20 Fab No 2’s of the 60’s – Various Artists

Sleeve Notes:


THE BEATLES – PLEASE PLEASE ME (Lennon & McCartney) Dick James Music Ltd. ℗ 1963 EMI Records Ltd.
The second single by The Fab Four consolidated the early success they achieved with ‘Love Me Do’ in November 1962. Please Please Me entered the charts in January 1963 reaching the No 2 spot by the end of February. The song was also the title track to The Beatles’ first album which raced to No 1 becoming the second biggest consecutive album chart topper of all-time.

2. THE HOLLIES – JUST ONE LOOK (Payne, Carroll) Angusa Music Ltd ℗ 1964 EMI Records Ltd.
The Manchester based Hollies hit the limelight at Christmas 1963 with Maurice Williams ‘Stay’ getting into the Top Ten but it was Just One Look that really put them on the map reaching No 2 in March 1964 leading to a string of Top Ten hits throughout the 60’s.

3. ADAM FAITH – SOMEONE ELSE’S BABY (Van Dyke, Ford) Multimood Music ℗ 1960 EMI Records Ltd. The Sixties began with two No 1 hits from London born Adam Faith with both ‘What Do You Want’ and ‘Poor Me’ reaching the top. His next release, also in a similar vein, Someone Else’s Babyfeatured the string sound that he had made so popular and reached No 2 in May 1960. Adam consolidated his career on TV and the Big Screen and achieved much success in the business and management field in later years.

4. HELEN SHAPIRO – TELL ME WHAT HE SAID (Barry) Ardmore & Beechwood Ltd./EMI ℗ 1962 EMI Records Ltd. A young school girl from London’s East End, Helen was discovered by EMI’s John Schroeder, soon scoring two chart-toppers out of her first 3 releases. This John Barry composition raced to the top also but was denied the top spot for 3 weeks by The Shadows’ Wonderful Land’. Helen was voted No 1 Female British Singer for 1961 and 1962.

5. MANFRED MANN – IF YOU GOTTA GO, GO NOW (Dylan) Warner Bros. Music Ltd. ℗ 1965 EMI Records Ltd. With a recording career of only 2 years standing, 1965 saw this London-based blues band reach No 2 with this Bob Dylan song to complement their previous Top Five placings of 5, 4, 3 and 1. The original line up was a seedbed of talent covering many facets of show business today.

6. THE SWINGING BLUE JEANS – THE HIPPY HIPPY SHAKE (Romero) Ardmore & Beechwood Ltd./EMI ℗ 1963 EMI Records Ltd. These four likeable lads from Liverpool did not have a No 1 single, nor for that matter did they get many singles into the charts, but nevertheless they have come to epitomise the Beat Boys of the Mersey Boom. One night stands, Nationwide tours, Ready Steady Go-their lively rhythm and blues sound captured the mood of the times. This version of Chan Romero’s Hippy Hippy Shake gave them their highest chart placing at the start of 1964.

7. CILLA BLACK – YOU’VE LOST THAT LOVIN’ FEELIN’ (Spector, Mann, Weil) Screen Gems/EMI Music Ltd. ℗ 1965 EMI Records Ltd. Also from Liverpool, the birth-place of the Beat Boom, Cilia Black had already secured her rightful place in Pop history by 1965. Two massive hits ‘Anyone Who Had A Heart’ and ‘You’re My World’ had taken the world by storm and this soulful ballad written by hit makers Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, with the help of the legendary Phil Spector, placed her at the penultimate position during January 1965. That same week the Righteous Brothers’ original was at No 3 before leap-frogging to No 1

8. THE BEACH BOYS – SLOOP JOHN B (trad. arr. Wilson) United Partnership Ltd. ℗ 1966 Capitol Records Inc. This fastest selling single so far by California’s sons of the surf also gave them their highest chart placing in the UK of their career to date. Their previous hit, the party-style ‘Barbara Ann’ had reached No 3 but they went one better with this traditional song arranged by Beach Boys’ prime mover Brian Wilson. Incidentally the original sloop, the ‘John B’, lies to this day where it eventually sank in the Govei nor’s Harbour off Nassau in the Bahamas.

9. KEITH WEST – EXCERPT FROM A TEENAGE OPERA (Philwit) Robbins Music Ltd. ℗ 1966 EMI Records Ltd. Mark Wirtz, an early 60’s record producer, had achieved limited success with releases on Ember by Marcus Tro, Sheila and Jenny and Satellite One, but he hit the jackpot with the song we all know as ‘Grocer Jack’ with its plaintive chorus sung by a children’s choir. Whatever happened to a projected opera?”

10. BOBBY GOLDSBORO – HONEY (Russell) Peter Maurice Music Co. Ltd./EMI ℗ 1968 United Artists Inc. A popular vocalist in the USA, Bobby Goldsboro first hit the UK charts with this tear-jerking ballad. The poignant and touching lyrics can still bring a lump to the throat to this day. Selling a quarter of a million in Britain, worldwide sales have accounted for 3 million copies and, strangely enough, when it was re-released in 1975 it also reached Number Two!


