141. ‘Telstar’, by The Tornados

Great Review!

The UK Number Ones Blog

To fully appreciate this next #1, I want you to go back and listen to the previous chart-topper, Elvis’s ‘She’s Not You’. Off you go. Done? Good. Because we need to make sure we know exactly where we are in October 1962. We’re in a bit of a post rock ‘n’ roll slump, with lots of middling pop and quirky novelties rather than an easily definable ‘Sound of ‘62’. And after that mediocre piece of Elvis-by-numbers, this song’s going to Blow. Your. Mind.

MAINtornados

Telstar, by The Tornados (their 1st and only #1)

5 weeks, from 4th October – 8th November 1962

The intro alone to ‘Telstar’ has enough innovative weirdness for there to have been papers written and conferences held on it. It’s an intro that sets a scene. I imagine a dust track at night in the Nebraskan desert. What sounds like a car coming…

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My Top 20 Fave Sitcoms

20. FRASIER (1993-2004)

Spin-off of the long-running Cheers, Frasier also ran for 11 years and was record-award-winning, giving Kelsey Grammer the unique record of playing the same character for a record-breaking 20 years for a sitcom character. A huge fave of critics, the scriptwriting was sharp, smart and full of great one-liners. The cast was superb, now moved from Boston to Seattle, divorced from Lilith, a radio Shrink, and newly-reacquainted with his family, Frasier had a great supporting cast of characters in his pernickity pyschiatrist brother Niles, his ex-cop disabled no-nonsense dad Martin, and his dog, his radio producer Man-eating Roz, and Martin’s live-in carer from Manchester the blunt Daphne. All beautifully acted, and invariably the cast either were nominated or won Emmys each year of it’s run. Millicent Martin played Daphne’s mum, which was a nice bit of 60’s UK TV nostalgia for older viewers, and one of my fave characters was Frasier’s ruthless Manager, Bebe.

One of the fun bits were the celebrity cameo voice-overs popping in as radio phone-in’s with issues for Frasier to advise on: Christopher Reeve, Daryl Hannah, John Lithgow, Ben Stiller, and oodles of others. The relationships between the main characters provided the backbone to the show, but the most-popular was probably married-man Niles falling secretly in love with Daphne, and the show ran with it for years – peaking with Daphne finding out, Niles being divorced from his never-seen-much-talked-about-wife Maris by then, and them eloping to get married on impulse. Thereafter the show lost it’s sparkle, which is generally a huge no-no in TV’s: once you lose the flirting and longing, you get cosy and boring as the replacement, or else tedious melodrama. One of my fave spin-offs were Frasier and Niles essentially morphing into Sideshow Bob and his brother Cecil in the Simpsons. Both poised and dignified, the loss of dignity and murderous intent for Bart Simpson in the show is hilarious.

 

19. RED DWARF (1988-2018)

The show that never dies, and an unlikely long-runner (sporadically) being as it’s a cast of 4 or 5 set in the distant future on a mining space ship Red Dwarf after the end of the rest of the human race bar one – Dave Lister, beer-swilling laddy Scouser inspiring a whole TV channel in his name, and latterly paying for 2 great revival series (with one more to go). Rob Grant & Doug Naylor started, executive-produced and scripted the early episodes and series, and following the partnership split, Doug Naylor carried on alone from series 7.

As I’m a sci-fi nerd you’d expect I’d get into the show right off the bat – not so. Sci-fi comedy had always been crap, so I expected this to be the same, especially with the premise: former street-poet Craig Charles as Dave, a descendant of a cat (Cat – Danny John-Jules), and an obnoxious dead now-hologram Arnold Rimmer (impressionist comic actor Chris Barrie) together with sarcastic seemingly-simple Norman Lovett as a computer. My mum enjoyed it though, and I gradually started watching it series 2 and 3 and it just got better as it went on with the addition of android Kryten (Robert Llewellyn) and computer Holly replaced by Hilly (stand-up Hattie Hayridge). Peaking around series 5 or 6, the next two series went onto film and the whole mood changed, it needed the studio audience. Plus the whole banter and interplay changed for the worse with the addition of Kochanski (Lister’s long-crush, originally an occasional welcome guest played by pop star Claire Grogan) – played by Chloe Annett, which waters down the basic concept of the last human and his frustrations, kept sane by his non-human mates and escapades. A total lads show.

The BBC run ended in 1999 and it took channel Dave to commission a 2008 filmed 3-episode special to boost it back to life, as the cast became available in between other work, like Coronation Street (Craig Charles). It didn’t quite work, but did let Dave bring the show back proper, studio audience and cast of 4, in 2012 for series 10, then series 11 and 12 2016 and 2017, all of which caught the classic mood of the early 90’s. Great one-liners, great sci-fi homages, great characters, fun plotting and a very warm unsentimental ensemble make for a show that is still good fun. I hope they do more!

18. THE BIG BANG THEORY (2007-2019?)

Still running, though not quite as sharp and geeky as it’s earlier seasons, The Big bang Theory is a sci-fi nerd’s wet dream: so many pop culture, science and sci-fi/fantasy references run through the show that you would imagine it would be a minority interest sitcom. Not so. It’s huge worldwide. The premise, 4 geeky scientists/engineers in their 20’s, is a sort of nerdy version of Friends, minus the women – the only regular female cast mate is neighbour Penny to flat-sharing Sheldon & Leonard (named after sitcom legend Sheldon Leonard), a not at-all nerd, hot and popular and self-assured. Over the seasons Leonard and Penny get together and marry, and she gets 2 scientist girlfriends to hang out with (Bernadette, Howard’s future wife, and Amy, Sheldon’s future wife) leaving poor old Raj unhitched to date). With more female cast members the balance of the show got less nerdy and more soap, but still maintained it’s sci-fi credentials, notably the number of Star Trek actors passing through, not least semi-regular former child actor and Next Gen star Will Wheaton playing himself.

Overall I prefer it to it’s obvious ancestor Friends, not just for the sci-fi/pop culture elements that I can relate to, but because the characters aren’t as annoying – more lovable than irritating, as Ross, Chandler, Monica and co could be at times. There’s also a sort of spiritual Roseanne going on (only not as tedious, and thank goodness no Roseanne Barr) with 3 cast members featuring, 2 as semi-regulars, and Johnny Galecki as star. The break-out star though is Jim Parsons as award-winning super-ego-super-nerd-super-IQ scientist Sheldon, complete with all his many many hang-ups, quirks and foibles. My introduction to the show came through my niece who said I should watch it (3 seasons in I’d not heard much of it really) as it was so Me. Apparently I’m a bit like Sheldon. Well, not in my universe am I anything remotely like Sheldon! (Except in the less annoying ways). I did love it though, right from the Barenaked Ladies theme song down to the endless guest stars from the sci-fi genre that I admire, and the long-running worship of Stephen Hawking, and the lads-together comics-fans camaraderie. The Comic Shop is a world I know every well.

Currently I’m one and a half seasons behind so can’t comment on recent quality, but it remains enjoyable if no longer my fave live-acted sitcom – that baton has been passed on to another still to come. There is at least one more season (the 12th) to go, after that probably renogotiating all the contracts will become too expensive and onerous I’m guessing…

17. BOTTOM (1991-1995)

Who doesn’t love a great Bottom? No, not Shakespeare, not naughtiness, but Bottom Of The Heap. The late great Rik Mayall & the equally great Ade Edmondson are basically playing older, less niche, less animated, versions of their Young Ones characters, but this time it’s Richie and Eddie, a couple of unemployed flatmate losers obsessed with trying to have sex with a woman. Any woman (Richie is till a 40-year-old Virgin). Slapstick, sentiment-free, aggressive, joyful, loveable, annoying, conscienceless, manic, pitiable, and very very funny. It spawned a stageshow version during the TV run, and a movie Guest House Paradiso in 1999, and was created by the duo as a sort of logical extension of their Comedy Club routines in the early 80’s The Dangerous Brothers.

Fellow “Young Ones” actor Christopher Ryan joined the cast, a mere 18 episodes were filmed over 3 series, and the stupid BBC brass turned down the fourth series someone on high just not getting the jokes. Not a man. Of the sexes, men more likely find the show very funny, because it’s men as losers, it’s easy to see bits of oneself in it, in a cartoon Tom & Jerry violent fashion, and it’s Ade & Rik at the top of their game. It’s not as innovative and game-changing as The Young Ones but it works way better as a sitcom. The Young Ones, apart from less than a handful of episodes tends to feel a bit disjointed and hit ‘n’ miss it’s approach, not unlike Python where bits of it remain brilliant, but chunks of it are less so.

Best episode: I think the gas man taped to the ceiling…here’s the lead-up

and for good measure here’s a bunch of stage ad-libbing equally funny…

16. SOAP (1977-81)

A complete parody of US daytime soap operas, Soap was madcap, chock-full of great outrageous characters, smart and takes soap plotting to fantastical extremes, such as sex-change, gangsters, cheating politicians, gay relationships, murder and onwards through devil-child possession, alien abduction and south-american dictators. The casting was genius, not least Katherine Helmond as well-off matriarch of the richer of two main squabbling-related families The Tates & The Campbells, Jessica Tate. She was flirty, naive, genuinely funny (she later turned up in the UK Girls On Top series). Then there was Robert Guillarme as butler Benson, black, sarcastic, caustic and pretty disliked and commented on most people in the show and all their bad traits. So popular the character got his own spin-off show set in the world politics.

Billy Crystal was innovative as gay son Jody Campbell, at first stereotypically camp but settling in to become not-remotely-camp and a proper role model in a UK TV world that didn’t have any non-camp recurring characters of gay men. It also made him a huge movie star. Then there was the ventriloquist half brother who though his doll was real and had ongoing arguments with him, the doll offending everyone at ever opportunity – Chuck & Bob. Dinah Manoff & Richard Mulligan also starred in another TV sitcom sort-of-spinoff Empty Nest (also by Soap creator Susan “Golden Girls” Harris), while Dinah was one of the pink ladies in Grease to boot. The large supporting cast was equally manic and inventive throughout the 4 series, and is regularly and rightly played as one of, if not the greatest ever, ensembles ever put together.

Very daring for it’s time, and subject to outrage and criticism from some more conservative quarters, I loved the first 3 series especially, recording them on reel-to-reel tape and playing them over and over until the advent of video-recorders came along, and then DVD’s. It only played late night on various ITV regions in the UK, so it was a bit sporadic to catch and meant dedication to staying up late. Totally worth it. These days it rarely ever gets shown (BOOOOOOO!) but as the template for later styled shows like Third Rock From The Sun, The Golden Girls (the former equally manic, the latter equally wise-cracking and pop-culture-smart), not to mention animated shows like The Simpsons, Family Guy and others, it deserves the kudos it has had from Time Magazine (one of the 100 Best TV shows of all-time), The Huffington Post (“timeless”) and The Museum of Broadcast Communications “arguably one of the most creative efforts by network television before or after”. It’s also bloody hilarious.

15. MARRIED WITH CHILDREN (1987-97)

The new Fox TV’s low-brow sitcom success (for Fox, very much an infant network) was anti-PC, broad innuendo and toilet humour writ large on American TV for the very first time. The British know all about that genre, though, it’s basically the format of the Carry-On movie series. When I’ve said how much I love the show, I’m more likely to get sighs of despair than I am anyone agreeing with me that it’s beautifully written, at least the early series are, and the characters are just terrific with spot-on performances from Ed O’Neill (later of Modern Family), Katey Sagal (who will appear again on this list), Christina Applegate (later of various comedy movies), and David Faustino as the Bundy family, selfish all – from shoe-salesman failure father Al, his lazy sex-staved wife Peggy, sneaky, conniving son Bud, and dumb babe daughter Kelly. Throw in the nagging Marcie (Amanda Bearse), Peg’s neighbour and friend & her 2 hubbies, and you have a show littered with unsentimental ridicule, one-liners, insults, social commentary, and any number of -ism-based comments, notably sexism.

It might sound like a no-hoper in these PC-days, and it was attcked at the time by many groups taking offense at it’s crudity and non-pc lines, but it does actually break the mould in the US where nobody had ever gone to the bathroom in over 30 years (except to have a bath), or talked about males with low sex-drives, or slagged off the neighbour for her chicken legs. The actors make it endearing, no question, it’s very much influential in attitude, at which point I refer to any Seth MacFarlane show, unafraid to make statements that might challenge, but at the same time make it plain that the Bundy’s are not NICE people, and they only reluctantly stand-up for each other when they are under attack from non-Bundy’s. The format was nicked by many networks in other countries, including the UK (ITV did a 7-episode attempt which showed how much you need a great cast, cos it was utter rubbish headed by Russ Abbot). As for me, I’m not generally offended by comedy, especially when words come out the mouths of characters not meant to be role models – that is, after all, real life, and ignoring it and pretending it doesn’t exist is just sticking your head in the sand. And the baser universal side of human existence can be smart and beautifully-written too, and worthy of taking the piss out of, or allowing it to take the piss out of pretentiousness and insincerity. It IS cruel at times though, so you have been warned!

14. THE IT CROWD (2006-2013) 25 episodes

The first of 2 Graham Linehan-written shows in the top 20, and a wacky joy for me – great scripts, off-the-wall eccentricity, characters, a great cast (most of whom have popped up in films since), and anyone who has an IT department at work can see little nuggets of absurd recognition in some of this. Granted it’s taken to extremes, but beautifully done. I particularly loved Noel Fielding as goth Richmond, banished to a mystery room and with the ability to seemingly hang from the ceiling at will, IT nerd Moss (Richard Ayoade), and the IT-illiterate Jen (nominally in charge but thinks she has the whole of the internet in a box). Throw in later seasons manic ego Matt Berry as Douglas Reynholm, and this Channel 4 gem is a wonder to watch and enjoy.

13. BROOKLYN NINE-NINE (2013-2019)

One of the great ensemble US comedies of the last decade, packed with great actors and characters, minority-supporting, loveable, smart, sharp, witty, fast-paced, character-driven scripts, leading to one of the great mysteries in modern TV – why on Earth Fox cancelled it in 2018! Fox, to be fair, have consistency in cancelling the greatest sitcoms on their books, clearly not having a clue what quality is. Happily NBC picked it up, and I’m still waiting to see the result of that. The break-out character was stand-up Chelsea Peretti as Gina, though the star and backbone is comedian-actor Andy Samberg, and the creative force was Parks & Recreation creators Dan Goor & Michael Schur. The whole cast is great though!

12. MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE (2000-2006)

Stylistically borrowing heavily from the earlier Parker Lewis Can’t Lose, this filmed sitcom had no studio audience and no laugh track, leaving the viewer to work out what was funny and clever and exaggerated. One of many Fox shows at the top end of my listings (much as it pains to me to admit it, Fox have made quality comedy shows, pushing the boundary away from traditional sitcoms), this was a fabulous ensemble cast, full of charm, wackiness, character, and based around a dysfunctional household of boys and an over-bearing mother and laddish father, played brilliantly by Jane Kaczmarek and the now-big-movie-star Bryan Cranston. Any show with a lot of child actors usually is a sign to turn off right away, but the boys are all played sentiment-free, much more rounded and flawed, like real kids, and wholesomeness and goody-goodness is an actual target of the family, but not in a broad Married With Children way. I especially love the supporting cast, the large, geeky Craig, co-worker of the family’s mom Lois, who is infatuated with her, the grandma (Cloris Leachman as always providing OTT greats, this time a bitter, vindictive humorless ogre) and the German immigrant rancher Otto (Kenneth Mars honing the same character he played to brilliance in What’s Up Doc and Young Frankenstein screwball comedy movies). Cloris Leachman was Phyllis in Mary Tyler Moore, and Phyllis her spin-off, and also was in Young Frankenstein, Mel Brook’s genius pastiche of horror movies, among many films and TV shows. It’s a great show.

11. THE CLEVELAND SHOW (2009-2013)

One of 3 Seth McFarlane animated sitcoms in the top 11, This Family Guy spin-off lasted 4 years before the cast was assimilated back into Family Guy (in the case of Cleveland Brown, notoriously dull friend and neighbour of Peter Griffin) and newly-added in the case of the rest of the family, Donna, Rallo, Cleveland Jr & Roberta who were all newly-created or revamped for the new location of Stoolbend. Cleveland was much wackier in his new role, and dull was dropped, and his sidekicks included Tim The Bear (voiced by Seth McFarlane) & his wife (voiced by news magnate Ariana Huffington), redneck Lester & His wife, mobile scooter-bound and overweight, Gus the barman (film director David Lynch), short-arse Holt (Jason Sudeikis) & a host of other great characters.

I was sad the show never really caught on & got prematurely cancelled (not least because they only released the first 2 seasons on DVD boo!), to me it was almost on a par with other McFarlane shows – who has since moved into movies like A Million Ways To Die In The West & Ted, and the fab new Star Trek parody comedy-drama The Orville on Fox. Yes, it’s another Fox show, yes, it’s often broad and crude and cruel, but it’s also culturally observant, politically-commenting & socially-smart with great and silly dialogue and situations. It’s also free from gooey sentiment & has a host of famous guest stars like Kanye West & Bruno Mars. Top notch.

My Top 30 Fave Sitcoms

30. CHELMSFORD 123 (1988-90)

Running for only 13 episodes over 2 series, this Channel 4/Hat Trick Productions Roman Empire Chelmsford-set historical sitcom is largely forgotten these days which is a huge shame. 123 AD is the year, and it was created by, and starred in, and written by Jimmy Mulville and Rory McGrath, a sort of piss-take on damp, miserable Britain populated by conniving and stupid Brits and Lording-it-over resentful Romans posted overseas to keep the peasants in check. Character-based, but with a delightful sense of knowing anachronism (especially Howard Lew Lewis as Blag, a simple hulk with a penchant to making references to 20th century stuff when he comes over all giddy), and a cast of many familiar writers, actors and comics of the 80’s and 90’s (and beyond) such as Andy Hamilton (Drop The Dead Donkey), Neil Pearson (ditto), Philip Pope (Blackadder), and others. The two creators played a Roman Governor Aulus Polinus (Mulville) and a sarcastic tribe-leader Badvoc (McGrath).

In some ways it was the precursor to current good sitcom Plebs (also set in Roman times), also very contemporary in approach, despite the setting. Mostly though, like all short-run sitcoms it was the scripts (daft and snappy in this case) that carried it, only unlike some lower-down the list I haven’t become tired-through-repetition of them. Never likely to be, either, as it’s never repeated anywhere. Boo hiss!

29. FRIENDS (1994-2004)

OK here’s a shock – one of the most-successful sitcoms ever is only at 29! This smart, sassy, wise-cracking group of mates was a twist on the concept of what constitutes “family” – at the root of almost all sitcoms in traditional settings based on character and plot. The cast became internationally famous, and gave Jennifer Aniston a decent comedy movie actor career, Matt Le Blanc a Top Gear stint and various sitcoms, and the others popped up in movies and TV shows, or the stage: Courtney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer. Relationships tended to be external to the group in the early days, other than the “burning” Ross/Rachel future romance, and the guest cast (many of whom were very good and went on to big things – see Antman Paul Rudd) could be either one-off or recurring for a while, before the storyline wore out.

The characters were very well-defined, though I never found them that endearing myself, whiny professor Ross grated, and his sis Monica was a bit loud, Rachel a bit annoyingly scatty, and Chandler – despite his long-running sarcastic quips – also left me a tad on the sighing side. Joey’s loveable lech was fun at the start of the series, but got tiresome as the series dragged on for two series too many. That left the main attraction, kookie Phoebe, in a world of her own, and the main reason to watch the show, other than the sharp scripts. That, and the theme tune.

It all got very incestuous (with all but the actual brother/sister, and Phoebe) in the internal relationships in the later silly seasons, but those early ones had some gems, such as The One With The Prom Video. Genuinely amusing running gags helped, as did wacky parents (Teri Garr, for one, after I’d already seen her in real life in the audience on a US movie quiz TV show pilot), but I wish they’d ended it after series 7, or 8 at a pinch. I still struggle to sit through those final series. Still enormously popular though, the show remains rated as one of the greats, and it’s influence can be seen in the biggest current sitcom in America – of which more later.

 

28. NEWHART (1982-1990)

Bob Newhart is one of my all-time comics, either as stand-up (his records sold well in the 60’s, such as his classic The Driving Instructor sketch) or comic actor on TV or movies. His finest moments, for me, though are in this second hit TV series set in in New England, as an Inn owner, and peopled by a great eccentric supporting cast of characters, and with a gorgeous Henry Mancini theme tune. Initially it started off more or less in the same decent classy mode as his 70’s hit series The Bob Newhart Show (which co-starred I Dream Of Jeannie’s Bill Daley and Marcia Wallace aka Mrs Krabappel in The Simpsons – I saw them both in the audience of the USA version of Blankety Blank and even got Bill’s autograph – and one of my fave actresses as a teen, Suzanne Pleshette, star of many a Disney movie) but as the series progressed it got increasingly bizarre and fantastical.

The more off-the-wall it got the more I liked it, Bob was just perfect as the sane, exasperated anchor at the centre of madness (much like the 60’s classic Green Acres sitcom), and went on to feature in similar kindly elderly roles in comedy movies of hot comics who were inspired by him. My fave characters though were selfish, lazy, spoilt-rich-girl maid Stephanie, and the 3 backwoods brothers, “Hi I’m Larry. This is my brother Daryl, and this is my other brother Daryl”. The two Daryl’s never uttered a word until the very last episode, and the famous (in America) last episode was a major treat as Dick (Bob) gets hit by a golf ball and wakes up in bed next to Suzanne Pleshette realising the whole 8 series have been a dream (a la Dallas, and as more recently borrowed in Breaking Bad). Perfect way to go, really! Sadly, not much in the way of classic clips for Newhart, just whole episodes, as it doesn’t lend itself to isolated one-liners so much…

27. THE YOUNG ONES (1982-84)

One of my all-time fave shows in the 80’s and 90’s, this one is another 12-episode classic run that has worn off over the decades a bit, partly due to the pacing, partly due to repeat watching over and over. By this time I had a betamax videorecorder and I could watch fave shows often – which if anything makes the flaws stand out more. Some of the episodes though, especially second season ones like Bambi (a University Challenge piss-take that is still funny) never tire. Written by Ben Elton, Rik Mayall & Lise Mayer, setting up for Blackadder, the anarchic show about repulsively selfish, violent, hippie, and conniving students living in digs together was a riotous mickey-take of Uni life, but while it had extreme elements of recognition in it, it was more comic-strip violence and playfully playing with the sitcom format. Most episodes had bands as guests, like Madness and Motorhead, and characters could at any time address the audience directly – not exactly a TV first, but something I’ve always enjoyed – while in their flights of fancy.

Starring the fab much-missed Rik Mayall as Rik (a pretentious slimy poet anarchist with a penchant for Cliff Richard – hence the series name and a later charity collaboration – who everyone hates instantly), and Ade Edmondson as Vivyan (a punk with destructive tendencies, self-or-otherwise), Neil (Nigel Planer as the grimiest, most-depressed hippie ever – so popular he had a solo hit record covering Traffic’s Hole In My Shoe in character) and Mike, the character that was supposed to be Comic Strip mainman Peter Richardson, but wasn’t (it was taken on by Christopher Ryan) – Richardson was a driving force behind co-contemporary new wave of comedy series The Comic Strip Presents, which also starred Ade Edmondson, his future wife Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French and many other live venue Comedy Store regulars who also crossed-over to guest on The Young Ones. The full list of guests is a veritable who’s who of Alternative Comedy of the early 80’s, and a veritable Giants Of British TV & Film Comedy of the next 30 years. Influential much!

Ben Elton, like the other main character-writer-stand-up Alexei Sayle (as various Balowski family members), specialised in politically-charged anti-Tory left-wing venomous stand-up. Not necessarily funny out-of-time, but ohmyword could we do with some of that right now. Thatcher then, May now. The other feature of the show were the cutaways (now a staple of Family Guy and the like), albeit to puppet-replicas of rats, bits of food, and anything really where the fancy took the writers. Best of all was the use of Rik & Ade as antagonists, based on their slapstick, insult-based, stand-up live routines, and which they took to perfection in their later TV sitcom Bottom. So anyway, “Daddy’s got a Jaguar”, get out the lentils, and put on Cliff singing Devil Woman cos here’s some clips…

 

26. Police Squad! (1982!)

Developed by the makers of Airplane, that classic zany movie pisstake of the Airport movies, David & Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and starring one of the main cast from that movie, Leslie Nielsen gaining a new lease of life as a comic actor having played the leading man for most of his career, this mickeytake of the 70’s cop show was hilarious. Just like the movies they specialised in it was a hit and miss collection of visual gags in the background, literal sentence word-play, childish gags, and comic-strip style violence and playing with and aping the television format, especially then-big Quinn Martin cop shows. The pacing was fast, very fast for the time, but ultra-modern if compared to current sitcoms in the post-Simpsons era, and it still works. Guest stars, such as Lorne Green, could be killed off in the opening scene without uttering a word. The voice-over episode title was always wrong compared to the text version. Just tickled me every time!
Leslie Neilsen was poker-faced brilliant, the supporting cast good (including Mission: Impossible’s Peter Lupus) and the show lasted a mere 6 episodes, one those bizarre instances of being ahead of it’s time. It did well in re-run’s though, despite being only half the episodes of even UK TV series like Fawlty Towers and The Young Ones. The producers had the last laugh though – they did the 3 Naked Gun movies on the back of the success in reruns, which were even better than the TV series. The show would rate higher – had they made more episodes – as I’m not including the Naked Gun movies in the rating: the first movie is firmly inside my all-time fave top 100 movies, as listed a few years back. Probably time for a review of that list what with some fab movies over the last 3 or 4 years that need adding…

25. THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES (1962-71)

This show should never have worked, and the critics were out in force from day one at the concept: a family of hick hillbillies discover oil on their backwoods land become instant millionaires and move to the ultimate rich playground of Beverly Hills in a mansion next door to their conniving and greedy banker, so he can control their naivety. Coming over as if they had dropped complete out of 1865 with no awareness of the modern world (you have to accept the premise to get the love, and also forgive Granny’s otherwise loveably cantankerous gun-toting moonshine-making non-PC viewpoints) the show was actually a brilliant inverted way of looking at 1960‘s America which remains pretty relevant today in it’s targets (the pursuit of money, unscrupulous bankers, the condescending moneyed rich). The Clampetts, Jed (the widower family-leader), his nephew Jethro (dumb as good-natured dishwater, but hot and athletic), and daughter Ellie-May and her tomboy-yet-gorgeous animal lover innocent, along with wiry Granny, Jed’s mother-in-law, are loveable. Jed is not dumb, just unworldly, and there is a real moral backbone to the show, I’d go so far as to call it satire, albeit hidden amongst low-brow gags and lines. The cast is balanced by the slimy banker Milburn Drysdale, trying to keep the Clampett’s cash in his bank, usually by getting his Jethro-obsessed spinster secretary Miss Jane to do his bidding to keep the Clampett’s happy.

The cast is fabulous, including many guest stars and recurring characters, from Buddy Ebsen as Jed (who was the original Tin Man in the Wizard Of Oz till the body paint caused him to become ill and be replaced), Max Baer Jr (Jethro), Donna Douglas (Ellie-May) and Granny (Irene Ryan), Miss Jane Hathaway (Nancy Kulp, gay in real life and with a tendancy for plain dress suits in the show, quite unusual at the time), and tragically, Sharon Tate, who became world-famous as the pregnant murder victim of evil Charles Manson and his cult followers during the show’s run. The creator behind the show was Paul Henning, who proved he had the magic touch with 2 spin-offs, with related cast-members, Petticoat Junction, starring Bea Benaderet (who played Jethro’s ma in the Hillbilllies), and Green Acres – of which more later), but the shows various audiences proved to be the undoing of them – the “rural” comedies were seen to appeal to low-brow non-advertising-target-audiences, so despite high ratings and Emmies throughout the runs, they were cancelled in an attempt to replace them with more young, urban, advert-friendly shows in 1970/71.

The show’s TV theme pretty sets up the premise with a great country banjo track, and my own love is seeing how great character-actors use the “aliens-seeing-us-for-first-time” take on modern life, I don’t think there were any shows prior to Hillbillies that did that, and it fit right in to the fantasy sitcom explosion of the 60’s. Plus, I loved the characters, the warmth, and my Beverly Hillbillies comic annual 1965 or so, which I still have. As an adult, I kinda went cold then hot on the show during various re-runs over the decades, but have come back to it in recent years following the world banking crisis, cos this show kind of said all you needed to know about greedy bankers 50 years earlier. Some cliches remain evergreen because of the nuggets of truth in them. Oh, and Max Baer, hunky to the max, dressed in 19th century drag as Jethro’s sister Jethrine has to be seen. Fab!


24. RISING DAMP (1974-78)

Maybe a little flattered here in rankings, and somewhat dated these days, but this was the very rare beast back in the day: a great British ITV sitcom. They were as rare as unicorns in a hurricane. Eric Chappell was the creator and writer and takes the most credit: by 2004 it was still the highest-rated ITV sitcom of all time in the BBC’s Top 100 all-time list. What makes it work is the setting, a crummy series of bedsits and flats in a house run by a tight-fisted, bored, interfering, letching, right-wing landlord – as played to perfection by Leonard Rossiter – Rigsby could have become unlikeable, as the main antagonist in each episode as he forces himself on his lodgers Alan (played by the already-loveable Richard Beckinsale ex of decent sitcom The Lovers with Paula Wilcox, and father of actress Kate) and Philip (played by Don Warrington to smooth perfection). Both shared a bedsit, Alan as a poor medical student, a bit naive, and Philip more worldly and second generation black – chased by Miss Jones (the wonderful Frances De La Tour, more recently of Hogwarts) the single, sophisticated lady on hard times in the flat below. Philip has some fun pretending to be the son of an African Chief getting a British education, and Rigsby has the hots for Miss Jones (and every other woman).

The chemistry between the actors and the characters is a delight, and the scripts sharp. Maybe students don’t have such crummy digs anymore, but it was pretty common back in the day (see The Young Ones for a comic-strip version), and the setting allows more than a touch of farce, and some social commentary – Rigsby is politically-incorrect and outspoken and rude (when he’s not creeping to Miss Jones) but he’s not a bigot, which is a bit of a saving grace compared to other sitcoms at the time featuring mixed casts – the godawful Love Thy Neighbour springs to mind as a cast trying to rise above a terrible premise.

The guest actors were also fabulous and the plots whimsical – the episode where Rigsby thinks he’s run over his beloved cat Vienna is a goodie (It’s a fur-stole related to his social-climbing aspirations), as is the one where he tries to woo Miss Jones with waving in front of her nose some burning wood from an African Love-Tree (Philip’s wardrobe bottom, actually), guaranteed to make her fall for him (it doesn’t). Richard Beckinsale alternated between Porridge and Rising Damp, 2 giants of 70’s sitcom, until his very early death in 1979 the year after both series had finished. Leonard Rossiter had further success with The Rise & Fall Of Reggie Perrin in the 70’s, also working on 2 sitcoms, and he too died far too soon in 1984. Influence: Rossiter/Rigsby’s vocal style, I would suggest, not unlike Eddie Izzard…

23. THE PHIL SILVERS SHOW (AKA YOU’LL NEVER GET RICH AKA BILKO) (1955-59)

The greatest sitcom of the late 50’s no contest, nothing else comes close, and a perennial re-run right through to the 90’s, this black & white show has been absent for too long, probably thanks to being in b&w which does the heads of younger TV viewers in – so they say. Poor things, so sensitive. Filmed live in front of an audience, mistakes and all, it was more of a stage show set in a backwards quiet Fort Baxter army motor pool in Kansas. In some ways the show is very 1950’s and of-its-time, a bit quaint, optimistic, nothing too demanding or dark but it works for 2 reasons: Creator & main writer Nat Hiken (who went on to write other hits like Car 54 Where Are You?) had snappy dialogue, and great characters, with an eye for comic actors (not necessarily skilled, just “right” for the role) and included early spots for future greats like Alan Alda and Dick Van Dyke; the other reason is Phil Silvers. The man was a force of nature with his break-neck delivery of dialogue, and his scheming, money-obsessed, gambling, lazy, but big-hearted and loyal Sgt Bilko was one of the great TV characters. Bilko was smart, inventive, and could pull the wool over the Jet Set socialites, and the army brass led by his adorably gullible Colonel Hall, and it made Phil Silvers a star – albeit typecast (even in Mad Mad Mad Mad World and Carry On…Follow That Camel he’s still brilliantly Bilko).

The back-up cast were equally endearing, and for the 50’s relatively ethnically mixed – as is only right for conscription representing the whole of the USA as it was comprised at the time. In one episode they even aped Elvis’ induction into the army, keeping it sitcom-“real”. Favourite characters for me are Colonel Hall as played scattily by Paul Ford, the sluggish Pvt Doberman (Maurice Gosfield, later Benny The Ball in the Bilko-based animated 60’s gem Top Cat), and Joe E. Ross as hopeless gambling Army Camp cook Sgt Ritzik and his nagging wife played by Beatrice Pons. So good they ended up starring in Nat Hiken’s next show Car 54 Where Are You in essentially the same roles, albeit police-based not army. The show won loads of awards, inspired later greats, and was beloved of many for decades. Quite right too.

22. PARKER LEWIS CAN’T LOSE (1990-93)

Probably the sitcom I most want on DVD, it’s hard to get hold of being as it was a Fox show only shown on SKY in the UK, which meant hardly anyone saw it. A real tragedy as it was very much a precursor to later fast-paced format-breaking, pop-culture-referencing, cool shows like Malcolm In The Middle. Parker Lewis went further though, breaking the barriers between audience and show in a way first seen in the 60’s on Green Acres, and it took use of camera-techniques into the realm of art. Smart, sassy and likeable, the show was basically a good vs evil fun look at High School, starring the cool Parker Lewis (Corin Nemec, later of Stargate) and his cool wannaberockstar mate Mikey, as they deal with plotlines involving the bratty short little sister, girlfriends, schoolwork, loud shirts, a prefect/vampire-like snitch of the Principal, and a huge bully/dim gentle giant obsessed with “eat now”. And what a Principal Grace Musso is. Far and away the highlight of the series is her loud, plotting, sneering character as played brilliantly by Melanie Chartoff – she shouts and the glass on her door smashes into pieces in every episode.

If you like surreal, want to get the vibes of the early 90’s US in a wholesome non-school-shooting world, a bit tongue-in-cheek, and engaging inventiveness, then you may wish to check out the show. it grows on you and deserves to be better known…

21. THE ADDAMS FAMILY (1964-66)

Written in part and originated by Marx Brothers scriptwriter Nat Perrin, the fantasy b&w show was based on a series of cartoons by Charles Addams, and ran opposite rival The Munsters. The Munsters won the ratings war, but The Addams Family was COOL. Siouxsie modelled her look on Morticia, the wife and mother of the Gothic household containing a bizarre extended well-off family of misfits and creatures that viewed themselves as normal and the rest of the world as distasteful and bizarre, but had hearts of gold in amongst the death-macabre-obsessions and lack of concern with shuffling off the mortal coil.

The characters and the cast are sheer brilliance, no less, and the scripts mildly amusing mickey-takes and distorted views of 1960’s America’s pop culture and values, and the black and white actually helps the monster mood of the show – colour would have been awful! It still comes over as charmingly classy, a bit dated, but the performances of Carolyn Jones as Morticia and John Astin as Gomez, deeply-in-love parents to Wednesday and Pugsley, are still just fabulously skilfull while the key mad-cap former child actor Jackie Coogan as Uncle Fester, together with lesser faves like Lurch the Butler, Thing (a hand in a box), Grandmama, and Cousin It (a short mass of hair and nothing else much) give great support. They even had Morticia’s mother played by the terrific Margaret Hamilton, the immortal Wicked Witch Of The West in Wizard Of Oz.

Spawning remake TV series, TV movies, 2 fab feature films with an equally great cast, which made the fab Vic Mizzy finger-snapping theme tune a 90’s hit (albeit in remake), and cartoon TV series have all helped keep The Addams Family alive in pop culture as The Munsters have dropped out of favour. The episodes are those which give the stars a chance to shine, like Gomez driven by passion when Morticia speaks French. “Cara Mia!” “You Rang”, blowing up toy trains, chalking an x on Morticia’s sleeve to note where Gomez had got to kissing her hand and arm, and general anarchy fits totally in with the groundbreaking style of The Marx Brothers and is the 2nd-rated sitcom of the 60’s by me.

So, at last, only 20 to go…

1 from the 60’s
2 from the 70s
5 from the 80s
6 from the 90’s
5 from the 00’s
1 from the 10’s

My Retro August 1967 Charts

 

5th August 1967

2 weeks of comments, and in at 1 it’s Diana Ross getting billing with The Supremes as the solo career beckons with their most ambitious psychedelic soul track yet, sheer brilliance knocking off the spooky Billie Joe country classic after only one week, both topped the US charts, quite rightly. In at 3, a childhood obsession, that kiddie chorus hook from the Pop Opera that never was, the story of Grocer Jack was pure delight and one of my all-time faves during the 60’s and 70’s. The late great Glen Campbell is pushed down by all the genius singles around, but the whole top 6 should be number one.

Canadian Tom Northcott’s folk obscurity is at 8, and Brian Hyland’s best record since Sealed With A Kiss is at 9, as The Monkees go up to only 7 with a Goffin & King classic, such is the invasion of quality. In at 11, Harpers Bizzare’s best record, a playful harmony pop rendering of the Cole Porter 1934 title musical song, and my fave version, possibly excepting Gene Wilder’s Young Frankenstein (“FRONKenSTEEN”) show-stopper. Jackie Wilson’s minor American 1967 hit, and future UK hit classic for 1969, 1975 and biggest of all 1987, Higher & Higher debuts at 12. Top 10 on all occasions, number one in 1987 for me.

The Beach Boys stall with their epic Heroes & Villains at 19, as Gary Lewis & The Playboys last great single, the lovely Jill, goes top 20. Frank Sinatra’s forgotten gem is up to 27, one of his more interesting recordings, and keeping his daughter company in the chart. The Tremeloes jolly pop goodie climbs, and the minor US track The Lewis & Clarke Expedition plays with old world explorers, (actual names though) and drafts in a Monkee on backing vocals for a popfun goodie that deserved better.

Donovan enters with his mountain sounding a bit like a Lulu backing track (that’ll be Mickie Most then), as The Letter drops by a bit low for a pop classic, ditto Itchycoo Park (a 1976 top 10 for me), and Eric Burdon & The Animals get a big climb to 46 with sultry SF nights. At 69, George Clinton debuts over a decade ahead of his Funkadelic UK groove, as The Parliaments funk goodie signals a name change due to record company collapsings. Bobby Vee pops in with a decent ballad, The Symbols template for The Bay City Rollers Four Seasons cover hangs about, and phew that’s about it.

1 ( NEW ) REFLECTIONS Diana Ross & The Supremes
2 ( 1 ) ODE TO BILLIE JOE Bobbie Gentry
3 ( NEW ) EXCERPT FROM ‘A TEENAGE OPERA’ Keith West
4 ( 2 ) ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE The Beatles
5 ( 4 ) GENTLE ON MY MIND Glen Campbell
6 ( 3 ) TO LOVE SOMEBODY The Bee Gees
7 ( 8 ) PLEASANT VALLEY SUNDAY The Monkees
8 ( 9 ) SUNNY GOODGE STREET Tom Northcott
9 ( 10 ) GET THE MESSAGE Brian Hyland
10 ( 5 ) YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE (JOHN BARRY MOVIE VERSION) Nancy Sinatra

11 ( NEW ) ANYTHING GOES Harpers Bizarre
12 ( NEW ) (YOUR LOVE KEEPS LIFTING ME) HIGHER AND HIGHER Jackie Wilson
13 ( 13 ) I WAS MADE TO LOVE HER Stevie Wonder
14 ( 11 ) RANDY SCOUSE GIT (ALTERNATE TITLE) The Monkees
15 ( 16 ) I’LL NEVER FALL IN LOVE AGAIN Tom Jones
16 ( 7 ) MORE LOVE Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
17 ( 6 ) JUST LOVING YOU Anita Harris
18 ( 18 ) WORDS The Monkees
19 ( 19 ) HEROES & VILLAINS The Beach Boys
20 ( 27 ) JILL Gary Lewis & The Playboys

21 ( 12 ) WHEN I’M SIXTY-FOUR The Beatles
22 ( 17 ) SAN FRANCISCO (BE SURE TO WEAR SOME FLOWERS IN YOUR HAIR) Scott McKenzie
23 ( 15 ) JACKSON Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood
24 ( 14 ) THE RIVER IS WIDE The Forum
25 ( 23 ) MORNING DEW Episode Six
26 ( 40 ) THE WORLD WE KNEW (OVER AND OVER) Frank Sinatra
27 ( 21 ) LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS The Beatles
28 ( 39 ) DEATH OF A CLOWN Dave Davies
29 ( 38 ) EVEN THE BAD TIMES ARE GOOD The Tremeloes
30 ( NEW ) I FEEL GOOD (I FEEL BAD) The Lewis And Clarke Expedition featuring Mike Nesmith

31 ( 31 ) GIMME LITTLE SIGN Brenton Wood
32 ( 26 ) SHE’S LEAVING HOME The Beatles
33 ( 33 ) LIGHT MY FIRE The Doors
34 ( 22 ) IT’S BEEN A LONG LONG TIME The Elgins
35 ( NEW ) THERE IS A MOUNTAIN Donovan
36 ( 24 ) YOU JUST MAY BE THE ONE (ORIGINAL VERSION) The Monkees
37 ( 25 ) YOU MAKE ME FEEL LIKE SOMEONE The Babies
38 ( 30 ) CASANOVA (YOUR PLAYING DAYS ARE OVER) Ruby Andrews
39 ( 29 ) WHAT GOOD AM I Cilla Black
40 ( 20 ) BEING FOR THE BENEFIT OF MR KITE! The Beatles

41 ( 41 ) SOUL FINGER The Bar-Kays
42 ( 42 ) MY WORLD FELL DOWN Sagittarius
43 ( 43 ) AGNES ENGLISH John Fred & His Playboy Band
44 ( 28 ) C’MON MARIANNE The Four Seasons featuring the Sound of Frankie Valli
45 ( 46 ) FAKIN’ IT Simon & Garfunkel
46 ( 71 ) SAN FRANCISCAN NIGHTS Eric Burdon & The Animals
47 ( 37 ) A DAY IN THE LIFE The Beatles
48 ( 36 ) RUDY, A MESSAGE TO YOU Dandy Livingstone
49 ( 44 ) I CAN’T SEE NOBODY The Bee Gees
50 ( 32 ) SEE EMILY PLAY Pink Floyd

51 ( 53 ) THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT The Alan Price Set
52 ( 55 ) THE TIME HAS COME P.P. Arnold
53 ( NEW ) THE LETTER The Box Tops
54 ( NEW ) ITCHYCOO PARK The Small Faces
55 ( 34 ) TOGETHER The Intruders
56 ( 35 ) LET’S PRETEND Lulu
57 ( 45 ) 7 ROOMS OF GLOOM The Four Tops
58 ( 58 ) THE WINDOWS OF THE WORLD Dionne Warwick
59 ( 47 ) WATERLOO SUNSET The Kinks
60 ( 48 ) DON’T SLEEP IN THE SUBWAY Petula Clark

61 ( 56 ) JUST ANOTHER MAN Glen Campbell
62 ( 49 ) BROWN EYED GIRL Van Morrison
63 ( 52 ) OOH BABY BABY The Five Stairsteps
64 ( 50 ) THANK THE LORD FOR THE NIGHT TIME Neil Diamond
65 ( 51 ) PAPER SUN Traffic
66 ( 63 ) DEDICATED TO THE ONE I LOVE The Mamas & The Papas
67 ( 61 ) A LITTLE BIT ME A LITTLE BIT YOU The Monkees
68 ( 74 ) YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN The Turtles
69 ( NEW ) (I WANNA) TESTIFY The Parliaments featuring George Clinton (aka Funkadelic)
70 ( 65 ) PENNY LANE The Beatles

71 ( NEW ) COME BACK WHEN YOU GROW UP Bobby Vee
72 ( 72 ) BYE BYE BABY The Symbols
73 ( NEW ) YOU’VE GOT TO PAY THE PRICE Al Kent
74 ( 57 ) A WHITER SHADE OF PALE Procol Harum
75 ( NEW ) REFLECTIONS OF CHARLES BROWN Rupert’s People

12th Aug 1967

2 weeks on top for the brilliant Reflections, now highlighted in red along with previous chart-toppers, and new entries in blue, headed by Hank Marvin’s The Day I Met Marie, as sung by mate Cliff, one of his best records of the mid 60’s. Keith West is up to 2, and The Monkees’ Pleasant Valley Sunday (which I saw in an episode of Family Guy last night) to 5. As old 30’s standard Anything Goes goes to 7, another standard is in at 69. Heart & Soul, as written by Hoagy Carmichael, has recently charted for Train – sort of, as in the tune was nicked and the lyrics were now all about Play That Song. Done soul-style here by The Incredibles.

Frank goes up, Nancy goes down and they meet in the middle, as Mike Nesmith replaces The Monkees in the 20 (helping Lewis & Clarke’s great fun track), while other hit songwriters of the day Murray & Callander help The Trems into the 20 with a catchy ditty. In at 29, a future Dave Clark 5 hit, done beautifully by The Youngbloods, minus the “Everybody”, as the quirky Agnes Engloish makes the 40.

Simon & Garfunkel’s Fakin’ It has fairly obviously inspired the backing track to Peter Paul & Mary’s clever tribute to pop acts of the time, I Dig Rock N Roll Music was a regular oldies track on my various 90’s Florida holidays, and a fair bit cooler than most of their hits. Al Kent’s good instrumental makes the 50, and new tracks from American Breed, Tony Clarke, Spencer Davis Group, and early 60’s hit act The Tokens – albeit no Wimoweh or Lions Sleeping Tonight this time.

1 ( 1 ) REFLECTIONS Diana Ross & The Supremes
2 ( 3 ) EXCERPT FROM ‘A TEENAGE OPERA’ Keith West
3 ( 2 ) ODE TO BILLIE JOE Bobbie Gentry
4 ( 4 ) ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE The Beatles
5 ( 7 ) PLEASANT VALLEY SUNDAY The Monkees
6 ( 6 ) TO LOVE SOMEBODY The Bee Gees
7 ( 11 ) ANYTHING GOES Harpers Bizarre
8 ( 8 ) SUNNY GOODGE STREET Tom Northcott
9 ( 9 ) GET THE MESSAGE Brian Hyland
10 ( 12 ) (YOUR LOVE KEEPS LIFTING ME) HIGHER AND HIGHER Jackie Wilson

11 ( 5 ) GENTLE ON MY MIND Glen Campbell
12 ( 20 ) JILL Gary Lewis & The Playboys
13 ( NEW ) THE DAY I MET MARIE Cliff Richard
14 ( 10 ) YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE (JOHN BARRY MOVIE VERSION) Nancy Sinatra
15 ( 26 ) THE WORLD WE KNEW (OVER AND OVER) Frank Sinatra
16 ( 30 ) I FEEL GOOD (I FEEL BAD) The Lewis And Clarke Expedition featuring Mike Nesmith
17 ( 29 ) EVEN THE BAD TIMES ARE GOOD The Tremeloes
18 ( 19 ) HEROES & VILLAINS The Beach Boys
19 ( 14 ) RANDY SCOUSE GIT (ALTERNATE TITLE) The Monkees
20 ( 13 ) I WAS MADE TO LOVE HER Stevie Wonder

21 ( 15 ) I’LL NEVER FALL IN LOVE AGAIN Tom Jones
22 ( 18 ) WORDS The Monkees
23 ( 16 ) MORE LOVE Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
24 ( 17 ) JUST LOVING YOU Anita Harris
25 ( 22 ) SAN FRANCISCO (BE SURE TO WEAR SOME FLOWERS IN YOUR HAIR) Scott McKenzie
26 ( 31 ) GIMME LITTLE SIGN Brenton Wood
27 ( 28 ) DEATH OF A CLOWN Dave Davies
28 ( 21 ) WHEN I’M SIXTY-FOUR The Beatles
29 ( NEW ) GET TOGETHER The Youngbloods
30 ( 50 ) THE LETTER The Box Tops

31 ( 25 ) MORNING DEW Episode Six
32 ( 27 ) LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS The Beatles
33 ( 35 ) THERE IS A MOUNTAIN Donovan
34 ( 45 ) FAKIN’ IT Simon & Garfunkel
35 ( 33 ) LIGHT MY FIRE The Doors
36 ( 43 ) AGNES ENGLISH John Fred & His Playboy Band
37 ( 38 ) CASANOVA (YOUR PLAYING DAYS ARE OVER) Ruby Andrews
38 ( 46 ) SAN FRANCISCAN NIGHTS Eric Burdon & The Animals
39 ( 23 ) JACKSON Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood
40 ( 32 ) SHE’S LEAVING HOME The Beatles

41 ( 24 ) THE RIVER IS WIDE The Forum
42 ( 53 ) THE TIME HAS COME P.P. Arnold
43 ( 34 ) IT’S BEEN A LONG LONG TIME The Elgins
44 ( 36 ) YOU JUST MAY BE THE ONE (ORIGINAL VERSION) The Monkees
45 ( 54 ) ITCHYCOO PARK The Small Faces
46 ( 52 ) THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT The Alan Price Set
47 ( 39 ) WHAT GOOD AM I Cilla Black
48 ( 37 ) YOU MAKE ME FEEL LIKE SOMEONE The Babies
49 ( 42 ) MY WORLD FELL DOWN Sagittarius
50 ( 73 ) YOU’VE GOT TO PAY THE PRICE Al Kent

