Tuesday Tunes 56: Another Sixties Encore

It never fails to surprise me how many of you seem to like my trips down memory lane back to the Sixties: these posts always seem to do well in terms of views. So, for a while longer, at least, I’m going to be alternating these with the themed posts I do, until you guys get bored with them (dangerous statement, I know, so if this turns out to be the last one you’ll know no one read it!). I might add some from the Seventies into the mix too: that was also a good decade, until punk and disco came along to spoil it…

Today’s first song is from one of those artists who died far too young – one of that collection of rock musicians who died at the age of just 27 and became a ‘member’ of the so-called 27 Club. This also includes Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin and Kurt Cobain, amongst others. His guitar playing was legendary, and I thought about blasting you out of your seats with one of his louder tunes, but decided to be kind and go with this one:

Jimi Hendrix made three great albums in a little under 18 months, from May 1967 to October 1968. Although he was American, his initial success came over here, and the two other members of his band, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, were both British: Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell. Hendrix’s record releases differed between the US and the UK: in the US this was on his first album, Are You Experienced, but was only a single here. It was released in May 1967, and reached #6 in our chart, but in the US it came out a month later, as the B-side to Purple Haze, which had already been a #3 hit here. The US version got to #65. I guess the record companies knew what they were doing, though, as the album got to #5 in the US and #2 here. I’ve always liked the brooding feel to this song, which shows off his guitar skills without ever reaching the volume of most of his other hit songs.

This week’s second tune is from a band who I loved back then, and who were the forerunners both to the Electric Light Orchestra and Roy Wood’s Wizzard. They were The Move, and this is them having a bit of fun:

The band had nine top ten singles here between 1966 and 1972, one of which – Blackberry Way – got to #1, and another – Flowers In The Rain – was the first record played on BBC Radio 1 when it started up. This was a #3 UK hit in 1968. They were one of those bands who had next to no success in the US though, their only chart entry there being their final single, Do Ya, which reached #93. That one was written by Jeff Lynne, who joined the band after their UK peak, and led them into their transition into the ELO.

My next one was a big hit on both sides of the Atlantic:

This was released in the US in July 1966, but due to a contractual dispute with his record label wasn’t released here until December of that year. The delay doesn’t appear to have caused much damage, though: it was a #1 in the US and #2 here. Donovan had a string of hit singles here in the Sixties, starting with folk songs like Catch the Wind and Colours, and then branching out into a more rock-based sound. To illustrate his rock credentials, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, who went on to form Led Zeppelin, both played on this recording (guitar and bass respectively).

Another folk-based artist provides the next tune:

Mary Hopkin was one of the first to be signed to the Beatles’ Apple Records label and was very much a protege of Paul McCartney. Her debut single, Those Were The Days, was a #1 here and #2 in the US. I expect you remember it, the chorus went “those were the days my friend, the Beatles helped no end” or something like that. As well as that single, McCartney produced her debut album, Postcard, which was released in 1969: I bought the album, which was lovely. This was the 1969 follow up single, which he also produced (and wrote). It was a #2 hit here and reached #13 in the US. I’m sharing this one as I prefer it to her first hit, though that is also worth a listen if you like Mary’s beautifully clear voice.

Another folk-rock band provide my next tune, though I’ve crossed the pond for these guys:

I loved the sound of the Lovin’ Spoonful, which rather put me in a minority here. They had big hits here with Daydream and Summer in The City, and a couple of other minor hits, but this wasn’t one of them, failing to make our charts. It was a #10 US hit though, a song of delicate simplicity and beauty which deserved better from us. It was included on a UK compilation album which had all of their big hits on it, and was released here on a budget label: I couldn’t resist a bargain like that, could I?

I’m staying Stateside for this week’s final selection. We throw the word ‘classic’ around, but I think this one really merits it:

An iconic singer, and so important in the Civil Rights movement. Her loss, approaching three years ago, was a sad one. I loved this one when it was first released as a single in 1968, and even my parents noticed that it was a little different from the music I usually listened to. But I was captivated by it: it had an aura of being very special, and not many records have that impact on me. In the charts, this reached #10 in the US but did better here, peaking at #4. If ever a record deserved to be a #1 this was it, though.

Thats all for this week. I hope you’ve enjoyed another trip down memory lane – it is quite a long road, isn’t it! There will be more tunes next Tuesday – until then, stay safe and well, and don’t overdo the celebrations as lockdown eases. I have my doubts about whether this is still too soon, but if the wise man who allegedly leads our country thinks it’s alright, who am I to disagree? Take care 🤞

35 thoughts on “Tuesday Tunes 56: Another Sixties Encore

  1. Pingback: May It Was | Take It Easy

  2. Hello there Clive
    Enjoyed the songs and cool connections to some – like Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones playing on that one and Hopkins – McCartney label connection.

    Starting with a smooth Hendrix was nice too (thanks for not blasting the start although there might be times for that – ha!) and interesting that Jimi had his start over there – wonder about the marketing and all that.
    Which then reminds me how some things never change – like marketing music and getting bands out there –
    On both sides of the Atlantic


    The closing Franklin song was delightful and liked how you shared about its release and how your parents notified you liked it- get a feel for how it impacted you – like some songs are just part of our life and are there – but many times we have specific memories like you did with this one – and RIP Aretha ❤️🎶

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Yvette, it’s good to see you back again.

