Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window? (Bob Dylan)

31 JANUARY 1966


Bob Dylan’s generally overlooked single ‘Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window?’ entered the UK charts at #17 (its highest position) during this week. It reached #58 on the US Billboard chart. Hardly a massive hit, but a splendid bit of music nonetheless.

The studio backing band here was the Hawks, later to become The Band, and a classic Dylan sound, all richly-layered guitars, organ, xylophone, piano and harmonica, with inventive but cryptic lyrics.  .
'He looks so truthful, is this how he feels
Trying to peel the moon and expose it
With his businesslike anger and his bloodhounds that kneel
If he needs a third eye he just grows it
He just needs you to talk or to pick up his chalk
Or remember where he throws it.'
This song was included in Nick Hornby's book '31 Songs'. The excellent version here in the video above is from ‘The Bootleg Series’.

Recorded: 30 November 1965
Released: 21 December 1965
Highest chart position: #17 (UK), #58 (US)
Length: 3:32
Writer: Bob Dylan
Producer: Bob Johnston


'He sits in your room, his tomb with a fist full of tacks
Preoccupied with his vengeance
Cursin' the dead that can't answer him back
You know that he has no intentions
Of looking your way, unless it's to say
That he needs you to test his inventions

Hey, come crawl out your window
Use your hands and legs it won't ruin you
How can you say he will haunt you?
You can go back to him any time you want to

He looks so truthful, is this how he feels?
Trying to peel the moon and expose it
With his business-like anger and bloodhounds that kneel
If he needs a third eye he just grows it
He just needs you to talk or to hand him his chalk
Or pick it up after he throws it

Hey, please crawl out your window
Oh, use your hands and legs it won't ruin you
How can you say he will haunt you?
You can go back to him any time you want to

He looks so righteous while your face is so changed
As you sit on the box you keep him in
While his genocide fools and friends rearrange
Their religion of the little ten women
That backs up their views but your face is so bruised
Come on out the dark is just beginning

Hey, please come out your window
Oh, use your hands and legs it won't ruin you
How can you say he will haunt you?
When you can go back to him any time that you want to

You've got a lot of nerve to say you are my friend
If you won't come out your window
Yes, come out your window'

Michelle (David and Jonathan)

30 JANUARY 1966


Bristol pop duo David and Jonathan were at #12 in the UK this week with their version of the Beatles’ ‘Michelle’. Another version of this same song (by the Overlanders) was already at #1, and to tell the truth there’s not a lot of difference between these covers and the original.

There was also two versions of 'Girl', from Rubber Soul, in the charts around this time. I get the impression that producers would run from the record shop to the recording studio with a copy of the latest Beatles' album in their hand and say 'quick, let's put out a single of one of these songs!'

The Overlanders' version of 'Michelle' spent three weeks at #1, and would no doubt have sold even if the same song hadn't also been at #11.

This one was David and Jonathan’s first charting single, peaking at #11 in the UK and #18 in the US. They had one more hit in the UK during 1966 but that was the sum total of the duo's chart success, although they went on to have more songwriting successes under their real names Roger Greenaway and Roger Cook (with big hits for Gene Pitney, the Hollies, Blue Mink, Englebert Humperdinck, among others).

Michelle (David and Jonathan)

'Michelle, ma belle
These are words that go together well
My Michelle

Michelle, ma belle
Sont des mots qui vont très bien ensemble
Très bien ensemble

I love you, I love you, I love you
That's all I want to say
Until I find a way
I will say the only words I know that
You'll understand

Michelle, ma belle
Sont des mots qui vont très bien ensemble
Très bien ensemble

I need to, I need to, I need to
I need to make you see
Oh, what you mean to me
Until I do I'm hoping you will
Know what I mean

I love you

I want you, I want you, I want you
I think you know by now
I'll get to you somehow
Until I do I'm telling you so
You'll understand

Michelle, ma belle
Sont des mots qui vont très bien ensemble
Très bien ensemble

I will say the only words I know
That you'll understand, my Michelle'

Thunderball (Tom Jones)

29 JANUARY 1966


This was not a ‘James Bond year’ as there was no Bond movie released between 1965’s 'Thunderball' and 1967’s 'You Only Live Twice'. However, the ‘Thunderball’ theme song, as recorded by Tom Jones, peaked at #35 in the UK during this week.

This was Jones' eighth single, and he'd already had big hits with 'It's Not Unusual' and 'What's New Pussycat?', but the two singles that preceded this - and the three that followed it - were all flops. His biggest run of success wouldn't begin until the end of 1966 and the 'Green, Green Grass of Home'.

Despite thaving a stirring Bond-style backing and arrangement, and a strong performance from Jones, this is one of the franchise's weaker efforts (although they had the tough job of following up Goldfinger), but the underwater opening titles are quite groovy and very sixties.

Thunderball (Tom Jones)

'He always runs while others walk.
He acts while other men just talk.
He looks at this world, and wants it all,
So he strikes, like Thunderball.
He knows the meaning of success.
His needs are more, so he gives less.
They call him the winner who takes all.
And he strikes, like Thunderball.

Any woman he wants, he'll get.
He will break any heart without regret.
His days of asking are all gone.
His fight goes on and on and on.
But he thinks that the fight is worth it all.
So he strikes like Thunderball.'

Ebb Tide (The Righteous Brothers)

28 JANUARY 1966


‘Ebb Tide’ by the Righteous Brothers (their follow-up to 'Unchained Melody') was at its peak UK chart position of #48 this week. It reached #5 in the US, becoming the best-selling version (but not particularly inspired choice) of a song that had already been recorded many times before (by artists such as the Platters).

Bobby Hatfield recorded this song without Bill Medley. He could not use his own name on the record because under their contract all their songs had to be by the ‘Righteous Brothers’. Earlier singles such as ‘You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feeling’ prominently featured Medley’s voice, which caused some friction between the duo, and apparently releases like this helped smooth things over. It was produced by Phil Spector.

Ebb Tide (Righteous Brothers)

'First the tide rushes in
Plants a kiss on the shore
Then rolls out to sea and the sea is very still once more
So I rush to your side
Like the oncoming tide with one burning thought
Will your arms open wide?
At last we're face to face
And as we kiss through an embrace
I can tell, I can feel
You are love, you are real
Really mine in the rain, in the dark, in the sun
Like the tide at its ebb
I'm at peace in the web of your arms
Ebb tide'

Michelle (The Overlanders)

27 JANUARY 1966


The Overlanders’ cover of the Beatles song ‘Michelle’ (from the Rubber Soul album) reached #1 in the UK, where it stayed for three weeks.

This was one of those strange mid-’60s cases in which artists rushed to cover songs off new albums by big acts such as the Beatles, and you’d get the same song from different artists in the charts at the same time. In this case, folk/beat group the Overlanders were one of two acts high in the charts with ‘Michelle’ (the other being the duo ‘Jonathan and David’, who were at #12 with this song during this week).

Although the song itself can be a bit dreary, the two covers of it in the top 12 at the same time shows just how popular it was. This was the Overlanders only big hit, although they were actually pretty good and released better material than this.

Michelle (The Overlanders)

'Michelle, ma belle
These are words that go together well
My Michelle

Michelle, ma belle
Sont des mots qui vont très bien ensemble
Très bien ensemble

I love you, I love you, I love you
That's all I want to say
Until I find a way
I will say the only words I know that
You'll understand

Michelle, ma belle
Sont des mots qui vont très bien ensemble
Très bien ensemble

I need to, I need to, I need to
I need to make you see
Oh, what you mean to me
Until I do I'm hoping you will
Know what I mean

I love you

I want you, I want you, I want you
I think you know by now
I'll get to you somehow
Until I do I'm telling you so
You'll understand

Michelle, ma belle
Sont des mots qui vont très bien ensemble
Très bien ensemble

I will say the only words I know
That you'll understand, my Michelle'

My Ship is Coming In (The Walker Brothers)

26 JANUARY 1966


The Walker Brothers’ fourth single (and follow up to their epic #1 'Make It Easy on Yourself') was 'My Ship is Coming In’, which reached its peak UK chart position of #3 this week. It only reached #63 in the US where, despite being an American band, they never enjoyed anywhere near the kind of success they had in the UK.

This song - one of my favourites of theirs - had been previously been released in the US in 1965 by soul singer Jimmy Radcliffe but had only reached #163. The Walker Brothers were at their peak during this time, and they totally nail this song with great vocals and brilliant production.

As with most Walker Brothers' video clips, the drummer (Gary Leeds/Walker) with his tiny drum kit looks lost beside the two singers miming to such a heavily orchestrated song here. Then again, he didn’t even play much on their actual recordings.

B-side: 'You're All Around Me'
Recorded: 1965
Released: 26 November 1965 (UK), January 1966 (US)
Highest chart position: #3 (UK), #63 (US)
Length: 3:15 (mono), 2:56 (stereo)
Writer: Joey Brooks
Producer: Ivor Raymonde

My Ship is Coming In (The Walker Brothers)

'Girl, you've been so good to me
Stayin' by my side through the bad times
All my dreams never came true somehow
But things are gonna be different now, little baby

My ship is coming in
Baby, baby-
My ship is coming in

And won't it be fine
We're gonna make it this time

You can throw away that shabby dress
Buy yourself the finest things in town, girl
Pry your eyes, we're celebratin'
Oh, there's so many good times awaitin' baby

My ship is coming in
Baby, baby-
My ship is coming in

And won't it be fine
We're gonna make it this time

I know it's been tough on you
But through it all, you've been so true
Happy to be just lovin' me
And anything you want, it's yours 'cause baby

My ship is coming in
Baby, baby-
My ship is coming in

Baby, baby-
My holy ship - I've been waiting and it's coming in
(My ship) Oh can't you see it baby
Can't you feel the ship - I know it's coming in
Yeah, yeah
(My ship) Just for me and you, everything we ever wanted
Everything we ever wanted is coming in
So dry your eyes...'

Wind Me Up (Let Me Go) (Cliff Richard and the Shadows)

25 JANUARY 1966


Cliff Richard and the Shadows' single ‘Wind Me Up (Let Me Go)’ was still in its nine-week run in the UK top 10 (having previously spent three weeks at #2).

They had over twenty Top-5 hits in the UK through this decade, despite making minimal changes to their style and sound since the late 1950s, especially on ballads like this. In 1966, some recording artists were intent on pushing the sonic envelope. Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention both recorded this year, and of course the Beatles would make 'Tomorrow Never Knows', which all sounded like it came from a completely different decade to Cliff's material, but there was clearly still a big market for clean-cut, old-fashioned, almost-nursery-rhyme pop like this.

Wind Me Up (Let Me Go) (Cliff Richard and the Shadows)

'I'm just a little tin soldier in your hands
I'm good for nothing but to obey your commands
You'll never really love me, I know
So wind me up, let me go

I'm just your plaything 'till you see someone else
And then you leave me alone on the shelf
But even tin soldiers have hearts don't you know
So wind me up, let me go

You don't really need me
You've a hundred other toys
And tear drops don't look good in the eyes of soldier boys

So pick me up and hold me one more time
That's just consolation for this heart of mine
Whisper a sweet word to the one who loves you
So then wind me up let me go
Then wind me up let me go
Let me go
Let me go'

It Won't Be Wrong (The Byrds)

24 JANUARY 1966


‘It Won’t Be Wrong’ was the B-side on the Byrds’ single ‘Set You Free This Time’, as mentioned in an earlier post. After the A-side song had peaked at #79 on the US charts, some radio stations started playing this more up-tempo B-side and the record climbed to #63. 

This was simply a case of releasing further tracks from an album to perk up sales of that album, and while this was a decent track it was never going to be big hit material. The Byrds had two #1 hits in 1965, but they would never breach the top ten again despite continuing to release quality material throughout the 1960s.

The video here is from 5 February 1966 and shows the Byrds looking great while miming ‘It Won’t Be Wrong’ on the very crowded set of the TV show ‘Hollywood A Go Go’ (they kick in around the 1:15 mark.

Recorded: 10, 14-16 September 1965, Columbia Studios, Hollywood
Released: 18 February 1966
Highest chart position: #63 (US)
Length: 1:58
Label: CBS
Writers: Jim McGuinn, Harvey Gerst
Producer: Terry Melcher

It Won’t Be Wrong (The Byrds)

'Every time I see you smile, come to me, don't be long
Let me tell you how my heart goes wild.
Please let me love you and it won't be wrong

Every time you're in my arms, come to me, don't be long
You know that I'll never do you no harm
Please let me love you and it won't be wrong

Let me love you and then you'll see, come to me, come to me
Let me show you once and we'll be free
Please let me love you and it won't be wrong

Every time I see you smile, come to me, don't be long
Let me tell you how my heart goes wild.
Please let me love you and it won't be wrong'

Night Train (James Brown)

23 JANUARY 1966


This record had actually been something of a hit single back in 1962, but when James Brown released his ‘I Got You (I Feel Good)’ album in January 1966, he included ‘Night Train’ on the A side.

This song had been recorded by various other people since 1951, but Brown used it extensively on tour, changing the lyrics to a shouted list of the places on his tour itinerary.