51 ( 47 ) A DAY IN THE LIFE The Beatles
52 ( 68 ) YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN The Turtles
53 ( 41 ) SOUL FINGER The Bar-Kays
54 ( NEW ) I DIG ROCK ‘N’ ROLL MUSIC Peter, Paul & Mary
55 ( 58 ) THE WINDOWS OF THE WORLD Dionne Warwick
56 ( 44 ) C’MON MARIANNE The Four Seasons featuring the Sound of Frankie Valli
57 ( 40 ) BEING FOR THE BENEFIT OF MR KITE! The Beatles
58 ( 69 ) (I WANNA) TESTIFY The Parliaments featuring George Clinton (aka Funkadelic)
59 ( 48 ) RUDY, A MESSAGE TO YOU Dandy Livingstone
60 ( 75 ) REFLECTIONS OF CHARLES BROWN Rupert’s People

61 ( 49 ) I CAN’T SEE NOBODY The Bee Gees
62 ( 51 ) SEE EMILY PLAY Pink Floyd
63 ( 63 ) OOH BABY BABY The Five Stairsteps
64 ( 55 ) TOGETHER The Intruders
65 ( NEW ) DON’T FORGET ABOUT ME The American Breed
66 ( 60 ) DON’T SLEEP IN THE SUBWAY Petula Clark
67 ( 59 ) WATERLOO SUNSET The Kinks
68 ( 72 ) BYE BYE BABY The Symbols
69 ( NEW ) HEART & SOUL The Incredibles
70 ( 66 ) DEDICATED TO THE ONE I LOVE The Mamas & The Papas

71 ( 71 ) COME BACK WHEN YOU GROW UP Bobby Vee
72 ( 67 ) A LITTLE BIT ME A LITTLE BIT YOU The Monkees
73 ( NEW ) LANDSLIDE Tony Clarke
74 ( NEW ) TIME SELLER The Spencer Davis Group
75 ( NEW ) IT’S A HAPPENING WORLD The Tokens

19th August 1967

A First week at one for Keith West’s unfinished wanna-be musical masterpiece, one I adored at the time and since, knocking off the masterpiece Motown psychedelic heartbreak classic Reflections. Highest new entry at 4 is the fake West Coast hippie pop anthem from the very British Flowerpot Men (flobalot!), and it is First Class. Almost literally (see 1974’s brilliant Beach Baby). Cliff’s fab Marie sneaks into a very crowded-with-fabness top 10, so fab that Lulu’s movie theme US chart-topper can only manage a 14 debut, a good film and she was good in the movie too. Another movie theme to a great film is in at 74 – In The Heat Of The Night, for Ray Charles.

The Box Tops hit the top 20 with The Letter, and the letters are DC, as the Dave Clark 5’s future hit from the Youngbloods hits 20. John Fred’s fun wanna-be-Bond song hits the 30, and the Stones join in the Summer Of Love chorus pop as We Love You is in at 29. Engelbert Waltzes into the 60, and The Mamas & The Papas get a new light new entry as the hits started to dry up for them in the real world. Tim Buckley has a Morning Glory, and who wouldn’t want that, as Frankie Valli enters with a track uncannily not dissimilar to Can’t Take My Eyes Off You. Nilsson debuts in my charts with a Beatles B Side cover, which references other songs – rather appropriately as he became part of the Fabs creative crowd. Patti Drew enters with a soul track I don’t know, but yet sounds like I sort of half-recall it from somewhere, and Elvis pops in with another typical “Not exactly cutting edge” track for 1967, but pleasant enough.

1 ( 2 ) EXCERPT FROM ‘A TEENAGE OPERA’ Keith West
2 ( 1 ) REFLECTIONS Diana Ross & The Supremes
3 ( 3 ) ODE TO BILLIE JOE Bobbie Gentry
4 ( NEW ) LET’S GO TO SAN FRANCISCO The Flowerpot Men
5 ( 7 ) ANYTHING GOES Harpers Bizarre
6 ( 4 ) ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE The Beatles
7 ( 8 ) SUNNY GOODGE STREET Tom Northcott
8 ( 9 ) GET THE MESSAGE Brian Hyland
9 ( 10 ) (YOUR LOVE KEEPS LIFTING ME) HIGHER AND HIGHER Jackie Wilson
10 ( 13 ) THE DAY I MET MARIE Cliff Richard

11 ( 6 ) TO LOVE SOMEBODY The Bee Gees
12 ( 12 ) JILL Gary Lewis & The Playboys
13 ( 5 ) PLEASANT VALLEY SUNDAY The Monkees
14 ( NEW ) TO SIR WITH LOVE Lulu
15 ( 15 ) THE WORLD WE KNEW (OVER AND OVER) Frank Sinatra
16 ( 16 ) I FEEL GOOD (I FEEL BAD) The Lewis And Clarke Expedition featuring Mike Nesmith
17 ( 17 ) EVEN THE BAD TIMES ARE GOOD The Tremeloes
18 ( 11 ) GENTLE ON MY MIND Glen Campbell
19 ( 30 ) THE LETTER The Box Tops
20 ( 29 ) GET TOGETHER The Youngbloods

21 ( 14 ) YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE (JOHN BARRY MOVIE VERSION) Nancy Sinatra
22 ( 18 ) HEROES & VILLAINS The Beach Boys
23 ( 19 ) RANDY SCOUSE GIT (ALTERNATE TITLE) The Monkees
24 ( 20 ) I WAS MADE TO LOVE HER Stevie Wonder
25 ( 36 ) AGNES ENGLISH John Fred & His Playboy Band
26 ( 26 ) GIMME LITTLE SIGN Brenton Wood
27 ( 25 ) SAN FRANCISCO (BE SURE TO WEAR SOME FLOWERS IN YOUR HAIR) Scott McKenzie
28 ( 21 ) I’LL NEVER FALL IN LOVE AGAIN Tom Jones
29 ( NEW ) WE LOVE YOU The Rolling Stones
30 ( 34 ) FAKIN’ IT Simon & Garfunkel

31 ( 23 ) MORE LOVE Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
32 ( 33 ) THERE IS A MOUNTAIN Donovan
33 ( 28 ) WHEN I’M SIXTY-FOUR The Beatles
34 ( 22 ) WORDS The Monkees
35 ( 24 ) JUST LOVING YOU Anita Harris
36 ( 27 ) DEATH OF A CLOWN Dave Davies
37 ( 38 ) SAN FRANCISCAN NIGHTS Eric Burdon & The Animals
38 ( 32 ) LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS The Beatles
39 ( 42 ) THE TIME HAS COME P.P. Arnold
40 ( 45 ) ITCHYCOO PARK The Small Faces

41 ( 35 ) LIGHT MY FIRE The Doors
42 ( 31 ) MORNING DEW Episode Six
43 ( 40 ) SHE’S LEAVING HOME The Beatles
44 ( 37 ) CASANOVA (YOUR PLAYING DAYS ARE OVER) Ruby Andrews
45 ( 52 ) YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN The Turtles
46 ( 58 ) (I WANNA) TESTIFY The Parliaments featuring George Clinton (aka Funkadelic)
47 ( 54 ) I DIG ROCK ‘N’ ROLL MUSIC Peter, Paul & Mary
48 ( 50 ) YOU’VE GOT TO PAY THE PRICE Al Kent
49 ( 44 ) YOU JUST MAY BE THE ONE (ORIGINAL VERSION) The Monkees
50 ( 47 ) WHAT GOOD AM I Cilla Black

51 ( 51 ) A DAY IN THE LIFE The Beatles
52 ( 46 ) THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT The Alan Price Set
53 ( 53 ) SOUL FINGER The Bar-Kays
54 ( 49 ) MY WORLD FELL DOWN Sagittarius
55 ( 65 ) DON’T FORGET ABOUT ME The American Breed
56 ( NEW ) THE LAST WALTZ Engelbert Humperdinck
57 ( 41 ) THE RIVER IS WIDE The Forum
58 ( 60 ) REFLECTIONS OF CHARLES BROWN Rupert’s People
59 ( 39 ) JACKSON Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood
60 ( NEW ) TWELVE THIRTY (YOUNG GIRLS ARE COMING TO THE CANYON) The Mamas & The Papas

61 ( 43 ) IT’S BEEN A LONG LONG TIME The Elgins
62 ( NEW ) MORNING GLORY Tim Buckley
63 ( 56 ) C’MON MARIANNE The Four Seasons featuring the Sound of Frankie Valli
64 ( NEW ) I MAKE A FOOL OF MYSELF Frankie Valli
65 ( 48 ) YOU MAKE ME FEEL LIKE SOMEONE The Babies
66 ( NEW ) YOU CAN’T DO THAT Nilsson
67 ( NEW ) TELL HIM Patti Drew
68 ( 73 ) LANDSLIDE Tony Clarke
69 ( 69 ) HEART & SOUL The Incredibles
70 ( 63 ) OOH BABY BABY The Five Stairsteps

71 ( 71 ) COME BACK WHEN YOU GROW UP Bobby Vee
72 ( 55 ) THE WINDOWS OF THE WORLD Dionne Warwick
73 ( NEW ) THERE’S ALWAYS ME Elvis Presley
74 ( NEW ) IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT Ray Charles
75 ( NEW ) LOVE BUG LEAVE MY HEART ALONG Martha & The Vandellas

26th August 1967

2 weeks on top for Keith West, when I hear it I’m transported back with goosebumps to being a 9-year-old in the sunny summer holidays of RAF Valley on Anglesey, but it sounds good in it’s own right still. Cliff’s Marie goes top 5, his best record since The Next Time and Summer Holiday, kiddie faves all. One that I came across in my 20’s was Jill, Gary Lewis’s sweet song still sounds lovely, up to 10.

A big climb for The Turtles, one new to me and starting to sound as good as all their other tracks the more I play it. Great records grow with plays, lesser ones get dull after a couple of weeks. Fakin’ It also improves, a great production, up to 20. A big climb for the Small Faces, one I know inside out from buying it in 1976 2nd hit time around, and new at 28, it’s a future fab Jonathan King cover UK hit, from The Hombres. Let It All Hang Out is identical in every way in both versions, but this one came first.

Big climb for the familiar-sounding Patti Drew song, into the 40, The Mamas & The Papas B Side outdoes the A side here, new at 48, while Aretha keeps the chart entries banging out at a fast rate, and The Impressions get a 2nd entry of 1967, can’t go wrong with Curtis Mayfield. Leon Haywood debuts here (a minor US chart entry) 12 years ahead of his UK hit Don’t Push It Don’t Force It, but this one sounds better on first listen. The Association’s well-known song of the time, Never My Love, enters, and sounding quite MOR these days.

1 ( 1 ) EXCERPT FROM ‘A TEENAGE OPERA’ Keith West
2 ( 2 ) REFLECTIONS Diana Ross & The Supremes
3 ( 4 ) LET’S GO TO SAN FRANCISCO The Flowerpot Men
4 ( 3 ) ODE TO BILLIE JOE Bobbie Gentry
5 ( 10 ) THE DAY I MET MARIE Cliff Richard
6 ( 8 ) GET THE MESSAGE Brian Hyland
7 ( 5 ) ANYTHING GOES Harpers Bizarre
8 ( 6 ) ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE The Beatles
9 ( 9 ) (YOUR LOVE KEEPS LIFTING ME) HIGHER AND HIGHER Jackie Wilson
10 ( 12 ) JILL Gary Lewis & The Playboys

11 ( 14 ) TO SIR WITH LOVE Lulu
12 ( 7 ) SUNNY GOODGE STREET Tom Northcott
13 ( 11 ) TO LOVE SOMEBODY The Bee Gees
14 ( 15 ) THE WORLD WE KNEW (OVER AND OVER) Frank Sinatra
15 ( 16 ) I FEEL GOOD (I FEEL BAD) The Lewis And Clarke Expedition featuring Mike Nesmith
16 ( 13 ) PLEASANT VALLEY SUNDAY The Monkees
17 ( 20 ) GET TOGETHER The Youngbloods
18 ( 19 ) THE LETTER The Box Tops
19 ( 45 ) YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN The Turtles
20 ( 30 ) FAKIN’ IT Simon & Garfunkel

21 ( 40 ) ITCHYCOO PARK The Small Faces
22 ( 26 ) GIMME LITTLE SIGN Brenton Wood
23 ( 18 ) GENTLE ON MY MIND Glen Campbell
24 ( 29 ) WE LOVE YOU The Rolling Stones
25 ( 25 ) AGNES ENGLISH John Fred & His Playboy Band
26 ( 21 ) YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE (JOHN BARRY MOVIE VERSION) Nancy Sinatra
27 ( 17 ) EVEN THE BAD TIMES ARE GOOD The Tremeloes
28 ( NEW ) LET IT ALL HANG OUT The Hombres
29 ( 22 ) HEROES & VILLAINS The Beach Boys
30 ( 23 ) RANDY SCOUSE GIT (ALTERNATE TITLE) The Monkees

31 ( 24 ) I WAS MADE TO LOVE HER Stevie Wonder
32 ( 32 ) THERE IS A MOUNTAIN Donovan
33 ( 27 ) SAN FRANCISCO (BE SURE TO WEAR SOME FLOWERS IN YOUR HAIR) Scott McKenzie
34 ( 31 ) MORE LOVE Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
35 ( 28 ) I’LL NEVER FALL IN LOVE AGAIN Tom Jones
36 ( 56 ) THE LAST WALTZ Engelbert Humperdinck
37 ( 44 ) CASANOVA (YOUR PLAYING DAYS ARE OVER) Ruby Andrews
38 ( 67 ) TELL HIM Patti Drew
39 ( 48 ) YOU’VE GOT TO PAY THE PRICE Al Kent
40 ( 46 ) (I WANNA) TESTIFY The Parliaments featuring George Clinton (aka Funkadelic)

41 ( 35 ) JUST LOVING YOU Anita Harris
42 ( 33 ) WHEN I’M SIXTY-FOUR The Beatles
43 ( 38 ) LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS The Beatles
44 ( 47 ) I DIG ROCK ‘N’ ROLL MUSIC Peter, Paul & Mary
45 ( 41 ) LIGHT MY FIRE The Doors
46 ( 34 ) WORDS The Monkees
47 ( 43 ) SHE’S LEAVING HOME The Beatles
48 ( NEW ) STRAIGHT SHOOTER The Mamas & The Papas
49 ( 55 ) DON’T FORGET ABOUT ME The American Breed
50 ( 39 ) THE TIME HAS COME P.P. Arnold

51 ( 36 ) DEATH OF A CLOWN Dave Davies
52 ( 60 ) TWELVE THIRTY (YOUNG GIRLS ARE COMING TO THE CANYON) The Mamas & The Papas
53 ( 42 ) MORNING DEW Episode Six
54 ( 64 ) I MAKE A FOOL OF MYSELF Frankie Valli
55 ( 68 ) LANDSLIDE Tony Clarke
56 ( 73 ) THERE’S ALWAYS ME Elvis Presley
57 ( 51 ) A DAY IN THE LIFE The Beatles
58 ( 50 ) WHAT GOOD AM I Cilla Black
59 ( 49 ) YOU JUST MAY BE THE ONE (ORIGINAL VERSION) The Monkees
60 ( 37 ) SAN FRANCISCAN NIGHTS Eric Burdon & The Animals

61 ( 53 ) SOUL FINGER The Bar-Kays
62 ( 62 ) MORNING GLORY Tim Buckley
63 ( 66 ) YOU CAN’T DO THAT Nilsson
64 ( NEW ) TAKE A LOOK Aretha Franklin
65 ( 54 ) MY WORLD FELL DOWN Sagittarius
66 ( 69 ) HEART & SOUL The Incredibles
67 ( 74 ) IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT Ray Charles
68 ( 57 ) THE RIVER IS WIDE The Forum
69 ( NEW ) I CAN’T STAY AWAY FROM YOU The Impressions (featuring Curtis Mayfield)
70 ( 75 ) LOVE BUG LEAVE MY HEART ALONG Martha & The Vandellas

71 ( NEW ) IT’S GOT TO BE MELLOW Leon Haywood
72 ( NEW ) MY MAMMY The Happenings
73 ( NEW ) NEVER MY LOVE The Association
74 ( NEW ) EXPRESSWAY (TO YOUR HEART) The Soul Survivors
75 ( NEW ) DANDELION The Rolling Stones

My Retro July 1967 Chart

1st July 1967

2 weeks on top for Nancy Sinatra, as Jackson foe Nancy & Lee goes up to 28, as an alternate version (probably more famous) by Johnny Cash & wife June Carter enters at 75, and also as My Elusive Dreams enters for Tammy Wynette & David Houston, another country standard – the Nancy & Lee version from 1968 is the definitive version, though it’s close-run with the Tammy Wynette & George Jones 1973 version (husband & wife, slowed down a la Nancy & Lee, and with real emotion).

