Wednesday, 30 June 2010

The Golden Years of Number Ones

It's tempting to say that pop (rock, dance, whatever) music is at its best when you're between, when,  fifteen and twenty-five? The same age girls are at their sexiest. Because it's not about the music, it's about your capacity to react to it. Well, I'm going to beg to differ here. I was still at Belmont Junior School when this period started and just started Erith Grammar School when it ended. I give you from the 5th April 1963 to the 24th September 1965 as the longest unbroken run of high-quality Number Ones in musical history. Ken Dodd ended it all, with Tears, which is why my generation hated him. After that the Number Ones were often novelty numbers (Ernie The Fastest Milkman In The West - huh?) as they were stone knock-outs (Good Vibrations). In order...

How Do You Do It - Gerry and the Pacemakers
From Me to You - The Beatles
I Like It - Gerry and the Pacemakers
Sweets for my Sweet - The Searchers
Bad To Me - Billy J Kramer and The Dakotas
She Loves You - The Beatles
Do You Love Me - Brian Poole and The Tremelos
You'll Never Walk Alone - Gerry and the Pacemakers
I Want to Hold Your Hand - The Beatles
Glad All Over - The Dave Clark Five
Needles and Pins - The Searchers
Anyone Who Had A Heart - Cilla Black
Little Children - Billy J Kramer and The Dakotas
Can't Buy Me Love - The Beatles
A World Without Love - Peter and Gordon
Don't Throw Your Love Away - The Searchers
You're My World - Cilla Black
House of the Rising Sun - The Animals
It's All Over Now - The Rolling Stones
A Hard Day's Night - The Beatles
Do Wah Diddy Diddy - Manfred Mann
Have I The Right - The Honeycombs
You Really Got Me - The Kinks
I'm Into Something Good - Herman's Hermits
Pretty Woman - Roy Orbison
(There's) Always Something There to Remind Me - Sandi Shaw
Baby Love - The Supremes
Little Red Rooster - The Rolling Stones
I Feel Fine - The Beatles
Yeah Yeah - Georgie Fame
Go Now - The Moody Blues
You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling - The Righteous Brothers
Tired of Waiting For You - The Kinks
I'll Never Find Another You - The Seekers
The Last Time - The Rolling Stones
Concrete and Clay - Unit 4+2
Ticket to Ride - The Beatles
King of The Road - Roger Miller
Where Are You Now (My Love) - Jackie Trent
Long Live Love - Sandi Shaw
I'm Alive - The Hollies
Mr Tambourine Man - The Byrds
Help - The Beatles
I Got You Babe - Sonny and Cher
(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction - The Rolling Stones
Make It Easy on Yourself - The Walker Brothers

and then the execrable "Tears".  Okay, I missed a couple, which were at the top for a week, because I didn't want quibbles. This is about twenty-eight months of non-stop strong songs. The period when the Number One was also one of the best songs around that week. Of course, Like A Rolling Stone wasn't a Number One, but it came out in this period. The next year, 1966, saw tat mixed with Eleanor Rigby and Good Vibrations and popular music was never the same again. That period, from April 63 to September 65 was classic pop at its peak, high on youthful spirits (and maybe a couple of reds). In the next years, the music would be high on many things, but youthful exuberance was not one of them.

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