Byrds Hullabaloo 1965 1500 crop 1

the #1 hit records on the pop charts 1965

THIS IS THE SIXTH in a se­ries of ten ar­ti­cles listing and ad­dressing the #1 records of the year as they ap­peared on Cash Box mag­a­zine’s Top 100 chart from 1960 through 1969. It was orig­i­nally pub­lished as “Let’s Hang On To Our Ticket To Ride” on my pub­li­ca­tion Tell It Like It Was on Medium on June 2, 2019. The ar­ticle below is iden­tical to that one.

Please read “In­tro­duc­tion To The #1 Records On The Cash Box Pop Chart Of The 1960s” be­fore reading this ar­ticle. It will ex­plain the na­ture of this project, in­tro­duce you to the writers whose opin­ions follow, and will make every­thing easier to un­der­stand.

The opin­ions ex­pressed below are those of John Ross, Lew Shiner, and me. John is the talent be­hind the Round Place In The Middle web­site where he opines about rock & roll, western movies, and de­tec­tive novels. John is my fa­vorite writer writing about rock & roll. He is cur­rently working on his first novel.

Lew is one of the finest nov­el­ists in America. Since you’re reading his name here, start with his novel Glimpses, which com­bines time-travel with fan­tasy and the mi­lieu of ’60s rock music. Follow that with De­serted Cities Of The Heart (time-travel and psy­che­delic mush­rooms!) and then his latest, Out­side The Gates Of Heaven, which also takes place in the ’60s.

If you want to skim through this ar­ticle and skip around from record to record or com­ment to com­ment, that works and you’ll have fun. But this ar­ticle will make more sense if you read it from be­gin­ning to end.

One of the first things you will no­tice is that each of the ar­ti­cles opens with a cal­endar of events that re­flect the zeit­geist of the era. Hope­fully, these will give you some back­ground and some con­text in which the #1 records of that were made.

 

PetulaClark 1965 GoldDisc 900 copy

FEATURED ARTIST: When Down­town topped the charts in the US in Jan­uary, Petula Clark was al­ready 32 years old. This mat­tered be­cause in the ’60s anyone over 30 was sus­pect (and an­cient). Clark had been a recording artist since 1949 (!) with no­table suc­cess in the UK and France. With Down­town, Pet be­came one of the hottest singers on the planet. It was a major hit in most mar­kets and re­ceived sev­eral sales awards, such as the uniden­ti­fied award she is dis­playing in the photo above.

In the UK, Down­town re­ceived the Ivor Nov­ello Award for Out­standing Song of the Year of 1964. In the US, it won the Grammy Award for Best Rock and Roll Song of 1965. Pet would place an­other four­teen sides in the Cash Box Top 40 but by 1969 her ca­reer as a major hit­maker was over.

For a de­tailed ac­count of the making of Down­town, refer to the Sound on Sound ar­ticle, “Classic Tracks” on the Sound on Sound web­site.

 

1965

Jan­uary
Pres­i­dent Johnson pro­claimed his Great So­ciety during his State of the Union ad­dress.

Feb­ruary
Mal­colm X was as­sas­si­nated.

March
Al­abama State Troopers at­tacked civil rights demon­stra­tors in Selma, Al­abama, on their oth­er­wise peaceful march to the state cap­ital of Mont­gomery. In re­sponse to these events, Pres­i­dent Johnson sent a bill to Con­gress that formed the basis for the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

April
The first Stu­dents for a De­mo­c­ratic So­ciety marched against the Vietnam War drew 25,000 pro­tes­tors to Wash­ington, DC.

May
The first psy­che­delic con­cert poster was printed from a drawing by Michael Fer­guson and George Hunter. It an­nounced the opening of the Char­la­tans at the Red Dog Sa­loon in Vir­ginia City on June 1, 1965.

June
Viet­namese Bud­dhist monk Thích Nhất Hạnh wrote a letter to Martin Luther King Jr ex­plaining that the monks in Vietnam im­mo­lated them­selves out of love and com­pas­sion to raise aware­ness of their cause.

July
Bob Dylan per­formed with an elec­tric rock & roll band backing him at the New­port Folk Fes­tival.

Au­gust
Chilton Books pub­lished Frank Her­bert’s Dune.

Sep­tember
The US Ma­rine Corps cut training of new re­cruits from twelve weeks of boot camp to eight in re­sponse to the in­crease in combat troops as­signed to Vietnam.

Oc­tober
Bal­lan­tine Books pub­lished the first au­tho­rized edi­tion of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fel­low­ship of the Ring, the first part of three novels that would com­prise The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

No­vember
The Pills­bury Doughboy made his début in the United States.

De­cember
The first an­i­mated Peanuts tele­vi­sion spe­cial, A Charlie Brown Christmas, débuted on CBS-TV.

 


 

Medium 45 1964 Beatles IFeelFine 600

Jan­uary 2–January 16

The Bea­tles
I Feel Fine
Capitol 5327
(4 weeks)
This record spent one week at #1 on De­cember 19, 1964, for a total of five weeks at the top. Refer to that date for more in­for­ma­tion.

 

Medium 45 1965 PetulaClark Downtown 600 1

Jan­uary 23–January 30

Petula Clark
Down­town
Warner Brothers 5494
(2 weeks)

By the time that Petula Clark topped the US charts in early 1965 with Down­town, she was 32 years old and had been a star for twenty of those years! She had half a dozen Top 10 hits in the UK and even more in France, but not a single side in her fif­teen years as a recording artist had graced the Top 100 in the US.

That all changed with Down­town, a re­mark­able song written by Clark’s pro­ducer and col­lab­o­rator Tony Hatch as a re­sponse to seeing New York City for the first time in early 1964.

I could argue that re­gard­less of such ex­tra­or­di­nary sin­gles as You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’, Mr. Tam­bourine Man, Sat­is­fac­tion, and Like A Rolling Stone, it was Down­town that was the biggest hit of the year:

• In the UK, Down­town re­ceived the Ivor Nov­ello Award for Out­standing Song of the Year of 1964.

• In the US, Down­town won the Grammy Award for Best Rock and Roll Song of 1965 (and only the Grammy people would con­sider Down­town to be rock & roll).

John: My de­f­i­n­i­tion of rock & roll is any record that could not have been con­ceived, let alone made, be­fore 1955. Down­town, as it ex­ists, in all its sweep and grandeur, could not have been con­ceived, let alone made, be­fore 1955. I can come up with plenty of rea­sons to be mad at the Gram­mies, but—especially if by “song” they re­ally meant “record”—I’ll give them a pass on that one.

It prob­ably doesn’t hurt that hearing Down­town over a shop­ping mall speaker system when I was about 5 years old is my ear­liest mu­sical memory—and a deliri­ously happy one. I ran around like a chicken with my head cut off while my sister tried to catch me and my mother (who was past run­ning) looked on in wonder.

I was chasing the sound.

Still at it, it seems.

Neal: That’s an in­ter­esting argument—I’m not cer­tain that I agree with it, but I am cer­tain that I like it! We should con­sider an ar­ticle ad­dressing some kind of fea­sible de­f­i­n­i­tion of rock & roll and we can use your de­f­i­n­i­tion as a starting point.

• Bill­board Hot 100 #1: Yes (2 weeks)
• Million-seller: Yes
• RIAA Gold Record: Yes (March 1, 1965)
• Ac­cu­mu­lated sales: 3,000,000
• 500 Songs That Shaped Rock: No
• Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: No
• Grammy Award: Best Rock & Roll Recording 1964

But do you like it?
John: ✯ ✯ ✯

Lew : ✯ ✯ ✯
Neal: ✯ ✯ ✯

 

Medium 45 1965 RighteousBrothers YouveLostThatLovinFeelin 600

Feb­ruary 6–February 20

The Right­eous Brothers
You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’
Philles 124
(2 weeks)

With You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feelin’, Phil Spector made it back to the top of the charts for the first time since Be My Baby al­most two years (see Oc­tober 12, 1963). But this record had a com­pletely dif­ferent sound and di­rec­tion than his pre­vious hits with sev­eral girl groups, a sound that was al­ready con­sid­ered dated in ’65. With the Right­eous Brothers, he made one of the most artistic pop records ever.

Phil Spector put a tremen­dous amount of ef­fort into this pro­duc­tion, but the pro­duc­tion was so un­usual that he began to wonder if he had a hit record. He played the record for the fol­lowing people and asked for feed­back:

• The song’s co-writer Barry Mann was con­vinced the song was recorded at the wrong speed. Spector called his en­gi­neer Larry Levine to con­firm that it was sup­posed to sound that way.

• Spec­tor’s pub­lisher Don Kir­shner thought it was great but sug­gested changing the title to Bring Back that Lovin’ Feelin’.

• New York disc jockey Murray the K thought the song was fan­tastic but sug­gested moving the bass line in the middle to the be­gin­ning.

Spector heard these opin­ions as crit­i­cism and got very ner­vous: “The co-writer, the co-publisher and the number-one disc jockey in America all killed me,” Spector said. “I didn’t sleep for a week when that record came out.” (Song­Facts)

In 1999, the per­forming rights or­ga­ni­za­tion Broad­cast Music Inc. (BMI) claimed that You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feelin’ had more radio and tele­vi­sion play in the United States than any other song during the 20th-century. Counting every ver­sion of the song ever recorded, it had racked up 8,000,000 plays be­tween 1965 and 2000.

John: Here’s where our gen­er­a­tional dif­fer­ences start to tell. I first heard Soul And In­spi­ra­tion in the late ’70s when I bought it on the flip side of one of those double-golden oldies 45s with You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’. I still have it. The label is MGM and the Lovin’ Feelin’ side lists Bill Medley as the pro­ducer.

I would have just dis­missed that as somebody’s bone­head mis­take … ex­cept I have the song on at least a dozen other comps and nowhere else does it sound as good. Without that MGM single, I’m sure I would still love it.

