Tag Archive: 1960s

  • Top 40 UK Number Ones, part 4

    1-10

    The Beatles Rain

    Now, after a week of carrot-dangling, we’re finally at the summit – celebrating the greatest UK Number One singles of all time. Each one is brilliant for a reason. The Kinks make the list for introducing the world to an early incarnation of rock music with “You Really Got Me“. Sinead O’Connor’s heartfelt rendition of a song written by Prince remains one of the most angry and emotional love songs of all time. The Rolling Stones had many decent smash hits, but “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” kicks all of them right in the underpants. “Billie Jean” makes the cut for not only being one of Jackson’s finest, but also because it’s one of his WEIRDEST – that people still dance enthusiastically to a song about an insane delusional fan is completely brilliant. The Beach Boys managed two UK Number One’s, the first of which, “Good Vibrations”, is a masterpiece of musical arrangement, and possibly the electro-theremin‘s finest hour. Paul Hardcastle managed to mix the dialogue from a documentary about post-traumatic stress disorder,Vietnam Requiem”, with serious synthesizers to make a dance record with an ideology. “Ghost Town” by The Specials also veered into the pop charts waving a political flag, this time spookily condemning Thatcher’s Britain, and creating a truly eerie pop/reggae fusion. The Jam kept “Golden Brown” by The Stranglers off the top spot with Weller’s ode to Woking, which is also a great rock record to dance to – just watch “Billy Elliot” if you don’t believe us. Althea and Donna were a shock one week/one hit wonder back in 1978, thanks to some sterling work by the late, great John Peel – if there is such thing as a cult number one, then this is it. And The Beatles were always going to be sitting somewhere near the top, and, as it is, they snatched the crown with probably the greatest A/B side combination of them all – “Paperback Writer” and (the EVEN BETTER) “Rain”. Only two other A/B combos came into contention throughout the 40 – “Penny Lane”/”Strawberry Fields”, until we realised that it didn’t make it to the top of the charts, it peaked at Number 2. And “Start”/”Liza Radley” by The Jam. But, in the end, this one prevailed, whilst the other two didn’t. Hence, this is our best Top Ten ever. Enjoy…

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    1A. The Beatles, Paperback Writer (1966)

    1B. The Beatles, Rain (1966)

    2. Althea and Donna, Uptown Top Ranking (1978)

    3. The Jam, A Town Called Malice (1982)

    4. The Specials, Ghost Town (1981)

    5. Paul Hardcastle, 19 (1985)

    6. The Beach Boys, Good Vibrations (1966)

    7. Michael Jackson, Billie Jean (1983)

    8. The Rolling Stones, Satisfaction (1965)

    9. Sinead O’Connor, Nothing Compares 2 U (1990)

    10. The Kinks, You Really Got Me (1964)

    Top 40 UK Number Ones, part 1

    Top 40 UK Number Ones, part 2

    Top 40 UK Number Ones, part 3

  • Happy Birthday Steve Guttenberg, here’s Buffalo Springfield!

    Buffalo Springfield, For what it’s worth

    Fans of Police Academy and Short Circuit will be going absolutely bonkers today, as Steve Guttenberg turns 51. No doubt the evening will be spent with Tom Selleck, Ted Danson, and their 23-year-old daughter Mary, who they all brought up together in a massive New York apartment. It’s going to be quite some night, so to celebrate we thought we’d buy Steve a gift, hence we dressed up as clowns and sat weeping hysterically in a park and discussing ideas, until it boiled down to a toss up between a big box of pens, or a clip of some hippies singing a song. In the end we got him both. Happy Birthday Guttenberg!

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  • Happy Birthday Ginger Baker, here’s a drum solo!

    Ginger Baker, 1969

    Ginger Baker, the legendary jazz/rock drummer turns a very outrageous 70-years-old today, which makes us wonder whether the “Ginger” nickname still stands. Might he be more “greyish/ginger” now? We’re not sure. We haven’t seen him for a while. To those who don’t know, he was a popular drummer in the 1960s and 1970s, who enjoyed his most refreshing moment in the sunshine with Cream, starring Eric Clapton. He’s quite a guy, hence we thought we’d buy him a gift, so we all went to bed at the usual time, then craftily shouted out present ideas just as others were on the very cusp of falling asleep. After nine hours of not quite making it to full slumber, it had boiled down to a toss up between some biscuits, or a fabulous drumming clip. In the end we got him both. Happy Birthday Ginger!