The garish album cover features the real sentence 'I Got You (I Feel Good) sung by James Brown from his movie Ski Party'. Judging by this clip, there weren't too many soul brothers at the ski lodge.

Anyway, as the YouTube video title below suggests, this is a bit of a ‘soul mod dancer classic’!

B-side: 'Why Does Everything Happen to Me'
Recorded: 9 February 1961, King Studios, Cincinnati
Released: March 1962
Highest chart position: #35 (US, 1962)
Length: 3:35
Label: King 5614
Writer: Oscar Washington, Lewis P. Simpkins, Jimmy Forrest

Night Train (James Brown)

'All aboard for night train

Miami, Florida
Atlanta, Georgia
Raleigh, North Carolina

Miami, Florida
Atlanta, Georgia
Raleigh, North Carolina
Washington D.C.
Oh, and Richmond, Virginia too

Baltimore, Maryland
Philadelphia
New York City
Take it home
And don't forget New Orleans
The home of the blues

Oh, yeah, night train
Night train, night train'

Just Like Me (Paul Revere and the Raiders)

22 JANUARY 1966


Paul Revere and the Raiders’ very solid bit of quality garage rock, ‘Just Like Me’, was at its peak position of #11 on the US Billboard charts this week. It was taken from their album 'Just Like Us'.

The Raiders were the most successful of the garage rock bands from the north-west US scene, and had a string of reasonable hits into the early 1970s (including a #1).

The video above shows them dressed in their trademark Revolutionary War attire while engaging in their usual zany goofball onstage antics. This kind of shtick seems lame (and annoying) today, but it was an approach that earned them several hundred TV appearances, including performing as themselves in an episode of the ‘Batman’ series. It probably also prevented them from being taking too seriously as a rock act, which is a shame because they had one of the heavier guitar sounds of the mid '60s.

B-side: 'B.F.D.R.F. Blues' 
Released: 1965
Highest chart position: #11 (US)
Length: 2:23
Label: Columbia
Writers: Rick Dey and Rich Brown

Just Like Me (Paul Revere and the Raiders)

'It's just like me
To say to you
Love me do
And I'll be true

And what I'd like
For you to say
Is you'll come home
To me each day

Now you'll be my girl
That's what I want
Just you sweet girl
And not a front

It's just like me
To feel so blue
And fall so much
In love with you

It's just like me
It's just like me
I'm just your fool
That's all I'll be

But it's just like you
To say goodbye
And leave me all
Alone to cry, waaa

It's just like me
To say to you
Love me do
And I'll be true

And what I'd like
For you to say
Is that you'll love me
Here each day

It's just like me
It's just like me
I'm your fool
That's how I'll be

But it's just like you
To say goodbye
And leave me alone
Alone to cry

It's just like me
It's just like me...'

Coldest Night of the Year (Twice As Much [with Vashti Bunyan])

21 JANUARY 1966


The English sike-pop duo Twice as Much recorded the gorgeous track ‘Coldest Night of the Year’ with folk singer Vashti Bunyan in 1966, although it was not released as an album track until 1968. Even then the album (‘That’s All’) bombed. This song deserved much better.

One of the great things about this period in music history is going back to discover the massive amount of genuinely good songs that you never hear now because they failed to chart, for one reason or other. Maybe it was bad marketing, bad timing, muddy production, whatever. Songs that, if they were re-recorded by a mainstream artist now, would probably sell a million.

This song was written by Mann and Wiel (‘On Broadway’, ‘You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling’) and deserved a wider audience. Vashti’s vocal performance is what makes this recording so good, although she had zero success as an artist until being ‘rediscovered’ in the 2000s.

Coldest Night of the Year (Twice As Much [with Vashti Bunyan])

'Baby baby it’s late and you’d better go,
It’s after three
Honey please have a heart, just look at that snow,
Take pity on me.
I can hear that north wind blowing,
And the fire is oh so warm
Well I know you should be going,
But how can I send you out in that storm

Baby its cold out there, and it’s getting colder
Baby it’s cold out there, getting colder
Matter of fact better cuddle up here
It’s the coldest night of the year

Baby baby I know if you wanted to,
You’d brave the snow
But I haven’t been well I might catch the flu
Or a cold in my nose
Lets snuggle close together
While the whole world turns to ice
Just the victims of the weather
Sending you home now just wouldn’t be nice

Baby its cold out there, and it’s getting colder
Baby it’s cold out there, getting colder
Matter of fact better cuddle up here
It’s the coldest night of the year
Ok? Why not...'

