Five Great Songs Released by Musical Icons at 70

Paul McCartney performs on stage, playing the ukelele, on the last day of Hard Rock Calling 2010 at Hyde Park on June 27, 2010 in London, United Kingdom. Photo: Peter Still/Redferns

Hive Five: Our daily listicle of musical musings.

This week, two of rock & roll’s most influential tunesmiths became septuagenarians. In the ‘60s, Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson played musical tag through their respective bands’ milestone albums, with the Beatles’ Revolver upping the ante on the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds, and Brian Wilson answering back with his initially unreleased masterpiece, Smile. Today they’re still hot on each other’s heels; the man who wrote “When I’m Sixty-Four” when he was 16 hit 70 on Monday, and he was followed down that road two days later by his Californian counterpart. With both of these 70-year-old singer/songwriter legends still going strong, each scoring Top 5 albums in 2012, it seems like an unusually appropriate time to take a look at some strikingly youthful-sounding tracks released by other musical icons when they hit the bit 7-0.

1. Jerry Lee Lewis, “Rock and Roll”

Lewis was one of the original architects of rock & roll, so it seemed only natural that a 70-year-old Killer should take over — rather than merely cover — this classic Led Zeppelin tune, with some six-string help from Jimmy Page himself, and turn it into the piano-pumping rockabilly rave-up it was always meant to be.

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