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Top 5 tunes from 1965

January 15, 2015

I’m very excited for the term ‘sesquicentennial’ to enter day-to-day conversations when Canada turns 150 in a couple years.

Until then, here are 5 of the finest tunes celebrating their 50th birthday, or their Semicentennial / Quinquagenary / Golden Jubilee if you will!


5. Herman’s Hermits, Mrs. Brown You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter
There’s a 2014 weezer tune with the line, “don’t want to end up with as much edge as a balloon.”  This pleasant ditty probably fits that description but I’m still a fan!


4. The Byrds, Turn! Turn! Turn! 
There’s a creepy song, Every Little Piece, from the (now that I think about it, equally creepy) film Pete’s Dragon where the characters call, “can’t you hear that jingle-jangle sound?” and answer, “oh ye-ea-ah.”  Turn! Turn! Turn! is considerably less creepy (though with 3 exclamation marks, perhaps a tad enthusiastic) but it has the delightful jingle-jangle sound of a 12-string Rickenbacker.  Oh ye-ea-ah.


3.  The Beach Boys, Help Me Rhonda
Rhondas of the world may wish the song didn’t exist; for me however, it was among the highlights of The Beach Boys Today!  (evidently punctuation was big in ’65!)


2. Bob Dylan, Subterranean Homesick Blues
There isn’t really a wrong answer to the question of ‘best Bob Dylan album of ’65: Bringing it All Back Home or Highway 61 Revisited?’  I suppose the most correct answer would be both; Subterranean gets singled out today thanks to the eventual Radiohead (Subterranean Homesick Alien) and Love Actually (words on bristol board) references.


1. The Beatles, In My Life
In my life, few closing lines have been as memorable as the falsetto finish here.


A couple to-be-determined records from 1965 will be explored over the next few days, enjoy!


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  1. Nice picks! Just a personal choice, I’d take out the Byrds (I never did like that song like I’m supposed to) and put in a Stones tune… you have THREE albums from that year to choose from, with Rolling Stones, Now!, Out Of Our Heads, and December’s Children (And Everybody’s)… What a year they had in 1965!!

    I think the Sasquatch should be the official mascot for the Sesquicentennial. And it should come from Saskatchewan.

    The Saskatchewan Sesquicentennial Sasquatch!! Say THAT five times fast…

    • I can’t even say it once!

      I’m glad you brought up the stones in ’65 – I forgot to write in that due to the whole ‘the last time’/’bittersweet symphony’ fiasco, I had to disqualify any of their 1965 tunes from this list.

      Probably not equivalent to the millions of dollars that likely should have gone to the verve, but it’s a start!

      I’m blown away by how prolific some of these artists were – somehow the quality kept up with the quantity too!

      • It was easy to paint the Stones as bastards for doing that to the Verve, but in fairness it would have said right in the contract where and how the funds would be divided so somebody somewhere didn’t read closely enough. Guess I don’t feel as sorry for the Verve as I should, over that one…

      • I think what I struggled with was (as I understand it) they got permission to use the sample from the Oldham orchestra version but then when the song became a hit, were accused of using too much.

        I find it just doesn’t sound like the stones original at all either.

        And I heard an interview with a group (Sloan maybe?) talking about how the stones wouldn’t give them any comps for being the opening act.

        Now I haven’t lost sleep over either incident mind you, but just left me with a sour taste about the stones and their finances.

        No sour taste however with the triple threat of let it bleed/sticky fingers/exile, no complaints there!

      • Yup, but the thing is that they’ve ALWAYS been bastards, and this is well-known and absolutely no secret, and they’re rich because they are smart, cutthroat businessmen. If Mick hadn’t joined the band and finished up at the London School Of Economics, he’d still be a rich bastard, just not a rock and roller.

        I find it hard to believe Sloan would complain about comps. Me, the chance to play on the same stage and watch them every night, would be cool enough!

      • Oh yeah and I was gonna say don’t forget to throw in Beggars Banquet to that list there too. Those four albums, and all in a row (!), are not even fair to other bands!

      • For those following along, here’s the story on the Verve thing…

      • Mm, and I’d daresay if you played those three 1965 records again, you might rethink leaving them off the list!

      • Thanks for posting the wikipedia page – that reminded me of what I struggled with the most with the whole saga!

        It would be one thing if the stones sued the verve. The stones have never been shy (as you correctly said) about making money.

        But the legal issue was so convoluted:
        – it’s the former manager that owns the copyrights
        – the riff in question is from another version of the song not performed by the stones (also on which said manager did not play!)
        – if bittersweet symphony had flopped, the lawsuit wouldn’t have existed because the royalties wouldn’t have been ‘worth it’ for Klein & his holding company to pursue.

        I guess it’s just frustrating that someone’s getting rewarded for a shrewd acquisition from decades ago (getting the 60s stones copyrights) through using legal strength in the 90s. The naive music fan in me would like to see musicians rewarded but I guess c’est la vie, that’s why they call it the music business!

      • Yup. And one would think getting burned like they did is why they started Rolling Stones Records and have been their own protective a-holes ever since. And it’s why we got the C*cksucker Blues too!

        And the music business? Ha. Broken, man. Decades of broken.Fugazi and Ani Difranco, and anyone else who did what they did, had it right.

      • Fugazi has an album on the list – haven’t heard it yet.

        Not sure if you’ve seen the wolf of wall street but when I hear ‘fugazi’ I can’t help but think of Matthew Mcconaughey in that restaurant scene!

      • I’m a Minor Threat fan, so Fugazi follows naturally. Which one of theirs is on the list, Repeater? I’ll say this – ANY of them will kick yer ass (in a good way)! 😉

        We did see the WoWS, just a couple of weeks ago, actually. I spent most of the movie ready to shut it off. At a certain point after the plot was established (early on), I realized we were just gonna go from stupid to more stupid. We stayed the course, but I mostly regret it now. McConaughey was one of the best parts of the movie.

      • Repeater’s the one!
        McConaughey’s 5 minute cameo made the movie for me.
        A friend talks about characters being in left in ‘character limbo’ if she doesn’t finish a book, I think I might have a bit of that with unfinished movies. So if it helps with feelings of regret, at least you gave closure to the characters, however unappealing they were!
        I guess I sat through Speed 2 & Batman and Robin (In theatres in the same summer I believe) so I figure I can make it through anything!

      • “Probably not equivalent to the millions of dollars that likely should have gone to the verve, but it’s a start!”

        One thing I have never got, and probably never will, and don’t want to get, is the whole idea of sampling someone else’s music. WHY? I can sort of see the concept of a cover as a tribute, and live of course there is nothing wrong with covers, but why sample something?

      • Especially as it often ends up in court like it did here – save some money on royalties & legal fees, skip the samples!

  2. sinewavelife permalink

    Great trip down memory lane! I much preferred “So You Want to be a Rock & Roll Star” to “Turn, etc.” There’s nothing like the sound of that 12-string Rickenbacker, and such a beautiful instrument to look at! Thanks for this post.

  3. Another 5, just for grins: “My Girl” (Temptations), “Tired of Waiting for You” (Kinks), “Can’t Help Myself” (Four Tops), “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” (Animals), “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” (James Brown). Lots happening in ’65!

  4. I researched a bit, but I cannot come up with anything more perfect in 1965 than In My Life. Wow. Incredible. You can’t top it!

  5. I’d have The Kinks’ Tired Of Waiting For You, Johnny Cash’s Orange Blossom Special and Dylan’s Tombstone Blues!

  6. The mid 60’s were so rich that every time you dip that “top 5” ladle in the stew- you can come up with a different and equally tasty combinations – I like this one Geoff.

    • Disclaimer: I am not a spammer from Pakistan – I just put an extra “a” in the last sentence to make that comment read strange in the U.S., Canada or the U.K. 🙂

    • And I like the stew metaphor!
      In the alphabet series I admit I had to stretch to find artists to round out a couple of the top 5s – I had absolutely no difficulty finding ’65 ingredients here, the trick was narrowing it down!

  7. Tangled Up In Music (by Ovidiu Boar) permalink

    James Brown – Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag
    Supremes – I Hear A Symphony; Stop! In the Name of Love
    Rolling Stones – Get Off Of My Cloud; (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
    Who – My Generation
    Beatles – Ticket to Ride; Yesterday
    Beach Boys – California Girls; Kiss Me, Baby
    Bob Dylan – Like a Rolling Stone; It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding); Mr. Tambourine Man
    Simon & Garfunkel – The Sound of Silence

    • I forgot Sound of Silence was from ’65 – that would be a contender! Can’t argue with Brown’s energy either. And 1537 made a good point the other day about describing Like a Rolling Stone, do we have an adjective capable of the job?!

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