The Fabs enter the 10 with When I’m 64 (my theme tune in 5 years), and hit 2 with Lucy In The Sky, bigger then the Elton & Lennon version in 1974, while Glen goes top 5, as Dean Martin did in 1969. Smokey Robinson gets his first top 10, Frankie Valli his 3rd top 20 of the year, The Bee Gees shoot up to 30 with a song of theirs I wasn’t that familiar with, and US chart-topper The Association sneaks into the 40.

New: Morning Dew, a version I knew by Lulu eclipsed by this Deep-Purple-ish Episode Six a year ahead of Hush, while The Intruders debut at 45 7 years ahead of I’ll Always Love My Mama and Win Place Or Show. At 51, The Forum is an oddity but a goodie obscurity, and The Four Tops grab a 4th chart entry of the year with I’ll Turn To Stone – wonder where Jeff Lynne got the idea for ELO’s Turn To Stone? Look no further! Girl group harmonies for The Babies at 65, and at 74, The Easybeats return (had I been charting in 1966 for biggie Friday On My Mind) and 11 years ahead of their part-debut as Flash & The Pan.

1 ( 1 ) YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE (JOHN BARRY MOVIE VERSION) Nancy Sinatra
2 ( 3 ) LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS The Beatles
3 ( 2 ) RANDY SCOUSE GIT (ALTERNATE TITLE) The Monkees
4 ( 4 ) SHE’S LEAVING HOME The Beatles
5 ( 7 ) GENTLE ON MY MIND Glen Campbell
6 ( 6 ) YOU JUST MAY BE THE ONE (ORIGINAL VERSION) The Monkees
7 ( 5 ) I WAS MADE TO LOVE HER Stevie Wonder
8 ( 11 ) WHEN I’M SIXTY-FOUR The Beatles
9 ( 8 ) SAN FRANCISCO (BE SURE TO WEAR SOME FLOWERS IN YOUR HAIR) Scott McKenzie
10 ( 14 ) MORE LOVE Smokey Robinson & The Miracles

11 ( 9 ) PAPER SUN Traffic
12 ( 10 ) A DAY IN THE LIFE The Beatles
13 ( 16 ) MY WORLD FELL DOWN Sagittarius
14 ( 12 ) WHAT GOOD AM I Cilla Black
15 ( 19 ) JUST LOVING YOU Anita Harris
16 ( 20 ) CARRIE ANN The Hollies
17 ( 15 ) LIGHT MY FIRE The Doors
18 ( 26 ) SOUL FINGER The Bar-Kays
19 ( 13 ) 7 ROOMS OF GLOOM The Four Tops
20 ( 35 ) C’MON MARIANNE The Four Seasons featuring the Sound of Frankie Valli

21 ( 21 ) DON’T SLEEP IN THE SUBWAY Petula Clark
22 ( 17 ) A WHITER SHADE OF PALE Procol Harum
23 ( 18 ) BROWN EYED GIRL Van Morrison
24 ( 25 ) TO BE A LOVER Gene Chandler
25 ( 24 ) OOH BABY BABY The Five Stairsteps
26 ( 27 ) WITHIN YOU WITHOUT YOU The Beatles
27 ( 23 ) WATERLOO SUNSET The Kinks
28 ( 32 ) JACKSON Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood
29 ( 40 ) SEE EMILY PLAY Pink Floyd
30 ( 58 ) I CAN’T SEE NOBODY The Bee Gees

31 ( 39 ) SOCIETY’S CHILD (BABY I’VE BEEN THINKING) Janis Ian
32 ( 34 ) FOR PETE’S SAKE The Monkees
33 ( 36 ) THE OLIVE TREE Judith Durham
34 ( 37 ) BEING FOR THE BENEFIT OF MR KITE! The Beatles
35 ( 28 ) 24 SYCAMORE Wayne Fontana
36 ( 29 ) WALKING IN THE RAIN The Walker Brothers37 ( 31 ) THERE’S A GHOST IN MY HOUSE R. Dean Taylor
38 ( 32 ) CAN’T TAKE MY EYES OFF YOU Frankie Valli
39 ( 43 ) WINDY The Association
40 ( 22 ) IT MUST BE HIM Vikki Carr

41 ( 34 ) A LITTLE BIT ME A LITTLE BIT YOU The Monkees
42 ( 46 ) WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS The Beatles
43 ( NEW ) MORNING DEW Episode Six
44 ( 41 ) DEDICATED TO THE ONE I LOVE The Mamas & The Papas
45 ( NEW ) TOGETHER The Intruders
46 ( 30 ) UP, UP AND AWAY The Fifth Dimension
47 ( 47 ) I TAKE IT BACK Sandy Posey
48 ( 48 ) APPLES, PEACHES, PUMPKIN PIE Jay & The Techniques
49 ( 45 ) PENNY LANE The Beatles
50 ( 42 ) SHE’D RATHER BE WITH ME The Turtles

51 ( NEW ) THE RIVER IS WIDE The Forum
52 ( 44 ) GROOVIN’ The Young Rascals
53 ( 64 ) LET’S PRETEND Lulu
54 ( 66 ) WHITE RABBIT Jefferson Airplane
55 ( 51 ) SOMETHIN’ STUPID Frank & Nancy Sinatra
56 ( 50 ) BERNADETTE The Four Tops
57 ( NEW ) I’LL TURN TO STONE The Four Tops
58 ( 60 ) THE TRACKS OF MY TEARS Johnny Rivers
59 ( 75 ) EVERYBODY NEEDS LOVE Gladys Knight & The Pips
60 ( 65 ) MR PLEASANT The Kinks

61 ( 69 ) TEMPTATION Boots Randolph
62 ( 58 ) STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER The Beatles
63 ( 49 ) THEN I KISSED HER The Beach Boys
64 ( 55 ) ALFIE Dionne Warwick
65 ( NEW ) YOU MAKE ME FEEL LIKE SOMEONE The Babies
66 ( 56 ) SILENCE IS GOLDEN The Tremeloes
67 ( 68 ) LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE Tommy Roe
68 ( 54 ) FIRST CUT IS THE DEEPEST PP Arnold
69 ( 73 ) IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS Sonny & Cher
70 ( 74 ) I’LL NEVER NEED MORE THAN THIS Ike & Tina Turner

71 ( 67 ) IF I WERE A CARPENTER Tim Hardin
72 ( NEW ) MY ELUSIVE DREAMS David Houston & Tammy Wynette
73 ( 52 ) GIVE ME TIME Dusty Springfield
74 ( NEW ) HEAVEN AND HELL The Easybeats
75 ( NEW ) JACKSON Johnny Cash & June Carter

9th July 1967

So much great music around in the Summer Of Love everything is underperforming chartwise, and I need to expand to a top 100 really! Too much work though, so suffice to say The Beatles are untouchable as anthem All You Need Is Love gives the Fabs a 3rd chart-topper, 2 to Paul, 1 to John, and a total of 10 tracks in the 75. Ed Sheeran eat your heart out!

Big surprise are the huge climbs for 2 tracks new to me, Episode “Deep Purple” 6’s cover of Morning Dew at 11, and an even bigger one for obscurity The River Is Wide, from The Forum, evolving from a folk band Les Baxter’s Balladeers who counted one David Crosby amongst their number before moving on to The Byrds, and later Crosby Stills & Nash. A terrific OTT track that peaked at a paltry 48 in the USA, but 8 here (so far). The Grass Roots had a bigger hit in 1969 with the song.

The Bee Gees leapfrog themselves to enter at 14 with To Love Somebody, their very first classic song that has proven to be coverable (earlier releases are good records but not standards), starting with Nina Simone’s big cover in 1969. Other newies: The Elgins debut 4 years ahead of UK chart success, Neil Diamond grabs yet another hit song, must be his 6th in 6 months, the fab Desmond Dekker enters with 007, and less than 2 years on he would top charts with the first ska record to get world famous. A couple of gospel soul goodies, a muzak Doctor Zhivago song, an early 60’s girl group return with a more 1967 sound, and Sandie Shaw sneaks in with another minor UK hit.

1 ( NEW ) ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE The Beatles
2 ( 1 ) YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE (JOHN BARRY MOVIE VERSION) Nancy Sinatra
3 ( 5 ) GENTLE ON MY MIND Glen Campbell
4 ( 3 ) RANDY SCOUSE GIT (ALTERNATE TITLE) The Monkees
5 ( 2 ) LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS The Beatles
6 ( 8 ) WHEN I’M SIXTY-FOUR The Beatles
7 ( 7 ) I WAS MADE TO LOVE HER Stevie Wonder
8 ( 50 ) THE RIVER IS WIDE The Forum
9 ( 10 ) MORE LOVE Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
10 ( 6 ) YOU JUST MAY BE THE ONE (ORIGINAL VERSION) The Monkees

11 ( 42 ) MORNING DEW Episode Six
12 ( 4 ) SHE’S LEAVING HOME The Beatles
13 ( 9 ) SAN FRANCISCO (BE SURE TO WEAR SOME FLOWERS IN YOUR HAIR) Scott McKenzie
14 ( NEW ) TO LOVE SOMEBODY The Bee Gees
15 ( 15 ) JUST LOVING YOU Anita Harris
16 ( 13 ) MY WORLD FELL DOWN Sagittarius
17 ( 20 ) C’MON MARIANNE The Four Seasons featuring the Sound of Frankie Valli
18 ( 18 ) SOUL FINGER The Bar-Kays
19 ( 17 ) LIGHT MY FIRE The Doors
20 ( 11 ) PAPER SUN Traffic

21 ( 12 ) A DAY IN THE LIFE The Beatles
22 ( 14 ) WHAT GOOD AM I Cilla Black
23 ( 30 ) I CAN’T SEE NOBODY The Bee Gees
24 ( 19 ) 7 ROOMS OF GLOOM The Four Tops
25 ( 28 ) JACKSON Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood
26 ( 26 ) WITHIN YOU WITHOUT YOU The Beatles
27 ( 29 ) SEE EMILY PLAY Pink Floyd
28 ( 16 ) CARRIE ANN The Hollies
29 ( 31 ) SOCIETY’S CHILD (BABY I’VE BEEN THINKING) Janis Ian
30 ( 21 ) DON’T SLEEP IN THE SUBWAY Petula Clark

31 ( 32 ) FOR PETE’S SAKE The Monkees
32 ( 34 ) BEING FOR THE BENEFIT OF MR KITE! The Beatles
33 ( 27 ) WATERLOO SUNSET The Kinks
34 ( 23 ) BROWN EYED GIRL Van Morrison
35 ( 22 ) A WHITER SHADE OF PALE Procol Harum
36 ( 24 ) TO BE A LOVER Gene Chandler
37 ( 39 ) WINDY The Association
38 ( 33 ) THE OLIVE TREE Judith Durham
39 ( 25 ) OOH BABY BABY The Five Stairsteps
40 ( 46 ) I TAKE IT BACK Sandy Posey

41 ( 41 ) WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS The Beatles
42 ( 35 ) 24 SYCAMORE Wayne Fontana
43 ( 36 ) WALKING IN THE RAIN The Walker Brothers
44 ( 44 ) TOGETHER The Intruders45 ( 37 ) THERE’S A GHOST IN MY HOUSE R. Dean Taylor
46 ( 48 ) APPLES, PEACHES, PUMPKIN PIE Jay & The Techniques
47 ( 41 ) A LITTLE BIT ME A LITTLE BIT YOU The Monkees
48 ( 38 ) CAN’T TAKE MY EYES OFF YOU Frankie Valli
49 ( 54 ) WHITE RABBIT Jefferson Airplane
50 ( 44 ) DEDICATED TO THE ONE I LOVE The Mamas & The Papas

51 ( 40 ) IT MUST BE HIM Vikki Carr
52 ( 46 ) UP, UP AND AWAY The Fifth Dimension
53 ( 53 ) LET’S PRETEND Lulu
54 ( 57 ) I’LL TURN TO STONE The Four Tops
55 ( 49 ) PENNY LANE The Beatles
56 ( NEW ) IT’S BEEN A LONG LONG TIME The Elgins
57 ( 61 ) TEMPTATION Boots Randolph
58 ( 59 ) EVERYBODY NEEDS LOVE Gladys Knight & The Pips
59 ( 50 ) SHE’D RATHER BE WITH ME The Turtles
60 ( 73 ) GIVE ME TIME Dusty Springfield

61 ( 52 ) GROOVIN’ The Young Rascals
62 ( 55 ) SOMETHIN’ STUPID Frank & Nancy Sinatra
63 ( NEW ) THANK THE LORD FOR THE NIGHT TIME Neil Diamond
64 ( 65 ) YOU MAKE ME FEEL LIKE SOMEONE The Babies
65 ( 58 ) THE TRACKS OF MY TEARS Johnny Rivers
66 ( 72 ) MY ELUSIVE DREAMS David Houston & Tammy Wynette
67 ( 56 ) BERNADETTE The Four Tops
68 ( NEW ) 007 (SHANTY TOWN) Desmond Dekker
69 ( 70 ) I’LL NEVER NEED MORE THAN THIS Ike & Tina Turner
70 ( 62 ) STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER The Beatles

71 ( NEW ) NEARER TO YOU Betty Harris
72 ( NEW ) LET IT BE ME The Sweet Inspirations
73 ( NEW ) SOMEWHERE MY LOVE The Mike Sammes Singers
74 ( NEW ) LAST MINUTE MIRACLE The Shirelles
75 ( NEW ) TONIGHT IN TOKYO Sandie Shaw

15th July 1967

2 weeks on top for The Fabs, as they also rise to 4 with When I’m Sixty Four (accept no inferior covers when the original is available), go top 40 With A Little Help (ditto) and enter with the B side of All You Need Is Love, Baby You’re A Rich Man. The Monkees try to steal the Beatles thunder with yet 2 more new entries, both Brill Building written this time, A side Pleasant Valley Sunday (Goffin & King’s social commentary) at 17 and B side Words (Mann & Weil, and featured in the TV show a few times) at 60. Trying to keep up, The Bee Gees (2 in the top 30), Nancy Sinatra (ditto), while big climbs for the Elgins all doo-wop delight to 28, and The Babies terrific song up to 30. Grace Slick & co got top 40. The Kinks enter at 47, or at least brother Dave singing for a credited change, Dandy Livingstone debuts 12 years ahead of the Specials cover and 5 years ahead of his chart hits Suzanne Beware Of The Devil and Big City, Glen Campbell’s B side joins the Number 2 A side, and 2 of the all-great voices pop in with lesser tracks: Roy Orbison and Marvin Gaye.