But I doubt it would be among my two or three fa­vorites of all time. I still wonder if Medley dared a remix some­where along the way. And since he re­ally did pro­duce Soul And In­spi­ra­tion, he proved he had the know-how.

Neal: In 1967, I bought THE RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS GREATEST HITS album to get all those great sin­gles in stereo. Half of the tracks were cred­ited to Spector as pro­ducer and half were cred­ited to Medley. You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ was cred­ited to Medley, which was con­fusing as I had the 45 and it was cred­ited to Spector.

Ex­actly how such an error got past every­body at Verve and es­pe­cially Medley is in­triguing, yes?

• Bill­board Hot 100 #1: Yes (2 weeks)
• Million-seller: Yes
• RIAA Gold Record: No
• Ac­cu­mu­lated sales: Un­known
• 500 Songs That Shaped Rock: Yes
• Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: Yes

But do you like it?
John: ✯ ✯ ✯
Lew : ✯ ✯ ✯
Neal: ✯ ✯ ✯

 

Medium 45 1965 GaryLewis This DiamondRing 600

Feb­ruary 27

Gary Lewis & the Play­boys
This Di­a­mond Ring
Lib­erty 55756
(1 week)

I re­ally liked Gary Lewis & the Play­boys’ records back in the day. I knew he wasn’t much of a singer but pro­ducer Snuff Gar­rett made sure he had ex­cep­tional songs and ex­cep­tional ses­sion mu­si­cians so the fin­ished product was al­most al­ways an ex­cep­tional record.

How do you not like this one and Count Me In, Every­body Loves A Clown, Green Grass, and my fave, the Beach Boys-ish Just My Style? All you have to do is pre­tend that Gary re­ally can sing.

Lew: Gary Lewis used his fa­ther (Jerry)‘s fame as step­ping stone, and this record was a studio cre­ation that the band couldn’t du­pli­cate live, but nonethe­less, it re­mains a won­derful pop con­fec­tion, shim­mering and sweet, with more than a hint of real sad­ness at its core.

John: Gary’s records were prob­ably the purest studio product of the en­tire rock & roll era, which I con­sider to be 1950 to 1994—Fat’s Domino’s first record to Kurt Cobain’s sui­cide. (There’s nothing a black man can in­vent that a whiny white kid with a shotgun can’t de­stroy.)

Gary’s vo­cals were dou­bled by Ron Hicklin, a ses­sion singer mixed high enough to be con­sid­ered a “guide vocal.” The process por­tended evil. It’s a fore­runner of how every record is made now.

That said, I share Neal’s love for the records made then—especially this one and Just My Style and my fave of them all, Little Miss Go-Go, which was the flip-side to Count Me In.

Neal: Wow! I forgot about Little Miss Go-Go. Had Jan & Dean cut that record in 1963, it might have been an­other #1 record for them.

• Bill­board Hot 100 #1: Yes (2 weeks)
• Million-seller: Yes
• RIAA Gold Record: Yes (April 28, 1967)
• Ac­cu­mu­lated sales: Un­known
• 500 Songs That Shaped Rock: No
• Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: No

But do you like it?
John: ✯ ✯ ✯
Lew : ✯ ✯ ✯
Neal: ✯ ✯ ✯

 

Medium 45 1965 Beatles EightDaysAWeek PS EC 600

Medium 45 1965 Beatles EightDaysAWeek 600

March 6–March 2

The Bea­tles
Eight Days A Week
Capitol 5371
(3 weeks)

Even back in 1965, when I had to “hate” the Bea­tles be­cause my brother loved them (it’s a sib­ling ri­valry thing), I loved “Eight Days A Week! I kept reading about the in­flu­ence of Mo­town on its sound and feel but I didn’t hear it. At least for the first few decades, I didn’t hear it. Then, one day, I heard it—just like that!

How won­derful that they got that past me all those years.

John: I get where Neal is coming from on this one. In case anyone had been re­sisting the idea, this is just about where it be­came im­pos­sible to think the Bea­tles were any­thing less than ge­nius.

• Bill­board Hot 100 #1: Yes (2 weeks)
• Million-seller: Yes
• RIAA Gold Record: Yes (Sep­tember 16, 1965)
• Ac­cu­mu­lated sales: Un­known
• 500 Songs That Shaped Rock: No
• Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: Yes

But do you like it?
John: ✯ ✯ ✯
Lew : ✯ ✯ ✯
Neal: ✯ ✯ ✯

 

Medium 45 1965 Supremes StopInTheNameOfLove PS 600

Medium 45 1965 Supremes StopInTheNameOfLove 600

March 27

The Supremes
Stop! In The Name Of Love
Mo­town M-1074
(1 week)

Sup­pos­edly, songwriter-producer La­mont Dozier’s girl­friend caught him cheating on her. This led to a fight where she said she was leaving him. Dozier pleaded, “Baby, please stop in the name of love be­fore you break my heart.”

It didn’t work—she was still going to break up with him.

So he asked her to think it over—she broke up with him anyway

So he turned his pleas into the song Stop! In The Name Of Love.

When it be­came a hit, she came back to him. (Song­Facts)

Fac­tual or apoc­ryphal? Who knows—it’s a good story. What I want to know is did she come back to him be­cause she was moved by the sen­si­tive guy who turned their fight into a song, or did she come back be­cause the song meant a big pay­check for the sen­si­tive song­writer?

John: I have a great memory from 2000 of watching two 12-year-old white girls sashay up the in­clined hallway at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, where the in­ducted artists’ sig­na­tures are im­printed on a glass wall. Stop! In The Name Of Love was blasting on the speakers. The two girls had every one of Diana, Flo, and Mary’s hand mo­tions down pat. In the last thirty-five years, that’s the best I’ve ever felt about America.

Neal: Mo­town did not seek im­me­diate RIAA cer­ti­fi­ca­tion for an of­fi­cial Gold Record Award for Stop! In The Name Of Love. This was rec­ti­fied on Sep­tember 8, 1997, when it re­ceived a Gold Record Award for 500,000 sales.

• Bill­board Hot 100 #1: Yes (2 weeks)
• Million-seller: Yes
• RIAA Gold Record: No
• Ac­cu­mu­lated sales: Un­known
• 500 Songs That Shaped Rock: Yes
• Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: Yes

But do you like it?
John: ✯ ✯ ✯
Lew : ✯ ✯ ✯
Neal: ✯ ✯ ✯

 

Medium 45 1965 HermansHermits CantYouHearMyHeartbeat PS 600

Medium 45 1965 HermansHermits CantYouHearMyHeartbeat 600

April 3

Her­man’s Her­mits
Can’t You Hear My Heart­beat
MGM K-13310
(1 week)

Be­cause of I’m Henry VIII, I Am and Mrs. Brown You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter and other crimes against hu­manity, it was easy for se­rious rock fans to look down (way down) on Her­man’s Her­mits. Thank­fully, the passing of time has soft­ened some of our hard­ness and we can ap­pre­ciate how good the group was at making pop records like Can’t You Hear My Heart­beat.

Per­haps if we live an­other 30-40 years we won’t hold our noses at the thought of ol’ Henry and Mrs. Brown’s daughter.

But I doubt it.

John: Rep­u­ta­tions are funny things: I am con­vinced that if Must To Avoid and No Milk Today had joined this one as the Her­mits string of #1 hits, they would be in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Alas, we got Henry VIII and Mrs. Brown in­stead.

Neal: In­ter­esting ar­gu­ment: Her­man’s Her­mits played an im­por­tant part in the British In­va­sion of 1964-1965, placing sides in the US Top 40 and selling Grom­mett only knows how many mil­lions of sin­gles and albums—and yes, they were major movers of LP product. We know that the like­li­hood of their in­duc­tion into the Hall of Fame with Henry VIII and Mrs. Brown as two-thirds of their Big Three is slim.

But if the Big Three had been Can’t You Hear My Heart Beat, A Must To Avoid, and No Milk Today, the ran­cidity of the other two would go away. These three fine hits would be backed up by such equally fine records as I’m Into Some­thing Good, Listen People, Dandy” (which they found on the Kinks’ bloody mar­velous FACE TO FACE album), and my fa­vorite, There’s A Kind Of Hush (which should be made an hon­orary #1 record retroac­tively).

And there are sev­eral fine sin­gles that were big hits in the UK that didn’t even make the Top 100 in the US, such as Sun­shine Girl, Some­thing’s Hap­pening, and Lady Bar­bara.

Would the present Hall of Fame voters con­sider them for in­duc­tion? I dunno, but if I was a voter they’d at least get a good sounding.

Lew: We can’t over­look the in­flu­ence of producer-Svengali Mickie Most (An­i­mals, Donovan, late Yard­birds). Mickey seemed fix­ated on playing to the teeny­bopper au­di­ence, whether that was ap­pro­priate for the artist (Lulu) or not (Jeff Beck).

Ap­par­ently, the Her­mits were orig­i­nally into R&B, as most Eng­lish beat groups were, but Most cleaned them up and dumbed them down for stardom.

I agree with my mates above on the merits of such songs as I’m Into Some­thing Good and A Kind Of Hush. And I ac­tu­ally like Mrs. Brown for its subtle, self-effacing sorrow (“Tell her that I’m well and feeling fine”).

John: I’m glad Lew got in a word for Mickey Most, who also pro­duced Hot Choco­late in the ’70s. He should def­i­nitely be in the Hall of Fame.

