In the world of popular music, 1965 was an incredibly productive and creative year. Many of the rock classics not just of of the 1960s but of the 20th Century came from that year, as the list of songs on this page attest. 1965 was the year in which the folkies went electric. The great turning point was the Newport Folk Festival. Bob Dylan turned up to perform with an electric guitar, and was practically booed off the stage, but he had shown the new path for folk music. And the Byrds had their first big hit with Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man," using that record to show how folkie songs could be built on a Beatle-esque sound (the first time group founder Roger McGuinn saw The Beatles on tv, he went right out to buy a Rickenbacker 12-string guitar just like George Harrison's).
1965 to 1967 saw the most amazing experiments and changes in rock music ever. The simplest way to watch those changes is to review the back and forth record releases by The Beatles and The Beach Boys, perhaps the two most innovative recording groups of the mid 60's. By 1965 these groups became more studio-oriented and less interested in performance-friendly songs. Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys had a nervous breakdown while on tour at the beginning of 1965, so he stopped touring and concentrated on working in the studio. John Lennon and Paul McCartney of the Beatles also became more interested in the production angle, collaborating more with their longtime producer George Martin.
Top 20 Singles of 1965
1. Que Sera Sera - Normie Rowe and the Playboys
Melbourne born Normie Rowe burst onto the Australian popular music scene in 1965 with three hit singles that had been recorded in London. The first was an updated version of 'It Ain't Necessarily So' from Porgy and Bess, followed by a revival of the Ben E.King ballad, 'I (Who Have Nothing)' and later in the year, this amazing double-sided hit, 'Que Sera Sera/Shakin' All Over'. The A-side was a bouncy version of a Doris Day hit of the previous decade. Rowe's arrangement was inspired by a recording of it by Earl Joyce & The Olympics, a Liverpool band that appeared in the Gerry & The Pacemakers film, Ferry Across the Mersey. The song was written by Ray Evans and Jay Livingston; they also wrote (and Livingston sang) the theme song to the TV show, Mr. Ed. The phrase "Que Sera Sera" came from the movie, The Barefoot Contessa, in which the character Rossano Brazzi's family motto was "Che Sera, Sera." Doris Day sang it in the Alfred Hitchcock movie, The Man Who Knew Too Much, whilst she was putting her young son to bed. She was a little reluctant to record it because she felt it was a children's song.
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2. Walk In The Black Forest (instrumental) - Horst Jankowski & his Orchestra
At the mere mention of German pianist Horst Jankowski's name, one immediately thinks of his famous hit record ' A Walk in the Black Forest' (Eine Schwarzwaldfahrt), yet this is only the best known of a vast number of songs recorded by Jankowski & his Orchestra. Berlin born Jankowski (1936-1998) was a classically trained pianist most famous for his easy listening music. Jankowski went on to score a string of successful albums, but moved on in the 1970s to concentrate more on jazz, including covers of pop and rock hits.
3. Day Tripper/We Can Work It Out - The Beatles
Both songs were recorded in the middle of a busy touring schedule to fulfil a recording contract obligation, which might explain why 'Day Tripper' in particular has rather flat vocals. In markets where these two songs were paired as a single, it was the first Beatles single to not make No.1 anywhere in the world but the UK. The lyrics of "Day Tripper" are reminiscent of "Ticket To Ride" and would be later analysed and misinterpreted as being drug related. "We Can Work It Out" is a brilliant example of Lennon-McCartney collaboration at a depth that happened only rarely after 1963. This song, and "A Day in the Life", are among the notable exceptions. McCartney wrote the words and music to the verses of "We Can Work It Out"; the lyrics might have been personal and therefore are perhaps a reference to his relationship with Jane Asher. McCartney then took the song to Lennon, and Lennon wrote the words and music to the middle eight. With its intimations of mortality, Lennon's sixteen-bar bridge contrasts typically with what Lennon saw as McCartney's cajoling optimism. As Lennon told Playboy magazine in 1980, "You've got Paul writing, 'We can work it out / We can work it out' - real optimistic, y'know, and me, impatient: 'Life is very short, and there's no time / For fussing and fighting, my friend.'" Based on those comments, some critics overemphasized McCartney's optimism, neglecting the toughness in passages written by McCartney, such as "Do I have to keep on talking until I can't go on?" The Beatles recorded "We Can Work It Out" on 20th October 1965. They spent nearly 11 hours on the song, by far the longest expenditure of studio time up to that point. It could be classified as The Beatles' first peace song. It pre-dates "All You Need Is Love" by two years and "Give Peace A Chance" by four years. The single, released as the follow-up to "Help!", was their eleventh Parlophone single and ninth Beatles No.1 in the UK. "We Can Work It Out" seems to have influenced Neil Diamond when writing "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You", a hit for The Monkees two years later, which has a very similar theme and sentiment.
4. The Carnival Is Over - The Seekers (right)
The Seekers began performing together as a folk group in the Treble Clef Coffee Lounge in Melbourne in 1962. They had a minor hit with a bright version of 'Waltzing Matilda' in 1963 but it was the contemporary Tom Springfield composition, 'I'll Never Find Another You' that set them onto the road of fame and fortune as leading Australian recording artists. 'The Carnival Is Over', also a Springfield composition, was their biggest hit, one of three No.1's; it stayed in the charts for an amazing 29 weeks and is the song they are most remembered for. It was also the group's last single to make the Top 20 charts nationally. At its peak, the song was selling 93,000 copies per day and is No 30 of the biggest selling singles of all time in the United Kingdom. Lead singer Judith Durham loved the song on first hearing it but the others needed a little persuasion before agreeing to record it. The Seekers closed their concerts with the song. "The Carnival Is Over" was sung by The Seekers (with singer Julie Anthony taking the place of Judith Durham), at the very end of the Expo '88 Closing Ceremony. The Seekers were supposed to have sung "The Carnival Is Over" at the end of the closing ceremony for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, but Judith Durham had broken her hip and was not able to take part, so it was cancelled. However, they sang the song at the conclusion of the 2000 Summer Paralympics, with Judith Durham seated in a wheelchair. 'The Carnival Is Over' is based on the melody of the Russian folk song Stenka Razin (or Stenka Rasin). It was performed by the Osipov State Russian Folk Orchestra (balalaikas and domras) during their 1967 tour of Australia. The tune is also used in a Dutch hymn "Vol Vervachting Blijf Ik Uitzien". The video featured here is from their farewell concert in London 7th July 1968.
5. Help! - The Beatles
Released simultaneously as a single with the album of the same name, the song is the first to be written by The Beatles that did not follow the boy-meets-girl romance theme; instead it expresses John Lennon's increasing inability to cope with the fame and pressure of being a Beatle. He intended to sing it at a slower pace, like the excellent cover version by John Farnham some years later, but was out-voted. Lennon has described this time of his life as his "fat Elvis period." In a 1971 interview with Rolling Stone, Lennon said this is one of his favorite Beatles records, because, "I meant it it's real." The former Beatle added: "The lyric is as good now as it was then. It is no different, and it makes me feel secure to know that I was that aware of myself then. It was just me singing 'Help' and I meant it." McCartney helped Lennon write the song, but says did not realize it was actually Lennon calling for help until years later. There are different lyrics on the album and single versions.
