Fifty seasons on and our resident music lover Bear takes us back, way back, to discover who were Top of the Pops in that glorious week when Celtic were declared the Champions of Europe . . .
The musical scene when Celtic won the big prize in May 1967 was an era of change in musical styles.
It was a year that welcomed a new type of music as the Merseybeat era faded into history. The nation welcomed the beginnings of the progressive rock phenomenon.
If you want to know what tunes Celtic fans were celebrating Celtic’s big win in Lisbon, take a look back to the Top Ten singles in the chart in the week we made history.
In reverse order:
10 – Frank and Nancy Sinatra took the number ten slot with the only known instance of father and daughter reaching No. 1 on the American Billboard. Their rendition of Something Stupid contained the line “And then I go and spoil it all by saying something stupid like I love you,” prompted Nancy to make a strange quote some years later when she said it was “very sweet” that some people referred to it as ‘The Incest Song’!
Nancy had a short lived music career having charted a year earlier with her recording of These Boots Are Made For Walking.
9 – Jimi Hendrix had his third hit coming in at number nine that week with The Wind Cries Mary. Hendrix composed the song after a mini bust up with his girlfriend Kathy Etchingham over the lumpy mashed potatoes she had cooked. The resultant argument saw Jimi spending the night at a friend’s flat without her. Kathy, whose middle name is Mary, revealed this in an interview with the BBC World Service in 2013. Jimi sometimes teased her by using her middle name and played her the song on guitar after they made up.
His greatest and best known recordings include Purple Haze, All Along The Watchtower, Voodoo Chile and Hey Joe.
8 – Lulu (Marie Lawrie), a wee Glesga burd fae Dennistoun, was successful with her second hit single, The Boat That I Row, a Neil Diamond song. Her debut hit, Shout, was composed by the Isley Brothers. Lulu also had a winner for Britain in the 1969 Eurovision Song Contest with Boom-Bang-A-Bang.
To choose the Eurovision song, Lulu sang six songs in a row on her BBC1 show Happening For Lulu. In the ensuing postal vote (Remember stamps?) one particular song called I Can’t Go On polled last in the vote count. This supposedly rubbish song was composed by a young Elton John and Bernie Taupin. Ironically Lulu would later go on to record this song, as did Elton himself.
7 – Confirming the eclectic mix of styles that managed to make it on to the charts in 1967, The Dubliners contrived to make “Seven Drunken Nights” a pop hit at number seven!
The song is a bawdy ballad featuring a drunkard who returns home seven nights in a row to find flimsy evidence of his wife having an affair – only to have each of his claims debunked by a seemingly plausible explanation!
The original Dubliners lineup included Ronnie Drew and Luke Kelly and the band had some famous songs including Free the People, Black Velvet Band and latterly Carrickfergus and Four Green Fields. They also collaborated with The Pogues on a re-issue of The Irish Rover for their 25th anniversary in 1987.
6 – Pictures of Lily by The Who was berthed in the no 6 spot. The song was controversial in the context of Sixties’ morals and was banned by the BBC for its sexual connotations. Pete Townshend, the composer, later said: “The song is merely a ditty about masturbation and the importance of it to a young man” although the lyrics actually never mention the word. A tame excerpt from the lyrics contrives to crucify the BBC’s virtuous stance.
“Pictures of Lily
Made my life so wonderful
Pictures of Lily
Helped me sleep at night
Pictures of Lily
Solved my childhood problem
Pictures of Lily
Helped me feel alright.”
The Who went on to be one of the top rock bands Britain has ever produced, recording songs like Won’t Get Fooled Again, Baba O’ Reilly and the acclaimed rock opera Tommy.
5 – Sandie Shaw was Britain’s entrant for the 1967 Eurovision Song Contest and claimed number five in the charts with her version of Puppet On A String. The song itself was one of Sandie’s least liked songs and she was quoted saying “I hated it from the very first oompah to the final bang on the big bass drum.” She hated it so much she went on to record it in five languages!
On the Desert Island Discs show in 2010 Sandi revealed that the BBC had wanted to sack her immediately before the show as she had been embroiled in the divorce of the model Veronica Sands at the tender age of 18.
After the Eurovision show Sandi got locked out of her hotel room in Vienna and slept the night in the corridor with only her fur coat and a bottle of champagne for company.
4 – The Beach Boys were at number four with their version of an old Crystals’ classic And Then He Kissed Me. The song was re-written from the boyfriend’s viewpoint and re-titled And Then I Kissed Her.
It was released against the wishes of the band by their record company as a filler while the Beach Boys took time to finish their Heroes And Villains single. The Beach Boys, including the three Wilson brothers (Brian, Dennis and Carl) produced their famous Pet Sounds album in 1966.
3 – Dedicated To The One I Love was number three for The Mamas & The Papas although it had been a hit previously for two other groups including The Shirelles in the early 60’s. Lead singer on the song was Michelle Phillips. Mama Cass Elliott (Ellen Naomi Cohen) featured on many singles for the group including California Dreaming and Monday Monday before going solo.
Mama Cass had previously attended high school in Virginia with The Doors’ front man Jim Morrison. In a hedonistic rock n’ roll coincidence she died in the same flat at 9 Curzon Square, in London’s Mayfair, as The Who’s drummer Keith Moon – four years apart yet both were aged 32 years old. The flat was owned by the legendary singer Harry Nilsson.
2 – Waterloo Sunset at number two and remains one of The Kinks’ most iconic songs. Their music remains popular: Sunny Afternoon, a West End musical about the band won an Olivier Award in 2015 for Outstanding Musical Achievement. There have been a few interpretations of what the song was about but Ray Davies, the composer, stated in an interview in 2010 that the song was originally called Liverpool Sunset as he had a great fondness for the city.
Ray was a tad late revealing this astounding information as a London FM radio poll in 2004 named Waterloo Sunset as “The Greatest Song About London”, while Time Out magazine had also declared it “The Anthem of London.”
Which brings us to Number One in the most memorable week of The Sixties . . .
1 – Silence Is Golden was at no.1 position from the previous week. The song was written by The Four Seasons’ Bob Gaudio and the renowned songwriter Bob Crewe. Originally a “B” side to Rag Doll for The Four Seasons in 1964 it was then covered by The Tremeloes who took it to the top position three years later.
Crewe and Gaudio were song-writing legends who composed songs from the 1950’s through to the 1980’s. A selection of their most popular songs include, Big Girls Don’t Cry, Sherry, The Sun Aint Gonna Shine Any More, Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You and Let’s Hang On.
To illustrate the musical metamorphosis of the times there were other contrasting songs entering and leaving the charts in the months around May 1967.
On the lighter side there was I’m A Believer by The Monkees, Carrie Anne by The Hollies and Jeff Beck’s Hi Ho Silver Lining while The Beatles pitched in with Penny Lane before the epoch-defining Sergeant Pepper album was released in June that year.
The black soul genre was represented by Respect from Aretha Franklin along with Martha and The Vandellas’ version of Jimmy Mack.
The emergence of the progressive rock scene was heralded by the timeless classic A Whiter Shade Of Pale by Procol Harum whilst Pink Floyd were at the genesis of their career with See Emily Play. This was a full six years before the release of Dark Side of the Moon, the album that propelled them into rock history.
So there you have it. Celtic’s European Cup victory transcribed to a musical tapestry that I’m sure properly portrayed the era as you remember it – or as your granddad told you!
We plan to print a similar feature when Celtic win the Big Cup again in Cardiff in 2017…
Hail x 2
Twitter: The Bear@FeedTheBear1888
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