• Bill­board Hot 100 #1: No
• Million-seller: Yes
• RIAA Gold Record: No
• Ac­cu­mu­lated sales: Un­known
• 500 Songs That Shaped Rock: No
• Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: No

But do you like it?
John: ✯ ✯
Lew : ✯ ✯ ✯
Neal: ✯ ✯ ✯

 

Medium 45 1965 FreddieDreamers ImTellingYouNow 600

April 10–April 17

Freddie & the Dreamers
I’m Telling You Now
Tower 125
(2 weeks)

In 1964-1965, our par­ents couldn’t tell the dif­fer­ence be­tween one British band and an­other. To them, Freddie and his Dreamers weren’t that dif­ferent from the Bea­tles: They were making mind­less fun for teenagers.

This is the only record re­leased on Capitol Records’ weird Tower Records sub­sidiary (home to such groups as the Choco­late Watch Band, the Standells, and Pink Floyd) to reach #1 on any chart any­where.

John: At least it wasn’t Do The Freddie that went to the top. We re­tained at least a shred of our na­tional dig­nity.

Neal: I have been walking around for decades with the lyrics “Lift your left leg high then your right one, too, do the Freddie.” And then you men­tioned the damn song and I went to find a video on YouTube of Freddie doing the Freddie and, lo and be­hold, my re­mem­bered lyrics aren’t any­where to be found in the song! So, where’d my lyrics come from? (And, no, they aren’t caused by too much acid in the ’70s.)

John: I imagine some part of your teenage brain was re­jecting what­ever you were re­ally hearing and re­placing it with some kind of de­fense mech­a­nism.

Neal: But maybe the false memory was cre­ated post-teendom. Holy Moscoso, maybe it was cre­ated while I was trip­ping!

• Bill­board Hot 100 #1: Yes (2 weeks)
• Million-seller: Yes
• RIAA Gold Record: No
• Ac­cu­mu­lated sales: Un­known
• 500 Songs That Shaped Rock: No
• Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: No

But do you like it?
John:
Lew : ✯ ✯ ✯
Neal: ✯ ✯

 

Medium 45 1965 WayneFontana GameOfLove 600

April 24

Wayne Fontana & the Mind­ben­ders
Game Of Love
Fontana F-1503
(1 week)

A guilty plea­sure that still sounds good all these years later: “The pur­pose of a man is to love a woman and the pur­pose of a woman is to love a man, so let’s play the game of love.”

John: I’ve never been able to rec­on­cile guilt with plea­sure. If one is real, the other is not. In any case, no need to call this any­thing but a great record.

Neal: That’s be­cause you weren’t raised Catholic or Jewish. For us, guilt is a req­ui­site for a full life (and it ac­tu­ally adds a touch of spice to some as­pects of living).

Lew: A foot­note here to men­tion that one of the founding mem­bers of the Mind­ben­ders was Eric Stewart, later of the group 10cc. Fontana ditched the group later in the year, and the Mind­ben­ders went on to put A Groovy Kind Of Love in the charts with Stewart on lead vo­cals (see June 4, 1966, entry).

• Bill­board Hot 100 #1: Yes (1 week)
• Million-seller: Yes
• RIAA Gold Record: No
• Ac­cu­mu­lated sales: Un­known
• 500 Songs That Shaped Rock: No
• Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: No

But do you like it?
John: ✯ ✯ ✯
Lew : ✯ ✯ ✯
Neal: ✯ ✯ ✯

 

Medium 45 1965 HermansHermits MrsBrown PS 600

Medium 45 1965 HermansHermits MrsBrown 600

May 1–May 22

Her­man’s Her­mits
Mrs. Brown You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter
MGM K-13341
(4 weeks)

Ini­tially, my en­tire com­ment for this record was, “Oy vey!”

But then I thought, “No, it needs more.”

So I added this:

Mrs. Brown You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter was not re­leased as a single in the UK.

Lucky them.

John: I think we said all that needed to be said about this one in the pre­vious Her­mits’ entry.

• Bill­board Hot 100 #1: Yes (3 weeks)
• Million-seller: Yes
• RIAA Gold Record: Yes (June 16, 1965)
• Ac­cu­mu­lated sales: Un­known
• 500 Songs That Shaped Rock: No
• Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: No

But do you like it?
John:
Lew : ✯ ✯ ✯
Neal:

 

Medium 45 1965 Beatles TicketToRide PS WC b 600

Medium 45 1965 Beatles TicketToRide 600

May 29

The Bea­tles
Ticket To Ride
Capitol 5407
(1 week)

Ticket To Ride was un­like any Bea­tles single that had come be­fore it and gave them a harder sound than that of all of their ear­lier sin­gles. And the lyrics are a bit edgier. This was im­por­tant in 1965 and would get even more im­por­tant as the decade went on.

Lew: In many ways, 1965 is about drum­mers: Get Off Of My Cloud, Over And Over, and this splendid, per­fect, weird, tom-and-snare-flams part by Ringo.

John: Ah, yes, the drums. The steady rolls and then the per­fect pause-and-snap near the end. I broke many a plastic ruler to this one. She’s got a ticket to ri-hi-hide … Whap!

Also, my pick for John’s greatest vocal.

Neal: For some in­ex­plic­able reason, Ticket To Ride ap­pears to be the only Bea­tles Capitol single of the ’60s not to have been awarded an RIAA Gold Record. If someone can make this ex­plic­able, I’d love to hear from you.

• Bill­board Hot 100 #1: Yes (1 week)
• Million-seller: Yes
• RIAA Gold Record: No
• Ac­cu­mu­lated sales: Un­known
• 500 Songs That Shaped Rock: No
• Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: Yes

But do you like it?
John: ✯ ✯ ✯
Lew : ✯ ✯ ✯
Neal: ✯ ✯ ✯

 

Medium 45 1965 Supremes BackInMyArmsAgain PS 600

Medium 45 1965 Supremes BackInMyArmsAgain 600

June 5

The Supremes
Back In My Arms Again
Mo­town MT-1075
(1 week)

This was the Supremes’ fifth con­sec­u­tive chart-topper, but the super Supremes didn’t re­ceive a single soli­tary RIAA Gold Record Award in the ’60s. Why? Berry Gordy wasn’t opening his books to anyone—not to his artists and not to an in­de­pen­dent au­ditor.

By this time, Gordy’s in­creased focus on Diana Ross as the leader of the group had se­verely strained the re­la­tion­ship of the three mem­bers, each of whom was ca­pable of taking the lead vocal on any track.

John: Some years back, I heard all three mem­bers of Brian and Eddie Hol­land and La­mont Dozier (aka Holland-Dozier-Holland, the pro­duc­tion and song­writing team be­hind the Supremes’ early hits, among many others) being in­ter­viewed on Terry Gross’s NPR talk show. One of them talked a time in 1964 right after the Supremes had just had their first #1 hit with a Holland-Dozier-Holland song and pro­duc­tion

The speaker had taken a break and gone out on the stoop for a smoke after a long day’s work with his part­ners at Motown’s Hitsville studio. There he over­heard Berry Gordy saying that the com­pany re­ally needed to put its weight be­hind the Supremes now that they had broken through.

He slipped back in­side, went to the of­fice where his part­ners were get­ting ready to pack up for the day. He hooked a chair under the door­knob, told them what he had heard, and said: “We’re not leaving here until we write the next three number one hits for the Supremes.” Those three hits have al­ready been cov­ered in our little se­ries here.

One thing that wasn’t dis­cussed was whether Diana Ross would con­tinue to be the lead singer. She ended up being the lead voice on more #1 records than any other Mo­town vo­calist and it wasn’t close. What­ever part of his anatomy Berry Gordy was thinking with at the time, he knew what he was doing.

• Bill­board Hot 100 #1: Yes (1 week)
• Million-seller: Yes
• RIAA Gold Record: No
• Ac­cu­mu­lated sales: Un­known
• 500 Songs That Shaped Rock: No
• Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: Yes

But do you like it?
John: ✯ ✯ ✯
Lew : ✯ ✯ ✯
Neal: ✯ ✯ ✯

 

Medium 45 1965 BeachBoys HelpMeRhonda PS EC 600

Medium 45 1965 BeachBoys HelpMeRhonda 600

June 12

The Beach Boys
Help Me, Rhonda
Capitol 5395
(1 week)

This song was orig­i­nally ti­tled Help Me, Ronda and was recorded in early Jan­uary 1965. It was re­leased in March as part of THE BEACH BOYS TODAY! album. When Brian Wilson learned that the Rip Chords were plan­ning on recording it as a single, he de­cided it would be the Beach Boys next single in­stead.

Wilson changed the spelling to Rhonda and began working on it on Feb­ruary 24, com­pleting it on March 22. It was re­leased on April 8 and two months later was the best-selling record in the country. This ver­sion was in­cluded on the SUMMER DAYS (AND SUMMER NIGHTS!!) album, re­leased in July 1965.

John: For me, the great dif­fer­ence in the single is from “But she let an­other guy come be­tween us and it ru­ined our plans” to “But she let an­other guy come be­tween us and it shat­tered our plans.” It changes the feel from a bummer to the singer’s whole world falling apart. I pre­vi­ously men­tioned that Brian Wilson stated in a late ’70s in­ter­view that I Get Around was the recording ses­sion where he fired his tyran­nical fa­ther. (See July 4, 1964, entry.)

He may have been mis­re­mem­bering, as there’s a tape ex­tant of an epic melt­down be­tween the two on this one a year later. I’m prob­ably in the mi­nority, and I wouldn’t nec­es­sarily want to live on the dif­fer­ence, but I think Brian made greater music get­ting back at Dad than taking drugs.

Neal: The single ver­sion of the song is a souped-up pro­duc­tion of the ear­lier album track and is much more pow­erful. The arrange­ment is pretty much the same and ex­cept for adding an “h” to Rhon­da’s name, the only dif­fer­ence is Brian changed “ru­ined” to “shat­tered.”

And you’re right, John, it changes every­thing. Thanks for pointing out what should have been ob­vious for the past five decades.

Fi­nally, the fight with Murry took place on Feb­ruary 24, the first day the group recorded vo­cals for Help Me, Rhonda. It’s re­ally not that big of a fight as family fights go—not one person said, “Don’t fuck with the for­mula.”