6. 20 Miles - Ray Brown & the Whispers (right)
One of three hit singles for Ray Brown & the Whispers in 1965, '20 Miles' was a cover of the B-side of Chubby Checker's dance single, 'Let's Limbo Some More', released two years earlier. Dean Ford & The Gaylords, a Glasgow band that was later known as Marmalade, had success with a cover of the song in Britain in 1964, and it is on their version that the Ray Brown version was based. Brown grew up in Hurstville, Sydney, and at the age of 15 became a clerk in the Customs Department. Around that time he formed a rock'n'roll group, originally called The Nocturnes, and they soon became regulars at Sydney's famous Surf City, along with Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs. "20 Miles" was the first of a string of hits they enjoyed over the next couple of years. Like others of his era, Ray went to the US seeking fame, but it illuded him. He returned to Australia in 1970 to form the band Moonstone, then One Ton Gypsy, but he was unable to repeat the success he enjoed fronting The Whispers.
7. Pride/Say It Again - Ray Brown & the Whispers
'Pride' was first recorded by US singer Brent Edwards though it was a cover by British group Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas that influenced Brown to record the song. Other compositions by its writers Johnny Madara and Dave White include Danny & the Juniors' 'At The Hop' and Lesley Gore's 'You Don't Own Me'. Madara and White, with Ray Gilmore, wrote Johnny Farnham's debut hit 'Sadie The Cleaning Lady'. The trio were all members of The Spokesmen, the group that recorded 'Dawn Of Correction' (1965), an answer to Barry McGuire's 'Eve Of Destruction'. 'Say It Again' was a cover of a P.F. Sloan / Steve Barri composition recorded by Canadian Terry Black that appeared on his 1964 album, The Black Plague.
8. I'll Never Find Another You - The Seekers
This, The Seekers' first No.1 hit, was written especially for them by Tom Springfield, formerly of the British group The Springfields which disbanded when their lead singer and Tom's sister, Dusty, right the band for a solo career. The song was recorded in Britain after The Seekers travelled to Britain by boat, having paid their fares by performing on the ship. Promoter Eddie Jarrett heard them perform at the Queen's Theatre in Blackpool, signed them up and got them a recording contract. Springfield heard them and believed they had the right sound to sing a number of songs he had written for the The Springfields to sing prior to their breakup.
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9. Il Silenzio - Nino Rosso
Born Raffaele Celeste Rosso, Nino Rosso was an Italian born brass player and composer whose music has been used in many films. The tune, 'Il Silenzio' featuring Rosso on trumpet, is an instrumental version of the title song of the 1964 album, Il Silenzio (Bonsoir mon amour), by Dalida, an Egyptian-born singer, of Italian origin, who was a popular singer in France. Il Silenzio was written in 1965 by trumpet player Rosso and Guglielmo Brezza and has sold more than 10 million copies. Famous cover versions are by Dalida, who performed this song in French and German, Eddie Calvert and Roy Black. A Maori version was done by New Zealand entertainer Dean Waratini in the 1980s. Nini Rosso’s Il silenzio is a variation of the 'Bugle Call', a.k.a. 'Taps', written by by Gen. Dan Butterfield in 1862, which is universal among almost all the armed forces of the world.
10. I Told The Brook - Billy Thorpe & the Aztecs (right)
1965 was a big year for Billy Thorpe. In that year he performed live with his band at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne, in front of a crowd of 63,000. At that time, he was so popular, he had three singles charting at the same time, and this ballad was one of them. 'I Told The Brook' was written and recorded by American recording artist Marty Robbins in 1961 at a time when when he was at the peak of his career. The Australian cover was a major hit in Brisbane and a lesser hit elsewhere around Australia in that year.
11. A Lover's Concerto - The Toys (right)
This song was written by American songwriters, Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell, and recorded in 1965 by the girl group, The Toys. Their version of the song was a major hit worldwide. Critic Dave Thompson wrote, "Few records are this perfect. Riding across one of the most deceptively hook-laden melodies ever conceived ... 'A Lover's Concerto' marks the apogee of the Girl Group sound." The song also had an unusual structure that blurred the differences between its verses and choruses. Linzer and Randell based the melody on the familiar Minuet in G major (BWV 114) from J.S. Bach's Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach. One key difference is that the Minuet in G major is written in 3/4 time, whereas "A Lover's Concerto" is arranged in 4/4 time. (Although often attributed to Bach himself, the Minuet in G major is now believed to have been written by Christian Petzold. The Notebook, a gift from Bach to his second wife Anna, begins with works by Bach but also included many blank pages, onto which members of the family copied works that they liked to play; the famous minuets in G major and G minor are not in Bach's handwriting.) The Toys (Barbara Harris, Barbara Parritt and June Montiero) met in high school and were signed by Sandy Lizer and Denny Randell, who wrote this for them. The group broke up in 1968. The song has been covered by Diana Ross & The Supremes, Sarah Vaughan, Jane Morgan, Kelly Chen and Floyd Cramer Orchchestra. It was also used in the movie Mr Holland's Opus to demonstrate the timelessness of a classic tune.
12. Rock And Roll Music/Honey Don't - The Beatles
The first single lifted from the Beatles For Sale album, it features the excellent lead vocals of John on the Chuck Berry standard, 'Rock And Roll Music', a song that was written by Berry in 1957 and strongly influenced Lennon's choice of a career in rock music. Lennon has a ball singing the song and gave perhaps the best ever recorded performance of it. John, Paul and producer George Martin all played the piano backing - on the same piano at the same time while blues legend Willie Dixon played bass. The Beatles played it at their early concerts and recorded it on Chuck Berry's 38th birthday. It was one of their favorite songs to play live, and they used it when they needed an additional track for their album Beatles For Sale. On the B-side, drummer Ringo sings the Carl Perkins' rockabilly classic, 'Honey Don't', also written in 1957, and sung in Ringo's likeable sing-along style. It was recorded on 26th October 1964 after Perkins visited them on the last day of recording for their fourth album, Beatles For Sale. The Beatles were big fans of Perkins, and didn't change much about the song at all, which was rare for a Beatles cover. It is the only officially released Beatles song that was covered by each member individually: Lennon recorded it for the soundtrack of his homemade film Clock; McCartney recorded it with Carl Perkins during sessions for Paul's Tug Of War album; Ringo performed it with Perkins for the 1986 TV special Blue Suede Shoes: A Rockabilly Session With Carl Perkins And Friends, and Harrison played it in 1987 when he took the stage at a Taj Mahal concert.
13. She's So Fine - The Easybeats (right)
This was the first single to be released by The Easybeats, an Australian group comprised mostly of migrant teenagers who put the band together during their sojourn at the Villawood Migrant Hostel in Sydney. The tune and lyrics are very basic and amateurish by today's standards, but the song was a sample of things to come from the songwriting/production team of Harry Vanda and George Young, two of its founding members, and their band that rocked the 1960s.
14. Yesterday/Act Naturally - The Beatles
This single is a case of the sublime and the ridiculous. Both songs were lifted from the Help! album - Ringo sings the Vonnie Morrison/Johnny Russell composition 'Act Naturally' in rockabilly style (John almost misses entirely the last strummed acoustic chord!). Buck Owens was the first to record the song, though a battalion of artists including Hank Locklin, Brian Hyland, Charley Pride, Cowsills, Jody Miller, Andy Stewart and Homer & Jethro have also recorded the classic hit, which by April 2006 had earned a massive $20 million in royalties. The lyrics were written in 1961 by Johnny Russell who had just returned Russell who returned to to California after a failed Nashville foray. The song came about as the result of a casual comment made by Russell during a phone conversation. "I had a date and the record company that I was working for called and told me I had to come to Hollywood for a session. I called the girl and told her I had to cancel our date. She asked, 'Where you going?' and I said, 'I'm going to Hollywood. They're gonna put me in a movie and make me a big star.' I wrote the song in about 15 or 20 minutes. I never called the girl again, but I had a song."
