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British Chartbusters of the 60s & 70s

1966

The British charts of 1966 saw the Beatles concentrate on albums while the Beach Boys, Spencer Davis and the Troggs stole the singles charts.

 

  • The Beatles were once again biggest artists of the year - the same year that John Lennon made his disastrous claim that they were more popular than Jesus. They had number one hits with "Paperback Writer" and then "Yellow Submarine/Eleanor Rigby" (third biggest single of the year) but their days of million selling singles in Britain were over. However, they were selling ever more copies of their albums. First "Rubber Soul" and then "Revolver" topped the album charts on the few occasions that "The Sound of Music" film soundtrack moved from the top spot.
Revolver - The Beatles, 14 tracks incl Yellow Submarine/Eleanor Rigby Buy the Greatest Hits
  • Second place for 1966 belongs to the Beach Boys. They finally broke into the UK charts with a trio of top three hits led by "Barbara Ann" then "Sloop John B" and "God Only Knows" before making number one with "Good Vibrations". Their LP, "Pet Sounds" was also a big success in 1966 and went on to be one of the most acclaimed albums of the decade.
The Very Best of the Beach Boys, 30 tracks Buy the Greatest Hits
  • In third for the year were the Spencer Davis Group. They had an excellent run following a January number one, "Keep on Running" with another chart topper "Somebody Help Me". Later in the year they were at number two with "Gimme Some Loving". And they found time for a top twenty position with "When I Come Home".
Best of the Spencer Davis Group, 14 tracks Buy the Greatest Hits
  • The Troggs became the number four act of the year thanks to a series of big selling singles starting with a number two, "Wild Thing" then a number one for "With a Girl Like You" and another number two with "I Can't Control Myself" and finishing with a top ten position for "Any Way That You Want Me".
The Troggs Greatest Hits - 25 tracks Buy the Greatest Hits
  • Number five spot was held by the Rolling Stones. In addition to a long running number one spot for album "Aftermath" the band managed a number one single with "Paint It Black". They also had top ten success with "Nineteenth Nervous Breakdown" and "Have You Seen Your Mother Baby" in 1966.
Aftermath - The Rolling Stones, 11 tracks incl Paint It Black Buy the Greatest Hits
  • It was a year when no performer really dominated. The groups were still the dominant force. However, there was a particularly strong showing from individual artists like Tom Jones, who had the number one single of the year (the only million seller) with "Green Green Grass of Home". It was a big year too for the Sinatra family. Frank Sinatra had a huge world-wide hit with "Strangers in the Night" (number four single of the year) while daughter Nancy Sinatra managed the number five hit with "These Boots are Made for Walking". Finally, Jim Reeves achieved the number two single of 1966 without ever reaching number one with "Distant Drums".
  • Of the many hit bands of 1966, the Small Faces were particularly successful. Their number one "All or Nothing" was joined by top five spots for "Sha La La La Lee" and "My Mind's Eye". Similarly, the Kinks had a chart topper "Sunny Afternoon" and two top five hits for "Dedicated Follower of Fashion" and "Dead End Street". The Hollies had a couple of number two hits "I Can't Let Go" and "Stop Stop Stop". Then there was Manfred Mann, number one with "Pretty Flamingo" and number two with "Semi-Detached Suburban Mr James".
 

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