• Bill­board Hot 100 #1: Yes (2 weeks)
• Million-seller: Yes
• RIAA Gold Record: No
• Ac­cu­mu­lated sales: Un­known
• 500 Songs That Shaped Rock: No
• Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: Yes

But do you like it?
John: ✯ ✯ ✯
Lew : ✯ ✯ ✯
Neal: ✯ ✯ ✯

 

Medium 45 1965 FourTops ICantHelpMyself 600

June 19–June 26

The Four Tops
I Can’t Help My­self
Mo­town M-1076
(2 weeks)

When Berry Gordy signed the Four Tops in 1964, they be­came the old men of Mo­town. The Tops had formed as a quartet in high school in 1953 and had cut their first sides for Chess in 1956. But as good as they were, suc­cess on the charts eluded them until they signed with Mo­town.

When their first single for their new com­pany, Baby, I Need Your Lovin’, reached the top 20, they be­came the old men of Top 40 radio. The next two sin­gles didn’t fare as well and then the writing and pro­duc­tion team of Holland–Dozier–Holland gave them I Can’t Help My­self.

The Tops con­sis­tently made good records but after this only one would reach #1 again: the an­themic Reach Out I’ll Be There in 1966. They would rack up more than a dozen Top 20 hits for Mo­town be­fore moving to ABC-Paramount in 1972, where they scored sev­eral more Top 20 hits.

John: There are people who think this is light­weight Mo­town or just plain light­weight. I count these people among the many whom I do not un­der­stand.

Neal: With the Supremes’ Stop! In The Name of Love (1074) and Back In My Arms Again (1075) and the Four Tops’ I Can’t Help My­self (1076), Mo­town had three con­sec­u­tive sin­gles in their cat­alog num­bering system reach #1. That can’t happen often for a record com­pany, can it?

• Bill­board Hot 100 #1: Yes (2 weeks)
• Million-seller: Yes
• RIAA Gold Record: No
• Ac­cu­mu­lated sales: Un­known
• 500 Songs That Shaped Rock: No
• Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: Yes

But do you like it?
John: ✯ ✯ ✯
Lew : ✯ ✯ ✯
Neal: ✯ ✯ ✯

 

Medium 45 1965 Byrds MrTambourineMan 600

July 3

The Byrds
Mr. Tam­bourine Man
Co­lumbia 4-43271
(1 week)

His­tor­i­cally and ar­tis­ti­cally, the year’s most im­por­tant event was the in­tro­duc­tion of rel­a­tively smart, mean­ingful lyrics through the ad­vent of folk-rock music. This would have an im­me­diate and long-standing im­pact on pop­ular music. While Bob Dylan justly re­ceives the li­on’s share of credit for turning every­thing around with his lyrics, it was the Byrds arrange­ment and per­for­mance of his Mr. Tam­bourine Man that in­spired the term folk-rock.

And 1965 was the year of folk-rock: Mr. Tam­bourine Man was fol­lowed to the top­per­most of the pop­per­most by Dy­lan’s Like A Rolling Stone and Barry McGuire’s Eve Of De­struc­tion in Sep­tember. The Byrds re­turned with a second #1 hit with Turn! Turn! Turn! in De­cember. Folk-rock would con­tinue to top the charts in 1966 but would be ef­fec­tively gone as an im­por­tant genre on Top 40 radio by ’67.

Lew: An­other re­ally smart thing the Byrds did was cut the song down from five-and-a-half min­utes to two-and-a-half. (I love early Dylan as much as al­most any­body, but his ver­sion of Mr. Tam­bourine Man does go on and on.) And add those gor­geous har­monies.

John: I just saw Roger McGuinn (lead singer and gui­tarist) in con­cert with bass player Chris Hillman. One of the high­lights of the show was McGuinn telling the story of how Mr. Tam­bourine Man came to be: “This is what we heard,” he said be­fore launching into a dead-on im­i­ta­tion of Dylan singing the orig­inal. “And then I thought, what if we did this in­stead.” This was the an­themic chord pro­gres­sion that opens their ver­sion and has never left the radio since 1965.

Until you’ve heard the dif­fer­ence put that starkly, you can’t re­ally ap­pre­ciate how far the Byrds went to­ward making Bob Dylan a rock & roll star. Peter, Paul & Mary had put him into the main­stream two years ear­lier, but this was a whole other thing and the im­pli­ca­tions are with us still.

Neal: Had Sonny & Cher not re­leased All I Re­ally Want To Do (cred­ited to Cher as her first solo record) at the same as the Byrds re­leased their ver­sion, the Byrds might have had three #1 records in 1965. (Al­though that prob­ably wouldn’t have had the teen­siest ef­fect qui­eting on the in­ternal bick­ering and re­tarding the too-quick dis­so­lu­tion of the orig­inal group.)

Fi­nally, in their en­tire il­lus­trious ca­reer, the Byrds re­ceived only one RIAA Gold Record Award and that was for their greatest hits album of 1967.

• Bill­board Hot 100 #1: Yes (1 week)
• Million-seller: Yes
• RIAA Gold Record: No
• Ac­cu­mu­lated sales: Un­known
• 500 Songs That Shaped Rock: Yes
• Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: Yes

But do you like it?
John: ✯ ✯ ✯
Lew : ✯ ✯ ✯
Neal: ✯ ✯ ✯

 

Medium 45 1965 RollingStones Satisfcation PS 600

Medium 45 1965 RollingStones Satisfcation 600

July 10–July 31

The Rolling Stones
(I Can’t Get No) Sat­is­fac­tion
London 45-9766
(4 weeks)

In the UK, the Rolling Stones were the Bea­tles’ biggest ri­vals on the charts and in sales. But in the US, the Stones got off to a modest start on Top 40 radio, scoring a lone Top 10 hit in 1964. Their place as the Fab Four’s com­pe­ti­tion was taken up by the Dave Clark Five (es­pe­cially in 1964) and Her­man’s Her­mits (es­pe­cially in 1965). That changed with Sat­is­fac­tion—al­most no one uses the com­plete title—which many of us older farts still con­sider the de­fin­i­tive rock & roll single of the ’60s.

Lew: Ac­cording to legend, Keith Richards heard the guitar lick to Sat­is­fac­tion in a dream while the band was on tour in the US. He stag­gered out of bed, recorded it on what­ever prim­i­tive recording de­vice he had with him, and went back to sleep. When he got up the next morning he was sur­prised to dis­cover it.

It’s in­ter­esting to think how music his­tory might have been dif­ferent had Richards thought, “Nah, I’m too tired to get up, I’m sure I’ll re­member it in the morning.”

I gen­er­ally keep pen and paper on my night­stand, but most of the time the ideas that seemed so clever in the middle of the night are silly or ob­vious in the morning. But you never know when one of them might be Sat­is­fac­tion.

John: The first of sev­eral Stones’ en­tries in the Greatest Rock & Roll Record Sweep­stakes. This con­sti­tuted the second of Mick Jagger’s deals with Beelzebub. The first had put him in front of England’s sharpest R&B band. This time, he had it put in the con­tract that he would be granted a voice to match. More con­se­quences that are with us still.

• Bill­board Hot 100 #1: Yes (4 weeks)
• Million-seller: Yes
• RIAA Gold Record: Yes (July 19, 1965)
• Ac­cu­mu­lated sales: 4,500,000
• 500 Songs That Shaped Rock: Yes
• Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: Yes

But do you like it?
John: ✯ ✯ ✯
Lew : ✯ ✯ ✯
Neal: ✯ ✯ ✯

 

Medium 45 1965 HermansHermits ImHenryVIII PS 600

Medium 45 1965 HermansHermits ImHenryVIII 600

Au­gust 7

Her­man’s Her­mits
I’m Henry VIII, I Am
MGM K-13367
(1 week)

Her­man’s Her­mits had yet an­other hit with yet an­other silly song that fur­ther alien­ated them from “se­rious” rock fans while fur­ther en­dearing them to 12-year-old (white) girls. At the time they recorded this song, it was more than fifty years old!

While Henry VIII is pop­u­larly known for his six mar­riages, he was, in fact, a piv­otal figure in British his­tory. He was the King of Eng­land from 1509-1547 and fa­mously fought with the Pope about his de­sire to have his first mar­riage an­nulled. The Vat­i­can’s re­fusal led to Hen­ry’s pulling the Church of Eng­land out from under from Papal au­thority, which ef­fec­tively began the Eng­lish Ref­or­ma­tion, which be­stowed upon Eng­land the di­vine right of kings.

I’m Henry VIII, I Am was not re­leased as a single in the group’s na­tive UK. Again, lucky them.

John: My friend Jeff made him­self the ar­biter of all things cool by teaching us the lyrics to this in first grade. I’ll have more to say about Jeff’s bur­geoning cre­den­tials when we get to the Mon­kees and 1967.

(And if you’re won­dering why it was such a big deal to know the lyrics to this song in first grade, don’t ask me. I wasn’t cul­tur­ally cog­nizant in those days, even to the level of my fellow first-graders. All I know is these things get es­tab­lished early. Jeff still held his po­si­tion when I moved away after the eighth grade. I imagine wher­ever he is now, he holds it still.)

Neal: While it seems like the world is an end­less ex­ten­sion of high school, such is not the case. Pretty girls and hand­some boys somehow be­come homely while cheer­leaders and all-star ath­letes get fat. On the other hand, wall­flowers be­come late-bloomers and the ones with the early onset zits clear up and be­come models. A few things do re­main the same after grad­u­a­tion: the smart ones keep their in­tel­li­gence, the dumb ones rarely gain in­tel­li­gence, and bul­lies keep on bul­lying.