On the A-side - 'Yesterday' - Paul turns what was originally going to be an instrumental into a sublime lament to lost love that hovers around the top of the list of the 20th Century's best songs. Effectively a Paul solo, it features no other vocals but his and a simple guitar and string quartet accompaniment brillantly crafted by producer George Martin. McCartney wrote this song and for the first time, a Beatle recorded without the others, marking a shift to more independent accomplishments among the group. While Lennon and McCartney wrote The Beatles early songs together, by 1965 most of their songs were primarily written by one or the other, although they continued to give joint credit. This was the first Beatles song that could not be reproduced live without additional musicians. When they played it live, including their famous Shea Stadium concert, it was just McCartney with an acoustic guitar. Of the song, McCartney claims that while touring in Paris, he tumbled out of bed and the tune was in his head. He thought he had heard it somewhere before, and played the melody to different people in the music industry to make sure he wasn't stealing it. The working title was "Scrambled Eggs" until Paul could figure out lyrics. McCartney wrote most of the lyrics during a 5 hour car trip from Lisbon to Albufeira (in Algarve, south of Portugal), in May 1965, when he was on vacation with Jane Asher. The villa where Paul and Jane stayed was owned by Shadows' guitarist Bruce Welch. Bruce has said that when he was packing to leave, Paul asked him if he had a guitar because (Paul) was working on the lyrics since the airport. Not only was Paul with Jane Asher when he wrote 'Yesterday', but he was introduced to classical music by her. Paul appears to have been inspired by a 19 century Neopolitan classcal piece called 'Piccere Che Ven Dicere'. Said Bruce: "He borrowed my guitar and started playing the song we all now know as 'Yesterday'. A studio technician recalls: "The original tune that Paul played was completely altered with a new chord structure by musical director, George Martin, who was present at the session. George, however took no credit for this - or any other Beatles melody, which I'm sure he helped refine!."
This song caused a rift between McCartney and Yoko Ono. When The Beatles Anthology album was released, McCartney asked that the writing credit on this read "McCartney/Lennon," since he wrote it. Yoko refused, and it was listed as "Lennon/McCartney," which is how they usually credited songs written by either Beatle (between Please Please Me and With The Beatles, the song credits turned from McCartney/Lennon to Lennon/McCartney). In 2003, McCartney switched the writing credit for the first time when he listed 19 Beatles songs on his Back In The US album as "Paul McCartney and John Lennon." Paul claims he and John made an informal agreement in 1962 regarding the credits, but he had every right to switch it if he chose. Yoko disagreed. 'Yesterday' was the first Beatles song to capture a mass adult market; most of their fans were young people up to this point, but this song gave the band unversal appeal and credibility. 'Yesterday' is the most covered pop song of all time, with over 3,000 versions recorded according to The Guinness Book Of World Records. For years, it was also the song with the most radio plays, but in 1999 BMI music publishing reported that "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" had passed it. Still, at any given time, some version of "Yesterday" is probably being broadcast somewhere.
15. In The Midnight Hour - Ray Brown & the Whispers
Ray Brown & the Whispers were a Sydney-based band who cut their music teeth alongside Billy Thorpe & the Aztecs performing at Sydney's famous Surf City. 'In The Midnight Hour' ranks with '20 Miles', 'Pride', 'Fool, Fool, Fool' and 'Same Old Song' among the band's most memorable recordings. "In The Midnight Hour" is a cover version of a Wilson Picket song which charted in the US and UK in 1965. Steve Cropper and Wilson Pickett wrote this at the Lorraine Motel, which was located near the Stax studios in Memphis. On 4th April 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was shot there while standing on the balcony. When Pickett and Booker T and the MG's first tried to record the song, nobody liked the result - then producer Jerry Wexler had the idea to change the rhythm so that the teenagers could dance the jerk. According to Booker, the sight of Wexler demonstrating the dance to the band was most memorable and amusing.
16. Goldfinger - Shirley Bassey
Shirley Bassey, who grew up in Tiger Bay in South Wales, was the daughter of a West Indian seaman. She began singing at the age of 16 at the clubs in and around Cardiff. Her recording career began in the mid-1950s and she soon became a highly regarded British singer with her powerful renditions of popular songs. It seems improbable now, but her first chart success came with a cover version of 'The Banana Boat Song'. Her next big chart success, 'Kiss Me Honey Honey Kiss Me', was also untypical of the work for which she would later become internationally recognised, although it was probably that record that drew public attention to the strength and beauty of her voice. 'Goldfinger' was the title song of the James Bond movie of the same name. Her success with singles began to fade towards the end of the 60s, but her popularity on LPs was undiminished. She became a resident of Switzerland during the 1970s and later, supposedly, retired there. However, she still performs regularly if infrequently and remains one of the most glamorous and significant performers to have emerged from the UK entertainment industry.
17. Love Letters - Billy Thorpe & the Aztecs
A revival of a Ketty Lester song, 'Love Letters' was released at the end of 1965 and became the 5th single by Thorpe and the Aztecs to chart that year. Lester's version was a top 10 hit in the US upon its release in 1962. Little has been published about her early career, although she appears to have been adept at both singing and acting. By the early 1960s, Lester had toured Europe with Cab Calloway's orchestra and earned positive notices for her work in an off-Broadway production of "Cabin in the Sky". In 1962, Lester had a hit with "Love Letters", resulting in a full-length album of the same name. In the 1970's, she landed recurring roles on TV shows such as "Days of Our Lives" and "Little House on the Prairie".
18. You're The One - Petula Clark
Petula Clark began as a singing child prodigy. Promoted and tutored by an enthusiastic father, she had started singing professionally at the age of seven when she became a familiar voice on wartime radio. By the end of the 1940s she was an established singing artist and she also appeared as an actress in several films of the era. Her series of successful singles continued into the 1960s, though her record sales were still largely in the UK and France. However, in 1964 she teamed up with songwriter Tony Hatch; this partnership would sustain her recording career for several more years, during which she developed a new, younger audience who were totally unaware of her precocious beginnings. The first of the 'reinvented Petula Ckark' hits was the international smash hit 'Downtown' (1965). In 1965, three other singles were released, including the self-penned 'You're The One', and all were chart toppers. By the end of the 1970s her production rate of singles had slowed down and the hits finally ceased. At this point she resumed her acting career, but remained a popular singing star who can look back on an astonishingly successful and lengthy career.
19. Crying In The Chapel - Elvis Presley
'Crying In The Chapel' was recorded in Nashville in October 1960 but was not released until April 1965. Unlike most of the Elvis' songs released in the mid-1960s, it was not featured in any of his movies as it came from a library of previously unreleased songs. Written by Artie Glenn, the song was first recorded in 1953 by Darrell Glenn, reaching the Top 10 of the charts. Its success resulted in several covers which also hit the Pop Top 10. The Orioles and Ella Fitzgerald also recorded cover versions. It became a much performed song especially among Gospel groups, and in 1960 Presley recorded a version at his 1960 Gospel album His Hand In Mine sessions with his vocal backup group The Jordanaires and Floyd Cramer on piano. However its release was withheld because Colonel Parker wanted the publishing rights. Neal Matthews of The Jordanaires recalled, "Elvis was feeling really good that day. He fooled around with it and then he cut it in five minutes." In 1965 RCA released it as an Easter single and to their surprise it became Elvis' biggest single for over two years, giving his career a much needed shot in the arm. The Chapel in the song is a real church - the Loving Avenue Baptist Church in Ft.Worth, Texas.