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  • Thursday Love Song: Small Faces

    Small Faces, Hey Girl

    Regulars to the site will have pre-prepared for today, it being the official day of sensuality and lustiness. They might have packed a spare pair of underpants in with their packed lunch, a few candles, some rose petals, a flask of oysters. Perhaps they’re off to the pictures later with a young Doris from accounts? After that they might enjoy a nice fish supper before getting a leg-over down by the canal. That’s probably how the above young smoothies did it back in the olden times.

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  • Happy Birthday Andy Warhol, here’s Debbie Harry!

    Andy Warhol paints Debbie Harry

    Had he not been snaffled by the misty hand of death in 1987, Andy Warhol would be turning a very elderly 80-years-old today. No doubt he’d spend the evening slurping Campbell’s Soup through a straw, with his wispy side parting dangling over his eyes to create an air of artistic mystery. For those too young to know, he was the 1960s version of Banksy, with his crazy multi-coloured pictures of Marilyn Monroe, the aforementioned soup, and that banana he thought worthy of an art rock album cover. Other lesser known works include a great big orange and lovely red tomato. The man was a genius. Hence we decided to get him a gift, so we draped ourselves around a Hackney loft, all muttering and pretending to be a bit done in on heroin, before it boiled down to a toss up between a far out jacket, or a clip of Warhol painting Debbie Harry on an old computer. In the end we got him both. Happy Birthday Andy Warhol!

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  • Album covers analysed: Love

    Love, Forever Changes

    love

    Rock bands love their drugs, just love them. Hence why most bands tend to look completely out of their minds when they’re playing festivals – it isn’t the swooping energy of their music that’s dilating their pupils and causing their mouths to gurn like a chimp attempting to get through a toffee, they’ve played these songs so many times that they’re completely bored of them. It’s crazy drugs. Drugs supplied by the management or roadies. Probably some uppers, downers, blues, reds, purples, violets, gingers, smackos, crackaroos, rice crispies, dongos and a little snifter of cokey joe. That’s what the kids like. And these barmy mind-bending drugs can often be represented artistically on the group’s album cover. For example, we’ve already covered Oasis, who were clearly cocaining it to kingdom come when they decided to depict themselves as other-worldly demi-gods on one of their records, and now to the excellent 1960/70s psychedelic outfit, Love – a brilliant brilliant band. Their Forever Changes record features bonkers morphing portraits of the band members, all overlapping like a venn diagram, painted in crazy colours like blue, yellow, green, and purple. As everyone knows, purple is the colour of LSD. There’s a few swirly bits as well, just to hammer home the point that, yes, the guy doing the doodle is seriously aciding. Here’s a brilliant cut from the album…

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  • Happy Birthday Bobbie Gentry, here’s a don’t drink video!

    Drink Less, Miss Less

    Bobbie Gentry – a woman – is turning 65 today. She was a really popular singer/songwriter in the 1960s, once even knocking Sgt Pepper off the top of the album charts in America. And, well, that’s all we know. It’s a rubbish day for birthdays, frankly. It was either her or Dick Van Dyke’s brother, Jerry. Pretty lame. Even so, we thought we’d get Bobbie a gift, so we all put hooded tops on and sat at the back of a bus whispering ideas to one another and occasionally glaring at people, until it boiled down to a toss up between a small bag of strawberries or a an anti-binge drinking video starring Lauren Laverne that a PR company wondered if we’d feature on the site. In the end we got her both. Happy Birthday Bobbie Gentry!

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  • Happy Birthday Tom Cruise, here’s Hendrix!

    Jimi Hendrix and Curtis Knight

    Our favourite passive-aggressive actor, Tom Cruise, turns 47 today. That makes him nearly 50. How ridiculous that Maverick from Top Gun is nearly 50. Goose must be spinning in his grave. Anyway, he’s had quite a life with all the films, the curiously hollow-eyed girlfriends/wives, and the whole Scientology thing, so we thought we’d buy him a gift. To get into the mood we made up a story about aliens eating the souls of real people, and then got down to present talk, which boiled down to a toss up between a cold slap in the face or a clip of Hendrix singing a funky Birthday song. In the end we got him both. Happy Birthday Tom Cruise!

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  • Thursday Love Song: David Crosby

    Triad, David Crosby

    And so Thursday rolls around for another week, looking all sexy and oiled up. That’s your Thursday. It’s a deeply sensual day, so unzip your trousers, turn the desk fan around, and allow the cool breeze to blow directly into your eyes. Today, ex-Byrds man David Crosby sing of his deep love for a beautiful woman… and her friend.

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  • Interestment’s Top Four: 60s Films

    Some gems missed out…

    easy-rider

    Hey man, the 1960s. How about those! Everyone was naked in a field, smoking grass cigarettes using little tweezers. Then, in the evenings, they’d all pile into a camper van to drive up to a lake to guzzle loads of acid and have group sex on some rocks – all the while quoting Revelations to a screaming guitar backing track. It was far out. Everyone had long hair, man. Everyone. Pretty cool times. Can you tell that we weren’t there? We have, however, seen most of the films, and coming up with a top four was a very unhip and, at times, emotional experience. Just missing the cut were Easy Rider (pictured), Bonnie and Clyde, The Ipcress File, Planet of The Apes, Midnight Cowboy, and The Guns of Navarone

    1. Rosemary’s Baby

    rosemarys-baby

    A completely terrifying film, even the trailer is chilling. Rosemary – played by Mia Farrow – and Guy move into an apartment building in New York, and it isn’t long before she’s been date raped by Satan, and his career is on the up and up thanks to a spot of soul selling. Farrow is career peaking throughout, as she grows more and more gaunt and spooky, craving raw meat through a very unusual pregnancy. A Polanski classic, and one of the scariest films ever. Interestingly, Jack Nicholson was almost cast as Guy, but just missed out.

    2. Jason and The Argonauts

    jason-and-the-argonauts

    If you’re a Ray Harryhausen fan, and stop-motion animation is your thing, then this is quite possibly the greatest film you will ever see. Jason and his squad of Argonauts are on a mission to find a really expensive golden jacket (or fleece), but the Gods are angry, so their paths are littered with great big monsters, flying things, and skeletons with swords. A brilliant, brilliant movie, adventure films are rarely better. It keeps The Guns of Navarone and One Million Years BC out of the top four.

    3. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

    butch-cassidy

    The 1960s heterosexual version of Brokeback Mountain – in that the two stars were lusted after Hollywood hunks, playing cowboys. There was no mutual man activity, however. No fishing trips. Instead, Redford and Newman play bank robbers, who mess up and have to go on the run from a posse. Cue lots of action, sexy brothels, famous bike rides, and Burt Bacharach doing a fine job on the soundtrack.

    4. Head

    the-monkees-head

    Of course, this being the 1960s, there were plenty of freaky psychedelic movies to chose from – Barbarella, Pych-Out, Easy Rider. But this one takes the biscuit for being totally weird, occasionally excellent, and for proving that The Monkees were actually a pretty fantastic pop group. It was written and produced by Jack Nicholson, and features cameo appearances from Dennis Hopper, Frank Zappa and Sonny Liston. It was so-called with view to making a sequel “from the film makers who gave you Head”. Or so they say.

  • Album covers analysed: The Byrds

    The Byrds, Ballad of Easy Rider

    the-byrds

    There is nothing in the world more deeply satisfying than a visual metaphor. Students use them all the time, because Banksy uses them, and Banksy is, like, a genius or something. Seriously, man, he uses graffiti to really express himself. He uses it for social commentary and that. Yeah, I’m going to buy a book of Banksy pictures. Then I might get a T-shirt with I’m Banksy emblazoned on it, because no one is one hundered per cent sure who Banksy actually is. God Banksy‘s cool. He’s not even really called Banksy. It’s like his street name. Banksy. Anyway, enough about Banksy, and onto another visual metaphor. One created before the great Banksy was even conceived. It’s from the sleeve of Ballad of Easy Rider by The Byrds, released at a time when rural America was having to come to terms with the mobs of greasy long haired hippies making love on their barn floors. In a small square in the middle of the cover is a picture of a cowboy – the symbol of Hillbilly America – only in this case, he’s riding a motorbike, not a horse. A motorbike. The message is clear. The times, they are changing. Or, indeed, a-changing. Horses are out, man. Here’s a cut from the record…

