferson Airplane




Bubblegum Rock: The Archies, 1910 Fruitgum Company, The Ohio Express, Tommy Roe, Tommy James & The Shondells, The Monkees, The Lemon Pipers





Hard Rock: Iron Butterfly, Cream, Led Zeppelin, Vanilla Fudge, Jimi Hendrix Experience, Blue Cheer, Steppenwolf, MC5, Deep Purple, Blind Faith, Ten Years After, The Doors
Rock Music in the Sixties:

In the sixties rock music comes of age and dominates the popular music charts. Elvis Presley continues to score hits in the early part of the decade, but the music continues to diversify with the folk revival, the Brill Building sound, Phil Spector's wall of sound, girl groups and surf music, all
1960's Top 100 Best Selling Albums Worldwide:

  1   The Beatles - Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - 1967
  2   The Beatles - Abbey Road - 1969
  3   The Beatles - Revolver - 1966
  4   The Beatles - The Beatles (The White Album) - 1968
  5   Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin 2 - 1969
  6   The Beatles - Rubber Soul - 1965
  7   The Beatles - A Hard Day's Night - 1964
  8   Leonard Bernstein - West Side Story - 1962
  9   The Doors - The Doors - 1967
10   The Rolling Stones - Let It Bleed - 1969
11   The Beatles - Help! - 1965
12   Jimi Hendrix - Are You Experienced? - 1967
13   Bob Dylan - Highway 61 Revisited - 1965
14   Richard Rodgers - The Sound Of Music - 1965
15   The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds - 1966
16   Jimi Hendrix - Electric Ladyland - 1968
17   Bob Dylan - Blonde On Blonde - 1966
18   Original Cast - Hair - 1969
19   Cream - Disraeli Gears - 1967
20   The Rolling Stones - Beggars Banquet - 1968
21   The Beatles - Beatles For Sale - 1965
22   Bob Newhart
      The Button-Down Mind Of Bob Newhart - 1960
23   Ray Charles
      Modern Sounds In Country & Western Music - 1962
24   Maurice Jarre - Doctor Zhivago - 1966
25   The Rolling Stones - Aftermath - 1966
26   Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto - Getz & Gilberto - 1964
27   The Beatles - With The Beatles - 1963
28   The Beatles - Magical Mystery Tour - 1968
29   Bob Dylan - Bringing It All Back Home - 1965
30   The Beatles - Meet The Beatles! - 1964
31   Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin - 1969
32   John Coltrane - Love Supreme - 1964
33   The Who - Tommy - 1969
34   Bob Dylan - The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan - 1963
35   Herb Alpert - Going Places - 1966
36   Simon & Garfunkel - The Graduate - 1968
37   The Monkees - More Of The Monkees - 1967
38   Judy Garland - Judy At Carnegie Hall - 1961
39   The Rolling Stones - The Rolling Stones - 1964
40   Bob Dylan - John Wesley Harding - 1968
41   Blood Sweat & Tears - Blood, Sweat & Tears - 1969
42   Elvis Presley - Blue Hawaii - 1961
