Top Ten Tunes- 1968

Every Friday, I’m publishing my top ten songs from a single year and this week it’s the turn of 1968.

For previous top ten tunes, please click on the year: 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018

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The Krays sipping a lovely cuppa- nice lads.

In 1968, Mauritius gains independence from the UK, motor racing world champion Jim Clark is killed at 32yrs when his car leaves the racing track and smashes in to a tree in Hockenheim, the new Abortion Act comes into effect allowing abortions in certain circumstances and provided free n the NHS, Martin Luther King is assassinated by James Earl Ray which leads to rioting across the US, the first Isle of Wight festival takes place, British tennis player Virginia Wade wins the US Open, the M1 motorway is completed, the Olympics take place in Mexico– which sees the Black Power Salute during a medal ceremony, anti-Vietnam protests take place in London, Mary Bell an 11yr old girl is sentenced to life imprisonment for the killing of two young boys, Senator Robert Kennedy is assassinated, the Kray twins are arrested for the murder of two underworld gang members and the films 2001: a Space Odyssey, Rosemary’s Baby, Bullitt, Night of the Living Dead, Planet of the Apes, Romeo and Juliet, Yellow Submarine, Funny Girl, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Oliver! are released.

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When a playlist starts with Stevie Wonder and then goes onto Aretha Franklin then onto the Beatles and ends with the Mamas & Papas and also features both Marvin Gaye and Otis Redding, you know the 60s were everything and yes once again I could cry. Here’s all those gems from 1968, in no particular order.

1. For Once in My Life by Stevie Wonder

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2. Think by Aretha Franklin

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3. Lady Madonna by the Beatles

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4. Son of a Preacher Man by Dusty Springfield

5. Build Me Up by The Foundations

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6. I Heard it Through the Grapevine by Marvin Gaye

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7. Everyday People by Sly and the Family Stone

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8. Piece of My Heart by Big Brother & The Holding Company (Janis Joplin)

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9. (Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding

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10. Dream a Little Dream by Mamas and the Papas

Aretha & the Beatles are very close seconds, but it’s Marvin that is my favourite this week (one of the most perfect beginnings for a song ever).

See you next week for 1969!

 

 

Top Ten Tunes- 1967

Every Friday, I’m publishing my top ten songs from a single year and this week it’s the turn of 1967.

For previous top ten tunes, please click on the year: 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018

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Mick Jagger & Keith Richards arrested for possession of illegal drugs. Neither of them spent more than a day in prison despite their sentencing.

In 1967, was the Summer of Love, which was a social phenomenon that involved thousands of hippies or flower children converging in San Fransisco and other parts of the US and Europe, racing driver Donald Campbell is killed in a crash on Coniston Water in the Lake District trying to break his own speed record, the UK win the Eurovision Song Contest with Sandie Shaw’s performance of Puppet on a String– it was the first song in the English language to win the contest, the Beatles release their album Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band, Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones is arrested and jailed for a year for drug possession and Mick Jagger is jailed for 3 months, the first colour television broadcasts take place, private acts of consensual male homosexuality are decriminalised, English road cyclist Tom Simpson dies of exhaustion during the Tour de France, the Concorde was unveiled in France, Arab forces attack Israel beginning the Yom Kippur War where the Arab forces were defeated and Israel took possession of additional territory, Muhammad Ali is stripped of his heavyweight title for refusing induction into US army, United Kingdom and Ireland apply officially for EEC membership, Otis Redding tragically dies in a plane crash aged only 26 years old, the films The Graduate, Cool Hand Luke, the Jungle Book, The Dirty Dozen, Bonnie and Clyde and Belle de Jour are all released.

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The 60s are most definitely swinging now. This week’s list features two of my all-time favourite singers- Aretha and Otis. If you get a chance, I strongly recommend watching both of the videos below. They were both such amazing singers and performers and these videos capture this perfectly. Also, this week begs the question, will the Beatles be my most featured artist across all of these top ten tunes lists? Beating Madonna? Maybe…Anyway, here’s my top ten tunes from 1967, in no particular order.

