Best #1 single of the year retrospective: 1965

If you thought 1964 was a banner year in the world of music, hold on to your hat, because 1965 is even better. 27 singles made it to #1 in this turbulent year, with no individual song holding the top spot for longer than four weeks at a time, and IMO, it’s almost wall-to-wall classics - there are at least half a dozen songs here which would easily be the best song of any year they could have been released in. We see in this year’s charts for the first time a song penned by Bob Dylan, and the beginning of the protest music being recorded in reaction to the escalation in Vietnam. We see more British Invasion bands making their way across the pond, continued dominance by the Beatles, and it’s pretty clear at this point that the nature of pop music in America has changed forever.

This was a really hard one for me, but I ultimately went with “Turn! Turn! Turn!”, because I’ve known that song ever since I was a little kid, the guitar work is hauntingly beautiful, and it still moves me even though I’m not a religious person. What’s your favorite?

Previous polls: 1955-56 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 2012 2013

MISSED THE EDIT WINDOW: While trying to type out all the poll options before hitting said edit window, I mistyped the name of Wayne Fontana’s backing band. They were the Mindbenders, not the Mindbreakers.

I sincerely apologize for any confusion or angry letter-writing this error may cause.

At first, I thought this would be impossible. As you said, wall-to-wall classics. If not impossible, then arbitrary.


Only one song is more than iconic half a century later.

It’s gotta be Satisfaction!

The Byrds split my vote, the Supremes were cruising for the win with “Come See About Me,” and then…

That song. “Satisfaction” for the win.

Wow. This is a tough poll. I ended up going for the Byrds “Turn, turn, turn.” But “Ticket to Ride,” and “Satisfaction” (even though I’m not a huge Stones fan, although over the past decade I’ve begun to appreciate them much more) are close behind.

The Brits and Motown continue to trade haymakers – so many good songs in this year. All respect to The Supremes, Temps and Tops, but my vote goes to “Satisfaction” – that song showcases just how much the genre had matured.


Ultimately - though I could well have gone with the majority of the songs on this particular poll, I went with a song that likely will not get many votes, and that’s just a damn shame that it won’t: “Eight Days a Week”, by the Best Pop and/or Rock Band Ever (and my second choice was “The Game of Love”).

Now, THIS was a GOOD tough choice! In 1962, I had to search desperately for something tolerable. But this time, there were 12 worthy contenders…

I went with “Ticket to Ride,” since it’s always been one of my favorite Beatles tunes.

Yesterday is the greatest ballad of all time, IMO.

HOnorable mention to the Four Tops, an underrated group if there ever was one. People think of them as a 60s band but they had an awesome album in the 1980s and are probably the oldest group with their original lineup intact.

Alas, no; their 44-year streak (1953-1997) was broken this past year by ZZ Top, which has had the same membership since 1969.

Wow. Are they sure? Those beards make it easy to sneak in a stand-in.

It’ll be interesting to add all the Beatles and Supremes song votes together (by artist) and see how they compare to the top two songs themselves.

I have 19 of those 27 songs on my playlist. Sadly, The beatles and Motown canceled each other out, so I went with Satisfaction.

“Stop! In the Name of Love” got my vote. There are lots of good ones in this list, and only a few crappy ones (a large percentage of which are by Herman’s Hermits).

Mrs. Brown is excruciating to me, although I like all their other stuff. I saw Peter Noone live in the late 90s and enjoyed it immensely. Except for that song.

“Satisfaction” seemed the obvious choice, but I think it’s too obvious. And I recently heard it played on the cello (on America’s Got Talent) and realized that…it’s just a guitar riff. It’s barely a song.

I actually voted for “Help!”, one of my favorite Beatles songs.

But I changed my mind… I should’ve voted for “Help Me Rhonda”.

(Peter Noone has a weekly show on SiriusXM, and he’s really fun to listen to. Good stories, and harbors no illusions about his place in the rock 'n roll pantheon.)

I voted “Ticket to Ride”. How could I not.

If “Like a Rolling Stone” hadn’t stalled at #2, then could I have not. :cool:

I knew when I saw the list the Beatles and Stones were going to take it, so I went with the underdog: “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling”. An amazing performance and production that has sadly lost a lot of its power from being used so much in films and commercials over the years.

Like Woodstock…, I went with You Lost that Lovin’ Feeling as well. Don’t really care for Satisfaction, voted for the Beatles in 1964, and YLTLF is an incredible song which I hated for a LONG time until I was old enough to appreciate it.

#2 was Yesterday.

BTW, my most despised “OMG, THIS 60’S SONG IS SO OVERPLAYED WELL BEYOND ITS LEVEL OF QUALITY!” song is on this list. Hint: They made a movie out of it.