20. Hucklebuck/I Ran All The Way Home - Brendan Bowyer
A native of Waterford city, Ireland, Brendan Bowyer became a popular musician in Ireland as lead singer of the Royal Showband, and enjoyed a string of hits, of which this is one. 'The Hucklebuck' is the only recording by Bowyer to be a hit outside of the UK. A talented musician and composer, Bowyer has written many songs, including 'You Gave Me A Mountain' (Elvis Presley). Chubby Checker wrote the song in 1949; it quickly became immensely popular in post-war black communities, both as a song and a dance. When the song was written to do the Hucklebuck was to have fun. The word's use as a sexual position only came into use in the 1990s. Back then, it was recorded by everyone: everyone from Sinatra and Louis Armstrong to Pearl Bailey, Kate Smith, Lucky Millinder, Earl Hooker, Annette Funicello, Mickey and Sylvia, Bo Diddley, King Curtis, Johnny and the Hurricanes, Xavier Cugat, and Count Basie. In 1953, Count Basie's sideman Buck Clayton organized a jam session that recorded a 20-minute version of the Hucklebuck. Basie himself finally recorded the song a decade later.
10. Little Boy Sad - MPD Ltd
Composed by Wayne Walker, 'Little Boy Sad' was the first hit of the newly formed Melbourne beat trio, MPD Ltd. The 'M', the 'P' and the 'D' were for Mike Brady, Pete Watson and Danny Finley. Mike came out as a migrant kid from Britain on the Fairsea on the same voyage as the brothers Gibb (later The Bee Gees) and Red Symons of Skyhooks fame. Mike and Pete met in the Shadows-style band The Phantoms, and Danny had been drummer with another instrumental band, The Saxons. After MPD Ltd split, Mike Brady was later responsible for numerous well-known advertising jingles, and, as one half of Two Man Band, had a hit in 1979 with the Australian Rules football song 'Up There Cazaly'. 'Little Boy Sad' was first recorded in 1961 by Johnny Burnette (1943-1964) who formed the rockabilly Johnny Burnette Rock'n'Roll Trio in the wake of Elvis's success recording with a trio at Sun Records. 'Little Boy Sad' was also recorded by Paul Peterson (1962, B-side of his No.6 US hit 'My Dad') and by country artist Bill Phillips (1969).
Other hits and landmark songs of 1965
Like A Rolling Stone - Bob Dylan (right)
It begins with the single noise of a snare shot and kick drum that sounds appropriately like the thump of a judge's gavel prior to a judgement being delivered; what follows is one of the most damning, acidic dismissals of a person ever written. The song is so pointedly nasty, so harsh and unforgiving, that it is almost scary. "Like A Rolling Stone" is probably the quintessential Bob Dylan song; in 1976 New Musical Express called it "the top rock single of all time". Some have called it the ultimate rock song which defines the genre, others describe it as the benchmark by which all others that followed are judged. The simple, relentless and repetitive refrain of "How does it feel" is brilliantly complimented by some of Dylan's most caustic and biting lyrics. Like all of Dylan's work in the '60s, "Like A Rolling Stone" is more impressive when you connect the almost amateur-sounding melodic rock to Dylan's indisputable mastery of poetry and words, creating such marvellous imagery that is still remarkably unrivalled. The song opened the Dylan album, Highway 61 Revisited, which is regarded as one of the classic, landmark rock albums of all time. It was the only song on the album produced by Tom Wilson, who produced Dylan's second album, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan. Wilson had been a Jazz producer and was brought in to replace John Hammond. Wilson invited Al Kooper to the session, and Al produced the famous organ riff that drove the song. Kooper was primarily a guitarist who went on to be a very successful music producer. If you listen very closely at the beginning of this song, you will notice that the organ is an 1/8th note behind everyone else. Kooper wasn't an expert on the organ, but Dylan loved what he played and made sure it was turned up in the mix. This was the last song Wilson worked on with Dylan, as Bob Johnson took over production duties.
On the first day of recording, five takes of the song were recorded, none of which were complete takes. The lack of sheet music meant the song was played by ear, and the essence of the song was discovered along the course of the chaotic session. The first few takes were done in a markedly different style - in a 3/4 waltz time, with Dylan on piano. It took four takes to reach the chorus and, following the chorus and harmonica fill, Dylan interrupted the song, saying, "My voice is gone, man. You wanna try it again?" The next day of recording saw two rehearsal run-throughs and fifteen recorded takes, the song by now evolving into its recognizable form, in 4/4 time with Dylan on electric guitar. Kooper remembers today, "There was no sheet music, it was totally by ear. And it was totally disorganized, totally punk. It just happened." Following the fourth take - the master take as officially released - Wilson happily concluded, "That sounds good to me." During the same session they recorded this song, Wilson got Dylan's band put down the backing track for Simon and Garfunkel's Sounds of Silence album, which might explain why they have a similar sound.
The title is not a reference to The Rolling Stones. Dylan got the idea from the Hank Williams song "Lost Highway," which contains the line, "I'm a rolling stone, I'm alone and lost" which was doubtless inspired by the phrase "A rolling stone gathers no moss." Dylan says "Like a Rolling Stone" is distilled from a 24-page short story he wrote about a society girl turned lonely street urchin. The lyrics that made it into the song are only a small part of what was in the story. What is amazing is how the song morphed from the relatively benign and thoughtful piece it started out as into the venomous tirade that it became - a masterpiece from a defiant, angry, plugged-in Dylan. Over the years people speculated on the identity of "Miss Lonely" the most obvious one being Joan Baez whose relationship with Dylan was rapidly disintegrating, but that would be too transparent. She herself thought that it might be Bobby Neurwith, a Dylan confidant whom she detested. Others say it was written about one time debutante Edie Sedgwick, who was part of Andy Warhol's crowd. She was the subject of an emotional tug of war between the Dylan camp and the Warhol camp. Sedgwick certainly fits Dylan's description, however Dylan did not become involved with her until after this song was written and recorded. It has also been auggested that this song may be about Marianne Faithfull. In her autobiography she mentions him trying to seduce her while in London in 1965 and writing a song about her which he then tore up. She was a society girl/debutante type who was engaged to another man (John Dunbar) that Dylan thought she was wasting her time with, and marrying beneath herself. The timescale is right, as this happened during the filming of 'Don't Look Back', which also featured a sequence of him tinkering with a song on piano which seems to contain several of the 'Rolling Stone' chord progressions. Some saw the song as autobiographical, Dylan pointing the finger at himself in a rare moment of self awareness - perhaps not as ridiculous as it sounds, but he himself was less specific, he said it was "...just a rhythm thing on paper all about my steady hatred directed at some point that was honest. In the end it wasn't hatred. It was telling someone something they didn't know. Revenge. That's a better word..." Whatever the sentiment that inspired it, "Like A Rolling Stone" illustrates Dylan's rare ability to write a song that can mean a million different things to a million different people at a million different times in their million different puzzle pieces called life.