Keep on Running (Spencer Davis Group)

20 JANUARY 1966


The Spencer Davis Group reached #1 in the UK charts with the classic mod-rocker ‘Keep on Running’. This was their fifth single and first big hit.

Written by Jamaican songwriter Jackie Edwards, this was originally intended to be a ska track but was transformed during the creative process into a hard R&B song with fuzz guitar.

The group had a string of hit singles before Steve Winwood left the band in 1967 to expand his musical horizons with the psychedelic band Traffic. Check out the voice on Winwood in this video, he was only 17 years old at the time but already sounded like Ray Charles.

B-side: 'High Time Baby'
Released: November 1965
Highest chart position: #1 (UK), #76 (US)
Label: Fontana TF632 (UK); Atco 45-6400 (US)
Writer: Jackie Edwards
Producer: Chris Blackwell

Keep on Running (Spencer Davis Group)

'Keep on running, keep on hiding
One fine day I'm gonna be the one
To make you understand
Oh, yeah, I'm gonna be your man.

Keep on running, running from my arms
One fine day I'm gonna be the one
To make you understand
Oh yeah, I'm gonna be your man.

Hey, hey, hey
Everyone is talking about me
It makes me feel so sad.
Hey, hey, hey
Everyone is laughing at me,
It makes me feel so bad,
So keep on running

Keep on running, running from my arms
One fine day I'm gonna be the one
To make you understand
Oh, yeah, I'm gonna be your man'

If I Needed Someone (The Hollies)

19 JANUARY 1966


The Hollies’ version of the Beatles ‘If I Needed Someone’ (from the ‘Rubber Soul’ album) was at its peak UK chart position of #20.

George Harrison, who wrote this song, publicly criticised it, saying: 
'They’ve spoilt it. The Hollies are all right musically, but the way they do their records, they sound like session men who’ve just got together in a studio without ever seeing each other before.'
Graham Nash of the Hollies replied by saying: 
'Not only do these comments disappoint and hurt us, but we are sick of everything the Beatles say or do being taken as law. The thing that hurts us most is George Harrison’s knock at us as musicians. And I would like to ask this. If we have made such a disgusting mess of his brainchild song, will he give all the royalties from our record to charity?'
Harrison’s criticism was probably a bit harsh, given that his own standard as a singer/songwriter (to this point) was no better than merely ‘alright’. ‘If I Needed Someone’ was his first decent songwriting effort and even then he nicked the guitar hook from the Byrds’ ‘Bells of Rhymney’. Still, the Hollies' version does sound a bit under-produced and failed to hit their usual Top 10 placing on the charts.

B-side: 'I've Got a Way of My Own'
Recorded: 17 November 1965, EMI Studios, London
Released: 3 December 1965
Highest chart positions: #20 (UK)
Length: 2:19
Label: Parlophone
Writer: George Harrison
Producer: Ron Richards

 If I Needed Someone (The Hollies)

'If I needed someone to love
You're the one that I'd be thinking of
If I needed someone

If I had some more time to spend
Then I'd guess I'd be with you my friend
If I needed someone

Had you come some other day then
It might not have been like this
Can't you see how I'm too much in love

Carve your number on my wall
And maybe you will get a call from me
If I needed someone

[Break]

If I had some more time to spend
Then I'd guess I'd be with you my friend
If I needed someone

Had you come some other day then
It might not have been like this
Can't you see how I'm too much in love

Carve your number on my wall
And maybe you will get a call from me
If I needed someone
If I needed someone'

Can't Help Thinking About Me (David Bowie and the Lower Third)

18 JANUARY 1966


An 18-year-old singer named David Bowie and his band The Lower Third released their single ‘Can’t Help Thinking About Me’ on 14 January 1966. The mod-freakbeat band split up a few weeks later, and the single failed to chart.

This was actually Bowie's fourth single release since his failed debut in 1964. He kept plugging away but was still three years away from his first hit song 'Space Oddity', which was actually his tenth release, and which he followed up with another seven singles that failed to chart. So Bowie had just one hit out of his first 17 singles released, which shows some remarkable persistence. His breakthrough to super-stardom with Ziggy Stardust did not happen until 1972.

