Researched and written by Sharon Mawer

The top selling album in 1966 as it had been the previous year was the soundtrack to The Sound Of Music which spent the entire year either at no.1 or no.2 in the album charts. This was the second time that a soundtrack had been the year's top seller, two years running, following South Pacific in 1959 and 1960. Having spent 20 weeks at the top in 1965, The Sound Of Music added a further 31 weeks this year and was only absent from no.1 to make way for new albums by the Rolling Stones and The Beatles.

When Rubber Soul vacated the no.1 position in February, The Sound Of Music took over until The Rolling Stones' Aftermath climbed to the top at the end of April. It returned again between June and August, making way for The Beatles seventh no.1, Revolver, tying them with the most number one LPs with Elvis Presley. After seven weeks, The Sound Of Music returned for the whole of October, November and December.

Aftermath was the third number one album by The Rolling Stones and was the first to feature all Jagger and Richards compositions including Mother's Little Helper, Lady Jane, Under My Thumb, and Out Of Time. It also was the first time The Rolling Stones joined the growing list of artists who would experiment with different sounds and instruments on their LPs with Brian Jones playing the dulcimer on Lady Jane and I am Waiting and the sitar on Mother's Little Helper. The album also included the 11 minute blues jam Going Home.

But if The Rolling Stones were experimenting with Aftermath, it was nothing compared to The Beatles on Revolver which featured the beginnings of psychedelic music on Dr.Robert, a song about a doctor supplying drugs to his celebrity patients, She Said She Said, I'm Only Sleeping and Tomorrow Never Knows with John Lennon singing portions of the Tibetan Book Of The Dead over Ringo's drumbeats. The album featured phased guitars, tape loops, some playing backwards and tape recorders linked together to create duplicated vocal tracks. Revolver was the first Beatles album that extensively utilised George Harrison compositions, the opening political statement, Taxman, I Want To Tell You and Love You To. The album had its lighter moments, the songs Here There And Everywhere, Got To Get You Into My Life, And Your Bird Will Sing and the singalong Yellow Submarine, although even this song was supposedly originally written during an LSD trip. The only single release taken from the LP was the double A side, Yellow Submarine/Eleanor Rigby, with a string arrangement and very deep lyrics inspired by the film Fahrenheit 451. They could not play this music on stage and be true to the recorded versions, certainly not above the screaming of fans, and the LP as a format came of age, not only for an adult record buying public, but everyone who wanted their music a little more subtle than pop singles usually allowed.

That was it for chart topping albums during 1966 and with these four LPs spending 42 weeks in the runner up position, there wasn't much room this year for a lot of number two albums either. Eight of the remaining weeks were spent at no.2 by The Beach Boys, three with Pet Sounds in July and August and five to see out the year with Best Of The Beach Boys. After just one LP peaking at no.17, they finally broke through in 1966 with five top 10 albums, beginning with the no.3 Beach Boys Party and included Beach Boys Today, Summer Days And Summer Nights and the two no.2 albums.

The Beach Boys were brothers Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson, cousin Mike Love and school friend Al Jardine who started out as a surf band, singing songs about the beach, the waves and California and eventually turned into the only group in the 1960s to come close to The Beatles in terms of production and experimentation on record. Beginning with Surfin, Surfin Safari and Surfin USA, they had hit records in the USA in 1962 but although one of their tracks, I Get Around, hit the top 10 in the UK in 1964, they had to wait until 1966 for their next major hit single and their first top 10 LP, and this year there were five of them, Beach Boys Party, Beach Boys Today, Pet Sounds, Summer Days And Summer Nights and the first of many greatest hits Best Of The Beach Boys.

Although it only reached no.2 in the UK and just scraped into the US top 10 at no.10, Pet Sounds has been described by many people as the greatest ever LP. Brian Wilson spent over a year, writing the tracks with lyricist Tony Asher and getting the production just right and eventually recorded an album that layered tracks on top of other tracks, using conventional keyboards and guitars as well as flutes, harpsichords, organs and orchestral strings with a rich sound that would have been very listenable even without great songs. But Pet Sounds had them too, Wouldn't It Be Nice, Sloop John B, God Only Knows, I Just Wasn't Made For These Times, Caroline No and many more. Two of the songs did not even need Beach Boys vocal harmonies and stood alone as instrumentals Let's Go Away For A While and the title track Pet Sounds. As always, the finished version of a Beach Boys album was recorded in mono, Brian Wilson claiming that it left nothing to chance with regard to speaker placement that stereo recordings had. Also he was aware that radio and TV broadcast in mono and most car radios were mono but more personally, he was deaf in one ear, rumoured to be caused in childhood by his father's violent attacks. One masterpiece that was originally on the album but removed at the last minute in order to give Brian Wilson even more time on its production was Good Vibrations which wasn't ready until November 1966, when it became their first number one single.