1 ( 1 ) ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE The Beatles
2 ( 3 ) GENTLE ON MY MIND Glen Campbell
3 ( 2 ) YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE (JOHN BARRY MOVIE VERSION) Nancy Sinatra
4 ( 6 ) WHEN I’M SIXTY-FOUR The Beatles
5 ( 4 ) RANDY SCOUSE GIT (ALTERNATE TITLE) The Monkees
6 ( 8 ) THE RIVER IS WIDE The Forum
7 ( 7 ) I WAS MADE TO LOVE HER Stevie Wonder
8 ( 14 ) TO LOVE SOMEBODY The Bee Gees
9 ( 9 ) MORE LOVE Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
10 ( 5 ) LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS The Beatles

11 ( 11 ) MORNING DEW Episode Six
12 ( 15 ) JUST LOVING YOU Anita Harris
13 ( 13 ) SAN FRANCISCO (BE SURE TO WEAR SOME FLOWERS IN YOUR HAIR) Scott McKenzie
14 ( 10 ) YOU JUST MAY BE THE ONE (ORIGINAL VERSION) The Monkees
15 ( 12 ) SHE’S LEAVING HOME The Beatles
16 ( 17 ) C’MON MARIANNE The Four Seasons featuring the Sound of Frankie Valli
17 ( NEW ) PLEASANT VALLEY SUNDAY The Monkees
18 ( 18 ) SOUL FINGER The Bar-Kays
19 ( 16 ) MY WORLD FELL DOWN Sagittarius
20 ( 27 ) SEE EMILY PLAY Pink Floyd

21 ( 23 ) I CAN’T SEE NOBODY The Bee Gees
22 ( 25 ) JACKSON Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood
23 ( 19 ) LIGHT MY FIRE The Doors
24 ( 24 ) 7 ROOMS OF GLOOM The Four Tops
25 ( 22 ) WHAT GOOD AM I Cilla Black
26 ( 20 ) PAPER SUN Traffic
27 ( 31 ) FOR PETE’S SAKE The Monkees
28 ( 55 ) IT’S BEEN A LONG LONG TIME The Elgins
29 ( 21 ) A DAY IN THE LIFE The Beatles
30 ( 63 ) YOU MAKE ME FEEL LIKE SOMEONE The Babies

31 ( 32 ) BEING FOR THE BENEFIT OF MR KITE! The Beatles
32 ( 48 ) WHITE RABBIT Jefferson Airplane
33 ( 30 ) DON’T SLEEP IN THE SUBWAY Petula Clark
34 ( 34 ) BROWN EYED GIRL Van Morrison
35 ( 35 ) A WHITER SHADE OF PALE Procol Harum
36 ( 33 ) WATERLOO SUNSET The Kinks
37 ( 29 ) SOCIETY’S CHILD (BABY I’VE BEEN THINKING) Janis Ian
38 ( 44 ) TOGETHER The Intruders
39 ( 41 ) WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS The Beatles
40 ( 45 ) APPLES, PEACHES, PUMPKIN PIE Jay & The Techniques

41 ( 52 ) LET’S PRETEND Lulu
42 ( 36 ) TO BE A LOVER Gene Chandler
43 ( 28 ) CARRIE ANN The Hollies
44 ( 26 ) WITHIN YOU WITHOUT YOU The Beatles
45 ( 38 ) THE OLIVE TREE Judith Durham
46 ( 37 ) WINDY The Association
47 ( NEW ) DEATH OF A CLOWN Dave Davies
48 ( 39 ) OOH BABY BABY The Five Stairsteps
49 ( 42 ) 24 SYCAMORE Wayne Fontana
50 ( 53 ) I’LL TURN TO STONE The Four Tops

51 ( 40 ) I TAKE IT BACK Sandy Posey
52 ( 45 ) THERE’S A GHOST IN MY HOUSE R. Dean Taylor
53 ( 43 ) WALKING IN THE RAIN The Walker Brothers
54 ( 47 ) A LITTLE BIT ME A LITTLE BIT YOU The Monkees
55 ( 48 ) CAN’T TAKE MY EYES OFF YOU Frankie Valli
56 ( NEW ) RUDY, A MESSAGE TO YOU Dandy Livingstone
57 ( 50 ) DEDICATED TO THE ONE I LOVE The Mamas & The Papas
58 ( 63 ) THANK THE LORD FOR THE NIGHT TIME Neil Diamond
59 ( 66 ) MY ELUSIVE DREAMS David Houston & Tammy Wynette
60 ( NEW ) WORDS The Monkees

61 ( 55 ) PENNY LANE The Beatles
62 ( 68 ) 007 (SHANTY TOWN) Desmond Dekker
63 ( 58 ) EVERYBODY NEEDS LOVE Gladys Knight & The Pips
64 ( 57 ) TEMPTATION Boots Randolph
65 ( 71 ) NEARER TO YOU Betty Harris
66 ( 59 ) SHE’D RATHER BE WITH ME The Turtles
67 ( NEW ) BABY YOU’RE A RICH MAN The Beatles
68 ( 75 ) TONIGHT IN TOKYO Sandie Shaw
69 ( NEW ) JUST ANOTHER MAN Glen Campbell
70 ( 60 ) GIVE ME TIME Dusty Springfield

71 ( 72 ) LET IT BE ME The Sweet Inspirations
72 ( 73 ) SOMEWHERE MY LOVE The Mike Sammes Singers
73 ( 62 ) SOMETHIN’ STUPID Frank & Nancy Sinatra
74 ( NEW ) CRY SOFTLY LONELY ONE Roy Orbison
75 ( NEW ) YOUR UNCHANGING LOVE Marvin Gaye

DROP OUTS:

IT MUST BE HIM Vikki Carr
UP, UP AND AWAY The Fifth Dimension
THE TRACKS OF MY TEARS Johnny Rivers
BERNADETTE The Four Tops
I’LL NEVER NEED MORE THAN THIS Ike & Tina Turner
STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER The Beatles
ALFIE Dionne Warwick
LAST MINUTE MIRACLE The Shirelles

 

22nd July 1967

3 weeks on top for the Beatles keeping The Bee Gees away from having their first Number 1, with Bobbie Gentry’s classic country debut at 3. Haunting strings and a sad story-song still affect 50 years later. The great thing about 60’s country music – it was all about the lyrics, and likewise Gentle On My Mind, the words are working man poetry, beautiful images and phrases.

Tom Jones gets his 4th top 20 entry (had I been charting earlier) at 16 with his great Lonnie Donegan cover – it took another 2 years to break in the States, I know cos it was featured in my books of big songs of sheet music from late 1969, which I saved up to buy in Singapore. It was very American-based, printed locally, and I’m guessing royalties wasn’t a thing…

In at 30, a song I didn’t know I knew, a great soul track from Ruby Andrews that became better-known in the UK in a disco hit cover by Coffee in the late 70’s. I didn’t even know it was a cover! A Canadian hit Donovan cover pops in at 32, another new discovery for me, rather good, as is a late-career Brian Hyland track, Get The Message. Brian went top 5 in 1975 with his resissue of Sealed With A Kiss, but way back in my toddler-hood I was obsessed by Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini and it would be 100% certain to have topped my hypothetical charts for weeks. Of course that awful Bombalurina/Timmy Mallet cover has taken the charm off it somewhat since…

A few months before the fab Judy In Disguise, John Fred has the quirky and fab Agnes English at 54, Simon & Garfunkel slip in again with another minor pleasantry, as do 5 other 1967 charting acts, Dionne, Aretha, The Temps, & The Rascals. 

1 ( 1 ) ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE The Beatles
2 ( 8 ) TO LOVE SOMEBODY The Bee Gees
3 ( NEW ) ODE TO BILLIE JOE Bobbie Gentry
4 ( 3 ) YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE (JOHN BARRY MOVIE VERSION) Nancy Sinatra
5 ( 2 ) GENTLE ON MY MIND Glen Campbell
6 ( 6 ) THE RIVER IS WIDE The Forum
7 ( 5 ) RANDY SCOUSE GIT (ALTERNATE TITLE) The Monkees
8 ( 9 ) MORE LOVE Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
9 ( 4 ) WHEN I’M SIXTY-FOUR The Beatles
10 ( 11 ) MORNING DEW Episode Six

11 ( 7 ) I WAS MADE TO LOVE HER Stevie Wonder
12 ( 12 ) JUST LOVING YOU Anita Harris
13 ( 10 ) LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS The Beatles
14 ( 17 ) PLEASANT VALLEY SUNDAY The Monkees
15 ( 13 ) SAN FRANCISCO (BE SURE TO WEAR SOME FLOWERS IN YOUR HAIR) Scott McKenzie
16 ( NEW ) I’LL NEVER FALL IN LOVE AGAIN Tom Jones
17 ( 14 ) YOU JUST MAY BE THE ONE (ORIGINAL VERSION) The Monkees
18 ( 22 ) JACKSON Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood
19 ( 21 ) I CAN’T SEE NOBODY The Bee Gees
20 ( 20 ) SEE EMILY PLAY Pink Floyd

21 ( 15 ) SHE’S LEAVING HOME The Beatles
22 ( 28 ) IT’S BEEN A LONG LONG TIME The Elgins
23 ( 16 ) C’MON MARIANNE The Four Seasons featuring the Sound of Frankie Valli
24 ( 19 ) MY WORLD FELL DOWN Sagittarius
25 ( 30 ) YOU MAKE ME FEEL LIKE SOMEONE The Babies
26 ( 23 ) LIGHT MY FIRE The Doors
27 ( 31 ) BEING FOR THE BENEFIT OF MR KITE! The Beatles
28 ( 38 ) TOGETHER The Intruders
29 ( 25 ) WHAT GOOD AM I Cilla Black
30 ( NEW ) CASANOVA (YOUR PLAYING DAYS ARE OVER) Ruby Andrews

31 ( 29 ) A DAY IN THE LIFE The Beatles
32 ( NEW ) SUNNY GOODGE STREET Tom Northcott
33 ( 24 ) 7 ROOMS OF GLOOM The Four Tops
34 ( 60 ) WORDS The Monkees
35 ( NEW ) GET THE MESSAGE Brian Hyland
36 ( 55 ) RUDY, A MESSAGE TO YOU Dandy Livingstone
37 ( 18 ) SOUL FINGER The Bar-Kays
38 ( 41 ) LET’S PRETEND Lulu
39 ( 47 ) DEATH OF A CLOWN Dave Davies
40 ( 50 ) I’LL TURN TO STONE The Four Tops

41 ( 26 ) PAPER SUN Traffic
42 ( 36 ) WATERLOO SUNSET The Kinks
43 ( 33 ) DON’T SLEEP IN THE SUBWAY Petula Clark
44 ( 34 ) BROWN EYED GIRL Van Morrison
45 ( 32 ) WHITE RABBIT Jefferson Airplane
46 ( 35 ) A WHITER SHADE OF PALE Procol Harum
47 ( 39 ) WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS The Beatles
48 ( 48 ) OOH BABY BABY The Five Stairsteps
49 ( 27 ) FOR PETE’S SAKE The Monkees
50 ( 40 ) APPLES, PEACHES, PUMPKIN PIE Jay & The Techniques

51 ( 42 ) TO BE A LOVER Gene Chandler
52 ( 59 ) MY ELUSIVE DREAMS David Houston & Tammy Wynette
53 ( 57 ) THANK THE LORD FOR THE NIGHT TIME Neil Diamond
54 ( NEW ) AGNES ENGLISH John Fred & His Playboy Band
55 ( 43 ) CARRIE ANN The Hollies
56 ( 49 ) 24 SYCAMORE Wayne Fontana
57 ( 61 ) 007 (SHANTY TOWN) Desmond Dekker
58 ( 53 ) A LITTLE BIT ME A LITTLE BIT YOU The Monkees
59 ( 45 ) THE OLIVE TREE Judith Durham
60 ( 68 ) JUST ANOTHER MAN Glen Campbell

61 ( 52 ) THERE’S A GHOST IN MY HOUSE R. Dean Taylor
62 ( 57 ) DEDICATED TO THE ONE I LOVE The Mamas & The Papas
63 ( 61 ) PENNY LANE The Beatles
64 ( 67 ) BABY YOU’RE A RICH MAN The Beatles
65 ( 74 ) CRY SOFTLY LONELY ONE Roy Orbison
66 ( 55 ) CAN’T TAKE MY EYES OFF YOU Frankie Valli
67 ( 68 ) TONIGHT IN TOKYO Sandie Shaw
68 ( NEW ) FAKIN’ IT Simon & Garfunkel
69 ( 71 ) LET IT BE ME The Sweet Inspirations
70 ( 75 ) YOUR UNCHANGING LOVE Marvin Gaye

71 ( 53 ) WALKING IN THE RAIN The Walker Brothers
72 ( NEW ) THE WINDOWS OF THE WORLD Dionne Warwick
73 ( NEW ) YOU’RE MY EVERYTHING The Temptations
74 ( NEW ) A GIRL LIKE YOU The Young Rascals
75 ( NEW ) BABY I LOVE YOU Aretha Franklin

 

29th July 1967

It’s a first week on top for Bobbie Gentry’s classic country song – more of a spine-tingling story than anything, and not the last time she would top my charts. The Monkees keep up the top 10’s with the Goffin & King song and the 20’s with Words, Tom Northcott goes top 10 here with a bang and nowhere else in the world, while Brian Hyland gets his first top 10 since Itsy Bitsy (theoretically, as it would have 100% topped my chart had I been charting in the early 60’s, being as it was one of my first loves pre-school).

Brian Wilson’s ambitious Heroes & Villains is straight in the 20 for The Beach Boys, but it’s no Good Vibrations, The Fabs make the 20 with Mr Kite, and Gary Lewis enters at 27 with the last good record they made – I hadn’t actually realised Gary was mostly double-tracked with some proper singers, as his voice wasn’t that great. The records were though. Brenton Wood still sounds good at 31 and new, as do the Trems well into their pop chart run of hits, and even Frankie joins the party with a minor gem of a ballad that I didn’t know. Or rather one I didn’t know that I knew – it’s sorta familiar so I guess I heard him do it on one of the many variety show imports of the time.
1 ( 3 ) ODE TO BILLIE JOE Bobbie Gentry
2 ( 1 ) ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE The Beatles
3 ( 2 ) TO LOVE SOMEBODY The Bee Gees
4 ( 5 ) GENTLE ON MY MIND Glen Campbell
5 ( 4 ) YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE (JOHN BARRY MOVIE VERSION) Nancy Sinatra
6 ( 12 ) JUST LOVING YOU Anita Harris
7 ( 8 ) MORE LOVE Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
8 ( 14 ) PLEASANT VALLEY SUNDAY The Monkees
9 ( 32 ) SUNNY GOODGE STREET Tom Northcott
10 ( 35 ) GET THE MESSAGE Brian Hyland

11 ( 7 ) RANDY SCOUSE GIT (ALTERNATE TITLE) The Monkees
12 ( 9 ) WHEN I’M SIXTY-FOUR The Beatles
13 ( 11 ) I WAS MADE TO LOVE HER Stevie Wonder
14 ( 6 ) THE RIVER IS WIDE The Forum
15 ( 18 ) JACKSON Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood
16 ( 16 ) I’LL NEVER FALL IN LOVE AGAIN Tom Jones
17 ( 15 ) SAN FRANCISCO (BE SURE TO WEAR SOME FLOWERS IN YOUR HAIR) Scott McKenzie
18 ( 34 ) WORDS The Monkees
19 ( NEW ) HEROES & VILLAINS The Beach Boys
20 ( 27 ) BEING FOR THE BENEFIT OF MR KITE! The Beatles

21 ( 13 ) LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS The Beatles
22 ( 22 ) IT’S BEEN A LONG LONG TIME The Elgins
23 ( 10 ) MORNING DEW Episode Six
24 ( 17 ) YOU JUST MAY BE THE ONE (ORIGINAL VERSION) The Monkees
25 ( 25 ) YOU MAKE ME FEEL LIKE SOMEONE The Babies
26 ( 21 ) SHE’S LEAVING HOME The Beatles
27 ( NEW ) JILL Gary Lewis & The Playboys
28 ( 23 ) C’MON MARIANNE The Four Seasons featuring the Sound of Frankie Valli
29 ( 29 ) WHAT GOOD AM I Cilla Black
30 ( 30 ) CASANOVA (YOUR PLAYING DAYS ARE OVER) Ruby Andrews

31 ( NEW ) GIMME LITTLE SIGN Brenton Wood
32 ( 20 ) SEE EMILY PLAY Pink Floyd
33 ( 26 ) LIGHT MY FIRE The Doors
34 ( 28 ) TOGETHER The Intruders
35 ( 38 ) LET’S PRETEND Lulu
36 ( 36 ) RUDY, A MESSAGE TO YOU Dandy Livingstone
37 ( 31 ) A DAY IN THE LIFE The Beatles
38 ( NEW ) EVEN THE BAD TIMES ARE GOOD The Tremeloes
39 ( 39 ) DEATH OF A CLOWN Dave Davies
40 ( NEW ) THE WORLD WE KNEW (OVER AND OVER) Frank Sinatra

41 ( 37 ) SOUL FINGER The Bar-Kays
42 ( 24 ) MY WORLD FELL DOWN Sagittarius
43 ( 54 ) AGNES ENGLISH John Fred & His Playboy Band
44 ( 19 ) I CAN’T SEE NOBODY The Bee Gees
45 ( 33 ) 7 ROOMS OF GLOOM The Four Tops
46 ( 67 ) FAKIN’ IT Simon & Garfunkel
47 ( 42 ) WATERLOO SUNSET The Kinks
48 ( 43 ) DON’T SLEEP IN THE SUBWAY Petula Clark
49 ( 44 ) BROWN EYED GIRL Van Morrison
50 ( 53 ) THANK THE LORD FOR THE NIGHT TIME Neil Diamond

51 ( 41 ) PAPER SUN Traffic
52 ( 48 ) OOH BABY BABY The Five Stairsteps
53 ( NEW ) THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT The Alan Price Set
54 ( 57 ) 007 (SHANTY TOWN) Desmond Dekker
55 ( NEW ) THE TIME HAS COME P.P. Arnold
56 ( 60 ) JUST ANOTHER MAN Glen Campbell
57 ( 46 ) A WHITER SHADE OF PALE Procol Harum
58 ( 71 ) THE WINDOWS OF THE WORLD Dionne Warwick
59 ( 66 ) TONIGHT IN TOKYO Sandie Shaw
60 ( 64 ) CRY SOFTLY LONELY ONE Roy Orbison

61 ( 58 ) A LITTLE BIT ME A LITTLE BIT YOU The Monkees
62 ( 40 ) I’LL TURN TO STONE The Four Tops
63 ( 61 ) DEDICATED TO THE ONE I LOVE The Mamas & The Papas
64 ( 51 ) TO BE A LOVER Gene Chandler
65 ( 62 ) PENNY LANE The Beatles
66 ( 56 ) 24 SYCAMORE Wayne Fontana
67 ( 61 ) THERE’S A GHOST IN MY HOUSE R. Dean Taylor
68 ( 73 ) YOU’RE MY EVERYTHING The Temptations
69 ( 70 ) YOUR UNCHANGING LOVE Marvin Gaye
70 ( 47 ) WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS The Beatles

71 ( NEW ) SAN FRANCISCAN NIGHTS Eric Burdon & The Animals
72 ( NEW ) BYE BYE BABY The Symbols
73 ( 74 ) A GIRL LIKE YOU The Young Rascals
74 ( NEW ) YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN The Turtles
75 ( NEW ) SIXTEEN TONS Tom Jones

My Sept 1985 charts

w/e 2nd September 2017

having peaked at 5 and dropped, it’s a sudden climb to top my charts for Bucks Fizz’ chart-flop (but fab) You And Your Heart So Blue, their 4th time on top. I think I bought the record in the cut-price basket and got to play it loud, as it should be. Mick & Dave go top 10 along with Bry just behind, all 3 of ’em dad dancing. The Thompson Twins shoot up into the 20 with Don’t Mess With Doctor Dream, not one of their bigger UK chart hits, but I liked it. Amii Stewart takes her 2 remixed 1979 top hits back into the 20, Red Box’ fabness drives into the 30, and highest new entry is the obscure follow-up to the classic Life In A Northern Town from Dream Academy, at 29.

