During 1963 the musical landscape shifted. The ‘beat boom’ had begun. The Beatles released ‘She Loves You’ and ‘Please, Please Me’ and the whole world of popular music was to alter forever, the repercussions of which are still being felt to this very day.
It was not only the Beatles, as The Merseybeat sound started to emanate from the estuary; Billy J Kramer and The Dakotas, Gerry and The Pacemakers and of course The Searchers to name just a few. Brian Epstein seemed to have got the formulae just right, great songs + great music + some working-class hungry youngsters.
Whilst the US artists like Elvis, Roy Orbison and Brenda Lee were still producing some great singles it seemed there was a fresher, younger sound that the teenagers wanted to hear and that came out of Great Britain. The landmark ‘Please, Please Me’ album was released in March 1963 and began the incredible run of 12 albums, 11 of which hit the number 1 spot over the next 7 years! Hand in hand with a staggering 17 number 1’s The Beatles were like nothing the world had ever seen.
The Beatles weren’t the only band getting ready to rocket, The Rolling Stones were finding their groove at the other end of the country starting a bluesier brew of Rock and Roll for the teenagers too. There was only one horizon left to conquer, the US charts and that was to come in ’64.
1963’s Top 10 UK Singles.
#1. She Loves You by The Beatles.
She Loves You was to go on to be the biggest selling song of the 1960s. Written and recorded in just a couple of weeks the Fab Four had no idea what they were creating. Lennon recalls just throwing all his influences at it from Elvis Presley to the Isley Brothers. Luckily they ignored Paul McCartney’s Dad’s advice, ‘That’s very nice son, but there’s enough of these Americanisms around. Couldn’t you sing ‘She loves you, yes, yes, yes!’
#2. From Me to You by The Beatles.
The Beatles released ‘From Me To You’ as their third single. It was to make the number 1 spot in May ’63 and stay there for 7 weeks. It was a slightly different type of song to ‘Love Me Do’ and ‘Please, Please Me’ and showed as George Martin put it, that ‘there seemed to be a bottomless well of songs’.
#3. How Do You Do It? by Gerry and The Pacemakers.
Gerry and The Pacemakers took this song that had been refused by The Beatles, Adam Faith and Brian Poole and decided to take it to the number 1 spot for 3 weeks in April 1963. It was the first of 3 number ones the band would have in ’63.
#4. I Like It by Gerry and The Pacemakers.
I Like It was Gerry and The Pacemakers 2nd #1 in June 1963 and it again sat at the top of the charts for 4 weeks. Gerry Marsden could be excused for thinking this hit-making business was easy.
#5. You’ll Never Walk Alone by Gerry and The Pacemakers.
You’ll Never Walk Alone is perhaps the strangest of Gerry and The Pacemakers #1 singles as it was a show tune from the Rogers and Hammerstein musical Carousel. It was said that Liverpool manager Bill Shankly told Gerry Marsden that as he had provided Liverpool with the team it was up to Gerry to provide them with a song – and so one of the best-known sporting anthems was born and can still be heard we in week out at Liverpool games across the land.
#6. Summer Holiday by Cliff Richard.
Cliff Richard was making a name for himself on the British teen flick scene with a string of movies when this one came along. The film of the same name featured some 16 songs of which this was the title track. It was to go to the number one spot and stay there for 3 weeks in March 1963.
#7. From A Jack To A King by Ned Miller.
From A Jack To A King was a crossover country hit for Ned Miller and is said to be the 6th most played song of 1963.
#8. Next Time/Bachelor Boy by Cliff Richard.
This was another of the 16 songs featured in Summer Holiday that was released and went to the top of the charts in 1963 for the moment Cliff and The Shadows could do no wrong!
#9. Do You Love Me by Brian Poole and The Tremeloes.
Brian Poole and The Tremeloes took this song to the number 1 spot for 3 weeks in October 1963. Originally this was recorded by Motown group The Contours but was adopted by many British bands of the ’60s as a standard floor filler at live shows.
#10. Sweets For My Sweet by The Searchers.
Initially released by The Drifters in the US in 1961 the song failed to chart in the UK. However with the Searchers got hold of it hey tore down the house, giving them their first UK number 1, strangely when they released their version in the US it again failed to chart! The Searchers were often quoted as being Liverpool’s greatest second band having learnt their chops at the Star Club in Hamburg, The Searchers could spot a great song and knew how to engage an audience.
Spring Chicken 1963 Favourite.
I Only Want To Be With You by Dusty Springfield
Released at the end of 1963 after The Springfields had been disbanded ‘I Only Want To Be With You’ was to peak in 1964 at the number 4 spot. It did, however, showcase Dusty to be the real talent that she had promised to be with The Springfields.