Despite its similar beginnings, ’65 was a year of transition as the music became more serious, more introspective. It was also the year music became raunchier, thanks to the emergence of The Rolling Stones, who would challenge the Beatles as rock ‘n roll’s top band. From the fans’ perspective, there was a major competition between the Stones and the Beatles. You were either a Stones fan or Beatles fan. You couldn’t be both. In reality however the two groups got along quite well and we’re very supportive of each other. As I mentioned in my previous post, George Harrison actually helped the Stones secure a recording contract with Decca records., Paul McCartney wrote the Stones’ second single, I Wanna Be Your Man. Also, if you watch the video that accompanies the Beatles’ Love Love Love, you will notice Mick Jagger amongst the entourage of singers.
The Stones had actually released their first single two years earlier, but it was 1965’s release of [I Can’t Get No] Satisfaction that catapulted them to the forefront of rock music. Satisfaction is considered one of, if not, the best Stones song and this is where I differ greatly with music fans. It is not even close to being my favorite Stones’ song. I’m not a big fan of it, at all. Because of this, and because I was such a big Beatles fan [I bought into the us vs. them mentality] I wasn’t a Rolling Stones fan initially. That would change with the release of songs like Paint It Black and Ruby Tuesday.
Small town Canadian kids in the mid sixties didn’t while away the hours indoors listening to the radio. Heck no, we were outside playing rink hockey, pond hockey, road hockey, or simply cavorting with friends, running from one adventure to the next. Exposure to rock and roll music in those days came mainly from the Ed Sullivan show. Every Sunday evening, we would gather in front of the television, anxious to see the next newest band. Ed didn’t disappoint us. We were treated to an exciting variety of rock and pop, British and American acts, including Herman’s Hermits, the Beach Boys, the Righteous Brothers, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, the Byrds, Freddie and the Dreamers, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Johnny Rivers, the Yardbirds, the Moody Blues, Bob Dylan, The Kinks, the Turtles, Peter and Gordon, the Animals and the Lovin’ Spoonful,
So many great songs! A few cheesy ones [I’m Telling You Now by Freddie and the Dreamers comes to mind], but quite frankly, we didn’t mind the cheese! It was all new and we loved it!
The Dave Clark Five had three more hits [Catch Us If You Can, I Like It Like That and Over and Over] solidifying my position as a bona fide fan.
Meanwhile, the Beatles kept pumping out mega blasters with songs like Help, Ticket to Ride [one of my favorites], Eight Days a Week and Yesterday. All four songs made it to the top of the Billboard charts. It was a banner year for the four lads from Liverpool and just when you [I] thought it couldn’t get any better, on December 3, they released Rubber Soul.
Rubber Soul marked the beginning of the Beatles journey into psychedelic music. According to Wikipedia, “The album is regarded by musicologists as a major artistic achievement that continued the Beatles’ artistic maturation while attaining widespread critical and commercial success.” For me, it was just pure awesome! It contained so many good songs, most notably, If I Needed Someone [a Harrison composition … I think, his best song, solo or otherwise], In My Life, and perhaps my favorite all time Beatles song, Nowhere Man.
Rubber Soul was easily the best rock ‘n roll record album to that point. It was an awesome way to end the year and it set the stage for what would turn out to be an even more amazing 12 months to follow!
Have an awesomely musical day!
If you missed my first post on my love affair with rock music, check this out.