Beach Boys Party, the first of the top 10 LPs was recorded while Brian Wilson was busy creating Pet Sounds and as such was filled with cover versions ranging from Lennon & McCartney's I Should Have Known Better, You've Got To Hide Your Love Away and Tell Me Why to Bob Dylan's The Times They Are A Changin. It ended with a medley of I Get Around/Little Deuce Coupe and the track that was effectively their comeback single, Barbara Ann. It also was recorded as if at an actual party with friends adding conversation and general background chat after every track. Beach Boys Today was an album produced by Brian Wilson after he announced he would no longer tour with the band but solely concentrate on the studio production of their albums. Although the LP opens with Bobby Freeman's Do You Wanna Dance, virtually the whole of the rest of the LP tracks were written by Wilson including When I Grow Up To Be A Man, Dance Dance Dance, She Knows Me Too Well, Please Let Me Wonder and a rough unfinished version of Help Me Rhonda. The finished single version was on the LP Summer Days And Summer Nights along with California Girls and covers of the Crystals Then I Kissed Her and the Ad Libs The Girl From New York City, both with the gender references changed. With Pet Sounds in mind, Brian Wilson composed Summer Means New Love, an instrumental track with piano, strings and brass to create almost a symphonic sound. This was the first Beach Boys album to feature Bruce Johnston, Brian Wilson's touring replacement, although not an official member yet and due to his existing personal contract with Columbia records, not allowed to be photographed on the sleeve of the LP. At the end of the year the Best Of The Beach Boys was released, featuring all the hits to date, I Get Around, Barbara Ann, Sloop John B, God Only Knows as well as the major US hits to date, Surfin USA, Fun Fun Fun, Help Me Rhonda and California Girls.

This only left three number 2 albums, two of which followed consecutively in November, Dusty Springfield's most successful chart album, Golden Hits, which included most of her biggest hits to date, I Only Want To Be With You, Stay Awhile, I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself, Losing You, In The Middle Of Nowhere , Little By Little and the recent no.1 You Don't Have To Say You Love Me. Two years after his death, Jim Reeves hit no.2 with Distant Drums which also included his recent no.1 hit title track as well as Is It Really Over, This Is It, Not Until The Next Time and The Gods Were Angry With Me. On the final week of the year, the Seekers hit no.2 with Come The Day. The Seekers were beginning to lose their core audience on the one hand to The Mamas & The Papas and also to Simon & Garfunkel as their upbeat songs seemed slightly out of touch with the darkening mood and the building resentment against the Vietnam war which would make pop music even more political. Paul Simon did write a couple of tracks for the album, Red Rubber Ball and I Wish you Could Be Here, as did Tom Springfield with Georgy Girl and the old Springfields hit Island Of Dreams. They also covered The Beatles Yesterday, The Byrds Turn Turn Turn and The Mamas & Papas California Dreamin.

At the end of the year, The Rolling Stones charted at no.3 with Big Hits High Tide And Green Grass, the first compilation of greatest hits released by the band and included four no.1 hits singles, I Can't Get No Satisfaction, The Last Time, It's All Over Now and Get Off Of My Cloud as well as 19th Nervous Breakdown and Not Fade Away.

New to the LP charts right at the beginning of the year were the Walker Brothers who achieved the 6th and 7th best sellers of 1966 with Portrait and Take It Easy with The Walker Brothers, both peaking at no.3. Also hitting no.3 with their first chart album were the Small Faces.