1. Everything’s Gonna Be Alright by PP Arnold

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2. Respect by Aretha Franklin (one of my favourite clips of Queen Aretha performing. Also, in 1967 she released 6 amazing singles and it was almost arbitrary which one I picked)

3. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell

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4. Everlasting Love the Love Affair

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5. Daydream Believer by the Monkees

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6. People Are Strange by the Doors

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7. Foxey Lady by Jimi Hendrix

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8. Big Spender by Shirley Bassey

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9. Hello, Goodbye by the Beatles

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10. Try a Little Tenderness by Otis Redding (try watching this without a tear in your eye, whilst remembering he died the day after this was recorded at only 26 years old)

Of course, this week my favourite is Queen Aretha, but Love Affair & Otis are a verrrrrrry close second. Let me know which of these tracks from 1967 is your favourite.

See you next week for 1968!

Top Ten Tunes- 1966

Every Friday, I’m publishing my top ten songs from a single year and this week it’s the turn of 1966.

For previous top ten tunes, please click on the year: 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018

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In 1966, the Action Man toy figure is first introduced to the UK, John Lennon declares that the Beatles are more popular than Jesus, after it goes missing from an exhibition- Pickles the dog finds the FIFA World Cup Trophy wrapped in a newspaper in a garden in south London, the General Election takes place and Labour led by Harold Willson win, the UK opens the first drive-through safari park outside of Africa at Longleat Park, regular Hovercraft service starts across the English Channel, Time magazine uses the phrase “Swinging London for the first time, the Moors Murders Ian Brady and Myra Hindley are sentenced to life imprisonment for the murders of three children, Guyana gains independence from the UK, it’s rarely been mentioned by the English, but England beat West Germany 4-2 and win the World Cup and it is watched by an all-time record UK television audience of 32,000,000 (to put that in perspective the UK population was 54,000,000 at the time), the Beatles play their very last concert in San Francisco, a coal soil tip collapses in Aberfan, Wales killing 144 (116 of which were children), Barbados achieves independence from the UK, anti-Vietnam war protests take place across the world, the TV series Batman  and Star Trek debut, ex-marine Charles Whitman kills 14 and injures 31 during a killing spree at the University of Texas, Chairman Mao launches China’s Cultural Revolution and begins purging intellectuals, and the films Blow-Up, Alfie, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf? and Born Free are released.

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Yep, I’m still sitting here crying over how great the 60s were. It’s relentless. Tune after tune after tune. After a mini-breakdown, I still managed to whittle the tunes down to 10 and here they are for y’all. Spotify list at the end as per.

1. I’m a Believer by the Monkees

2. You Can’t Hurry Love by the Supremes

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3. Sunny Afternoon by the Kinks

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4. All or Nothing by the Small Faces

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Nothing to see here. Just the Small Faces walking their pet crocodiles around London. Move along now.

5. Reach Out, I’l Be There by Four Tops

6. Strangers in the Night by Frank Sinatra

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7. Eleanor Rigby by the Beatles

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Can’t stop/won’t stop adding the Beatles to these lists.

8. River Deep Mountain High by Ike & Tina Turner

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9. When A Man Loves A Woman by Percy Sledge

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10. God Only Knows by the Beach Boys

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The Beach Boys really enjoying themselves in London. Also, what a year the Boys had in 1966. They released 3 amazing singles this year and I could’ve included all 3 of them in this list tbh.

Ooooh it’s close between the Four Tops, Frank, the Supremes and the Beach Boys, but it’s the lads with God Only Knows that’s my absolute favourite from 1966. Which one is yours, gang?

See you next week for 1967!

 

Top Ten Tunes- 1965

Every Friday, I’m publishing my top ten songs from a single year and this week it’s the turn of 1965.

For previous top ten tunes, please click on the year: 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018

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Sir Winston Churchill’s funeral. He was honoured with a state funeral. They are usually only reserved for a monarch. Churchill was the last non-monarch to receive a state funeral.

In 1965, twin brother Ronnie & Reggie Kray are arrested on suspicion of running a protection racket in London, Sir Winston Churchill dies at the age of 90 and thousands attend his state funeral in London, The Gambia becomes independent from the UK, a Royal Air Force plane crashes in Oxfordshire just after take off from RAF Abingdon killing all 41 men on board, Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs escapes Wandsworth prison and flees to Brazil, Ian Brady and his girlfriend Myra Hindley are arrested and charged with the Moors Murders, the Magic Roundabout premiers on British TV, Mary Quant introduces the miniskirt from her shop on Kings Road, London, PizzaExpress opens its first restaurant in London, race riots break out in Watts, California leaving much of the city burnt and looted and 34 dead, the Voting Rights Act (allowing African Americans to vote) in the US becomes lawRhodesia declares Unilateral Independence from the UK and becomes Zimbabwe, Malcom X is shot and killed in New York and the films Doctor Zhivago, the Sound of Music, Thunderbolt, the Ipcress File and Help! are all released.

