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British Chartbusters of the 60s & 70s

1963

The British charts of 1963 saw a complete change as the Mersey Sound took over in spectacular fashion:

 

  • Top artists of the year were the Beatles. Their first big hit of the year "Please Please Me" did not reach number one on all the charts but the follow up singles "From Me To You", "She Loves You" and "I Want to Hold Your Hand" were huge hits. Sales of both "She Loves You" and "I Want to Hold Your Hand" exceeded 1.5 million in the UK - the first time this level had ever been reached. Within another year "I Want to Hold Your Hand" had become the biggest ever selling global single by a British artist. Not only did the Beatles master the singles charts but their first two albums, "Please Please Me" and "With the Beatles", also dominated the LP charts all year.
The Beatles Red Album, 1962 - 66, 26 track double CD Buy the Greatest Hits
  • Fellow Merseyside group, Gerry and The Pacemakers, had a spectacular 1963 also and took second place for the year. Like the Beatles, the band were managed by Brian Epstein and produced by George Martin. Their first three singles, "How Do You Do It", "I Like It" and "You'll Never Walk Alone" were all number one hits. This achievement established a new record for a UK performer. However, none of these hits sold a million let alone the level reached by the Beatles singles.
Gerry and the Pacemakers, double CD, 40 tracks Buy the Greatest Hits
  • The ever consistent Cliff Richard and the Shadows were the third biggest act of 1963. Cliff had a number one single with "Summer Holiday" (also a big success as a film and soundtrack album). He also had top five hits with "Lucky Lips", "It's All in the Game" and "Don't Talk to Him". The Shadows, meanwhile, also hit number one with "Foot Tapper" and had top ten hits with "Atlantis", "Shindig", and "Geronimo".
46 Cliff hits, double CD Cliff's Greatest Hits
  • In fourth spot for the year was Frank Ifield. He followed up his debut in 1962 to hit the number one spot twice more with US country songs "Wayward Wind" and "Confessin". He also had lesser hits with "Nobody's Darlin' But Mine" and "Mule Train".
The Essential Collection - Frank Ifield, 20 tracks Buy the Greatest Hits
  • Another Mersey band - and also in the Brian Epstein stable - Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas held fifth place in 1962. Their single hits started with Lennon/McCartney song "Do You Want to Know a Secret" which just failed to hit the top spot. Then "Bad to Me" was a number one and "I'll Keep You Satisfied" was a top five hit.
The Very Best Of Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas, 29 tracks Buy the Greatest Hits
  • There were many other Mersey-style groups with hits in the charts of 1963. The biggest outside the top five included the Searchers whose "Sweets for my Sweet" was a number one and follow up "Sugar and Spice" a number two hit. Brian Poole and the Tremeloes hit the top spot with "Do You Love Me" and the top five with "Twist and Shout". Finally, Manchester band Freddie and The Dreamers had top three hits with "If You Gotta Make a Fool of Somebody", "I'm Telling You Now" and "You Were Made for Me".
50 Merseybeat tracks, double CD Buy the Greatest Hits
  • Another Liverpudlian, Billy Fury, had been around for a while but had a trio of top three singles with "Like I've Never Been Gone", "When Will You Say I Love You" and "In Summer." Also riding high in 1963 were instrumentalists Jet Harris and Tony Meehan, formerly members of the Shadows. They had a number one with "Diamonds" and top five hits with "Scarlett O'Hara" and "Applejack".
Diamonds & Other Gems - Jet Harris & Tony Meehan, 20 tracks Buy the Greatest Hits
  • 1963 was a year when American artists struggled to find success in a Britain gone Beatles mad. However, there was always room for Elvis Presley who had a number one with "Devil in Disguise" and three lesser top twenty singles. Roy Orbison also had a good year with top ten numbers like "In Dreams", "Falling" and "Blue Bayou". Finally, 1963 was also the year that the Phil Spector sound really hit Britain with the Ronettes ("Be My Baby") and the Crystals ("Da Doo Ron Ron" and "Then He Kissed Me") all big hits.

 

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