Best of the Rest of the Top 40: 1967

I went for Whiter Shade Of Pale because - come on - this is the Summer Of Love, and this is totally psychedelic. It’s interesting how different the US was to the UK. Whiter was number one for six weeks in the UK, deservedly. Most of the songs in this list are not notably 67ish surprisingly.

It peaked at #5 in the US.

The big difference between the US and UK charts is that the Hot 100 tracks both sales and airplay (and these days streaming as well), whereas the Official Singles Chart (or the Record Retailer chart, as it was in 1967) only tracks sales, since there are considerably fewer radio stations in the UK than in America and use of pre-recorded music was strictly limited by union guidelines until the early '70s.

I’m not sure if Record Retailer published a year-end chart comparable to the one we’re using in this poll, but for what it’s worth (ha ha ha) here are the songs that made #1 in the UK in 1967;

  • The Monkees - “I’m A Believer”
  • Petula Clark - “This Is My Song”
  • Engelbert Humperdinck - “Release Me”
  • Frank & Nancy Sinatra - “Somethin’ Stupid”
  • Sandie Shaw - “Puppet On A String”
  • The Tremeloes - “Silence Is Golden”
  • Procol Harum - “A Whiter Shade Of Pale”
  • The Beatles - “All You Need Is Love”
  • Scott McKenzie - “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)”
  • Engelbert Humperdinck - “The Last Waltz”
  • The Bee Gees (!) - “Massachusetts”
  • The Foundations - “Baby Now That I’ve Found You”
  • Long John Baldry - “Let the Heartaches Begin”
  • The Beatles - “Hello, Goodbye”

One thing that made a very big difference to our listening habits, and therefore music purchasing, was that up to August 1967, the virtual radio monopoly held by the BBC (which, as you rightly say) was restricted by the Musician’s Unions pointless rules and the BBC’s hidebound attitude, were the pirates: radio stations broadcasting from ships.

They were not subject to UK law, and played more or less what they wanted. One of the best, Radio London, was very much based on US radio. They had their own charts, based solely on what they wanted, or what they had been bribed to have in them.

Why the exclamation point after the Bee Gees, unlike the U.S the group had a handful of #1 songs from their late 60’s/early70’s material, both in Canada and UK. Heck even in the U.S did they hit #1 in 1971 with “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart”.

In retrospect, 1967 is not a year in which one expects to see a number-one jam by the most iconic band of the Age of Disco.

This may be the toughest vote yet. Going down the list, I was going to be perfectly content to vote for Soul Man…then I saw For What It’s Worth, Somebody to Love, Brown Eyed Girl, and A Whiter Shade of Pale

Having listened again to all 5 songs just now, my vote goes to Buffalo Springfield.

Yep, the Summer of Love – and Whiter Shade of Pale, more than the others, takes me back. MLK and Bobby Kennedy were still alive, we had no idea what would be coming the following year. So young, so innocent . . . .

… So true.

Yep, this year’s got a strong field…

For what its worth…Somebody to Love…Brown Eye girl… no chance… great songs…but time and corporate playlist…

Arthur Conley had a great tune…but The Association’s version of Never My Love…just a great…slow ballad…got my vote