April 17, 2015

"In 1965 there were a ton of deserving No. 1 songs on the Billboard charts..."

"... and two silly novelty ones."

ADDED: The discussion about The Ramones that begins in the comments continues here.

30 comments:

Gahrie said...

I listened to it for the part talking about the music. I enjoyed it. I would have it enjoyed it more without the gratitious political commentary.

Archilochus said...

Darkness at the break of noon.

Bob R said...

In 2015, there were lots of places on the internet with intelligent commentary, and there was Slate.

No way I will give 20 minutes of my life to Slate.

Will Cate said...

Never thought much of their music, but Peter Noone always seemed like a nice guy.

madAsHell said...

The guy likes to hear himself talk.
I haven't the patience.

The images look like Herman's Hermits.

I was expecting the Royal Guardsmen with "Snoopy and the Red Baron".
Yes, I'm pretty sure I still know the lyrics, but google tells me that was 1966.

Static Ping said...

Ah, Herman's Hermits. True facts:

Prior to being a hit "Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter" was a song that many UK bands would play girl birthday parties, substituting the girl's surname for "Brown." It's like "Happy Birthday" being a #1 hit. It was written in 1963 but sounds much older.

"I'm Henry VIII, I Am" was written in 1910 for music hall stalwart Harry Champion. From what I understand Herman's Hermits was embarrassed to cover the song and absolutely, positively did not want it released as a single. I find this strange given they had just so much fun with it.

Their best song was "I'm Into Something Good" which only reached #13 in the US (#1 in the UK). Bonus points for the awesome music video that Naked Gun did with it.

Personally, the worst #1 in 1965 was "I'm Telling You Now" by Freddie & the Dreamers. The song has its charms - there really were no bad #1 hits in 1965 - but the titular Freddie was off his rocker (no pun intended). He comes across as if the Joker decided to pursue a music career instead of crime. See for yourself from a 1966 performance:

I'm Telling You Now

Also notable that year was "Hang on Sloopy", the official rock song of Ohio.

Popville said...

The best novelty song of the 60s came next year: Napolean the 14th's awesome "They're Coming to Tkae Me Away".

Popville said...

Plus, agree totally re: Freddie and the Dreamers. Horrendous group. Do the Freddie -- bleh!

tim in vermont said...

Waste of a click to video, and now "Oim enerie the eye-t-th Oy am" is going to be running through my head all day.

I always liked that song Mrs Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter though. I love songs that paint a little narrative in a minimalist way. Kind of like the song Something Stupid or the Hemingway story "Baby shoes for sale, never used."

The Drill SGT said...

A year from now, we're going to see a rewrite of the same story, only it will be:

"The Ballad of the Green Berets"

versus

"California Dreaming"


As a California Vietnam Vet, I like both, but the single song that sums up
Vietnam for us mid-late war Vets is:

Bob Ellison said...

I recommend these books on the history of top Billboard hits. Fascinating history that you can read one or two songs at a time.

Ann Althouse said...

The point of this post was the audio. I enjoyed it a great deal.

Bob Ellison said...

The point of this post was not the pointy part of this post. That's why we commenters keep going off tangentially.

[reCAPTCHA is getting difficult if you take it seriously. I was asked just now to identify sushi pictures. It's not really my bag, baby.]

chickelit said...

According to Hunter S. Thompson, 1965 was the best year to be a hippie link . Everybody thinks it was 1967, but according the Thompson they were wrong.

What about 1966? Althouse once wrote that 1966 was the best year for pop music, and I concur. I have all of my iTune singles chroned by year and 1966 wins for both quality and quantity. But 1965 was a great year too plus it was on the upslope. !967 wasn't bad either but it was on the downslope.

jr565 said...

in regards to Henry Viii - now we know where the Ramones got their "second verse, same as the first" from.

jr565 said...

Freddy and the dreamers. That is bizarre. I've heard the song plenty of times but i never saw the video. Even more bizarre than Freddie doing his weird jumps are the guitar players lifting their legs in time with Freddy as if they could realistically play guitars that way.
If you saw that today with a new band your jaw would drop at the absurdity of it.

tim in vermont said...

OK, it's your blog, not mine, and I mean that sincerely, not ironically or sarcastically. I am going to count to ten before posting from now on.

jr565 said...

Checked out some other Freddy and the dreamers videos and every time they guitarists do the leg lifting in time with Freddy. Can you imagine seeing a concert where they do thst on every single song?
They vary the leg lift a little. Sometimes it's a full leg lift, sometimes they bend the knee, but it's consistent on every video.
Thst apparently is Freddie's signature dance The Freddie. Even wrote a song about it. And did the Freddie on the video of the song.

Coupe said...

A really bad thing happened to Top 40 radio a few years later, when you found yourself listening to bubble-gum music. At that point I think everyone was so confused that they started integrating schools, so the white people could rediscover Negro music.

Gabriel said...

Last year I saw the Jim Hendrix exhibit at Experience Music Project.

He's a legend now, but when he was alive and active, people were listening to the Monkees.

The Drill SGT said...

overall it was a very very good period. Here 50 years later we all remember those songs and many are still played. In 1965, I don't remember hearing any tunes from 1915, nor do I think in 10 years, much less 50, we'll be playing any of today's crap.

I tell my nephews that all good music was created between 1580 and 1980

Farmer said...

I'm not listening to that but if the argument is that the Herman's Hermits version of I'm Henry VIII, I Am is not a great song, that's one of the dumbest fucking things I've ever heard.

The Drill SGT said...

I'm Henry VII is absolutely memorable. In the best and worst ways as it can haunt you for hours...

Sebastian said...

"all good music was created between 1580 and 1980"

Most of it between 1700 and 1910 though.

Off the charts, Coltrane's best made '65 OK.

Ann Althouse said...

"in regards to Henry Viii - now we know where the Ramones got their "second verse, same as the first" from."

Yeah, Henry the 8th is kind of a Ramones song in many ways.

Static Ping said...

Farmer: The guys on the podcast do describe the Herman's Hermits hits as "goofy" but they do seen to like both songs nonetheless.

Personally, I love me some goofy music if it is well done. These were very well done.

Ann: I listened to the music portion (the first half). It was entertaining and the two blokes were pleasant to the ear, but as far as the analysis went it was relatively shallow. Nice fluff. Wouldn't be opposed to listening to it while commuting if I found the topic interesting.

Mr. D said...

I agree with other commenters about '66. It was a very cool year. You had great tunes and Batman and the Man from U.N.C.L.E. on television. This compilation gives a fun overview of the music and television sounds of the year. I'll bet you can buy it from Althouse's Amazon portal, too.

Ann Althouse said...

"Did punk begin with 'I'm Henry The 8th I Am'? The minimal production, the basic drums, the snotty sloppy carefree vocal delivery, the directly Ramones-inspiring, 4th wall breaking cry of "Second Verse, same as the first".. to what extent could this track be considered an overlooked antecendent of the punk rock movement?"

Ann Althouse said...

"OK, it's your blog, not mine, and I mean that sincerely, not ironically or sarcastically. I am going to count to ten before posting from now on."

It might help to stop and think why I chose to post this. Think how disappointing it is to me to put something up that I believe is good and then to see comments that didn't even absorb what was pointed at but jumped to bitch about something that was a waste of time. Who's wasting whose time?

Ann Althouse said...

I made a new post on the Henry VIII/Ramones stuff.