43   The Monkees - The Monkees - 1967
44   Cream - Wheels of Fire - 1968
45   Disney - Mary Poppins - 1965
46   Herb Alpert - What Now My Love - 1966
47   Johnny Cash - Johnny Cash At San Quentin - 1969
48   The Doors - Waiting For The Sun - 1968
49   The Band - The Band - 1969
50   The Velvet Underground
      The Velvet Underground & Nico 1967
51   Original Cast - The Sound Of Music - 1960
52   Jimi Hendrix - Axis: Bold As Love - 1967
53   Blind Faith - Blind Faith - 1969
54   The Rolling Stones - Between The Buttons - 1967
55   Crosby, Stills & Nash - Crosby, Stills & Nash - 1969
56   Van Morrison - Astral Weeks - 1968
57   Stan Getz & Charlie Byrd - Jazz Samba - 1962
58   LOVE - Forever Changes - 1967
59   James Brown - Live at the Apollo - 1963
60   Otis Redding - Otis Blue - 1965
61   Bob Dylan - Nashville Skyline - 1969
62   The Beatles - Yellow Submarine - 1969
63   The Rolling Stones - Out Of Our Heads - 1965
64   Iron Butterfly - In-a-gadda-da-vida - 1969
65   The Beatles - Please Please Me - 1963
66   Frank Sinatra - Nice 'N' Easy - 1960
67   Elvis Presley - Elvis Is Back! - 1960
68   Simon & Garfunkel - Bookends - 1968
69   Creedence Clearwater Revival - Green River - 1969
70   Elvis Presley - GI Blues - 1960
71   Simon & Garfunkel
      Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme - 1966
72   Original Cast - Camelot - 1961
73   Miles Davis - Sketches of Spain - 1960
74   Jefferson Airplane - Surrealistic Pillow - 1967
75   Barbra Streisand - The Barbra Streisand Album - 1963
76   Henry Mancini - Breakfast At Tiffany's - 1962
77   The Rolling Stones
      Their Satanic Majesties Request - 1968
78   Herb Alpert - Whipped Cream & Other Delights - 1966
79   Otis Redding - Dock Of The Bay - 1968
80   Chicago - Chicago Transit Authority - 1969
81   Aretha Franklin
      I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You - 1967
82   Elvis Presley - From Elvis In Memphis - 1969
83   Vaughan Meader - The First Family - 1962
84   Barbra Streisand - Funny Girl - 1969
85   Joan Baez - Joan Baez - 1960
86   Peter, Paul & Mary - Peter, Paul & Mary - 1963
87   Louis Armstrong - Hello Dolly! - 1964
88   John Coltrane - Giant Steps - 1960
89   Frank Sinatra - Strangers In The Night - 1966
90   Johnny Cash - At Folsom Prison - 1968
91   Bob Dylan - Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits - 1967
92   Henry Mancini - The Pink Panther - 1964
93   Jimi Hendrix - Smash Hits - 1968
94   Bee Gees - Best Of The Bee Gees - 1969
95   The Beatles - 'Yesterday' ... & Today - 1966
96   The Moody Blues - Days Of Future Passed - 1968
97   Cream - Goodbye - 1969
98   Original Cast - West Side Story - 1962
99   The Monkees - Headquarters - 1967
100 Simon & Garfunkel - Sounds Of Silence - 1966

1960's Top 100 Best Selling Singles Worldwide:

  1   The Beatles - Hey Jude - 1968
  2   The Rolling Stones - (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction - 1965
  3   Procol Harum - A Whiter Shade of Pale - 1967
  4   The Beatles - I Want to Hold Your Hand - 1964
  5   Roy Orbison - Oh, Pretty Woman - 1964
  6   Elvis Presley - Are You Lonesome Tonight? - 1960
  7   Elvis Presley - It's Now Or Never - 1960
  8   The Beatles - Help! - 1965
  9   The Monkees - I'm a Believer - 1967
10   Frank Sinatra - Strangers in the Night - 1966
11   The Righteous Brothers - Unchained Melody - 1965
12   The Beatles - All You Need is Love - 1967
13   Chubby Checker - The Twist - 1960
14   The Beatles - She Loves You - 1964
15   The Beatles - Yesterday - 1965
16   Archies - Sugar Sugar - 1969
17   The Beatles - Get Back - 1969
18   The Beatles - Hello, Goodbye -1967
19   Nancy Sinatra - These Boots Are Made For Walking - 1966
20   Ray Charles - I Can't Stop Loving You - 1962
21   Chubby Checker - Let's Twist Again - 1961
22   Percy Faith - Theme From 'A Summer Place' - 1960
23   Ben E King - Stand By Me - 1961
24   Petula Clark - Downtown - 1965
25   The Beatles - Penny Lane - 1967
26   The Beach Boys - Good Vibrations - 1966
27   Bee Gees - Massachusetts - 1967
28   The Animals - House of the Rising Sun - 1964
29   Mary Hopkin - Those Were the Days - 1968
30   The Beatles - I Feel Fine - 1964
31   The Beatles - Paperback Writer - 1966
32   The Rolling Stones - Honky Tonk Woman - 1969
33   The Beatles - A Hard Day's Night - 1964
34   Zager & Evans - In the Year 2525 - 1969
35   Elvis Presley - Suspicious Minds - 1969
36   Pat Boone - Speedy Gonzales - 1962
37   The Beatles - Yellow Submarine - 1966
38   Simon & Garfunkel - The Sounds of Silence - 1966
39   The Rolling Stones - Jumpin' Jack Flash - 1968
40   Rocco Granata - Marina - 1960
41   The Byrds - Mr. Tambourine Man - 1965
42   The Beatles - Ticket to Ride - 1965
43   Scott McKenzie - San Francisco - 1967
44   Otis Redding - (Sittin' On) the Dock of the Bay - 1968
45   Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs - Wooly Bully - 1965
46   The Rolling Stones - Paint it Black - 1966
47   The Everly Brothers - Cathy's Clown - 1960
48   The Beatles - Come Together - 1969
49   The Monkees - Daydream Believer - 1967
50   Elvis Presley - Surrender - 1961
51   The Tornados - Telstar - 1962
52   The Righteous Brothers - You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' - 1964
53   Elvis Presley - Return to Sender - 1962
54   The Mamas & The Papas - Monday Monday - 1966
55   Del Shannon - Runaway - 1961
56   Fifth Dimension - Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In - 1969
57   Tommy James & the Shondells - Crimson & Clover - 1969
58   The Box Tops - The Letter - 1967
59   Paul & Paula - Hey Paula - 1963
60   Kingsmen - Louie Louie - 1963
61   The Ronettes - Be My Baby - 1963
62   Elvis Presley - Can't Help Falling in Love - 1962
63   Marvin Gaye - I Heard it Through the Grapevine - 1968
64   Elvis Presley - In the Ghetto - 1969
65   The Doors - Light My Fire - 1967
66   The Beatles - The Ballad of John & Yoko - 1969
67   The Beatles - Can't Buy Me Love - 1964
68   The Drifters - Save the Last Dance For Me - 1960
69   Nancy Sinatra & Frank Sinatra - Somethin' Stupid - 1967
70   Creedence Clearwater Revival - Proud Mary - 1969
71   Bobby Goldsboro - Honey - 1968
72   John Fred & The Playboy Band - Judy in Disguise (With Glasses) - 1968
73   Trini Lopez - If I Had a Hammer - 1963
74   Elvis Presley - (You're The) Devil in Disguise - 1963
75   The Beatles - Lady Madonna - 1968
76   Elvis Presley - Good Luck Charm - 1962
77   The Beatles - Strawberry Fields Forever - 1967
78   Bob Dylan - Like a Rolling Stone - 1965
79   The Four Tops - Reach Out (I'll Be There) - 1966
80   New Vaudeville Band - Winchester Cathedral - 1966
81   The Beatles - Something - 1969
82   Little Eva - The Loco-Motion - 1962
83   Chris Montez - Let's Dance - 1962
84   Tommy Roe - Dizzy - 1969
85   Tom Jones - Delilah - 1968
86   Edwin Hawkins Singers - Oh Happy Day - 1969
87   Roy Orbison - Only The Lonely - 1960
88   Barry Ryan - Eloise - 1968
89   Aretha Franklin - Respect - 1967
90   Mr Acker Bilk - Stranger On the Shore 1962
91   The Marcels - Blue Moon -1961
92   The Moody Blues - Nights in White Satin -1968
93   Ricky Nelson - Hello Mary Lou - 1961
94   The Beatles - We Can Work it Out - 1966
95   The Temptations - My Girl - 1965
96   Percy Sledge - When a Man Loves a Woman - 1966
97   The Beatles - Day Tripper - 1965
98   Sandie Shaw - Puppet On a String - 1967
99   Creedence Clearwater Revival - Bad Moon Rising - 1969
100  Louis Armstrong - Hello Dolly - 1964

Folk Revival: Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Peter Paul & Mary, Phil Ochs, The Kingston Trio, Tom Rush, Judy Collins, Gordon Lightfoot, Arlo Guthrie, John Denver
Girl Groups: The Shirelles, The Chiffons, The Shangri-Las, The Ronettes, The Dixie Cups, The Cyrstals, The Exciters, The Supremes
The Shagri-Las girl groups
Brill Building Sound: Ben E. King, Bobby Darin, Connie Francis, The Righteous Brothers, Neil Diamond, Gene Pitney and many of the girl groups above.