The Walker Brothers were not brothers and none of them were named Walker, but Scott Engel, John Maus and Gary Leeds who formed a trio in California, made their name singing baritone orchestral ballads in the style of the Righteous Brothers who weren't real brothers either, and although exceptionally popular at Christmas 1965, their chart success was concentrated in a period from August 65 to September 66 apart from a comeback in the mid 1970s. They hit the top 10 album charts in 1966 both with Take It Easy With The Walker Brothers and Portrait, Take It Easy includes the first no.1 single Make It Easy On Yourself along with big ballads, There Goes My Baby, First Love Never Dies, The Girl I Lost In The Rain and their attempt at soul music covering Dancing In The Street and Land Of 1000 Dances. By the time they released Portrait, they'd had a second number one single, The Sun Aint Gonna Shine Anymore, not included on the LP which did feature more soul tracks, People Get Ready, Just For A Thrill, Summertime and Take It Like A Man, along with a couple of Scott Walker compositions, Saturday's Child and I Can See It Now.

Steve Marriott had been a child actor taking the part of the Artful Dodger in Oliver and was working in a music shop when he met Ronnie Lane and Kenney Jones. They recruited organist Jimmy Winston and The Small Faces were born, starting out performing American R&B but moving on to the British mod scene with an act to rival The Who and The Kinks, Face being the mod slang for a leader of fashion. They were signed by Don Arden and got a record deal with Decca records. Winston left the band soon after their first hit single Whatcha Gonna Do About It and was replaced by Ian McLagan. Then the hits began regularly, beginning with Sha La La La Lee which along with the first single made it onto the debut album. Marriott and Lane were beginning to write songs too, which seemed essential in the mid 60's era of Lennon/McCartney or Jagger/Richards and their compositions Come On Children, It's Too Late, Own Up Time, You Need Loving, Don't Stop Doing What You're Doing and E Too D also all made it onto the album. There was however growing artistic differences between Don Arden and the band, he was only prepared to budget for hit singles whereas they saw the success of Revolver, Aftermath and Pet Sounds and wanted to make an album to emulate these, realising that the LP was now the ultimate musical statement. Furthermore, without much money coming in from royalties, they were tied to recording all their songs, singles or LPs at Decca's own studios with their strict union rules about how records should be made, even down to the volume they could be recorded at. The Rolling Stones manager, Andrew Loog Oldham had formed his own label, Immediate Records, and the Small Faces were one his first British signings although he had made records with Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page who thought they were just jamming and having fun in a studio. Here, The Small Faces were able to fully express themselves and although they still didn't earn any money, over the next two years, they did just that.

The Spencer Davis Group's three top 10 albums were all during 1966, Their First LP hitting no.6, The Second Album peaking at no.3 and Autumn 66 at no.4. They were formed by Spencer Davis with brothers Steve and Muff Winwood and Peter York as an R&B group and signed to producer Chris Blackwell who, through his West Indian connections gave them Jackie Edwards' song Keep On Running to record, which duly topped the singles charts in January. Their First LP was dominated by cover versions of soul hits from Ike & Tina Turner, The Coasters and John Lee Hooker. Their Second Album, not the most imaginatively titled, but noting a changing of the times by naming the LP an album instead of an LP, featured the no.1 hit Keep On Running and energetic covers of Georgia On My Mind, Since I Met You Baby and You Must Believe Me. The third album, Autumn 66 hit the top 10 in September ends with their second number one hit single Somebody Help Me but with their album material, relying so heavily on cover versions, this time Midnight Special, Mean Woman Blues, Dust My Blues and When A Man Loves A Woman, this was the last time they would trouble the album charts.

Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass who had three no.1 albums in the USA in 1966, Whipped Cream And Other Delights, What Now My Love and Going Places, hit no.4 with the latter LP in the UK. He was born in Los Angeles in 1935 and began playing the trumpet at the age of eight. After serving in the US army, he began writing songs, together with Lou Adler, coming up a couple of the biggest hits for Sam Cooke, Wonderful World and Only Sixteen. Together with Jerry Moss, they founded the A&M record label and the first artist to record for it was Herb Alpert himself with his backing band The Tijuana Brass. Their first hit was The Lonely Bull, back in 1962, an instrumental as virtually all of his hits were, with the trumpet as the dominant instrument. Much more successful in the US than in the UK, with five number one albums to his credit, he had to wait nearly three years for his next hit, Spanish Flea and the first top 10 LP in the UK, Going Places which featured the hit single along with Tijuana Taxi, The Third Man Theme, Walk Don't Run, A Walk In The Black Forest and Zorba The Greek, all originally instrumentals but not one written for the trumpet.

Another American act with a US no.1 LP, If You Can Believe Your Eyes And Ears, broke into the UK top 10 with their self titled album were The Mamas & Papas. Founded by John Phillips, his wife Michelle, Cassandra Mama Cass Elliot and Denny Doherty, they signed to Lou Adler, head of Dunhill records and at their audition, they sang the songs Monday Monday And California Dreamin, both of which would appear on the group's debut album, If You Can Believe Your Eyes And Ears which reached no.1 in the US but failed to chart at all in the UK. The first UK album to chart was the self titled Mamas & Papas which featured the singles I Saw Her Again and Words Of Love along with 10 other John Phillips compositions including Salt On Her Tail, Trip Stumble And Fall, Once Was A Time I Thought and That Kind Of Girl. Even as this album was released however, the seeds of the band's break up were already sown with Denny Doherty pairing up romantically with Michelle Phillips, despite the fact that she was already married to John. The forthcoming hippie movement and the summer of love probably saved the group from breaking up there and then with Mama Cass the hippie earth mother and the group, two boys and two girls, the epitomy of idyllic life in a commune, even if it wasn't actually true.

The Lovin Spoonful's only top 10 album Daydream hit no.8. A cross between The Byrds and The Mamas & Papas, The Lovin Spoonful, led by John Sebastian, a veteran of the Greenwich village folk scene, briefly joined the Mugwumps, a forerunner to the Mamas & Papas, they did not survive a drugs bust in 1967 where they lost both their fans and credibility by naming their sources. John Sebastian wrote nearly all the tracks on the LP Daydream, including the hit single title track and There She Is, It's Not Time Now, Warm Baby, Jug Band Music and You Didn't Have To Be So Nice.

Finally achieving top 10 albums in the UK after years of American success were Barbra Streisand with My Name Is Barbra Two, Bert Kaempfert with Bye Bye Blues and Tony Bennett with A String Of Tony's Hits.

Barbra Streisand is one of the leading actresses and singers of a generation without ever setting trends or following others, her popularity has lasted over 40 years and will probably never actually go away. She was born in New York in 1942 and struggled as a nightclub singer in the early 60s before landing a role in the Broadway production of I Can Get It For You Wholesale which led to several albums on Columbia records, The Barbra Streisand Album, The Second Barbra Streisand Album, Funny Girl, another Broadway show, My Name Is Barbra and finally with the second volume, My Name Is Barbra Two, she charted in the UK with an LP of standard show songs performed on a TV special, He Touched Me, The Shadow Of Your Smile, I Got Plenty O Nuttin and her first hit single, Second Hand Rose.

Tony Bennett has had an even longer career beginning in 1951 with two US no.1 singles, Because Of You and Cold Cold Heart all the way through to him still having hit albums in 2006. He was born in New York in 1926, Anthony Dominick Benedetto, served in the US army during the second world war fighting in Europe, and after the war continued his singing that he had just begun to earn some money from as a teenager. His first British hit was the number from Kismet, Stranger In Paradise, a number one single and his only top 10 hit. By the early 1960's he had turned his attention to the more adult oriented LP market and singing live in nightclubs, jazz and pop standards. In 1962, he recorded what would become his signature tune, I Left My Heart In San Francisco which finally became a hit in the UK three years later. In 1966 he had his only top 10 album, A String Of Tony's Hits, a double album that included his American number one singles as well as Stranger In Paradise and many standard film and show songs, Anywhere I Wander, Smile, Put On A Happy Face and Climb Every Mountain.

