Happy Anniversary


2015 is a crazy year for Anniversaries – and maybe makes us wonder whether the whole idea is overdone (especially in the media)? Nonetheless there are some momentous events to recall including 70 years ago VE Day and VJ Day, the signing of Magna Carta in 1215 and the first English ‘Parliament’ 50 years later. I wonder whether the events of last week in Paris will impact on the UK’s marking of the battles of Agincourt (600 years) and Waterloo (200 years)? More fun may be had with the centenary of the birth of Frank Sinatra or from 1865, the publication of Alice in Wonderland.

In 1965 the loveable Mop Tops released Rubber Soul and received MBEs at the Palace but I reckon the major album releases were by Bob Dylan who put out Bringing It All Back Home and Highway 61. He also enjoyed four Top Ten singles, 50 years ago including “Like a Rolling Stone” which went to number 4.

Talking of Rolling Stones, their hit “Satisfaction” came in 1965 as did their fairly ‘soulful’ album Out of Our Heads. The Who’s first three singles all hit in 1965 including “My Generation” which reached number 2 – they’ve never had a number one.

However, I believe the best-selling album from 50 years ago was one that you’ll have somewhere in your collection: the Sound of Music

If you want more anniversaries, there’s a list with lots of more recent albums at



Author: pompeypop

University lecturer, longtime local musician and recently historian of popular music - especially in and around Portsmouth. My blog is entirely about that topic

4 thoughts on “Happy Anniversary

  1. How can I possibly disagree with your comments about His Bobness!

    Re “Highway 61 Revisited”, Dylan told Robert Shelton “I wanted to call that album ‘Highway 61 Revisited’. Nobody understood it. I had to go up the fucking ladder until finally the word came down and said: ‘Let him call it what he wants to call it’ ”

    Robert Shelton was an early biographer and also wrote Bob’s first album notes, using the pseudonym Stacey Williams. Strangely, he ended up as a journalist for the Brighton Evening Argus! I had the pleasure of meeting him on a couple of occasions and he was kind enough to sign and dedicate my first edition hardback of his mighty tome “No Direction Home” – a title taken from a line in “Like a Rolling Stone” In 1982 Shelton moved to Brighton, where he died on December 11th, 1995 – the twentieth anniversary of his passing therefore occurs this year….

    The album reached number three on the US Billboard albums chart , and number four on the UK albums charts. In the USA, Highway 61 was certificated as a gold record in August 1967, and went platinum in August 1997.

    At the time “Like a Rolling Stone” was the longest single ever released, clocking in at 6 minutes 13 seconds. although that pales into insignificance when you consider the mighty “Desolation Row” from the album (on which Mike Bloomfield probably played the best guitar EVER on a Bob recording) which clocks in at 11 minutes 21 seconds. There weren’t many album tracks that length in 1965!

    2015 also marks the 50th anniversary of the formation of Country Joe & the Fish – which brings us nicely to the fact that today is the 48th anniversary of the first “human be-in” which took place in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco…

  2. The Human Be-In, also remembered as The Gathering of the Tribes, was held at the Polo Fields in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco 48 years ago on this day back in 1967, in which the world was invited to join in spiritual togetherness. It is generally considered to be one of the most important events in the hippie/counter culture movement. A prelude to the San Francisco Summer of Love, the gathering promoted key ideas of the counterculture … personal empowerment, cultural and political decentralization, communal living, ecological awareness, and higher consciousness. Music, dance, and spoken word conveyed these messages. It featured “All S. F. Rock Groups,” including the Grateful Dead, Big Brother & The Holding Company, Country Joe & The Fish, Quicksilver Messenger Service, and a host of others including LSD guru Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, Richard Alpert (Ram Dass), Dick Gregory, Lenore Kandel, and Jerry Ruben. Timothy Leary, set the tone for the Human Be-In with his famous phrase “Turn on, tune in, drop out.” Several different posters and handbills were made for the event. It was a beautiful day in SF. LSD was provided en mass by the legendary chemist Stanley “Bear” Owsley, who was also the sound operator for the Grateful Dead and is the namesake behind the famous Grateful Dead dancing bears. The Diggers provided free food to the crowds, which were estimated in excess of 30,000.

  3. One of the greatest albums of all time……. 40 years old now!!! As Sandy denny once sang “Who Knows Where The Time Goes?” http://www.billboard.com/articles/review/album-review/6443561/bob-dylans-blood-on-the-tracks-at-40-classic-track-by-track

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