I know this is so be­cause I’ve been a puppet, a pauper, a pi­rate, a poet, a pawn, and a king. I’ve been up and down and over and out and I know one thing: Each time I find my­self flat on my face, I pick my­self up and get back in the race. That’s life, I tell ya, and I can’t deny it.

That said, readers might rec­og­nize the tune from the 1990 movie Ghost, where Sam (Patrick Swayze) sings it to annoy and goad Oda Mae Brown (Whoopi Gold­berg) into helping him. For­tu­nately, the ex­po­sure this movie gave to the song did not cat­a­pult the Her­mits record back to the top of the charts as it did the Right­eous Brothers’ Un­chained Melody.

• Bill­board Hot 100 #1: Yes (1 week)
• Million-seller: Yes
• RIAA Gold Record: Yes (Au­gust 31, 1965)
• Ac­cu­mu­lated sales: Un­known
• 500 Songs That Shaped Rock: No
• Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: No

But do you like it?
John: ✯ ✯
Lew : ✯ ✯
Neal:

 

Medium 45 1965 SonnyCher IGotYouBabe 600

Au­gust 14–August 21

Sonny & Cher
I Got You Babe
Atco 45-6359
(2 weeks)

I like Sonny & Cher’s I Got You Babe and Baby Don’t Go so much and I like Cher’s acting so much—especially Moon­struck (“Aw, ma, I love him awful”)—I can al­most for­give her her ca­reer as a solo singer.

Al­most.

John: I Got You Babe is a fun record. It ain’t Gyp­sies, Tramps And Thieves or Half Breed, two of the an­griest records ever made, nei­ther of which re­quired Cher to make a deal with Beelzebub. Or even Sonny.

Neal: Sonny was Beelzebub.

Lew: Sonny learned the pro­duc­tion trade under Phil Spector, and you can re­ally hear it on this song. Of course, the first lesson he learned was to use the Wrecking Crew for his backing group.

• Bill­board Hot 100 #1: Yes (3 weeks)
• Million-seller: Yes
• RIAA Gold Record: Yes (Sep­tember 17, 1965)
• Ac­cu­mu­lated sales: 3,000,000
• 500 Songs That Shaped Rock: No
• Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: No

But do you like it?
John: ✯ ✯ ✯
Lew : ✯ ✯ ✯
Neal: ✯ ✯ ✯

 

Medium 45 1965 Beatles Help PS EC 600

Medium 45 1965 Beatles Help 600

Au­gust 28–September 11

The Bea­tles
Help!
Capitol 5476
(3 weeks)

Help! was the title tune to the Bea­tles second movie, Help!, also re­leased in 1965. Everyone was so still en­am­ored of the lads from Liv­er­pool at the time that they failed to no­tice it only took them two movies to make a dumb movie, whereas it had taken Elvis five movies to do the same thing.

John: More deeply felt than I think anyone as­sumed at the time. Lennon later opined that he should have done it slower. I can hear that working, but not to the level of this. The in­con­gruent tempo ren­ders it more urgent—and desperate—by a factor of in­finity.

I’ve never been able to watch the movie Help! all the way through without nod­ding off, but the UK sound­track is my fa­vorite Bea­tles’ LP, and I think 1965 was their peak year.

Lew: I’m going to go against all ar­biters of hip and say that Help! is one of my fa­vorite movies of all time. To me it’s the di­rect de­scen­dant of the Goon Shows that Lennon (and I) dearly loved (a 1950’s sur­re­alist BBC radio show fea­turing, most fa­mously, Peter Sellers).

It’s a parody of the James Bond movies, it’s the show­case for a raft of great Bea­tles tunes, and it fea­tures great per­for­mances from the likes of Eleanor Bron, Leo McKern (an ar­guably racist por­trayal, but also ar­guably not), the in­com­pa­rable Victor Spinetti, Roy Kin­near, and many more.

The on-screen chem­istry be­tween the four Bea­tles was even stronger than in A Hard Day’s Night, and while that chem­istry was to some ex­tent a fan­tasy, it was also very real, and ir­re­sistible. At his best, as he is here, di­rector Richard Lester has un­equaled comic timing (see also The Three Mus­ke­teers), and co-screenwriter Marc Behm brought a lit­erary nov­el­ist’s cre­den­tials to the party. The cli­mactic beach scene is a master class in re­solving mul­tiple sto­ry­lines si­mul­ta­ne­ously.

Neal: Great Balls of Fire, I think Lew just called me an ar­biter of hip! Does that make me … cool? I also enjoy the movie, just as I enjoy Follow That Dream and Viva Las Vegas, but they’re still dumb.

And as smart and hip as Mag­ical Mys­tery Tour may have seemed as a hip con­cept (Paul said, “Hey, I’ve got an idea! Let’s make a movie based on Ken Kesey and the Pranksters and their magic bus and we’ll add lots of music and cos­tumes and spe­cial ef­fects and have us a merry old psy­che­delic time,” to which George replied, “Fab,” and Ringo said, “Groovy,” and John said, “It’s all yellow matter cus­tard”) in the end it was just an­other dumb movie.

• Bill­board Hot 100 #1: Yes (3 weeks)
• Million-seller: Yes
• RIAA Gold Record: Yes (Sep­tember 2, 1965)
• Ac­cu­mu­lated sales: Un­known
• 500 Songs That Shaped Rock: Yes
• Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: Yes

But do you like it?
John: ✯ ✯ ✯
Lew : ✯ ✯ ✯
Neal: ✯ ✯ ✯

 

Medium 45 1965 BobDylan LikeARollingStone 600

Sep­tember 18

Bob Dylan
Like A Rolling Stone
Co­lumbia 4-43346
(1 week)

First time I heard Like A Rolling Stone it was coming out of the speakers on the wall of Square Records on Public Square, the center of Wilkes-Barre, Penn­syl­vania. Stopped me in my tracks. I knew it was Dylan but it sure didn’t sound like, you know, Dylan.

Hell, it didn’t sound like any­thing I had ever heard be­fore. And as idio­syn­cratic as the singing style ap­peared, it in­flu­enced a lot of people and gen­er­ated other hits records, to the point where Mo­town had Levi Stubbs em­u­late Bob in their biggest hit Reach Out I’ll Be There (see the Oc­tober 15, 1966, entry).

A book could be written about this record and I don’t doubt that John and Lew and I wouldn’t se­ri­ously con­sider it if one of us pro­posed it. 

John: Ac­tu­ally, at least one person has written a book about this record: Greil Mar­cus’s Like A Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan At The Cross­roads. It’s pretty good, too. But it hardly cov­ered the whole sub­ject. If other books have been written, I doubt they have ei­ther.

Neal: The Marcus book is twelve years old and out of print. We’re al­most done with this #1 Hits of the ’60s stuff and Lew’s fin­ished with his latest novel and you al­ways rise to the oc­ca­sion.

Lew: Any con­tri­bu­tion I made to such a book would have to in­clude mem­o­ries of hearing this song, back to back with You Were On My Mind by We Five and Liar, Liar by the Cast­aways, in the fall of my sopho­more year in high school. Each in its own way was a coded mes­sage to me that said, “Your par­ents don’t un­der­stand you. Your teachers don’t un­der­stand you. The gov­ern­ment doesn’t un­der­stand you. But I do. And this world will someday be ours.”

In the novel Neal refers to above, my pro­tag­o­nist, lis­tening to HIGHWAY 61 REVISITED for the first time, talks about Dy­lan’s voice, “like some­thing he used to know and had for­gotten. The voice of some­body too clever for his own good, hurt and lonely and re­jecting be­fore he was re­jected. Like looking in a mirror and seeing some­body far more mys­te­rious than he’d ever seen there be­fore.”

Neal: I knew I could sway (“sucker”?) you guys into at least thinking about such a project. If we should do such a book, I will prove that the Mys­tery Tramp is ac­tu­ally a man­i­fes­ta­tion of Mr.Tambourine Man.

John: I should just add that my re­sponse to hearing this for the first time (in the late ’70s, as usual) was So that’s what all the fuss is about. And then I played it again and again until I learned the lyrics. And, yeah, I knew what they meant long be­fore I mem­o­rized them, but I’ve since for­gotten.

• Bill­board Hot 100 #1: No
• Million-seller: Yes
• RIAA Gold Record: No
• Ac­cu­mu­lated sales: Un­known
• 500 Songs That Shaped Rock: Yes
• Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: Yes

But do you like it?
John: ✯ ✯ ✯
Lew : ✯ ✯ ✯
Neal: ✯ ✯ ✯

 

Medium 45 1965 BarryMcGuire EveOfDestruction 600

Sep­tember 25

Barry McGuire
Eve of De­struc­tion
Dun­hill D-4009
(1 week)

“The eastern world, it is ex­ploding, vi­o­lence flaring, bul­lets loading. You’re old enough to kill but not for voting, you don’t be­lieve in war but what’s that gun you’re toting? And even the Jordan River has bodies floating. But you tell me over and over and over again, my friend, you don’t be­lieve we’re on the eve of de­struc­tion.”

If these opening lines failed to at­tract any Top 40 radio lis­ten­er’s at­ten­tion, the singer’s rasping voice, hor­ri­fied and out­raged, got them to pay at­ten­tion. While it’s easy to as­sume that “the eastern world” refers to Vietnam, that war was hardly talked about in 1965 and when it was, the over­whelming ma­jority of Amer­i­cans be­lieved it was a “just cause” as it would keep the gooks out of San Fran­cisco and the Com­mies from pol­luting our pre­cious bodily fluids. (We were saving that for the Cap­i­tal­ists.)

This record may ac­tu­ally have caused a few of them—at least the younger ones—to re­think that po­si­tion.

Lew: It seems al­most laugh­able now that the world re­ally is ending—Trump’s war on blacks, Latinos, women, and im­mi­grants; cli­mate change; ISIS; eco­nomic collapse—to look back on a cri de coeur like Eve Of De­struc­tion. But, as Dave Mason said, “at the time I re­ally felt that way.”

