Turn the jukebox on and take a trip down memory lane with some of Singapore’s greatest hits by local bands and singers from the 60s to right now...
‘Majulah Singapura’ may be our anthem, but when it comes to radio airtime, nothing does it best like good ‘ol pop tunes. Racking up the local mainstream charts, YouTube views, iTunes download and Spotify plays, and the rise of social media, local bands and artists like The Sam Willows, Gentle Bones and Tabitha Nauser are marking their territories in the Singapore music scene in great numbers. But let’s not forget the oldies that are goldies. Turn the jukebox on and check out our throwback playlist for a taste of Singapore’s music scene throughout the years…
The swingin’ sixties
You’re the Boy by Shirley Nair & The Silver Strings
This maudlin pop record was no stranger to the decades’ music charts; the radio couldn’t get enough of Shirley Nair’s crooning vocals. You can’t really talk about the sixties in Singapore without mentioning the legendary singer and The Silver Strings — just check out this #SG50 promo video!
My Lonely Heart by The Thunderbirds
Considered one of Singapore’s 60s gems (or rather, jams), this mellow tune features the vocals of Harvey Fitzgerald (who co-wrote the track with Gerry Pasqual) as well as the slide guitar of Derrick Fitzgerald who — lo and behold — used a comb to produce the distinctive sound!
The disco era
Fried Rice Paradise by Dick Lee
Who knew this Singapore Idol judge could string a few Singlish phrases to produce a ’70s hit that makes you crave for a hot plate of fried rice after a listen?
The decade of decadence
Within You’ll Remain by Tokyo Square
Forget the cover or sample debate; don’t pretend you don’t know this East-meets-West soft-pop one-hit wonder from the 80s! Even if it’s not your era, you might have heard it on local TV growing up. Still not convinced? Skip to the chorus and trust us, you’ll find yourself singing along.
Roses by Gingerbread
Another classic from the Class Acts vault, this bittersweet love song is a top favourite amongst the MTV gen (aka Gen X) for a midweek karaoke sesh.
The naughty nineties
Circling Square by Humpback Oak
The nineties isn’t completed without the captivating sounds of Humpback Oak. The alternative folk-rock outfit made a mark in Singapore’s indie scene with its critically acclaimed debut album, Pain-Stained Morning, which features the melancholic track ‘Circling Square’.
November 91 by The Padres
There’s no denying that the indie genre burst into the Singapore music scene in the ‘90s. Alternative bands like The Padres made their mark on the charts with youthful tunes loaded with punchy guitar riffs and energetic beats. Oh, did we mention catchy lyrics to sing along to?
I Want You by Electrico
One of the better known Singapore bands of the ‘00s, Electrico conquered the local mainstream radio with the chart-topping banger ‘I Want You’, catapulting them into the indie-rock scene and landing into Austin music fest SXSW’s 2007 lineup.
Class A Love Affair by The Great Spy Experiment
Another radio hit in the ‘00s, this catchy and uplifting track is loaded with guitar riffs and hooks that were apparent amongst the rising indie bands back in the decade. It’s no wonder it made its way fast into the homegrown mainstream charts, and into the hearts of Secondary and Tertiary students (the majority of its then-fanbase).
The tensies… aka now
Lion City Kia (featuring LINEATH, Akeen Jahat) by ShiGGA Shay
It’s about time a chapalang rap made it into our playlist of throwback tunes. Rapper ShiGGa Shay teams up with LINEATH and Akeen Jahat to produce a rojak track of Singlish, Tamil and Malay verses, as well as crude Hokkien bars, served with true grit — in the spirit of all things Singapore, of course.
Until We Die by Gentle Bones
The soulful crooner that is Joel Tan, better known as Gentle Bones, has the uncanny ability to make fans — and we don’t just mean of the female variety — swoon at his feet. This chillout jam itself has close to a million views — ‘nuff said.
Simple Kind of Life by iNCH
Is there anything this girl can’t do? The musician/actress/all-round artist/co-founder of Invasion Singapore’s electric single ‘Simple Kind of Life’ pays homage to nostalgia with its arts and crafts props, old-school filters and the type of feel-good cheesiness that we absolutely dig.
Body Language (featuring SonaOne) by Tabitha Nauser
This Singapore Idol alumnus is really having her way teasing fans and pop music lovers alike with singles like ‘Bulletproof’ and the latest one ‘Body Language’ featuring Malaysian singer-songwriter/rapper SonaOne. This pure pop number will be sliding into your Spotify playlist after a couple of replays.
Keep Me Jealous by The Sam Willows
Bitten by the mainstream bug, The Sam Willows is taking local music by storm with EDM-infused singles like ‘Save Myself’ and ‘Keep Me Jealous’ which garnered over 300,000 views in three months, and the numbers just keep growing, proving that this stylish quartet is definitely masterful in the art of trendsetting.
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