Arts and Culture

Fourteen Songs That Rocked the Radio in 1968

1968 was a sociopolitical crossroads at which a war, political schisms, activism, youth culture, style, the arts and the widening gender gap all converged in a fast moment of change. The exhibit 1968: The Year That Rocked History at History Colorado, which officially opens to the public on Saturday, February 7, at the History Colorado Center, brings all of those divergent directions together; in advance of the show's debut, we're rolling out a suite of lists to prep you for the 1968 experience.

To understand the music of 1968, you have to first understand the year as a turning point where Top 40 hits collided with the age of crafted albums and underground radio. Top 40 was all about the song -- rock, folk, soul, funk, r&b and country tunes mingled freely across the airwaves -- while albums of the late '60s became more complex, with tunes that stretched out and segued into each other. Following is a sampler of what we were listening to in 1968.

See also: Seven Films That Opened Our Eyes in 1968

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd