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Released: 1968

Dutch psych rockers Shocking Blue would score a US Billboard Hot 100 No.1 with 1970's 'Venus' (covered so memorably by Bananarama 16 years later), but 'Send Me A Postcard' is a darker proposition altogether, singer Mariska Veres evoking Julie Driscoll or Jefferson Airplane's Grace Slick as she hollers over fuzzed guitar and the obligatory swirling organ.

 
 
 

Released: April 1963

This paean to the grisly aftermath of an unforgiving curry – or tribute to love's steamy embrace, whatever you fancy – was written by Johnny Cash's future wife June Carter with Merle Kilgore, and originally recorded by June's sister Anita. Cash boosted it with the mariachi horns that give it its overriding, buoyant character.

 
 
 

Released: November 1966

The opening track on Lenny Kaye's 'Nuggets', his essential compilation of late-60s garage and psych rock, 'I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)' was written by professional songwriting team Annette Tucker and Nancie Mantz but musses up its classic structure with needling, distorted guitar from Ken Williams – recorded backwards – and a growling lead vocal from James Lowe.

 
 
 

Released: December 1964

They might have done the gritty thing with 'Ball Of Confusion' and 'Papa Was A Rollin' Stone' or tried overwrought testifying on 'Ain't Too Proud To Beg', but the Temptations song that gets reeled out most these days is this soppy, doo-wopping poem to a girl who makes everything all right. Written and produced by Smokey Robinson with Ronald White, it features David Ruffin's first – silky smooth – lead vocal.

 
 
 

Released: June 1962

Written by Phil Medley and Bert Berns – later to produce Van Morrison's early solo recordings – 'Twist And Shout' would of course become best known for The Beatles' moptop-shaking version. Here The Isley Brothers continue their own shouting theme (after 1959's 'Shout'), taking The Top Notes' 'Shake It Up, Baby' and giving it some welly, eventually climbing into the US Top 20.

 
 
 

Released: February 1965

From the immortal songwriting/production team of Holland Dozier Holland, 'Stop In The Name Of Love' got its title from a rather melodramatic plea to a girlfriend by Lamont Dozier. Whether she stuck around is hazy, but – after Berry Gordy requested the tempo be raised – The Supremes bagged a fourth US No.1 with the song as Diana Ross gave it her beseeching all.

 
 
 

Released: June 1967

'To Love Somebody' was originally intended for Otis Redding , but he died before he could tackle Barry and Robin Gibb's latest masterpiece so the Bee Gees recorded it themselves. Although its chart performance was modest, the song has deservedly been covered on countless occasions by everyone from Jimmy Somerville to Leonard Cohen. That's some vocal range.

 
 
 

Released: July 1968

Like many Cream songs, 'White Room' was written by bassist and vocalist Jack Bruce with the English poet Pete Brown. It was the lead single from the blues-rock supergroup's third album Wheels Of Fire and sees them veering towards more expansive psychedelia, with Eric Clapton's wah-wah guitar chattering away in the verses. It's since been covered by The Vines and speed-metallers Helloween.

 
 
 

Released: February 1961

A chart-topper on both sides of the Atlantic, the signature tune of Michigan-born rock'n'roller Del Shannon is instantly memorable for its "wah-wah-wah" vocal hook and the pizzicato rises and falls played by Shannon's sidekick Max Crook on his Musitron or clavioline, a primitive synthesiser that also makes a distinctive appearance on The Tornados 1962 Joe Meek-produced No.1 'Telstar'.

 
 
 

Released: November 1964

The debut single from Tacoma, Washington's The Sonics is creepy as its title suggests, romping along on a honking riff intercut with frenzied surf guitar freakouts. Home state radio backing made 'The Witch' a major local success and allowed the band to chuck out a few more grimy garage rock sides before a split in 1968 and a place in grunge folklore.

 
 
 
 
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