Bananarama ask not to be disturbed, just about the last of their Jolly Swainey jangletoons, as Mai Tai also drink to making the top 40, and a rock classic, err, limps up to 36 for Bryan Adams, possibly cos I recalled the Summer of ’69 very well and it sounded much better than that! Blancmange are back, What’s Your Problem? they ask – to which the answer is, no more big hits, sadly. Enjoyed them recently in concert though (2016). There’s another well-recalled song from Bonnie Tyler popping in at 60, that was decent enough, but no Total Eclipse Of The Heart. Laura Branigan is also back, with a track I’ve forgotten, Dio rocks in, and best of all a ballad from Dusty Springfield brings her back into my chart, more in line with her 60’s stuff than the fab gentle disco of Baby Blue in 1979.

1 ( 33 ) YOU AND YOUR HEART SO BLUE Bucks Fizz
2 ( 1 ) RUNNING UP THAT HILL Kate Bush
3 ( 2 ) INTO THE GROOVE Madonna
4 ( 4 ) TARZAN BOY Baltimora
5 ( 3 ) DRIVE The Cars
6 ( 14 ) DANCING IN THE STREET David Bowie & Mick Jagger
7 ( 6 ) HOLIDAY Madonna
8 ( 19 ) DON’T STOP THE DANCE Bryan Ferry
9 ( 8 ) WHITE WEDDING Billy Idol
10 ( 7 ) THERE MUST BE AN ANGEL (PLAYING WITH MY HEART) Eurythmics

11 ( 5 ) MONEY FOR NOTHING Dire Straits
12 ( 12 ) SAY I’M YOUR NUMBER ONE Princess
13 ( 13 ) I CAN DREAM ABOUT YOU Dan Hartman
14 ( 18 ) I WONDER IF I TAKE YOU HOME Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam with Full Force
15 ( 17 ) ALONE WITHOUT YOU King
16 ( 45 ) DON’T MESS WITH DR. DREAM The Thompson Twins
17 ( 10 ) TAKE ME HOME Phil Collins
18 ( 9 ) WE DON’T NEED ANOTHER HERO (THUNDERDOME) Tina Turner
19 ( 34 ) KNOCK ON WOOD/ LIGHT MY FIRE Amii Stewart
20 ( 23 ) YESTERDAY’S MEN Madness

21 ( 22 ) YOU’RE THE ONE FOR ME D. Train
22 ( 24 ) STORIES OF JOHNNY Marc Almond
23 ( 20 ) I GOT YOU BABE UB40 and Chrissie Hynde
24 ( 40 ) PART TIME LOVER Stevie Wonder
25 ( 11 ) YOU’RE MY HEART YOU’RE MY SOUL Modern Talking
26 ( 15 ) IN BETWEEN DAYS The Cure
27 ( 61 ) LEAN ON ME (AH-LI-AYO) Red Box
28 ( 25 ) DON QUIXOTE Nik Kershaw
29 ( NEW ) THE LOVE PARADE Dream Academy
30 ( 16 ) EXCITABLE Amazulu

31 ( 73 ) DO NOT DISTURB Bananarama
32 ( 39 ) EMPTY ROOMS Gary Moore
33 ( 50 ) BODY AND SOUL Mai Tai
34 ( 29 ) GETCHA BACK The Beach Boys
35 ( 36 ) ST. ELMO’S FIRE (MAN IN MOTION) John Parr
36 ( 42 ) SUMMER OF ’69 Bryan Adams
37 ( 37 ) IN TOO DEEP Dead Or Alive
38 ( 38 ) LOVE IS THE SEVENTH WAVE Sting
39 ( 21 ) IN YOUR CAR The Cool Notes
40 ( 30 ) ROUND AND ROUND Jaki Graham

41 ( 26 ) SHE SELLS SANCTUARY The Cult
42 ( 28 ) CHANGE Sparks
43 ( 47 ) TAKES A LITTLE TIME Total Contrast
44 ( 31 ) SECRET OMD
45 ( 43 ) “19” Paul Hardcastle
46 ( NEW ) WHAT’S YOUR PROBLEM? Blancmange
47 ( 71 ) BODY ROCK Maria Vidal
48 ( 56 ) CRAZY IN THE NIGHT Kim Carnes
49 ( 48 ) THE LAST KISS David Cassidy
50 ( 66 ) POWER OF LOVE Huey Lewis & The News

51 ( 51 ) SO IN LOVE OMD
52 ( 52 ) CRY Godley And Creme
53 ( 53 ) EVERYBODY WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD Tears For Fears
54 ( 49 ) HISTORY Mai Tai
55 ( 27 ) ALWAYS ON MY MIND Elvis Presley
56 ( 32 ) 5 MINUTES (ONE DAY – LIES LIES..) Mainframe
57 ( 44 ) LET ME BE THE ONE Five Star
58 ( 57 ) MEGAREX T.Rex
59 ( 35 ) SOME PEOPLE Belouis Some
60 ( NEW ) HOLDING OUT FOR A HERO Bonnie Tyler

61 ( 41 ) RASPBERRY BERET Prince
62 ( NEW ) SPANISH EDDIE Laura Branigan
63 ( 63 ) NEVER SURRENDER Corey Hart
64 ( 70 ) SOMEONE David Cassidy
65 ( 54 ) DARE ME The Pointer Sisters
66 ( 55 ) AXEL F Harold Faltemeyer
67 ( NEW ) ROCK ‘N’ ROLL CHILDREN Dio
68 ( 75 ) (JOY) I KNOW IT Odyssey
69 ( NEW ) SOMETIMES LIKE BUTTERFLIES Dusty Springfield
70 ( 58 ) GOODBYE GIRL Go West

71 ( 69 ) NOW THAT WE’VE FOUND LOVE Third World
72 ( 46 ) LIVE IS LIFE Opus
73 ( NEW ) UNKISS THAT KISS Stephen Duffy
74 ( 68 ) DON’T YOU (FORGET ABOUT ME) Simple Minds
75 ( 65 ) DUEL Propaganda

 

w/e 10th September 1985

It’s Dancing In The Live Aid Street as Bowie & Jagger outdo the Martha & The Vandellas original in my charts – though not in terms of quality! Red Box rocket to 2, catchy left-wing-pop, and The Twins get a 3rd or 4th top 10 and Dan Hartman a second, some 7 years after the first (Instant Replay). There’s loads of new entries in a busy chart, and Blancmange jump into the 40 at 22, Bonnie Tyler to 29 for 9 years of hits, and 2 early 80’s reissued Tears For Fears singles make the 40 belatedly – though Pale Shelter did it in 1982 in re-recorded form, a track used as the basis to the fab The Weeknd’s Secrets, which topped my chart months back as I write (2017).

Highest actual new track – If I Was. Midge Ure’s solo mini-masterpiece followed the Ultravox break-up, and gave him a first solo hit since his cover of No Regrets went top 10 in 1982, and 9 years since he was very young and Slik, Forever And Ever. Carly Simon, as ever in those days, back with the occasional minor hit at 38, her best since Will Powers’ Kissing With Confidence hit 2 in my charts in 1983 (she did all the singing). Billy Idol’s early 80’s American hit finally also charts in the UK, and recharts here, as follow up to White Wedding: Rebel Yell!

Others, Marillion dilly-dillying, Bucks Fizz are Magical, though actually less magical than the track dropping from the top of my charts, Strawberry Switchblade cover a 1976 top 10 for Dolly Parton, that’ll be Jolene then, Hipsway do a spot of gospel, the Frankie gals miss a perfect opportunity to retitle a song Dancing On The Jagged Sledge, Heaven 17 and Propaganda lease out their lead vocalists for a duet I’ve forgotten – though like the sound of it so I’m bound to youtube it and buy it as I didn’t get it at the time. Scritti Politti are back with a laid-back Green sounding American hit, Lloyd Cole causes a mild commotion a year on from Perfect Skin, and China Crisis get a paper cut. Phew!

1 ( 6 ) DANCING IN THE STREET David Bowie & Mick Jagger
2 ( 27 ) LEAN ON ME (AH-LI-AYO) Red Box
3 ( 2 ) RUNNING UP THAT HILL Kate Bush
4 ( 4 ) TARZAN BOY Baltimora
5 ( 8 ) DON’T STOP THE DANCE Bryan Ferry
6 ( 3 ) INTO THE GROOVE Madonna
7 ( 1 ) YOU AND YOUR HEART SO BLUE Bucks Fizz
8 ( 16 ) DON’T MESS WITH DR. DREAM The Thompson Twins
9 ( 5 ) DRIVE The Cars
10 ( 13 ) I CAN DREAM ABOUT YOU Dan Hartman

11 ( 12 ) SAY I’M YOUR NUMBER ONE Princess
12 ( 15 ) ALONE WITHOUT YOU King
13 ( 7 ) HOLIDAY Madonna
14 ( 9 ) WHITE WEDDING Billy Idol
15 ( 19 ) KNOCK ON WOOD/ LIGHT MY FIRE Amii Stewart
16 ( 29 ) THE LOVE PARADE Dream Academy
17 ( 24 ) PART TIME LOVER Stevie Wonder
18 ( 11 ) MONEY FOR NOTHING Dire Straits
19 ( 22 ) STORIES OF JOHNNY Marc Almond
20 ( 20 ) YESTERDAY’S MEN Madness

21 ( 10 ) THERE MUST BE AN ANGEL (PLAYING WITH MY HEART) Eurythmics
22 ( 46 ) WHAT’S YOUR PROBLEM? Blancmange
23 ( 14 ) I WONDER IF I TAKE YOU HOME Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam with Full Force
24 ( 21 ) YOU’RE THE ONE FOR ME D. Train
25 ( 17 ) TAKE ME HOME Phil Collins
26 ( 18 ) WE DON’T NEED ANOTHER HERO (THUNDERDOME) Tina Turner
27 ( NEW ) PALE SHELTER Tears For Fears
28 ( 31 ) DO NOT DISTURB Bananarama
29 ( 60 ) HOLDING OUT FOR A HERO Bonnie Tyler
30 ( 33 ) BODY AND SOUL Mai Tai

31 ( 23 ) I GOT YOU BABE UB40 and Chrissie Hynde
32 ( 35 ) ST. ELMO’S FIRE (MAN IN MOTION) John Parr
33 ( NEW ) IF I WAS Midge Ure
34 ( 50 ) POWER OF LOVE Huey Lewis & The News
35 ( NEW ) SUFFER THE CHILDREN Tears For Fears
36 ( 36 ) SUMMER OF ’69 Bryan Adams
37 ( 25 ) YOU’RE MY HEART YOU’RE MY SOUL Modern Talking
38 ( NEW ) MY BEST BOYFRIEND Carly Simon
39 ( 26 ) IN BETWEEN DAYS The Cure
40 ( NEW ) REBEL YELL Billy Idol

41 ( 34 ) GETCHA BACK The Beach Boys
42 ( 28 ) DON QUIXOTE Nik Kershaw
43 ( 43 ) TAKES A LITTLE TIME Total Contrast
44 ( 38 ) LOVE IS THE SEVENTH WAVE Sting
45 ( 47 ) BODY ROCK Maria Vidal
46 ( 37 ) IN TOO DEEP Dead Or Alive
47 ( 45 ) “19” Paul Hardcastle
48 ( 40 ) ROUND AND ROUND Jaki Graham
49 ( 39 ) IN YOUR CAR The Cool Notes
50 ( 69 ) SOMETIMES LIKE BUTTERFLIES Dusty Springfield

51 ( 49 ) THE LAST KISS David Cassidy
52 ( 51 ) SO IN LOVE OMD
53 ( 62 ) SPANISH EDDIE Laura Branigan
54 ( 44 ) SECRET OMD
55 ( NEW ) LAVENDER Marillion
56 ( 41 ) SHE SELLS SANCTUARY The Cult
57 ( NEW ) MAGICAL Bucks Fizz
58 ( 58 ) MEGAREX T.Rex
59 ( 67 ) ROCK ‘N’ ROLL CHILDREN Dio
60 ( NEW ) JOLENE Strawberry Switchblade

61 ( 52 ) CRY Godley And Creme
62 ( 53 ) EVERYBODY WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD Tears For Fears
63 ( 42 ) CHANGE Sparks
64 ( NEW ) ASK THE LORD Hipsway
65 ( NEW ) DANCING ON THE JAGGED EDGE Sister Sledge
66 ( 32 ) EMPTY ROOMS Gary Moore
67 ( NEW ) WHEN YOUR HEART RUNS OUT OF TIME Glen Gregory and Claudia Brucken
68 ( 30 ) EXCITABLE Amazulu
69 ( 54 ) HISTORY Mai Tai
70 ( NEW ) PERFECT WAY Scritti Politti

71 ( NEW ) BRAND NEW FRIEND Lloyd Cole & The Commotions
72 ( NEW ) THE SHOW (THEME FROM CONNIE) Rebecca Storm
73 ( 71 ) NOW THAT WE’VE FOUND LOVE Third World
74 ( NEW ) YOU DID CUT ME China Crisis
75 ( 48 ) CRAZY IN THE NIGHT Kim Carnes

18th September 1985

It’s a new number one, thankfully knocking off Bowie & Jagger from the top after one week only – Red Box and the fab Lean On Me. Tears For Fears grab another top 5, their 5th, with oldie Suffer The Children rocketing up. Blancmange also grab another top 10, their 3rd, and Stevie Wonder hits 9, 17 years after his first (For Once In My Life, a cover of a Tony Bennett minor hit from 1967). Stevie’s also back assisting uncredited on Cliff’s new song from Dave Clark’s musical album of the future musical Time, and Cliff is also 17 years in to his career.

Midge Ure shoots up to 12, If I Was, and it’s a magical rise to 26 for Bucks Fizz, back in the UK album chart this very week after an absence of 30-odd years – albeit known as The Fizz, and only three-quarters of the original line-up. Highest new entry is Madonna, she’s a UK singles chart Angel in 1985, totally her year, no question. Changing the face of megapop to female vocalists. In at 36, a future shoddy hit cover for Eric Clapton, but here the brilliant original from Greg Phillinganes, Behind The Mask. Featured on Jonathan King’s Entertainment USA, and still not a hit.

Rene and Renata have split up, and he’s with Angela now – just kidding, it’s a smooth soul act newly in, as The Cure are back swiftly with the fab Wardrobe-on-a-cliff Close To Me. At 60, Diana Ross follows up a great single with one that should have been brilliant, written by 2 Gibb brothers and Michael Jackson, who helps more than a little on production and vocals. Di had to wait a few months for a proper Bee Gees classic song though, without Jacko to bring it down a notch (clearly saving his best efforts for Bad).

Know how we look back fondly on those childhood novelty songs? There’s one at 70, I have no memory of it at all, prob because I was 27 and not 7. Sneaking in at 74, it’s 70’s rock divas Heart, at long last charting with the triff What About Love. Sadly it took another another 3 years to progress further as Heart became AOR late 80’s UK faves a good decade after US success. The Damned are also back. Is It A Dream? It’s not Classix Nouveaux at any rate…

1 ( 2 ) LEAN ON ME (AH-LI-AYO) Red Box
2 ( 1 ) DANCING IN THE STREET David Bowie & Mick Jagger
3 ( 3 ) RUNNING UP THAT HILL Kate Bush
4 ( 8 ) DON’T MESS WITH DR. DREAM The Thompson Twins
5 ( 35 ) SUFFER THE CHILDREN Tears For Fears
6 ( 5 ) DON’T STOP THE DANCE Bryan Ferry
7 ( 4 ) TARZAN BOY Baltimora
8 ( 22 ) WHAT’S YOUR PROBLEM? Blancmange
9 ( 17 ) PART TIME LOVER Stevie Wonder
10 ( 9 ) DRIVE The Cars

11 ( 19 ) STORIES OF JOHNNY Marc Almond
12 ( 33 ) IF I WAS Midge Ure
13 ( 15 ) KNOCK ON WOOD/ LIGHT MY FIRE Amii Stewart
14 ( 6 ) INTO THE GROOVE Madonna
15 ( 7 ) YOU AND YOUR HEART SO BLUE Bucks Fizz
16 ( 16 ) THE LOVE PARADE Dream Academy
17 ( 20 ) YESTERDAY’S MEN Madness
18 ( 11 ) SAY I’M YOUR NUMBER ONE Princess
19 ( 10 ) I CAN DREAM ABOUT YOU Dan Hartman
20 ( 13 ) HOLIDAY Madonna

21 ( 29 ) HOLDING OUT FOR A HERO Bonnie Tyler
22 ( 12 ) ALONE WITHOUT YOU King
23 ( 18 ) MONEY FOR NOTHING Dire Straits
24 ( 14 ) WHITE WEDDING Billy Idol
25 ( 32 ) ST. ELMO’S FIRE (MAN IN MOTION) John Parr
26 ( 57 ) MAGICAL Bucks Fizz
27 ( 27 ) PALE SHELTER Tears For Fears
28 ( 21 ) THERE MUST BE AN ANGEL (PLAYING WITH MY HEART) Eurythmics
29 ( NEW ) ANGEL Madonna
30 ( 34 ) POWER OF LOVE Huey Lewis & The News

31 ( 40 ) REBEL YELL Billy Idol
32 ( 23 ) I WONDER IF I TAKE YOU HOME Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam with Full Force
33 ( NEW ) SOMEONE David Cassidy
34 ( 26 ) WE DON’T NEED ANOTHER HERO (THUNDERDOME) Tina Turner
35 ( 38 ) MY BEST BOYFRIEND Carly Simon
36 ( NEW ) BEHIND THE MASK Greg Phillinganes
37 ( 24 ) YOU’RE THE ONE FOR ME D. Train
38 ( 45 ) BODY ROCK Maria Vidal
39 ( 55 ) LAVENDER Marillion
40 ( 71 ) BRAND NEW FRIEND Lloyd Cole & The Commotions

41 ( 28 ) DO NOT DISTURB Bananarama
42 ( 25 ) TAKE ME HOME Phil Collins
43 ( 30 ) BODY AND SOUL Mai Tai
44 ( 65 ) DANCING ON THE JAGGED EDGE Sister Sledge
45 ( 31 ) I GOT YOU BABE UB40 and Chrissie Hynde
46 ( NEW ) I’LL BE GOOD Rene And Angela
47 ( 41 ) GETCHA BACK The Beach Boys
48 ( NEW ) CLOSE TO ME The Cure
49 ( 60 ) JOLENE Strawberry Switchblade
50 ( 70 ) PERFECT WAY Scritti Politti

51 ( 47 ) “19” Paul Hardcastle
52 ( 51 ) THE LAST KISS David Cassidy
53 ( 46 ) IN TOO DEEP Dead Or Alive
54 ( 37 ) YOU’RE MY HEART YOU’RE MY SOUL Modern Talking
55 ( 39 ) IN BETWEEN DAYS The Cure
56 ( 64 ) ASK THE LORD Hipsway
57 ( NEW ) SHE’S SO BEAUTIFUL Cliff Richard
58 ( 52 ) SO IN LOVE OMD
59 ( 58 ) MEGAREX T.Rex
60 ( NEW ) EATEN ALIVE Diana Ross

61 ( 50 ) SOMETIMES LIKE BUTTERFLIES Dusty Springfield
62 ( 49 ) IN YOUR CAR The Cool Notes
63 ( 48 ) ROUND AND ROUND Jaki Graham
64 ( 72 ) THE SHOW (THEME FROM CONNIE) Rebecca Storm
65 ( NEW ) I THOUGHT I’D NEVER SEE YOU AGAIN Working Week
66 ( 67 ) WHEN YOUR HEART RUNS OUT OF TIME Glen Gregory and Claudia Brucken
67 ( 61 ) CRY Godley And Creme
68 ( 62 ) EVERYBODY WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD Tears For Fears
69 ( 36 ) SUMMER OF ’69 Bryan Adams
70 ( NEW ) WOODPECKERS FROM SPACE Video Kids

71 ( 42 ) DON QUIXOTE Nik Kershaw
72 ( 73 ) NOW THAT WE’VE FOUND LOVE Third World
73 ( 44 ) LOVE IS THE SEVENTH WAVE Sting
74 ( NEW ) WHAT ABOUT LOVE Heart
75 ( NEW ) IS IT A DREAM The Damned

OLDIES CHART
1 SAVE THE COUNTRY The Fifth Dimension
2 GOOD MORNING STARSHINE Oliver
3 WITHOUT YOU Nilsson

w/e 24th September 1985

It’s Red Box for a second week on top as Stevie Wonder shoots up to get his last top 3 with new material, after a 17 year-run. Midge Ure is up to 4, beating his 1982 No Regrets cover, Madonna makes it 5 top 10’s in 1985 with Angel, and The Cure get a 5th top 10 up 32 places. Greg Phillinganes and David Cassidy stride into the 20, and the highest new entry is a classic at 37 as A-Ha debut with Take On Me. That spearheads a mass invasion of new tracks, many of them inspired by the new pop TV show Jonathan King’s No Limits – the theme tune itself debuts at 75, as new young presenters win an X-Factor type race to host the show.

In at 38, The Style Council are back with one of their best tracks, The Lodgers, and Dead Or Alive make it 4 hits in a row at 40, My Heart Goes Bang. At 42, Colonel Abrams funky dance Trapped, 44 is a recharting 1982 hit from America, and Kim Carnes is back 5 years since her debut with More Love, in at 50 and she’s crazy in the night. Aren’t we all.

Journey are massive in the 21st Century thanks to Don’t Stop Believin’, but back in 1985 they meant very little in the UK, though they had a few charting hits for me starting with Anyway You Want It in 1980. Steve Perrie steps out here for a solo hit, at 57, Cameo bung in some Single Life funk to follow up the fab She’s Strange, future monster hit in the UK (but not her home USA) Jennifer Rush enters with The Power Of Love, the 3rd song within 12 months to use the title.

The Smiths near the end of their chart journey as The Boy With The Thorn In His Side sneaks in at 64, and Twiggy returns 9 years on from her chart debut, and 20 years since she burst onto the iconic British fashion scene, Jennifer Holliday is back 3 years on from her show-stopping, and unsurpassable, version of And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going from Dream Girls – being sung these days by Amber Riley, former Glee star, Glee of course covering Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’ to huge success, and causing the original to finally chart big in the UK.

Elaine Page returns, 4 years since Memories started her showtune singles chart career, and fresh off her UK chart-topper with Babs Dickson. That leaves Lou Reed making a chart comeback after quite a gap of time, some 12 years since Walk On The Wild Side, and Hall & Oates also back with a cover – in this case a Temptations medley. Phew! Loads of drop outs!

1 ( 1 ) LEAN ON ME (AH-LI-AYO) Red Box
2 ( 9 ) PART TIME LOVER Stevie Wonder
3 ( 3 ) RUNNING UP THAT HILL Kate Bush
4 ( 12 ) IF I WAS Midge Ure
5 ( 2 ) DANCING IN THE STREET David Bowie & Mick Jagger
6 ( 8 ) WHAT’S YOUR PROBLEM? Blancmange
7 ( 4 ) DON’T MESS WITH DR. DREAM The Thompson Twins
8 ( 29 ) ANGEL Madonna
9 ( 5 ) SUFFER THE CHILDREN Tears For Fears
10 ( 48 ) CLOSE TO ME The Cure

11 ( 7 ) TARZAN BOY Baltimora
12 ( 6 ) DON’T STOP THE DANCE Bryan Ferry
13 ( 10 ) DRIVE The Cars
14 ( 16 ) THE LOVE PARADE Dream Academy
15 ( 17 ) YESTERDAY’S MEN Madness
16 ( 36 ) BEHIND THE MASK Greg Phillinganes
17 ( 15 ) YOU AND YOUR HEART SO BLUE Bucks Fizz
18 ( 33 ) SOMEONE David Cassidy
19 ( 14 ) INTO THE GROOVE Madonna
20 ( 26 ) MAGICAL Bucks Fizz

21 ( 13 ) KNOCK ON WOOD/ LIGHT MY FIRE Amii Stewart
22 ( 31 ) REBEL YELL Billy Idol
23 ( 21 ) HOLDING OUT FOR A HERO Bonnie Tyler
24 ( 20 ) HOLIDAY Madonna
25 ( 18 ) SAY I’M YOUR NUMBER ONE Princess
26 ( 40 ) BRAND NEW FRIEND Lloyd Cole & The Commotions
27 ( 19 ) I CAN DREAM ABOUT YOU Dan Hartman
28 ( 11 ) STORIES OF JOHNNY Marc Almond
29 ( 38 ) BODY ROCK Maria Vidal
30 ( 39 ) LAVENDER Marillion

31 ( 46 ) I’LL BE GOOD Rene And Angela
32 ( 24 ) WHITE WEDDING Billy Idol
33 ( 23 ) MONEY FOR NOTHING Dire Straits
34 ( 28 ) THERE MUST BE AN ANGEL (PLAYING WITH MY HEART) Eurythmics
35 ( 35 ) MY BEST BOYFRIEND Carly Simon
36 ( 32 ) I WONDER IF I TAKE YOU HOME Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam with Full Force
37 ( NEW ) TAKE ON ME A-Ha
38 ( NEW ) THE LODGERS The Style Council
39 ( 75 ) IS IT A DREAM The Damned
40 ( NEW ) MY HEART GOES BANG Dead Or Alive

41 ( 25 ) ST. ELMO’S FIRE (MAN IN MOTION) John Parr
42 ( NEW ) TRAPPED Colonel Abrams
43 ( 34 ) WE DON’T NEED ANOTHER HERO (THUNDERDOME) Tina Turner
44 ( NEW ) THE BORDER America
45 ( 22 ) ALONE WITHOUT YOU King
46 ( 30 ) POWER OF LOVE Huey Lewis & The News
47 ( 50 ) PERFECT WAY Scritti Politti
48 ( 57 ) SHE’S SO BEAUTIFUL Cliff Richard
49 ( 49 ) JOLENE Strawberry Switchblade
50 ( NEW ) CRAZY IN THE NIGHT Kim Carnes

51 ( 47 ) GETCHA BACK The Beach Boys
52 ( 52 ) THE LAST KISS David Cassidy
53 ( 51 ) “19” Paul Hardcastle
54 ( 27 ) PALE SHELTER Tears For Fears
55 ( 66 ) WHEN YOUR HEART RUNS OUT OF TIME Glen Gregory and Claudia Brucken
56 ( 37 ) YOU’RE THE ONE FOR ME D. Train
57 ( NEW ) OH SHERRIE Steve Perry
58 ( 60 ) EATEN ALIVE Diana Ross
59 ( 59 ) MEGAREX T.Rex
60 ( 53 ) IN TOO DEEP Dead Or Alive

61 ( NEW ) SINGLE LIFE Cameo
62 ( NEW ) THE POWER OF LOVE Jennifer Rush
63 ( 58 ) SO IN LOVE OMD
64 ( NEW ) THE BOY WITH THE THORN IN HIS SIDE The Smiths
65 ( 43 ) BODY AND SOUL Mai Tai
66 ( NEW ) FEEL EMOTION Twiggy
67 ( NEW ) YOU DID CUT ME China Crisis
68 ( 54 ) YOU’RE MY HEART YOU’RE MY SOUL Modern Talking
69 ( NEW ) HARD TIME FOR LOVERS Jennifer Holliday
70 ( NEW ) LOVE TAKE OVER Five Star

71 ( 45 ) I GOT YOU BABE UB40 and Chrissie Hynde
72 ( NEW ) HEAVEN HELP MY HEART Elaine Page
73 ( NEW ) SEPTEMBER SONG Lou Reed
74 ( NEW ) THE WAY YOU DO THE THINGS YOU DO/MY GIRL Daryl Hall & John Oates
75 ( NEW ) NO LIMITS Jonathan King

 

 

A First-Timers Guide To Copenhagen

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She didn’t move much, that Mermaid…

Denmark and Sweden in 5 days? Well I have Danish ancestors19th century vintage, so sooner or later a trip to Copenhagen was going to be in order, and I immediately felt at home: a lot of the men were blonde/gingery, tall, young and handsome, so I fit right in. Apart from the tall bit. And the handsome thing is a stretch to be fair. Obv I’m not ACTUALLY young, of course. And my hair is more grey than off-blonde or ginger-ish lately. Apart from that though I fit in fine.

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Looking over the sea to Sweden

First impression of Copenhagen? Bicycles. Cyclists everywhere, young, older, male, female, chatting into mobile phones while cycling with one relaxed hand. Tweeting with no hands. You see this is all fine, cos cars don’t rule the roads, the bike lanes are given just as much priority and its the quickest way round the city. Unlike the UK, cyclists don’t have to wear lycra and 2 grand for a state-of-the-art bike, bone-shakers are fine and padlocks not needed.

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Tivoli Gardens, through a distorted mirror. I think.

My fluency in languages is legendary. Start with a local greeting (“hi”) followed by whatever i want in English usually works for me. Happily in surprisingly cosmopolitan Copenhagen everyone speaks perfect English. Which is more than I can say, for example, people born in exotic places like Essex and my hometown Mansfield.

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Twisty building Malmo

Vegetarians have a challenge. Find something without pork products. I am exaggerating. Most of the breakfast cereals had very little bacon in them, and the croissants only occasionally. Invariably that means aimless walking trying to find a place that was suitable for everyone. Happily, our visit coincided with the midsummer festival. This meant bonfires in every bit of public open space, picnics and booze into the night, and a right good ol’ party atmosphere. It also meant students driving round town in all sorts of large vehicles celebrating end of term, or their fave lager, or something, wearing sailor hats Popeye style, with bangin’ music and shouting and honking horns and mega vuvuzelas and alcohol and singing. So there was much street life to keep us entertained from first thing in the morning, all day, all evening, and a bit of the night. I was quite envious. My uni course was a meal and everyone drifting off into the sunset one by one. Here, and also in Malmo, Sweden, it was a big bang, on lorries, on boats, on military vehicles, on cycles, on foot, on open top lorries, Sherman tanks, space shuttles and amphibious landing craft. Im lying a bit there. No one walked.

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Students!

On sunday we got the train to Sweden, over the sea by bridge. Internet, plenty of seats, every 20 minutes to Malmo, smooth, all mod cons, a revelation. One day I dream the UK might have trains. I didn’t even have to show my passport and the ticket checker was a bright and helpful lady. People to help everywhere wherever you go, and not just one on duty, there were literally dozens walking round away from the many many booths and self-help machines. And the toilets! Clean, and prolific, and free. Not just in tourist areas. EVERYWHERE we went there were public toilets in both countries. There were more in half a square city mile than in the whole of tourist-dependant Bournemouth – away from the seafront, there are no more than about 10. Fortunately us Brits are used to walking around in incontinence pants to avoid the piss dripping down our legs, a real social faux pas!

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A Windmill In Old…Malmo

Copengagen has many beautiful historic old buildings. Loved the Round Tower, and astronomer Tycho Brahe connections. I was impressed I almost chopped my nose off in trubute. After 4 days the novelty wears off though and you long for the odd council housing estate just to stay grounded. Malmo too, not to mention impressive new architecture in new developments. As I say though, it was Sunday, so Sweden was closed for the day. The weather was cool, showery, overcast, with just an occasional peak of a small yellowish thing in the grey sky. Midsummer. The whole 5 days. Now I know how they feel in Scotland (love and condolences!).

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Inside The Round Tower

Health and safety gone mad is how the right-wing British press like to characterise the EU. That most certainly is not my experience. Being practical and not moaning about everything is how i see it. That said, climbing 6 flights of hotel stairs, while they were sanding down, polythene on steps, planks blowing off fire escape half done roof tiling, banging works from 7am to 4pm each day, and scaffolding by all windows wasn’t what I was expecting for 800 pounds for 5 nights. Its not cheap!

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Copenhagen waterfront

So, anyway, hope that helps with what to expect and to do…