Best Rock and Pop Songs with a Harpsichord

Although the harpsichord was developed during the Renaissance and became best known as the keyboard of choice for the Baroque era, some rock and pop artists in the mid 1960s used the harpsichord to gain a suitably baroque-type feel or for the sake of experimenting with different instruments. Feel free to add more examples; they don't have to be Sixties songs, but I can't think of anything from beyond the Sixties off the top of my head.

The Top Ten Best Rock and Pop Songs with a Harpsichord

1 Fixing a Hole - The Beatles

The distinctive intro is played on a harpsichord by, I believe, George Martin.They also used a harpsichord on Piggies and an electric harpsichord on Because. - Gg2000

2 For Your Love - The Yardbirds

The keyboardist who recorded the session was an organ player who came in and realized that there was no organ or piano in the studio. There was, however, a harpsichord, and he used it, thinking "There's no way a song with a harpsichord on it will become a hit". And sure enough, it actually did become a hit; it was their first number one on the British charts. - Gg2000

Just a great song - AliciaMae

3 Play with Fire - The Rolling Stones

Love this song and love how well the harpsicord goes in and I think you should do more things like this because it has really helped to understand how many of these songs have older instruments like the harpsichord. Thank you.

Jack Nitzsche, who frequently played keyboards on Stones sessions from 1964-1966, played the harpsichord on this one. The Stones also used harpsichord on Dandelion, Sittin' on a Fence, Yesterday's Papers, and Lady Jane. - Gg2000

4 Love Me Two Times - The Doors

Ray Manzarek played a harpsichord solo on the song; he said he did it on purpose to confound the listener's expectations. - Gg2000

5 Walk Away Renee - Left Banke

I bought it when it was first released. One of my favorite bands

One of the most unique singles ever made. One of the first ear worms.

This is probably the first proper baroque pop song, so to give it the right flavor, they used a harpsichord. The end result is fantastic. - Gg2000

6 Scarborough Fair - Simon & Garfunkel

The harpsichord is essential to driving the rhythm and setting the mood of the song. - Gg2000

7 You Still Believe In Me - The Beach Boys

I'm not talking about the intro; that is a series of plucked piano strings. I'm talking about the keys during the song itself; that's a harpsichord. - Gg2000

8 Golden Brown - The Stranglers

The only one I know lol - ilovesugarray

Best in my opinion

9 Some Mother's Son - The Kinks

Ray Davies plays the harpsichord here. They also used a harpsichord on the song "Village Green". - Gg2000

10 Burning of The Midnight Lamp - Jimi Hendrix

Jimi himself played the harpsichord, despite the fact that he himself said he couldn't play keyboards. - Gg2000

The Contenders

11 Sunshine Superman - Donovan
12 Skyline Pigeon - Elton John
13 Madrigal - Yes
14 Bills Bills Bills - Destiny's Child
15 Half a World Away - R.E.M.

You can hear it come in somewhere in the middle of the song. It's not front and center in the mix, but it's still there. - Gg2000

16 Our House - Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

Graham Nash plays the harpsichord. It's a nice complement to the song's piano part, which he also played. - Gg2000

17 Citadel - The Rolling Stones
18 Clover Over Dover - Blur

also this - ilovesugarray

After remixing the list for Parklife, I realized that this is a good candidate for the list. - Gg2000

19 Isle of Flightless Birds - Twenty One Pilots

This song has an eerie beginning with a chill harpsichord mixed with the beat.

20 The Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke - Queen
21 The Red Telephone - Love

The harpsichord was played by session musician Don Randi, a member of The Wrecking Crew. He played all the keyboard parts on Forever Changes. - Gg2000

22 Different Drum - Linda Ronstadt

This song was recorded while she was a member of the folk-rock trio The Stone Poneys. Don Randi, the same session musician who played on The Red Telephone by Love, also plays the harpsichord on this song. - Gg2000

23 Mountains of the Moon - Grateful Dead

The harpsichord was played by keyboardist Tom Constanden, their most professionally trained and avant-garde oriented keyboardist. - Gg2000

24 Animals - Muse
25 Baby's Callin' Me Home - Steve Miller Band

I believe the harpsichord was played by Ben Sidran

26 Island - Renaissance
27 The Spirit - Magnum

In the two verses after the first chorus there’s a harpsichord in the background.

28 Thick as a Brick, Pt. 2 - Jethro Tull

The harpsichord comes in at the 7:27 mark of Part 2. - Gg2000

29 You Little Fool - Elvis Costello & the Attractions

The harpsichord was added by Attractions keyboardist Steve Nieve. - Gg2000

30 I Think I Love You - The Partridge Family

I have never been a big fan of The Partridge Family, but this song contains a brilliant harpsichord solo in the middle of the song courtesy of either Mike Melvoin or Larry Knechtel (it's unclear who exactly played the harpsichord on this particular song). - Gg2000

31 I Need You - The Who

The keyboardist on the song is unknown, but for what I've led to be true, the harpsichord was played by John Entwistle. - Gg2000

32 Fly - Nick Drake

Played by John Cale of The Velvet Underground, who also added a viola part to this song. - Gg2000

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