My gen­er­a­tion grew up under what seemed a very real threat of nu­clear war—nobody had had ar­se­nals of atomic weapons be­fore, so no­body knew if we were going to sur­vive. The Cuban Mis­sile Crisis, the as­sas­si­na­tion of JFK, and the Vietnam War made all of us feel like our lives were at risk.

Neal: Lew, I think our gen­er­a­tion lived through the eve of de­struc­tion and now we’re living in the dawn of the dead. When this record was #1, there were people sug­gesting Gov­ernor Reagan of Cal­i­fornia for Pres­i­dent. Hard to be­lieve that the leaders of the Rep*blican Party of the ’60s con­sid­ered him a rightwing ex­tremist and there­fore, ahem, un­e­lec­table.

But then that was be­fore the es­ca­la­tion of the war, the protests, and demon­stra­tions, the GOP adopting the so-called Southern Strategy and white su­prema­cists, Wa­ter­gate, the Evan­gel­i­cals adopting the GOP, et al.

Back to the record: Eve Of De­struc­tion was orig­i­nally written by Sloane for the Tur­tles as a follow-up to their first big hit, It Ain’t Me Babe. The group didn’t see Eve Of De­struc­tion as a single but in­cluded it on their first album ear­lier in ’65.

John: The Tur­tles’ re­sponse to Eve Of De­struc­tion, at least as they told the story later, was on the order of “Okay, it will be a mon­ster hit. But then what?” They couldn’t imagine a fol­lowup. It may have been a case of hind­sight being 20/20, but, if that was their thought process, they were right.

They had hits straight through the ’60s. Barry McGuire was the de­f­i­n­i­tion of a one-hit-wonder. What a hit, though. I named it my fa­vorite one-hit wonder of all time on my blog a while back.

Lew: As Neal said ear­lier, the one-two punch of Like A Rolling Stone and Eve Of De­struc­tion, fol­lowing Mr. Tam­bourine Man in July and the Lovin’ Spoon­ful’s Do You Be­lieve In Magic in Au­gust, ush­ered in a new genre of music, folk-rock, which (if memory serves) John Se­bas­tian once called “a sort of Amer­ican armed re­sponse to the British In­va­sion.”

Let us also not over­look the pum­meling power of the 12-string guitar on this song, or McGuire’s vir­tuoso singing, or the great melody and brainy lyrics of the P. F. Sloane source ma­te­rial.

• Bill­board Hot 100 #1: Yes (1 week)
• Million-seller: Yes
• RIAA Gold Record: No
• Ac­cu­mu­lated sales: 2,000,000
• 500 Songs That Shaped Rock: Yes
• Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: No

But do you like it?
John: ✯ ✯ ✯
Lew : ✯ ✯ ✯
Neal: ✯ ✯

 

Medium 45 1965 McCoys HangOnSloopy 600

Oc­tober 2

The Mc­Coys
Hang On Sloopy
Bang B-506
(1 week)

The backing track to Hang On Sloopy was recorded by Bob Feldman, Jerry Gold­stein, and Richard Got­tehrer, who recorded as the Strangeloves, It was meant for the follow-up single to their big hit, the ir­re­press­ible I Want Candy. But they gave the track to the Mc­Coys who added the vo­cals and took it to the top of the charts!

Feldman, Gold­stein, and Got­tehrer had written and pro­duced a pre­vious #1 record, the An­gels’ My Boyfriend’s Back (see the Sep­tember 7, 1963, entry).

Later in the year, the Ramsey Lewis Trio had a Top 20 hit with a jazzy piano ver­sion of Hang On Sloopy while Little Caesar & the Con­suls reached the Top 60 with their un­cat­e­go­riz­able reading of (My Girl) Sloopy.

The Mc­Coys’ second record was a rocking ver­sion of Little Willie John’s 1956 hit Fever. This was ac­tu­ally a medley of Fever and Turn On Your Love­light done in a style very rem­i­nis­cent of their first single and it reached the Top 10 later in ’65. But by the end of ’66, the Mc­Coys had trouble get­ting their records played on AM radio.

Lew: It was decades later be­fore I learned that Hang On Sloopy was ac­tu­ally a cover song, orig­i­nally per­formed by the Vi­bra­tions as My Girl Sloopy. I have the highest re­gard for the Mc­Coys (whose lead gui­tarist and singer Rick Zehringer would change his last name to Der­ringer and have huge suc­cess both as a solo artist and with the Winter brothers), but Hang On Sloopy is a text­book case of the con­trast be­tween R&B (loose, swinging, soulful, a little dan­gerous) and pop (tight, clean, safe).

John: A swinging mon­u­ment of-and-to White Boy Stomp, a con­cept that was tied up with Europe’s 500-year win­ning streak, just then reaching a crisis of con­science. It won’t sur­prise me if Rick’s scream in the bridge turns out to be the exact turning point—after which Western Civ­i­liza­tion was forced to start playing pre­vent de­fense. It’s that ex­citing, that ad­dic­tive, and that vac­uous. If it didn’t happen here, it was on a Tommy James record.

• Bill­board Hot 100 #1: Yes (1 week)
• Million-seller: Yes
• RIAA Gold Record: No
• Ac­cu­mu­lated sales: Un­known
• 500 Songs That Shaped Rock: No
• Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: No

But do you like it?
John: ✯ ✯ ✯
Lew : ✯ ✯ ✯
Neal: ✯ ✯ ✯

 

Medium 45 1965 Beatles Yesterday PS EC 600

Medium 45 1965 Beatles Yesterday 600

Oc­tober 9–October 16

The Bea­tles
Yes­terday
Capitol 5498
(3 weeks)

Yes­terday was first is­sued in early Au­gust 1965 in the UK as just an­other track on the Bea­tles’ fifth album HELP! But the al­bums that Capitol is­sued in the US with the same title as their British coun­ter­parts often had very dif­ferent track line-ups. In the US ver­sion of HELP!, Yes­terday was one of seven Bea­tles record­ings re­placed by in­stru­mental music from the movie by sound­track com­poser Ken Thorne.

In early Sep­tember, Capitol is­sued Yes­terday backed with Act Nat­u­rally, an­other track re­moved from the British album. It leaped to the top of the charts! After two weeks at #1, Yes­terday was bumped out of the top spot but re­turned on Oc­tober 30, 1965. It spent one more week as the na­tion’s best-selling record for a total of three weeks at #1.

Lew: A Paul Mc­Cartney solo record under the Bea­tles’ name. Less than two years into their world­wide suc­cess, the band was al­ready starting to come apart.

Neal: Yes­terday went on to be­come one of the most recorded songs in his­tory. My second fa­vorite ver­sion (other than the Fab Four’s) was Elvis Pres­ley’s live ver­sion from his 1969 en­gage­ment in Las Vegas.

John: Speaking of vac­uous (as I did in my com­ment about the Mc­Coys’ Hang On Sloopy above): I al­ways thought Mc­Cartney could have stuck with his orig­inal title “Scram­bled Eggs” until I heard Smokey Robinson render it pro­found on The Ed Sul­livan Show in 1968.

Neal: While I loved Smokey gritty R&B singer of the ’50s and early ’60s and Smokey the soul and pop singer of the later ’60s, I cringe when­ever I hear Smokey the over­wrought Vegas singer. But if you like this Smokey, check out the 2006 movie Last Hol­iday with Queen Lat­ifah; Smokey does a reading of Tears Of A Clown that owes more to Whitney Houston and Ce­line Dion than to any of the R&B sources that in­spired the song fifty years ago.

• Bill­board Hot 100 #1: Yes (4 weeks)
• Million-seller: Yes
• RIAA Gold Record: Yes (Oc­tober 20, 1965)
• Ac­cu­mu­lated sales: 2,000,000
• 500 Songs That Shaped Rock: Yes
• Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: Yes

But do you like it?
John: ✯ ✯
Lew : ✯ ✯
Neal: ✯ ✯ ✯

 

Medium 45 1965 Toys ALoversConcerto 600

Oc­tober 23

The Toys
A Lover’s Con­certo
DynoVoice 209
(1 week)

The groovy sound of this record was the work of pro­ducer Charles Calello working out of Olm­stead Recording Studio in New York City. Calello also recorded the Four Sea­sons’ Let’s Hang On and Lou Christie’s Lightnin’ Strikes at the same place. As the former was a #1 record later in ’65 and the latter a #1 record in ’66, it has me won­dering why the studio doesn’t have a better his­tor­ical rep­u­ta­tion.

Lew: The great melody here is swiped from the Minuet In G major, orig­i­nally at­trib­uted to J. S. Bach, now be­lieved to have been written by Chris­tian Pet­zold. It was schlocky big-band leader Freddy Martin who first turned the minuet into a pop song in the 1940s, though Mar­t­in’s ver­sion does not seem to be avail­able any­more.

The fact that Mar­t­in’s ver­sion was also called A Lover’s Con­certo sug­gests that song­writers Sandy Linzer and Denny Ran­dell got their “in­spi­ra­tion” from Martin rather than a Bach ex­er­cise book as has been claimed. Com­pare with an­other clas­sical swipe, Allan Sher­man’s Hello Mudduh, Hello Fadduh! which topped the chart in Au­gust of 1963.

Here, lead singer Bar­bara Harris re­ally takes the vocal into the stratos­phere, staying just this side of shrill.

Neal: Sandy Linzer and Denny Ran­dell also had a hand in writing an­other chart-topping hit this year, the afore­men­tioned Let’s Hang On!

John: A great ex­ample of a record that mat­ters for how it sounds. I’ve prob­ably heard it sev­eral hun­dred times and the only words I know are “How gentle is the rain?” After that, I just make noises in the key-of-Barbara-Harris and smile along.

