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article by: Michael Canter

18 May 2012

Friday Flashback 1966

FRIDAY FLASHBACK: Every Friday we set the Hot Tub Time Machine to one year in rock history and give you the best (and worst) music from that year, all day long beginning at 1:00 AM EST and running for 24 hours on Jivewired Radio powered by Live365.

This week: 1966
Next week: 1986

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Album Art From 1966, Click Cover To Download From Amazon

1966 Album I Wish I Owned: Yesterday.... and Today (Original Cover) by The Beatles
1966 Album I'd Give Back If I Could: The Feel Of Neil Diamond by Neil Diamond
1966 Nominee For Worst Album Cover Ever: Yesterday.... and Today by The Beatles
1966 Most Underrated Song: Dirty Water by The Standells
1966 Most Overrated Song: These Boots Are Made For Walkin' by Nancy Sinatra
1966 Most Memorable Song: Wouldn't It Be Nice by The Beach Boys
1966 Most Significant Song: Tomorrow Never Knows by The Beatles
1966 Most Forgotten Song: Red Rubber Ball by The Cyrkle
1966 Fan's Choice For Most Popular Song: Good Vibrations by The Beach Boys
1966 Album Of The Year: Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys
1966 Most Likely To Start A Party Song: Mustang Sally by Wilson Pickett
1966 Please Don't Play Anymore Song: None, actually
1966 Song That I Like More Than I Actually Should: Lightnin' Strikes by Lou Christie
1966 Album I Liked More Than I Thought I Would: Burt Bacharach Plays His Hits
1966 Song That I Tend to Leave on REPEAT: Uptight (Everything's Alright) by Stevie Wonder
Guilty Pleasure of 1966: Snoopy vs. The Red Baron by The Royal Guardsmen
Breakout Artist of 1966: The Monkees
Overplayed In 1966: The Association
Not Played Enough In 1966: Jimi Hendrix
Greatest Single Chart Re-Entry from 1966: These Arms Of Mine by Otis Redding (1962)
Best Cover Song Of 1966: Little Latin Lupe Lu by Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels
An unheralded great album from 1966: The Monkeys (Debut) by The Monkees
An unheralded great single from 1966: Pied Piper by Crispian St. Peters
Best Soundtrack of 1966: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Jivewired's Top Five Six Songs Of The Year
01. God Only Knows by The Beach Boys
02. Sloop John B by The Beach Boys
03. Got To Get You Into My Life by The Beatles
04. Rainy Day Women #12 and #35 by Bob Dylan
05. Paint It Black by The Rolling Stones
06. Tomorrow Never Knows by the Beatles

Jivewired's Top Five Six SEVEN Albums Of The Year
01. Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys
02. Blonde On Blonde by Bob Dylan
03. Revolver by The Beatles
04. The Monkees by The Monkees
05. Sounds Of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel
06. If You Can Believe Your Eyes And Ears by The Mamas & The Papas
07. Aftermath by The Rolling Stones

You could listen to Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys from 1966 and never grow tired of it and frankly, it is the best representation of 1966, musically speaking.  The landmark album and it's directional change and it's corresponding significance resonated not just throughout the music world, but it's echoes also boomed culturally, socially and politically as well.  When Pet Sounds was released, it was at that point that music, and life for many, changed forever.

Most of the band viewed the album with feelings of impotence (its complex backing tracks where recorded by an ensemble of studio musicians rather than 'just the guys'), and professional jealousy, and concern about the impact on their established fan base.  There was fear that the album would flop financially and possibly dissolve the band.  

“Don’t fuck with the formula,” is how Mike Love is said to have put it to Brian Wilson.

Fuck with the formula Wilson did... and the results were amazing.
  • "It was Pet Sounds that blew me out of the water. I love the album so much. I've just bought my kids each a copy of it for their education in life ... I figure no one is educated musically 'til they've heard that album ... I love the orchestra, the arrangements ... it may be going overboard to say it's the classic of the century ... but to me, it certainly is a total, classic record that is unbeatable in many ways ... I've often played Pet Sounds and cried. I played it to John so much that it would be difficult for him to escape the influence ... it was the record of the time. The thing that really made me sit up and take notice was the bass lines ... and also, putting melodies in the bass line. That I think was probably the big influence that set me thinking when we recorded Pepper, it set me off on a period I had then for a couple of years of nearly always writing quite melodic bass lines. "God Only Knows" is a big favorite of mine ... very emotional, always a bit of a choker for me, that one. On "You Still Believe in Me", I love that melody - that kills me ... that's my favorite, I think ... it's so beautiful right at the end ... comes surging back in these multi-colored harmonies ... sends shivers up my spine." --  Paul McCartney
  • "Without Pet Sounds, Sgt. Pepper wouldn't have happened... Pepper was an attempt to equal Pet Sounds." -- George Martin

Admittedly, today The Beach Boys music is considered mostly devoid of substance and perhaps more embarrassing still, just plain uncool. According to Billboard, The Beach Boys are the No. 1 selling American band of all time.   But, that classic Beach Boys formula of surf, sand, school, sun and girls didn’t age very well and their reputation for shallow, top-forty pop is somewhat deserved, however well executed. It’s no surprise then, when considering the entire Beach Boys canon, that one rarely hears them mentioned among the pantheon of greats of the era such as The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and Led Zeppelin.One could say their longevity hurt them, but the Rolling Stones have been grinding it out just as long and only lately has their reputation and coolness factor taken somewhat of a hit. 

But then there’s Pet Sounds… I can't think of a single album that I can say tops it. It is without doubt the top block of the pyramid - everything before and after falls beneath that album.

1966 brought about many significant cultural changes throughout the world and for our purposes, specifically in music, as performers began the transition into psychedelia and the upcoming Summer Of Love.  New studio technology allowed bands to experiment and create sounds that had yet to be produced musically and adverbs like "mind altering" and "enlightening" became commonplace.

Brian Wilson took full advantage of that technology when creating Pet Sounds, and soon other bands, including the Beatles themselves, followed suit.

If one had to pinpoint an event that cemented this historical metamorphosis, it may have been in May 1966, when Bob Dylan's Blonde On Blonde was released, a double album recorded in Nashville, TN between October 1965 and March 1966. Until then, rock musicians had all operated within the boundaries of the radio-friendly, three-minute melodic song and thirty-three minute album. Double albums were virtually unheard of.

After that album's release, only mainstream commercial music would remain anchored to the traditional song format.

This shift in rock music coincided with the boom of free-form jazz and the birth of electric folk music. The Mamas and the Papas formed out of the fertile early 1960s folk movement and, to many, they embodied the new hippie idealism.

Rock music had been born at the confluence of blues and country music a decade earlier, but after 1966 blues and country/folk became the base ingredients of a much more complex recipe. The lengthy acid jams of bands like The Velvet Underground, Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead and Pink Floyd relied on a loose musical infrastructure that was no longer related to the rhythm 'n' blues/country amalgamation.

It was instead very similar in format to the jazz music played in the lofts, coffee houses and clubs that many psychedelic rock musicians attended, and rapidly became the second great pillar of the counter-culture, with the first being the movement for civil-rights and governmental pacifism. The indirect influence of free-form jazz became prominent in rock music during the birth of the psychedelic era, fueling its musical revolution and emancipating rock music from its blues foundations.

Bands like The Grateful Dead, Big Brother & The Holding Company and Jefferson Airplane started that counter-culture movement in San Francisco. Concurrently, the so-called British Invasion was in full force thanks to the likes of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Cream and The Kinks. Additionally, music here stateside expressed an explicit socio-political message thanks to artists like Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix while bands like The Byrds and The Beach Boys focused on the studio techniques and eccentric arrangements popularized by the Beatles. Add to that a plethora of hits from Barry Gordy's Motown Records and Hitsville U.S.A.  empire and you can see that 1966 was a benchmark year as far as the convergence of musical genres and what we listened to as a society going forward. 

The consolidation of these wildly different musical threads eventually yielded a great era of psychedelic, blues and electrified folk music, an attitude that was reflected in the spirit of the times, and one that experimented with studio sound and embodied the frustration of a youth movement that questioned social and political policy for the first time in nearly two centuries. Certainly this amalgamation was in part fueled by hallucinogens, as drugs like LSD may have been the natural meeting point of the convergence. More likely it was coincidental: drugs and their musical derivatives represented the unifying call to arms for that generation, standing opposite to what the establishment represented - war, bourgeois life, discipline, greed, organized religion, and old-fashioned morality. The true liberal movement and segregation of the old and new political guards was it's biggest impact as well as the widening of the generation gap.

It's almost as if 1966 became that frozen moment in the musical time line that standardized genres started to become territorial and then filter into the sub-genres that are so prevalent in music today.  1966 also represents the extreme leftward movement within the arts and the youth of the country.  That was certainly no coincidence.

And oh, Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys sounds as great today as the day it was released.

Gone Too Soon:
  • Bobby Fuller (July 18)
  • Johnny Kidd (October 7)
  • Smiley Lewis (October 7)
  • Mississippi John Hurt (November 2)
  • Carter Stanley (December 1)

WWTD (What Would Tipper Do)?

Of course we all know that Tipper Gore is directly responsible for the WARNING: PARENTAL ADVISORY labels found on music today.  Albums with sexual or violent lyrical content, profanity or suggestive cover art carry that label like the Scarlet Letter, apologies to Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Nancy Sinatra sure turned up the heat in 1966 didn't she?  There's plenty of S&M innuendo in These Boots Are Made For Walkin', and her song Love Eyes is smoldering in sexuality as is her cover of In My Room.

But it was the album covers, which in 1966 bordered on soft-core pornography, that would have sent Tipper Gore into a moral tirade.  How many teen-age boys, one wonders, walked out of the local record store with one of these babies safely hidden within the confines of the brown wax-paper bags that used to hold our album purchases?

Oh baby oh baby oh baby.........

WWJLD (What Would John Lennon Do)?

Oh that John Lennon.
  • "Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue with that; I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first - rock and roll or Christianity. " ~John Lennon, March 4, 1966
Do you really think he meant that he, or the Beatles, was greater than Jesus Christ?  Slap yourself silly if you do, then finish reading.

There. Feel better?  Let me help you out here.

John corrected himself stating that what he had said was printed somewhat out of context.

  • "I suppose if I had said television was more popular than Jesus, I would have gotten away with it. I'm sorry I opened my mouth. I'm not anti-God, anti-Christ, or anti-religion. I was not knocking it. I was not saying we are greater or better."
  • "I think I said that The Beatles have more influence on young people than Jesus Christ. Yes, I still think it. Kids are influenced more by us than Jesus. Christ, some ministers even stood up and agreed with it. It was another piece of truth that the fascist Christians picked on. I'm all for Christ, I'm very big on Christ. I've always fancied him."
OK - that could be a slight back-pedal.  But what he was really saying was that it wasn't just the Beatles specifically that were such an influence on teenagers, but rock and roll in general.   More so, in fact, than say, I don't know, the Bible maybe?  And for what it's worth, televangelists like Jerry Falwell, Jimmy Swaggart and Pat Robertson have been saying the same things in denouncing rock music since rock and roll was truly defined as a genre.  Where's the uproar when they say it?

I wonder what Tipper Gore would have done?

Here's something to consider.  From 1964 through July 1966 the Beatles had sold 150 million records worldwide. (Variety 243, August 3, 1966).  During that time, the Catholic Bible averaged 40,000 sales per day, equivalent to a total of 43,680,000 total Bibles sold worldwide.  I can rightfully deduce that American teenagers were probably the biggest demographic as far as Beatles albums sales were concerned, and the smallest demographic as far as Catholic Bibles sales were concerned.

So really, was John Lennon completely off base, or was the moral majority slightly overzealous in persecuting the man for his viewpoint, misconstrued or not?  Maybe they were just embarrassed by the truth.

If you were alive then and one of the many who burned Beatles albums and other Beatles merchandise, don't you feel a little ridiculous in hindsight?  And when you consider the scandals that engulfed Falwell, Swaggart and Robertson in later years, don't you really feel, well, more than slightly off base?

Weird and eerily coincidental:


Mary Elizabeth "Tipper" Aitcheson met Al Gore at her senior prom in 1965 and started dating the future vice-president and presidential candidate in 1966.  They were married on May 19, 1970.  Make sure you send them anniversary greetings tomorrow.  I mean, had Al Gore not invented the internet, you wouldn't be reading this right now.

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Go forth, for you are the future of Rock & Roll......

The following bands were formed in 1966: The American Breed, The Bar-Kays, Buffalo Springfield, Cream, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Moby Grape, The Monkees, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Ten Years After.  On the flip side, 1966 also gave us 1970s stalwarts The Bay City Rollers, Jigsaw and Vanity Fare as well as Slade.

Playlist Adds For Friday Flashback 1966 (by release date):

****Release dates are to the best of my knowledge and in most cases represent the release date of the album from which the single derived. In cases of singles and/or B-Side releases only, we use the official single release date for the A-Side.****

October 1965 (and earlier):
001. These Arms Of Mine by Otis Redding (1962)
002. Wipe Out by The Surfaris (1962)
003. Here Comes The Night by Them featuring Van Morrison
004. I'm Alive by The Hollies
005. Unchained Melody by The Righteous Brothers
006. I've Been Loving You Too Long by Otis Redding
007. My Lover's Prayer by Otis Redding
008. The Sound Of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel
009. Flowers On The Wall by The Statler Brothers
010. Let's Hang On by The Four Seasons
011. See My Friends by The Kinks
012. A Well Respected Man by The Kinks
013. Hang On Sloopy by The McCoys

November 1965:
014. California Dreamin' by The Mamas & The Papas
015. My Generation by The Who
016. Uptight (Everything's Alright) by Stevie Wonder
017. Five O'Clock World by The Vogues
018. (I'm A) Roadrunner by Jr. Walker & The All-Stars
019. Do You Believe In Magic by The Lovin' Spoonful
020. Over & Over by The Dave Clark Five
021. Don't Mess With Bill by The Marvelettes
022. Pushin' Too Hard by The Seeds

December 1965:
023. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) by The Beatles
024. You Won't See Me by The Beatles
025. Nowhere Man by The Beatles
026. Michelle by The Beatles
027. In My Life by The Beatles
028. Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There's A Season) by The Byrds
029. A Groovy Kind Of Love by The Mindbenders
030. I Fought The Law by The Bobby Fuller Four
031. Barbara Ann by The Beach Boys
032. Girl Don't Tell Me by The Beach Boys
033. Lightnin' Strikes by Lou Christie

January 1966:
034. You're Gonna Miss Me by 13th Floor Elevators
035. This Old Heart Of Mine (Is Weak For You) by The Isley Brothers
036. I Am A Rock by Simon & Garfunkel
037. Sweet Talking Guy by The Chiffons
038. Time Won't Let Me by The Outsiders

February 1966:
039. Homeward Bound [Live] by Simon & Garfunkel
040. As Tears Go By by The Rolling Stones
041. 19th Nervous Breakdown by The Rolling Stones
042. Get Ready by The Temptations
043. Hanky Panky by Tommy James & The Shondells
044. Little Latin Lupe Lu by Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels
045. Crying Time by Ray Charles
046. 96 Tears by ? & The Mysterians
047. These Boots Are Made For Walkin' by Nancy Sinatra
048. I Can't Let Go by The Hollies
049. Good Lovin' by The Young Rascals

March 1966:
050. Dedicated Follower Of Fashion by The Kinks
051. Kicks by Paul Revere & The Raiders
052. Caroline No by The Beach Boys
053. Don't Ease Me In by The Grateful Dead
054. Stay With Me (Baby) by Lorraine Ellison
055. You Don't Have To Say You Love Me by Dusty Springfield
056. Lies by The Knickerbockers
057. Hold On I'm Comin' by Sam & Dave
  • Don't Ease Me In was a Henry Thomas cover from 1929 recorded by The Grateful Dead in 1965 and released as a single in March 1966.  The song did not make it's way onto an album until 1980, when it was included on the Grateful Dead's Go To Heaven LP.
April 1966:
058. I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry by BJ Thomas & The Triumphs
059. (You're My ) Soul & Inspiration by The Righteous Brothers
060. Solitary Man by Neil Diamond
061. Red Rubber Ball by The Cyrkle
062. Substitute by The Who
063. Rainy Day Women #12 & #35 by Bob Dylan
064. Cleo's Mood by Jr. Walker & The All-Stars
065. When A Man Loves A Woman by Percy Sledge
066. Dirty Water by The Standells

May 1966:
067. Ain't Too Proud To Beg by The Temptations
068. Paint It Black by The Rolling Stones
069. Secret Agent Man by Johnny Rivers
070. Stuck Inside Of Mobile (With These Memphis Blues Again) by Bob Dylan
071. Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat by Bob Dylan
072. Let's Go Away For Awhile by The Beach Boys
073. Opus 17 (Don't You Worry 'Bout Me) by The Four Seasons
074. Don't Bring Me Down by The Animals
075. Paperback Writer by The Beatles
076. Rain by The Beatles

June 1966:
077. Wild Thing by The Troggs
078. What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted? by Jimmy Ruffin
079. Sunny Afternoon by The Kinks
080. I Want You by Bob Dylan
081. Monday, Monday by The Mamas & The Papas
082. I Saw Her Again by The Mamas & The Papas
083. Words Of Love by The Mamas & The Papas
084. Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind? by The Lovin' Spoonful
085. Land Of 1,000 Dances by Wilson Pickett
086. Bus Stop by The Hollies
087. Under My Thumb by The Rolling Stones
088. Function At The Junction by Shorty Long

July 1966:
089. Sunshine Superman by Donovan
090. With A Girl Like You by The Troggs
091. Mother's Little Helper by The Rolling Stones
092. Summer In The City by The Lovin' Spoonful
093. Cool Jerk by The Capitols
094. God Only Knows by The Beach Boys
095. Wouldn't It Be Nice by The Beach Boys
096. Walk Away Renee by The Left Banke
097. Pied Piper by Crispian St. Peter
098. You Can't Hurry Love by The Supremes

August 1966:
099. Here, There & Everywhere by The Beatles
100. Good Day Sunshine by The Beatles
101. And Your Bird Can Sing by The Beatles
102. Doctor Robert by The Beatles
103. Got To Get You Into My Life by The Beatles
104. Tomorrow Never Knows by The Beatles
105. 634-5789 by Wilson Pickett
106. Just Like A Woman by Bob Dylan
107. Reach Out I'll Be There by The Four Tops
108. Need Your Lovin' (Want You Back) by Marvin Gaye
109. Sunny by Bobby Hebb

September 1966:
110. Devil With The Blue Dress On/Good Golly Miss Molly by Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels
111. You Still Believe In Me by The Beach Boys

October 1966:
112. Stop Stop Stop by The Hollies
113. Last Train To Clarksville by The Monkees
114. Papa Gene's Blues by The Monkees
115. Good Vibrations by The Beach Boys
116. You Keep Me Hanging On by The Supremes
117. Try A Little Tenderness by Otis Redding
118. Guantanamera by The Sandpipers
119. See See Rider by The Animals
120. Mellow Yellow by Donovan

November 1966:
121. (I Know) I'm Losing You by The Temptations
122. Gloria by Shadows Of Knight
123. Tell It Like It Is by Aaron Nevile
124. One Mint Julep by Booket T. & The MG's
125. (I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone by The Monkees
126. She by The Monkees
127. A Place In The Sun by Stevie Wonder
128. Friday On My Mind by The Easybeats
129. Dead End Street by The Kinks
130. I'm A Believer by The Monkees
131. Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow) by The Monkees
132. Standing In The Shadows Of Love by The Four Tops

December 1966:
133. Happy Jack by The Who
134. I Feel Free by Cream
135. It Takes Two by Marvin Gaye & Kim Weston
136. Hey Joe by The Jimi Hendrix Experience
137. Stone Free by The Jimi Hendrix Experience
138. If 6 Was 9 by The Jimi Hendrix Experience
139. Working In The Coal Mine by Lee Dorsey
140. These Things Will Keep Me Loving You by The Velvelettes
141. Mustang Sally by Wilson Pickett
142. Snoopy vs. The Red Baron by The Royal Guardsmen
143. Working My Way Back To You by The Four Seasons

Previous In This Series: Friday Flashback 1999

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