Ranking Billboard top ten singles, 1967

“Summer of Love” — a B-52’s song for me, or, better, the acid house-drenched epoch in British popular music during what was over here the Poppy Bush Interzone. I’m also influenced by Peter Fonda, the producer cleaning his teeth while pontificating to jailbait in Steven Soderbergh’s The Limey, about what The Sixties meant: “It was 1966 and early 1967. That’s all it was.” Maybe Scott McKenzie’s “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair),” written by John Phillips, selling The Scene to kids a few years younger, knew the cynicism behind the charge.

Despite the claims of the youth market, 1967 offered a wealth of grown-up emotion. Cher’s “You Better Sit Down, Kids,” of course. Also Vicki Carr’s “It Must Be Him,” a campy but committed portrait of female cruising. Hell, even Englebert Humperdincks “Release Me,” the subject of obloquy over the years in Britain for keeping The Beatles’ “Penny Laine/Strawberry Fields Forever” from topping the chart. I’m persuaded by Tom Ewing, who in his review of “Release Me” called it “never cruel but frank, reasonable and allowing no way back.” If anything, Frank Sinatra’s duet with Nancy was more infantile.

Finally, can someone explain The Buckinghams? Three top tens, decent at best.

The Hague

Frank Sinatra & Nancy Sinatra – Somethin’ Stupid
Bobby Vee – Come Back When You Grow Up
Bobby Vinton – Please Love Me Forever
The Beatles – Hello Goodbye


The Young Rascals – Groovin’
Englebert Humperdinck – Release Me
The Beatles – All You Need is Love
The 5th Dimension – Up, Up and Away
The Hollies – Carrie Anne
Keith – 98.6
Jay & the Techniques – Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie
The Seekrs – Georgy Girl
Procul Harum – A Whiter Shade of Pale
The Turtles – She’d Rather Be with Me
Diana Ross & the Supremes – In and Out of Love
Strawberry Alarm Clock – Incense and Peppermints
Johnny Rivers – The Tracks of My Tears
Spanky and Our Gang – Sunday Will Never Be the Same

Sound, Solid Entertainments

The Monkees – Pleasant Valley Sunday
The Rolling Stones – Ruby Tuesday
Lulu – To Sir with Love
Jefferson Airplane – Somebody to Love
The Spencer Davis Group – I’m a Man
Johnny Rivers – Baby I Need Your Lovin’
The Young Rascals – How Can I Be Sure
Every Mother’s Son – Come On Down to My Boat
Fantastic Mr. C – Boogaloo Down Broadway
Brent Wood – Gimme Little Sign
Scott McKenzie – San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)
The Four Seasons – C’mon Marianne
The Doors – Light My Fire
The Cowsills – The Rain, the Park & Other Things
The Dave Clark Five – You Got What It Takes
The Buckinghams – Mercy, Mercy, Mercy
Eric Burdon and The Animals – San Franciscan Nights
Bill Cosby – Little Ole Man (Uptight, Everything’s Alright)
Stevie Wonder – I Was Made to Love Her
The Buckinghams – Don’t You Care
Frankie Valli – Can’t Take My Eyes Off You
The Happening – I Got Rhythm
The Association – Windy
Tommy James and the Shondells – Mirage
The Buckinghams – Kind of a Drag

Good to Great

Smokey Robinson & the Miracles – I Second That Emotion
The Who – I Can See for Miles
The Box Tops – The Letter
Buffalo Springfield – For What It’s Worth
Wilson Pickett – Funky Broadway
James Brown – Cold Sweat
Dionne Warwick – I Say a Little Prayer
The Music Explosion – Little Bit O’ Soul
Aretha Franklin – I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)
The Turtles – Happy Together
The Soul Survivors – Expressway to Your Heart
The Spencer Davis Group – Gimme Some Lovin’
Diana Ross & the Supremes – Reflections
Aretha Franklin – (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman
Tommy James and the Shondells – I Think We’re Alone Now
The 4 Tops – Standing in the Shadows of Love
The Mamas and Papas – Words of Love
Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell – Your Precious Love
Van Morrison – Brown Eyed Girl
Sam & Dave – Soul Man
Gladys Knight & the Pips – I Heard It Through the Grapevine
Neil Diamond – Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon
Bobbie Gentry – Ode to Billie Joe
Jackie Wilson – (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher
Aretha Franklin – Respect
Joe Tex – Skinny Legs and All
The Grass Roots – Let’s Live for Today
The Supremes – Love Is Here and Now You’re Gone
The Monkees – Daydream Believer
The Beatles – Penny Lane
Vicki Carr – It Must Be Him
Cher – You Better Sit Down Kids
The Temptations – You’re My Everything
Petula Clark – Don’t Sleep in the Subway
The Beatles – Strawberry Fields Forever

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