Monday, August 06, 2007

HELLO, GOODBYE – 1967, The Year The World Changed Forever

Musically no other year has seen so much change and so much diversity. The year began with Tom Jones at the top of the charts singing about the ‘Green Green Grass of Home’, it ended with John, Paul, George and Ringo telling us ‘Hello Goodbye’.

In between Jimi Hendrix arrived on the scene, The Beach Boys turned from ‘Heroes to Villains’ in the eyes of their record label, and the glorious summer of love was in full bloom. Somehow amidst the beads, kaftans and droopy moustaches Engelbert Humperdinck managed to top the charts with ‘Release Me’, which prevented The Beatles ‘Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever’ from reaching No.1. He then went on to have another No.1 with ‘The Last Waltz’, which became the biggest selling single of the year. Undaunted the Hippie phenomenon got into full swing before being buried at a mock funeral in San Francisco during October. Nevertheless even the Troggs were telling us that ‘Love is All Around’ and the Stones were anxious to ‘Let’s Spend the Night Together’.

Amidst all the love, peace and happiness various members of the still to be christened ‘greatest rock and roll band in the world’ were trying to stay one step ahead of the law. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards with a little help from band mate Brian Jones, turned pop from something that only appeared in the music press to the domain of the tabloids. On a more sombre note Joe Meek, the wayward producer killed himself, and his landlady – another field day for the News of the World.

In March The Beatles were nominated for eight Grammy awards, and won just two; they got pipped on two by Frank Sinatra, and by The New Vaudeville Band’s ‘Winchester Cathedral’ on another – how could this possibly be?

And there was the Vietnam War, Sandie Shaw won Eurovision; Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention toured the UK for the first time; Elvis got married; Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys was charged with draft dodging; The Monterey Pop Festival became the template for hundreds more over the coming decades; Jimi Hendrix was a support act for the Monkees on their US tour (he quit after just seven dates); the Pirate Radio stations stopped broadcasting; Radio One starts broadcasting; ‘A Whiter Shade of Pale’ tops the charts; the Beatles embark upon a ‘Magical Mystery Tour’; Otis Redding died in a plane crash, and the Shadows were still Britain’s favourite instrumental group.

Sergeant Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band was released…….what more could anyone ask for? It topped the charts for twenty three weeks straight and only three other albums topped the charts in 1967, two were by the Monkees and the other was the soundtrack to the Sound of Music!

....and most surprising of all? It was only forty years ago!

1 comment:

r morris said...

It was quite a year in music.
My memories of the late sixties are those of a child, but I remember a mix of exciting music (Beatles, etc), and terrible stuff happening in the States.

We moved to D.C. in '68, only a month of two after Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy had been gunned down. There were riots in DC. The Nixon inaugural turned into a riot. I was there, saw 'hippies' tear down an American flag and beat a doorman with it. Saw some other 'hippies' beating someone over the head with a Peace sign (my introduction to the fine world of irony).

I remember my friend in fourth grade missing school for a week because his dad had been killed in Vietnam. A boy about our age had lobbed a hand grenade into his helicopter. I remember a grisly photo of a smiling South Vietnamese soldier holding the severed heads of two Viet Cong.

The events of the lates sixties were scary to a little kid. The only redeeming memory from that time period is the Moon Landing in 1969.

From 1967-1970, the soundtrack was a lot better than the actual movie.