I’ve finally finished reading Bob Stanley’s excellent Yeah Yeah Yeah, in which he covers pop history in the age of the physical single (from the early-to-mid 1950s to about the end of the century, when Napster, iTunes, Spotify etc changed things). It’s an education, reading the book - there’s lots of very interesting stuff he discusses that I’d never heard, and I thought I had a pretty well-rounded knowledge of things (and the Britishness of his perspective puts a different spin on things too). Anyway, it’s a book that definitely benefits from having Spotify playlists to go to when you want to hear what things sound like; the book is divided into five parts, and I’ve made a playlist for each of the five parts. I’ve tried to make sure I’ve got original recordings, but they’re not always available and I might have gotten things wrong. To my surprise, these playlists I made for my own amusement have been super popular on Spotify because other people have clearly had the same impulse - the first one has 43 followers.
Anyway, above is Part Two: the Beatles, of course, aren’t on Spotify, but it inevitably starts with them (and Merseybeat in general), before getting into the world of 1960s soul (the Impressions, Aretha), psychedelia (Love, Pink Floyd), and bubblegum (The Monkees, Ohio Express).