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I heart the 60s so much, I could almost cry just thinking about how good the music is from this era. In case you’re wondering how I come up with my list of top tens, I partly use my brain and what music knowledge it contains and I also do a thorough research into what songs were released in that year. I then do a “long list”, which I eventually and painstakingly (especially for the 60s), narrow the long list down to 10 songs. I’m telling you this because any of the songs in my long list for 1965 could’ve easily made my top ten. I did get there eventually though. Here they are, in no particular order.

1. My Generation by The Who

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2. Help! by The Beatles

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3. Stop! In The Name of Love by the Supremes

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4. Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag by James Brown

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5. Uptight by Stevie Wonder

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6. I Got You Babe by Sonny & Cher

7. California Dreamin’ by the Mamas & the Papas

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8. We Gotta Get Out of This Place by the Animals

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9. I Put a Spell on You by Nina Simone

10. Like a Rolling Stone by Bob Dylan

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I recently told someone that I wasn’t much of a fan of Bob Dylan yet here he is for second time appearing in my top tens. What the fuck do I know?

Yet another week, where I am finding it near impossible to pick a favourite, but it’s between The Beatles, Sonny & Cher, The Supremes and The Who….and I think it’s going to have to be The Who as My Generation is such an authoritative example of British music from that (excuse the pun) generation.

See you next week for 1966!

 

 

Top Ten Tunes- 1964

Every Friday, I’m publishing my top ten songs from a single year and this week it’s the turn of 1964.

For previous top ten tunes, please click on the year: 1960 1961 1962 1963 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018

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In 1964, music TV programme Top of the Pops airs for the first time, the average weekly wage is £16, the British and French government agree a deal to build the Channel Tunnel expecting it to take 5 years to build, the Queen gives birth to Prince Edward, the first purpose-built guardwara is built in the UK in Bradford, violent riots take place between Mods and Rockers on Clacton  and Brighton beaches, the Great Train Robbery trials result in seven of the eleven men sentenced to 30 years in prison, BBC Two is born and and the BBC Television Service is renamed BBC One, Princess Margaret gives birth to a daughter– Sarah, the first Habitat store is opened, the first undercover shopping centre is opened in the UK in Birmingham, Malawi gains independence from the UK, the Post Office Tower in London is completed, the last executions take place in the UK, Malta obtains independence from the UK, the Olympics takes place in Tokyo, the general election takes place and Labour defeat the Conservatives making Harold Wilson Prime Minister, Northern Rhodesia becomes the independent Republic of Zambia ending 73 years of British rule, race riots takes place across the US, the civil rights act is signed by President Johnson in the US making it illegal to discriminate against anyone based not their race, religion, sex national origin or colour of their skin, Dr Martin Luther King wins the Nobel Peace Prize, Elizabeth Taylor marries Richard Burton for the first time, Nelson Mandela is sentenced to life imprisonment in South Africa and the films Dr. Stranglove, A Hard Day’s Night, Mary Poppins, My Fair Lady, Goldfinger and Zulu are all released.

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So, we’re really starting to get a feel for the “British Invasion” as 7 out of these 10 acts are British. Our most British year of the 60s so far. Oh and it’s a good ‘un. Here’s my ten favourite tracks from 1964, in no particular order.

1. A Hard Day’s Night by the Beatles

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ADORE this photo of the lads

2. All Day and All of the Night by the Kinks

the Kinks in 1964, the year You Really Got Me was released

3. I’m Into Something Good by Herman’s Hermits

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4. Baby Love by the Supremes

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5. I Get Around by the Beach Boys (Love them and love their slightly awkward standing around and singing)

6. Shout by Lulu (Lulu giving it 100% 60s)

7. Stay by the Hollies

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8. The House of the Rising Sun by The Animals

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9. Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood by Nina Simone

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QUEEN

10. Downtown by Petula Clark

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I’m really struggling to pick a favourite compared to all the other decades, as I seem to love them all equally each week, but if you’re really going to push me, I’ll say…the lads- The Beatles.

See you next week for 1965!