Pushin' A Good Thing Too Far - Little Pattie (right) / Dinah Lee (shared)
Teenage pop star Little Pattie's real name was Patricia Amphlett (she is a cousin of Divinyls singer Chrissie Amphlett). Her career kicked off at the end of 1963 with a double-sided surfie hit, "He's My Blonde-Headed, Stompie Wompie, Real Gone Surfer Boy", with "Stompin' At Maroubra" as the B-side. She later moved on from the surf novelty with a number of well-chosen and well-produced songs. Another version of "Pushin'" was released by the dynamic New Zealander Dinah Lee (born Diane Jacobs, 1943). The original version of the song by US recording artist Barbara Lewis was released in 1964. The songwriters Bob Crewe, Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell - especially Bob Crewe - wrote many of The Four Seasons' hits. Randell and Linzer wrote and produced The Toys' 'A Lovers' Concerto', based on a melody by J.S. Bach.
Fool, Fool, Fool - Ray Brown & the Whispers
1965 was the zenith year in the recording career of Ray Brown & The Whispers with a bevy of hits to their credit. 'Fool, Fool, Fool' is a cover of a Rudy Clark composition released by US group, Little Joey and The Flips, in 1964. South Africa's equivelant to Australia's Easybeats, The A-Cads, recorded a cover as did American soul singer Roosevelt Grier. 'Fool, Fool, Fool' is very similar in its content and theme to the hit song, 'Mockingbird', as recorded by Johnny O'Keefe.
All Day and All of the Night - The Kinks (right)
The second hit record by the British band The Kinks. Like their previous hit, "You Really Got Me", the song relies on a simple sliding power chord riff, although its riff is slightly more complicated, incorporating a B Flat after the chords F and G. Otherwise, the recordings are similar in beat and structure, with similar background vocals, progressions, and guitar solos. Digital Dream Door voted this as the 61st greatest Rock Guitar Riff of all time and the 7th greatest song of 1964.
All I Really want To Do - The Byrds / Cher (right)
This Bob Dylan conposition was first released on Dylan's 1964 album, Another Side of Bob Dylan. Musically simple though playful, "All I Really Want to Do" is essentially a list of all the things Dylan doesn't want to do or be to the listener. This song has also been interpreted as a parody of the way men were beginning to respond to the growing feminist movement, by assuming that platonic friendship is the only truly equal relationship. "All I Really Want to Do" was Cher's debut single as a solo artist. A version by The Byrds, also released in 1965, was equally as popular and became a hit as well.
Barbara Ann - The Beach Boys
This song was written by Fred Fassert and first performed by The Regents in 1961, and was not a Beach Boys composition as is generally thought. Brian Wilson and Dean Torrence (Jan & Dean), who had previously recorded the song as one half of Jan and Dean, are featured here on lead vocals. Dean is not credited on the album jacket but "Thanks, Dean" is said by Carl at the end of the track. Its recording was purely an accident - the tape recorder was right on during a coffee break and when they returned, Brian and Dean started singing the song to warm up their voices, and the others joined in as they returned. The Beach Boys' record producer heard the recording and liked it - and the rest is history.
California Girls - The Beach Boys
Written by Mike Love and Brian Wilson, this song was recorded by The Beach Boys for their 1965 album Summer Days (And Summer Nights!). The song "California Girls" is on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll list. Rolling Stone ranked it No.71 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. According to Brian Wilson, shortly after taking the drug LSD for the first time, he ran up to a bedroom and hid under a pillow, shouting "I'm afraid of my mom, I'm afraid of my dad." He then got up, said "That's enough of that", went to a piano and started playing the B-F#-G# bass pattern over and over, and then added in the right hand playing a B chord, before moving to an A chord. Within a half hour, he had come up with the line, "well east-coast girls are hip, I really dig the styles they wear". The next day, he and Mike Love (who had hitherto allegedly not consumed illicit substances) supposedly finished off the remainder of the song; interestingly, Take Eight announces the song as "You're Grass and I'm a Lawn Mower." Brian Wilson claims that not only did this particular LSD trip produce one of his greatest compositions, it also right him with a threatening voice in his head permanently, paving the way for the mental illness that would haunt him for decades. The song would be covered by former Van Halen lead singer David Lee Roth on his 1985 EP Crazy from the Heat (with background vocals contributed by Beach Boy Carl Wilson along with Christopher Cross), and made the top ten.
Catch The Wind - Donovan (right)
The folky sounding "Catch the Wind" marks the first release by Scottish singer/songwriter Donovan (Leich) who wrote it. When Epic Records was compiling Donovan's Greatest Hits, they were either unable or unwilling to secure the rights to the original recordings of "Catch the Wind" and "Colours". Donovan rerecorded both songs with a full backing band, and re-recordings had to be included on the greatest hits album. The CD release of the album uses the 1965 album version instead. Despite popular belief, this song has nothing to do with Bob Dylan, though Donovan was often dubbed as Britain's answer to Bob Dylan.
Ferry Cross The Mersey - Gerry & The Pacemakers (right)
'Ferry Cross the Mersey' is the name of a 1965 song, film, and soundtrack album, all related to Liverpool and the Mersey Sound, as well as the Mersey Ferry, which still runs from Liverpool to Birkenhead. The song was a worldwide hit and introduced many countries to the group. The film, directed by Jeremy Summers, is one of the more uncommon artifacts of the Mersey scene, shown very rarely on television and never issued on video. It was the first to be shot on location in Liverpool after the city's emergence into the music mainstream (which had previously seen only Frankie Vaughan, Russ Hamilton, and Billy Fury as stars). For authenticity, many scenes were shot in clubs near Gerry & the Pacemakers frontman Gerry Marsden's home; a scene on the river via an actual ferryboat showed the docks as a backdrop. Marsden wrote nine new songs for the film which also starred Cilla Black, Jimmy Savile and The Fourmost. The soundtrack was in effect the second Gerry & the Pacemakers album and also included music by the George Martin Orchestra.
Hang On Sloopy - The McCoys
In 1965, The Strangeloves, a rock band who purported to be from Australia, decided to make this song the follow-up to their hit single "I Want Candy", and began performing the song in concert. However, the Dave Clark Five, who they were touring with, told The Strangeloves that they were going to record their own version of the song, copying the Strangeloves' arrangement. The Strangeloves realized that the Dave Clark Five's version would probably outsell their own, but they were still enjoying success with "I Want Candy" and did not want to release a new single yet. So the trio - who were, in reality, three successful writer/producers from Brooklyn, New York - recruited a group from Dayton, Ohio - Rick and the Raiders - to record the song instead. The group's name was changed to The McCoys (to avoid confusion with another popular band of the era, Paul Revere and the Raiders). They simply added vocals and a guitar solo to the already-completed Strangeloves backing track, and the single was released on Bang Records. It entered the chart in August 1965, effectively beating the Dave Clark Five to the charts and went on to hit No.1 on 2nd October. The song has been adopted as the official rock song of the U.S. state of Ohio. It was written by Wes Farrell and Bert Russell and is named for Dorothy Sloop, a singer born in Steubenville, Ohio on 26th September 1913 who used the name "Sloopy" on stage. She died July 1998 in Pass Christian, Mississippi. The song was originally titled "My Girl Sloopy" and was first recorded by The Vibrations in 1964. It has also been recorded by Arseno Rodriguez (1966), The Supremes (1966), The Kingsmen (1966), Little Caesar and the Consuls, The Yardbirds, Saving Jane, Jan & Dean (1966) and Die Toten Hosen (2002).