      There have always been musical collaborations, I think, and I find it interesting how some major stars played on other people’s records before they hit the big time. After McCartney, Mary Hopkin’s records were produced by Tony Visconti – and she married him.

      The marketing for Hendrix sounds chaotic, to be honest. Different album track listings, different singles releases, but I guess they knew what they were doing.

      I think what has stuck with me is that both my parents and I noted how much I liked the Aretha song at a time when I was into Beatles, Stones, Who, Kinks, Byrds, CS&N and US west coast bands. She kind of stood out!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes the Aretha song truly stands out among the bands you mentioned

        And have you heard the “rapping duke”
        I like the part where that song says “Reetha Franklin – Reetha Franklin”
        Lol
        Anyhow
        It is good to be back (a nice thing I have noticed about taking breaks is that it stirs up a little hunger for the blog connections and that can be good)
        Hope you Have a great day

        Liked by 1 person

      • You mentioned ‘rap’ so the answer is no – I don’t go anywhere near it!

        I’m pleased you’re enjoying the interaction again, that’s one of the best things about blogging for me. It’s always good to know I’m not posting into a vacuum!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Another great line up Clive. I love listening to the bands. It’s like having a ‘60s Jukebox in the kitchen while I’m doing the washing up! Saves me buying all the records again 😊. What about Tull – another folk rock progressive rock band first formed in the late ‘60s although probably more popular during the next two decades. Still touring I hear with a new album due out this year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you enjoyed them, Clive. As they are one of my favourite bands – and have been since they started – I’ve been a little remiss with Tull, who have only featured once in this series. I’ll rectify that – thanks for the reminder! I saw them about ten years ago, and they were excellent.

      Liked by 1 person

      • With luck and a following wind I may get to see them on tour this year. One of their gigs is at Stoke on Trent where my wife has relatives so I’ll have to drop some big hints.

        Liked by 1 person

      • They’ll definitely be in somewhere. I was surprised to think I’d only gone for them once before tbh, so I checked: twice in this series, and a regular appearance in my Christmas song choices. I could still do better though!

        Like

  4. Most of these songs are slightly before I got very interested in music. I’m not much a fan of too many bands from the 60s. If I could only choose one of these songs to listen to, it would be the Aretha song. She could do it all from gospel, soul, r&b, pop, and even rock.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I had never heard that Jimi Hendrix song before and I rather like it, the rhythm especially. I’ll have to listen to it again a few times, I think. I hadn’t heard the Lovin’ Spoonful song either; a gentle, sweet song. All the rest I know and love; thanks, Clive

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I had a feeling of dread when I saw the first one today. Right era, wrong music. I needn’t have worried though, you came on strongly after that. Strange (or not) but I played Darling be home soon by the Spoonful this morning .I love that track.. What can I say about Mary, she’s Welsh, nuffsaid?
    Thanks for a good week Clive.
    Hugs

    Liked by 2 people

    • As I’ve said, he wasn’t to everyone’s taste, but at least I didn’t go too extreme! That’s my other favourite Spoonful song, good to know you love it too. Tom Jones is Welsh too, but I don’t think I’ll be posting any of his 😉

      Have a good week, David 👍

      Like

  7. I know Jimi Hendrix was quite the talent, but for whatever reason his music never did it for me…

    I have not heard of The Move- but that was not too bad a song. I saw mention of the song Do Ya. Is that the same song ELO had?

    always liked the Donovan song..

    I remember the song “Those Were the Days My Friend” – her beautiful voice always had a haunting feel to it. Liked seeing McCartney in the video…

    don’t know much about Lovin’ Spoonful but I’ve always liked Summer in the City…

    what a great song to close with – I knew the song, but I never knew the name of the song..

    another great trip through the 60s. I hope you keep sharing these kinds of gems!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hendrix wasn’t to everyone’s taste. His softer songs are very underrated, I think – he’s known for the noisier ones.

      I didn’t expect The Move would be known there. Yes, same song, re-recorded by the ELO after Lynne took over the band.

      Glad you liked some of the others. Mary Hopkin’s voice was so clear, wasn’t it. Haunting is a good word for it – it fits that first album well. There are a couple of Donovan songs on it.

      Funnily enough, Summer In The City was the one of theirs I liked least. This one and Darling Be Home Soon are my favourites of theirs, and they had a string of upbeat hits there too.

      The Aretha one is, as I said in the piece, a real classic. Also a hit there for Dionne Warwick.

      More to come…

      Liked by 2 people

  8. A great line up here. Oh, Aretha!! Just love that song. Hubby was stationed in Northern Ireland before we got married and I was in Canada hearing the awful news. I sang that song every day! I was a big Loving Spoonful fan too and had all their albums.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Darlene. It can’t have been easy for you to be so far apart when the troubles were on, but I can see why the song is important to you. I’m glad to have found another Spoonful fan too 😊

      Liked by 2 people

  9. I remember going into a cafe in London with a friend back in the 1970s and Roy Wood sat there at a table with Lynsey de Paul. I was too stagestruck to ask for an autograph! Great songs, Clive. For ages I thought it was Dionne Warwick who sang ‘I Say a Little Prayer’. Don’t know why!

    Liked by 3 people

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