Lew: My great friend Paul Williams (of Craw­daddy fame) once said some­thing to the ef­fect of: “It isn’t even that im­por­tant what the words say. The real meaning is in the gui­tars and drums, the way a record sounds. It’s a feeling that’s bigger than words could ever be.”

John: Here, as else­where, Paul Williams knew what he was about!

• Bill­board Hot 100 #1: No
• Million-seller: Yes
• RIAA Gold Record: Yes (De­cember 7, 1965)
• Ac­cu­mu­lated sales: 2,000,000
• 500 Songs That Shaped Rock: No
• Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: No

But do you like it?
John: ✯ ✯ ✯
Lew : ✯ ✯ ✯
Neal: ✯ ✯

 

Medium 45 1965 Beatles Yesterday 600

Oc­tober 30

The Bea­tles
Yes­terday
Capitol 5498
(1 week)
This record spent two weeks at #1 on Oc­tober 9–October 16, 1965, for a total of three weeks at the top. Refer to that date for more in­for­ma­tion.

 

Medium 45 1965 Rolling Stones GetOffOfMyCloud PS 600

Medium 45 1965 RollingStones GetOffOfMyCloud 600 1

No­vember 6–November 13

The Rolling Stones
Get Off Of My Cloud
London 45-9792
(2 weeks)

Ac­cording to Mick Jagger, this song was a “stop-bugging-me, post-teenage-alienation song. The grown-up world was a very or­dered so­ciety in the ’60s, and I was coming out of it. America was even more or­dered than any­where else. I found it was a very re­stric­tive so­ciety in thought and be­havior and dress.”

But ac­cording to Keith Richards, it was a “knee-jerk re­ac­tion” and the Stones’ re­sponse to people asking for a follow-up to Sat­is­fac­tion. In­stead of saying, “Go away!” they said, “Get off of my cloud!” (Song­Facts)

Both make sense.

Lew: I was never that much of a Charlie Watts fan, but his over-the-top drum­ming com­pletely sells this song, prob­ably my fa­vorite Stones single.

Neal: In the dis­ap­pointing 2009 movie The Boat That Rocked (re­leased as Pi­rate Radio in the US), there is a scene where leg­endary British disc-jockey Kevin Ka­vanagh (Rhys Ifans) re­lates an anec­dote about how he once tried to se­duce a beau­tiful woman by em­u­lating Mick Jagger and dancing to Get Off Of My Cloud playing on a jukebox in a Third World bar. Three things you should know about this scene:

It’s the best scene in the movie.
It was cut from the final ver­sion of the movie.
The movie should have been about Kevin Ka­vanagh.

John: After this one, Beelzebub sent a note: “We’ll talk again in ’68. After you give me Brian Jones.”

• Bill­board Hot 100 #1: Yes (2 weeks)
• Million-seller: Yes
• RIAA Gold Record: No
• Ac­cu­mu­lated sales: Un­known
• 500 Songs That Shaped Rock: No
• Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: Yes

But do you like it?
John: ✯ ✯ ✯
Lew : ✯ ✯ ✯
Neal: ✯ ✯ ✯

 

Medium 45 1965 Supremes IHearASymphony 600

No­vember 20

The Supremes
I Hear A Sym­phony
Mo­town M-1083
(1 week)

This was the sixth chart-topping single in eigh­teen months for the Supremes. Ac­cording to songwriter-producer La­mont Dozier: “I used to go to the movies and I would see that the main stars had their own theme songs. When they ap­peared on the screen, you would hear this melody be­hind them.

So the lyrics, ‘When­ever you are near, I hear a sym­phony,’ it was about this guy. When­ever he came around, in her mind she got this feeling and she heard this melody. He brought out the music in her.” (Song­Facts)

Some song­writers hear a con­certo, others a sym­phony. When we’re lucky, they turn that into a hit record and we all share in the joy of the new music.

• Bill­board Hot 100 #1: Yes (2 weeks)
• Million-seller: Yes
• RIAA Gold Record: No
• Ac­cu­mu­lated sales: Un­known
• 500 Songs That Shaped Rock: No
• Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: Yes

But do you like it?
John: ✯ ✯ ✯
Lew : ✯ ✯ ✯
Neal: ✯ ✯ ✯

 

Medium 45 1965 LenBarry 1 2 3 600

No­vember 27

Len Barry
1-2-3
Decca 31827
(1 week)

Len Barry is the former lead singer for the Dovells who were best known for the dance hits Bristol Stomp and You Can’t Sit Down. As a solo artist, Barry reached the top with the old-fashioned 1-2-3, which fea­tured a title we would come to as­so­ciate with bub­blegum records in 1968 but sounded like a black soul record in 1965.

Lew: Neal and I had our first bonding mo­ment, as we were just get­ting to know each other, over Len Barry. This is a great song and re­ally holds up over the years. The record has a unique sound—a com­bi­na­tion of Bar­ry’s voice (get­ting into Frankie Valli ter­ri­tory), the echo on it, and the Spec­torish orchestration—that im­me­di­ately draws you in.

Neal: And that bonding for the two of us old farts was as easy as, well, 1-2-3. (Al­though I am amazed you can re­member that—it was, like, months ago!) Lew and I are in ac­cord on so many is­sues and tastes that each was thinking the other was putting him on with all the agree­ments and sim­i­lar­i­ties. Now we look for things on which to dis­agree, like Mrs. Brown You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter and the Bea­tles’ second movie.

John: This is such a fine and con­vincing “blue-eyed soul” record it often shows up on ’60s soul comps that ig­nore even the Right­eous Brothers and the Ras­cals!

Neal: Ac­cording to one of the song’s writers, John Madara: “We were sued by Mo­town when Berry Gordy was suing anyone whose records sounded like a Mo­town record. [They were] saying that 1-2-3 was taken from a B-side of a Supremes record called Ask Any Girl. The only sim­i­larity be­tween the two songs are the first three notes where the Supremes sang ‘Ask any girl’ and Lenny sang ‘1-2-3.’

“Their law­suit said that our goal was to copy the Mo­town sound [and they] kept us in court, tying up all of our writers’ roy­al­ties, pro­duc­tion roy­al­ties, and pub­lishing roy­al­ties. So after bat­tling with them for two years and having a ton of legal bills, we made a set­tle­ment with Mo­town, giving them 15% of the writers’ and pub­lishers’ share.” (Song­Facts)

Ac­cording to the Mur­rells book, 1-2-3 sold 1,500,000 copies in the US. This is more than I would have guessed since Decca didn’t submit it for an RIAA Gold Record Award, which would have been a big deal for Bar­ry’s ca­reer at that time. But I can see how the law­suit might have re­strained Decca from wanting Mo­town to know ac­tual sales fig­ures and in­come from the record.

• Bill­board Hot 100 #1: No
• Million-seller: Yes
• RIAA Gold Record: No
• Ac­cu­mu­lated sales: Un­known
• 500 Songs That Shaped Rock: No
• Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: No

But do you like it?
John: ✯ ✯ ✯
Lew : ✯ ✯ ✯
Neal: ✯ ✯ ✯

 

Medium 45 1965 Byrds TurnTurnTurn 600

De­cember 4

The Byrds
Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Every­thing There Is A Season)
Co­lumbia 4-43424
(1 week)

Ac­cording to Pete Seeger, his pub­lisher in­formed him that he could no longer sell the protest songs that Seeger wrote. Pete replied, “I can’t write the kind of songs you want. You gotta go to some­body else. This is the only kind of song I know how to write.” Seeger had been reading the Bible and was taken by a pas­sage in the book of Ec­cle­si­astes (3:1-8) and wrote it down.

He took this pas­sage, tweaked it to his needs, im­pro­vised a melody, and called it Turn! Turn! Turn! He sent it off to the pub­lisher, who replied, “Won­derful! Just what I’m looking for.” Within two months, the pub­lisher had sold the song to the Limeliters. (Song­Facts)

The song was recorded by the Limeliters in 1962 and ap­peared on their Folk Matinee. Jim McGuinn liked the song and gave it a new arrange­ment for in­clu­sion on Judy Collins third album in 1963, upon which he played acoustic 12-string guitar.

As a member of the Byrds, McGuinn sug­gested it as a single that wasn’t written by Dylan. He wrote an­other arrange­ment for the group and the Byrds had their second chart-topper in less than twelve months.

John: You could quibble about whether Eve Of De­struc­tion was an anti-war record. There’s no doubt about “A time for peace, I swear it’s not too late.” Knowing he would have to de­pend for shock troops on the very de­mo­graphic that put this record on top, LBJ should have lis­tened. He didn’t.

The arrange­ment was and is un­earthly. More poignant by the year be­cause you can hear a better world being sum­moned and know that world never ar­rived.

Neal: By the time this record was on its last legs on the Top 100, Gene Clark had written and the Byrds had recorded Eight Miles High. As the group’s first new single of 1966, many people thought it was a sure­fire #1 record. It didn’t get close, but that’s an­other story.

By the way, when­ever I am lis­tening to the Byrds’ recording of Turn! Turn! Turn! I think it’s the most per­fect record ever made.

• Bill­board Hot 100 #1: Yes (3 weeks)
• Million-seller: Yes
• RIAA Gold Record: No
• Ac­cu­mu­lated sales: Un­known
• 500 Songs That Shaped Rock: No
• Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: Yes

But do you like it?
John: ✯ ✯ ✯
Lew : ✯ ✯ ✯
Neal: ✯ ✯ ✯

 

Medium 45 1965 FourSeasons LetsHangOn 600

De­cember 11

The Four Sea­sons
Let’s Hang On
Philips 40317
(1 week)

Let’s Hang On! was written by pro­ducer Bob Crewe with Sandy Linzer and Denny Ran­dell, the latter two having written an­other #1 record this year, the Toys’ A Lover’s Con­certo (see the Oc­tober 23, 1965, entry).