Heart Full of Soul - The Yardbirds
A song by the British band The Yardbirds, lifted from the 1965 album, Having a Rave Up. The song makes an early use of the fuzz box by guitarist Jeff Beck during the guitar solo. Originally a sitar was going to be used, as the song was influenced by Eastern music. There is an alternate version in release featuring the sitar. In one way or another, all three of The Yardbirds' key guitarists were involved with "Heart Full Of Soul". Although it is Beck who plays on the song, the U.S. single was released with a picture sleeve erroneously showing the Eric Clapton lineup.
Here Comes the Night - Them
Written by Bert Berns, who also co-wrote "Piece of My Heart" (covered memorably by Janis Joplin), "Under the Boardwalk" for The Drifters, and "Twist and Shout" for The Isley Brothers, 'Here Comes The Night' was the third single for the band called Them, whose lead singer was Van Morrison. Jimmy Page played guitar on this arrangement. Andy White (the part-time Beatle's drummer) and Tommy Scott performed backing vocals with Phil Coulter on keyboards. Coulter later said, "I knew I'd heard a smash. It was the first time I'd ever heard a hit record in its emerging state." After the record was released, Them immediately was sent on a public relations push with television appearances on Ready Steady Go! and Top of the Pops. Van Morrison has remarked on this, "Them were never meant to be on Top of the Pops, I mean miming? Lip syncing? We used to laugh at the programme, think it was a joke. Then we were on it ourselves. It was ridiculous ..."
I Got You Babe - Sonny & Cher (right)
Sonny Bono, a songwriter and record producer for Phil Spector, wrote the song for himself and his wife, Cher, late at night in their basement. Noted session drummer Hal Blaine performed the drums for the song. Bono was inspired to write the song to capitalise on the popularity of the term "babe", as heard in Bob Dylan's "It Ain't Me Babe" which was a hit for The Turtles. Upon recording and releasing the song, "I Got You Babe" became the duo's biggest single, their signature song, and a defining recording of the early hippie countercultural movement. The song has been frequently covered and featured in film and television, including Sonny and Cher's own The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour. "I Got You Babe" made a bit of a comeback when it was heavily featured as Bill Murray's wake-up call in the 1993 movie, Groundhog Day. Upon this re-release, the single re-charted. The song was later covered by Cher in a music video that featured Beavis and Butthead as a rapt audience to Cher's performance. In the video, Cher refers to her former husband Bono as a dork and a wuss. Sonny and Cher last performed the song together during an impromptu reunion on NBC's Late Night with David Letterman in 1987. The song was placed at No.444 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of all time.
Five O'Clock World - The Vogues
A song for the working class about the relief brought by the 5 o'clock bell at the end of a long workday. Back in 1965 a lot of factories still had whistles and bells to call and dismiss their workers. This song was written by Allen Reynolds, who went on to great success as Garth Brooks' record producer. The song, one of only a handful featuring yodelling to ever reach the record charts, was used as the opening of The Drew Carey Show for the first few seasons; the intro theme was later changed to "Cleveland Rocks". This and "You're the One" were the only international hits for The Vogues who hailed from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.
I Hear A Symphony - The Supremes (right)
A hit record for the Motown label., the song was written and produced by Motown's main production team Holland-Dozier-Holland. In mid-1965, they came to realize they had fallen into a rut when The Supremes' "Nothing But Heartaches" failed to make it to the top ten, missing it by just one position and breaking the string of No.1 Supremes hits initiated by "Where Did Our Love Go." Motown chief Berry Gordy was displeased with the performance of "Nothing But Heartaches," and circulated a memo around the Motown offices that read as follows: "We will release nothing less than Top Ten product on any artist; and because the Supremes' world-wide acceptance is greater than the other artists, on them we will only release No.1 records." H-D-H therefore set about breaking their formula and trying something new. The result was "I Hear a Symphony," a song with a more complex musical structure than previous Supremes releases. "Symphony" was released as a single in place of "Mother Dear", which had been recorded in the same style as their earlier hits. "I Hear a Symphony", later issued on an album of the same name, became the Supremes' sixth No.1 hit worldwide. Lead vocals by Diana Ross; background vocals by Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson; instrumentation by The Funk Brothers.
The Last Time - The Rolling Stones
Although the song is credited to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, it is said to be heavily based on a traditional gospel song first recorded by the Staple Singers. It was recorded in Los Angeles in 1964 with the assistance of Phil Spector, whose producing-style can be heard throughout the track. It is rumoured that Brian Jones came up with the main guitar riff of the song (which repeats throughout the song - one of the first pop songs to do this). A performance of this song by the Stones is one of the few taped recordings from the early years of Top of the Pops show that still exists, and is therefore often shown on nostalgia shows in the UK (most early TOTP performances have long been wiped). In 1967, The Who rush-recorded a version of this song and "Under My Thumb", reportedly to show support for The Stones, who were being detained in England for alleged drug possession. The day the single was released, however, The Stones were released.
Mrs Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter - Herman's Hermits (right)
Written by Trevor Peacock, the best-known version of the song is by Herman's Hermits, who took it to No.1 in April 1965. Herman's Hermits had two U.S. number-ones, the other being "I'm Henry VIII, I Am". The band disliked both songs, and never released them as singles in Britain. "Mrs Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter" featured rhythm guitar by Keith Hopwood. To help revive their sinking fortunes, Herman's Hermits' management pursuaded MGM to make a movie starring Herman's Hermits. It became the British comedy, Mrs Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter, it starred the group's members and told a story about Mrs Brown, her daughter and her jilted lover from whose perspective the song was written.
My Girl - The Temptations
Written and produced by Miracles members Smokey Robinson and Ronald White, the song became The Temptations' first No.1 single, and is today their signature song. Robinson's inspiration for writing this song was his wife, Miracles member Claudette Rogers Robinson, and he originally intended to have his group record the song. The recorded version of "My Girl" was the first Temptations single to feature David Ruffin on lead vocals. Previously, Eddie Kendricks and Paul Williams had performed most of the group's lead vocals, and Ruffin had joined the group as a replacement for former Temptation Elbridge "Al" Bryant. While on tour as part of the Motortown Revue, a collective tour for most of the Motown roster, Smokey Robinson caught the Temptations' part of the show. The group had included a medley of soul standards in the show, one of which, The Drifters' "Under the Boardwalk", was a solo spot for Ruffin. Impressed, Robinson decided to produce a single with Ruffin singing lead. After some persuasion from Ruffin's bandmates, Robinson had the Temptations record "My Girl" instead of The Miracles, and recruited Ruffin to sing the lead vocals. The success of this single launched a series of Ruffin-led hits, including "Since I Lost My Baby" and "Ain't Too Proud to Beg". The former background figure quickly became the group's main (and, excepting irregular leads by Kendricks and Williams, only) lead singer by the end of the year. Unfortunately, after this hit as well as "Ain't Too Proud to Beg", Ruffin started to develop a large ego and was later fired from the group. Now considered a classic Motown tune, "My Girl" has been frequently covered since the 1960s, including versions by other Motown stars such as Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye, and bands such as The Rolling Stones and the Irish band Westlife.