B-side: 'And I Say to Myself'
Recorded: 10 December 1965, Pye Studios, London
Released: 14 January 1966
Highest chart position: Did not chart
Length: 2:47
Label: Pye Records (UK) / Warner Bros. (US)
Pye 7N 17020 (UK) WB 5815 (US)
Writer: David Bowie
Producer: Tony Hatch

Can’t Help Thinking About Me (David Bowie and the Lower Third)

'Question-time that says I brought dishonour
My head's bowed in shame
It seems that I've blackened the family name
Mother says that she can't stand the neighbours talking
I've gotta pack my bags, leave this home, start walking, yeah
I'm guilty
I wish that I was sorry this time
I wish that I could pay for my crime

I can't help thinking about me
I can't help thinking about me
I can't help thinking about me

Remember when we used to go to church on sundays
I lay awake at night, terrified of school on mondays
Oh, but it's too late now
I wish I was a child again
I wish I felt secure again

I can't help thinking about me
I can't help thinking about me
I can't help thinking about me

As I pass a recreation ground
I remember my friends, always been found and I can't

I can't help thinking about me
I can't help thinking about me
I can't help thinking about me

Now I leave them all in the never never land
The station seems so cold the ticket's in my hand
My girl calls my name hi dave
Drop in, see around, come back
If you're this way again"
Oh, I'm on my own
I've got a long way to go
I hope I make it on my own

I can't help thinking about me
I can't help thinking about me
I can't help thinking about me
I can't help thinking about me
I can't help thinking about me'

The Sound of Silence (Simon and Garfunkel)

17 JANUARY 1966


Simon and Garfunkel’s breakthrough album ‘The Sounds of Silence’ was released in the USA on this date. The UK version featured such tracks as ‘Kathy’s Song, ‘Homeward Bound’ and ‘I am a Rock’.

The title track had already been released on their 1964 album, which had flopped and led to the break-up of the duo in early 1965. However, the song continued to receive airplay and grew in popularity, and was released as a remixed single in October 1965 without Simon or Garfunkel’s knowledge. It climbed the charts, leading to the reformation of the duo and the recording of the new album. The single ‘The Sound of Silence’ (not 'Sounds') hit #1 in the US at the beginning of 1966 and has become an undisputed classic.

The song has since been used in numerous movie soundtracks since then, mostly famously 'The Graduate' in 1968.

B-side: 'We've Got a Groovy Thing Goin''
Recorded: 10 March 1964, Columbia Studios, New York City; 15 June 1965
Released: Original recording: October 1964; Overdubbed version: 13 September 1965
Highest chart positions: #9 (UK), #1 (US) (overdubbed version) 
Length: 3:05
Label: Columbia
Writer: Paul Simon
Producer: Tom Wilson

The Sound of Silence (Simon and Garfunkel)

'Hello darkness, my old friend
I've come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
‘Neath the halo of a streetlamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
No one dare
Disturb the sound of silence

“Fools” said I, “You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you”
But my words like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said “The words of the prophets
Are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls
And whispered in the sounds of silence'

Five O'Clock World (The Vogues)

16 JANUARY 1966


Pennsylvanian vocal band The Vogues’ very splendid single ‘Five O’Clock World’ was at its peak position of #4 on the US Billboard charts during this week.

As far as I know, this was not a hit in the UK. If true, this shows how songs that are considered great now could sometimes fly under the radar on the international market.

The popularity of ‘Five O’Clock World’ has gained much-deserved longevity after being featured in movies such as ‘Good Morning Vietnam’, and on TV as the theme for the ‘Drew Carey Show’.

B-side: 'Nothing to Offer You'
Released: October 1965
Highest chart position: #4 (US)
Length: 2:19
Label: Co & Ce
Writer: Allen Reynolds
Producers: Nick Cenci / Tony Moon

Five O’Clock World (The Vogues)

'Up every mornin' just to keep a job
I gotta fight my way through the husslin' mob
Sounds of the city poundin' in my brain
While another day goes down the drain

But it's a five o'clock world when the whistle blows
No one owns a piece of my time
And there's a five o'clock me inside my clothes
Thinkin' that the world looks fine, yeah
Holiday, yeah...

Tradin' my time for the pay I get
Livin' on money that I ain't made yet
Gotta keep goin', gotta make my way
While I live for the end of the day

'Cause it's a five o'clock world when the whistle blows
No one owns a piece of my time
And there's a long-haired girl who waits, I know
To ease my troubled mind, yeah
Holiday, yeah...