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  • Thursday Love Song: P.P. Arnold

    P.P Arnold, The First Cut is the Deepest

    It’s Thursday, friends, so pack your anger into a cupboard, put your tension into a little box. It’s the official day of love, lust, and smearing great big dripping fistfuls of sandalwood massage oil into your partner’s soft quivering legs. So, dim the lights, allow a soft breeze to sing through your underpants, and enjoy some important words from P.P. Arnold. Here, she’s explaining to a lover that she was once left heart broken and destroyed, but she might now be ready to slip between the satin sheets again.

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  • Happy Birthday Cher, here’s Cher and Tina!

    Cher and Tina Turner, Makin Music is my Business

    It’s yet another phenomenal day for birthdays – Joe Cocker, Jimmy Stewart, and Busta Rhymes will all be spitting out candles and running away from a party in tears tonight. But we thought we’d focus on Cher, an amazing woman who is scaling the heights of 63 today. What a life that lady has enjoyed. She was a backing vocalist on many of the great early Phil Spector tracks – Be My Baby, You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling – she made millions as Sonny Bono’s leggy sidekick/wife in the 1970s, then she started dressing like an aggressive New York prostitute in the 1980s, and in the 1990s she had some kind of sonic mechanism attached to her throat so that she could sing like a robot. Hence, we thought we’d get her a gift. We headed out to a wasteland to fire machine guns, fiercely debating what to buy whilst obliterating old oil cans and burnt out cars, and it boiled down to a toss up between a big bath robe made from Terry Towelling, or an old clip from the 1970s of her and Tina Turner singing together. In the end we got her both. Happy Birthday Cher!

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  • Great British Band: The Rolling Stones

    The Rolling Stones, Loving Cup

    It’s damn near impossible to select a Rolling Stones song, as they’ve made so many brilliant ones. Hence, we decided to go with something from our favourite of their albums, Exile on Main Street. Take it away Rubber-Face and the lads!

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  • Happy Birthday Rita Coolidge, here’s a Record Breakers rap!

    Daddy Freddy Raps on Record Breakers

    Rita Coolidge. You know, Rita Coolidge. The one who broke up Crosby, Stills & Nash by servicing both Stills and Nash but totally ignoring Crosby. She was also a backing vocalist for Joe Cocker at one stage. Then she married Kris Kristofferson for a bit. Yeah, her. Now you remember her. Now you know who we’re on about. Her. Anyway, she’s 64 today, so as is the tradition in this country, we thought we’d pick up a present. We stood outside Blockbuster on Clapham High Street, smoking spliffs, knocking back bottle after bottle of orange WKD, trying desperately to figure out what to buy someone who we’d never really heard of. We cried, we talked, we wept. We punched a guy in the face. Then Hip Hop Sam strolled past in his gargantuan trousers and told us that we should either get her a tub of raspberry ripple ice cream or a clip from Record Breakers featuring the fast rapping of Daddy Freddy, and the legendary Wee Papa Girl Rappers. In the end we got her both. Happy Birthday Coolidge!

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  • Great British Band: Cream

    Cream, Sunshine of Your Love

    Cream were a supergroup made up of Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker. The modern day equivalent would be if, say, two members of Girls Aloud joined The Saturdays – that’s right, this was astonishing stuff. Above is their best song. And below is the superior cover by Spanky Wilson.

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  • Thursday Love Song: The Beatles

    The Beatles, Don’t Let Me Down

    Yes! Thursday! We adore Thursdays, because they’ve been recently declared – by us – the official day of love. A time for romance, snogging, and smearing handfuls of treacle into your lover’s soft thighs. Today, The Beatles explain how there’s a woman out there really watering their testicles. Yoko perhaps?

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  • Thursday Love Song: Glen Campbell

    Glen Campbell, Wichita Lineman

    Today’s love song comes courtesy of Glen Campbell, a fine guitarist with a voice like delicious honey. Here, he’s bored at work and yearning to be back with his lover, presumably in a fleshy clinch of some sort. Beautiful.

