Just as the singles chart of the 1990s enjoyed a clearly identifiable Golden Age (1994 to 1998: the Britpop years), so did the singles chart of the 1960s, from 1964 to 1968. Unfortunately for both decades, our poll was taken from the year before both Golden Ages got underway, during a time when nothing particularly exciting was going on. Indeed, the first four years of the 1960s were a particularly moribund time for the charts, as the world waited for the Beatles, Stones, Motown and Memphis to kick-start the decade.
In our 1963 sample, The Beatles’ Please Please Me is demonstrably streets ahead of the competition, providing the 1960s with its only winner in ten days. Meanwhile, you were suitably horrified by Frankie Vaughan and Del Shannon to vote them both into last place. Despite this, there were some hidden gems in the 1963 charts, with Maureen Evans, Frank Ifield and Jet Harris & Tony Meehan all attracting a certain level of interest from some quarters.
In another year, the 1960s could undoubtedly have given the 1970s and 1980s a serious run for their money. This year, they will have to settle for an honourable third place. Let us now remind ourselves of just a few of their many, many Best Bits.
1960: Only The Lonely – Roy Orbison
1961: On The Rebound – Floyd Cramer
1962: Wonderful Land – The Shadows
1963: She Loves You – The Beatles
1964: Always Something There To Remind Me – Sandie Shaw
1965: Mr. Tambourine Man – The Byrds
1966: Reach Out…I’ll Be There – Four Tops
1967: A Whiter Shade Of Pale – Procol Harum
1968: Jumping Jack Flash – Rolling Stones
1969: I Heard It Through The Grapevine – Marvin Gaye