In the shelter of her arms everything's okay
She talks and the world goes slippin' away
And I know the reason I can still go on
When every other reason is gone

In my five o'clock world she waits for me
Nothin' else matters at all
'Cause everytime my baby smiles at me
I know that it's all worthwhile, yeah
Holiday, yeah...(X3)'

Tears (Ken Dodd)

15 JANUARY 1966


In the 1960s, you were just as likely to find Ken Dodd or Val Doonican in the Top Ten as you were to find the Beatles or the Stones. In fact, this song ‘Tears’ had spent SEVENTEEN WEEKS in the Top Ten, five of them at #1, and it was the top-selling UK single of 1965. It seems incredible now, but this was also the third best-selling UK record of the entire 1960s. 

'Tears' sounded very much like a 1940s-style arrangement, which just goes to show that not only young people bought records. This was the kind of thing grandmothers around Britain would have listened to over a nice cup of tea.

Ken's career as a zany comedian and children’s TV entertainer continued long after he scored almost twenty Top-40 hits over 15 years.

B-side: 'You and I'
Released: August 1965
Highest chart position: #1 (UK)
Length: 2:52
Label: Columbia DB 7659
Writers: Billy Uhr, Frank Capano
Producer: Norman Newell

Tears (Ken Dodd)

'Tears for souvenirs are all you've left me
Memories of a love you never meant
I just can't believe you could forget me
After all those happy hours we spent (together)

Tears have been my only consolation
But tears can't mend a broken heart I must confess
Let's forgive and forget
Turn our tears of regret
Once more to tears of happiness

Tears have been my only consolation
But tears can't mend a broken heart I must confess
Let's forgive and forget
Turn our tears of regret
Once more to tears of happiness

Let's forgive and forget
Turn our tears of regret
Once more to tears of happiness.'

I Left My Heart in San Francisco (Tony Bennett)

14 JANUARY 1966


Tony Bennett’s landmark hit ‘I Left My Heart in San Francisco’ was at its peak UK chart position of #25. It was a bit of a slow burner, having been released six months earlier in the UK. If Tony ever dies - and I’m not convinced that he will - you can bet that this song will feature prominently in the news bulletins.

This song had been written back in 1953 (by Cory and Cross in Brooklyn, New York) but it was not recorded and released until 1962 (by Bennett), when it reached #7 in the US charts. This 'Contemporary Adult' track was a nice enough bit of tinkly-piano crooning from Bennett, but sounded like it could easily have been released in 1956.

This is just one of dozens of songs about the city (the name does roll nicely off the tongue), with quite a few being hits emerging in the late 1960s as San Francisco famously became the centre of the hippy movement.

B-side: 'I Left My Heart in San Francisco'
Recorded: 23 January 1962
Released: 2 February 1962
Highest chart position: #25 (UK, 1966), #7 (US, 1962)
Length: 2:52
Label: Columbia
Writers: George Cory, Douglass Cross
Producer: Ernie Altschuler

I Left My Heart in San Francisco (Tony Bennett)

'The loveliness of Paris seems somehow sadly gray
The glory that was Rome is of another day
I've been terribly alone and forgotten in Manhattan
I'm going home to my city by the Bay

I left my heart in San Francisco
High on a hill, it calls to me
To be where little cable cars climb halfway to the stars
The morning fog may chill the air, I don't care

My love waits there in San Francisco
Above the blue and windy sea
When I come home to you, San Francisco
Your golden sun will shine for me'

We Can Work it Out (The Beatles)

13 JANUARY 1966


The Beatles’ ‘Day Tripper’/’We Can Work it Out’ double-A side was still at No.1. It has been claimed that this was the first ever double-A side record. It was also the band’s 11th #1 hit in under two years!

‘We Can Work It Out’ was their most ‘mature’ single release to date, and was in keeping with the general tone of their recent ‘Rubber Soul’ album. It probably wouldn't have made #1 without being packaged with 'Day Tripper'. 

As he later recalled, McCartney wrote the words and music to the verses and the chorus, and then took the song to Lennon:
‘I took it to John to finish it off, and we wrote the middle together. Which is nice: 'Life is very short. There's no time for fussing and fighting, my friend.' Then it was George Harrison's idea to put the middle into 3/4 time, like a German waltz.’
A-side: 'Day Tripper'
Recorded: 16 October 1965, EMI Studios, London
Released: 3 December 1965 (UK), 6 December 1965 (US)
Highest chart position: #1 (UK), #5 (US)
Length: 2:50
Label: Parlophone (UK), Capitol (US)
Writers: Lennon-McCartney
Producer: George Martin

We Can Work it Out (The Beatles)

'Try to see it my way
Do I have to keep on talking till I can't go on?
While you see it your way
Run the risk of knowing that our love may not last long