(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction - The Rolling Stones (right)
A riff driven rock song written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards for The Rolling Stones and produced by Andrew Loog Oldham. Rolling Stone magazine ranks the song as No.2 on its 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. It also made No.1 on VH1's 100 Greatest Rock and Roll Songs of All Time. In Europe, the song initially played only on pirate radio stations because its lyrics were considered too sexually suggestive. Jagger has credited "Satisfaction" with popularising The Rolling Stones, and suggested that its success was due to its reflection of the "spirit of the times". Keith Richards came up with the guitar riff for the song during the Rolling Stones' fourth tour of the United States in 1965. Richards claims that one night he suddenly woke up, turned on a tape recorder, and promptly played on his guitar the riff that opened "Satisfaction" before returning to bed. He would later describe the tape as: "2 minutes of 'Satisfaction' and 40 minutes of me snoring." Jagger wrote the lyrics for the tune, trying to make a statement about the rampant commercialism that the Stones had seen in America. Ironically, despite him having dreamt up the riff that created the hit (much like Paul McCartney dreamt up the tune for "Yesterday"), much of Richards' ideas for "Satisfaction" were eventually dropped, including the horn section he had wanted. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine's panel of judges, which included Art Garfunkel (formerly half of the duo Simon and Garfunkel) and former Beach Boy Brian Wilson, named "Satisfaction" as the second-greatest song of all time, coming in second only to Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone".
The Sounds of Silence - Simon and Garfunkel (right)
This was the song that propelled the 1960s folk music duo Simon and Garfunkel to popularity. It was one of the songs the duo was performing in 1964 when they were starting playing the folk clubs in Greenwich Village, New York. Simon took six months to write the lyrics in the aftermath of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on 22nd November 1963. Many believe he wrote the lyrics as a way of capturing the emotional trauma felt by many Americans right by the sudden death of a vigorous and visionary leader. Simon himselfwhich are about man's lack of communication with his fellow man. He has said that the opening line "Hello darkness my old friend" refers directly to his plight with bipolar. The line "Ten thousand people, maybe more ... people talking without speaking, People hearing without listening" is said to sum up exactly how people with bipolar and autistism feel when they are in a large crowd with everyone talking, yet they feel so isolated.
Simon & Garfunkel's first recording was an acoustic version on their first album, Wednesday Morning, 3 AM. Despite the fact that in the liner notes Art Garfunkel described "The Sound of Silence" as "a major work" for the duo, the Wednesday Morning, 3 AM. album flopped on its initial release. The duo then split up, with Simon going to England for much of 1965. There he often performed the song solo in folk clubs, and recorded it for a second time on his solo LP, The Paul Simon Song Book, in May 1965. In the meantime, Simon and Garfunkel's producer at Columbia Records in New York, Tom Wilson, had learned that the song had begun to receive airplay on radio stations in Boston, Massachusetts and around Gainesville and Cocoa Beach, Florida. On 15th June 1965, immediately after the recording session of Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone", he took the original track from the album and overdubbed the recording using the same musicians who backed Dylan on "Like a Rolling Stone" - featuring electric guitar (Al Gorgoni), electric bass (Bob Bushnell), and drums (Bobby Gregg). The new version was released as a single without Simon or Garfunkel's consent or knowledge. The song entered the U.S. pop charts in September 1965 and slowly began its ascent. Simon learned that it had entered the charts minutes before he went onstage to perform at a club in Copenhagen, Denmark, and soon afterwards he returned to the United States, teamed up with Art and went back into the studio to cut follow-up recordings.
Unchained Melody - The Righteous Brothers
One of the most recorded songs of the 20th century, by some counts having spawned over 500 versions. The lyrics were written by Hy Zaret and the melody composed by Alex North. In 1955, North used the music as a theme for the now obscure prison film, Unchained, hence the song's rather obscure title. That same year, the song finally saw commercial release; one week saw no fewer than four different versions - by Jimmy Young, Les Baxter, Al Hibbler and Liberace - in the British top 30 charts in May and June 1955. It finished fifth in the voting for the 1955 Academy Award for Best Original Song. Though many people recorded the song prior to The Righteous Brothers, the first international hit version was by Harry Belafonte, who also sang it at the 1956 Academy Awards. There is also an extremely uptempo doo-wop version by Vito & the Salutations. The song has has the unique distinction of being a UK No.1 hit for four different acts: Jimmy Young (1955); the Righteous Brothers (1990 - although it was first recorded by them in 1965); Robson & Jerome (1995); Gareth Gates (2002). Anorther well known version is the one produced by Phil Spector in 1965, credited to the Righteous Brothers, but performed as a solo by Bobby Hatfield, who later recorded versions credited solely to him. "Unchained Melody" reappeared on the Billboard charts in 1990, reaching No.19, after The Righteous Brothers' version was used in the film, Ghost.
You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' - The Righteous Brothers
A No.1 hit single by The Righteous Brothers, the song was chosen as one of the Songs of the Century by RIAA. It was also ranked at No.34 on the list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time by Rolling Stone. According to BMI, the song was the most played song on US radio in the 20th century, thanks in part to it being featured on the soundtrack for the movie Top Gun. Written by Phil Spector, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, it is one of the foremost examples of producer Phil Spector's "Wall of Sound" technique. Among the background singers in the song's crescendo is a young Cher.
"Uptight (Everything's Alright)" - Stevie Wonder (right)
One of Wonder's most popular early recordings, it was a watershed in Wonder's career for several reasons. Aside from the number-one hit "Fingertips", none of Wonder's singles had reached the Top 40 charts, and the fifteen-year-old artist was in danger of being let go by his label, Motown. In addition, Wonder's voice had begun to change, and Motown CEO Berry Gordy was worried that he would no longer be a commercially viable artist. As it turned out, however, producer Clarence Paul found it easier to work with Wonder's now-mature tenor voice, and he and Sylvia Moy set about writing a new song for the artist, based upon an instrumental riff Wonder had devised. The resulting song, "Uptight (Everything's Alright)", features lyrics which depict a poor young man's appreciation for a rich girl who looks beyond his poverty and sees his true worth.
Help Me Rhonda - The Beach Boys
Written by Brian Wilson and his cousin Mike Love, the song became The Beach Boys' second No.1 single after "I Get Around"/"Don't Worry Baby". The recording features Al Jardine singing the gutsy lead vocal, and it is considered by critics and fans alike to be Jardine's greatest vocal performance to date. There are two versions of the song, the single version that was recorded at Universal and Radio Recorders Studios in Hollywood on 24th February 1965, and a version entitled "Help Me, Ronda" that was recorded two weeks earlier. Featured on the single version were regular Wrecking Crew members Hal Blaine on drums, Glenn Campbell on guitar and Carol Kaye on electric bass. Carl, Dennis and Brian Wilson, Mike Love and Bruce Johnston provide the backing vocals. The single version has a different arrangement, one word is changed in the lyrics, another guitar and a piano part are added, there is no harmonica, and there are different backing vocals, including the "Bow-wow-wows". The first version's recording session was interrupted by the Wilson brothers' father, Murry, arriving in the studio drunk. He sat in on the session for over 30 minutes, berating the band and making odd demands; "Help me Rhonda ... bang ... syncopate it ..." An mp3 of the whole session can be heard online. This audio verifies many of the Murry Wilson horror stories described in the Steven Gaines book, Heroes and Villains: The True Story of The Beach Boys. On the recording, Brian can be heard deflating Murry (for a split second) by reminding him that Brian was deaf in one ear from one of Murry's blows to his head. The song was only ever considered to be an album cut, however, radio stations began to play the track and a single version was recorded soon after. It was such a big hit it was included on the next album too.
