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Popular songs of 1968: Armstrong, Rolling Stones and Beatles

The history of the best songs of 1968, which became soundtracks and world hits.

Hits 1968: Louis Armstrong, Rolling Stones and more

Continuing to look at different years for the most popular songs, it turns out that what was listened to then is loved and respected to this day. The striking voice of Armstrong, the "groovy" Rolling Stones and the romantic Beatles are classics. Today, these artists will be on our short list of the best songs of 1968.

Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong

"Hey Jude", The Beatles

The song spent nine weeks at number one on the Billboard charts. Her hopeful words were written by Paul McCartney for John Lennon's son Julian. When John and Cynthia Lennon divorced, Paul wanted to support their son and wrote the lyrics to this song along the way. Initially, it was called "Hey, Jule", which Paul later changed to "Hey, Jude". John Lennon liked the song very much. He even insisted on leaving the line that Paul wanted to replace: "the movement you need is on your shoulder". But John said it was the best line in the song.

“He used to say that whenever I wanted to take a line out of a song. Now when I hear this line, I remember John and I feel sad.”

(Paul McCartney)

Interestingly, the song was 7 minutes long, an unusually long composition for the Beatles. The problem was that the maximum length of a single track at that moment was only 4 minutes. Engineers applied new recording methods. So, this song contributed to the development of sound recording.

"Lady Madonna", The Beatles

This song was inspired by pigeons and pianist Fats Domino. How did it happen?

The lyrics were written by John Lennon. It was dedicated to women who manage the household and overcome great difficulties every day. At the same time, Saturday was skipped in the "schedule" of the woman from the song, accidentally or intentionally. Later, Paul joked that, apparently, tired for a week, their heroine had a good rest on Saturday.

Lady Madonna
Lady Madonna

The music for the song was composed by McCartney. It was he who, sitting at the piano, remembered the pianist Fats Domino, popular in the 50s. Paul took his style of performance and game, but the rest, according to Paul himself, was helped to come up with pigeons by ornithologist Tom Morris.

"What a Wonderful World", Louis Armstrong

Perhaps the most famous song of the great Sachmo, loved by music lovers around the world and sounded in a variety of films.

1968 was not such a peaceful year for the US. In fact, at that time the country was on the verge of a new civil war: riots based on racial inequality, the war in Vietnam. Then America needed a song full of hope and peace, and Louis Armtrong became the messenger of peace, singing the song by the duet of Weiss and Thiel with his incredible voice. Here is how Armstrong himself commented on the song:

“Some young guys say to me: “Hey, dad, what a wonderful world we are talking about? And what about all these wars, are they beautiful too? How about listening to old dad for a minute? In my opinion, it is not the world that is bad, but what we do with it. I say: look what a wonderful world could be, give it a chance. Love, baby, love. She has a secret…”

(Louis Armstrong)

It is not surprising that such a light and full of meaning song today has become a classic of the entire musical world.

"(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay", Otis Redding

The 26th place in the list of the greatest hits of all time by Rolling Stone went to the song Otis Redding, published, unfortunately, posthumously.

It seems that the world at that moment was hungry for peace and joy, because that's the feeling that Redding's song evokes. It sounds like wind and waves. Otis wrote it aboard a houseboat he rented in the Californian port town of Sausalito.

Later, songwriter Steve Cropper said that Otis wrote a song about a ship coming into port, and Steve wrote a song about Otis. And this is true: the song turned out not only beautiful, but also a little autobiographical.

The song gained great popularity, reached number one on the US charts and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

"Jumpin' Jack Flash", Rolling Stones

This list would not be complete without the Rolling Stones. Against the background of romance, sadness, bright hopes and calmness, a rebellious, groovy, as they always do, song about Jumping Jack stands out. By the way, "Jumping Jack" has a lot of meanings: it is a sports exercise, and an urban legend, and cheap fireworks, and a state of drug intoxication. All this is very even in the spirit of the group.

Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards recounted how he and Jagger woke up one day at Richards' country home, woken up by footsteps from gardener Jack Dyer. Jagger asked what it was, and Richards replied, "Ah, it's Jumping Jack." That's how it all happened.

The song was a great success and became one of the most recognizable compositions of the Rolling Stones. In total, they performed it at concerts about 1,100 times, the song was also heard in many films.

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