Sunday, October 16, 2016

The 2015/1967 Countdown - 10/16/2016 Update

Today, we are going to take a look at a quartet of songs scattered across three of our 1967 mixes - 1967's Super Spectacular Singles Superstars, 1967's Super "Sensational' Summer Of Love, and Nancy's Favorites, to examine how much quicker the music industry moved in the 60s compared to today, in this case as exemplified by quickly hit songs were regularly repurposed for other artists.

The Holland-Dozier-Holland-penned Motown classic You Keep Me Hangin' On was a hit twice in 1967, first entering 1967 still clinging to the #21 spot for Diana Ross & The Supremes after having landed at number 1 on the charts for two weeks late in 1966. Then later in the year, the Long Island psychedelic cover band Vanilla Fudge released their own ultra-heavy version of the song as their debut single. Powered by some exceptionally thunderous drumming, their recording also became a hit, peaking at #6  in the weeklies.

Another song that proved to be a two time winner in 1967 was Cat Stevens' The First Cut Is The Deepest.

Though Stevens had recorded a demo of the song as early as 1965, he was still primarily focused on his songwriting rather than performing career in early 1967.  So, considering it just another song he had written for other artists, he sold it to the hot at the moment American ex-patriot soul singer P. P. Arnold (already mentioned in our discussion of The Smal Faces Tin Soldier) for a mere thirty pounds. The song, recorded with The Small Faces acting as her backing band, became a huge hit for Arnold, reaching #18 in the British weeklies.

Later that year, Stevens would record his own singer-songwriter version of the song and include it on his second album New Masters. It didn't chart as well as Arnold's version at the time, but is now considered by most the definitive version of the song, no matter how much Arnold or other artists who scored hits with the song like Rod Stewert or Cheryl Crow may disagree.

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