I Got You(I Feel Good) - James Brown (right)
Commonly known as "I Feel Good", this song became one of Brown's signature songs, and is arguably his most widely-known recording, though the single failed to make the top 10 and received little airplay on its initial 1965 release in Australia. Brown's vocal performance features his trademark shouted vocals and screams. The song's form is a twelve bar blues. Its brass-heavy instrumental arrangement is similar to that of Brown's previous hit "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag", including the trademark emphasis "on the one" (i.e. the first beat of the measure) that characterizes Brown's then-new funk style. The song also features a prominent tenor sax solo by Maceo Parker. Of Brown's 99 hits to reach the US Billboard Hot 100 (a total second only to Elvis Presley) "I Got You (I Feel Good)" is Brown's highest charting song, peaking at No.3 in the US. The song has also been covered many times by other performers, and is frequently played at sporting events. "I Got You (I Feel Good)" has appeared in numerous film soundtracks, including The Nutty Professor, Good Morning Vietnam, Home Alone 4, Dr. Dolittle, Boat Trip, Astérix & Obélix: Mission Cléopâtre, K9 and Garfield: The Movie.
What's New, Pussycat? - Tom Jones (right)
This song was the follow-up to Jones' first hit - "It's Not Unusual" - and saw the singer returning to the raunchy style of song that had launched his career, after having released four conservative-sounding singles in 1965 that had failed to chart. It would followed by a further string of hits in a similar vein, including "Help Yourself" and "Delilah".
Stop! In the Name of Love - The Supremes
Released on the Motown label, this song was written and produced by Motown's main production team Holland-Dozier-Holland. The fourth of five Supremes songs in a row to go No.1, it is remembered as one of the most popular songs of the late 20th century. The song had its origin in an argument Lamont Dozier had with his girlfriend; when she began to walk out the door, he yelled out "stop... in the name of love!" Both Dozier and his girlfriend began laughing and reconciled; and Dozier had the seed for the next song he would write. The Supremes' choreography for this song, with one hand on the hip and the other outstretched in a "stop" gesture, is equally legendary. Paul Williams and Melvin Franklin of The Temptations taught the girls the routine backstage in London, before the Supremes' performance on the BBC television special, The Sound of Motown, hosted by Dusty Springfield. The song was honored by inclusion in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's permanent collection of 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.
The Little Old Lady From Pasadena - Jan & Dean
"The Little Old Lady from Pasadena" was an imaginary icon of the period based on the local folklore premise that Pasadena, California was a city with one of the largest death rates in the US. Many elderly couples retired to Pasadena in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s as refugees from the Dust Bowl, from the Great Depression and post-World War II. After a time the husbands died, and the widows were right with the home. But in the garage would be the man’s car, that in most cases, she didn’t drive an old Buick Roadmaster, 1950s Cadillac, a vintage Ford, an old Packard, Studebaker, De Soto, La Salle etc. Used car salesmen were often spoofed as saying the previous owner was "a little old lady from Pasadena who only drove it to church on Sundays," thus suggesting the car had been only gently used. From this premise Jan and Dean sang a song dedicated to the little old ladies from Pasadena, one of whom, in the case of this song, has a hot "Super Stock Dodge" in her garage. The twist: unlike the usual story, this little old lady not only drives the hot car, but is a street racer who can't be beaten. The little old lady on Jan and Dean's album cover was portrayed by Kathryn Minner who starred in one of the largest Dodge commercial campaigns of the 1960s and says her famous tag line: “Put a Dodge in your garage, honey!” The song was written by Don Altfeld, Jan Berry and Roger Christian. Writing the song
Long Live Love - Sandie Shaw
The fifth single by 1960s British girl singer Sandie Shaw, it was her first No. 1 single in Australia (her second British No.1), and was written by Chris Andrews. With its catchy tune, Shaw was so confident that the song would be a hit that she turned down the song "It's Not Unusual," which then became a very big hit for Welsh singer Tom Jones. Her instinct was indeed right and "Long Live Love" spent three weeks at the top of the UK singles chart in June of 1965. The song was later recorded in 1983 by Tracey Ullman for her album You Broke My Heart In 17 Places and again in 1992 by actor Nick Berry and used in his television series Heartbeat.
Eve of Destruction - Barry McGuire (right)
A protest song written by P.F. Sloan, several artists have recorded it, but the best-known recording was by Barry McGuire. This recording was made between 12-15 July 1965. The accompanying musicians were top-tier LA session men: P.F. Sloan on guitar, Hal Blaine (of Phil Spector's "Wrecking Crew") on drums, and Larry Knechtel on bass. The song had initially been presented to The Byrds as a Dylanesque potential single, but they rejected it. The Turtles, another LA group who often recorded The Byrds' discarded or rejected material, recorded a version instead. Their version was issued as an album track shortly before McGuire's version was cut. It eventually hit number 100 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1970.
Barry McGuire was one of the first rock protest singers, with a worldwide hit that echoed the feelings that many had during those years. After leaving the New Christy Minstrels to go solo, he signed with Adler's Dunhill Records. Eve Of Destruction became a huge hit and was to be McGuire's only top 40 record. The song was written by 19-year-old PF Sloan, who was a staff songwriter at McGuire's label. Of the song, Sloan said: "It was written in the early morning hours between midnight and dawn in mid-1964. The most outstanding experience I had in writing this song was hearing an inner voice inside of myself for only the second time. It seemed to have information no one else could've had. For example, I was writing down this line in pencil 'think of all the hate there is in Red Russia.' This inner voice said 'No, no it's Red China.' I began to argue and wrestle with that until near exhaustion. I thought Red Russia was the most outstanding enemy to freedom in the world, but this inner voice said the Soviet Union will fall before the end of the century and Red China will endure in crimes against humanity well into the new century.
This inner voice that is inside of each and every one of us but is drowned out by the roar of our minds. The song contained a number of issues that were unbearable for me at the time. I wrote it as a prayer to God for an answer. I have felt it was a love song and written as a prayer because, to cure an ill you need to know what is sick. In my youthful zeal I hadn't realized that this would be taken as an attack on The System! The media banned me from all national television shows. Oddly enough they didn't ban Barry. The United States felt under threat. So any positive press on me or Barry was considered un-patriotic. A great deal of madness, as I remember it. I told the press it was a love song. A love song to and for humanity, that's all. It ruined Barry's career as an artist and in a year I would be driven out of the music business too. When Barry was ready to record he picked four songs and 'Eve' was the 4th to be recorded, if there was time. If you listen to the recording he's rushing singing through the lyric because of the time constraints and he was reading it for the first time off a piece of paper I had written the lyric on." It was intended to be a B-side and only got the airplay and sales it did after an influential Texas DJ accidentally played the wrong side while raving about a new artist called Barry McGuire.
Paper Tiger - Sue Thompson
Best known for her breathy, Betty Boop-style singing voice, Sue Thompson (born Eva Sue McKee in Nevada in 1925) landed two Top Five pop hits in 1961 with the John D. Loudermilk-penned novelty tunes "Sad Movies (Make Me Cry)" and "Norman." Two more Loudermilk numbers, 1962's "James (Hold the Ladder Steady)" and 1965's "Paper Tiger," brought her further success. During this era, Thompson played effectively to the teen audience thanks to her cute, extremely young-sounding voice, despite the fact that she was pushing 40. She recorded sporadically through the remainder of the 1960s, without finding similar success.