As explained when this session was announced, it was a total fluke that THE SOUNDS OF ’66 coincided with the start of the World Cup in Brazil. The reason I chose 1966 as the theme was largely influenced by ‘Revolution In The Head’ by Ian MacDonald, an excellent book about The Beatles and the social and cultural changes of the 1960s (highly reccommended if you’ve never read it).
Part of the book consists of a month-by-month chronology of 1960s music, culture and current affairs, and it was from this detailed chronology that, a few years ago, I constructed a huge playlist of every major UK singles chart hit of the decade (around 1000 songs).
Listening back to these songs in the order that they hit the charts, I noticed that around 1964 something starts to happen. The Beatles lit the touch paper in ’63, and by the following year there was a real surge of homegrown talent dominating the hit parade. Alongside The Beatles come the likes of The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Animals and The Pretty Things. By 1965 the momentum is gathering and they are joined by The Who, The Yardbirds, The Small Faces, Spencer Davis Group and more.
One thing that links all the above bands is a love of black American r&b music, and it’s in 1965 that Motown and Atlantic (incorporating Stax) establish fully-fledged UK operations, bringing the likes of The Supremes, Martha & The Vandellas, Wilson Pickett and Otis Redding more regularly to the charts.
Add to this Bob Dylan, The Byrds and The Beach Boys, and 1965 hits an incredible peak for both UK and US artists, a peak that was sustained well into 1966, with these different artists influencing each other, conciously or not, with each succeeding record. Roger McGuinn from The Byrds called it “an international code going back and forth through the records”.
However, this peak is largley singles-based and it’s not until 1966 that this creative high spills over to albums, spearheaded by three key albums of 1965 – The Beatles’ ‘Rubber Soul’ and more influentially, Bob Dylan’s ‘Bringing It All Back Home’ and ‘Highway 61 Revisited’. What marks these albums out as being different to those of most of their contemporaries is that they are made up of totally original material.
In 1966, for the first time, the likes of The Rolling Stones, The Kinks and The Hollies all release albums of original material (The Who almost manage it with ‘A Quick One’ which contains just one cover version).
It is 1966 that marks the transition of pop to rock, and of r&b to soul.
However, in the album charts, there were only three different albums to reach the number one spot that year (excepting ‘Rubber Soul’ which straddled the top spot over Christmas 1965 and into the new year) – ‘Aftermath’ by The Rolling Stones, ‘Revolver’ by The Beatles and the biggest selling album of the year (and also of 1965 and 1968) ‘The Sound of Music’.
So. Explanation over. Down to the session itself.
Our two featured albums were decided on by a poll – six UK albums, six USA albums.
In the UK poll, ‘Face To Face’ by The Kinks was in the lead from pretty much day one, taking 35% of the total votes, leaving The Beatles in second place, The Who in third, Georgie Fame and The Hollies in joint fourth and The Rolling Stones at the bottom of the pile.
However, we had a problem in the USA poll, with Bob Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel and Marvin Gaye all tying for first place, closely followed by Nina Simone and Otis Redding, Bob Lind receiving the least votes. This issue was resolved by quickly scribbling the name of each artist onto a slip of paper, folding it and inviting our guest Martin the Mod to pick one out. Much to my delight, he picked out ‘Moods of Marvin Gaye’.
As for Martin himself, he treated us to a storming hat-trick of floorfillers from ’66 and also Glossop Record Club’s first open display of dancing. It was quite a moment!
Bernard, Bill, Beany, Brett, John and Simon (spot the odd ones out) also brought records to share, and the Dansette was in action too, bringing the authentic sound of ’66 to the proceedings (complete with a couple of skidding discs).
Listen to digital highlights of the music played here.
We’ll be back on Thursday 10th July for the VINYL FEST 2014 live albums special, and before that, at the Glossop Beer Festival on Sunday 22nd June from 4pm for a ‘Bring Your Own Vinyl’ session.
THE SOUNDS OF ’66 – MUSIC PLAYED
DANSETTE SELECTION – THE AUTHENTIC SOUND OF ’66
The Beach Boys – God Only Knows (Capitol)
The Hollies – I Can’t Let Go (Parlophone)
The Four Tops – Reach Out (I’ll Be There) (Tamla Motown)
Cream – I Feel Free (Reaction)
The Left Banke – Pretty Ballerina (Smash)
Donovan – Sunshine Superman (Epic)
The Lovin’ Spoonful – Summer In The City (Karma Sutra)
Cliff Richard – Blue Turns To Grey (Columbia)
Wayne Fontana – Something Keeps Calling Me Back (Fontana)
The Easybeats – Friday On My Mind (United Artists)
Billy Preston – Billy’s Bag (Sue)
The Small Faces – All Or Nothing (Decca)
The Yardbirds – Over Under Sideways Down (Columbia)
The Byrds – Eight Miles High (CBS)
The Supremes – You Keep Me Hangin’ On (Tamla Motown)
Gary Walker – You Don’t Love Me (CBS)
UK poll winner: THE KINKS – Face To Face (Pye)
Side One: Party Line/Rosy Won’t You Please Come Home/Dandy/Too Much On My Mind/Session Man/Rainy Day In June/House In The Country
Side Two: Holiday In Waikiki/Most Exclusive Residence For Sale/Fancy/Little Miss Queen Of Darkness/You’re Looking Fine/Sunny Afternoon/I’ll Remember
David Bowie & The Lower Third – Can’t Help Thinking About Me (Pye)
Georgie Fame & The Harry South Big Band – Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag (Sound Venture, Columbia)
The Hollies – Clown (For Certain Because, Parlophone)
MARTIN THE MOD’S HAT-TRICK
Junior Parker – These Kind Of Blues (Part 1) (Vocalion)
Slim Harpo – I’m A King Bee (Stateside)
Chris Farlowe – Out Of Time (Immediate)
THE FOOTBALL RECORD
Lonnie Donegan – World Cup Willie (Pye)
USA poll winner: MARVIN GAYE – Moods Of Marvin Gaye (Motown)
Side One: I’ll Be Doggone/Little Darling (I Need You)/Take This Heart Of Mine/Hey Diddle Diddle/One More Heartache/Ain’t That Peculiar
Side Two: Night Life/You’ve Been A Long Time Coming/Your Unchanging Love/You’re The One For Me/I Worry ‘Bout You/One For My Baby (And One More For The Road)
Manfred Mann – Pretty Flamingo (EMI)
Billy Preston – Billy’s Bag (Sue)
Anita Harris – Watermelon Man (Somebody’s In My Orchard, CBS)
David Frost/John Cleese – Matter Of Taste (The Frost Report On Britain, Parlophone)
Adge Cutler & The Wurzels – Drink Up Thy Zider (Columbia)
Peter Cook and Dudley Moore – Six Of The Best (Once Moore With Cook, Decca)
VARIOUS ARTISTS – FLASHBACK 1966 (Contour)
The Walker Brothers – The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore/Dusty Springfield – You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me/The Merseys – Sorrow
Ali Akbar Khan – Dhun In Khamaj (Sarod, HMV)