1. THE HOLLIES – I CAN’T LET GO (Taylor, Gorgoni) April Music Ltd. ℗ 1966 EMI Records Ltd. In 1966 The Hollies continued to dominate the charts with three Top Ten hits, the first of which was I Can’t Let Go which reached No 2 in March and was denied the supreme accolade of a No 1 for 3 weeks by The Walker Brothers ‘The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore’.

2. BILLY J. KRAMER AND THE DAKOTAS – DO YOU WANT TO KNOW A SECRET (Lennon, McCartney) Northern Songs Ltd. ℗ 1963 EMI Records Ltd. Billy J. Kramer, another new star from Liverpool was teamed with Manchester’s Dakotas by Brian Epstein and given this Lennon & McCartney song taken from The Beatles’ first album ‘Please Please me’. George Harrison’s original was well matched by Billy J’s easy going vocal style leading to many more hit records and block busting Nationwide tours.

3. SHIRLEY BASSEY – AS LONG AS HE NEEDS ME (Bart) Lakeview Music Ltd. ℗ 1960 EMI Records Ltd. The girl from Cardiff’s Tiger Bay switched to EMI’s Columbia label at the start of the 60’s and from then on she never looked back. Hit followed hit; the first of these was the powerful ballad As Long As He Needs Me, written by Lionel Bart for his blockbusting musical ‘Oliver’.

4. FREDDIE AND THE DREAMERS – I’M TELLING YOU NOW (Garrity, Murray) B. Feldman & Co Ltd./EMI ℗ 1963 EMI Records Ltd. Freddie Garrity co-wrote this happy song with Mitch Murray who had penned many hits, including ‘How Do You Do It?’ and ‘I Like It’ for Gerry Marsden. The reason it never reached the top was because that spot was occupied for both weeks by another blockbuster, Billy J. Kramer’s ‘Bad To Me’

5. PETER & GORDON -TRUE LOVE WAYS (Petty, Holly) Southern Music Publ. Co. Ltd. ℗ 1965 EMI Records Ltd. The duos 2 previous chart entries, including the No 1 ‘World Without Love’, were written by John and Paul. For their third hit, however, they chose a Buddy Holly classic which they endowed with melodic harmonies and spent one week at No 2 in May 1965.

6. GERRY AND THE PACEMAKERS – I’M THE ONE (Marsden) Dick James Music Ltd. ℗ 1964 EMI Records Ltd. Following his phenomenal achievement of 3 No l’s with his first 3 releases, Gerry only just missed the chance to become even more of a pop legend when this, his fourth release, narrowly missed the top spot. Written by Gerry himself as were many of his later hits, he has maintained his popularity to this day attracting large crowds wherever he performs.

7. VIKKI CARR – IT MUST BE HIM (Becaud, Vidalin, trans., David) ℗ 1967 Liberty Records Inc.(MCPS) Born in El Paso, Texas, Vikki (real name Florencia Bisenta de Casillas Martinez Cardona) was the eldest of seven children. On moving to Los Angeles as a young girl, she developed her musical talents becoming a top-flight cabaret artiste playing Reno, Las Vegas and all the top venues. This single, which often moved her to tears on-stage was her first UK chart entry in the summer of ’67.

8. VINCE HILL – EDELWEISS (FROM “THE SOUND OF MUSIC”) (Rodgers, Hammerstein II) Williamson Music Ltd. with the Eddie Lester Singers – Arranged & Conducted by Johnny Arthey ℗ 1967 EMI Records Ltd. Popular vocalist Vince Hill was well established on the pop scene in the early 60’s working with many fine bands. His biggest hits came in the mid-60’s as the group impetus subsided and ballad singers made a comeback. Edelweiss from the hit show ‘The Sound of Music’ gave Vince his highest chart placing.

9. THE HOLLIES- STOP STOP STOP (Clarke, Hicks, Nash) Gralto Music Co. ℗ 1966 EMI Records Ltd. Written by group members Alan Clarke, Tony Hicks and Graham Nash (soon to depart Stateside to join Dave Crosby and Steven Stills) this highly original story song gave the Hollies another No 2 during 1966. The banjo, recorded with echo, gives this tale of an over-excited customer at a night club an eerie, surreal quality. A No 2 again, but a lasting memory.

10. THE BEACH BOYS – GOD ONLY KNOWS (Wilson, Asher) Immediate Music Ltd. ℗ 1966 Capitol Records Inc. The Beach Boys second attempt at a No 1 this side of the Atlantic also fell at the last hurdle although it paved the way for their next single, the superb ‘Good Vibrations’ to reach the coveted No 1 spot.


Label: MFP 41 5658 1

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