Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Best Songs of 1963 - Nos. 10 to 6

10. Do You Want To Know A Secret – The Beatles (Please Please Me)

Do You Want To Know A Secret made it to number two on the American charts, although it was never released as a single in the UK. George Harrison provided the vocal on this track. I love the lyrics. It really is a beautiful way to tell someone that you love them. The story is that John Lennon meant the song for his new wife Cynthia during the time when Brian Epstein wanted them to keep their marriage a secret from the public in order to increase the band’s popularity with young female fans.

9. Then He Kissed Me – The Crystals (Then He Kissed Me)

I love that Wall of Sound. This song just sounds so big. It was one of the best of the girl group songs of the early 60’s and one of Phil Spector’s finest productions. Dolores Brooks provided a tremendous vocal on this story of a girl who meets a handsome stranger and falls in love. The song has been used in several movies, but the scene that most sticks out in my mind is from Goodfellas where the song plays during that incredible long tracking shot where Ray Liotta takes Lorraine Bracco through the back entrance of the Copa on their first date.

8. Be My Baby – The Ronettes (Be My Baby)

Here we have another Phil Spector produced track and another example of his famous “Wall of Sound”. I absolutely adore the sound of Ronnie Spector’s voice and this song was her best. It made it to number two on the pop charts and she even had a chance to repeat that success when Eddie Money’s “Take Me Home Tonight” went to number four on the charts in 1986 with her reprisal of the chorus of “Be My Baby”.

7. Love Me Do – The Beatles (Please Please Me)

John Lennon’s harmonica really makes this wonderful song. It was the first single for The Beatles and it was a number one hit on the pop charts. It was one of the first songs Paul McCartney ever wrote. According to John Lennon, Paul had completed the main structure of the song by the time he was sixteen. Before this single was released, most bands recorded songs written by professional songwriters. Lennon and McCartney wrote their own songs and very well at that. Nothing in the music business was quite the same after this.

6. Louie, Louie – The Kingsmen (The Kingsmen In Person)

This is one of the most covered tunes in rock history, but the most famous version of Richard Berry’s song was recorded by Portland, Oregon’s Kingsmen. The song made it to number two on the pop charts, despite, or possibly because of, the controversial urban legend that sprang up over Joe Ely’s unintelligible interpretation of the lyrics. The song was banned by the governor of Indiana and even investigated by the FBI, but there was no actual obscenity in the song.

Comments and opinions are encouraged and appreciated.


Anonymous said...

I suppose I could quibble over Louie, Louie(never a favorite of mine) but I won't. What a pleasure your posts are. Can't wait to see and hear your top 5.

Anonymous said...

keep up the good work

CanuckRob said...

My kids and I both enjoy your lists Leo, thanks for all the great clips and memories

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