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by Matthew Dixon
They always say "There's nowt so queer as folk". This year would truly be the queerest of them all! In to 1965 we go, and the Beatles' "I Feel Fine" was quickly removed from the top of the chart for a number of really rather poorly charting No. 1s, from Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames, the Moody Blues, the Righteous Brothers with their classic "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" and the Kinks with "Tired Of Waiting For You". All topped the chart, although none of them managed to make the top 40 of the year. This was soon to change however, when one of the year's biggest hits was released at the start of the year.
Only one act managed to chart overall better than the Beatles in 1965, and that act was a folk group, the Seekers. Their first of three entries in the top 20 of the year comes courtesy of "I'll Never Find Another You", which even though it only had two weeks at the top of the chart, managed to spend 20 weeks on the chart winding up as the second biggest hit of the year. It was knocked off by Tom Jones's classic "It's Not Unusual", which managed one week at the top of the chart before the Rolling Stones scored their third No. 1, with "The Last Time". The intriguingly titled "Concrete and Clay" by the even more intriguingly titled "Unit 4 + 2" followed, and then Cliff Richard scored his eighth No. 1 with "The Minute You're Gone". Both stayed at No. 1 for just one week.
Then came the next Beatles No. 1. "Ticket To Ride" managed three weeks at the top, adding on to the already massive career of the four guys from Liverpool. More one week No. 1 from Roger Miller and Jackie Trent before Sandie Shaw scored her second No. 1 with "Long Live Love". This was the hit that kept the Seekers' second hit of the year, "A World Of Our Own", off the top spot. Then there came a battle between two of the year's biggest singles, with Elvis's "Crying In The Chapel" and the Hollies' "I'm Alive" knocking each other off the top of the chart to spend alternate weeks at the top for a month! The Byrds' rendition of the folk song "Mr Tambourine Man" gave folk music another two weeks at the top of the chart, before being knocked off by yet another consecutive Beatles No. 1, "Help!".
Several other classics followed at the top of the chart, with "I Got You Babe" by Sonny and Cher, the Rolling Stones' "I Can't Get No Satisfaction" and the Walker Brothers' "Make It Easy On Yourself". They all denied Horst Jankowski becoming a proper one hit wonder, as his massive hit "A Walk In The Black Forest" only made No. 3. Failing even to make the top 10 at this time were such songs as "What's New Pussycat" by Tom Jones, and "Unchained Melody" as performed by the Righteous Brothers for the first time. What followed was nothing short of bizarre.
One of the best charting hits of all time belongs to a rather unlikely source for anyone looking back at things nowadays, the comedian famous for his Diddymen, Ken Dodd. Five weeks at the top of the chart, alongside 18 weeks on the chart before the year was out (he continued charting into 1966) make Ken Dodd's hit song "Tears" the best charting hit of 1965. For five weeks Ken was on the dizzy heights up in the cloud of No. 1, leaving Andy Williams's "Almost There", well, almost there, spending three weeks at No. 2. Then the Rolling Stones claimed it as theirs by saying "Get Off My Cloud". It wound up as their second biggest hit in one of their best years on the chart.
The Seekers managed a second No. 1 with their third hit of the year, "The Carnival Is Over". This was to be their last hit to top the chart but they had two more years of charting within them. They stopped the Who from getting a No. 1 hit with their biggest hit, "My Generation" stuck at No. 2. Also around at this time was Chris Andrews's biggest hit, "Yesterday Man". The year ended with another hit for the Beatles, and the second one of the year to involve a girl leaving, as "We Can Work It Out / Day Tripper" claimed the Christmas No. 1 position.
Here are the 20 best charting singles of the year:
Here are the ten most successfully charting artists of 1963: