Picked from our playlists of recent months, ten of the best songs to bring people together, selected by the likes of Thurston Moore, Dave Davies, H. Hawkline and Dream Wife.
The Plastic Ono Band - 'Give Peace A Chance'
John Lennon's debut solo release, while still a member of The Beatles. Famously recorded in Lennon and Ono's hotel room with very little equipment, yet going on to become the anthem for the anti-war movement during America's war in Vietnam.
Selected by Thurston Moore. Listen to Thurston Moore's playlist in full here.
George Harrison - 'Give Me Love Give Me Peace on Earth'
Another song from a solo Beatle, taken from Harrison's 1973 solo album 'Living In The Material World'. Most of the album's songs royalties donated to the Material World Charitable Foundation, founded by Geroge Harrison, intended to provide aid for those affected by the Bangladesh refugee crisis at that time. The charity exists to this day with re-releases and inclusion on compilations ensuring a perpetual income for the cause.
Selected by Dave Davies. Listen to Dave Davies' playlist in full here.
Donna Summer - 'I Feel Love'
The combination of Giorgio Moroder's groundbreaking synthesiser use and Donna Summer's evocative lyrics created a song that would influence club music for decades and reportedly stirred Brian Eno to run into a Berlin studio stating to David Bowie, "I have heard the sound of the future", upon hearing it.
Selected by Lois ofPINS. Listen to PINS' playlist in full here.
The Staples Singers - 'If You’re Ready (Come Go With Me)'
A Stax classic taken from The Staples Singers' album 'Be What You Are'. The song later became an anthem for South Africans in 1986 when it was covered by Jonathan Butler and Ruby Turner.
Selected by Derek Ridgers. Listen to Derek Ridgers' playlist in full here.
Bob Marley - 'Redemption Song'
The lyrics of 'Redemption Song' were inspired in part by a speech by Marcus Garvey, specifically the lines "Emancipate yourself from mental slavery" and "None but ourselves can free our minds". Marley would have been aware that his health was failing when he wrote the song in the late 1970s, eventually appearing on the Wailers' final album 'Uprising'.
Selected by Daniel Rachel. Listen to Daniel Rachel's playlist in full here.
Neil Young - 'Lotta Love'
Taken from Neil Young's 'Comes A Time', the song also became a hit for Nicolette Larson who found a recording of the song on a tape on the floor of Neil Young's car, with Young stating that if she wanted it, the song was hers.
Selected by H. Hawkline. Listen to H. Hawkline's playlist in full here.
The Beatles - 'Come Together'
Another song originating from The Beatles and another with its roots lying in a political motive. 'Come Together was originally intended as a campaign song for Timothy Leary's attempt to run against Ronald Reagan for the post of governor of California.
Selected by The Strypes. Listen to The Strypes playlist in full here.
Primal Scream - 'Come Together'
Sharing its title with the previous song, Primal Scream's second single to be taken from 'Screamadelica'. UK versions featured Andrew Weatherall's sampling of Jesse Jackson's opening speech at Wattstax, the 1972 benefit concert organised by Stax records to commemorate the 1965 riots in Watts, Los Angeles.
Selected by Blondey McCoy. Listen to Blondey's playlist in full here.
Talking Heads - 'This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)'
Never one for convention, David Byrne set out to create his own interpretation of a love song with 'This Must Be The Place' in 1982. He later stated "I don't think I've ever done a real love song before. Mine always had a sort of reservation, or a twist. I tried to write one that wasn't corny, that didn't sound stupid or lame the way many do. I think I succeeded; I was pretty happy with that."
Selected by Dream Wife. Listen to Dream Wife's playlist in full here.
Chic - 'Good Times'
Arguably the greatest disco tune of all time and certainly one of the best bass hooks in the history of popular culture. The 1979 song is one of the most sampled tunes of all time, becoming one of the staple go to sources for early hip-hop subculture, with The Sugarhill Gang's 'Rapper's Delight' appropriating the bass line that same year.
Selected by Chris Floyd. Listen To Chris' playlist in full here.