The Songs of Summer #87: ’96 Tears’ by Question Mark & The Mysterians
Time is short today, so this is gonna be quick. ‘96 Tears‘ by Question Mark & The Mysterians from Bay City, Michigan, is not a song about summer. But it is a song for summer. It’s a top-down, windows down, radio cranked up kind of song. It’s a perfect song. It may be the perfect song.
‘96 Tears‘ is the sound of 1966. It’s acknowledged as one of the first big garage rock songs; it’s considered an early prototype for the punk rock movement. It’s ranked #213 in Rolling Stones 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (though it should be ranked much much higher.) It’s the song I hope distant aliens hear first upon discovering signals from our primitive planet; I’d like to imagine them hearing that organ riff drifting out of the cosmos and saying to themselves, “these earthlings are alright.”
There are too many teardrops for one heart to be crying. 96 of ’em.