Friday, April 29, 2016

The Top 100 Songs of 1966: #20-11

Janet Jackson, Halle Berry and Stephen Baldwin were all born in 1966.  The Beach Boys released their masterpiece, Pet Sounds.  The Beatles began recording their landmark album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in November, the same month that actor Ronald Reagan was elected governor of California.  

And on the radio, these 10 songs were among the best of the year:


Wouldn't It Be Nice
Beach Boys

From that great Pet Sounds album, the Beach Boys hit #8 with this song.

California Dreamin'

the Mamas and the Papas

One of the things that makes this song memorable is the alto flute solo.  The alto flute is larger than a regular flute, and the solo on Song #19* was played by jazz musician Bud Shank.


Sunshine Superman

While Donovan was being sued by Pye Records for leaving that company, this masterpiece sat on the shelves for seven months.  There is no doubt where it was headed when finally released--#1.


Summer In The City
Lovin' Spoonful

Lead singer John Sebastian, Spoonful bassist Steve Boone and Sebastian's brother (not a member of the group) wrote this song.  As John told Uncut magazine in 2014: "That song that came from an idea my brother Mike had. He had this great chorus, and the release was so big. I had to create some kind of tension at the front end to make it even bigger. That's where that jagged piano part comes from."


Reach Out I'll Be There
Four Tops

The famous Motown songwriting team of Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier and Brian Holland wrote this for the Four Tops.  They told super lead singer Levi Stubbs to sing it like Bob Dylan did on "Like A Rolling Stone", which explains the urgency in the vocal.


Bobby Hebb

We're up to one of the most-played songs in history, written by Bobby Hebb in tribute to U.S. president John Kennedy and to Hebb's brother, both of whom died on the same day.  The two events put Hebb in a deep depression; he came out of it by insisting on writing a song that "one should always look on the bright side".


Nowhere Man

The #14 Song of 1966* opens with three-part harmony from Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison.  Lennon kept the original copy of his handwritten lyrics and in 2003, the lyrics fetched $455,500 at an auction by Christie's of New York City.  


Paint It, Black
Rolling Stones

Stones guitarist Brian Jones played the sitar on this song, and it was just the touch it needed to give the group their third #1 song in two years.


Good Lovin'
Young Rascals

After their first release, "I Ain't Gonna' Eat Out My Heart Anymore", stalled at #52, this song went to #1 for the Young Rascals.  It is one of 27 #1 songs for the year.


Homeward Bound
Simon & Garfunkel

This song was recorded in New York City in the same late-night session that gave us The #21 Song of 1966*--"I Am A Rock".

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.