Bert Kaempfert was born Berthold Kaempfert In Hamburg in 1923 and made his name as an arranger and producer rather than a performer. He was influenced mostly by the US big bands of the 1940s and served in the German Navy during the war, being captured and taken prisoner by the Allies. After the war, he was hired by Polydor records as a musical director and arranger and surprisingly had a hit under his own name, an instrumental titled Wonderland By Night. With his own big band, he revived the oldies Red Roses For A Blue Lady, Three O Clock In The Morning and Bye Bye Blues as well as writing hit songs himself, Wooden Heart for Elvis Presley and Spanish Eyes for Al Martino. Still working in Hamburg, he signed a Liverpool based singer named Tony Sheridan and signed an unknown quartet from Liverpool, The Beatles to back him. It was one these recordings, My Bonnie that was requested in the record shop owned by Brian Epstein that originally brought the Beatles to his attention. During the early 1960s, Bert Kaempfert recordings were becoming so successful that he gave up the production and arranging side of his activities, although he continued to write new songs including Strangers In The Night for Frank Sinatra. His 13th LP, Bye Bye Blues was his only top 10 album and included as always, a collection of standards from an era, long gone including When You're Smiling, You Stepped Out Of A Dream, I'm Beginning To See The Light, Out Of Nowhere and the title track which was his only singles success in the UK.

Not having to wait long for their breakthrough LPs were the Who, who hit no.5 with My Generation, The Troggs hits no.6 with From Nowhere The Troggs, as did Otis Redding with Otis Blue and John Mayall with Eric Clapton on the LP Bluesbreakers and Ken Dodd followed his biggest hit single, Tears with his first chart album Tears Of Happiness. The Four Tops peaked at no.9 with Four Tops On Top.

The Who are one of rock music's great bands. Beginning with the hit singles I Can't Explain, Anyway Anyhow Anywhere and My Generation in 1965, they changed their style from being the leaders of the mod culture, to rock opera and on to rock that has lasted through new albums in 2006 and live shows, despite the death of two of the four members. It was the live shows that got the most attention in the early days with all gigs ending with the destruction of the instruments, most spectacularly Keith Moon's drumkit and Pete Townshend's guitar. Pete Townshend had originally met John Entwistle at school in Shepherd's Bush and together they founded a Dixieland jazz band. Entwistle preferred rock and left to join up with The Detours featuring Roger Daltrey as lead singer. Townshend also moved over to playing rock in the Detours and eventually they recruited drummer, Keith Moon into their ranks and changed their name to The Who. They began playing regularly at the Marquee Club, changed their name again to The High Numbers and began to cultivate a fan base among the London mod scene. Finally they changed their name back again to The Who, and the hits started coming. Following their biggest ever hit single, the no.2 My Generation, an album of the same name was released with many tracks that have gone on to become classics, even though they were not big hits at the time, The Kids Are Alright, A Legal Matter, Out In The Street and The Ox.

The Troggs originated from Andover and were led by Reg Presley. They became famous when their hit, Wild Thing, threatened to deliver a whole new genre with caveman rock, but although this was far from their only hit, the band were short lived and by 1967 had departed the top 10 albums and singles charts for the last time. They have been cited however, as one of the main influences of some of the punk groups of the 70s. Their debut album, From Nowhere The Troggs opened of course with the hit single Wild Thing and they also covered tracks from Chuck Berry (Jaguar And Thunderbird), Lee Dorsey (Ride Your Pony and The Kitty Cat Song), Louis Louis, Twist And Shout, Hang On Sloopy and Game Of Love.

Otis Redding was born in Georgia in 1941 and epitomised the deep soul singers from the southern states. During the early 1960s, he was more known for belting his way through Little Richard covers than soulful renditions of emotional songs. He hadn't even hit the top 10 singles chart when his third LP, Otis Blue/Otis Redding Sings Soul reached no.6 in the album charts. Three of the songs are a tribute to Sam Cooke, who had died the previous year, A Change Is Gonna Come, Shake and Wonderful World. There are also covers of The Temptations' My Girl and The Rolling Stones' I Can't Get No Satisfaction and several Otis Redding originals including Ole Man Trouble and Respect, later to become a giant worldwide hit for Aretha Franklin. A very promising career beckoned, but by the end of 1967, he was killed in a plane crash that also killed four members of the Baykays, his backing band.

John Mayall was the elder statesman of British Blues with his band, The Bluesbreakers which had an ever changing membership that reflected the cream of blues rock musicians of the era, Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Mick Taylor, John McVie, Mick Fleetwood and Jack Bruce. John Mayall was born in Macclesfield in 1933 and was therefore already in his 30s by the time the Bluesbreakers began to be successful. He was one of the first musicians to actively spurn the singles market which he knew did not suit his style of playing or vision, although he released a few singles, not one ever made the charts and he was content to put 100% of his energy into making LPs. When Eric Clapton signed up to the Bluesbreakers, having left the Yardbirds in order to play blues rather than pop, John Mayall knew he had a star guitarist among the ranks. He only recorded one album with Eric Clapton before he left the Bluesbreakers in mid 66, even before the album was released, in order to form Cream with Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce, another former Bluesbreaker. The album simply titled Blues Breakers was Eric Clapton's first as a true blues guitarist able to express himself as he never could as part of a pop band. This album was like nothing before, although there are influences from American blues legends, Muddy Waters and Buddy Guy. Eric Clapton also takes lead vocal on a couple of tracks and John Mayall is heard playing organ and a second guitar along with rhythm section on this LP of John McVie and Hughie Flint, the first of many John Mayall's albums to chart in the UK. Tracks include All Your Love, Little Girl, Another Man, Double Crossing Time, Key To Love, Have You Heard and a cover of Ray Charles' What'd I Say.

Ken Dodd was one of Britain's foremost comedians, appearing on stage throughout the 1950s and 60s and later on television in a series of his own shows, but when it came to music, all of his songs, were straight love ballads and there were no comedy or novelty hits at all, unlike most of his contemporaries. He was born in Liverpool in 1932 in a district called Knotty Ash which he made a great deal of fun of in his stage act along with using the talents of several midgets playing his sidekicks, The Diddymen to appeal to children as well as adults. In the beginning he did sing comic songs such as Professor Yaffle Chuckabutty and The Sausage Knotter, but his first hit single in 1960 was a standard ballad, Love Is Like A Violin, and although he was absent from the top 10 for five years, when he returned, it was with the biggest selling single of 1965, Tears. This formed the centrepiece of his first chart LP, Tears Of Happiness which also included I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now, I Don't Know Why, Younger Than Springtime, The Very Thought Of You and I'll Be Seeing You.

Four young men, Levi Stubbs, Abdul Duke Fakir, Renaldo Obie Benson and Lawrence Payton, teamed up while still at various high schools in Detroit in the early 1950s, and as The Four Aims, began playing together at a friend's birthday party. Originally signed to Chess records, they changed their name to The Four Tops to avoid confusion with The Ames Brothers but could not succeed in the charts on this label. A move to Columbia proved just as fruitless and it wasn't until they signed to their longtime friend, Berry Gordy's Motown label and Gordy assigned the in house songwriters Holland Dozier Holland to compose I Can't Help Myself, It's The Same Old Song and Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever, that they had any chart success. These US hit singles did not travel well to the UK and it wasn't until October 1966 that they had their first genuine smash hit in Britian, the number one single, Reach Out I'll Be There. The LP Four Tops On Top was compiled by Motown records without much input from the group. They only included one of the minor hits, Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever and several Holland Dozier Holland formulaic songs from the mid 60s, I Got A Felling, Shake Me Wake Me When It's Over, Until You Love Someone and There's No Love Left, and filled the rest of the album with cover versions including Matchmaker Matchmaker, Michelle and In The Still Of The Night.

After ten years of albums charts, two artists still adding new LPs to their tally of top 10 successes were Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra, Elvis with yet another film soundtrack Paradise Hawaiian Style and Frank with three top 10 albums in 1966, Strangers In The Night, the live recording Sinatra At The Sands and the compilation Man And His Music. Paradise Hawaiian Style was the story of Rick Richards, a helicopter pilot who sets up a charter flying service in Hawaii and makes some friends along the way featuring the songs Drums Of The Islands, A Dog's Life, Sand Castles, Scratch My Back and Queenie Wahine's Papaya. Not one of Elvis best LPs. Strangers In The Night on the other hand saw a return to the top of the singles chart for Frank Sinatra for the first time in 12 years and consolidated his place among the great singers who could still command an audience in the mid 1960s. He sang new pop songs, Downtown, The Most Beautiful Girl In The World, Call Me and the title track, nostalgia from his own past, All Or Nothing At All and oldies going back even further, Yes Sir That's My Baby, You're Driving Me Crazy and My Baby Just Cares For Me. His first top 10 LP of the years was the double album A Man And His Music, record one, all recorded versions of his early hits with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra on Columbia, All Or Nothing At All, I'll Never Smile Again, There Are Such Things, I'll Be Seeing You and Oh What It Seemed To Be, and record two the Capitol records era, Come Fly With Me, Learnin The Blues, Young At Heart, Witchcraft, Fly Me To The Moon and My Kind Of Town. Sinatra's third top 10 LP of 1966 was the live album, Sinatra At The Sands, recorded at the Sands Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas with Count Basie to reprise a successful pairing from three years ago and featured many of his hits Come Fly With Me, I've Got You Under My Skin, Fly Me To The Moon, Luck Be A Lady, It Was A Very Good Year, My Kind Of Town and a few others also on the Man And His Music LP earlier in the year.

Two artists who began their LP chart careers in 1959 were Mantovani who hit no.3 in 1966 with Mantovani Magic and Cliff Richard with the latest in his 'around the world' themed albums Kinda Latin. The Shadows were also still going strong and their latest LP was the no.5 Shadow Music. Unlike his Spanish and Italian LPs, When In Spain and When In Rome, Kinda Latin was not recorded in Latin. Even Cliff Richard would not sell an LP in that language, but instead refers to the musical origin of the tracks, Blame It On The Bossa Nova, Quiet Nights Of Quiet Stars, Eso Beso, One Note Samba, The Girl From Ipanema and Quando Quando Quando, but even the Latin theme was dropped for covers of Bob Dylan's Blowin In The Wind, not really suited to Cliff's voice, Our Day Will Come, Concrete And Clay and yet another version of Fly Me To the Moon. Mantovani Magic, his first top 10 LP for seven years featured the famous cascading strings on the tracks Misty, Cara Mia, Mona Lisa, Love Me With All Of Your Heart, Auf Wiedersehen Sweetheart and Chim Chim Cheree. The Shadows' Shadow Music was not their best, but the group were waning at this time during the mid 1960s. They mix vocal performances I Only Want To Be With You, Stay Around, In The Past and One Way To Love, with their traditional haunting guitar sound on Fourth Street, Un Sospero and Maid Marion's Theme. Another Brian Bennett and Hank Marvin composition, The Magic Doll sounds more like a music box than a guitar.

Of the artists who had begun their album chart careers more recently, The Kinks had both Kink Kontroversy and Well Respected Kinks in the top 10 during 1966, The Animals hit no.4 with both Animalisms and the compilation Most Of The Animals and Georgie Fame hit the top 10 with both Sweet Things and Sound Venture.

Kink Kontroversy finally brought the Kinks into album territory separate from their hit singles career, with blues influenced tracks Milk Cow Blues, ballads Ring The Bells and The World Keeps Going Round and although it does include the single Till The End Of The Day, it omits the two biggest Kinks hit singles of 1966, the very British ode to Carnaby Street, Dedicated Follower Of Fashion and their third number one, Sunny Afternoon. Well Respected Kinks was a budget greatest hits package featuring most of their early singles, You Really Got Me, All Day And All Of The Night, Tired Of Waiting For You, Set Me Free and Till The End Of The Day. The Animals also had two albums in the top 10 this year, Animalisms was their first album on Decca but still dominated by soul or R&B covers of American hits, One Monkey Don't Stop No Show, Sweet Little Sixteen, I Put A Spell On You and Gin House Blues, although Eric Burden had written a few tracks for this LP including You're On My Mind and She'll Return It. Most Of The Animals was released by Columbia to sum up their recordings on their label including Baby Let Me Take You Home, I'm Crying, Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood, Bring It On Home To Me, We Gotta Get Out Of This Place, It's My Life and of course The House Of the Rising Sun.

Georgie Fame was born Clive Powell in Lancashire in 1943 and played Jerry Lee Lewis and Fats Domino hits, in several groups while still a teenager. His family moved to London and he was discovered by Lionel Bart, the composer of the musical Oliver, who introduced him to Larry Parnes, the manager of Billy Fury, Marty Wilde and other British Rock n Roll singers. He became the pianist for Billy Fury's backing band, The Blue Flames and when Fury disbanded the group, Georgie Fame took over as singer and main front man, getting a residency at the Flamingo, a jazz club, playing R&B, Ska and Jazz. After several unsuccessful singles and albums, he finally released Yeh Yeh, a track originally by Latin jazz singer Mongo Santamaria and took his version of the song to no.1 in the singles chart. His first top 10 album, Sweet Things was actually his third album with soft jazz ballads, Funny How Time Slips Away and Sitting In The Park, soulful covers of My Girl, The In Crowd, See Saw and Dr Kitch, all recorded in a studio but as if they were back live in the jazz club. Later in the year, he also charted with Sound Venture which included Lovey Dovey, Down For The Count, Feed Me, and James Brown's Papa's Got A Brand New Bag.

Val Doonican's second chart LP, The Gentle Shades Of Val Doonican peaked at no.5 and Cilla Black's second, Cilla Sings A Rainbow hit no.4 and after a flurry of activity in 1965 with 6 top 10 albums, Bob Dylan's only 1966 album was the no.3 Blonde On Blonde. Val Doonican's Gentle Shades, like his first LP completely omitted his hit singles and included the tracks I'm Just A Country Boy, Impossible, The Marvellous Toy, Gentle Mary, Bridget Flynn and Nobody But You. Cilla Sings A Rainbow opens with her hit single Love's Just A Broken Heart and features covers of A Lover's Concerto, Make It Easy On Yourself, 123, When I Fall In Love and Yesterday. Apart from the single, possibly the best track is a haunting version of the childlike title track Sing A Rainbow. Bob Dylan's Blonde On Blonde, his only top 10 LP of 1966 compared to the six the previous year was a double album mixture of blues, country, rock and folk beginning with the brass band influenced single, Rainy Day Women nos.12&35, the innovative seven and a half minute moving ballad, Visions Of Johanna, I Want You, Just Like A Woman and Sad Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands.

There were no new film soundtracks in 1966 although as previously mentioned, The Sound Of Music was in the top 2 all year and Mary Poppins began the year at no.3 having peaked at no.2 in 1965. A compilation called Stars Charity Fantasia was released on the Save The Children label with all profits going to the children's charity and reached no.6. It included hits by Dusty Springfield-You Don't Have To Say You Love Me, The Walker Brothers-The Sun Aint Gonna Shine Anymore, Roger Miller-England Swings, Val Doonican-Walk Tall, Harry Secombe-If I Ruled The World, Kathy Kirby-Dance On, Ken Dodd-Happiness and Cliff Richard-I Could Easily Fall.

The album chart was increased in size to a top 30 from the 16th of April and in the second week of December, still further to a top 40. Despite this, there was still no room for US no.1 albums Ballads Of The Green Berets by Staff Sgt Barry Sadler, The Supermes A Gogo and the Beatles US release Yesterday And Today. This was the final album exclusively created for the American market featuring four songs from Rubber Soul, And Your Bird Can Sing And Doctor Robert which would be used on Revolver and the singles Yesterday, Day Tripper and We Can Work It Out. More famous for its album sleeve than its musical content which would be superseded by Revolver only a couple of months later, the initial run depicted The Beatles in butcher aprons throwing around cuts of meat and pieces of dismembered dolls. A comment on what they now thought of Capitol records in the US cutting up and recycling their tracks out of sequence, the butcher cover was withdrawn after complaints from record chains and disc jockeys. Other US top 5 albums that did not do too well in the UK included The Ray Conniff Singers Somewhere My Love which peaked at no.34 and there was no room at all for Barbra Streisand's Color Me Barbra, Rolling Stones December's Children and Everybodys, Lou Rawls Live, Best Of Hermans Hermits, Frank Sinatra September Of My Years, Association And Then Along Comes The Association, Paul Revere & The Raiders Just Like Us and the comedy album Welcome To The LBJ Ranch. As for those artists with UK no.1 singles during 1966, Manfred Mann reached no.11, Nancy Sinatra no.12 and Chris Farlowe no.19 in the album charts and only the Overlanders could not chart at all.


Top albums of 1966
1 Soundtrack - Sound Of Music
2 Beatles - Revolver
3 Beatles - Rubber Soul
4 Rolling Stones - Aftermath
5 Beach Boys - Pet Sounds
6 Walker Brothers - Portrait
7 Walker Brothers - Take It Easy With The Walker Brothers
8 Soundtrack - Mary Poppins
9 Herb Alpert & Tijuana Brass - Going Places
10 Small Faces - Small Faces

(c) 2007 Text: Sharon Mawer / Contact: Sharon Mawer
(c) 2007 All chart information: The Official UK Charts Company

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