The groovy sound of this record was the work of pro­ducer Charles Calello working out of Olm­stead Recording Studio in New York City. Calello also recorded the Toys’ hit and Lou Christie’s Lightnin’ Strikes at the same place. As the former was a #1 record ear­lier in ’65 and the latter a #1 record in ’66, it has me won­dering why the studio doesn’t have a greater his­tor­ical rep­u­ta­tion.

Let’s Hang On! was the Four Sea­sons’ fifth chart-topper. It was also their last, al­though Frankie Valli would hit #1 as a solo artist with Can’t Take My Eyes Off You in 1967.

John: I find it in­ter­esting that, in the year when “po­lit­ical con­scious­ness” broke out, the Four Sea­sons were the only act to put working-class re­alism on top of the charts. It isn’t as overt as Dawn (Go Away) or even Rag Doll, but it’s still clear that a working stiff is having a hard time hanging on to his sig­nif­i­cant other be­cause he doesn’t have the dough … or at least thinks he doesn’t, which amounts to the same thing.

Lew: Bravo, John! Well put.

Neal: Be­lieve it or not, in 1966 the Four Sea­sons lent this song and their tal­ents and did a tele­vi­sion com­mer­cial for Beechnut Pep­per­mint Gum!

John: The pep­per­mint gum of the working man!

• Bill­board Hot 100 #1: No
• Million-seller: Yes
• RIAA Gold Record: No
• Ac­cu­mu­lated sales: Un­known
• 500 Songs That Shaped Rock: No
• Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: Yes

But do you like it?
John: ✯ ✯ ✯
Lew : ✯ ✯ ✯
Neal: ✯ ✯ ✯

 

Medium 45 1965 HerbAlpert TasteOfHoney600

De­cember 18

Herb Alpert & the Ti­juana Brass
Taste Of Honey
A&M 775
(1 week)

Herb Alpert had been around for years as a trumpet player and singer but only en­joyed any suc­cess as a song­writer, having a hand in the hits Baby Talk for Jan & Dean and Won­derful World for Sam Cooke. Then he came upon the idea of recording Mari­achi-fla­vored pop music with local studio mu­si­cians, whom he dubbed the Ti­juana Brass.

John: Now this is a record that could have been a big hit be­fore 1955.

Lew: Yet I don’t think it would have been a hit—certainly not as big a one—without the Wrecking Crew playing backup.

John: True, but I think that just proves the Wrecking Crew re­ally could do any­thing!

Neal: While Alpert was only mod­estly suc­cessful as a Top 40 sin­gles artist, he was prob­ably second only to the Bea­tles in al­bums sold in the ’60s! WHIPPED CREAM & OTHER DELIGHTS was the biggest selling album of 1965, selling on a par with 1964’s MEET THE BEATLES! Both al­bums were among the very biggest selling al­bums of all time—prior to the ex­plo­sion of record sales in the 1970s.

• Bill­board Hot 100 #1: No
• Million-seller: Yes
• RIAA Gold Record: No
• Ac­cu­mu­lated sales: Un­known
• 500 Songs That Shaped Rock: No
• Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: Yes (Life­time Achieve­ment in Non-Performer Cat­e­gory)
• Grammy Award: Record of the Year 1965
• Grammy Award: Best In­stru­mental Per­for­mance – Non-Jazz 1965
• Grammy Award: Best In­stru­mental Arrange­ment 1965
• Grammy Award: Best En­gi­neered Recording – Non-Classical 1965

But do you like it?
John: ✯ ✯
Lew : ✯ ✯ ✯
Neal: ✯ ✯

 

Medium 45 1965 DaveClarkFive OverAndOver PC 600

Medium 45 1965 DaveClark5 OverAndOver 600

De­cember 25

The Dave Clark Five
Over And Over
Epic 5-9863
(1 week)

The Dave Clark Five were rel­a­tively suc­cessful in their na­tive UK with four Top 10 hits in 1963-1965. But in the US it was a dif­ferent story: As part of the British In­va­sion of 1964, they were second only to the Bea­tles. On Cash Box, the DC5 had six sides make the Top 10 in 1964, with three more in ’65.

Over And Over was the group’s only US chart-topper and it marked the be­gin­ning of the end of their sin­gles au­to­mat­i­cally being hits on this side of the At­lantic. After this one, they would see one more Top 10 hit be­fore being all but for­gotten by Top 40 radio.

Lew: Not a lot of bands took their name from the drummer, but in this case, Clark was also the pro­ducer, song­writer, and very much the leader. How­ever, even at the time, ru­mors cir­cu­lated that he was not playing drums on the records.

Ses­sion drummer Bobby Graham, who claims to have played on 15,000 records, in­cluding You Re­ally Got Me by the Kinks and Gloria by Them, says, “I was on a lot of the hits but Dave did play on album tracks.”

Cer­tainly, the drum­ming on Over And Over—like on their pre­vious top-ten hit, Catch Us If You Can from Au­gust (and which should have been the #1 record in­stead of Over And Over)—was a major part of the ap­peal of the song.

Neal: The orig­inal ver­sion of Over And Over was the flip-side of Bobby Day’s big hit of 1958, Rockin’ Robin. Bobby Day was the stage name for Robert James Byrd, who was all over the R&B map in the ’50s. Byrd wrote and cut the orig­inal ver­sion of Little Bitty Pretty One as Bobby Day. It went nowhere, but when it was recorded by Thurston Harris, he took it to the Top 10 in late 1957.

As one of two known fans of Zal Yanovsky’s pos­sibly bloody bril­liant first and only 1968 solo album, ALIVE AND WELL IN ARGENTINA, I would be truly re­miss if I failed to men­tion his de­mented ver­sion of Little Bitty Pretty One. (Next time you have friends over and you’re all high, play this one loud and watch the con­ster­na­tion as your friends try to figure out if this record re­ally sounds like this or they’re so stoned they’re just hearing it wrong.)

John: This is the only one of the DC5’s many big hits I don’t much care for. Nat­u­rally, it’s their only Amer­ican #1. It’s unre­deemed for me even by their usual mighty strengths: the drum­ming (who­ever did it) and Mike Smith’s pow­er­house vo­cals. It’s not ter­rible, but, to quote Elvis: “It just don’t move me.”

• Bill­board Hot 100 #1: Yes (1 week)
• Million-seller: Yes
• RIAA Gold Record: No
• Ac­cu­mu­lated sales: Un­known
• 500 Songs That Shaped Rock: No
• Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: Yes

But do you like it?
John: ✯ ✯
Lew : ✯ ✯ ✯
Neal: ✯ ✯ ✯

The Bea­tles’ ‘I Feel Fine’ was the biggest hit of 1965 on the Cash Box Top 100. Find the other big hits of the year here! Click To Tweet

Byrds Hullabaloo 1965 1000

FEATURED ARTIST: After making Bob Dylan a house­hold name by taking Mr. Tam­bourine Man to the top­per­most of the pop­per­most. The five orig­inal mem­bers made what was ar­guably the most glo­rious music of 1965, no­tably their two chart-topping sin­gles, Mr. Tam­bourine Man and Turn! Turn! Turn! Most of the sides they recorded that year can be found on their first two al­bums, both named after the hit sin­gles.

Then they set­tled into fig­uring out nu­merous ways to un­der­mine their suc­cess and the en­suing in­ternal dis­sen­sion ranked with that of the Beach Boys. The ar­ticle “The Byrds: Sur­viving TV Ap­pear­ance 1965–1991” on the Alan’s Album Archives web­site lists all know ex­tant videos of the Byrds with com­men­tary. Much of the com­men­tary on the group 1965–1968 men­tions the fric­tion among the mem­bers.

By early 1966, the Byrds were a quartet and while they con­tinued to make great records, they never ap­proached the suc­cess of their first year. By 1968, McGuinn and Hillman were the only re­maining mem­bers and they were ef­fec­tively func­tioning as Gram Par­sons’ sidemen on the SWEETHEART OF THE RODEO project.

Year-end observations

Thirty-one records reached #1 on the Cash Box Top 100 chart in 1965. Here is the break­down of #1 records based on how many weeks they spent at the top of the chart:

8 weeks: 0
7 weeks: 0
6 weeks: 0
5 weeks: 0
4 weeks: 3
3 weeks: 2
2 weeks: 7
1 week: 19

Million-sellers: 31
RIAA Gold Records: 10

If 1964 was the year of the British In­va­sion, then 1965 was the year of the British Beach­head. Groups and solo artists from across the pond es­tab­lished them­selves as some­thing much more than a fad. (I know: I should write an ar­ticle about the so-called British In­va­sion and ex­plain the dif­fer­ence be­tween in­va­sion and beach­head and oc­cu­pa­tion. Someday I just might.)

Top 40 radio con­tinued, if in not quite as dra­matic and over­whelming a manner. Whereas the Bea­tles had taken six sides to the top spot of the Cash Box Top 100 for twenty-one weeks, this year it was only five records at #1 for a mere thir­teen weeks.

Other Eng­lish artists con­tinued to do well: Petula Clark, Her­man’s Her­mits, Freddie & the Dreamers, Wayne Fontana & The Mind­ben­ders, the Stones, and the Dave Clark Five.

Mo­town got even bigger: the Supremes reached #1 three times, and the Four Tops’ years of gig­ging and recording fi­nally paid off with their first chart-topper.

Amer­ican chart-toppers were Gary Lewis & the Play­boys, the Beach Boys, Sonny & Cher, the Mc­Coys, the Toys, and the Four Sea­sons.

Gold Record Awards

Of the thirty-one records that reached #1, Joseph Mur­rells lists thirty-one of them as million-sellers. Record com­pa­nies sought cer­ti­fi­ca­tion from the RIAA for of­fi­cial Gold Record Awards for ten sin­gles.

RIAA cer­ti­fi­ca­tion rate: 3%

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