Phil Spector and the Wall of Sound: The Ronettes, The Cyrstals, Ike & Tina Turner, The Righteous Brothers, and later The Beatles and The Ramones.





Surf Music: Dick Dale, The Ventures, The Trashmen, The Chantays, The Surfaris, The Beach Boys, Jan & Dean, The Rivieras



Motown: The Miracles, The Marvelettes, The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, The Four Tops, The Jackson Five, Rare Earth, The Temptations, The Spinners, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
Brill Building sound Ben e. King
Folk Revival album The Freewheelin Bob Dylan
Phil Spector's wall of sound, The Righteous Brothers
The Beatles Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
impacting the early part of the decade. The Motown, Stax and Atlantic labels bring more african-american artists back to the forefront of the pop charts. By 1964 American artists
are sharing the top of the charts with U.K. bands led by the Beatles and The Rolling Stones. In the U.S. garage bands emerge, inspired by the British Invasion sound.

Sixties songwriting moves beyond pop love songs and begins to include social consciousness and political statements. In the latter half of the decade psychedelic music reflects the growing hippie culture. Bubblegum music is created to generate radio friendly pop singles. Album sales begin to gain importance, as a harder rock sound emerges and sows the seeds for heavy metal.

In the sixties, television becomes a major force in rock music as networks try to attract a younger audience. American Bandstand continues with it's afternoon, clean-cut, teen idol format, while the Ed Sullivan Show and other TV variety shows begin showcasing rock bands in prime time. The networks also add the weekly prime time shows Shindig and Hullabaloo featuring dancers and new music for teenage fans.

In the late sixties outdoor rock music festivals begin. First with 1967's Monterey Pop Festival which attracts 55,000 fans per day to a three day concert. In the summer of 1969 the Woodstock Music and Art Fair draws 500,000 people to a three day concert in Bethel, New York.

The Beatles dominate the sixties record charts with 6 of the top 10 albums of the decade and 21 of the decades' top 100 singles. Their nearest competitor is Elvis Presley with 9 of the decades' top 100 singles and 4 of the decades' top 100 albums.

Sixties Genres / Key Artists:
Surf music
Motown, The Supremes
60's soul music, Atlantic, Stax - Otis Redding
British Invasion, The Beatles
garage bands, the Standells album
psychedelic rock music, 13th Floor Elevators
bubblegum rock, The Monkees
Hard Rock, Iron Butterfly
Top 50 Music Artists of the 1960's
Based on Worldwide Sales of Singles and Albums
  1: The Beatles
  2: Elvis Presley
  3: The Rolling Stones
  4: Bob Dylan
  5: The Beach Boys
  6: Frank Sinatra
  7: Cliff Richard
  8: Ray Charles
  9: Herb Alpert
10: Jimi Hendrix
11: The Monkees
12: John Coltrane
13: Jim Reeves
14: The Kinks
15: Roy Orbison
16: Simon & Garfunkel
17: The Doors
18: The Shadows
19: Otis Redding
20: Andy Williams
21: Tom Jones
22: Barbra Streisand
23: The Supremes
24: Cream
25: Led Zeppelin

26: Bee Gees
27: The Who
28: The Byrds
29: Aretha Franklin
30: Johnny Cash
31: The Hollies
32: Henry Mancini
33: Peter, Paul & Mary
34: The Temptations
35: Petula Clark
36: Connie Francis
37: The Animals
38: James Brown
39: Herman's Hermits
40: Chubby Checker
41: Ray Conniff
42: Joan Baez
43: Manfred Mann
44: Donovan
45: The Four Tops
46: The Seekers
47: The Everly Brothers
48: Dave Clark Five
49: Dean Martin
50: The Searchers

The lists above and at right are based on worldwide sales. The worldwide sales information is from Tsort and uses a formula based on splitting the world into four regions based on sales, the USA (about 35%), other English speaking countries (about 20%), the rest of Europe (about 25%) and the rest of the world (about 20%).  We feel this is the best methodology available to show the global impact of a song or album. More detailed chart info is available on the Tsort website. Actual US & UK charts are linked at the bottom of each year timeline on this site.
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