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  • Interestment’s Top Four: Drummers that sing

    Sorry Collins, no room at the inn

    collins1

    It’s difficult to pinpoint the coolest area of a band. Is it around the frontman/woman? Or is it at the back with the mentalist thrashing around on the drums? One thing is for sure, wherever Phil Collins lays his hat, it isn’t there. And, Ringo couldn’t plump Lennon, Harrison, nor McCartney for cool points either. Some people, however, have managed to occupy the front of stage, and the back of house, and have sparkled in both areas. Here is a rundown of our favourite drummers-slash-singers…

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    1 Chaka Khan

    chaka

    We all knew that Chaka Khan was a whole hunk of woman, with a voice so sharp and funky that it could cut through concrete, but who knew she could play the drums excellently as well? The perfect wife.

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  • Happy Birthday Dave Davies, here’s a lazy Beatles performance!

    The Beatles, I Feel Fine

    What can you get the man who started up The Kinks for his 62nd birthday? He’s already got everything – kudos, respect, balanced chakras, a Ready Brek glow. We argued long into the night, on a bench in the snow – careful not to sleep in case the icy hand of death snaffled us as we snoozed. It boiled down to a toss up between an ironic t-shirt with one of the Mr. Men on it, or an interesting video clip of his old chart enemies, The Beatles, being particularly complacent during a performance. In the end we got him both. Happy Birthday Mr Bump!

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  • Album covers analysed: The Rolling Stones, Their Satanic Majesties Request

    Hey man, it’s some people pretending to be hippies

    rolling-stones

    Nothing sticks in the craw more than missing out on a cool party. You might have been sick in bed, or perhaps you just weren’t invited. Still, don’t mope around whining, get on with your life, soldier. Let it go. And do not, under any circumstances, attempt to recreate the amazing party, because it definitely won’t be the same, and you’ll invariably end up looking like a plonker. Take the Summer of Love in 1967, for example. The Beatles were there from the start with their hairy sideboards and little spectacles, brandishing Sergeant Pepper. Hendrix, The Who, Janis Joplin, and Jefferson Airplane all gave a kick-ass show at the legendary Monterey Pop Festival. And The Rolling Stones pretty much missed the lot. Sensing that they might have just failed to catch a very important flowery train, they hurriedly threw together this album, just in time for December 1967 – the winter of the Summer of Love, if you like. Awash with songs about crazy futuristic people, rainbows, and citadels, the cover shows the five band members dressed up like technicolor druids in a magical land – their way of saying “sorry we’re late world, we’ve been tripping on mushies… being as we’re far out and everything!” Unfortunately, as a statement of hippydom, it’s up there with putting on a bowler hat and telling the world you’re a cowboy. Unconvincing.

    Enjoy one of the cuts from the record after the jump…

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  • Happy Birthday Tom Selleck, here’s a Jimi Hendrix interview!

    Jimi Hendrix, The Dick Cavett Show

    What don’t we owe to Tom Selleck? He has single-handedly opened female minds to the raw power of male sexuality, and made it okay to express yourself with a moustache and flowery shirt. Today he turns 64, and buying him a present to truly express our gratitude became almost impossibly difficult. It boiled down to a toss up between a selection of bath salts and body lotions, or a Jimi Hendrix interview from the excellent Dick Cavett Show. In the end we got him both. Happy Birthday Tom Selleck! You’re the BEST!

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  • Great British Bands: The Beatles

    The Beatles, Rain

    The Beatles were amazing, everyone knows that, and the above track is the flipside to Paperback Writer. It’s a great video, made even better by George Harrison kicking it off with a rather grand notion…

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  • Happy Birthday Rutger Hauer, here’s The Monkees!

    The Monkees, Circle Sky

    Rutger Hauer. What the hell can you get Rutger Hauer for his 65th birthday? The guy’s The Hitcher for goodness sake, he’s been there, seen it, done that, got this, had that, eaten this, discovered that, rubbed those, touched this, licked that, and prodded the other. We debated long into the night, polishing off around three bottles of the good stuff, before deciding it was a toss up between a brilliant Monkees track, or a lifetime’s supply of ink. In the end we simply had to get him both. Happy Birthday baddie from Blade Runner!

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