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by Matthew Dixon
1967 saw two new words added to the musical language, both rather long, both very peculiar. Those two words: Englebert Humperdinck. Whilst we will know a lot about the singer, we'll surely forever be baffled by why someone called Arnold Dorsey would choose to change their name to Englebert Humperdinck! Englebert had such a phenomenal year that he really left everyone else in the shade. He had 89 weeks on the top 40 in the year, meaning that more often than not, he had more than one hit on the chart. However, he only released three hits in 1967. These duly became the three biggest charting hits of the year, and Englebert became far and above the biggest charting artist of the year.
Anyway, Tom Jones started off the year with two more weeks at the top of the chart for his hit "The Green Green Grass Of Home". This was swiftly followed by the first hit from the year's other phenomenon, the Monkees. The band, created for a TV show, managed to clock up six hits (of varying success rates) and narrowly missed out on being the second greatest charting artist of the year. Their first hit was the most famous hit for the Monkees, "I'm A Believer". Rather like nowadays, alongside the manufactured TV bands, there was the cool act of the moment. Guitar legend Jimi Hendrix never got a really big hit in 1967 but managed four charting entries.
Petula Clark topped the chart for a couple of weeks before the first chart topper of the year for Mr Humperdinck. That hit was "Release Me" and it spent six weeks at No. 1 as part of 44 weeks on the top 40 chart in this year alone, almost 85% of the year. Amongst the songs not to make the top of the chart because of this Englebert hit was the only charting rendition of "Edelweiss", as sung by Vince Hill. Englebert was finally knocked off the top of the chart by another classic hit, Frank Sinatra's duet with daughter Nancy on "Something Stupid".
In 1967, for the first time ever, the United Kingdom won the Eurovision Song Contest. Our winner was a woman called Sandie Shaw, a singer famed for not wearing any shoes in her performance. Her song "Puppet On A String" became a No. 1 hit, topping the chart for three weeks. The Tremeloes followed, with "Silence Is Golden", denying the Mamas and the Papas "Dedicated To The One I Love" from topping the chart. Then came another all time classic, Procol Harum, with "A Whiter Shade Of Pale". In fact, this was so classic that it was the only hit in this year to stop Englebert Humperdinck from topping the chart, as "There Goes My Everything" spent four weeks at No. 2. However, its chart topping run was finally brought to a halt after five weeks by another massive hit, the biggest Beatles hit of the year, "All You Need Is Love".
Another long running number one followed from Scott McKenzie ("San Fransisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair)") and between them, these two hits denied Anita Harris's "Just Loving You" from topping the chart (in fact she didn't even make the top 5!). Also failing to top the chart at that time were hits from Vikki Carr and Topol whilst Keith West was also denied the top spot, but that was by the next No. 1. That No. 1 was "The Last Waltz" the third and final hit of the year for Englebert Humperdinck.
Tom Jones scored his biggest hit of 1967 at this time, with "I'll Never Fall In Love Again", a track which never topped the chart, but managed four weeks stuck at No. 2. As the year was drawing to a close, the Bee Gees scored their first No. 1 with "Massachusetts", the Foundations topped the chart with "Baby, Now That I've Found You", Frankie Vaughan didn't with "There Must Be A Way" and neither did Traffic with "Hole In My Shoe", Long John Baldry topped the chart with "Let The Heartaches Begin" and finally for the entire of December, the Beatles were at the top of the chart, with their 13th No. 1 single, "Hello Goodbye".
Here are the 20 best charting singles of the year:
Here are the ten most successfully charting artists of 1967: