Number 3: (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher – Jackie Wilson
I love Jackie Wilson – I discovered his back catalogue after hearing him referenced in a song by the Dexy’s Midnight Runners. My favourite is Reet Petite – or as we often refer to it in our house – The lookabar song….(there’s a story behind that).
Number 2: Respect – by Aretha Franklin.
An absolutely fantastic song and performance with such a lasting legacy. It must mean so much to so many people. I also just discovered the Otis Redding original that was recorded in 1965 – a completely different take on the same song. For most of the day as I was listening through the songs I was absolutely convinced that this was going to be my number one for the year.
Number 1: She’s Leaving Home – by McCartney and Lennon.
The reason this pipped Aretha to the post was just that I couldn’t stop listening to it. It’s been in my head now for several days, an earworm that is most pleasant.
I’d already come to the opinion that Sgt. Pepper’s the Album was a massive influence on music from 1967 onwards and knew the legacy of how it had massively influenced bands like the Beach Boys – and so many other artists. But I’d ruled out Sgt. Peppers the song from the top spot.
Not only is She’s Leaving Home a lovely story – it’s sung as if it’s happening now. I love the fragility of McCartney’s vocal in the opening verse. And I found out that none of the Beatles played any instrument on the track (in fact only Lennon and McCartney made a contribution at all, with Lennon writing the chorus – from what I heard) and only Paul and John sang.
I guess songs have to have a personal relevance – for them to be in your list of favourites. And for me this week this song is massively relevant as Alice is off to University – this week, in fact. Did this influence my choice? Undoubtedly! But I think after listening to it you’d agree that this song stands up on its merits anyway – wouldn’t you?
Have you listened to it yet? Get it on – have a listen and then if you have time here’s a page for fun. You could call it a test of how well you paid attention!
So this exercise took up a fair part of Sunday 17th September to do. It came as an idea from a friend who suggested I play my favourite songs from each of the 50 years I’d been on this planet.
Here is the full list I listened to on that day. Other than the top 3, the rest are in rough order of popularity:
- She’s Leaving Home – The Beatles
- Respect – Aretha Franklin
- (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher – Jackie Wilson
- For What It’s Worth – Buffalo Springfield
- Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Beatles
- I’m a Man – The Spencer Davis Group
- Ode to Billy Joe – Bobbie Gentry
- The End – The Doors
- Suzanne – Leonard Cohen
- The Look Of Love – Dusty Springfield
- Chelsea Girls – Nico
- Venus in Furs – The Velvet Underground
- White Rabbit – Jefferson Airplane
- Corcovado – Frank Sinatra
- Electricity – Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band
It was a fun journey of discovery as some of these songs I hand’t heard before. It was quite tough to rank them though – especially hard to decide between number 1 and 2.
What’s your favourite song from 1967 – and what have I missed? Would be good to have any comments you have.