We can work it out
We can work it out

Think of what you're saying
You can get it wrong and still you think that it's alright
Think of what I'm saying
We can work it out and get it straight, or say goodnight

We can work it out
We can work it out

Life is very short, and there's no time
For fussing and fighting, my friend
I have always thought that it's a crime
So I will ask you once again

Try to see it my way
Only time will tell if I am right or I am wrong
While you see your way,
There's a chance that we may fall apart before too long

We can work it out
We can work it out

Life is very short, and there's no time
For fussing and fighting, my friend
I have always thought that it's a crime
So I will ask you once again

Try to see it my way
Only time will tell if I am right or I am wrong
While you see it your way
There's a chance that we may fall apart before too long

We can work it out
We can work it out'

I Hear a Symphony (The Supremes)

12 JANUARY 1966


The Supremes’ single ‘I Hear a Symphony’ reached its peak UK chart position of #39 on this day, a surprisingly low position since it had been their sixth #1 over on the US Hot 100 Billboard charts.

This song was a follow-up to ‘Nothing But Heartaches’ which had ‘only’ reached #11 in the US and prompted Motown boss Berry Gordy to circulate this memo to his staff:
‘We will release nothing less than Top Ten product on any artist; and because the Supremes' world-wide acceptance is greater than the other artists, on them we will only release number-one records.’
Judging by their subsequent successes, it looks like the memo worked. This song was nice enough, but probably slightly overproduced, as though Motown were trying just a bit too hard with the Supremes.

B-side: 'Who Could Ever Doubt My Love'
Recorded: Hitsville U.S.A. (Studio A); 22, 28-30 September 1965
Released: 6 October 1965
Highest chart positions: #39 (UK), #11 (US)
Length: 2:40 (original), 3:55 (remastered) 
Label: Motown, M 1083
I Hear a Symphony (The Supremes)

'You've given me a true love
And every day I thank you, love
For a feeling that's so new
So inviting, so exciting

Whenever you're near, I hear a symphony
A tender melody
Pulling me closer, closer to your arms
Then suddenly (I hear a symphony)
Ooh, your lips are touching mine
A feeling so divine
Till I leave the past behind
I'm lost in a world
Made for you and me

Whenever you're near, I hear a symphony
Play sweet and tenderly
Every time your lips meet mine, now, baby, baby, baby
You bring much joy within
Don't let this feeling end
Let it go on and on and on, now, baby, baby, baby
Those tears that fill my eyes
I cry not for myself
But for those who've never felt the joy we felt (baby)

Whenever you're near, I hear a symphony
Each time you speak to me
I hear a tender rhapsody of love now, baby, baby
As you stand holding me
Whispering how much you care
A thousand violins fill the air, now, baby, baby
Don't let this moment end
Keep standing close to me
Ooh, so close to me, baby, baby, baby, baby
I hear a symphony
A tender melody'

The Carnival is Over (The Seekers)

11 JANUARY 1966


A song that can occasionally reduce Australians of a certain age to a blubbering mess, the Seekers’ ‘The Carnival is Over’ was still in the UK charts on this day, having been #1 prior to the release of ‘Day Tripper’.

The band was rather conservative in style but sounded very good together, had great arrangements, and of course Judith Durham was a brilliant singer. In later decades they would draw emotional responses from audiences whenever they played this song at the end of each concert in what seemed to be a long sequence of ‘farewell tours’ (the group first disbanded in 1968 but have reformed for tours and special events many times, the latest being in 2014).

This video, shot in 1967, shows the band determinedly holding on to their sensible side-parting haircuts and suburban middle-class mannerisms as the pop world went crazy around them.

Released: 1965
Highest chart position: #1 (UK), #105 (US), #1 (Aus)
Label: Columbia DB 7711
Writer: Tom Springfield (lyrics only)
Producer: Tom Springfield

The Carnival is Over (The Seekers)

'Say goodbye my own true lover
As we sing a lovers song
How it breaks my heart to leave you
Now the carnival is gone

High above the dawn is waiting
And my tears are falling rain
For the carnival is over
We may never meet again

Like a drum, my heart was beating
And your kiss was sweet as wine
But the joys of love are fleeting
For Pierrot and Columbine

Now the harbour light is calling
This will be our last goodbye
Though the carnival is over
I will love you till I die

Like a drum, my heart was beating
And your kiss was sweet as wine
But the joys of love are fleeting
For Pierrot and Columbine

Now the harbour light is calling
This will be our last goodbye
Though the carnival is over
I will love you till I die
Though the carnival is over
I will love you till I die'